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Sox Century: April 21, 1917

Ironclad defense aids a second straight shutout for Red Faber

Ray Schalk

Three games into a four-game set with the St. Louis Browns at Comiskey Park, defense continued being the defining factor.

In the opener, the White Sox lost balls in the mud and darkness. The day after, the Browns couldn’t track flies in the wind.

Today, the White Sox outclassed the Browns on the strength of their glovework. St. Louis outhit the South Siders 6-5, but the White Sox outscored them 2-0, mostly because the Browns out-errored the Sox 4-0.

Red Faber tossed his second straight shutout, but this time he had to slip out of trouble on multiple occasions. He scattered six hits, four walks and a hit batter. The Chicago Examiner points to the fifth inning as one example. Faber allowed a leadoff runner, after which the Sox methodically retired the lead runner.

[Doc] Lavan opened with a Texas leaguer double behind first. [Hank] Severeid pike a bounder to Faber, who killed off Lavan at third. [Ernie] Koob bunted and [Ray] Schalk shot the pill to [Swede] Risberg, forcing Severeid.

That mattered when Burt Shotton hit a two-out single to center, only to be stranded when Jimmy Austin flied out to right. Likewise, more excellent play-making stifled St. Louis in the seventh.

The seventh opened with [Happy] Felsch making a spectacular catch of a drive by Lavan. Severeid singled. [Ward] Miller batted for [Bob] Groom and was hit on the elbow. [Ernie] Johnson ran for Severeid. Shotton popped to Risberg. A hit and run was ordered. Faber pitched out and Schalk’s throw to third nipped Johnson.

The Chicago Tribune described Felsch’s catch as “largely responsible for squelching that attack. His catch of a low fly from Lavan at the start of the round was a corker.” Also give credit to Schalk, who cut down a third runner on the day by foiling a stolen-base attempt in the eighth.

The ironclad defense allowed the Sox to take a win despite scoring only single runs in the fourth and fifth. Chick Gandil rope-a-doped George Sisler to set up the first:

Felsch drew a pass. With Gandil up, Sisler came charging in for an expected bunt, so “Chick” wisely shoved the ball past him. It rolled out of the infield, giving Felsch time to reach third. Weaver bounced one to short, forcing Gandil, but Felsch counted.

An inning later, Koob tried to pick off Shano Collins at second, but a wild throw gave Collins third instead, and Eddie Collins bunted him home on a squeeze.

Record: 7-2 | Box score