1922 Governor’s Cup Series
Game One: San Francisco 4, Portland 1 at Portland, Tue., Oct. 3, 1922
The series opened on a rainy day in Portland. With Seals’ ace Dave Brown unavailable due to a sprained elbow, No. 2 starter Bill Holland (17-12) was called upon to face 31-game winner Bullet Rogan. The Seals broke through early against the Portland ace. Left fielder George Shively opened the second frame with a triple to center, and right fielder Jimmy O'Connell followed up with a base on balls. With O'Connell breaking for second on the pitch, catcher Bruce Petway hit a sharp grounder in the hole that was smothered by a diving Jim Poole. Shively jogged home but O'Connell got overly ambitious and tried for third. Poole scrambled to his feet and threw to third baseman Bud Connolly, who applied the tag in time as the alert Petway took second. Petway then surprised the Beavers by stealing third, and scored easily when Gene Valla followed up with an infield single. Up 2-0, the Seals added another run in the third when Shively hit his second triple in as many at-bats, plating shortstop Dick Lundy. Lundy also scored the Seals’ fourth run on a seventh inning single by third baseman Willie Kamm. Holland scattered seven hits and five walks but all the Beavers could manage was a lone run on catcher Andrew King’s sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Game Two: San Francisco 4, Portland 3 at Portland, Wed., Oct. 4, 1922
The Seals took a surprising 2-0 series lead, edging the Beavers in a nail-biter. San Francisco again struck first, as first baseman Bert Ellison singled home Shively in the first after the speedy center fielder reached on a fielder's choice and then stole second. The Beavers answered in the bottom of the inning. Connolly drew a walk and center fielder Oscar Charleston doubled to the gap in right; O'Connell's throw nailed Connolly at the plate but Charleston took third on the throw and scored on the very next pitch, as Seals’ catcher Sam Agnew couldn’t contain Dick Neihaus’ errant knuckler. Neihaus and Portland starter Wayne Carr then settled in and traded shutout innings until the top of the fifth, when Kamm, Shively, and Lundy all reached on consecutive singles. Kamm was thrown out trying to steal—King’s lone kill of the day—but Shively was successful for the second time of the day and scored on Lundy’s hit. The Seals added two more in the seventh as Shively singled home Agnew, stole his third base of the game, and scored on another Lundy single. Leading 4-1 with the bases empty and two out in the ninth, the Seals almost gave it all back. King reached on a Lundy miscue and Ellison bobbled pinch-hitter Charlie High’s grounder. Left fielder Bernardo Baro then tripled, and the Beavers suddenly had the tying run ninety feet away, but Plunk Drake coaxed a game-ending grounder to second out of pinch-hitter Chaney White.
Game Three: Portland 5, San Francisco 4 at Portland, Thu., Oct. 5, 1922
One for the ages. It took 15 innings and nearly six hours to determine a winner; along the way there was an hour and fifteen-minute rain delay, a dramatic ninth-inning comeback, and two pitchers who combined for over 16 innings of relief work. After the mud settled, the Beavers had salvaged a must-win game. It looked like an easy task at the beginning, with the Seals’ Doug McWeeny yielding a two-run homer to right fielder Bob Meusel and an RBI single to Connolly, giving the home team a 3-0 first inning lead. Starter Bill Plummer kept the Seals off the board until the sixth, when Shively walked, stole his fourth base of the series, and came around to score on Lundy’s ground ball single, but the Beavers re-established the three-run cushion with pinch-hitter White’s seventh inning homer. The Seals, anxious for a back-breaking road sweep, refused to give in and began a ninth inning rally. With Suds Sutherland on in relief, second baseman Pete Kilduff worked a walk, Lundy reached on an error, and Ellison doubled to score a run and place the tying tally in scoring position. O’Connell came through with the game-tying two-run single, and then stole second. Relief pitcher Plunk Drake sacrificed, putting the go-ahead run on third with one out. The Seals attempted to squeeze the run home, but Valla couldn’t make contact and O’Connell was easily tagged out at home. Drake and Sutherland then bore down, trading scoreless frames until the 15th, when Meusel drew a base on balls, took second on Drake’s errant pickoff throw, and scored the decisive run on catcher Gus Fisher’s single, allowing the weary but relieved Beavers to pack for San Francisco just one game down.
Game Four: Portland 3, San Francisco 0 at San Francisco, Sat., Oct. 7, 1922
Holland and Rogan faced each other for a second time, and this time Portland’s ace delivered a shutout. The Beavers scored the only run they would need in the second inning. Meusel led off with a double and scored on second baseman Frank Brazill’s single. The visitors added two more in the fifth when shortstop Orville Riggins reached on a walk and Poole and Charleston hit back-to-back doubles. After allowing 13 swipes in catcher King’s starts, the Beavers switched to veteran backstop Rowdy Elliott, who allowed just two steals while gunning down one would-be thief. Lundy’s 4-4 day went for naught, as Rogan stranded eight runners, getting his club even in what now would become a best-of five series.
Game Five: Portland 3, San Francisco 2 at San Francisco, Sun., Oct. 8, 1922
The Seals looked to re-take the series lead in front of a raucus Sunday home crowd, and their quest looked promising early. With one out in the bottom of the first, Kamm doubled off Carr, but was thrown out trying to score on Lundy’s single. O’Connell then reached on Riggins’ error, and Ellison followed with a two-run double. Niehaus threw shutout ball for four innings, but the Beavers came to life in the fifth. Riggins led off with a walk, and Brazill reached when Niehaus couldn’t get a handle on his grounder back to the box. Poole then coaxed a walk to load the bases. Niehaus was able to handle the next ball hit back to him and threw home to get Riggins as Elliott reached on the fielder’s choice, but Carr followed with an RBI ground-out and Baro’s single plated Poole to tie the game. Neihaus then retired third baseman Sammy Hale to end the inning, but the Beavers threatened again in the sixth. Charleston singled, Meusel reached on a fielder’s choice, and Riggins lined a base hit to right that O’Connell misplayed, resulting in runners at second and third. Brazill’s fly ball to left was deep enough to score Meusel, and the Beavers had their first lead of the day. They would not relinquish it, as Carr went the distance, giving the Beavers a 3-2 series edge.
Game Six: San Francisco 3, Portland 1 at San Francisco, Mon., Oct. 9, 1922
Their sites on a third consecutive road win, the Beavers hit paydirt in the second inning, as Hale doubled and Baro singled him home. It remained a 1-0 contest until the Seals’ half of the sixth inning. McWeeny led off with a single and took second on Shively’s ground out. Plummer then fanned Ellison but Lundy worked him for a base on balls and O’Connell followed with a line drive single, scoring McWeeny. Kamm then drew another walk and second baseman Hal Rhyne singled to drive in a pair. Staked to a 3-1 lead, McWeeny cruised through the next two innings but ran into trouble in the ninth. Meusel singled and Brazill walked, putting the tying run on base. Hale hit into a fielder’s choice for the first out, but then Baro walked to load the bases. McWeeny remained in the game, and got pinch-hitter Charlie High to hit back to the box for a force play at home, and then retired Connolly on a fly ball to preserve the series-tying victory.
Game Seven: San Francisco 3, Portland 1 at San Francisco, Tue., Oct. 10, 1922
Sam Lewis, who hadn’t pitched for over a week, took the mound for San Francisco as Rogan made his third start of the series for Portland. Lewis was shaky in the first but the Beavers helped him with base running misadventures; Brazill was gunned down trying for third on a Charleston base hit and Charleston was thrown out trying to score on a Meusel single. The Seals returned the favor in second when Valla doubled and was cut down trying to score on Petway’s single. In the third the Seals finally plated a run when Shively and Lundy drew walks and O’Connell doubled, cashing in Shively but failing to score Lundy, who was thrown out at home. The Seals made it 2-0 in the sixth, as Kamm reached on Hale’s miscue, advanced on Kilduff’s grounder, and scored on Lewis’ two out single. They added a third run in the seventh when Lundy tripled and O’Connell singled him home. Lewis, meanwhile, had hit his stride, yielding a lone eighth-inning run on a Charleston double and a Hale single, and the Seals completed their final home engagement of the campaign one win away from a second consecutive league championship.
Game Eight: Portland 6, San Francisco 0 at Portland, Thu., Oct. 12, 1922
The series returned to Portland and the Beavers found the friendly confines most agreeable. Charleston’s first inning solo shot off Holland initiated the scoring. In the third Lundy misplayed Carr’s grounder, opening the floodgates. Riggins walked, Hale blooped a single into short right, and Charleston hit into a fielder’s choice, plating Carr. Meusel then lined a single to left, scoring Riggins, and Poole followed with a walk to load the bases. Brazill then hit a sacrifice fly to score the inning’s third run. Up 4-0, Carr encountered little resistance from the Seals, shutting them out on seven hits as the Beavers added runs in the sixth and seventh to extend the series to the maximum.
Game Nine: Portland 2, San Francisco 0 at Portland, Fri., Oct. 13, 1922
Niehaus and Rogan locked horns in another nail biter. The Seals put two men on in the first but Rogan coaxed an inning-ending flyout from Ellison. The Beavers threatened in the second when left fielder Ike Wolfer led off with a single and Lundy made errors on ground balls by Poole and Connolly. Rogan hit a one-out fly ball to center that Wolfer thought was deep enough, but Shively’s throw to the plate beat him and the Seals survived the threat. In the top of the third Shively worked a one-out walk and Kamm reached on a Riggins error, but Elliott nailed Shively at third on an attempted double steal. Lundy then singled, and Kamm tried to score but Meusel’s throw arrived before he did, ending the inning. In the bottom of the frame Charleston and Meusel hit back-to-back two-out singles, and the seldom-used Wolfer ripped a double down the line to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead. The Seals would threaten again in the fourth before left fielder Lefty O’Doul hit into an inning-ending double play, and again in the eighth when Shively walked but was thrown out trying to score from second on Lundy’s two-out single. Ellison’s ninth-inning single brought the tying run to the plate with one out, but Rogan retired pinch hitters Adolph Schinkle and Valla to preserve his shutout and secure a crown for Portland.
It's a rematch!
The Seals wrapped it with Bill Holland’s 1-hit shutout over Oakland on Wednesday. They will face Portland in Game One of the Governor’s Cup Series this coming Tuesday. The Beavers will look to avenge last year’s disappointing Series loss, while the Seals will look to repeat as champions. To do so they will have to figure out how to beat this year’s Beavers, who ran up an 18-4 record against them.
The final Player of the Week award for 1922 went to the Seals’ Willie Kamm. The third-sacker hit .480 and scored five runs.
Oscar Charleston of Portland is an overwhelming favorite to win a second consecutive Player of the Year award. Charleston won the batting title with a blistering .381 clip and also led the league in on-base percentage (.463), runs scored (129), hits (231), total bases (376), bases on balls (89) and stolen bases (50), while finishing second in runs batted in (131), slugging percentage (.620), and doubles (41), and third in triples (16) and home runs (24).
Tony Lazzeri of Salt Lake City led the league in home runs (47), RBI (140), and slugging percentage (.646).
Bullet Rogan of Portland led the league in wins (31) and strikeouts (208), whole San Francisco’s Dave Brown led the league in ERA at 2.36.
It’s probably too little, too late, but Salt Lake City showed no signs of giving up as they took five out of six games this week, beginning with a 5-0 triumph over San Francisco in their final regular season meeting and following it up with four victories over the Angels (marred by an idiosyncratic 16-1 loss in Friday’s game). With the Seals dropping three of the first five contests of a six-game set at Sacramento, the Bees picked up three games in the standings. But time is on the Seals’ side—with six games to play, they only need two victories to finish off the Bees.
A big reason for the Bees’ surge was Gavy Cravath, the league’s second-oldest player and an easy choice for Player of the Week. The 41-year old hit .529 with 6 home runs and 12 RBI, highlighted by a 3-homer performance on Sunday. Cravath victimized Angels starting pitcher Ken Douglas twice before tagging reliever George Burger in his final at-bat. Cravath more than doubled his season’s home run total this week; playing sparingly, he’s hit 11 in 56 games.
Portland’s Bullet Rogan failed in his first shot at his 30th win, losing to Sacramento in extra innings, but was dominant in his next try, scattering seven singles to topple the Oaks, 5-1. Rogan’s season record is 30-6, and he’s likely to pick up one more start.
Dave Brown of San Francisco has taken over the ERA lead from Los Angeles’ Nick Dumovich (who had the misfortune of having to pitch at Salt Lake City this week). Brown clocks in at 2.36, Dumovich at 2.48.
The post-season picture came into sharp focus this week. The showdown series between San Francisco and Salt Lake City resulted in four Seals' victories in five games (the final contest will be played today), which means the Seals' lead over the Bees is now a formidable eight games, with twelve to play for each team. The Bees have not been eliminated, but barring a miracle, it’s over.
Also this week, Portland officially clinched home-field advantage for the Governor’s Cup series, and Los Angeles and Oakland were both officially eliminated from contention.
Sacramento backstop Les Cook was the Player of the Week. Cook went 10-20 (.500) with a home run and five RBI. He’s hitting .284 this season.
Portland ace Bullet Rogan has won 29 games. He’ll get his first shot at number 30 today against Sacramento.
What’s been a forgone conclusion for much of the season is now official: Portland will play for the Governor’s Cup. The Beavers’ 3-1 victory over Salt Lake City on Sunday clinched at least a second-place finish for the club. The team has a chance to clinch a first-place finish (and home field advantage for the championship series) this week. Their magic number is 3.
Meanwhile, the second-place San Francisco Seals picked up an extra game of breathing room over Salt Lake City, playing .500 ball for the week while the Bees went 2-4. The two clubs begin a six-game set at San Francisco on Wednesday. The Bees trail the Seals by four games.
Harry Heilmann of the Oaks is the Player of the Week. The slugging right fielder hit .440 while driving in seven runs. Heilmann is fourth in the league in hitting at .352.
With Portland’s first-place finish all but a certainty, the race for the other Governor’s Cup series berth between San Francisco and Salt Lake City intensified as the Seals won four in a row against Los Angeles and the Bees kept pace by taking four straight from Seattle. The Seals still lead the Bees by three games.
Seattle and Vernon were officially eliminated from post-season consideration this week, and time is likely to run out on Sacramento this week or next, with Oakland and Los Angeles facing elimination a week or so later. With championship hopes dimming, most fans are focusing more on their favorite players’ individual perfomances now.
One such player is Salt Lake City’s Crush Holloway, the reigning Player of the Week. Holloway hit .417 with 4 runs and 4 RBI. The 25 year-old is blossoming; he’s improved on his 1921 performance in every offensive category. He also leads all left fielders with 20 assists.
San Francisco finished the week dropping two games to Portland, but it was still a good week, as they extended their lead over third-place Salt Lake City by a game. The Bees were able to forge a 3-3 record for the week, but had probably hoped for better, as they were playing the two worst teams in the league, Seattle and Vernon.
The seventh-place Rainiers have had one bright spot this season in the ageless John Henry Lloyd. The 38-year old infielder earned Player of the Week honors by hitting a sizzling .600 (15-25). Lloyd’s .358 season average is the league’s fourth-best.
Even with more than a month left in the season the Beavers’ magic number is down to a manageable 17. A mere .500 showing in what remains of the regular season would put them at 101 wins. The second-place Seals would need to win 29 of their last 30 games to match that.
Every team in the league has played the same number of games—118—which means every team has the same number of games remaining, barring rainouts. With 39 games to play every team is still mathematically alive.
As a practical matter, though, the post-season picture looks like it’s down to three teams. The Portland Beavers are just about a lock to take first place, so in terms of an actual race, it’s the race for second place and the chance to play the Beavers for the league championship.
The San Francisco Seals are in the driver’s seat, coming off a 6-1 week. The Salt Lake City Bees still have more than a puncher’s chance, trailing the Seals by three after a break-even week. The Los Angeles Angels are likely finished after going 2-4 and falling nine games behind San Francisco.
Portland’s Oscar Charleston, looking very much like a lock to win his second consecutive Player of the Year Award, took Player of the Week honors for the third time this season, hitting .476 with 3 homers and 6 RBI. Charleston is closing in on the on the leaders of two Triple Crown categories, trailing Salt Lake City’s Biz Mackey by .006 in batting and the Bees’ Tony Lazzeri by 3 RBI.
The Seals and Bees battled in Salt Lake City, with San Francisco taking three of the five. They now hold a half-game edge over the Bees. The two clubs meet again in San Francisco in a month.
More damaging than the series loss was the injury to Bees’ center fielder Cristobal Torriente, who suffered a fractured finger and is expected to miss 5-6 weeks.
The race between the Seals and Bees remains tight, but they seem to have shaken the fading Angels, who now trail Salt Lake City by five and San Francisco by five and a half.
San Francisco's Pete Kilduff was the Player of the Week. The keystone sacker hit a blistering .560 (14-25) with 5 home runs and 9 RBI. While such performances no longer seem extraordinary when accomplished during a visit to hitter-friendly Salt Lake City, it should be noted that two of Kilduff's games this week were played against Vernon at stingy Washington Park, where he went 4-7 with a homer.
Portland completed a perfect (6-0) week, and now lead the second place Salt Lake City Bees by 17 games. The Bees had a good week, too, and have regained the upper hand in the quest for the second Governor’s Cup Series berth.
The bulk of the Beavers’ success came at the expense of the Los Angeles Angels, who were swept at home for the second time this season. Most embarrassing for the Halos was Portland’s utter dominance at the plate, scoring in double figures three times (including the humiliating 18-2 series finale) and ballooning L.A.’s team ERA from a league-leading 2.99 to a third-best 3.20.
The Angels now trail the Bees by four games and San Francisco by three.
The Player of the Week was Duffy Lewis of Salt Lake City, who hit .500 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI.
The Portland Beavers cruised to five straight wins over the Vernon Tigers after dropping the series opener, and now hold a commanding 15-game lead over their nearest competitors. At this point, the Beavers would be best served by spending the next two months ensuring they stay healthy, as their ticket to the Governor’s Cup Series appears to have been punched.
San Francisco’s Seals slipped by Los Angeles and Salt Lake City this week, taking five of six against the Seattle Rainiers. The Angels and Bees faced off in Los Angeles, and battled one another to a draw. They both trail the Seals by a single contest.
The Angels’ Turkey Stearnes won his second Player of the Week award this month, hitting .417 with 4 home runs and 7 RBI. Stearnes, whose 16 home runs are third in the league, hadn’t hit a round-tripper at home all year before launching four into the seats against the Bees.
San Francisco’s Willie Kamm was the Player of the Week, but the rest of his team didn’t hold up their end, and the Seals fell to fourth place. Kamm’s 10-24 (.417) performance wasn’t enough to keep the Seals from dropping the series finale at Seattle and then four out of five at Portland. Even after the rough week, the club still finds itself just a game out of second, looking up at Los Angeles and Salt Lake City.
Sacramento had the best week, defeating Vernon twice and taking three out of five from the Angels. The Solons aren’t exactly contenders, but after spending most of the season in the cellar, they’ve climbed into sixth place.
The race for the second Governor's Cup Series berth continues to tighten, with three teams separated by half a game. Portland is still in the driver’s seat for the top spot, leading runners-up Salt Lake City and San Francisco by a comfortable 12 games, and Los Angeles by 12 1/2.
The Player of the Week, for the second time this year and the fourth time in his young career, was Portland’s Oscar Charleston. The Hoosier Thunderbolt hit .556, raising his season’s average to .384, the second best mark in the loop. Salt Lake City’s Biz Mackey is hitting .408.
The Pacific Coast League has been around since 1903, but has only been calling itself a “major” league for a scant year and a half. So, being a “young” league, it is to be expected that its records will be set and re-set with some degree of regularity.
Still, it’s a bit alarming that the seasonal home run record of 27 (established by Turkey Stearnes last year) has already fallen in July. Salt Lake City’s rookie star Tony Lazzeri tied the record and broke it on the same day. Every home run he hits from now on this season will set a new record, and his team has 74 games left. The record he sets may stand for a long time.
The Player of the Week was not Lazzeri, however; the award went to Sacramento first-sacker Paul Strand, who hit .407 with a pair of homers and 7 RBI. Strand is hitting .341 this season.
The race for the second playoff berth remains tight, with Salt Lake City leading Los Angeles by a game and San Francisco by two. Portland’s grasp on the top spot appears secure, as they hold an 11-game edge over the Bees.
The San Francisco Seals are the league's hottest team. Most of the league played .500 ball this week, the exceptions being the Seals and the two teams that were unfortunate enough to have to play them. San Francisco took four games in a five-game set at Sacramento, and then won the first two contests in their mid-season clash with Oakland.
The Seals are in the thick of the race for the second post-season berth, trailing Los Angeles by a game and Salt Lake City by two. Portland maintains a 9 1/2 game edge over the Bees for the top spot.
Turkey Stearnes of the Angels was the player of the week. The sophomore phenom hit .500 while hitting 5 home runs at hitter-friendly Bonneville Park of Salt Lake City. Stearnes' 11 round-trippers ties him with Oakland's Mule Suttles for most in the league amongst non-Bees (the Bees have the top two home run hitters in the league as well as three of the top five and five of the top ten).
Tony Lazzeri of Salt Lake City was the Batter of the Month for June, and Ray Kremer of Oakland was the Pitcher of the Month. Lazzeri hit .368 with 8 homers; Kremer was 5-1 with a 1.60 ERA.
It's lonely at the top, but a crowd is beginning to assemble just below that spot.
The Portland Beavers dashed off four wins in a row against lowly Sacramento before dropping the series finale and the opening game of a five-game set at Oakland. The two defeats made nary a dent in their lead over Salt Lake City, who endured a second nightmare week in a row.
The Bees dropped four out of five at San Francisco and also lost Sunday's series opener at home against Los Angeles. The Bees trail the Beavers by a rapidly widening gap that has now reached 9 1/2 games; even more disconcerting for the Salt Lake City faithful is their once-sizable lead over the Angels, which has dwindled to a worrisome game-and-a half. Also now in the mix are the Oaks, who are 4 1/2 games behind the Bees, and the Seals, who are just one game worse than Oakland.
The Seals' Jimmy O'Connell took home Player of the Week honors, hitting .526 to raise his season's average to .384.
The first series pitting the top two teams in the league promised to be an eventful one, and it was. And for Portland fans, the events lived up to the hype.
The Beavers swatted the Bees in a dominating six-game sweep, led by Player of the Week Oscar Charleston, who hit .522 with 2 homers and 11 RBI. Charleston, who was named Player of the Week twice last season, had yet to capture the award this year, but he was Batter of the Month for April. He currently leads the league in stolen bases (20) and on-base percentage (.463).
Portland leaves Salt Lake City 6 1/2 games behind them, and has given hope to a few other teams, who may now view that second playoff slot as attainable. The Angels trail the Bees by six; the Oaks trail them by seven.
Portland is red-hot, and while it doesn't look like Salt Lake City will be fading any time soon, the Bees are finding that whenever they're less than perfect, they lose ground to the Beavers. Portland has won 11 of 12 and leads Salt Lake City by a game-and-a-half.
Bees' third baseman Tony Lazzeri took Player of the Week honors, and for once a Salt Lake City player did so while playing on the road. The phenomenal rookie hit .520 with 2 homers and 4 RBI leading the Bees to four wins in six tries at Seattle.
The divide between playoff contenders and also-rans continues to grow. The second-place Bees lead Los Angeles and Oakland by a daunting nine games.
The Vernon Tigers have largely been a disappointment up until now, but Pete Schneider, the club's celebrated pitcher-cum-right fielder, has just won Player of the Week honors after a blistering 4-home run, 13-RBI, .615 performance. Unfortunately the Tigers still dropped four out of six at Salt Lake City.
It was a good week for the Bees but not good enough. They now trail Portland by a half-game after the Beavers followed a series-opening loss in San Francisco with five consecutive triumphs.
Oakland also had a good week. The Oaks took five out of six at Seattle and have moved into third place. But they still have an uphill climb; second-place Salt Lake City leads them by eight games.
There's no place like home for the Salt Lake City Bees, who began the week dropping a 3-2 decision at Oakland, and then went back to those friendliest of confines to sweep Seattle in a 5-game set. The star of the show was Player of the Week Tony Lazzeri, who went 11-24 with 6 home runs. The 18-year old rookie now leads the loop in round-trippers with 17, while his teammates Duffy Lewis (14) and Cristobal Torriente (10) are the only other players in double figures.
San Francisco also completed a five-game sweep, but on nominally inhospitable turf: on the road at Los Angeles. The Seals are probably wishing they could spend more time in Southern California, having gone 9-1 against the two inhabitants of Washington Park.
There's a lot of baseball left to be played, but it's currently looking like a two-team race. Portland trails Salt Lake City by a half-game. The Angels have fallen seven games off the pace, and have joined San Francisco (eight games back) and Oakland (nine games back) in the middle of the pack.
The Los Angeles Angels traveled to Portland to face the Beavers in a clash of upper division squads. The Beavers have taken two of the first three games; a Sunday matchup was rained out, so the teams will conclude the series with a doubleheader on Monday. The Beavers lead the Angels by two and a half games.
Salt Lake City is keeping pace with Portland, and the two clubs sit atop the standings with identical 24-12 records.
Dick Niehaus of the Seals was an easy choice for Player of the Week. He shut out the Bees in Salt Lake City (no small feat) last Monday and then followed that performance up on Sunday with his second road shutout of the week, against the Tigers at Vernon. Niehaus is currently third in the league in ERA with a 2.92 mark.
It would have been easy to dismiss the Salt Lake City Bees' strong April as a fluke after they dropped five straight games at the beginning of May to fall into third place. But the Bees are proving to be a difficult group to pin down; they've followed up that five-game skid with a winning streak that has now reached eight games. How much does this team like playing at home? They're 6-5 on the road, 16-5 in Utah.
Bees' center fielder Cristobal Torriente is the league's newest Player of the Week, coming off a 10-26 (.385) performance with 3 home runs and 14 RBI. He's tied for the league lead in the latter category with Oakland's Harry Heilmann.
The Bees hold the top slot in the league standings at 22-10, with the Los Angeles Angels hot on their heels just a game back and the Portland Beavers trailing by just a game and a half.
Last season the Seattle Rainiers were a streaky team; one mid-season hot streak vaulted them unexpectedly into the playoff chase, but ultimately their cold stretches doomed them to a fourth-place, barely-above .500 finish. This year, after an uninspiring 6-11 beginning, they've gotten hot early, winning seven of their last eight. The Rainiers currently sit four behind league-leading Portland at 13-12. Powering their surge are ageless shortstop John Henry Lloyd, who's hitting .398, and third baseman John Beckwith, just a tick behind Lloyd at .394.
Portland and Los Angeles are engaged in a battle for first place; They've split the first four games of a six-game set. The Beavers lead the Angels by a half-game. Salt Lake City is in third, a game-and-a-half behind the leader.
Oakland's Mule Suttles took Player of the Week honors. The 21-year old rookie is undaunted by PCL pitching, going 12-for-27 this week with six home runs. He's currently second in the league in all three Triple Crown categories.
The stellar performances of two Portland pitchers earned the duo special recognition this week. Bullet Rogan was named Pitcher of the Month after a 5-0, 3.20 April, and Wayne Carr took Player of the Week honors after shutting out the Seals twice. The Beavers, while not accustomed to being in second place, are right in the thick of things, just a half-game behind Salt Lake City.
The Bees showed that they are able to win on the road, even in Los Angeles' Washington Park, a spacious venue that all but completely eliminates the home run threat (but not quite completely; hurler Nip Winters connected for the only homer the Bees' hit all week). The Bees took four out of six from the park's tenants, Vernon, and then the first two games of a five-game set from the landlords, the Angels.
The front-running Bees have won four in a row while the Beavers have triumphed in five straight. The only other team above .500 is the Angels, who at 12-7 are two games behind Salt Lake City.
They didn't match the gaudy numbers the Bees produced in their opening week sweep, but the Angels' recent 5-game sweep on the road at Oakland may have been just as impressive in context. The Halos scored 8, 10, 15, 7 and 7 runs, while thrice limiting the Oaks to 2 runs or less. The Angels' best hitter from a year ago, Turkey Stearnes, is hitting .421, and 42 year-old Sam Crawford seems to have discovered the fountain of youth, hitting .423. Los Angeles also boasts the current league ERA leader, Tom Hughes, at 2.00.
But it was a Portland Beaver who had the best week of any individual. Dick Cox hit .579 with a home run and 7 RBIs. Cox is at .400 for the season.
Salt Lake City remains in first place, a game ahead of Los Angeles and a game and a half ahead of Portland.
1922 Opening Week
Aside from their most devoted fans, it's likely that few people were paying much attention to the final series of the 1921 season when the Salt Lake City Bees played host to the Sacramento Solons. These were, after all, the seventh and eighth place teams in the league, and the Bees had lost nine games in a row while the Solons had been on the losing side of ten straight. Salt Lake City swept the six-game series, not exactly salvaging their season but certainly punctuating the Solons' dismal campaign.
Fast forward to Opening Week, 1922. Same locale, same teams. And, unfortunately for Sacramento, same result. The Bees dominated the Solons in a convincing sweep, scoring at least seven runs in every game, hitting .399 in the series and launching an eye-popping 15 home runs. With no other team escaping the first week of play without at least two losses, the Bees enjoy a two-game lead atop the standings. Meanwhile, for Sacramento, things can only get better.
Not surprisingly, a Bee was player of the week. Duffy Lewis hit .536 with 3 home runs and 10 RBIs.