Benz had a good spitter and knuckleball. In 1914, though he led the AL with 19 losses,
he had one incredible stretch. On May 31, despite three White Sox errors, he no-hit
Cleveland 6-1. Then, on June 6, he two-hit the Highlanders in a nine-inning 1-1 tie
halted by rain. Six days later, he squared off against Walter Johnson, whom Benz
had boasted he could beat. He held the Senators hitless for eight innings while the
White Sox scored twice off the Big Train. In the ninth, Eddie Ainsmith hit a bounder
toward Buck Weaver at short, but third baseman Scotty Alcock stuck his glove out
and deflected the ball into left field, spoiling Benz's no-hitter. Nonetheless, he
notched one of two wins he would get in ten lifetime decisions against Johnson.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 8, 1912: The White Sox beat Washington 7–6, snapping Walter Johnson's five-game win streak. Johnson gives up two 2-run home runs, one to Harry Lord in the 1st and another to Ping Bodie in the 5th. A Johnson fastball breaks the arm of 3B Lee Tannehill, an injury that will hamper the infielder's throwing ability, and ends the career of the 10-year veteran. Sox starter Joe Benz leaves with an injury after pitching one 1/3 inning. Ed Walsh pitches the next five 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, and Frank Lange allows the same in his two innings.
»August 16, 1912: Walter Johnson and Joe Wood are in pursuit of Rube Marquard's 19-game win streak. Johnson picks on the White Sox for his 14th straight, a 2-hitter, tying Jack Chesbro's 1904 mark. The Washingtonians win, 2–0, beating "our meatball expert" (Chicago Record-Herald) Joe Benz with eight hits. A week later Joe Wood will win number 13 in a row.
»May 31, 1914: Joe Benz, who will be the AL's leading loser with 19, no-hits Cleveland 6–1 at Comiskey Park. Three straight errors in the 4th inning give the Naps their only run. The loser is Abe Bowman, who "is withdrawn in favor of [Fred] Blanding after three spasms (Chicago Tribune)." Buck Weaver and Ray Demmitt each have three hits to pace the 7th place White Sox.
»May 22, 1915: The White Sox top Boston again, knocking starter Babe Ruth out in the 2nd. Ruth allows three hits in the 1st, walks 3, tosses a wild pitch and throws a potential DP ball into CF. After he strikes out on three pitches from Joe Benz, the Babe gives up two singles in the 2nd and is lifted. Chicago wins, 11–3.