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1920 Dodgers Week 15: Running on fumes

A tired pitching staff had a rare bad week, dropping 5 of 7 on the road

Baseball Hall of Fame
Leon Cadore, who pitched 26 innings in a game on May 1 and had two other extra-inning complete games, allowed five runs in a loss on July 22 in Pittsburgh, the fifth time in 10 starts since the beginning of June that he’s allowed five or more runs.
Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

The Brooklyn Dodgers 100 years ago this week completed one of their most successful road trips ever, going 16-7 on a five-city, 23-game trip over just 20 days. They left home in second place in the National League and return home in first.

But in the last week they were running on fumes, and dropped five of seven games in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Here’s a recap of the week ending July 24, 1920.

Starting pitching has been an unquestionable strength for Brooklyn this season, but last week at the end of a grueling road trip the rotation was terrible. Three starters (Leon Cadore, Burleigh Grimes, Al Mamaux) allowed five runs in a start. Two starters allowed four runs, Rube Marquard in just 4⅓ innings Wednesday and Sherry Smith in only four innings Monday, though three of his runs allowed were unearned.

NL team starting ERA leaders

Team ERA IP/start CG
Team ERA IP/start CG
Brooklyn 2.44 8.232 57
Cincinnati 2.73 8.227 55
Pittsburgh 2.91 7.638 46
through July 24, 1920

Left-hander Jeff Pfeffer allowed only three runs on Tuesday in Cincinnati, but that was in three-plus innings, pulled with nobody out in the fourth.

For the week, Dodgers starters had a 5.18 ERA in 41⅔ innings, and perhaps even more surprisingly, only two complete games. On the season, Brooklyn starters lead the majors in ERA (2.44), complete games (57), and innings per start (8.23), so this week was mostly an aberration.

The hitting star was center fielder Hy Myers, who tallied six extra-base hits (four doubles, two triples) while hitting .360 (9-for-25) during the week.

First baseman Ed Konetchy hit a tiebreaking triple in the ninth inning in Cincinnati, giving the Dodgers one of only two wins last week. That triple scored Zack Wheat, who was 8-for-26 (.308) during the week.

Brooklyn batting average leaders

Player Pos BA
Player Pos BA
Ed Konetchy 1B 0.322
Hy Myers CF 0.315
Zack Wheat LF 0.298
Otto Miller C 0.288
Jimmy Johnston 3B 0.280
through July 24, 1920

Rookie switch-hitter Bernie Neis was 4-for-11 (.364) with three RBI in limited duty, including two spot starts in right field. On Friday in Pittsburgh, Neis was a reserve and played the final six innings in left field, and drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth against Pirates veteran right-hander Babe Adams.

Old friend Jake Daubert, the former Dodgers MVP traded to Cincinnati in February 1919, tormented his old team Monday. He singled home the tying run in the sixth inning, then doubled and scored the winning run in the ninth, his third hit of the game. The Reds’ first baseman was 7-for-21 (.333) with a pair of doubles in the five-game series, and is hitting .383 (18-for-47) in 11 games against Brooklyn this season.

Brooklyn began the week four games up on Reds, but with two losses in three games in Cincinnati followed by a series loss in Pittsburgh, the Dodgers are just two games up on the Reds. But they started the road trip down 2½ games, so it was a successful road trip all things considered.

Week 15 summary

2-5 record
20 runs scored (2.86 per game)
30 runs allowed (4.29 per game)
.323 pythagorean record

Year to date

53-38 record
381 runs scored (4.14 per game)
292 runs allowed (3.17 per game)
.619 pythagorean record (56-35)

NL standing: 1st place, 2 games up on the Reds

Game results

Up next

The Dodgers run the Mike Mowrey gauntlet, back home to play the Pirates, Reds, and Cardinals. No rest for the weary, with games all seven days in the coming week to finish out July, a month that saw the Dodgers play 35 games in 31 days. July 7 was the only off day during the month, a travel day from Boston to St. Louis.