“DIARY OF A WINNER”

JOE CONNOLLY

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Braves make the Giants look small

August 14, 1914 ... The Braves made the Giants look small compared to them and won the second game of the series by a 7 to 3 score at the Polo Grounds before 14,000 fans. They pounded Jeff Tesreau, who lasted only five innings, during which eight hits and six runs were scored off him.

Bill James was on the mound for the Braves and he allowed six hits in nine innings, no two of them coming in the same inning. Two of these little hits were of the infield scratch variety, and another was a fly to right which Josh Devore got his hands on, but could not hold on to. It went for a double and another was a home run into left field bleachers that was fair by only a few inches. Dave Robertson however, got a hit to center that he is not credited with, because George Burns was forced out at second base.

The Giants got three runs, and the first was on a fumble by Rabbit Maranville, the second on a scratch double by Fred Merkle to right-field, and the third on the home run. In spite of their getting all the breaks in the game, the league leaders looked pretty weak when compared to the Boston boys. Unless they get going considerably, there more than likely to lose first place. Two teams are not in the same class if judged by their showing made in each of the last two games.

The hitting in today's game was hard and clean. Joe Connolly came through with a double, a single and a home run in his three times at bat. His sacrifice fly was only a foot or two shy of being another home run into the right field grandstand, as Dave Robertson made the catch while backed up against the wall on this one.

Hank Gowdy got in two base hits and also caught a great game behind the plate. There was one great fielding play, and was made by Johnny Evers, who took a wide throw from Gowdy with one hand and in the same motion slapped the ball on Art Fletcher, as he was sliding into second on an attempted steal.

The Braves scored in the second inning when Red Smith, the first man up, waited out Tesreau and drew a pass. Leslie Mann singled to center, and Bob Bescher juggled the ball momentarily allowing Smith to make it to third. On a delayed steal, Mann drew the throw to second base and went back and forth, getting caught in a rundown, as Smith held on at third. It all turned out all right, as Gowdy reached on an infield hit to score Smith with the first run. James then singled past first while Hank moved over to third. He scored on Devore's sacrifice fly to centerfield to make it 2 to 0.

In the second inning for the Giants, Maranville juggled Fletcher's grounder, who finally scored after two were out on Milt Stock's single to left. Stock ended the inning by trying to stretch his single, Joe Connolly to Johnny Evers at second base.

The Braves put another pair of runs up in the third. Evers drew a pass to start it off and Connolly, in attempting to bunt, popped one over Tesreau's head for a base hit. Maranville advanced both runners with a perfect sacrifice, and Butch Schmidt brought them both home with a base hit between Robertson and Bescher in right-center, to make the score 4 to 1.

That was it for Tesreau, as in the fifth inning Mike Donlin when in to pinch. Al Demaree took the ball in the sixth inning and the first thing he did was pass Gowdy. Hank however, was thrown out at second on an attempted sacrifice by James. Devore and Evers then singled and James scored on Connolly's sacrifice fly. Maranville lined a ball to right center that Robertson fumbled, but Bescher caught it before it touched the ground for the out. At the end of six innings it was 7 to 1 in favor of the Braves and the game was all but over.

The Giants scored a run in the seventh, as Fred Merkle hit one to Josh Devore that he dropped after a long run, allowing him to get the second. Merkle went to third on Chief Meyers out and scored on Stock's single to right. The Giants final run came with two out in the ninth. Merkle smacked his home run that fell just inside the left-field foul pole, and James followed it by striking out Meyers to end the game.

The Braves are playing their normal game at the plate and in the field, as their three chief pitchers are going along unusually smooth. The team is simply going the same way that it has for the 27 games won of the last 33 played. It assures that the Braves will triumph over the Giants in the series. But be the that as it may, the Braves will try to make a clean sweep when they face Christy Mathewson tomorrow. Quite a few number of Giants fans were not rooting on their home team but shouting their heads off for the Braves.

 

at The Polo Grounds (New York) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

0

2

2

0

2

1

0

0

0

 

7

11

3

NEW YORK GIANTS

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

 

3

5

2

W-Bill James (15-6)
L-Jeff Tesreau (16-8)
Attendance – 14,000

2B-Connolly (Bost)
HR-Connolly (Bost), Merkle (NY)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Josh Devore rf 3 0 1 .242  

 

Ted Cather rf 1 0 0 .263  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 3 1 1 .299  

 

Joe Connolly lf 3 2 3 .298  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 4 0 0 .248  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 4 1 1 .262  

 

Red Smith 3b 3 1 1 .243  

 

Les Mann cf 4 0 1 .238  

 

Hank Gowdy c 3 1 2 .241  

 

Bill James p 4 1 1 .253  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Bill James 9 5 1 3 2  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

New York Giants 58 42 -

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

53 46 4 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 54 49 5 1/2

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 55 52 6 1/2

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 48 53 10 1/2

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 47 55 12

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 45 54 12 1/2

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 46 55 12 1/2