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Sox Century: Sept. 26, 1917

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Red Faber gets hit hard and Ray Schalk banged up

Red Faber
Bain News Service / Library of Congress

In the White Sox notebook in the Chicago Examiner after the Sox’ 7-5 victory over Washington the day before, Larry Woltz laid out some motivation during games that were otherwise a tune-up for the World Series.

Manager [Pants] Rowland is anxious to finish the season with 100 victories, which means some pitchers around these parts are liable to receive rough treatment during the next few days.

I suppose Red Faber’s start qualifies as “rough treatment.” Even though he was far from his best, Pants Rowland let him go the distance to try to facilitate a comeback. The White Sox rallied with two runs in the eighth, but that left them one run short in a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the Senators.

Faber gave up 10 hits and seven walks over eight innings. Throw in three strikeouts, and Tom Tango’s pitch count estimator puts him just shy of 150 pitches. He sidestepped trouble through the first four innings, but a two-out walk in the fifth came around to score to tie the game at 2, and the Senators went ahead for good by stringing together four hits in a three-run sixth.

The Sox tried coming back, with Eddie Murphy delivering a two-run triple off Walter Johnson in the eighth. Johnson stranded Murphy though, and retired the side in the ninth to keep the Sox at 98 wins.

The health of the battery was the bigger concern than the result of the game. Ray Schalk departed in the first inning after taking a foul tip just above the knee “that dropped him to the earth as if he was shot,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Also, the papers expressed varying degrees of doubt over Faber’s reliability in the coming World Series.

The Chicago Examiner suggested that Faber might have been trying to avoid revealing his best stuff to scouts.

Stable “info” has it that Faber worked under wraps. Be that as it may, he didn’t look good from where we sat, and in the opinion of all hands sitting in the press coop he was trying his best. Faber’s showing should not be taken to heart by the White Sox enthusiasts. He pitched a bang-up game his last time out, and the mightiest must fall once in a while.

The Tribune’s James Cruisinberry went further, referring to White Sox players, even if he might have been filling in their thought bubbles himself.

White Sox players tonight are wondering just how Red Faber will act in the world’s series. If he acts as he did in Boston last Friday they feel they would draw the big end of the purse, but if he acts as he did today there is some doubt over that.

Record: 98-52 | Box score