Monday, 4 August 2008

Tuesday, May 11, 1954

              W  L  Pct  GB
Spokane ..... 8  5 .615  —
Vancouver ... 8  5 .615  —
Victoria .... 7  3 .383  ½
Salem ....... 8  6 .571  ½
Yakima ...... 8  6 .571  ½
Lewiston .... 7  6 .538  1
Edmonton .... 6  6 .500  1½
Wenatchee ... 6  7 .462  2
Calgary ..... 4  8 .333  3½
Tri-City .... 3 11 .214  5½

KENNEWICK [Tri-City Herald, May 12]—There was a time, Tri-City general manager Eddie Taylor contends, when Lewiston lost 28 games in a row but the attendance slowly climbed because the fans in the Idaho city wanted to there when the home town boys finally won one.
If the same holds here, Tri-City attendance should soon be skyrocketing because the Braves lost another Tuesday night—9-6 in the opener with Spokane.
The loss was Tri-City’s eleventh in 14 starts and Braves fans have to go way back to last Friday to recall when they won one.
Tonight Tom Lawson, right-hander from Spokane, will be on the mound with designs toward extending the Tri-City loss streak.
Dale Bloom or Bud Guldborg will probably be the Tri-City starter.
Edo Vanni wasn’t around after the game Tuesday night to name his selection because the playing manager was sent to the showers by ump Mike Runyan in the ninth inning.
Despite the loss, the 560 fans who turned out saw an interesting game—a tilt that even had some bright spots in it for Tri-City fans.
The expulsion of Vanni, his first of the season, delighted the crowd to no end.
They also saw Tri-City pull what is a remarkable feat for them of scoring one run in the fifth without getting a hit where it normally takes the Braves four base-blows per run.
The fifth inning run was the result of some master bully-ragging of Spokane starter John Trautwein as pulled by Vic Buccola and Vanni.
After getting to first safely on a fielder’s choice, Buccola did some fancy-dancing 12-15 feet off the bag. Trautwein almost made an effort to pick him off but then withdrew which brought cries of “Balk!” from both Vanni and Buccola.
Neither Runyun nor plate ump Art Jacobs agreed but the two Tri-City players continued the ruckus until the unsettled Trautwein walked Jack Warren. After some more of the same, catcher Elsworth Dean thought he had Buccola caught off second but pegged wild and the runner scored.
Tri-City had its roughest time in the first two innings when Spokane batters poundcd Ted Saverese off the mound. Included in the nine base blows was Charles Ruddock’s homer in the second.
Cliff Coggin, pitcher acquired last week by the Braves, then took the mound for the first time in WIL play. For the next four innings, he held Spokane to two scratch hits.
No one described just what Coggin threw but it might best be called a “trouble” ball. He had trouble controlling it, Warren had trouble catching it, Spokane had trouble hitting it, and the umps had trouble telling balls from strikes.
In his first inning, Coggin alternately struck out and walked batters until he finally retired the side with the bases loaded.
Coggin was taken out for a pinchhitter in the sixth and Jess Dobernic took over. In the eighth, John Vossem smashed one of his pitches out of the park—the fifth homer Jess has given up so far this season. He retired Spokane on three pitches after that but was taken out for a pinchhitter in the bottom half.
The pinchhitter was Dick Watson, rookie infielder, who struck out but then played the ninth inning. Fans didn’t get a look at the boy in action, though, since none of the balls came his way in that frame.
Earl Lemieux pitched the final inning and learned that the double play is about the best maneuver on the baseball field. With none away, and the bases loaded, Lemieux was facing Wil Haley who has been known periodically to knock the ball out of the park.
This time, however, he hit a hopper to Buccola who pegged home for one out and then took Warren's throw at first for two away. Lemieux finished the inning by striking out Bob Donkersley.
Tri-City fans hopes rose a little in the ninth when Buccola and Sam Kanelos hit back-to-back doubles for one run. But the rally died when Jack Warren flew out and Bob Moniz popped out.
Spokane ........ 340 000 110—9 15 2
Tri-City ......... 030 011 001—6 11 5
Trautwein, Wisneski (6) and Dean; Savarese, Coggin (2), Dobernic (6), Lemieux (9) and Warren.

WENATCHEE [Vancouver Province, May 13]—A typical big five-run inning, climaxed by Arnie Hallgren’s two-run single in the ninth, gave the Vancouver Capilanos a piece of first place in the young Western International League race Tuesday.
The city’s Chiefs were at home to the boys from north of the border in a free-wheeling contest which saw a total of five pitchers give up a total of 29 hits. With the Caps collecting 17 of them, the final verdict was 13-10 in their favor.
With the victory, Bill Brenner’s boys, along with Spokane Indians (9-6 winners over Tri-City Braves), replaced Victoria Tyees at the head of the parade.
Don Pries’ Islanders slipped a run when Yakima Bears got three runs for a red-hot John Carmichael in the first inning for a 3-0 shutout.
But back here in Wenatchee, the Caps started fast with two runs in the first inning and added three more in the fourth, before the Chiefs finally got back on even terms in the fifth.
Bob Roberts started for the Caps, but he yielded to Bill Franks in the fourth, and Franks, too, began to shake under fire. Veteran John Cordell, who had done most of the cheering from the coaching box for Capilanos, relieved him in the seventh, and although the Chiefs managed to pull even again at 8-8 in the eighth, the Caps big guns went to work again in the ninth.
The first seven men got about and Charlie Oubre, the Wenatchee starter, allowed three straight singles before being replaced by Charlie Klein. But Klein, too, walked two and gave up a pair of singles before putting out the fire—too late. The Caps had put 10 men through the batter’s box for five large runs.
The Caps batted around the order earlier in the three-run fourth.
Vancouver ........ 200 301 025—13 17 0
Wenatchee ....... 010 310 032—10 12 3
Roberts, Franks (4), Cordell (7) and Pesut; Oubre, Klein (9) and Jenney, Helmuth (8).

YAKIMA, May 11—Only 431 wind-chilled fans turned out Tuesday to watch the red-hot pitching of John Carmichael as he blanked the Western International League leading Victoria Tyees and Yakima won the ball game 3-0.
Carmichael and Bill Bottler of the Tyees gave up three hits each but the Bears collected three runs in the first inning before the right-hander settled down to work.
The Bears were aided by a pair of walks and a fielding error, converted them into the winning tallies. Carmichael struck cut seven and walked two. Bottler had five strikeouts but issued eight passes.
- - -
YAKIMA [Victoria Colonist, May 12]—Victoria Tyees, who have offset shaky pitching with power hitting and the ability to come up with the big inning when needed this season, got a brilliant mound performance from Bill Bottler at Yakima last night but their bats were finally silent.
Two outfield errors in the first inning proved costly as the Bears blanked Victoria, 3-0, in the opening game of their Western International League baseball series despite a three-hit performance by Bottler that was matched by Yakima’s John Carmichael.
Only Steve Mesner, Eddie Lake and Joe Joshua could solve the righthanded slants of Carmichael as the Tyees suffered their first shutout defeat of the season and dropped out of the league lead, a position they earned after a great week at home.
The Bears scored all of their runs in the disastrous opening inning. Bottler, still having control trouble, walked John Popovich and Mike Catron but got Herman Lewis on a third strike. Len Noren smashed a single to right field and the ball got away from Dane Clay, allowing Popovich and Catron to score the first two runs. Noren raced to third on the error and scored when Joshua dropped a fly ball in left field.
After that, Bottler matched pitch-for-pitch with Carmichael, but it was too late. The Yakima pitcher struck out seven and walked but three as only two Victoria runners reached second base.
Victoria ......... 000 000 000—0 3 2
Yakima ......... 300 000 00x—3 3 1
Bottler and Martin; Carmichael and Summers.

SALEM, May 11—Salem Senators suffered their first home loss of the Western International League season Tuesday night when they were beaten 6-5 by Lewiston.
The Idaho team scored the winning run in the final inning on a walk to catcher Ed Garay, a single by Joe Bache and a pinch hit single by Clint Cameron.
Salem manager Harvey Storey homered with a man aboard in the fifth inning.
Lewiston ...... 000 020 301—6 10 0
Salem .......... 010 020 200—5 6 1
McWilliams, Kime (9) and Garay; Domenichelli, McFarlane (7), Borst (8) and Ogden.

Calgary and Edmonton, unscheduled

Broncs Sign Guy Fletcher
LEWISTON, Idaho, May 11—The Lewiston Broncs of the Western International Baseball League announced the addition of two right handers to its pitching staff Tuesday.
The newcomers are Guy (Grumpy) Fletcher who was player manager for Modesto in the California Class-C league last year, and Al Yaylian, who served as pitcher and pinch-hitter for Sacramento last year.
Yaylian had a 6-2 pitching record and batted .316.

Richardson Now Chief
WENATCHEE, May 11—Wenatchee Chiefs reported the signing of southpaw hurler Larry Richardson, a former Chicago White Sox bonus baby.
Richardson, said to have received $40,000 from the Sox after starring in Wenatchee high school and American Legion baseball, signed with the Chiefs after drawing an outright release from the Sox’ farm organization Richardson had been playing for Tri-City on option from Chicago.

Sports Notes
[Tri-City Herald, May 12, 1954]
A story in the Sporting News reports Leo Durocher of the New York Giants is debating whether to have his batter bunt or swing. Leo’s team has lost two games which probably could have been won had he elected to have his batter bunt. In another, he ignored a bunt situation but won the game anyway.
What this brings up in the Tri-City attitude toward bunting. Of all the teams in the Western International League, the Tri-City club is least likely to bunt in a “bunt situation.”
By this I mean when the club is one run behind, or the score is tied or it is one or more runs ahead and has a runner on first with none away.
There are, of course, other times when a bunt is called for but on the whole, a bunt is logical anytime you have the condition listed above.
In checking up since the start of the season, here are some none-too-accurate figures of what has happened when Tri-City was confronted with a “bunt situation.” I say they are none-too-accurate since it is impossible to tell from a scorebook all of the factors that should be considered.
We Got Lots Of Chances
Tri-City has had lots of chances to bunt, what with their ability to at least get men on base, and their high number of one-run losses. On seven occasions, they used the sacrifice hit to move a runner along.
On three of those occasions, the bunt paid off with a run. On four others, the runner died on base anyway and the use of the bunt was questionable value.
Numerous bunting opportunities come up in one game — hence the reason why this compilation has a higher number of “situations” than actual games played. And it is not unusual to have a bunt situation come up twice or more an inning.
As near as can be figured, 10 bunt situations came up where Tri-City did not bunt and it would not have made any difference anyway. The usual example is this. The first runner gets on. The second batter strikes out instead bunting. The next two batters pop out.
In other words, even if the second batter had sacrificed the first along, it wouldn't have resulted in a run — unless, of course, the presence of the man in scoring position might inspire the next two batters to do something besides pop up.
In nine situations, the Braves elected to wait for a walk or go for a hit and were better off doing so since it saved them an out. Not all resulted in runs, however.
Eleven Bunts Might Have Helped
But in 11 situations where a bunt might have helped, the Braves swung instead. I list the might – have – helped ones for such conditions as this. A batter gets on first safely.
The next man strikes out, grounds out or pops out. Then one of the next two batters hits safely which normally would score a man from second. However, since the man on base was not sacrificed along, he ends up by dying on second or third.
In five of those situations, Tri-City might have won the game as the result of the bunt. This doesn’t mean, however, that Tri-City lost five games because they failed to bunt. Three of the five situations came in one game. In another case, the Braves would have been able to go one run ahead but one run might not have done any good since the opposition had the bases loaded and none away in the last inning when the winning run was scored.
So if someone now, who contends what you have got to do is play “percentage baseball,” wants to figure up the percentages on bunts for this much of the season, there’s your figures. Rough ones at least.
* * *
Vanni Likes Hit And Run
Like Durocher, Vanni himself prefers the hit-and-run style of play, to the bunt. This is partly the result of last year when one run wasn’t enough The playing manager couldn’t depend upon the pitching to carry him through unless the Braves had an eight-run lead, and things haven’t improved much this year. Earlier this year Vanni said he would have to direct a running game and he has had weird and wonderful results.
* * *
The Luck Runs Out

A while back, I commented that pitcher Don Robertson was just about the luckiest guy on the team but his luck ran out on the recent road trip. Don would have a 4-0 record this season if it wasn’t for a couple of home run balls.
Homers, naturally, are a big part of the game but some of them are just 10 feel, longer than an ordinary, fly ball. And what is a homer in one park is nothing but a fly, and not too long a fly, in another. Don was a victim of one of those at Victoria when the ball barely blooped over the 310 foot centerfield fence. At Sanders field, Des Charouhas probably would have had to run in toward the infield to catch one like that.
Don didn't lose that game, but he didn’t win it either. The other homer, a respectable one came off the bat of Connie Perez at Salem. It gave the Senators a measly one run lead, and the Braves took that night to fail in 10 chances to bring the two runners in needed to win the game.

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