Writing About the Chicago Cubs and Looking at the Team’s Past
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April 30, 1907 at the Palace of the Fans Cubs 4, Reds 3 (13-2)
Cubs 4, Reds 3 (13-2)
The Cubs won their sixth straight game today as they drew 12 walks in what should have been a more lopsided affair. The game was still only decided by a single run though with Jimmy Sheckard and Newt Randall leading the way with the bats. Sheckard scored twice while Randall singled, doubled and scored a run.
Orval Overall threw a decent game and he picked up his fifth win of the season. He gave up three runs on three hits but he walked six and struck out seven.
April 29, 1907 at the Palace of the Fans
Cubs 1, Reds 0 (12-2)
For the second straight game, the Cubs got some great pitching and walked away with a 1-0 win. This time, it was Mordecai Brown who threw the gem. He gave up just four hits and a walk.
The Cubs didn’t score their run until the ninth inning so this quite the pitchers duel. Jimmy Slagle tripled and then scored on a throwing error on the relay throw into the infield.
April 28, 1907 at Robison Field
Cubs 3, Cardinals 2 (10-2)
The Cubs won their tenth game of the season and their third straight in the front end of a doubleheader with the Cardinals. Jack Taylor held on for a nice start to pick up the win. He gave up two runs on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
The Cubs managed only four hits but they also drew five walks, making their base runners count. Johnny Evers accounted for a lot of the damage. He scored two runs despite not getting a single hit.
April 28, 1907 at Robison Field
Cubs 1, Cardinals 0 (11-2)
Chick Fraser threw a gem today as he held the Cardinals to just a single hit in his shutout to finish a four game sweep. He walked one and struck out three.
Newt Randall drove in the only run of the game with a big triple in the third inning. Fraser helped out his own cause and he was the one who scored on the play.
April 27, 1907 at Robison Field Cubs 4, Cardinals 3 (9-2)
Cubs 4, Cardinals 3 (9-2)
Jack Pfiester had a phenomonal start today against the Cardinals and he held on to win through 12 innings for the Cubs. He did give up ten hits but only three runs and two walks with six strikeouts.
The Cubs won it in the twelth with Solly Hofman coming up with the big hit. He led off with a double, then he moved to third on a bunt by Johnny Evers before Johnny Kling singled home the winning run. Hofman finished the game with two runs and Randall had two hits, including a double, and one run.
April 26, 1907 at Robison Field
Cubs 5, Cardinals 3 (8-2)
The Cubs continued their hot start with a close win over the Cardinals. Jimmy Slagle led the way with the bat and he had three singles and a run. Most of the Cardinals offense came in the fifth inning when they scored four runs.
Orval Overall threw a solid game and he picked up his third win of the season. He gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
April 24, 1907 at West Side Park
Reds 12, Cubs 2 (7-2)
This came out of nowhere. The Reds hammered the Cubs to the tune of 12 runs on fourteen hits. The two pitchers responsible for all of these runs were Jack Taylor, who threw 5 2/3 innings and Kid Durbin who threw the final 3 1/3.
Harry Steinfeldt seemed to be the only Cub who could hit the ball well today. He went three for four with two doubles.
April 23, 1907 at West Side Park
Cubs 4, Reds 3 (7-1)
The Cubs continued their red hot start with their fourth win in a row and their seventh win in the first eight games of the season. The Cubs jumped out to a 4-2 lead with three runs in the third and while the Reds scored a single run in the third to make it a one run game, the 4-3 lead held as neither team scored the rest of the way.
Chick Fraser got the start but after giving up single runs in each of the first three innings, Frank Chance went to the pen and put in Carl Lundgren, who shut down the Reds and didn’t give up a hit in six innings of work.
At the plate, Jimmy Slagle had a big game. He doubled twice, scored and drove in a run.
April 22, 1907 at West Side Park
Cubs 3, Reds 2 (6-1)
The Cubs continued their hot start with a close win over the Reds as they returned home to Chicago. With the score tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the first two Cubs went down. Then Jimmy Slagle kept the inning alive with a single and he stole second. Then Jimmy Sheckard got a fluke single when he hit one off of Reds starter Charley Hall’s shin. Frank Schulte then singled home Slagle to win it.
Frank Steinfeldt also had a solid game at the plate. He went two for four with a double and a run.
Ed Reulbach threw a decent enough game. He gave up two runs on just two hits but he walked seven.
April 21, 1907 at the Palace of the Fans
Cubs 5, Reds 3 (5-1)
The Cubs won for the fifth time in their first six games behind a solid game at the plate by Frank Schulte. He went two for three with a triple, two walks and two runs. Jimmy Slagle singled twice and scored a run while Frank Chance walked three times and scored a run.
Orval Overall gave up a few runs but held on for the win. He gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
April 20, 1907 at Exposition Park
Cubs 5, Pirates 1 (4-1)
Carl Lundgren held the Pirates in check as the Cubs won their second series of the season. He gave up just a single run on five hits and four walks with four strikeouts.
April 18, 1907 at Exposition Park
Pirates 1, Cubs 0 (3-1)
The Cubs lost their first game of the season today despite an outstanding pitching performance by Mordecai Brown. The only run came of the game came on a questionable call on a Ed Phelps fly ball. Jimmy Slagle appeared to catch it then drop it when he went to throw it back in but the umpire called it a drop and Phelps ended up at second. He’d then move to third on a bunt then score on another bunt in a successful squeeze play.
Brown finished the game with the two hitter and he walked two and struck out two. Five different Cubs scattered five singles and that was the extent of the Cubs offense.
April 17, 1907 at Exposition Park
Cubs 6, Pirates 2 (3-0)
Frank Schulte hit an inside the park homeruns and he went two for five in the Cubs latest win in what was the Pirates’ home opener. Solly Hofman also had a solid game at the plate. He went two for five with a double and two runs.
Jack Taylor gave up his share of hits but most of them were singles and he picked up the win. He gave up two runs on ten hits and two walks with one strikout.
In sort of an odd promotion, Schulte won an upholstered chair for hitting his homerun, the first one in Pittsburgh that year. A local furniture store ran the promotion and it looks like it was open to the road team as well.
April 14, 1907 at West Side Grounds
Cubs 2, Cardinals 0 (2-0)
The Cubs finished their two game sweep over the Cardinals with a four hit shutout by Carl Lundgren. With eight strikeouts and three walks and only those four hits, the Cards didn’t stand a chance.
April 11, 1907 at West Side Grounds
Cubs 6, Cardinals 1 (1-0)
Orval Overall held the St. Louis Cardinals in check and it wasn’t until the ninth inning when the opposition finally tagged him for a run. Through eight innings, Overall had a two hit shut out Cardinals left fielder Tom O’Hara reached on an error by Cub’s shortstop Solly Hofman. Then back to back singles by Pug Bennett and Jake Beckley scored O’Hara. Overall struck out two and walked one.
Hofman made up for the miscue with his bat. He triple, walked and, stole two bases and scored four of the Cubs six runs. Frank Chance singled three times in the win.
The Peerless Leader, Frank Chance, was the Cubs first baseman/manager through out the Cubs great run from 1906 through 1908. One of the toughest players in the league, Chance led the team in OPS in 1907 (.756) and he was sixth in the league. While he wasn’t amongst the team leaders in runs or RBIs it was more because he only played in 111 games. Chance had a propensity for getting hit by pitches and that kept him out of a fair share of games.
I’m going to defer to an expert on this one because there is biography of Chance that’s a great read at SABR’s Bioproject. It looked like when it came to playing nasty, not even Ty Cobb could roll with Frank Chance.
Here are Frank Chanc’s numbers in 1907:
Stolen Bases 35
Caught Stealing ??
As good as Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown may have been in 1907, Orval Overall may have been even better. After losing 23 games in his rookie season in 1905 and after a rough start in 1906, the Reds traded Overall to the Cubs for Mark Wicker. Even better, the Cubs got $2,000 out of the deal. Wicker was about league average in 1906 and then he never pitched again.
Overall, on the other hand, turned things around. He went 12-3 down the stretch for the Cubs in only 18 games. He showed solid improvements to his ERA and WHIP and looked like a brand new pitcher.
1907 turned out to be a whole season of what the second half of 1906 was for Overall. He finished in the top five in several categories. He was second in wins (23), fifth in ERA (1.68), fourth in WHIP (1.006), and he was fourth with 141 strikeouts. He even saved three games to finish second in the National League and he led the league with eight shutouts. For all of this, Overall was named the Ex Post Facto Cy Young in the ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia.
Overall also got it done in the playoffs. In two starts and 18 innings he gave up only two runs while he struck out 11.
Here’s a look at Overall’s numbers in 1907:
Games Started 30
Complete Games 25
Innings Pitched 268
Earned Runs 50
Runs Saved Above Average 26
Neutral Wins 21
Neutral Losses 10
Ah, the dead ball era. In 1907, the Chicago Cubs ruled the land when it came to pitching. With a team ERA of 1.73, it’s pretty safe to say that the Cubs had quite a few pitchers duels in 1907. Even more impressive was that the team threw a grand total of eight pitchers the entire season. One of those pitchers was Hall of Fame hurler Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown.
Following up on his 26-6 season in 1906 (probably the best of his career), Brown was right back to his old tricks in 1907. His 20 wins would be the second season he’d reach that mark in a series of six consecutive seasons. His 1.39 ERA was third in National League and his 0.944 WHIP was the best in the senior circuit. And while that ERA of 1.39 sounds impressive by itself, with a park adjusted league average of 2.49, Brown finished third in the league in ERA+ with 179. That was his third highest total in a very impressive career.
Twenty of Brown’s 27 were complete games and Brown even saved three games in his seven relief appearances. Six of those 20 complete games were shutouts. And while Brown wasn’t a great hitter, he did have one of the Cub’s thirteen homeruns in 1907. The National League leader that season was Dave Brain with 10 and the team high was two.
Here’s a look at Brown’s numbers in 1907:
Games Started 27
Complete Games 20
Innings Pitched 233
Earned Runs 36
Runs Saved Above Average 30
Neutral Wins 20
Neutral Losses 6
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