“DIARY OF A WINNER”

GROVER CLEVELAND
ALEXANDER

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
Grover Cleveland Alexander holds down the Braves

April 22, 1914 ... An inability to connect with the speedy delivery of Grover Cleveland Alexander, when men were on base, tells in a few words why the Boston Braves lost the final game of the series to the Philadelphia Phillies, by a score of 3 to 1. While Boston made only five hits off Alexander, they were given enough chances to have scored more runs than the Phillies made from their six hits against Dick Rudolph.

Alexander pitched a clever game and had terrific speed, but for all that Boston could do, they might have won had there been a clutch hit in either the third, sixth or eighth innings. The Braves runners were lingering on the base paths just waiting for someone to knock them in. But just when a hit would have meant disaster for him, Alexander invariably settled down and got rid of the hitter by either striking him out or retiring him on an infield grounder.

Tommy Griffith had the best chance of any Braves' batter to clean up. In the third inning he faced Alexander with the bases full, one run in and only one out. But his best effort was a sharp grounder back to Alexander himself, who headed off Rudolph at the plate from trying to score. Then the double killing was then completed by an accurate peg down to Fred Luderus at first.

In the eighth, with two on and two down, Griffith again got his chance but he was called out on strikes. Johnny Evers got as far as second base in the sixth on his single and Joe Connolly's sacrifice, but neither Griffith nor Butch Schmidt could bring him in.

A tremendous drive over the right field wall by Hank Gowdy accounted for the Braves only run, giving them a 1-0 lead, and that came in the third inning when Boston made three of their five hits, but unfortunately Hank's drive started the inning with nobody on base. After Gowdy, Rudolph singled to center and Maranville beat out a slow roller. Evers was then hit by a pitch to fill the bases. With the situation was the most promising for the Braves, they failed to gain an inch when Connolly lifted a short fly to Murphy and then Griffith it into the disaster's double-play.

The defeat was costly for manager Stallings, for he lost two men in addition to the game. In the fourth inning Dode Paskert lifted a long fly to deep center that both Connolly and Gilbert chased. As Connolly got his hands on the ball, the two men collided. Both were sent sprawling to the ground with the ball coming out of Connolly's glove. In the process, Connolly's spikes caused a deep wound in Griffith's right leg, who had to retire from the game in favor of Les Mann.

In the same inning Jack Martin and Hank Gowdy chased a slow roller along the third base line. Martin eventually got the ball and as he threw to first, Gowdy made a grab for it and tore his nails on the back of Martin's hand. Martin was in so much pain he had to quit the game in favor of Charlie Deal.

Rudolph did not pitch a poor game by any means. The best that the Phillies could get off him was six hits, but three of these, with Rudolph's base on balls, enabled the Phillies to score enough runs to win the game.

 

at Baker Bowl (Philadelphia) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

1

5

1

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

0

0

0

0

1

2

0

0

x

 

3

6

1

W-Grover Cleveland Alexander (1-0)
L-Dick Rudolph (0-2)
Attendance – 4000


2B-Paskert (Phil), Lobert (Phil)
HR-Gowdy (Bost), Cravath (Phil)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 0 1 .158  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 2 0 1 .235  

 

Joe Connolly lf 2 0 0 .214  

 

Tommy Griffith rf 4 0 0 .048  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 4 0 1 .167  

 

Larry Gilbert cf 2 0 0 .200  

 

Les Mann cf 2 0 0 .125  

 

Jack Martin 3b 2 0 0 .077  

 

Charley Deal 3b 1 0 0 .250  

 

Otto Hess ph 1 0 0 .000  

 

Hank Gowdy c 4 1 1 .538  

 

Dick Rudolph p 3 0 1 .333  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Dick Rudolph 8 6 3 4 4  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 6 1 -

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 4 1 1

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 3 1 1 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 3 4 3

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 2 4 3 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 2 4 3 1/2

 

 

New York Giants 1 3 3 1/2

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

1 4 4