Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 6, 1928: The Birds Rally In The Seventh To Put The Giants Away In New York

     On June 6, 1928, the Cardinals were down 5-1 before exploding for six runs in the seventh inning on the way to a 11-6 victory over the Giants at the Polo Grounds in New York. The G Men scored those five runs in the first two innings, as Grover Cleveland Alexander got hit hard, which led to an early hook. He handed the ball over to spitballer Clarence Mitchell, and Mitchell was up to the task. The well-traveled veteran had just been released from Philly six days earlier and here he was about to win one with a team that was destined to win the National League pennant later that year.

     After taking over  for Ol' Pete, Mitchell went the rest of the distance. He enjoyed the seventh inning outburst, which was highlighted by a two run triple by Wattie Holm. Vic Aldridge had started the tilt for the Giants and looked like he was going to grab a win until the rally ignited. He was yanked for eventual loser Jim Faulkner, who surrendered the last three runs of the big inning. Mitchell gave a run back in the bottom of the seventh, then turned the lights on any hopes of a New York rally.

      The scribes of the day acted as if Alexander's spot in the rotation was in peril. They were wrong to assume such a thing. Rough starts are a part of the game and simply put Ol' Pete had a rough start. He gave the club more than 240 innings that season, going 16-9 at the age of 41. The hero of '26 even started and won a couple of games that were just two days apart later that month. On the other hand, Mitchell was a valuable piece to the pennant winning Cardinals as a fifth starter. His record was just 8-9 that season, but it was not because of a lack of effort that brought high praise by skipper Bill McKechnie. Both Alexander and Mitchell, as well as every other man on that roster helped the team reach the World Series. They may not have won the thing, however, they did wear the National League Crown with pride and all of Cardinal Nation was proud of them for it.

If you would like to read more about Clarence Mitchell check out his SABR bio here: 

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