Tuesday, September 26, 2006

September 26th, 1908

Cubs at Dodgers (Doubleheader)

With all the recent talk of the Cardinals' possible collapse and the playoff scenarios therein--which include the Cardinals possibly playing back-to-back games after the "end" of the regular season just to earn their way into the playoffs--it made me think that Tony LaRussa probably wishes he had pitchers 'like they used to make.' One of those pitchers was Ed Reullbach. Reullbach went 24-7 with a good, but not great 2.03 ERA for the World Series winning 1908 Cubs. Although he didn't pitch great in the World Series, Reullbach made his mark on this day, while accomplishing a feat still not matched in the Major Leagues.

With his Cubs up just half a game in the standings on the Pirates and Giants (and actually down two games on the loss side to New York) Frank Chance had pitched his ace Three-Finger Brown two days prior and number two starter Orval Overall the previous day. The burden fell to Reullbach then to help the Cubs through the doubleheader. As it turned out, he did far more than help them.

Incredibly, Reullbach threw a shutout in both ends of the doubleheader. The Cubs won the first game by five as Reullbach gave up just five hits and the second by three when Reullbach was--astoundingly--even better giving up just three hits and a walk. As the Cubs ended up winning the pennant by just a game over both the Giants and Bucs, it seems reasonable to give a fair share of the credit to Reullbach for saving them from any chance of the "traditional" double header split. Furthermore, given the way pitchers are used today, it is likely that Reullbach will hold his record for quite a long time.

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