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1920 Dodgers Week 11: Ironman Ivy Olson takes a seat

Brooklyn’s shortstop hit by a pitch, snapping his consecutive games played streak.

Ebbets Field Facade

The 1920 Brooklyn Dodgers dropped five of eight games last week, a schedule that included a pair of doubleheaders. In doing so, they dropped into third place in the National League but maintained their distance from first place.

Most surprising though was Brooklyn taking the field without their ironman.

Dodgers shortstop Ivy Olson left after getting hit by a pitch from Pirates right-hander Babe Adams on Thursday, snapping a string of playing every single inning this season. He started the first 55 games this year — 38 at shortstop, 17 at second base — and played 629 consecutive innings dating back to 1919.

Olson has been a reliable force for the Dodgers, starting 354 games before sitting on Friday. During that streak he played 3,243 of a possible 3,264 innings, a durability nearly as clean as Ivory soap (99.36 percent). The last time Olson had missed a game was August 31, 1917, and even that wasn’t a day off because he already played in the first game of a doubleheader earlier in the day.

Filling in for Olson at shortstop was Bill McCabe, who had only played sparingly since he was purchased from the Cubs on May 22. He played both ends of the doubleheader on Friday and Saturday, and was 0-for-14, though he did manage to drive in a run on a grounder to the pitcher.

Batting & pitching

Brooklyn’s offense was mostly quiet for the week. Center fielder Hi Myers hit .367 (11-for-30) with two doubles and scored six runs in the eight games, but also was 0-for-4 on stolen base attempts. Catcher Otto Miller was 9-for-23 (.391) with three RBI. Zack Wheat drove in five runs.

Burleigh Grimes was particularly busy on the mound, following up a complete-game loss on Sunday by recording 19 outs in relief two days later. Then he got shelled in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader for six runs in five innings. The result was 12 runs allowed in 20⅓ innings over seven days, and two losses.

Dodgers starting pitchers had a 2.95 ERA for the week, buoyed by consecutive complete-game wins by Rube Marquard, Al Mamaux, and Leon Cadore. But even with those efforts the staff averaged “only” 7.25 innings per start last week, which qualifies as shorts starts for this staff.

Through Saturday, the Dodgers rotation is averaging 8.52 innings per start, with 35 complete games in 59 games.

Week 11 summary

3-5 record
29 runs scored (3.63 per game)
30 runs allowed (3.75 per game)
.484 pythagorean record

Year to date

31-27 record
223 runs scored (3.78 per game)
195 runs allowed (3.31 per game)
.561 pythagorean record (33-25)

NL standing: 3rd place, 1½ games behind the Reds

Game results

Up next

The Dodgers run the Josh Devore gauntlet with another scheduling quirk this week. After four games in Boston to end this week, the Dodgers go home to Brooklyn for a single Sunday game against the Giants, then back to Boston for two more against the Braves, followed by three games in two days at the Polo Grounds against the Giants (including a makeup of an earlier rainout), then back to Ebbets Field to host the Phillies.