THE 1914 "MIRACLE" BRAVES
The Braves win the first game,
but lose the second
June 2, 1914 ... It took the Boston Braves 13 innings to win a game from Brooklyn, but the Boston delegation required only nine innings to lose the second contest of the day. Both teams did play good ball and the
games were closely fought from start to finish. The Braves were steadier than the Robins and barely missed grabbing both ends of the doubleheader.
Bill James and Ed Reulbach were the starters in the first game and pitched into extra innings, and while Brooklyn hit James with frequency, with the exception of the fifth inning, they were unable to place the ball safely when it meant runs. The Braves played the steadier game in the closing
innings of the long game and managed to get the winning run over the plate in the 13th frame. They also put up a splendid defense a battle behind James, some of the plays by Rabbit Maranville being of the sort that had to be seen, to appreciate.
The Braves started the game with a rush and chalked up two runs that looked very large until the fifth inning. Johnny Evers started the proceedings with a slashing drive to center that netted him a triple. Maranville failed to connect, but Joe Connolly followed Evers' example and smashed the
ball to left for another triple. He scored on Larry Gilbert's out at first to give the Braves a quick 2 to 0 lead.
After the Braves outburst, both pitchers settled down to business and there was not a sign of a run until the fifth inning. Then the Robins tied up the game after two men were out. Red Smith belted the ball to left for a double and Zach Wheat hit the ball over the right field fence for a
home run. No more runs were made, but the home run gave the Braves the idea that it might be advisable to intentionally pass Wheat from that point on.
In the ninth-inning, Johnny Evers almost saved the game. Jack Dalton beat out a slow grounder and moved to second on a sacrifice. On Smith's out at first, he moved over to third base. Then came Wheat to the plate and he was given first base. The Brooklyn plan was for a double steal, but
Evers let Wheat take second base without a throw. George Cutshaw was up next and he bounced out to Butch Schmidt at first base to end the threat.
Very suddenly in the 13th inning, the Braves scored what would be the winning run. Leslie Mann sent the ball whistling down the third-base line and made it all the way to third when the ball finally got back to the infield. Bill James took a hand in winning the game and sent a little tapper
down to Cutshaw, that he couldn't handle. James was safe at first and Mann scored the go-ahead run.
The last half of the 13th inning was full of trouble for the Braves and it looked very much like Brooklyn would tie it up. With two men out, Tex Erwin batted for Reulbach and beat out an infield hit. Dalton single to right, moving Erwin to third base, but as Mann was trying to get Erwin at
third, Dalton tried for second. Thirdbaseman, Jack Martin, seeing there was no chance of catching Erwin, intercepted the ball before it reached the bag and whipped it to Maranville, who tagged out the sliding Dalton. It was an exhibition of quick thinking and accurate throwing, winning the
game for the Braves, 3 to 2.
In the second contest Brooklyn got away to a three run lead by the fifth inning, and apparently had the victory nailed down. Young Gene Cocreham received the pitching assignment and he performed in a very commendable way. He was a bit generous in the manner of free passes however, but was
decidedly stingy in giving up base hits. He pitched like a veteran until the seventh inning, when he gave up the successive triples to Johnny Hummel and Wheat.
The Braves finally got on the board in the sixth inning and collected two runs on a pass to Evers, and singles by Connolly and Gilbert. They got another run in the eighth when Jim Murray, batting for Cocreham, singled, went to third on Evers' double, and scored on Maranville's out at first.
But the Braves fell short in their comeback as Evers was stranded on third to watch Joe Connolly strikeout. The final score in the second game was Brooklyn four and the Braves three.