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Pitching was once again the strength of the Red Sox in 1915, a year which saw the Athletics plunge from first to worst, dropping to eighth place in the standings. There were no 20-game winners on the Red Sox, but both Ernie Shore and Rube Foster won 19, and Babe Ruth won 18, while Dutch Leonard and Joe Wood each won 15 (one of his wins was his fifth one-hitter). No Sox starter lost more than eight games – Shore (with a 1.64 ERA) and Foster (2.11) each lost eight, and so did Ruth (2.44). Wood had a 1.49 ERA and Leonard 2.36. Listing all American League pitchers by wins percentage, the Red Sox placed #1, #2, #3, #4, and #6.

Again, four home runs were all it took to lead the team in four-base hits – but the man who hit the four was the new pitcher, Ruth. And he did so in just 92 at-bats. No one else on the team hit more than two. Duffy Lewis’s 76 RBIs were enough to place him first. Speaker led in batting average for the sixth season in succession, .322. First baseman Dick Hoblitzell’s .283 ranked second.

The Tigers took the race into the season’s final days, but the Red Sox had taken first place on July 7 and never gave it up. The way the Sox had taken first was by shutting out the Senators twice in a July 5 doubleheader (Foster and Ruth pitching), then winning four more games in twinbills on July 6 and July 7, sending the Senators off with six straight losses in three days. From August 3 through September 4, the Red Sox only lost five games while winning 25. With the Braves now enjoying their brand-new park, Braves Field, there was no need to loan them the use of Fenway, but the Red Sox played a doubleheader at Braves Field – on September 22 – taking advantage of the new park’s larger capacity. They swept the Indians in four games on the 22nd and the 23rd. July was the only month in which the Red Sox lost as many as 10 games, and they won 22.

Their winning record was hard to top, and though the Detroit Tigers gave them a run, they rolled on to win the pennant by 2 ½ games, with 101 wins against 50 defeats. Detroit won an even 100 games, but had only played two ties while the Red Sox had played in four tie games. Bill Carrigan’s team went on to win the World Series.

By Bill Nowlin
 

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Tagged:
Babe Ruth, Bill Carrigan, Braves Field, Duffy Lewis, Dutch Leonard, Ernie Shore, Joe Wood, Rube Foster, Tris Speaker, World Series

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