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Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers, Tiger Stadium, Detroit, MI
July 4, 1945


Introduction

America was at war. But not for much longer. Germany had already surrendered nearly two months earlier (on President Truman's birthday). Japan wouldn't surrender for another month but for the first time in a long time, Americans celebrating Independence Day could see peace coming.

The 1945 baseball season was a weird one, perhaps the weirdest ever (although if the 2020 season ever happens, it might give it some competition there). Many of the names were unfamiliar and most of the game's stars were still serving in the Armed Forces. But even here, there was cause for optimism. Batting cleanup for the Detroit Tigers was Hank Greenberg. Greenberg had led the Tigers to a pennant and won the American League MVP in his last full season. But that was five years ago. One of the very first MLB stars drafted - even before Pearl Harbor - Greenberg was playing only his third game since leaving the Army.

A crowd of 45,376 poured into Briggs Stadium to watch the hometown Tigers, who entered the day in first place, and newly returned hero Greenberg battle the third-place Boston Red Sox, whose 35-30 record had them four games behind the Tigers.

The pitching matchup for Game 1 was a dandy. The Tigers started Dizzy Trout. Trout was coming off of back-to-back 20-win seasons, the latter of them a truly astounding season. In 1944, Trout won 27 games while leading the American League in games started (40), complete games (33), shutouts (7), innings pitched (352.1), and ERA (2.12). Trout received the most first-place MVP votes (10) but lost to teammate Hal Newhouser (who went 29-9 with a 2.22 ERA and a league-leading 187 strikeouts) in one of the closest MVP votes ever (236 to 232). Trout had gotten off to a somewhat slower start in 1945, entering play on July 4th with a record of only 8-8, but with a fine 2.61 ERA.

Trout's mound opponent was 23-year-old rookie Dave "Boo" Ferriss. Ferriss was something of the darling of the baseball press in the first half of 1945. Ferris's major-league debut was a complete-game shutout on April 29th. His second major-league game (and home debut) was a complete-game shutout. He finally gave up a run in the fifth inning of his third major-league start after a record-setting 22-1/3 shutout innings to start his career. He followed that game up with a four-hit shutout. Ferriss entered play on July 4th with a record of 12-2 and a 2.20 ERA.

It looked like a great setup for a classic pitchers' duel.

First - Second Innings
In the early going, the anticipated pitchers' duel delivered. The teams traded one-out doubles in the first inning but neither batter could get any farther - and Ben Steiner couldn't even manage to stay in scoring position; he was caught stealing for the second out in the top of first.

The second inning was even better as only six batters batted in the full inning - a Bob Johnson single being wiped out by a Leon Culberson GDP.

Third Inning
Red Sox third baseman Johnny Tobin opened the top of the third inning with a single. The next batter, Bob Garbark, sacrificed Tobin to second. While bunting was fairly common in 1945 and this game was shaping up as a pitchers' duel, this was still a somewhat unusual call as it brought the pitcher up to bat. But Boo Ferriss was a very good hitter for a pitcher, so good, in fact, that he was used as a pinch hitter 26 times in 1945 (he batted .250/.423/.350 as a pinch hitter in 1945 and .267/.367/.367 overall).

Trout tried to pick Tobin off of second base but threw the ball into center field allowing Tobin to reach third base, the first baserunner in the game to get that far. Ferriss walked to put runners on first and third with only one out and the top of the Red Sox batting order coming up.

Leadoff hitter Eddie Lake produced a single, scoring the game's first run. Ben Steiner followed with another single, scoring Ferriss from second base and putting Lake on third.

The next batter, George "Catfish" Metkovich, hit a grounder to shortstop Joe Hoover who threw home. Hoover's throw beat Lake to the plate, but Tigers catcher Bob Swift dropped the ball allowing Lake to score the third run of the inning. Trout finally settled down after that, however, getting Bob Johnson on a fly ball to left field and striking out Dolph Camilli to end the inning. But the Red Sox had picked up three huge runs.

Swift grounded out to start the bottom of the third inning, the seventh batter retired by Ferriss out of the eight batters he had faced. Trout singled. Hoover flied out for the second out of the inning and it looked like another shutout inning from Ferriss. But Eddie Mayo put a Boo Ferriss pitch over the rightfield wall and the Red Sox lead was cut to 3-2. Ferriss didn't let it rattle him, however, as he got Roy Cullenbine to ground out to end the inning.

Fourth - Eighth Innings
After that wild third inning, both pitchers settled down and pitched 1-2-3 fourth innings. And 1-2-3 fifth innings. And 1-2-3 sixth innings - although Ferriss did allow one baserunner (an Eddie Mayo single) followed by a Roy Cullenbine GDP that Ferriss started himself.

The top of the seventh inning saw the first Red Sox baserunner since their big third inning as Johnny Tobin singled with one out. But Tobin was caught stealing and Trout completed his fourth consecutive three-batter inning.

Finally, in the bottom of the eighth inning a team sent a fourth batter to bat. Joe Hoover singled with two outs and successfully stole second base. But Eddie Mayo grounded out to end the inning.

And so, the game moved to the ninth inning with the Red Sox clinging to their narrow 3-2 lead.

Ninth Inning
Bob Johnson led off the top of the ninth inning with a walk. This was the first time the leadoff batter reached base in an inning since the top of the third. Camilli forced Johnson. But Leon Culberson singled and the Red Sox had two baserunners for only the second time in the game. Johnny Tobin followed with a single to left field, his third hit of the game, scoring Camilli with an important insurance run. The chance for more, however, was snuffed out as Trout bore down and got Bob Garbark to ground into an inning-ending 4-3 double play.

But Boo Ferriss's job had gotten a little bit easier as he went to work in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 4-2 lead.

Roy Cullenbine flew out for the first out of the inning. But Hank Greenberg hit his second home run since rejoining the Tigers cutting the Red Sox lead to 4-3. That insurance run in the top of the ninth was looming large. Doc Cramer grounded out for the second out bringing up Rudy York as the Tigers' last hope.

Unfortunately for Tigers fans, the best York could do was an infield pop-up and the game was over. Final score: Boston 4, Detroit 3.

Game Summary

The win in this game improved Boo Ferriss's record to 13-2. He won his next four starts after this, running his record to an incredible 17-2 with a 1.90 ERA. He faded a bit after that but still finished the season at 21-10, 2.96. He came back strong again the next year as he went 25-6 with a 3.25 ERA and the Red Sox won 104 games and the American League pennant.

Dizzy Trout finished the 1945 season with a record of 18-15 and a 3.14 ERA. Hank Greenberg added 11 more home runs in 75 more games. And the Tigers held off the Washington Senators by 1-1/2 games to win the AL pennant, then beating the Chicago Cubs in the World Series.

Details of the game are shown below. First, I show Player won-lost records for all of the players who participated in the game. Baseball Player won-lost records are constructed so that the players on the winning team earn two pWins and one pLoss in the game while the players on the losing team earn one pWin and two pLosses. I also show expected wins and losses, eWins and eLosses, which are context-neutral. Full play by play details of the game are shown below the won-lost tables. My Player won-lost records are described in more detail in this article and throughout my website.

Retrosheet Box Score and Play-by-Play


Runs by Inning

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Final
Boston Red Sox0030000014
Detroit Tigers0020000013


Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Summary

Basic Player Won-Lost Records
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Boston Red Sox
Dave Ferriss0.890.41
0.48
0.460.51-0.04
Eddie Lake0.270.05
0.22
0.160.070.09
Johnny Tobin0.250.08
0.18
0.200.100.10
Ben Steiner0.250.10
0.14
0.180.150.03
Indian Bob Johnson0.120.06
0.05
0.100.080.02
Catfish Metkovich0.090.07
0.02
0.090.09-0.00
Leon Culberson0.080.09
-0.01
0.070.13-0.06
Dolph Camilli0.050.07
-0.03
0.040.11-0.07
Bob Garbark0.010.06
-0.05
0.010.13-0.12
Team Totals21
1
1.301.36-0.06
   
   
Detroit Tigers
Eddie Mayo0.310.20
0.12
0.340.100.24
Joe Hoover0.100.17
-0.08
0.130.110.01
Doc Cramer0.090.17
-0.08
0.080.10-0.01
Hank Greenberg0.090.19
-0.10
0.190.120.07
Dizzy Trout0.350.50
-0.15
0.520.390.13
Rudy York0.010.17
-0.16
0.010.09-0.08
Bob Maier0.020.18
-0.16
0.030.09-0.07
Bob Swift0.030.21
-0.17
0.040.15-0.11
Roy Cullenbine0.010.22
-0.21
0.010.14-0.13
Team Totals12
-1
1.361.300.06


Player Won-Lost Records by Player: Detail

Player Won-Lost Records: Batting
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Boston Red Sox
Ben Steiner0.190.04
0.15
0.150.060.09
Johnny Tobin0.170.02
0.14
0.140.040.10
Eddie Lake0.150.04
0.11
0.080.050.03
Indian Bob Johnson0.080.04
0.04
0.070.050.02
Dave Ferriss0.040.03
0.01
0.030.04-0.01
Catfish Metkovich0.060.06
0.01
0.070.07-0.00
Leon Culberson0.040.08
-0.03
0.050.10-0.06
Bob Garbark0.000.05
-0.04
0.000.11-0.11
Dolph Camilli0.010.06
-0.05
0.020.10-0.08
Team Totals0.750.41
0.34
0.610.63-0.02
   
   
Detroit Tigers
Eddie Mayo0.270.12
0.16
0.260.030.23
Dizzy Trout0.020.07
-0.05
0.040.05-0.01
Doc Cramer0.070.13
-0.06
0.070.070.00
Hank Greenberg0.060.12
-0.06
0.160.060.09
Joe Hoover0.030.11
-0.08
0.040.07-0.03
Bob Swift0.000.13
-0.13
0.000.07-0.07
Bob Maier0.000.14
-0.14
0.000.07-0.07
Rudy York0.000.15
-0.15
0.000.08-0.08
Roy Cullenbine0.000.19
-0.19
0.000.11-0.11
Team Totals0.461.16
-0.70
0.560.60-0.04


Player Won-Lost Records: Baserunning
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Boston Red Sox
Eddie Lake0.020.00
0.02
0.020.000.02
Dave Ferriss0.010.00
0.01
0.010.000.01
Johnny Tobin0.040.04
0.00
0.030.04-0.01
Dolph Camilli0.010.00
0.00
0.010.000.00
Indian Bob Johnson0.010.00
0.00
0.010.000.00
Catfish Metkovich0.000.00
0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Leon Culberson0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.00-0.00
Ben Steiner0.000.06
-0.05
0.000.07-0.07
Team Totals0.090.11
-0.02
0.080.13-0.05
   
   
Detroit Tigers
Joe Hoover0.020.00
0.02
0.030.000.03
Dizzy Trout0.000.00
0.00
0.000.000.00
Doc Cramer0.000.00
-0.00
0.000.000.00
Eddie Mayo0.000.01
-0.00
0.000.01-0.00
Team Totals0.030.01
0.02
0.120.14-0.03


Player Won-Lost Records: Pitching
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Boston Red Sox
Dave Ferriss0.840.37
0.46
0.420.46-0.04
Team Totals0.840.37
0.46
0.540.60-0.06
   
   
Detroit Tigers
Dizzy Trout0.330.43
-0.10
0.480.340.14
Team Totals0.330.43
-0.10
0.480.340.14


Player Won-Lost Records: Fielding
(sorted by net pWins)
pWins pLosses Net pWins eWins eLosses Net eWins
 
Boston Red Sox
Eddie Lake0.100.01
0.09
0.060.020.04
Ben Steiner0.050.01
0.04
0.030.010.02
Johnny Tobin0.050.02
0.03
0.020.020.01
Dolph Camilli0.030.01
0.02
0.010.010.01
Leon Culberson0.040.01
0.02
0.020.020.00
Catfish Metkovich0.030.02
0.01
0.020.02-0.00
Indian Bob Johnson0.030.02
0.01
0.020.03-0.01
Bob Garbark0.010.01
-0.01
0.000.02-0.01
Team Totals0.330.11
0.22
0.190.140.05
   
   
Detroit Tigers
Rudy York0.010.01
-0.00
0.010.010.00
Bob Maier0.020.04
-0.02
0.030.03-0.00
Joe Hoover0.040.06
-0.02
0.060.040.01
Roy Cullenbine0.010.03
-0.02
0.010.03-0.01
Doc Cramer0.010.04
-0.02
0.020.03-0.01
Eddie Mayo0.040.07
-0.04
0.070.070.01
Hank Greenberg0.030.07
-0.04
0.040.06-0.02
Bob Swift0.030.08
-0.05
0.040.08-0.04
Team Totals0.190.41
-0.22
0.280.35-0.07




Play-by-Play Summary

Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 1st Inning
99/Glakee101troud101010.00000.01570.00000.0220
Dsteib101troud101110.05040.00000.06620.0000
CS3(25)metkg101troud101steib101120.00000.05390.00000.0655
99/Fmetkg101troud101230.00000.00630.00000.0213
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 1st Inning
99/Fhoovj101ferrd101010.00000.02420.00000.0213
Dmayoe101ferrd101110.03160.00000.06620.0000
99/Fcullr101ferrd101mayoe101120.00060.04200.00090.0250
Kgreeh102ferrd101mayoe101230.00010.02790.00010.0197
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 2nd Inning
Sjohnb102troud101000.04570.00320.03850.0045
Kcamid102troud101johnb102010.00180.02010.00130.0196
64(1)3/GDPculbl101troud101johnb102130.00150.04010.00120.0581
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 2nd Inning
99/Gcramd102ferrd101010.00000.02680.00000.0220
99/Pyorkr101ferrd101120.00000.02060.00000.0213
99/Gmaieb101ferrd101230.00000.01120.00000.0220
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 3rd Inning
Stobij102troud101000.04900.00350.03850.0045
99/SH.1-2garbb102troud101tobij102010.00710.01380.00470.0172
PO2(E1).2-3ferrd101troud101tobij102110.03540.00000.02760.0002
Wferrd101troud101tobij102110.04110.00050.03500.0004
S.3-H;1-2lakee101troud101ferrd101tobij102110.11260.01180.04720.0101
S.2-H;1-3steib101troud101lakee101ferrd101110.14010.00540.08040.0039
FC6.3XH(6E2)(NR)(UR);1-2;B-1metkg101troud101steib101lakee101110.06380.01040.07030.0085
7johnb102troud101metkg101steib101120.00190.02300.00110.0271
Kcamid102troud101metkg101steib101230.00010.01370.00010.0199
Total Runs Scored:3
 
Bottom of 3rd Inning
99/Gswifb102ferrd101010.00000.02560.00000.0220
Stroud101ferrd101110.02090.00290.03850.0045
99/Fhoovj101ferrd101troud101120.00130.03650.00170.0228
HR/9.1-Hmayoe101ferrd101troud101220.20360.00010.15610.0002
99/Gcullr101ferrd101230.00000.01300.00000.0220
Total Runs Scored:2
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 4th Inning
99/Fculbl101troud101010.00000.01520.00000.0213
99/Ptobij102troud101120.00000.01230.00000.0213
99/Pgarbb102troud101230.00000.00660.00000.0213
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 4th Inning
99/Ggreeh102ferrd101010.00000.03500.00000.0220
99/Gcramd102ferrd101120.00000.02660.00000.0220
99/Fyorkr101ferrd101230.00000.01410.00000.0213
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 5th Inning
99/Fferrd101troud101010.00000.01580.00000.0213
99/Glakee101troud101120.00000.01260.00000.0220
99/Gsteib101troud101230.00000.00710.00000.0220
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 5th Inning
99/Fmaieb101ferrd101010.00000.03800.00000.0213
99/Pswifb102ferrd101120.00000.03040.00000.0213
Ktroud101ferrd101230.00000.01450.00000.0194
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 6th Inning
99/Gmetkg101troud101010.00000.01670.00000.0220
Kjohnb102troud101120.00000.01130.00000.0194
99/Gcamid102troud101230.00000.00730.00000.0220
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 6th Inning
99/Fhoovj101ferrd101010.00000.04440.00000.0213
Smayoe101ferrd101110.03800.00680.03850.0045
16(1)3/GDPcullr101ferrd101mayoe101130.00160.09710.00220.0525
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 7th Inning
99/Gculbl101troud101010.00000.01650.00000.0220
Stobij102troud101110.03480.00280.03850.0045
CS2(99)garbb102troud101tobij102120.00000.03410.00000.0401
99/Ggarbb102troud101230.00000.00730.00000.0220
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 7th Inning
99greeh102ferrd101010.00000.05610.00000.0222
Dcramd102ferrd101110.07170.00000.06620.0000
Kyorkr101ferrd101cramd102120.00050.07650.00060.0197
99maieb101ferrd101cramd102230.00020.08780.00080.0225
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 8th Inning
99/Gferrd101troud101010.00000.01490.00000.0220
Wlakee101troud101110.03700.00000.03460.0000
99/G.1-2steib101troud101lakee101120.02910.02680.03180.0374
99/Gmetkg101troud101lakee101230.00010.02400.00060.0222
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Bottom of 8th Inning
99/Gswifb102ferrd101010.00000.07150.00000.0220
99/Ptroud101ferrd101120.00000.05610.00000.0213
Shoovj101ferrd101220.03230.00530.03850.0045
SB2mayoe101ferrd101hoovj101220.02450.00000.02880.0002
99/Gmayoe101ferrd101hoovj101230.00020.10890.00080.0222
Total Runs Scored:0
 
Baserunner on _ BaseOuts at _ of PlayTotal pWins byTotal eWins by
Play ResultBatterPitcher1st2nd3rdStartEndOffenseDefenseOffenseDefense
Top of 9th Inning
Wjohnb102troud101000.03290.00000.03460.0000
99(1)/FOcamid102troud101johnb102010.01740.02500.02140.0392
S.1-2culbl101troud101camid102110.04490.00920.04650.0097
S7.2-H;1-2tobij102troud101culbl101camid102110.08910.00850.07240.0110
4(1)3/GDPgarbb102troud101tobij102culbl101130.00000.01930.00070.0548
Total Runs Scored:1
 
Bottom of 9th Inning
99/Fcullr101ferrd101010.00000.04500.00000.0213
HR/7greeh102ferrd101110.05820.00000.15590.0000
99/Gcramd102ferrd101120.00000.07630.00000.0220
99/Pyorkr101ferrd101230.00000.04290.00000.0213
Total Runs Scored:1
 

Traditional Box Score and Play-by-Play

Article last updated: March 22, 2020



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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