Lynch: 1914 Braves’ title run was hardly a miracle

From SABR member Mike Lynch at Seamheads on August 12, 2013:

Even before the Boston Braves completed their historic comeback from a 15-game deficit on July 4 to overtake the New York Giants, win the National League pennant going away and sweep the heavily-favored Philadelphia Athletics in the 1914 World Series, manager George Stallings was being called the “Miracle Man.”

After only 13 games, 10 of which the Braves lost, the team was already 10 games out of first place.  On May 20, the Braves were 11 1/2 games off the pace with a pathetic 4-18 record.  They reached their low point on July 4 and finished the first half of the season on July 15 at 33-43 and an 11 1/2-game deficit.  But the team caught fire and won 61 of their last 77 games, earning them the moniker “Miracle Braves.”

To credit Boston’s comeback to a miracle would assume that the big man in the sky actually gave two Shiites about the Braves, which I highly doubt.  So what was behind the Braves’ spectacular second-half run that wiped out a double-digit deficit and resulted in a 10 1/2-game advantage by season’s end?  Well, to answer that question we first need to look at the reasons the team began the season so poorly.

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Originally published: August 12, 2013. Last Updated: August 12, 2013.