Chicago Cubs 1929: June 3-16
by Bill Pearch, Sunday, June 16, 2019
This is a two-week recap of games played between June 3 and 16, 1929. The Chicago Cubs (22-16, .579) sat in third place in the National League's standings. The Pittsburgh Pirates (23-15, .605) were 1 1/2 games behind the front-running St. Louis Cardinals (26-15, .634) and the Cubs were 2 1/2 off the pace.
On June 3, the Cubs continued to host the New York Giants at Wrigley Field. The Giants dominated by grabbing a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. They added one more run in the fourth, three more in the sixth and two in the top of the ninth. Cubs starting pitcher, Pat Malone, only lasted five innings. New York's Freddie Lindstrom, Mel Ott and Bob O'Farrell each knocked in two runs. The Cubs failed to score until Riggs Stephenson drove home his 29th RBI of the season in the bottom of the ninth. The Giants won, 8-1.
The next day, Chicago and New York had a high-scoring affair. The Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the top of the fourth inning. New York answered with three runs in the top of the frame only to have the Cubs answer with one of their own. In the home half of the fifth, the Cubs hung a five-spot on the scoreboard. The two teams would continue to match each other. Despite allowing two runs in the top of the ninth, the Cubs managed to win, 10-9.
The following day, the Cubs welcomed the Brooklyn Robins to Wrigley Field. The Robins took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. With one out in the inning, Norm McMillan walked with the bases loaded. Rogers Hornsby scored. Earl Grace followed and singled off of Doug McWeeny and drove home Hack Wilson. Next, Gabby Hartnett won the game by singling to center field. Charlie Grimm scored to even the game and then McMillan stepped on home plate to give the Cubs a 4-3 win.
Thursday's game started fast and furious. The Robins jumped on the Cubs and sent four players across home plate. In the bottom of the frame, Wilson reached on an error to right field and sent Woody English and Kiki Cuyler home. Grimm followed with a run-scoring single. Both teams plated two runs each in the third, and then the Cubs added single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Guy Bush pitched two innings, but Pat Malone added seven innings of relief and logged the victory. The Cubs held on for an 8-6 win.
The game was never close on Friday as the Cubs hammered the Robins, 11-2. Most of the damaged was achieved in the first two innings as the Cubs scored four and five in the first two frames respectively. Left fielder Johnny Moore was 4-for-4 with three RBI. First baseman Grimm finished the game 2-for-5 at the plate with three RBI. Charlie Root pitched a complete game and allowed only two runs to win his sixth game of the season. With the win, the Cubs completed the sweep of the Robins.
Following the sweep of the Robins, the Cubs welcomed the Boston Braves to Wrigley Field. The Braves snapped the Cubs winning streak by beating them, 5-4. Trailing 4-0 after six innings, the Braves plated five runs in the top of the seventh inning. Boston's left fielder, George Harper belted a three-run homer during the frame. Sheriff Blake was nailed with all five runs, but none were earned.
On Sunday, both teams limited their scoring to the seventh inning. Boston broke the deadlock when Harper knocked in his 31st RBI of the season. The Cubs' Wilson added just enough offense to win the game, 2-1. Wilson clubbed his 11th home run of the season and plated two runs.
Monday's game was another high-scoring battle. Boston's catcher, Al Spohrer, finished the game 3-for-4 with four RBI. Third baseman, Les Bell, added three RBI of his own. For the Cubs, eight different hitters knocked in runs. English set the pace with two. Hornsby, Moore and Mike Cvengros were the only players not to drive home runs. Chicago hung on for a 10-8 victory.
On June 11, rain washed away the series opener. That game would eventually be replayed as the second game of a doubleheader on July 31.
Next, the Philadelphia Phillies came to Chicago. The Cubs scored early and often to claim the series opener, 7-3. Malone pitched a complete game and earned his eighth win of the season. In the process he fanned 12 batters. Grace set the pace with two RBI.
On Thursday, the Claude Willoughby and Root battled for five scoreless innings and 52 minutes before the game ended in a tie. Cubs shortstop finished the game 2-for-3. The two teams did not play on June 14.
The Cubs beat the Phillies, 8-7, on June 15. What's odd is that scoring didn't take place until the sixth inning. Philadelphia knocked in five in the top of the frame, but the Cubs answered with just one in the home half of the inning. The Phillies added one additional run in the top of the seventh, but the Cubs answered with six in the bottom of the inning. Philadelphia evened the score in the ninth and ultimately forced extra innings. The Cubs would win the game in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The Cubs wrapped up the Phillies series on Sunday, but they were on the wrong side of a 7-2 loss. Again, scoring didn't happen until late. Both teams plated runs in the fifth, but the Phillies responded loudly with five in the top of the sixth and one more in the seventh. Art Nehf was tagged with the loss.