DETROIT June 5, 1941 -- The Yankees waited through an appropriately rainy day of grieving to get back on the diamond. Once New York finally did start playing again, it didn't look like the Bronx Bombers were out of their recent woes.Thursday afternoon brought another painful loss for New York,
DETROIT June 5, 1941 -- The Yankees waited through an appropriately rainy day of grieving to get back on the diamond. Once New York finally did start playing again, it didn't look like the Bronx Bombers were out of their recent woes.
Thursday afternoon brought another painful loss for New York, which is still reeling from the death of franchise icon Lou Gehrig three nights prior.
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Wednesday's game was canceled because of the inclement Michigan weather, and on Thursday, the Yankees fought valiantly against the Detroit Tigers at Briggs Stadium for nine innings, only to see the Tigers come away 5 to 4 winners in the bottom of the 10th.
With the game tied, 4 to 4, at the end of nine and through a scoreless New York top of the 10th, Yankees reliever Marv Breuer allowed a double to Pat Mullin. Breuer was replaced by Johnny Murphy, who walked Charlie Gehringer intentionally and walked Rip Radcliff to load the bases. After Rudy York flied out to center, Bruce Campbell hit a high chopper in the direction of Yankees third baseman Red Rolfe. Rolfe waited for the ball, but it didn't come down quickly enough, and Mullin had scored the winning run.
Fortunately for New York, the game didn't have too much of an effect on the American League standings. Chicago and Cleveland also lost, so New York, at 25 wins and 22 defeats, remained in fourth place, only 3 1/2 games behind the Indians.
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Despite the tough loss, there were some good efforts by the grief-stricken players, too.
It took him until the sixth inning, but center fielder Joe DiMaggio increased his hitting streak to 21 games with a triple off Tigers starter Hal Newhouser that drove in Tommy Henrich for the Yankees' first run. DiMaggio then crossed the plate on a Buddy Rosar single.
Detroit put together a three-run bottom of the sixth to take a one-run lead, and then increased its advantage to 4-2 on a run-scoring single by Pinky Higgins in the bottom of the eighth. However, the Yankees fought their way to a tie by scratching out two more in the top of the ninth, when Rolfe worked a one-out walk and Henrich homered.
New York couldn't keep the momentum going in the top of the 10th and ultimately let the game get away, but some solace could be taken in the fact that they would get Friday off before embarking on a three-game weekend series against the lowly St. Louis Browns.
On May 15, 1941, Joe DiMaggio began his legendary 56-game hitting streak. In celebration of the 75th anniversary of that seemingly unbreakable record, we'll be doing a day-by-day account of the momentous feat.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.