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Sox Century: May 11, 1917

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White Sox drop another one to Yankees due to cold bats and control problems

Mellie Wolfgang
Mellie Wolfgang
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

Swede Risberg was credited with losing the series opener to the Yankees with a throwing error, even though the White Sox offense couldn’t even post one run to win with. After a second straight lackluster showing — a 6-1 loss -- the papers started pointing fingers at the offense. From the Chicago Examiner:

Rowland’s Sox continue to make heroes of them all. They placed recalcitrant Ray Caldwell on the pedestal yesterday by letting him get away with a two-hit game and, incidentally, a victory.

Two things provided the flaccid bats a little cover — freezing-cold temperatures and a lack of control from Dave Danforth. The White Sox closer walked six over a spot start that lasted 213 innings, including three (and a half) walks in a three-run third that put New York in the driver’s seat.

Explaining the “and a half” addendum: With one out, one on and one run already in, Danforth issued his second and third walks of the inning to load the bases. When he started Wally Pipp with two out of the zone, Pants Rowland came out and switched pitchers in the middle of the plate appearance. Albany’s own Mellie Wolfgang made his season debut with the bases loaded and a 2-0 count.

Wolfgang walked the run home, then gave up a sac fly before closing out the inning. The Yankees led 3-0, and the White Sox could only get one of those runs back. The walk was credited to Wolfgang, but the two additional runs seem like they should be charged to Danforth, and not to Wolfgang like the Baseball-Reference.com/Retrosheet box score indicates. The box score in the next day’s New York Tribune backs this up:

New York Tribune

As a Capital Region resident, I don’t think I can let this one slide.

Regardless of the pitcher, though, the Yankees had already scored more runs than they needed. The White Sox avoided a shutout, but barely. Chick Gandil hit a triple with one out in the seventh to score Joe Jackson, which was the latter of the Sox’ two hits on the day.

Record: 14-12 | Box score