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Sox Century: April 26, 1917

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Shut out by a Cleveland ace --- where have we heard that before?

Ray Chapman, three years before he became the only MLB player to die from an injury suffered in a game.
Library of Congress / Bain News Service

After scoring two runs combined over the first two games of the series against Cleveland, the White Sox offense sputtered further, getting shut out on a seven-hitter by Indians ace Jim Bagby.

The Sox actually outhit the Tribe 7-6, but the Indians outscored them 3-0. They clustered their hits a little better, but they mostly scored due to leaky White Sox defense, and Ray Schalk in particular.

Schalk had problems catching Red Faber in the first inning. First, he couldn’t block a curve that resulted in a one-out strikeout, and Ray Chapman reached first as a result. (The Chicago Tribune’s account called him a “supposed corpse.” I like that term for a batter who reaches on a dropped third strike, although it’s slightly eerie in Chapman’s case.) Tris Speaker tripled him home for a 1-0 lead. Bill Wambsganss tried squeezing Speaker home for another quick run. He missed the pitch, but so did Schalk, and Speaker came home for a 2-0 lead.

That was all the offense Bagby needed, although the Indians added insurance in the ninth when Nemo Leibold dropped a fly with two outs. Three of the four Cleveland runs were unearned, but Faber’s ERA still rose to 0.90 in the loss.

The White Sox offense tried forcing the issue at times, but Pants Rowland was unsuccessful at getting his team out of its rut. For instance, the Sox tried a hit-and-run with runners on the corners and two outs in the first inning, but Joe Jackson was cut down at second. Likewise, Schalk was caught stealing in the third inning after Faber failed to drop a bunt, and Happy Felsch was thrown out at third trying to stretch a two-out double in the seventh.

Record: 9-4 | Box score