“DIARY OF A WINNER”

HERBIE MORAN

THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
Bill James wins his 20th against Philly

September 4, 1914 ... In a nerve wracked contest that went 12 innings, the Boston Braves won from the Phillies today by a score of 6 to 5. It was a fight from the 5th inning, until the last man was out in the 12th. Time and again both sides and men in scoring position's, but by working all the inside stuff, scoring was prevented except in the 11th and 12th innings. In the 11th inning both sides worked over a run, so that the game was deadlocked for the second time..

The game was saved by the Braves twice in the 10th inning on some great fielding by Herbie Moran. In the first instance he made a phenomenal one-handed jumping catch at the corner in center field of a ball knocked out by Gavvy Cravath which looked like a home run. Moran crashed into the fence as he was making the catch.

The next batter up laced another one which Moran prevented from going into the bleachers in left-center by jumping into the air and knocking the ball down and holding the hit to only a double. In the 11th he was the first man up and Pat Hilly robbed him of the triple, making a sensational catch almost equal to the one that Moran had made in center field. There were several other fine fielding plays, but they were so overshadowed by the three, that they were forgotten as these were made.

At one stage of the game, when everyone was overwrought under the fierceness of the contest, it looked as if there would be a repetition of the fight against the Cubs, but happily the strained situation was worked out without an incident. It happened in the 11th inning, when Grover Cleveland Alexander came into pitch and Moran was the first batter to face him. Alexander evidently wanted to drive Moran away from the plate and threw the ball up close to his chin. Moran ducked, but the ball hit to handle of his bat glancing off and nicking him just above the left ear. He hit the ground as if he had been hit with a hammer. Herbie got up in a dazed condition and while he was gathering his senses, Johnny Evers was swinging a couple of bats in the on deck circle. Evers had a couple of comments he wanted to throw at Alexander and proceeded to walk out toward the mound and tell the pitcher what would happen to them if he tried anything like that at him. All players then gathered around and a mixup seemed imminent. There was some jostling and shouting, but Umpire Bill Klem kept the peace and ordered them back to their positions.

Another incident happened earlier in the game in which Klem called Dode Paskert out on strikes. Paskert made such a fuss about the call that he was ordered out of the game. Manager Red Dooin was coaching on third base and Klem thought that he too had said something to him. He then bounced him out of the game and Dooin charged at him claiming that he had said nothing. They exchanged words heatedly, as Dooin then turned and left for the dugout.

Much to the surprise of everyone, Bill James took the mound to do the pitching on two days rest. He had pitched one of the games of the doubleheader on Wednesday, and from the way he was touched up today in the fifth inning especially, it looked as if the choice to pitch him was not a good one.

Erskine Mayer was sent in to pitch for the Phillies and he was so wild that he did not last one inning, he was relieved by Ben Tincup after he had given up for base on balls and forced in the fourth run of the inning. Tincup pitched very well after the second inning until he was taken out for a pinch-hitter. He should have been scored on in the second inning however, when the first two men up got on, one being hit by a pitch ball and the other on a base hit. The Braves had a 4 to 0 lead at the time and apparently thought that the four runs would be enough to carry them through so they did not try very hard to score more than they had to. They saw the error of that thinking however before the game was over, 10 innings later when the runs were not coming easily.

The Braves put over four runs in the very first inning, chiefly through the wildness of Mayer. Moran drew a pass and after Evers flied to right, both Connolly and Gilbert walked to fill the bases. Butch Schmidt hit a ground ball down to Jack Martin at short, that he fumbled, allowing Moran to score the first run. Red Smith waited out Meyer until he got four badly pitched balls to force in Connolly with the second run. It was apparent that Mayer could not get the pitches over the plate, so Dooin pulled him and sent in Tincup. The Rabbit came up and hit an awkward bounder which got away from Sherry Magee at first, allowing both Gilbert and Schmidt to score. Maranville then attempted to steal second and was thrown out, and Hank Gowdy was passed. James made the final out of the inning by hitting a ground ball down to Hal Irelan.

In the second inning Moran was hit by a pitch ball and Evers got the Braves first hit with a single to left. Connolly advanced both the runners with a sacrifice and there they were left as Gilbert flied out and Schmidt grounded out. Tincup buckled down in did some great pitching after that, not allowing the Braves to score again until the 11th inning.

In the meantime the Phillies did some scoring themselves. In the third inning Tincup singled and scored on Beals Becker's double to left. In the fifth inning, the Phillies tied up the game. Bill Killifer led off with a double to left and Tincup sacrificed him to third. Hans Lobert knocked out a line drive to center to score Killifer. Becker followed with another single and then a double by Sherry Magee scored Lobert. With runners on second and third, James elected to pass Cravath intentionally, to put on the force at any base. Irelan came up next and singled to left to bring home Becker with the tying run, making it 4 to 4. With the bases still full, Stallings decided to stay with James. James then struck out Hilley, who pinched-hit for Paskert and got Martin out on a ground ball to end the rally.

From that point on it was a pitcher's duel. In the 11th inning, the Phillies finally cracked. Alexander hit Moran and Evers, after his discussion with the pitcher, lined a double out to right-field. Alexander then came back and hit Joe Connolly in the stomach with a fastball. Larry Gilbert grounded one down to first and moved the runners along. Butch Schmidt then brought Evers home with a high bounding infield hit to break the tie, but Connolly was thrown out at the plate trying to score, on a nice blocking play by Killifer at the plate.

The Braves were now up one run, but the Phillies tied it up again very quickly. Killifer opened with a single and Bobby Byrne was sent in to bat for Tincup. Byrne elected to sacrifice Killifer down to second, which is what Tincup would have done himself. Schmidt came in for the unexpected bunt, and James did not cover first. Two men on and nobody out was a situation. Lobert sacrificed the two runners along, and Stallings decided to pass Becker to fill the bases. Magee came up and knocked one of James' pitches up against the right-field wall, and as Gilbert made a bluff like he was going to catch the ball, Killifer scored, but Milt Reed who was running for Byrne held up instead of scoring the winning run. The bluff worked, and the Phillies only tied up the game.

Then in the 12th inning Red Smith led off with a double, Maranville sacrificed him to third, and he was brought home on a squeeze play, with Hank Gowdy laying down a perfect bunt. It was as grueling a fight as the Braves have ever made and whatever the outcome of tomorrow's game, the Braves clinched the series. They have won every series played on this road trip.

It was Bill James' 20th win of the season.  President Gaffney got back from New York in time to see the game. He received a telegram from team secretary Nickerson stating that all the reserve seats for the games at Fenway Park have been sold out.

In Brooklyn, the Giants beat the Robins with recently acquired pitcher Marty O'Toole, by a score of 4 to 3, keeping their half game lead over the Braves in the National League fight.  The former Pirate kept the Brooklyn hits well scattered except in the eighth-inning when an error by Dave Robertson paved the way for two runs. Larry Doyle's four hits and sharp fielding by the Giants figured largely in the victory.

 

at Baker Bowl (Philadelphia) ...

R

H

E

BOSTON BRAVES

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

 

6

8

4

PHILA PHILLIES

0

0

1

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

 

5

13

5

W-Bill James (20-7)
L-Grover Cleveland Alexander (20-13)
Attendance – 3000

2B-Evers (Bost), Smith (Bost), Becker (Phil),
Magee (Phil), Irelan (Phil), Killefer (Phil)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

AVG

 

 

Herbie Moran cf 5 1 0 .231  

 

Johnny Evers 2b 5 1 2 .288  

 

Joe Connolly lf 3 1 1 .300  

 

Larry Gilbert rf 5 1 1 .272  

 

Butch Schmidt 1b 6 1 2 .277  

 

Red Smith 3b 5 1 1 .243  

 

Rabbit Maranville ss 5 0 0 .242  

 

Hank Gowdy c 3 0 0 .242  

 

Bill James p 6 0 1 .255  
               
    IP H ER BB SO  
  Bill James 12 13 5 5 8  

 

 

         

 

 

 

1914 NATIONAL LEAGUE STANDINGS

 

 

New York Giants 66 51 -

 

 

BOSTON BRAVES

66 52 1/2

 

 

Chicago Cubs 64 59 5

 

 

St. Louis Cardinals 64 61 6

 

 

Pittsburgh Pirates 56 63 11

 

 

Cincinnati Reds 56 65 12

 

 

Philadelphia Phillies 54 64 12 1/2

 

 

Brooklyn Robins 54 65 13191