Giants manager John McGraw, still smarting from consecutive World Seriess defeats, desperately wanted to beat Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. Unfortunately for McGraw, as the World Series opened two of his regulars -- center fielder Fred Snodgrass and first baseman Fred Merkle -- were nursing injuries. Snodgrass would play, but sparingly, and Merkle's mobility was limited.
Already leading 3-1 in the fifth inning of Game 1, the Athletics scored another pair of runs when Home Run Baker blasted a two-run homer into the right-field bleachers. Given that big lead, A's starter Chief Bender allowed three runs in the bottom of the inning, but he clamped down and finished off a 6-4 Philadelphia victory.
With the World Series switching cities each game, Christy Mathewson and Eddie Plank both spun shutouts through nine innings of Game 2, but the Giants scored three times in the 10th on Matty's RBI single and Art Fletcher's two-run hit. Mathewson retired the A's in order in the bottom of the inning, and the Series was evened. Game 3 saw little drama, as the Athletics scored five runs in the first two innings on their way to an easy 8-2 win. Bullet Joe Bush went the distance to earn the victory, allowing only five hits. Philly made it two straight with a 6-5 win in Game 4. Chief Bender enjoyed a 6-0 lead after six frames, then held on as the Giants nearly mounted a comeback.
In Game 5, even the great Mathewson wasn't enough to keep the Giants alive, as Eddie Plank tossed a two-hitter. Home Run Baker, who led all World Series hitters with seven RBIs, knocked in two runs to lead the Athletics to the clinching victory, 3-1. For John McGraw, losing three straight World Series to the hated American Leaguers was a bitter pill.