Nats' blown lead mirrors Senators' '25 loss

Associated Press Published: October 13, 2012
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Peckinpaugh seemed to make amends with a home run in the eighth, giving Washington a 7-6 lead. But he made another error in the bottom half of the inning, and the Pirates scored three runs off Johnson to take a 9-7 lead.

Pittsburgh reliever Red Oldham struck out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to seal the victory. Johnson, in his final World Series appearance, had surrendered nine runs in eight innings, but only five runs were earned.

The New York Times called it the "the wettest, weirdest and wildest game that fifty years of baseball has ever seen. . . . Water, mud, fog, mist, sawdust, fumbles, wild throws, wild pitches, one near fistfight, impossible rallies— these were mixed up to make the best and the worst game of baseball ever played in this century. Players wallowing ankle-deep in mud, pitchers slipping as they delivered the ball to the plate, athletes skidding and sloshing, falling full length, dropping soaked baseballs — there you have part of the picture that was unveiled on Forbes Field this dripping afternoon. It was a great day for water polo."

The Washington Post wrote that "Pittsburgh skies wept in sympathy for the lost hopes of Walter Johnson and Washington."

Back in the day when the leagues had presidents, American League President Ban Johnson second-guessed 28-year-old player manager Bucky Harris' decision to start Johnson for three games. In a telegram, he said Harris lost the World Series because of sentimental reasons.

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EDITOR'S NOTE — Frederic J. Frommer is the author of the book, "The Washington Nationals 1859 to Today: The Story of Baseball in the Nation's Capital," (2006, Taylor Trade). Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ffrommer



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