Baseball in the Pythagorean Universe 1871-Present

Now for the National League from 1887-1891:

1887: Detroit claims its first-ever pennant, as the Wolverines' real-life mark of 79-45 stands up. So does the Athletics' second-place mark of 75-48. In fact, there's no movement in the standings for the second year in a row. The only race even tightened is the one for third, where the defending champion White Stockings drop three games (71-50 to 68-53) but hold on to third place by a game over the Giants (68-55, no change).

The biggest positive change is two games, by the Beaneaters (61-60 to 63-58) and the Indianapolis Hoosiers (37-89 to 39-87). The Eaters stay fifth and the Hoosiers still finish last. Biggest drop? My hometown Als, who celebrate their NL debut by falling four games, from 55-69 to 51-73. They remain in sixth place, twenty-eight games behind Detroit.

The Wolverines defeat the Browns ten games to five in the 1887 "Fall Classic".

FINAL STANDINGS: (Expansion teams in bold italics)

1. Wolverines: 79-45 (0)
2. Quakers: 75-48- 3.5 GB (0)
3. White Stockings: 68-53- 9.5 GB (-3)
4. Giants: 68-55- 10.5 GB (0)
5. Beaneaters: 63-58- 14.5 GB (+2)
6. Pittsburgh Alleghenies: 51-73- 28 GB (-4)
7. Nationals: 44-78- 34 GB (-2)
8. Indianapolis Hoosiers: 39-87- 41 GB (+2)

1888: The Giants take their second pennant and first in three years, as their 84-47 real-life record holds up. There's a shakeup for second, though, as the defending champion Wolverines improve by a league-high six games (68-63 to 74-57) to overtake the White Stockings, who drop from 77-58 to 74-61 and third place. The Quakers take the Wolverines' place in fifth despite dropping just one game, from 69-61 to 68-62. The Hoosiers also improve by six games (50-85 to 56-79) but remain seventh. The biggest drop of the year goes to the cellar-dwelling Washington Nationals, who fall five games (48-86 to 43-91) and end up forty-two and a half games behind the G-Men. They also become the first team in National League history to lose ninety or more games in a season.

The Giants would defeat the Browns six games to four in the 1888 "World Series". As for the Als, they drop four games (66-68 to 62-72) but stay in sixth place, eighteen and a half games out of first.


1. Giants: 84-47 (0)
2. Wolverines: 74-57- 10 GB (+6)
3. White Stockings: 74-61- 12 GB (-3)
4. Beaneaters: 72-62- 13.5 GB (+2)
5. Quakers: 68-62- 15.5 GB (-1)
6. Alleghenies: 62-72- 23.5 GB (-4)
7. Hoosiers: 56-79- 30 GB (+6)
8. Nationals: 43-91- 42.5 GB (-5)

Out: Cowboys, Maroons

1889: We have a virtual tie for the pennant: the Giants drop four games (83-43 to 79-47) while the Beaneaters drop three (83-45 to 80-48). This marks a successful title defense for the Giants and their third crown overall, while the Eaters win their second flag. Would there have been an unprecedented playoff to determine an outright winner? If the price was right, anything was possible!

The Giants and Eaters experience the biggest drops; the sharpest rises are three games apiece by the White Stockings and Hoosiers. The Stockings go from 67-65 to 70-62 but still finish third, while the Hoosiers' spike from 59-75 to 62-72 promotes them from seventh to fifth. This affects the Als, who drop just one game (61-71 to 60-72), but fall from fifth past the Spiders to seventh, twenty-two games out of first. Just one game separates fifth from seventh.

We have our first "Subway Series" this year, as the Giants defeat the AA's Brooklyn Bridegrooms six games to three to take the 1889 "World Series".


1. (tie) Giants: 79-47 (-4)
(tie) Beaneaters: 80-48 (-3)
3. White Stockings: 70-62- 12 GB (+3)
4. Quakers: 63-64- 16.5 GB (0)
5. Hoosiers: 62-72- 21 GB (+3)
6. Spiders: 61-72- 21.5 GB (0)
7. Alleghenies: 60-72- 22 GB (-1)
8. Nationals: 43-81- 35 GB (+2)

Name Change: Cleveland (Blues to Spiders)

1890: The Brooklyn Bridegrooms make the move over from the AA and continue their winning ways, taking the pennant by five games despite dropping a game (86-43 to 85-44). There's a huge change in second place, as the Eaters move up from fifth with a league-high six-game improvement (76-57 to 82-51). The newly renamed Chicago franchise, now known as the Colts, drops three games (83-53 to 80-56) and ends up third, while the newly renamed franchise in Philadelphia (now the Phillies) equals that drop (78-56 to 75-53) and falls from third to fifth. The Spiders equal the Eaters' six-game improvement (44-88 to 50-82), but still finish seventh behind the defending champion Giants, who remain sixth despite a four-game improvement (63-68 to 67-64).

The good news for the Als is that they improve by five games; the bad news is that they still finish an execrable 28-108, sixty-five and a half games behind the Bridegrooms, who play the AA's Louisville Colonels to a 3-3-1 draw in the 1890 "World Series". Fifty-five and a half games out is a new National League record, breaking the previous mark set by the Nationals four years before. The Als also become the first NL club to lose a hundred games in a season.

FINAL STANDINGS: (Expansion teams in bold italics):

1. Bridegrooms: 85-44 (-1)
2. Beaneaters: 82-51- 5 GB (+6)
3. Colts: 80-56- 8.5 GB (-3)
4. Cincinnati Reds: 76-56- 10.5 GB (-1)
5. Phillies: 75-56- 11 GB (-3)
6. Giants: 67-64- 19.5 GB (+4)
7. Spiders: 50-82- 36.5 GB (+6)
8. Alleghenies: 28-108- 55.5 GB (+5)

Out: Nationals

Name Changes: Philadelphia (Quakers to Phillies), Chicago (White Stockings to Colts)

Note 1: The Reds aren't technically an expansion team; they left for the American Association following the 1881 season and have now returned. Yes, these are the same Reds we know today.

Note 2: Baseball Reference spells the name of the Pittsburgh team "Alleghenys", but I've always seen it spelled "Alleghenies" around here, so that's what I went with.

1891: The Eaters take their third overall flag (second undisputed) and their first undisputed crown since 1883, dropping two games (87-51 to 85-53), but still claiming the pennant by seven and a half over the Colts, who stumble six games (82-53 to 76-59), most in the league. The defending champions from Brooklyn (now known simply as the Grooms), finish sixth as in real life, but improve three games from 61-76 to 64-73, a game behind the fifth-place Spiders, who pick up a game (65-74 to 66-73).

The largest improvement goes to my renamed hometown team, now known always and forever as the Pirates. They jump from 55-80 to 62-73 and from eighth to seventh, passing the Reds (who stand pat at 56-81) in the process.


1. Beaneaters: 85-53 (-2)
2. Colts: 76-59- 7.5 GB (-6)
3. Giants: 70-62- 12 GB (-1)
4. Phillies: 67-70- 18 GB (-1)
5. Spiders: 66-73- 19.5 GB (+1)
6. Grooms: 64-73- 20.5 GB (+3)
7. Pirates: 62-73- 21.5 GB (+7)
8. Reds: 56-81- 28.5 GB (0)

Name Changes: Brooklyn (Bridegrooms to Grooms), Pittsburgh (Alleghenies to Pirates)

Next: We try to determine a champion in the unfinished NL pennant race of 1889.

It's 1889, and we have a virtual tie for the National League pennant as we pick up our story. The Giants are 79-47 and have fourteen games left, while the Beaneaters are 80-48 and have twelve games left. Six of these games will be against each other, and in an unprecedented move they'll be played first, beginning with a pair of doubleheaders in New York on October 7 and 8.

Let's begin with October 7 and Game 1:

Beaneaters 11, Giants 8

Catcher Charlie Bennett homered and drove in four as the Beaneaters took Game 1. His three-run sixth-inning homer turned out to be the decisive blow, as the Eaters built an 11-5 lead, then gave up two bases-loaded walks and an RBI grounder. With the lead 11-8, shortstop John Montgomery Ward flew out as the tying run, and the Beaneaters escaped.

Shortstop Joe Quinn drove in three for the visitors, while and second baseman Hardy Richardson recorded two hits and scored three runs. Meanwhile, the Giants wasted a four-for-four, two-RBI performance from right fielder Mike Tiernan.

W- Radbourn (21-11)
L- Welch (27-13)

HR- BOS: Bennett (5)

The standings after Game 1:

Beaneaters: 81-48 (Magic Number: 12)
Giants: 79-48- 1 GB

Now for Game 2:

Giants 6, Beaneaters 5 (12 innings)

The home team took Game 2, which due to twenty-five hits, seven errors, and two rain delays just missed being called for darkness while still tied, which would have necessitated a full replay.

The big inning for the home team was the fourth, when they scored all five of their regulation runs to wipe out a 3-0 Boston lead. The big blow in the inning was a two-run double by pitcher Mickey Welch. Eaters pitcher Charley "Old Hoss" Radbourn had knocked in a run with a base hit in the top of the inning. The visitors tied it up with two in the fifth, and that was the last scoring for quite a while.

The Giants came closest to ending it in regulation when they left runners at first and third in the ninth, and they also left the winning run at second in the eleventh. In the twelfth, with darkness looming, Eaters reliever Bill Daley walked center fielder Roger Connor and Mike Tiernan to start, then gave up a one-out single to Jim O'Rourke to load the bases. Shortstop Joe Quinn made a diving stab of second baseman Danny Richardson's line drive for out number one, but third baseman Art Whitney's base hit to left center brought home Connor with the winning run.

Connor and Richardson provided the other New York RBIs, and shortstop Monte Ward went three for six. Third baseman Billy Nash went three for four and scored twice for the Eaters, and right fielder Dick Johnston drives in a pair of runs. with other RBIs coming from center fielder Dan Brouthers and first baseman King Kelly. Hank O'Day got the win in relief for New York.

Kid Madden will take the mound tomorrow for the Eaters in Game 1 against the Giants' Ed Crane.

W- O'Day (10-1)
L- Daley (3-4)

The standings at the end of the day:

(tie) Giants: 80-48
(tie) Beaneaters: 81-49

Next time: The second makeup doubleheader between the Giants and the Eaters on October 8 at the Polo Grounds.

It's October 8 now, and time for the second makeup doubleheader between the Giants and the Beaneaters at the Polo Grounds.

Here's Game 1:

Giants 7, Beaneaters 6

The G-Men took a one-game lead over the Eaters and reduced their magic number to ten, led by center fielder Jim O'Rourke's pair of hits and two runs scored. Buck Ewing also scored twice, and seven different Giants, including starting pitcher Ed Crane, knocked in a run apiece. Crane gave up just five hits in seven and two-thirds innings to get the win, but his six walks led to trouble, particularly in the eighth, where he walked three and paved the way for a four-run Boston uprising that turned a comfortable 6-1 New York lead into a 6-5 nailbiter. Joe Quinn's two-run single was a key hit in the inning. Cannonball Titcomb had to come out of the New York pen to halt the Eaters' rally, and the home squad added an insurance run in the last of the eighth.

It turned out to be very much needed, as King Kelly's double drove in Dan Brouthers, who had singled, to make it 7-6. Both Kelly and Brouthers had two hits and scored twice on the day. But Kelly was stranded at second with the tying run, as Hardy Richardson grounded to third for the second out and O'Rourke made a running catch on Charlie Bennett's fly ball into the gap in right center to end the game. The Eaters can blame their defense for the loss; they committed four errors on the day, three of which turned into New York runs.

The G-Men will go for the sweep in Game 2, as Hank O'Day takes the mound against Bill Daley.

W- Crane (15-10)
S- Titcomb (1)
L- Madden (10-12)

The standings to the moment:

Giants: 81-48 (Magic Number: 10)
Beaneaters: 81-50- 1 GB

Now here's Game 2:

Giants 5, Beaneaters 3

The G-Men swept the doubleheader and will go up to Boston on Friday looking to extend their lead. They got the win despite being no-hit through the first four innings and committing three errors. Dan Brouthers clouted a two-run homer in the top of the first to start the scoring for the Eaters, and Boston added a run in the fourth on a walk to King Kelly, a stolen base, and a base hit by Charlie Bennett. The Eaters went on to load the bases, but Hank O'Day managed to pitch out of trouble.

The Giants got one run back in the fourth, then exploded for four in the sixth on just two hits: a two-run double by Roger Connor to tie the game, and another two-run double by Buck Ewing to put the home team ahead to stay. Three walks and a sacrifice bunt set up the explosion. The Giants managed only one more hit the rest of the day, but Cannonball Titcomb pitched the final two and a third innings to get his second save of the series, striking out four of the seven batters he retired.

Shortstop Monte Ward had two hits and scored a run for New York, while Roger Connor ended up with three RBIs, In addition to Brouthers and Bennett, third baseman Billy Nash and right fielder Dick Johnston had pairs of hits for the losing Eaters. O'Day got the win, while Boston starter Bill Daley took the loss despite allowing just three hits in seven innings.

The aces of the two teams will be on the mound in two days as the scene shifts to Boston for the final two games of this series. Tim Keefe will be on the mound for New York, John Clarkson for Boston.

W- O'Day (11-1)
L- Daley (3-5)

HR- BOS: Brouthers (8)

The standings to the moment:

Giants: 82-48 (Magic Number: 8)
Beaneaters: 81-51- 2 GB

Next time: We finish this marathon series with an October 10 doubleheader in Boston.

It's now October 10, and the scene has switched to Boston for the third and final doubleheader between the Giants and the Beaneaters. Without any further ado, here's what happened in Game 1:

Giants 2, Beaneaters 0

Giants ace Tim Keefe tossed a four-hit shutout, and Boston center fielder King Kelly lost a fly ball in the sun in the top of the first to bring home what turned out to be the game-winning run. New York first baseman Roger Connor added a fifth-inning run scoring single as insurance. John Clarkson threw a complete game for the Beaneaters as well, but struggled all day, giving up four walks and ten hits. The Giants have now taken four out of the first five games of the series, and their lead is three games with seven to play for the Eaters.

W- Keefe (29-13)
L- Clarkson (49-20) (No, that's not a typo)

The standings to the moment:

Giants: 83-48 (Magic Number: 6)
Beaneaters: 81-52- 3 GB

Now here's Game 2:

Giants 11, Beaneaters 2

The Giants throttled the Eaters to complete their second straight doubleheader sweep, and now lead them by four games with a magic number of four. Their big inning was the fifth, when they scored four times to break a 2-2 tie. Roger Connor's double drove in center fielder George Gore with the go-ahead run, and they added more on a fielder's choice, an error by shortstop Pop Smith, and a double by Art Whitney.

Right fielder Mike Tiernan was the offensive star of the day for New York, going two for dive and driving in three runs, including two with a third-inning single that staked the visitors to a 2-0 lead. Shortstop Monte Ward backed him up by going four for six at the plate, and Gore and Connor each had three hits. On the mound, Mickey Welch tossed a complete game, giving up two runs on five hits, plus scoring two runs and driving in another despite being 0 for 3 at the plate. The only small consolation for Boston was that they forced him to throw a hundred and twenty-four pitches.

The Eaters were done in by their defense yet again, as they committed an astounding seven errors, three of them by Smith. Their only good inning on offense was the third, when they scored both of their runs. Billy Nash's single drove in one, while a sacrifice fly by King Kelly plated the other. Nash was the only Eater with more than one hit for the game. Starter Old Hoss Radbourn took the loss after being pounded for nine runs on thirteen hits in six and a third innings. The Giants ended up with a total of eighteen hits for the game.

The Giants will head home to take on the Cleveland Spiders in a double dip on October 12, while the Eaters try to get back on track against the Chicago White Stockings in a doubleheader here at the South End Grounds. If the Giants sweep the Spiders and the Stockings sweep the Eaters, the Giants are the 1889 National League champions.

W- Welch (28-12)
L- Radbourn (20-12)

The standings to the moment:

Giants: 84-48 (Magic Number: 4)
Beaneaters: 81-53- 4 GB

Next time: We examine the doubleheaders of October 12.

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Indiana Beach Crow

Monthly Donor
The biggest drop of the year goes to the cellar-dwelling Washington Nationals, who fall five games (48-86 to 43-91) and end up forty-two and a half games behind the G-Men. They also become the first team in National League history to lose ninety or more games in a season.
Washington: First in war, first in peace, and last in the National League.
It's now October 12, so let's get started with today's twin bills. We begin at the Polo Grounds with Game 1 between the Giants and the Spiders:

Giants 3, Spiders 1

The G-Men knocked their magic number to clinch the pennant down to three, as Tim Keefe went all the way on the hill and Art Whitney's two-run single in the fourth provided the margin of victory. George Gore knocked in the other New York run with a first-inning hit that answered Cleveland catcher Chief Zimmer's run-scoring single in the top of the inning. Pitcher Cinders O'Brien was the only other Spider with more than one hit, and he also pitched a complete game in a losing cause. Gore was the only Giant with more than one hit. The eighteen starters were the only players used in the game.

Game 2 will feature Mickey Welch pitching for the Giants against the Spiders' Ed Beatin.

W- Keefe (30-13)
L- O'Brien (22-18)

Now to Game 1 in Boston between the Beaneaters and the White Stockings:

Beaneaters 4, White Stockings 0

The Eaters didn't get a hit until the fourth, by which time they were already leading 2-0, and the White Stockings committed six errors in this slopfest. To make matters worse, Eaters starter Bill Daley left after three innings with a blister on his pitching hand, which meant that Kid Madden had to pitch the final six. For all of that, the home team shut out the Stockings on nine hits, and Pop Smith started at short and redeemed himself in part for his awful performance against the Giants, going two for three with a run scored to spark the offense.

The Eaters have now temporarily stopped their slide, as they remain four games behind the Giants with five to play going into Game 2.

W- Madden (11-12)
L- Dwyer (16-14)

The standings after Game 1:

Giants: 85-48 (Magic Number: 3)
Beaneaters: 82-53- 4 GB

Now on to Game 2 at the Polo Grounds:

Giants 4, Spiders 2

The Giants' magic number to clinch the pennant is now down to two, as they completed their sweep of the Spiders. A three-run sixth was the key inning for the home team, as they broke a 1-1 tie with Mike Tiernan's two-run homer that clanged off the left field foul pole. Jim O'Rourke singled in the third run later in the inning. George Gore knocked in the other Giant run and contributed two hits. The Spiders, meanwhile, got their RBIs from center fielder Paul Radford and third baseman Patsy Tebeau. Once again, both pitchers threw complete games, with Mickey Welch giving up two runs and seven hits, but also walking five in his winning effort. Ed Beatin took the loss for Cleveland.

A win by the Stockings in Game 2 against the Eaters clinches a Giants' tie for the pennant. Meanwhile, the Spiders have now fallen into seventh place, a half-game behind the Alleghenies.

W- Welch (29-12)
L- Beatin (20-16)

HR- NYG: Tiernan (11)

Now for Game 2 between the Eaters and the Stockings:

White Stockings 5, Beaneaters 1

The Eaters' historic collapse continues, as the Stockings broke things open with four runs in the third and cruised to an easy win. The big hit in the inning for Chicago was a two-run single by third baseman Tom Burns. Right fielder George Van Haltren also contributed a run-scoring base hit in the inning, as did center fielder Jimmy Ryan. Burns and Van Haltren combined for four of the Stockings' seven hits, and Van Haltren also scored twice. Second baseman Fred Pfeffer had the other RBI for the visitors.

On the mound, Bill Hutchison tossed a complete game, giving up just one run on four hits. Center fielder Tom Brown's sac fly in the third brought home the Eaters' only run. John Clarkson threw a complete game in a losing cause, allowing five runs on the aforementioned seven hits.

W- Hutchison (17-17)
L- Clarkson (49-21)

The standings at the end of the day:

Giants: 86-48 (Magic Number: 1)
Beaneaters: 82-54- 5 GB

The Giants now head for Washington on October 14 for their final doubleheader of the year against the Nationals. Meanwhile, the Eaters and the Stockings finish their series with a single game in Chicago. A loss by the Eaters or one win by the Giants means that the G-Men are the National League champions.

Next: We examine the events of October 14.

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Now it's October 14. If the Giants win one of their two games against the last-place Nationals in Washington or the Beaneaters lose their game against the White Stockings in Chicago, the Giants are the 1889 National League champions.

We begin with Game 1 in Washington:

Giants 12, Nationals 4

The Giants wrapped up the pennant right away, using a seven-run second to blow away the Nats. Roger Connor and pitcher Ed Crane each delivered two-run singles, Monte Ward singled in another run, and the other two tallies came on an error and a passed ball. The Nats vomited three of their five errors in the inning. Connor led the New York offense with three hits, and Art Whitney drove in two more runs. Crane went seven innings on the hill, giving up four runs on seven hits and six walks while striking out four. Cannonball Titcomb threw two perfect innings to wrap things up.

The Washington offense was led by right fielder John Irwin, who went three for four and drove in a run. Center fielder Walt Wilmot went two for five, scored twice, and drove in another run. Pitcher Alex Ferson drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk and scored another, but didn't fare so well on the mound, giving up eleven runs (of which just two were earned) and nine hits in six innings of work.

W- Crane (16-10)
L- Ferson (17-18)

Note: All pitchers' records in the Pythagorean universe are based on their real-life records.

The Giants finished their season in style, defeating the Nats 16-7 in Game 2 on the strength of a homer from Connor, a three-RBI game from George Gore, and five more Washington errors. Meanwhile, Cap Anson's double in the bottom of the eighth broke a 2-2 tie and lifted the White Stockings to a 3-2 win over the Beaneaters.

The final National League standings for 1889:

Giants: 88-48
Beaneaters: 82-55- 6.5 GB

Next time: We begin to finish the 1890 NL pennant race, as the Eaters try to find redemption by battling the Brooklyn Grooms.

Now it's time to finish the 1890 NL pennant race. As we begin, the Bridegrooms (I accidentally referred to them as just the Grooms in my last post) have a five-game lead on the Eaters and a magic number of five to clinch the pennant.

As was the case last year, the National League has decided to start the makeup games with those directly between the affected teams. Since there are two games to be made up in Boston and one in Brooklyn, we'll begin with a makeup doubleheader in Boston on October 5.

Here's Game 1:

Beaneaters 4, Bridegrooms 3

The Eaters were shut out on six hits through the first eight innings by Grooms starter Tom Lovett, who got RBIs from second baseman Hub Collins, right fielder Oyster Burns, and left fielder (and former Eater) Patsy Donovan. But it all fell apart for Brooklyn in the last of the eighth.

Eaters catcher Charlie Bennett led off with a grounder to short that Grooms shortstop Germany Smith booted. Right fielder Steve Brodie's single to right center put two on, and after a fielder's choice moved Bennett to third, Lovett walked first baseman Tommy Tucker to load the bases. After center fielder Paul Hines popped out to short, shortstop Pop Smith, one of the goats of the Eaters' collapse last year, singled to left, scoring Sullivan and Bennett and cutting the Brooklyn lead to 3-2. Third baseman Chippy McGarr tied the game with a seeing-eye single into left center, and pitcher Charlie "Pretzels" Getzien gave himself the lead when his grounder eluded Grooms third baseman George Pinkney and scooted into left field to score Pop.

Getzien gave up a single to Germany with two out in the ninth, but got pinch hitter Pop Corkhill to fly out to right center to end the game. Getzien thus threw a complete game, giving up three runs on nine hits. His opposite number Lovett gave up four runs on ten hits in an eight-inning complete game. Collins went three for four to lead all hitters, while Sullivan, McGarr and shortstop Herman Long all had two hits for Boston.

The Eaters will start Kid Nichols in Game 2, while the Grooms counter with Bob Carruthers.

W- Getzien (24-17)
L- Lovett (30-12)

The standings after Game 1:

Bridegrooms: 85-45 (Magic Number: 5)
Beaneaters: 83-51- 4 GB

Now here's Game 2:

Bridegrooms 9, Beaneaters 3

The Grooms earned a split of the doubleheader and reduced their magic number to three with a dominating performance. Burns led the offense, going four for five and driving in four runs. His big hit came in the second, when he singled in two runs to give the visitors a 4-0 lead. He also homered in the seventh to pad the Brooklyn lead to 5-2. The Grooms finished things off with a four-run ninth. First baseman Dave Foutz had the key hit, doubling in a run to finish a three-for-five day at the plate. In addition to tallying a pair of RBIs, Foutz also scored three runs. Left fielder Darby O'Brien added a pair of hits and an RBI. On the mound, Bob Carruthers went wall the way, giving up three runs on nine hits.

The Eaters received RBIs from Tucker and Hines as well as pinch-hitter Bobby Lowe. Tucker, Sullivan, and Long all had pairs of hits. On the mound, Kid Nichols went all the way, giving up nine runs on twelve hits. The Eaters also committed three errors on the day.

This makeup series will conclude on October 7 in Brooklyn. John "Pop" Clarkson will start for the Eaters, while Adonis Terry takes the hill for the Grooms.

W- Carruthers (24-11)
L- Nichols (27-20)

HR- BRO: Burns (14)

The standings to the moment:

Bridegrooms: 86-45 (Magic Number: 3)
Beaneaters: 83-52- 5 GB

Next time: We examine the events of October 7.

Now it's October 7, and we're at Washington Park in Brooklyn for the third game of the series between the Beaneaters and the Bridegrooms. A Bridegrooms win earns them at least a tie for the National League pennant.

The first attempt at playing this game ended in a wild 10-10 ten-inning tie on October 7. A full replay was thus needed and took place on October 8. Pretzels Getzien got the start for Boston this time, looking to win his second game of the series, while Mickey Hughes took the hill for Brooklyn.

Beaneaters 4, Bridegrooms 0

The Eaters broke open a 1-0 game with three in the top of the eighth, and Getzien breezed through the Grooms, pitching a complete game four-hit shutout. Marty Sullivan paced the Boston offense, going two for three and scoring a pair of runs in addition to knocking one in. His bloop single into right center field was one of the key hits in the three-run Boston eighth, as it brought home Charlie Bennett and gave the Eaters a 2-0 lead. Bennett had been hit by a pitch from Brooklyn reliever Bob Caruthers leading off the inning. Tommy Tucker had a sacrifice fly in the inning, and Paul Hines eventually brought Sullivan home with a double to right.

Getzien finished his afternoon's work in just ninety-seven pitches, and only two Grooms got hits: Dave Foutz, who went three for four, and catcher Tom Daly. Only one Brooklyn baserunner made it to third base all day. Meanwhile, Hughes matched goose eggs with Getzien until the seventh, when the Eaters scratched across their first run on a walk to Sullivan, a base hit by Tucker, and an error on a grounder by Hines. Germany Smith couldn't find the handle, and Sullivan scored while Smith literally kicked the ball almost all the way to first base. Hughes ended up going seven and a third innings and giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks.

The Eaters will go to the Polo Grounds tomorrow (October 9) to face their old friends the Giants in a single contest, while the Grooms entertain the Philadelphia Phillies in a doubleheader here at Washington Park. If the Grooms sweep the Phillies and the Giants beat the Eaters, the Grooms are the National League champions.

W- Getzien (25-17)
L- Hughes (4-5)

The standings to the moment:

Bridegrooms: 86-46 (Magic Number: 3)
Beaneaters: 84-52- 4 GB

Next: We examine the events of October 9.

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It's now October 9, and we begin with Game 1 between the Phillies and the Bridegrooms at Washington Park. Remember, the Grooms have to sweep both ends of the doubleheader in order to have a chance to clinch the pennant today.

Bridegrooms 7, Phillies 1

The Grooms pounded out ten hits and took advantage of four errors by the Phils to win Game 1 and reduce their magic number to two. Their big inning was the seventh, when they scored three times to put what had been a 3-1 game out of reach. Tom Daly's two-run double was the key blow, and they added the third run on a sacrifice fly from center fielder Patsy Donovan. Both Dave Foutz and Oyster Burns went two for five and scored twice, with Burns also driving in a run. Germany Smith and starter Tom Lovett had the other Brooklyn RBIs.

Speaking of Lovett, he dominated on the mound as well, pitching a four-hitter. No Philly batter had more than one hit, and their only run came on an RBI groundout from center fielder Eddie Burke in the fifth. Starter Duke Esper took the loss despite not giving up an earned run in five innings. He left with a shoulder strain after five, and reliever Phenomenal Smith was battered for five runs on seven hits over the final three innings.

Bob Carruthers will start Game 2 for the Grooms, while the Phils will counter with Tom Vickery.

W- Lovett (31-12)
L- Esper (5-1)

Now to the Polo Grounds, where the Eaters need to beat the Giants in order to keep pace:

Beaneaters 7, Giants 2

There won't be a pennant clinching today, as the Eaters handled the Giants with ease before a sparse crowd at the Polo Grounds. Herman Long's three hits paced the Boston offense, with the biggest one being his three-run homer in the fourth that broke a 1-1 tie. Marty Sullivan added a three for four performance and drove in a run, and Paul Hines also drove in a pair of runs. Kid Nichols went all the way on the mound, giving up two runs on nine hits and striking out four.

The Giants got their RBIs from catcher Dick Buckley and shortstop Jack Glasscock. It was Buckley's third-inning single that gave the home squad a 1-0 lead, which was then obliterated by Boston's four-run fourth. Buckley and center fielder Mike Tiernan each had a pair of hits. On the mound, Mickey Welch took the loss, giving up seven runs on eleven hits and five walks in six and a third innings.

W- Nichols (28-20)
L- Welch (17-15)

HR- BOS: Long (9)

The standings after each team has played today, with Game 2 of the Brooklyn twin bill yet to come:

Bridegrooms: 87-46 (Magic Number: 2)
Beaneaters: 85-52- 4 GB

Now here's Game 2 between the Phils and the Grooms:

Phillies 6, Bridegrooms 0

The Phils hammered Caruthers for six runs and fifteen hits, while Vickery tossed a two-hit shutout. The two Brooklyn hits were Burns' leadoff single in the second and third baseman George Pinkney's infield hit leading off the seventh. Vickers walked just two men as well, wrapping up the win in just a hundred and three pitches.

On the other side, with the Grooms needing to save arms for up to six more games (four of them as part of potential doubleheaders), it was up to Caruthers to take his lumps. He went all the way on the mound, throwing a hundred and twenty-six pitches. Shortstop Bob Allen led the offense for the visitors, going three for five and driving in a pair of runs. Third baseman Ed Mayer added two more hits and two more RBIs, while second baseman Al Myers had two hits and scored three runs.

The Phils broke on top with a three-run fourth and never looked back. Allen and Mayer had run-scoring singles, and left fielder Billy Hamilton (no known relation to the present-day Cincinnati outfielder) drove in another run with a ground-rule double. The beating that the Grooms took could have been worse had Daly not thrown out three Philadelphia runners trying to steal.

W- Vickery (25-21)
L- Caruthers (24-12)

The standings to the moment:

Bridegrooms: 87-47 (Magic Number: 2)
Beaneaters: 85-52- 3.5 GB

Next: While the Eaters are heading to Pittsburgh for an October 11 doubleheader with the Alleghenies, the Grooms take their quest for the pennant across town to Coogan's Bluff tomorrow (October 10) to battle the Giants in a twin bill. If they sweep, they're the National League champions.

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It's October 10, and we're ready for action from the Polo Grounds. Remember, the Bridegrooms have to sweep today's doubleheader from the Giants in order to win the pennant. If they don't, the Reds are already across the river in Brooklyn to start a season-ending four-game, two-city series tomorrow.

Here's Game 1:

Bridegrooms 4, Giants 2

In a sloppy game played in a quagmire, the two teams combined for ten errors (five apiece). It was the defense that spelled doom for the Giants, as three of those errors led directly to the two runs which won the game for Brooklyn. The score was tied 2-2 going into the top of the eighth. Dave Foutz led off with a deep drive to center that Mike Tiernan appeared to have a bead on, only to lose it in the gray skies on Coogan's Bluff. By the time he found the ball off to his right and leapt for it, it glanced off of his glove for a two-base error. After reliever Amos Rusie walked George Pinkney, Oyster Burns hit a sure double play ball to Jack Glasscock at short. But Glasscock's throw to second went over Giant second baseman Charley Bassett's head, and everyone was safe, with Foutz scoring to give Brooklyn a 3-2 lead. Pinkney would then score when Darby O'Brien's fly to right handcuffed Giants right fielder Jesse Burkett for the third error of the inning against the home squad.

The Grooms were held to six hits for the game, two of them by Foutz. One of these was an RBI single in the fifth. Starting pitcher Adonis Terry had the other Brooklyn RBI, as he spanked a run-scoring triple in the same inning. On the mound, he threw a complete game, giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits.

Tiernan led the New York offense with two hits, but also committed two errors. Left fielder Joe Hornung had the lone Giant RBI; his base hit in the bottom of the second scored the game's first run. The other Giant run scored on a throwing error by Germany Smith in the seventh. Rusie (who was supposed to be the Giants' Game 2 starter) pitched the final two innings in relief and took the loss after starting pitcher Jack Sharrott had to leave the game due to a stomach virus. None of the four runs the Grooms scored were earned, which was a rarity even back in 1890.

Mickey Hughes will start Game 2 for the Grooms, while the Giants' starter is unknown at the present time.

W- Terry (27-16)
L- Rusie (29-35)

Now here's Game 2:

Giants 6, Bridegrooms 4

The Giants denied their crosstown rivals the pennant for at least one more day, thanks to the rubber arm of Amos Rusie. Not only did he start the game despite taking the loss in relief in Game 1, but he threw a complete game, giving up four runs on seven hits and four walks and striking out nine. Third baseman Jerry Denny was the offensive star for New York, driving in the deciding runs with a two-run double in a three-run Giant seventh as part of a two-hit, three-RBI game. Tiernan added two hits and an RBI, with the other New York runs driven in by Glasscock and first baseman Lew Whistler. Bassett scored two runs for the G-Men despite going 0 for 3 at the plate.

The Grooms made Rusie work to the tune of a hundred and forty-six pitches. Burns and Tom Daly each had two hits for Brooklyn, and Burns drove in a pair of runs, while Daly and center fielder Pop Corkhill knocked in one apiece. Starter Mickey Hughes took the loss, giving up six runs on seven hits and four walks in six and a third innings. George Pinkney scored a pair of runs in a losing cause.

The teams combined for eight more errors in a steady, soaking rain. The Grooms had five, the Giants three. The game would have been called due to darkness after eight and a half innings had the Grooms come back to tie, as the top of the ninth had to be played by the light of lanterns procured from area stores between games.

W- Rusie (30-35)
L- Hughes (4-6)

The standings to the moment:

Bridegrooms: 88-48 (Magic Number: 1)
Beaneaters: 85-52- 3.5 GB

Next: The Grooms entertain the Reds in opening game of their series, while the Eaters take on the Alleghenies in a doubleheader in Pittsburgh. A win by the Grooms or one loss by the Eaters gives the National League pennant to Brooklyn.

Now it's October 11, and the Grooms are one win away from the National League pennant. They'll try to get that win against the Reds in their last home game of the season, while the Eaters try and stay in the race against the Als in a doubleheader in Pittsburgh. We begin in Brooklyn:

Bridegrooms 11, Reds 6

The Grooms took the pennant before a waterlogged but jubilant crowd at Washington Park. Germany Smith's sacrifice fly in the sixth put the Grooms ahead for good, and Dave Foutz put the pennant on ice with a two-run homer in the eighth. The homer capped a three for five day for Foutz, during which he drove in a pair of runs and scored three. Tom Daly added two hits and three RBIs, with his major contribution being a two-run single as part of a five-run fourth that erased a 5-1 Cincinnati lead. Oyster Burns also contributed two hits and knocked in a pair of runs. On the mound, Bob Caruthers went all the way again, giving up six runs, fourteen hits, and six walks, but gutting out a hundred and fifty-one pitch win.

For the Reds, first baseman John Reilly went five for five and drove in a pair of runs. Third baseman Arlie Latham added three hits and an RBI as the visiting squad compiled ten hits in the first four innings and led 5-1 after three and a half. Third baseman Jerry Harrington added two hits and two RBIs to the cause. Starting pitcher Tony Mullane took the loss, giving up nine runs (eight earned) on eleven hits in six and two-thirds innings.

W- Caruthers (25-12)
L- Mullane (12-11)

HR- BRO: Foutz (6)

The Eaters were thus eliminated, but their doubleheader against the Als went ahead anyway. The visitors took the first game 7-2 behind Pop Clarkson's complete game on the mound and three for five day at the plate, plus pairs of RBIs from Marty Sullivan and Charlie Bennett, who also had three hits. The Eaters found out that they'd been eliminated just prior to the second game, but went out in style behind Pretzels Getzien's complete game and Chippy McGarr's two hits and two RBIs in a 5-3 win.

The final standings:

Bridegrooms: 89-48
Beaneaters: 87-52- 3 GB

Next: A special bonus post detailing the 1890 Players League.

Now for the Players' League of 1890:

The Boston Reds take the pennant as in real life despite dropping two games (81-48 to 79-50). The New York Giants move up to second place despite only improving by one game (74-57 to 75-56), and see their final deficit cut from eight games to five. The Brooklyn Ward's Wonders, who finished second in real life, drop from 76-56 to 71-61 and thus fall to fifth, while the Chicago Pirates can only finish third despite having the second-most wins in the league with 77, an improvement from their real total of 75.

Largest improvement goes to the Buffalo Bisons, who jump from 36-96 to 42-90, an improvement of six games. Unfortunately, they still finish last, thirteen games behind the seventh-place Cleveland Infants and thirty-eight and a half games behind the Reds.

Literally nothing happens to our local entry, the Pittsburgh Burghers. They remain in sixth place at 60-68, though they pick up two games on the Reds, going from twenty and a half back to eighteen and a half back.


1. Boston Reds: 79-50 (-2)
2. New York Giants: 75-56- 5 GB (+1)
3. Chicago Pirates: 77-60- 6 GB (+2)
4. Philadelphia Athletics: 71-60- 9 GB (+3)
5. Brooklyn Ward's Wonders: 71-61- 9.5 GB (-5)
6. Pittsburgh Burghers: 60-68- 18.5 GB (0)
7. Cleveland Infants: 54-76- 25.5 GB (-1)
8. Buffalo Bisons: 42-90- 38.5 GB (+6)

Note 1: These versions of the Giants, Athletics, and Bisons have nothing to do with any other major league club bearing those names.

Note 2: As I mentioned earlier, WhatIfSports doesn't have the capability to sim this league's games, mostly because both this league's New York Giants and the National League's New York Giants are the same team according to the simulator. And I was looking forward to a five-team pennant race too. Rats!

Next: We cover 1892-1896 in the National League.

Now for 1892-1896 in the National League:

1892: It's a tale of two seasons. The Spiders win the regular season crown with a four-game improvement (93-56 to 97-52), while the Eaters drop a league-high eight games (102-48 to 94-56) finishing second mostly because they play four less games than the third-place Grooms (94-60, one-game drop). But in the last currently recognized postseason series before 1903, exhibition or otherwise, the Eaters sweep the Spiders to defend their title, 5-0-1. This makes three pennants for Boston.

Elsewhere, the Phils top ninety wins, improving five games from 87-66 to 92-61, but in typical Philly fashion, all it gets them is fourth. The Colts drop seven games (70-76 to 63-83) but still finish seventh, while the expansion Washington Senators pull off a six-game bump (58-93 to 64-87), but only rise from tenth to ninth in the twelve-team league. The largest improvement of all comes from the brand-new Baltimore Orioles, who pick up ten games (46-101 to 56-91) and manage to escape the basement, finishing eleventh ahead of the St. Louis Browns, who fall to last despite gaining a game (56-93 to 57-94).

The Buccos stay in the first division, finishing sixth as they did in real life despite dropping three games (80-73 to 77-76).

FINAL REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS: (Expansion teams in bold italics)

1. Spiders: 97-52 (+4)
2. Beaneaters: 94-56- 3.5 GB (-8)
3. Grooms: 94-60- 5.5 GB (-1)
4. Phillies: 92-61- 7 GB (+5)
5. Reds: 78-72- 19.5 GB (-4)
6. Pirates: 77-76- 22 GB (-3)
7. Giants: 74-77- 24 GB (+3)
8. Colts: 63-83- 32.5 GB (-7)
9. Washington Senators: 64-87- 34 GB (+6)
10. Louisville Colonels: 61-91- 37.5 GB (-2)
11. Baltimore Orioles: 56-91- 40 GB (+10)
12. St. Louis Browns: 57-93- 40.5 GB (+1)

1893: We have a tie at the top; the real-life champion Eaters take an eight-game tumble (86-43 to 78-51), and the second-place Pirates drop three games from 81-48. Whether there would have been a playoff to settle the issue in that day and age is something we'll never know, of course. This makes four pennants for the Eaters (three undisputed), while the Buccos make their first-ever trip to the winners' circle. The Phils improve three games (72-57 to 75-54) to take third.

In other notable drops, the Reds fall five games (65-63 to 60-68) and from sixth to seventh, while the Grooms drop six (65-63 to 59-69) and slide from seventh to a tie for eighth with the Orioles.

Three teams make the maximum improvement of four games: the Giants, who go from 68-64 to 72-60 but still come in fifth; the Colts, who move from 56-71 to 60-70 and move up to sixth from ninth; and the last-place Sens, who go from 40-89 to 44-85 but still bring up the rear, thirty-four games out of first.


1. (tie) Beaneaters: 78-51 (-8)
(tie) Pirates: 78-51 (-3)
3. Phillies: 75-54- 3 GB (+3)
4. Spiders: 73-55- 4.5 GB (0)
5. Giants: 72-60- 7.5 GB (+4)
6. Colts: 60-67- 17 GB (+4)
7. Reds: 60-68- 17.5 GB (-5)
8. (tie) Grooms: 59-69- 18.5 GB (-6)
(tie) Orioles: 60-70- 18.5 GB (0)
10. Browns: 60-72- 19.5 GB
11. Colonels: 50-75- 26 GB (0)
12. Senators: 44-85- 34 GB (+4)

1894: Baltimore gets its first-ever pennant, as the Orioles prevail despite dropping five games (89-39 to 84-44). The Eaters take second despite a five-game drop (83-49 to 78-54) because the Giants, who finished second in real life, do the proverbial half-gainer off the George Washington Bridge, falling eleven games (88-44 to 77-55). Remarkably, they still manage to finish third.

Largest improvement goes to the Colts, who go from 57-75 to 65-67, an upswing of eight. They end up in a virtual tie for seventh with the Pirates. The Sens and the Louisville Colonels each manage seven-game increases, but still finish next-to-last and dead last respectively. The Sens go from 45-87 to 52-80, while the Colonels improve from 36-94 to 43-87, still forty-two games behind the O's.

The Buccos are back in the "hometown team" section, as it were. They fall one game, from 65-65 to 64-66, and end up in the tie for seventh place with the Colts that I mentioned earlier, twenty-one games behind Baltimore.


1. Orioles: 84-44 (-5)
2. Beaneaters: 78-54- 8 GB (-5)
3. Giants: 77-55- 9 GB (-11)
4. Phillies: 74-54- 10 GB (+3)
5. Spiders: 67-62- 17.5 GB (+1)
6. Grooms: 66-65- 19.5 GB (-4)
7. (tie) Pirates: 64-66- 21 GB (-1)
(tie) Colts: 65-67- 21 GB (+8)
9. Reds: 55-75- 30 GB (0)
10. Browns: 53-79- 33 GB (-3)
11. Senators: 52-80- 34 GB (+7)
12. Colonels: 43-87- 42 GB (+7)

The Eaters won the first Temple Cup postseason series, sweeping the O's in four straight games.

1895: The O's go back to back, gaining three games (87-43 to 90-40) while the second-place Spiders lose five (84-46 to 79-51). As a result, a three-game victory margin turns into an eleven-game laugher. The third-place Phils also drop six (78-53 to 72-59) and only manage to hold onto to third by a game over the Eaters, who stay at 71-60. The Colts equal the Phils' six-game slide (72-58 to 66-64) and plunge from fourth to a tie for eighth with the Pirates as a result. The Sens and Browns each improve by eight to lead the league; Washington goes from 43-77 to 51-85, while St. Louis jumps from 39-92 to 47-84. Unfortunately, they still finish tenth and eleventh respectively.

The Colonels become the latest member of the "fifty games or more back" club, as their 40-91 mark puts them fifty and a half games out of first place.

The Battlin' Bucs drop four, from 71-61 to 67-65. This means that they finish in the aforementioned tie for eighth instead of seventh, twenty-three and a half games behind the Birds of Baltimore. This marks the second straight year that the Bucs and Colts have finished in a tie.


1. Orioles: 90-40 (+3)
2. Spiders: 79-51- 11 GB (-5)
3. Phillies: 72-59- 18.5 GB (-6)
4. Beaneaters: 71-60- 19.5 GB (0)
5. Reds: 68-62- 22 GB (+2)
6. Grooms: 68-63- 22.5 GB (-3)
7. Giants: 67-64- 23.5 GB (+1)
8. (tie) Colts: 66-64- 24 GB (-6)
(tie) Pirates: 67-65- 24 GB (-4)
10. Senators: 51-77- 38 GB (+8)
11. Browns: 47-84- 43.5 GB (+8)
12. Colonels: 40-91- 50.5 GB (+5)

The Spiders take the postseason Temple Cup series over the O's four games to one to win their first postseason championship as a franchise.

1896: The Birds drop three games (90-39 to 87-42) but still win their third consecutive flag going away, beating the second-place Spiders by seven and a half games. The Spiders drop just one game (80-48 to 79-49). Not a whole lot of improvement to be had, as the biggest increase is just three games by both the Phils (62-68 to 65-65) and the Colonels (38-93 to 41-90). For their trouble, the Fightins stay in eighth, while the Colonels escape last by half a game over the Browns, who remain at 40-90. For the second year in a row, the Colts take the biggest drop, falling from 71-57 and fifth place to 65-63 and sixth, a total of six games.

The hometown boys improve by two, going from 66-63 to 68-61 and rising from sixth to fifth. Unfortunately, they're still nineteen games behind the O's.


1. Orioles: 87-42 (-3)
2. Spiders: 79-49- 7.5 GB (-1)
3. Reds: 77-50- 9 GB (0)
4. Beaneaters: 73-58- 15 GB (-1)
5. Pirates: 68-61- 19 GB (+2)
6. Colts: 65-63- 21.5 GB (-6)
7. Giants: 66-65- 22 GB (+2)
8. Phillies: 65-65- 22.5 GB (+3)
9. Bridegrooms: 60-71- 28 GB (+2)
10. Senators: 58-73- 30 GB (0)
11. Colonels: 41-90- 47 GB (+3)
12. Browns: 40-90- 47.5 GB

Name Change: Brooklyn (Grooms to Bridegrooms)

The O's "defend" their pennant in the Temple Cup, sweeping the Spiders in four straight games.

Next: We start to finish the 1892 pennant race.

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Even though the 1890s postseason series aren't recognized by Major League Baseball in either applicable universe, the season was still geared toward finding participants for them. Therefore, the races for second place were often as big or bigger than the ones for first. Take, for example, 1892. Even though the Spiders had clinched the regular season title, there was still a race for second. To wit:

Beaneaters: 94-56 (Magic Number: 1)
Grooms: 94-60- 2 GB

(Note: Even though the Eaters could still have caught the Spiders for first place, the Grooms couldn't have, so the Spiders clinched a spot in the championship series, thus eliminating their need to play makeup games.)

The Eaters thus had to make up as many of their four remaining games as it took for them to officially clinch second. The good news was, they only needed one win in four tries to pull it off. They had road games in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh left, plus home games against the Orioles and Phillies. It was completely up to them which opponent they would take on first, and they chose to entertain the tenth-place Orioles in Boston on October 17.

Beaneaters 8, Orioles 0

The Eaters will play the Spiders for the National League pennant after blowing out the hapless O's. Shortstop Herman Long was the star on offense, going three for five and knocking in four runs with a pair of two-run doubles. One came in the third to give the Eaters a 3-0 lead, the other in the fifth to put them up 7-0. Center fielder Hugh Duffy added four hits and scored a pair of runs, and first baseman Tommy Tucker smacked two hits and scored three times. Third baseman Billy Nash managed two hits and drove in a pair of runs as well. The Boston attack totaled fourteen hits on the day. and was backed up by a four-hit shutout from starting pitcher Harry Staley, who walked just one man and did his day's work in an even one hundred pitches.

No Oriole got more than one hit, and only two runners reached third base all day. Starter George Cobb took the loss, giving up seven runs on ten hits in five innings. Only three of the runs were earned, thanks to a pair of errors that launched three-run innings for the Eaters. Third baseman Billy Shindle booted a grounder that led to a three-run third, while shortstop Tim O'Rourke's throwing error opened the door for a three-run fifth.

W- Staley (23-10)
L- Cobb (10-38)

The final standings in the race for second:

Beaneaters: 95-56
Grooms: 94-60- 2.5 GB

With the loss, the Orioles drop into a tie for last place in the National League with the Browns.

Next: It's back to deciding actual pennants, as we begin to examine the 1893 three-team race.

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Now to examine the 1893 pennant race.

It's October 1, and three teams are still alive: the Eaters, Pirates, and Phillies. The Eaters and Pirates are tied for first place, while the Phils are in third with an elimination number of one. Each team has three games to go, and two of them will be played in a doubleheader. For the Eaters and Bucs, that doubleheader will be against each other, and it will be played today at Boston's South End Grounds. A sweep for either team means that they're the National League champions. We'll deal with the Phils later; they too have a doubleheader in Cincinnati against the Reds.

Now to Game 1 in Boston:

Pirates 9, Beaneaters 2

The Bucs took the lead in the National League for the moment behind a fourteen-hit attack at the plate and a complete game from starter Red Ehret. Catcher Billy Earle and third baseman Denny Lyons led the Pittsburgh offensive parade with three hits apiece, and Earle drove in four runs. Three of them came on a line-drive homer to right in the fourth that staked the visitors to a 4-0 lead. He knocked in his fourth run with a seventh-inning single that was part of a three-run inning which blew the game wide open for good. Center fielder George Van Haltren drove in a pair of runs and scored three more, and right fielder Elmer Smith scored a pair. On the mound, Ehret gave up two runs on seven hits while completing his afternoon's work in a hundred and thirteen pitches.

Second baseman Bobby Lowe and shortstop Herman Long drove in the Boston runs, and Lowe was the only Eater with more than one hit. The Eaters got to within 4-2 after five innings on Long's RBI groundout, but the Buccos exploded for three in the seventh and two in the ninth to put the game away. Starter Kid Nichols took the loss, giving up six runs on ten hits in six and a third innings.

The Bucs will look to Adonis Terry to help them clinch the pennant in Game 2, while former Pirate Hank Gastright takes the hill for the Eaters.

W- Ehret (19-18)
L- Nichols (34-15)

HR- PIT: Earle (3)

Now here's Game 2:

Pirates 9, Beaneaters 2

We have new National League champions, as the Bucs picked up their demolition of the Eaters where they left off with it in Game 1. This time, it was former Eater Patsy Donovan, starting in left field for Pittsburgh, who led the charge, going three for six, driving in two runs, and scoring two more. His infield single in the second gave the visitors the lead for good, and they added two more in that inning and three more in the third to dash the Boston hopes once and for all. First baseman Jake Beckley added two hits, including a two-run single in the second, and every Pittsburgh starter had at least one hit except Earle, the hero of Game 1. Even starting pitcher Terry got into the offensive flow with a run-scoring single in the third, and he also scored two runs. On the mound, he scattered ten hits, but gave up just two runs in eight innings.

Third baseman Billy Nash and center fielder Hugh Duffy drove in the Boston runs, and Nash managed to go three for five at the dish in a losing cause. Duffy and catcher Charlie Ganzel each added a pair of hits. In a miserable mound performance, Hank Gastright was lit up for seven runs on ten hits and four walks in just three innings. Harry Staley did slightly better in relief, giving up two runs on six hits over the final six frames.

W- Terry (13-8)
L- Gastright (12-5)

The Phils were thus left out in the cold, but they took care of the Reds easily in Game 1, winning 7-3. They broke open a tight game with three in the ninth, and third baseman Charlie Reilly led the way with two hits and two RBIs. Game 2 was a slugfest that was completed just before darkness set in, and the Phils completed their sweep, winning 12-7. Center fielder Ed Delahanty and catcher Jack Clements provided home runs, and the Phils won despite committing four errors.

The final standings:

Pirates: 80-51
Beaneaters: 78-53- 2 GB
Phillies- 77-54- 3 GB

Also, because the Reds were swept by the Phils, the regular season ends with a three-way tie for seventh between the Reds, Grooms, and Orioles.

Next: We examine the race for second place in 1896.

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Now to finish 1896's race for second place behind the Orioles, whom the winner will play in the Temple Cup series.

Here are the standings:

Spiders: 79-49 (Magic Number: 4)
Reds: 77-50- 1.5 GB

We begin on September 28. The Reds are entertaining the Colts in a doubleheader at home, while the Spiders are in Baltimore to play the Os in a makeup game. We begin in Baltimore:

Orioles 10, Spiders 5

The regular season NL champs made their last tuneup for the Temple Cup a smashing success, pounding out sixteen hits. Catcher Wilbert Robinson had a perfect four-for-four day at the plate, scoring two runs and driving in two more, and shortstop Hughie Jennings also had four hits. Right fielder Steve Brodie and center fielder Wee Willie Keeler also drove in a pair of runs each. Down 5-3 after five, the O's put up three-spots in the sixth and seventh to take control of the game. In the sixth, Robinson's triple off the top of the left field wall scored Jennings. Uncle Robbie then scored the tying run on a pinch-hit single from Joe Quinn, who in turn scored on a double by first baseman Jack Doyle. In the eighth, Keeler stroked a run-scoring single and Brodie drove home two with a double to right center.

On the mound, the Os held the Spiders to one hit over the final four innings, courtesy of relievers Joe Corbett and Duke Esper. Corbett got the win, Esper what would later be called a save. Starter George Hemming pitched well except for one bad inning: the third, when he gave up all five Cleveland runs on five hits. In his other four innings, he held the Spiders to just two hits.

In that third inning, the key blow was a two-run double by third baseman Chippy McGarr. Center fielder Jesse Burkett and shortstop Ed McKean contributed run-scoring doubles, and catcher Chief Zimmer added an RBI single. Unfortunately for the Spiders, starter Nig Cuppy had an awful day, giving up ten runs on sixteen hits in a complete game and throwing a hundred and thirty-six pitches.

This game was prioritized by the National League to be played first by the Spiders so the Os would have time to rest for the Temple Cup series.

W- Corbett (4-0)
L- Cuppy (25-15)

Now to the doubleheader in Cincinnati. Here's Game 1:

Reds 5, Colts 4

The Reds have cut their deficit to half a game behind the Spiders after taking Game 1 before a sellout crowd at League Park. The winning tally came in the seventh, when second baseman Bid McPhee drew a one-out walk, stole second, and scored on center fielder Dusty Miller's ground-rule double to right. Reliever Chauncey Fisher retired the last six Colts hitters in order to get the victory.

The visitors were led offensively by second baseman Bill Dahlen. who drove in a pair of runs. First baseman and skipper Cap Anson went two for four while scoring one run and driving in another, and left fielder Jimmy Ryan had the other Chicago RBI, while third baseman Bill Everitt scored a pair of runs. Future Senators owner Clark Griffith was the loser for the Colts, allowing five runs on ten hits in six and a third innings.

The Reds scored their other four runs in the bottom of the third to erase a 3-0 deficit. Starting pitcher Frank Foreman led off with a single to center, then Griffith threw left fielder Dummy Hoy's comebacker into center field to put two men on. McPhee scored them both with a base hit to right, then stole second. After one out, right fielder Eddie Burke's lined double into the right field corner scored McPhee and tied the game at three. Burke then swiped third and scored on a base hit to center by shortstop Germany Smith.

Foreman gave up four runs in eight hits in six and two-thirds innings before giving way to Fisher for the last out of the seventh.

W- Fisher (11-7)
L- Griffith (23-12)

Now for Game 2:

Reds 7, Colts 6

We have a tie for second, as the Reds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth with darkness looming to earn the sweep. With one out against Colts reliever Adonis Terry, Hoy was hit in the knee by a pitch. McPhee's single to left center put Reds at the corners, and Colts skipper Cap Anson told Terry to work as slowly as he possibly could to Miller, since darkness would mean a 5-4 victory for the Colts in eight completed innings. Terry struck out Miller for the second out, but Burke foiled the old man's strategy by serving a blooper into left center field. By the time the outfielders could find the ball in the gathering darkness, Hoy and McPhee had scored and the game was tied at six. Next up was Smith, who hit a high fly to left. Colts left fielder George Decker camped under what he thought was a fly ball, but the ball had dropped on the chalk line instead and rolled into the corner. Burke scored with ease to end the game.

Burke was the offensive leader for the home squad, going three for four, driving in three runs, and scoring a pair. Smith had two hits and two RBIs, Miller two hits and an RBI, and McPhee collected three hits and scored a run. Third baseman Charlie Irwin had the other Cincinnati RBI. Fisher got his second win of the day despite failing to hold on to a 4-3 eighth-inning lead and giving up a total of three runs on five hits in three innings. Starter Frank Dwyer had given up three runs on six hits and four walks in the previous six.

Center fielder Bill Lange had three hits to lead the Colts on offense, while second baseman Fred Pfeffer drove in a pair of runs. It was Pfeffer's fielder's choice that gave the Colts a 5-4 lead in the eighth, and Anson's RBI single in the ninth gave them insurance that turned out not to be. Anson was the other Colt with more than one hit for the game.

W- Fisher (12-7)
L- Terry (15-15)

Both the Spiders and Reds stand at 79-50 with three games to play. They'll meet head-to-head in Cleveland on September 30, and we'll tell you what happened next time.

Note: As a result of being swept by the Reds, the Colts fall into seventh place, half a game behind the Giants.

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Now it's September 30, and we're at League Park in Cleveland for the final head-to-head meeting of the year between the Reds and the Spiders. The winner moves into second place in the National League by themselves and controls their own destiny regarding a spot in the Temple Cup series against the Orioles.

Reds 7, Spiders 1

The visitors rocked Spiders starting pitcher Cy Young for all seven of their runs and fourteen of their hits on the way to a blowout win. Germany Smith led the offensive parade with three hits, and Bid McPhee and Eddie Burke each contributed two hits and an RBI. Burke also scored a pair of runs, and Reds starting pitcher Billy Rhines went three for four at the plate and knocked in a run as well. But it was on the mound that he was at his best, holding the home squad to one run on six hits in a complete game performance and finishing the task in just ninety-two pitches to boot. Spiders first baseman and manager Patsy Tebeau broke up his shutout bid with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Meanwhile, Young never got untracked, as the Reds tallied three in the third and never trailed. Smith and Burke walloped back-to-back triples to score two of the runs, and the third came home when Chief Zimmer allowed a passed ball. Rhines put the finishing touches on his own performance with his run-scoring single in the top of the ninth. The Reds would have scored even more if Zimmer hadn't thrown out five baserunners trying to steal, including McPhee on three separate occasions.

No Cleveland batter got more than one hit on the day. Second baseman Cupid Childs scored their lone run on Tebeau's sac fly; he'd tripled to lead off the bottom of the eighth.

W- Rhines (9-6)
L- Young (28-16)

The standings to the moment:

Reds: 80-50 (Magic Number: 2)
Spiders: 79-51- 1 GB

Next: We look at the events of October 2, as the Reds head home to face the Boston Beaneaters while the Spiders entertain the Colts. If the Reds win and the Spiders lose, the Reds go to the Temple Cup.

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