Scott Fennessy: 1915 National League recap

The 1915 NL was vastly different than I expected. The Cubs, who were just under .500 in reality were so awful no matter how hard I tried they couldn’t win so I just completely gave up on them and started playing the more entertaining options.

The Boston Braves stunned me and went on to the World Series in a race that was not really that close. The Braves, Phillies and Pirates basically beat up on the rest of the league all summer long.

                        W  L  Pct GB
 Boston Braves         89 51 .636
 Philadelphia Phillies 80 61 .567 9
 Pittsburgh Pirates    78 62 .557 11
 Cincinnati Reds       71 69 .507 18
 New York Giants       67 73 .479 22
 St Louis Cardinals    62 78 .443 27
 Brooklyn Dodgers      60 80 .429 29
 Chicago Cubs          63 87 .420 36


Fred Luderus, Philadelphia Phillies .364 AVG 13 HR 98 RBI

Dick Rudolph, Boston Braves 32-13, 1.78 ERA

Boston Braves (89-51)

And the Braves are moving on to their second World Series, the other was in 1883. This was a team that was very light on hitting, but had a very dominating pitching staff, that had a team ERA of 2.21. Manager Johnny Evers surprised with a .280 season, and Joe Connolly (.294 21 SB) provided most of the remaining offense that produced a lot of low scoring games. Herbie Moran led the team with 30 steals, and although he hit just .226 he often gave himself up as evidenced with his 41 sacrifice bunts.

Tom Hughes (27-16 1.84 296 K) had arguably his best season ever, and Pitcher Of The Year winner Dick Rudolph (32-13 1.78) was truly overpowering. He tossed 11 shutouts and had a no hitter against the Cardinals. Pat Ragan (25-16 2.68) was just as unhittable as the number three starter.

Philadelphia Phillies (80-61)

If the Phillies had had either a little more hitting they may have had a shot at the Braves, but unfortunately, they were really hamstrung offensively. MVP Fred Luderus (.364 13 HR 98 RBI 29 SB, seen above) and Clifford Cravath (.281 29 HR 114 RBI) were the only hitters above .230) Cravath’s 29 bombs were 4 times as many as the Senators entire TEAM.

Grover Cleveland Alexander (25-7 1.26) did what he does best, and Erskine Mayer (17-11 2.47) and Al Demaree (15-12 2.63) helped as much as they could, but at the end of the day they just couldn’t hit enough for their work to be of use.

Pittsburgh Pirates (78-62)

How the Pirates won 78 games still is a bit of a mystery. This is probably the worst hitting Pirates team I have played so far. Bill Hinchman (.304) was the team batting leader, and Wheeler Johnston (.271 9 HR 49 RBI 27 SB) was the most useful in the leadoff spot, but Max Carey (.224) was a big disappointment, and Doug Baird (.191) was possibly worst regular in the league.

Bob Harmon (25-9 1.67) 9 shutouts was a top three POY vote getter. Al Mamaux (18-16 2.20) was dependable too, but unfortunately it goes downhill quickly from there.

Cincinnati Reds (71-69)

The Redlegs had just enough hitting to be entertaining, but in the end, came up short on the mound.  Fritz Mollwitz (.270), Buck Herzog (.277 62 SB), Henry Groh (.287) and Wade Killefer (.283) provided the hitting.

Fred Toney (18-15 1.67) and Gene Dale (20-11 2.72) were workhorses on the mound. Pete Schneider lost 20 on mound but hit .276 with 2 homers as a batter.

New York Giants (67-73)

The Giants are in the beginning of a rebuild and it shows. They were not very good at anything in particular. Dave Robertson (.297 38 SB) and Larry Doyle (.339 28 SB) basically carried the offense.

Fred Merkle hit .267 and led team with 6 homers.

Jeff Tesreau (15-15 2.56) was the only reliable starter. Aging superstar Christy Mathewson had 13 wins and a 3.84 ERA. Fred Herbert (9-3 6 SV 1.51) was excellent from the bullpen though.

St Louis Cardinals (62-78)

It was another tough summer in St. Louis. Thankfully for redbird fans, Tom Long (.279 5 HR 24 SB) set the single season record for most triples in a season with 29. He also had a cycle. Bob Bescher (.264 31 SB) was the only other regular that did anything decent. Rogers Hornsby (.375) was a late season call up and impressed in the final 15 games of the season. Art Butler (.262) set the record for the most sacrifices in a season with 47.

The pitching was pretty weak too. Harry Sallee (11-16 2.59) and Lee Meadows (14-15 3.05) did what they could, but unfortunately it was not enough to salvage the season.

Brooklyn Dodgers (60-80)

This was one of those years where the Dodgers lived up to their nickname “bums”. Jake Daubert (.260 24 SB) was the team’s best hitter and Casey Stengel was the other decent performer, hitting .254. Gus Getz led team with 42 steals, and George Cutshaw had 41, but both only hit about .230.

Jeff Pfeffer (16-13 2.40) had 8 shutouts, and while he was the team’s most consistent pitcher, Sherry Smith (16-20 2.14) was somehow the ace. Despite being a C pitcher, he had the greatest season in the history of C pitchers. He joined some VERY elite company this year by tossing two no hitters. This is only the third time this has happened, and they were both A starters. His first one was on 5/14 vs the Reds, and just over a month later on 6/28 vs Pirates in Pittsburgh.

Chicago Cubs (63-87)

Although the 1901 Cubs were the worst team I have managed, this bunch somehow managed to disappoint me greatly. In real life they were just over .500. Managing this version was almost physically painful. Finally, after the mid-season point I just gave up on them and started managing other teams.

Henry Zimmerman (.261) was the team’s best hitter, and Bob Fisher (.242) was decent at times, but otherwise they were a terrible bunch that struggled mightily as evidenced by their .216 team batting average.

The pitching was just as bad, but James Vaughn (16-20 2.21) was very consistent despite the lack of support, but Jimmy Lavender (9-23) lost over 20.

See Scott’s 1915 AL recap here!

[photo credit]

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