I got to talking baseball over breakfast this morning with Mr. Bill and Tim the Genius which is not unusual on a Friday morning in the middle of summer. Of course, no one within 100 miles of Chicago has much of a reason to celebrate this season, but that doesn’t hurt the conversation any.
My contribution was a description of a game on this date way back in 1950, a game the Cubs, having lost five games in a row, four of which ended with the Chicago team being shut out, met the league-leading Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia.
Before the first inning was over the Cubs had lost the opportunity to tie a major league record for consecutive shut-outs as Carmen Mauro doubled and Hank Sauer brought him home, ending 28 innings without a run.
|Walt Dubiel (Wikipedia)|
The real action came in the sixth inning when Cubs pitcher Walt Dubiel, carrying a comfortable 4-0 lead after giving up just two hits and no walks, came face to face with disaster. He somehow managed to begin the sixth by walking six men, five of them in a row, yielding six runs in the process. Mr. Dubiel threw 14 balls to start the sixth before he managed a strike on Phillie Mike Goliat.
Cubs manager Frank Frisch never left the dugout. In the after-game blow-up which Tribune beat writer Edward Burns described as “an almost hysterical outbreak” Mr. Frisch said that he “would have kept Dubiel in there for 99 runs before he’d have taken him out on that kind of a performance.”
|Frankie Frisch (Wikipedia)|
“I may look bad for having kept such a pitcher in there against a contender, but I’m determined to find out what’s going on . . . I’m sick of watching some of my pitchers getting into jams, then peep out to the bullpen to see if a reliever is ready to take over his work for him,” screamed Frisch.
If you look at the box score for the game, the same nine players that started the game for the Cubs ended it. Somehow Mr. Dubiel got out of the sixth inning and went on to give up only one more hit, retiring the last six Philadelphia players in a row.
“I’m managing the Cubs and I’ve got to find out what’s going on on my own team,” Mr. Frisch said several times during his blow-up.
There have been close to 40 Cubs managers that have come and gone since Frank Frisch tried to find out what was going on during that July game in 1950. And I’m guessing that every one of those guys had the same thought at some point during his time behind the railing of that Wrigley Field dugout.