May 13, 2011, 7:20 PM EDT
May 13, 1911
After future Hall of Famer Christy Matthewson pitched a scoreless top of the first against the Cardinals, the New York Giants lineup came out and scored 10 times before making an out on the way to a 19-5 victory.
The Giants started the game with a two singles, a two-run triple and a walk before Slim Sallee was pulled from the game. An inside-the-park homer from Fred Merkle followed, making it 5-0. After a single, a walk and two more singles, the last from Matthewson himself, the Giants were up 7-0.
The 10th straight batter to reach did so on a fielder’s choice. After that, Larry Doyle flied out for the first out of the game. And, it turned out, the only one Bob Harmon would get. He was pulled after a walk and a hit by pitch and replaced by Lou Lowdermilk.
The Giants went on to make it 13-0 from there. Merkle doubled with the bases loaded, giving him six RBI in the inning. He then stole home for the final run of the frame.
With the huge early lead, the Giants decided to pull their ace and put in another future Hall of Famer, Rube Marquard. Marquard went on to set a major league record by striking out 14 in eight innings of relief.
Merkle, maybe the second most famous player in the game as a result of his “boner” three years earlier, ended the contest with seven RBI on his way to driving in 84 runs on the year. He had arguably the best of his 16 seasons in 1911, finishing seventh in the NL MVP balloting (or the Chalmers Award, as it was known then).
The Giants had no future Hall of Famers in their lineup that year, but they did have Doyle, an outstanding second baseman. He ended up finishing the season second in the NL in OPS behind Honus Wagner. The Giants won the National League pennant largely on the strength of Matthewson and Marquard, who was just coming into his own. The pair combined for a 50-20 record and a 2.23 ERA in 584 2/3 IP.
The Giants went on to lose a World Series plagued by rain in six games to the A’s. Matthewson won Game 1, but took losses in Games 3 and 4, which were played seven days apart due to the conditions.
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