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Sox Century: Oct. 11, 1917

The Giants even the series with a second straight shutout

Benny Kauff
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

After two resounding victories in the first two games, White Sox fans thought they’d seen the last of their boys in 1917.

Instead, the White Sox would have to return to Comiskey Park with the New York Giants in tow and the World Series tied at 2 after a second straight shutout.

This one was a 5-0 defeat, meaning the White Sox departed the Polo Grounds having been outscored by a touchdown and an extra point.

The Giants benefited from a couple of sorely needed acts of redemption. On the mound, Ferdie Schupp bounced back from his Game 2 dud by spinning a seven-hitter. He received the support of Benny Kauff, who looked like a goat when he started the World Series 0-for-12 with lackluster defense in center, but roared back with a pair of homers in this one.

His first one — off Red Faber, who outpitched Schupp in Game 2 — opened the scoring in the fourth inning. His second one capped the scoring, and it was off Dave Danforth, whose entrance in the eighth inning marked the first appearance by a White Sox pitcher besides Faber or Eddie Cicotte.

Faber took the loss, but he didn’t pitch poorly. He allowed just seven hits and a hit batter over his seven innings. Alas, the Giants found ways to tag him for single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh.

Faber suffered two bad breaks in the fourth inning that changed the course of the game. In the top of that frame, his best chance for run support evaporated when Schupp erased Eddie Collins’ leadoff double via pickoff. From the Chicago Tribune:

It looked then as if one run would be enough for Faber, so [Joe] Jackson was asked to sacrifice Collins to third. He foozled two bunts, then popped out. [Happy] Felsch worked his way down to three balls and two strikes, then hung out the hit and run sign. [Second baseman Buck] Herzog apparently got the sign, for he kept edging over toward second base.

It was so palpable half the scribes in the press box saw it, yet neither Rowland nor [Kid] Gleason, who were coaching, got wise in time to warn Collins. After Herzog had edged over within a yard or two of second base Schupp wheeled and caught Collins so far off the base he tried to save himself by making a break for third. They stopped him easily.

Faber then required more than one run of support when he gave up Kauff’s first homer of the game. In Faber’s defense, both the Tribune and Chicago Examiner said Kauff’s first homer was made possible by a quirk of the Polo Grounds outfield, as well as generous scoring. From the Examiner:

There were two gone in the fourth when Kauff sailed a wicked smash far over the dome of Happy Felsch. An advertising banner painted on canvas was displayed on the center-field bleacher front. Before the show started the sign was taken down, rolled up and placed on the grass at the base of the wall in deep center. The ball got tangled in the canvas or rolled under it and Happy had a helava time digging it out. If Hap had peeled the wrapper off the pill as soon as he reached it he might have held Kauff to a triple, or maybe a double. The third man was an easy out.

The Giants then out-executed the White Sox the rest of the way. A couple of successful bunt singles loaded the bases in the fifth, and just when it looked like Faber arranged an exit with a 1-2-3 double play, Schupp foiled his plan with a two-out RBI single to center. That gave the Giants a 2-0 lead, and they tacked on one more with a single, two-base wild pitch and fielder’s choice in the seventh.

It turns out Schupp was the only pitcher who needed one run of support, but Kauff made it a five-run margin by adding a two-run homer off Danforth to the short porch in right field. New York’s victory evened up the series, and the additional runs gave the Giants a 10-9 edge in run differential.

Over the course of the last two days, the White Sox’ biggest offensive achievement was getting one runner to third base over the course of the two days ... and that was when Eddie Collins stole that base with one out in the ninth. The attempt wasn’t contested, and he didn’t score, so it didn’t quite qualify as saving face. Like Kauff and Schupp, Collins would have to wait a few days for another turn.

Series: Tied at 2 | Box score