By Zane Miller
On Saturday, May 30th, 1942, the Boston (now Atlanta) Braves played host to the Philadelphia Phillies at Braves Field in Boston, Massachusetts, as the Braves sought to end a three-game losing streak coming into the first game of their doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite falling into a recent rough stretch of games, Boston was still in good shape standings-wise with a 23-20 record coming into the afternoon contest. On the other end of things was Philadelphia, as they could only muster a 14-28 record, good for last place in the National League.
The two teams had already faced off the day before in the first game of the series, with the Phillies winning it 2-1.
Starting pitcher Lou Tost would take the mound for the Braves, entering the game with a 4-2 showing to this point in his rookie season. Meanwhile, Philadelphia would send pitcher Johnny Podgajny, who was in his third season with the club, looking to build on a 2-3 record.
While both pitchers were able to breeze through the first inning without issue, Braves left fielder Chet Ross would capitalize on a fielding error to drive in the game’s first run in the second inning.
Outside of this, pitching would continue to dominate for the first third of the game, as Tost had allowed only one hit, while Podgajny had given up just two hits and an unearned run due to the error. However, the tide would shift dramatically in the fourth inning.
While Tost would get through the top of the fourth with no problem whatsoever, Podgajny would not be so fortunate as catcher Clyde Kluttz took advantage of a triple by third baseman Nanny Fernandez, driving him in on an RBI groundout to make it 2-0. After walking the following batter, Podgajny faced first baseman Max West. West wasted no time making his prescence known, smacking a two-run home run to give the Braves a 4-0 advantage. While Podgajny finished out the inning, this would be the end of his day as he was replaced in the fifth by reliever Boom-Boom Beck. Unfortunately for Beck, it would be the Braves offense that would explode.
With Boston still holding on to a 4-0 lead, they were quickly able to get a pair of runners on base with just one out. Fernandez seized the momentum from his earlier triple to swat an RBI single, followed up by a two-run RBI double from Ross. Not to be outdone, West came back up to the plate and smacked his second home run of the game. Once the inning finally came to a close, the Braves had emerged with a 9-0 lead through five innings.
The Phillies responded in the sixth with first baseman Nick Etten claiming an RBI double to extinguish the shutout bid, although the Braves would score another run off Beck in the bottom half courtesy of Fernandez earning his second RBI single of the afternoon.
After Tost kept his furious pace going in the seventh with another clean inning, Earl Naylor entered the game for Philadelphia and would also pitch a scoreless inning after beginning the contest as the starting right fielder. In fact, both pitchers would remain in the game to the end, with Naylor allowing no hits and Tost giving up three in the game’s final three innings, although neither team would get on the board for the rest of the matchup. As Naylor hit into a double play to finish the ninth inning and the game, the Braves scored an impressive 10-1 victory to snap their losing streak, before going on to win the second game of the doubleheader 4-3. Both teams would go on to finish at the bottom of the National League standings, with the Braves taking the second-to-last spot with a 59-89 record, as the Phillies went 42-109 to finish with the worst record in the MLB.
Link to stats database: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BSN/BSN194205301.shtml