Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13, 1914: Griner Whitewashes The Trolley Dodgers

     On June 13, 1914, Dan Griner pitched a five hit gem in Brooklyn, as he led the Cardinals to a 6-0 win over the Dodgers. On the offensive side of the ball, Griner was assisted by every bat that was in the lineup besides leftfielder Ted Cather and himself. He was also assisted by six errors by the home squad. The Dodgers starter Raleigh Aitchison was on the bump for each of the Cardinals runs as he gave his club seven innings of work, although he was charged with just two of the six runs scored. With the way Griner was pitching the defensive lapses hardly mattered, since all he needed was a run to win the contest.

     When it comes to the pitchers that have come and gone in the history of the Cardinals organization, Griner will never be a name that is widely recognized. His career began with the Birds in 1912. After going 3-4 in seven starts, he found a regular spot in the rotation the following season. To call the 1913 season a rough one for Griner would be an understatement. In fact, that season in Cardinals baseball was a particularly rough one, as they won just 51 games while losing 99 which was good for last place. Griner led the National League with 22 losses that for the club during that abysmal season in which he carried an E.R.A. over five. While Griner failed to post a winning record in 1914, he did bring his E.R.A. down to a respectable 2.51 as he put together a 9-13 record for the team who looked to be turning things around as they went 81-72 during the 1914 campaign. However, the team would still fall short of true contention for a number of years.

    After going 5-11 in 1915, Griner's career with the Redbirds came to a close after four appearances during the 1916 season. It looked like his days on a big league diamond were over, but he did return in 1918 for those same Dodgers that he shutout in 1914. He went just 1-5 in Brooklyn, however, the one win is a win that might have been the best of his career. It came on May 6th of that season, as he nearly laid claim to a no-hitter, only to watch it disappear with two outs in the ninth in Brooklyn.

     Griner put together a 27-50 record during his five years in St. Louis, and while those are hardly numbers to be wowed by, I look at him as part of a family tree that  has been growing since the St. Louis Brown Stockings joined the American Association in 1882, and 100 years ago today him and his teammates trotted off the field with smiles on their faces after he helped lead them to victory.

Check out the box score here:

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