Ed. note: this continues the chronicle of the 1914 season begun in this post and continued in this post.
At the end of the day on July 15, the Braves had completed a four-game series in St. Louis, coming away with two wins. While splitting a series normally provides a last-place team with a reason for celebration, the loss of the final two games had a dampening effect. The standings on the morning of July 16 showed the Braves at ten games under .500, still in last place, and 11 games behind the dominant New York Giants.
New York Giants
St. Louis Cardinals
After allowing for a travel day on the 16th, the Braves resumed play in Cincinnati. The Braves would sweep the three-game series, with a 1-0 shutout by Bill James in game one providing a highlight.
They then traveled to Pittsburgh for five games in four days. The Braves went 4-1, the only loss coming in the second game of a double-header on the 22nd. Bill James would toss another 1-0 shutout in an 11-inning complete game.
Returning home, the Braves would take two of three from Chicago and sweep four from St. Louis. That was capped by another ten-inning complete game from Bill James, a 4-3 victory over St. Louis on August 1. Significantly, it brought the team’s record to .500 for the first time all season. The next two days, Lefty Tyler and Dick Rudolph would toss back-to-back 1-0 shutouts, one against St. Louis and the other against Pittsburgh. That was one century ago today, August 4th.
In all, since July 15, the Braves had gone 14-2. Since six of Boston’s victories came against the new bottom dwellers, Pittsburgh’s Pirates, you might think that the Braves had simply caught fire by beating bad teams. However, the other eight victories came against second-place Chicago, third-place St. Louis, and fourth-place Cincinnati, none of whom were duffers.
During this stretch, Lefty Tyler, Dick Rudolph and Bill James received credit for 13 of the victories. Amazingly, seven of the victories were shutouts — this was coming from a pitching staff that had recorded only one shutout before July 4, and its second of the year on July 6.
By the morning of Aug. 5, the National League Standings had changed dramatically.