THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
Braves lose in the eighth inning
May 7, 1914 ... First seven innings today manager George Stallings and the Braves had the hope that they were finally going to win a game. But just when it appeared that victory within
their grasp, it slipped away, and once again the tribe found themselves on the losing end. The Braves were on the leading end of a 6 to 3 score going into the bottom of the eighth-inning. They did not look invincible from the very start of the game and there was not a moment when they did not appear as they might fail in their
This was largely due to the inconsistent pitching performance of Dick Crutcher. Young Mister Crutcher pitched like a champion one inning and then pitched like a bush leaguer the next inning. Johnny Evers seemed like he was constantly having a conference with the young pitcher on the mound,
trying to keep his man from getting rattled. He was in serious trouble almost every inning he pitched, and it seemed miraculous that he was able to escape disaster until the eighth. Sharp fielding by Evers, Rabbit Maranville and Leslie Mann prevented many runs from being scored, but in the
eighth a barrage of hits settled the contest in favor of the Giants.
The eighth-inning was sensational in many respects. Milt Stock opened with a slashing grounder that Maranville made a great stop of, but wasn't able to handle it in time to get the runner. Then Chief Meyers smashed a clean single to right, putting Stock on third base. Red Murray who had been
benched because he has been in a batting slump, was then called up, and slapped a double that scored Stock and put Meyers on third.
At this point the Braves gathered around Crutcher and tried to calm him down. Up next was Bob Bescher who hit one down to Butch Schmidt at first. Butch could have just touched the bag and thrown to the plate, but he decided to throw to the plate first and it was wild, cutting the score down
to 6 to 5.
Bad luck now played into the drama. George Burns slashed a vicious ground ball at Maranville, who picked the ball up cleanly, but stumbled just as he was about the throw. Burns was safe and Murray got in with the tying run. But that was not all of the misfortunes of the Braves. Art Fletcher
hit a low liner to center that Leslie Mann came running in for. Les prepared to take the ball on the short hop to hold the runners on their bases. But the ball had a mind of its own and bounced in the opposite direction. It rolled to the fence in center and Burns scored the go-ahead run,
with Fletcher stopping at third base. Another run that should not have been chalked up in favor of the Giants was scored. In the ninth-inning, the Giants brought in Christy Mathewson to save the game for starter Art Fromme.
Maranville and Evers played championship baseball from start to finish, as did Charlie Deal at third. Maranville's stop of Burns' smash in the second inning prevented a run. The ball smashed him in the chest, and Rabbit kept the ball in play to throw the runner out at first and save a run.
Evers' catch of a smash off the bat of Stock in the sixth inning, was another play of note.