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Historical Fiction #4: April-May 1871

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Posted 12-14-2012 at 10:17 AM by jb28

May 1, 1871

On April 1, 1871 at Cleveland's National Association Grounds the first game of the first major league baseball season was played between American League teams Baltimore Canaries and Cleveland Forest Citys. Baltimore won the game 5-2. The player of the game was Baltimore pitcher Dick McBride who pitched a complete game and allowed just 6 hits and 1 earned run.

Baltimore have continued that good form to finish the month with a 3-2 record. That places them second in the American League one game behind the Philadelphia Athetics at 4-1. St. Louis Brown Stockings are third at 2-3 and Cleveland Forest Citys fourth at 1-4.

In the National League the Chicago White Stockings have raced to 5-0 and have a three game lead over cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Stockings both at 2-3. My Brooklyn Atlantics are fourth with 1 win and four losses.

In April all our games have been on the road and we've been struggling. I expected our offensive output to drop following spring training and it has. We're underperforming on offense and defense and are having a tough time winning games as a result, despite great performances by starter John McMullin. McMullin's given up just 2 earned runs in 40.1 overs, good for a league leading 0.45 ERA. McMullin pitched an 8 hit shutout in our only victory, 4-0 over Cincinnati.

In May we have a home series against National League leaders Chicago and a chance to close in on top spot.

April Awards

AL Batter of the Month: Jimmy Wood, 2B, Philadelphia Athletics
9-24, .375/.370/.833, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 8 runs

AL Pitcher of the Month: Cherokee Fisher, Philadelpha Athletics
5 GS, 4-1 win-loss, 1 K, 3 BB, 2.72 ERA

NL Batter of the Month: Ezra Sutton, 3B, Chicago White Stockings
18-28, .643/.655/1.036, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 13 runs

NL Pitcher of the Month: Rynie Wolters, chicago White Stockings
5 GS, 3-0 win-loss, 9 K, 1 BB, 2.54 ERA

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June 1, 1871

May began with a narrow 1 run loss at Boston. We then hosted Chicago for three games, won two and lost one, to be 2-2 for the month. Our offense and defense have shown some improvement but there's still much more to be made.

The Chicago White Stockings continue to lead the NL and are at 7-3. Cincinnati's second at 5-4 and Boston third at 4-6. We're fourth at 3-6.

In the American League Baltimore have won 4 straight to advance to first place at 7-2 with Philadelphia second at 5-5.

For Brooklyn our best positional player has been second baseman John Hatfield. Hatfield stole four bases on his way to scoring on every one of his six base hits for the month.

May Awards

AL Batter of the Month: Lip Pike, 3B, Baltimore Canaries
11-18, .611/.632/1.000, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 8 runs

AL Pitcher of the Month: Dick McBride, Baltimore Canaries
4 Gs, 3-0 win-loss, 0 K, 2 BB, 2.29 ERA

NL Batter of the Month: Fergy Malone, C, Boston Red Stockings
10-15, .667/.688/1.000, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 runs

NL Pitcher of the Month: Rynie Wolters, Chicago White Stockings
5 GS, 2-2 win-loss, 4 K, 7 BB, 1.55 ERA
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