Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Congratulations to Dan Holm and the 1964 Chicago White Sox

Dan Holm and the 1964 Pale Hose are our 2014-15 Holiday Festival Champions.  In 6 rounds of action the Sox NEVER once faced an elimination game.  The team finished a remarkable 20-5 during the tournament.  The axiom of "Good Pitching beats Good Hitting" held to form with this team.  Juan Pizzaro (6-0, 2.10) had a perfect tournament.  Fittingly he pitched the clincher.  Gary Peters (5-1, 2.04) was also stingy when it came to giving up runs. Joel Horlen (2-2, 1.29) was the stingiest.  Unfortunately he never really got any run support during his magnificent outings.  Pete Ward (.340-3-18) and Don Buford (.337-1-10-5sb) were constantly on base and getting he big hit.  Moose Skowron's 5 homers all seemed to come at just the right time.  Dave "Swish" Nicholson (.353-3-6) and Mike Hershberger (.417-0-2) were key platoon / bench contributors as this was a total team effort led by some of the most underrated arms in baseball history.

Finals Game 6 - "Ward takes Cleaver to O's as Chisox win Tournament

GM 6 At Comiskey- Tillman vs Pizzaro

Sox get 1 in the first but once again have a 6 run 2nd. Hansen singles home Nicholson after he tripled to lead off frame. A error on pitcher and a passed ball scored 2 more. It was all followed up by a Pete Ward 2 run homer. This was more than enough for Pizzaro who got the win (6-0). Juan threw a 3 -hit CG in a 8-2 WSox win. 

Sox top 3 pitchers get 22 of the teams 25 starts mainly because the palehose never went a through a 7 game series keeping them well rested.

Pizzaro 6-0 2.10 era, Horlen 2-2 1.29 era,Peters 5-1 2.04 era. Eddie Fisher 4-2, 2 saves 1.04 era, 14 games pitched 17 innings 0 walks. Pete Ward .340 18 rbi, Hansen leads team with 20 rbi. Nicholson and Mike Hershberger had key roles considering both could not hit hitting .417  and .353 respectively in small roles.

Opponents hit just .187 against Sox pitching with a paltry .227 OBP and just a .280 slugging %.
--all writeups for Finals submitted by Dan Holm--

Finals Game 5 - "Resting on Hardy's laurels"

GM 5 At Camden Yards- Horlen vs Chen

Horlen has been the best pitcher in tourney maybe and only has a 2-1 record to show for it. Balt gets one off him in 2nd on run scoring double by Reynolds and get 2 more off Joel in 4th when JJ Hardy singles home 2 to give Birds a 3-0 lead with their best pitcher on bump. In 5th Sox get one back on 2 out run scoring single by Don Buford. O's get solo shot from Jones in 6th and Chen along with the great O's relievers shut down Sox for a 4-2 win and stay alive. Chen the win, Johnson 9th save, Horlen loss now just 2-2 despite a 1.29 era.

Finals Game 4 - "Ron-ing Away with it"

GM 4 At Camden Yards- Buzhardt vs Hammel

Things started bad and only got worse for Balt in this one. The Sox score 6 in 1st and then 6 more in 2nd and only 1 rest of way for a 13-6 win. Ronnie Hansen 4 hits, 2 doubles, homer, 5 rbi. Reserve catcher Jerry McNertney hits 2? homers good for 4 rbi. Dave Nicholson homer. 8 sox players score. 18 hits for WSox. Hammel early exit the loss. Buzhardt the win. Sox up 3 games to 1.

Finals Game 3 - "Handy Andy"

GM 3 At Camden Yards- Peters vs Gonzalez

Gary Peters comes in 5-0 in tourney but Andrew Jones gets O's first lead of series with a solo shot off Peters in first.  Sox tie game in 5th with a solo homer of their own by big Dave Nicholson who made the most of his few AB's in the series and tournament. Sox take lead in 6th when Moose Skowron hits his team leading 5th homer of tourney to make it 2-1 sox. Andrew Jones ties it with a 2 out run scoring single in bottom half of  6th to tie it at 2. Birds take lead when catcher Matt Wieters jacks a solo shot off Peters in 7th. Darrin O'day and Jim Johnson (who has not been scored upon in tourney) shut Sox down rest way for a 3-2 O's win and they are back in it. Johnson his 8th save.

Finals Game 2 - "Piz-az"

GM 2: At Comiskey- Tillman vs Pizzaro

Juan Pizzaro comes in 4-0 and once again was very difficult to hit and every Sox hitter but Pizzaro Sox make it two in a row with 4-1 win. It was another pitching duel with sox holding only a 1-0 lead when they got 3 important runs in 8th capped by run a scoring double by F Robinson, run scoring single by Ward and a run scoring triple by Hansen. Pizzaro (5-0)walked no one in the CG win. Tillman pitched well getting the loss allowing only 1 run in 7 innings. O's in a hole.

Finals Game 1 - "Swish swats O's in Extras"

GM 1: At Comiskey- Chen vs Horlen

Sox get one in 1st on singles by Landis, Ward and Hansen. Remained 1-0 till Paulino batting for Teagarden in O's 8th singles and takes second on a Floyd Robinson error. Reimold batting for Flaherty makes em pay with run scoring single to tie game at 1.  The game went into  the 13th inning when with 2 out and Pete Ward on 1st for Sox Skowron singles him to second. Up next pinch hitter Dave 'swish' Nicholson who promptly singles to left and Pete Ward was safe at the plate on a close play for the winner.   Joel Horlen again was magnificent pitching 10 innings  getting 10 k's with only 1 walk and only run allowed was unearned.  Game went a total of 13 innings
2-1 Sox.
--submitted by Dan Holm--

Monday, January 26, 2015

'64 Paw-Paw Sox defeat '65 Jints in 5

GM 1 :At Comiskey -Shaw vs Herbert

Former wsox twirler Bob Shaw who was one of the best pitchers on the pennant winning '59 team goes against veteran Ray Herbert to open up series. Sox get rbi scoring double by backup catcher Jerry McNertney in 2nd inning and a squeeze bunt by Ray Herbert scored 1 as sox took early 2-0 lead.

Herbert took a 1-hitter into the 7th when Jack Hiatt got on from a Herbert error followed up by a Willie Mays single. Herbert left for Eddie Fisher and Eddie got McCovey, Hart and J. Alou to end the threat. Sox get 1 more in 8th on a Moose Skowron solo blast. Hoyt Wilhelm found himself in trouble in the 9th giving a 1 out single to Mays. With McCovey up one of Hoyts knucklers got past McNertney for a passed ball. Hoyt  then walked both Willie M and Hart to load the bases. Sox fans got a jolt when Jesus Alou hit a deep fly out to center for a sac. Wilhelm then got pinch hitter Cap Peterson to end the game... 3-1 WSOX

GM2: At Comiskey- Bolin vs Horlen

Palehose get  early manufactured run in 1st on a lead off single by Don Buford, a stolen base, a sac bunt, and a Floyd Robinson RBI single. Pitching again dominated as game stayed 1-0 till Giants 7th when Jim Ray Hart, homerless for the tourney takes Horlen deep to tie game at 1. Horlen then gave up 1 out back to back singles to Gabrielson and Haller. After getting Willie Mays to pop out? he then walked McCovey and was replaced by Wilhelm who promptly gave a 2 run scoring single by Jim Hart to give SF the lead. They would need that 3rd run as Sox made it interesting in 8th stringing together some singles for 1 run.  3-2 Giants.  Bobby Bolin win, Linzy save, Horlen loss.

GM 3 At Candelstick: Pizarro vs Marichal

With McCovey and Jim Hart basically doing little in the tourney Willie Mays has carried the team on his back .He continued his great performance  belting a 2 run homer in 1st and it looked good for SF with the Dominican dandy on the hill.

Sox got a break in 5th with same score when Gene Stephens reached on a Hal Lanier error to open frame. Ronnie Hansen then bunted and it was bobbled by Marichal for a error.
McNertney sacrificed them over and with Pizzaro up Juan M. unleashed a wild pitch scoring Stephens. Sox could not get any more runs from the gifts. 2-1 Giants.

In sox 8th Lanier gave the Sox another break making a 2 out error. This was followed by  Floyd Robinson single. Pete Ward up next and hitting over .360 for the tourney made them pay with a 2 run scoring double to right to give Sox the lead. Eddie Fisher pitched 1 1/3 scoreless the rest of way saving game for Pizzaro (4-0).  Laniers 2 errors and Juan's error leads to 3 unearned runs. This changed the momentum of the series it seemed. 3-2 WSox

GM 4: At Candelstick: Peters vs Herbel

Scoreless game till Sox 4th when who else but Pete Ward doubles home a run and 1 out later a perfectly executed squeeze by Gene Stephens gives Sox 2-0 lead. In SF 5th Jim Davenport hits rare solo shot to make it 2-1.

Stayed that way till bottom of 9th Hoyt Wilhelm faces Willie Mays to lead off 9th and of course Willie hits a solo blast to tie game, his 14th of the tourney to lead in that category easily.

Game goes to extras when in 11th with old man Warren Spahn on the hill he gets 2 quick outs and then gives up a double to? Yep, legend Pete Ward. Moose Skowron then gets intentionally walked. Old Sox vet Jim Landis pinch hit for Stephens and delivered a game leading single. Ron Hansen followed with a run scoring single. Eddie Fisher continued to shine pitching 2 hitless innings getting the win.  4-2 Sox.

GM 5: At Candelstick Buzhardt vs Shaw

John Buzhardt gets his 1st start and shines pitching 7.2 of 2 hit ball as Sox take gm 5, 5-0 for series win. Pete Ward of course gets 3 hits 2 runs, 2 rbi. Pete hitting .390 now as Sox only have 1 other starting hitter besides him hitting better than .250. Mays cools off some going 5 for 20 with 2 homers. Marichal with a 0.82 era somehow loses 3 games in tourney. Pete Ward 11 for 25 in series.
--submitted by Dan Holm--

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Final Four - 2012 O's drop '93 Jints in 6 to keep Cinderella story going !!!

The O's advance to the Final 2 after a hard fought 6 game series with the Giants of San Fran. Another fun, well played series by both teams. Thanks to  Joe for being gracious enough to accomodate my tough schedule this week as the series was played out over three days as some technical issues (helped to build the tension :-)).

Game 1
Baltimore 10 San Francisco 6
Candlestick Park
Gonzalez vs Burkett
Game MVP:  Chris Davis

On a mild evening (74 deg), with a slight breeze (5mph out to center) the O's got off to a slugging start to the series.   After the first two Baltimore hitters were retired to start the game, Adam Jones turned on a 1-0 pitch from Burkett to hit a solo homerun to left-center and put the O's up 1-0.  Chris Davis then deposited a Burkett 1-2 pitch down the right field line to stake  Baltimore to a 2-0 lead after the first 1/2 inning.  Despite Baltimore's quick start, the Giants came roaring back in the bottom of the first against Gonzalez. After a Darren Lewis bunt single to start the game, Robby Thompson blasted Gonzalez' 1-2 pitch 397 feet to left-center to tie the game.  Will Clark, Willie McGee and Royce Clayton singles added another run before the O's could escape, now trailing 3-2.  In the bottom of the second Robby Thompson added an RBI single to extend the Giant lead to 4-2.  The two starters finally settled down and the bleeding stopped until the top of the 6th.  In the 6th the O's  J J Hardy was hit by Burkett and Adam Jones singled in front of a Chris Davis double that scored both runners and tied the game at 4.  three batters later Baltimore firstbaseman Mark Reynolds deposited the ball down the left field line and over the fence for two more Baltimore runs. At the end of six the score was Baltimore 6 San Francisco 4.  Both bullpens entered the game in the 7th and the Jints quickly reacquired the lead on a Robby Thompson single, a walk to Barry Bonds and an error that allowed Matt Williams to load the bases with none out.  In the first of many timely double plays for Baltimore, Troy Patton enticed a dp ground ball from Will Clark before getting out of the inning.  After 7 it was Baltimore 6 San Francisco 5.    Baltimore got the run back the next inning on a Mark Reynolds double that scored Chris Davis.  In the 8th Tony Phillips countered with a solo home run to right off Darren O'day.  After 8 the score was Baltimore 7 San Francisco 6. In the ninth J J Hardy hit a two run shot and Chris Davis connected on his second home run on the day to extend Baltimore's lead to 10-6 before Jim Johnson came on to close out game 1 with a victory for the visiting team.

Game 2
Candlestick Park
San Francisco 2 Baltimore 1
Hammel vs Black
Game MVP:  Bud Black

After the previous nights offensive display, a low scoring game was on tap for game two, although it did not appear that way at the outset as San Francisco jumped off to an early 1-0 lead after one courtesy of a Will Clark RBI double.  From here the starting pitchers controlled the game until the bottom of the 7th when San Francisco added another run to their lead after a walk to Darren Lewis follwed by a Gonzalez wild pitch that moved him to second base.  Lewis moved to third on a fielders choice and scored on a Barry Bonds RBI single.  In the top of the 8th Baltimore finally got on the board with an Adam Jones solo shot to left field off of Bud Black....this would be Blacks only blemish on an otherwise great 8 2/3 inning performance.  In the ninth Baltimore threatened, but with two out and a runner on second San Francisco's great closer Rod Beck came on to strike out  Baltimore pinch-hitter Nick Johnson and the series headed east tied up at one game apiece.

Game 3
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Baltimore 4 San Francisco 3
Swift vs Tillman
Game MVP:  Matt Wieters

Another Baltimore starter gets roughed up early in this one as San Francisco puts up 3 against Tillman in the bottom of the 2nd.  With Tillman appearing a little rattled SF scored on a Will Clark solo home run to left field, followed by a single by Willie McGee who moved to third on a passed ball and wild pitch on consecutive pitches and later scored on a sac fly.  Royce Clayton was then hit by a pitch (remember this for game 6), moved to second on a Manwaring single and scored on another wild pitch.  Somehow Tillman survived the inning.  In the bottom of the 3rd Baltimore answered back on a Wilson Betemit (Why do the Orioles dogs taste so good?  Because they have betta meat! :-)) single and a Matt Wieters home run to pull within 1.   This is where the game  would remain until the8 th inning when Nate McClouth would double off Giant reliever Mike Jackson and score on a Nick Markakis RBI single off of Gino Minutelli to tie teh game after 8 innings. San Fran threatened in the ninth with a Will Clark single, but Pedro Strop enticed Willie McGee to pop out and Mark Carreon grounded into a double play.  In the bottom of the ninth Chirs Davis led off with a fly out to rightfield and SF closer Rod Beck came in to face Manny Machado.  Beck quickly got ahead on an 0-2 count.........before Machado turned his next pitch into a game winning home run down the left field line to give Baltimore the 4-3 comeback win and send the Bird fans home happy with a 2 games to 1 lead in the series.

Game 4
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
San Francisco 11 Baltimore 2
Black vs Chen
Game MVP:  Matt Williams

The middle game of the three game set in Baltimore was all Giants, all the way.  Bud Black returned to the mound for San Fran after a stellar game 1 performance.  Baltimore went with solid lefty Chen. The Giants opened the scoring against Chen in the top of the second inning on a Will Clark RBI single and a Jody Reed Sac Fly.  They followed it up with two more  the next inning on a Robby Thompson 2 RBI single.  With a 4-0 lead Bud Black was cruising against the Orioles.  In the bottom of the 5th inning teh O's got two back which would be the sum total of the scoring for Baltimore on this day.  Meanwhile, the Giants added 7 more runs over the last three innings to close out an 11-2 spanking of the Birds of Baltimore.  Of note was a three run shot by Matt Williams in the 7th.  But the story of this day was that Bud Black shutdown the Birds bats to tie teh series at two games apiece.

Game 5
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Baltimore 4 San Francisco 3
Burkett vs Gonzalez
Game MVP:  Manny Machado

With the series tied at 2 game apiece, the game 1 starters staged an encore in Baltimore. Just as in game 1 the Giants would leave the first inning leading the Orioles by 1...this time it was a Darren Lewis home run to start the game. In the bottom of the third Baltimore tied the game up on a Nick Markakis RBI double which scored  Ryan Flaherty who had opened the inning with a walk.  In the fifth, RBI singles by Robby Thompson and Barry Bonds gave teh Giants the 3-1 lead with Burkett and Gonalez locked into a tight contest.  In the bottom of the inning three consecutive singles by Markakis, Jones and Davis set the table for game MVP Manny Machado.  On a 2-1 pitch from Burkett Machado lined a double down the left field line clearing the bases and giving Baltimore it's first lead.  The lead would hold up for the rest of the game as neither bullpen yielded so much as a walk or hit the rest of the way. 

Game 6
Candlestick Park
San Francisco 2 Baltimore 1
Hammel vs Sanderson
Game MVP:  Manny Machado

Baltmore opens the scoring in this one in the bottom of the 2nd when Matt Wieters takes Sanderson deep down the right field line for a two run homer.  Wieters blast was followed by a Ryan Flaherty solo home run to give Baltimore teh early 3-0 leaid.  With two on the next inning, the previous games hero, Manny Machado, again took Sanderson deep to left field to up Baltimore's lea to 6-0.  Through 5 the Baltimore's Hammel wasa ble to hold down the Giants bats getting timely double plays and great fielding efforts to cut off potential Giant rallies.  In the 6th the Giants finally broke through with a Matt Williams solo shot off of Hammel.  As Hammel began to tire, Pedro Strop entered the game for Baltimore and it wasn't long before tempers began to flare.  Royce Clayton got thumped by Strop's second pitch and decided to detour to first base via the pitchers mound.   Once teh umpires restored order, Mr. Clayton and  Mr. Manwaring of the Giants along with Mr. Strop of the O's were asked to take an early shower.  Darren O'Day entered the game for Baltimore not fully warmed up (I believe we have a possible game bug here) and retired the next three Giant hitters to kill another San Francisco rally.  In the 8th inning, noted Giant slayer Manny Machado took Giant relief pitcher Gine Minutelli deep for his second home run of the game pushing Baltimore's lead to 8-1 after 8.  In the top of the ninth the Giants did not go quietly loading the bases before Batlimore closer Jim Johnson, with two out, enticed Barry Bonds to hit a ground ball to Manny Machado who threw to first to end the series.

Over the last two games Manny Machado led the Baltimore attack with 8 RBIs to send Baltimore into next week's final two series.
--submitted by Mark Nixon--

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

'65 Jints rally from 0-2 to defeat '73 Dodgers to reach Final 4

GAME 1 - Candlestick
Messersmith vs Marichal
Dodgers 1, Giants 0

Classic pitcher's duel between the HOF Domenican Dandy and ace Andy Messersmith.  Both guys went 8 stellar innings with the Dandy giving up a lone run in the 2nd when Bill Russell tripled and scoed on Von Joshua's ground out.  The rest of the game belonged to the arms.  Both starters fanned 7.  Messersmith needed a bit of help from Richert and Hough who combined for a perfect 9th to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Dodgers lead series 1-0

Sutton vs Shaw
Dodgers 2, Giants 1

Pretty much a carbon copy of game 1 with Don Sutton giving a 10 inning 1 run HOF performance to notch the win.  Both teams exchanged solo runs in the 7th to break a scoreless deadlock.  LA grabbed the lead in the top of the 10th with a Ron Cey moon shot.  Stretch McCovey's solo blast in the 7th tied the game, which was how we got to extra innings.
Dodgers lead series 2-0
GAME 3 - Dodger Stadium
Bolin vs John
Giants 8, Dodgers 2

Before the game Giants manager Larry Reeves was heard saying, "C'mon lets get this series over already".  What he didn't realize was that his charges had a lot of fight left.  The Giants big bats awakened with the Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays (2-3) going yard and knocking in 2.  Stretch McCovey knocked in 2 himself.  Bobby Bolin (2 runs, 5 IP) was good enough to get the win.  Tommy John was less than stellar and was hit with the loss.
Dodgers lead series 2-1

Herbel vs Downing
Giants 2, Dodgers 1

Unheralded Ron Herbel (7IP/1R) pitched like he was a front line starter as the series reverted back to being a pitcher's duel.  That gave Willie Mays the chance to shine like the star of stars that he is.  The Say Hey kid was 2-3 and hit another homer, while knocking in both of San Fran's runs.  Still the game came down to the bottom of the 9th when Willie Crawford singled with one out off of Jack Sanford.  Ken McMullen doubled down the the left field line.  Crawford, a fine baserunner, was flying around the bases.  Giants left fielder Len Gabrielson recovered the ball and hit replacement SS Ducky Schofield with a perfect cutoff throw.  Schofield threw a perfect one hopper to catcher Tom Haller who dove to tag Crawford at about the same time the Dodger runner was touching the plate.  The ump signaled out and manager Weiss was livid to the point that he was almost tossed from the game.  Von Joshua grounded weakly to third for the final out as the series headed back to Candlestick for a decisive game 5.
Series Tied 2-2

GAME 5 - Candlestick
Messersmith vs Marichal
Giants 5, Dodgers 2

The Dodgers, who are quite used to monumental collapses to the Giants (refer to 1951, 1962 and 1980) were all set to blow another one.  Andy Messersmith, who had been a perfect 3-0 in the tournament so far, was tasked with beating Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the second time in this 5 game series.  The game remained scoreless for 4 1/2 innings when Len Gabrielson broke the ice by tripling home Dick Schofield to make it 1-0 Jints.  LA would tie it up with a series of singles and errors in the top of the 7, but the Jints would answer back with 2 runs courtesy of a Jack Hiatt pinch hit homer.  LA got a pinch hit homer from Tom Paciorek to make it a 1 run game once again, but a carnival of errors and timely hits in the bottom of the 8th put the Giants up 5-2.  LA didn't put up much of a fight in the 9th as Priddy, Henry and Jack Sanford combined for the save in the absence of the injured Frank Linzy.  San Fran finishes off the improbable comeback from 2 down to once again help author another chapter in the book on great Dodger collapses.
Giants Win Series 3-2

'93 Jints taken to brink by '46 Tigers

The 1993 Giants and 1946 Tigers squared off for a ticket to the Final Four, with managers Joe Pryweller and Tom Davis trying every trick to get there.

The series went all the way to five games, with the home team winning each game. The series star was Giants pitcher Bill Swift, who won two games in overpowering fashion. Rod Beck also saved three games for a league leading eight saves. For Detroit, Roy Cullenbine was magnificent, hitting four home runs. But Hank Greenberg couldn't get going (for SF, Barry Bonds couldn't either), hurting the cause.

Neither team showed great offensive firepower - outside of a Game Three blowout by Detroit -- but pitching and clutch hitting was stellar throughout. Tom's Tiger squad also experienced some dramatics in Game Four -- down 2-1 in the series, the Tigers lost its best starter, Hal Newhouser, to injury in the fourth. But even so, a little-used bullpen came through to force Game Five (where they had to face Swift again).

It's on to face Mark's 2012 Orioles club for the 1993 Giants. I hope a heavy dose of crabcakes and partying at the Inner Harbor doesn't slow the Giants too much.

Here's the recap:
Game One:
SF 6, DET 4
W: Swift (3-0)
L: Newhouser (5-1)
S: Beck (6)
MVP: Bill Swift

A great pitching duel, with five-game winner Newhouser against Giants' co-ace Swift. Detroit scored in the first, as Swift walked two and allowed an RBI single from Dick Wakefield. Detroit upped the lead to 2-0 in the sixth on Roy Cullenbine's solo shot, a rocket to right. But the late-arriving Giants bats came alive in the bottom of the sixth, as Kurt Manwaring's single plated two and finally broke Newhouser's shutout. In the bottom of the seventh, the Giants knocked around Newhouser, scoring four more, the big blow being Robby Thompson's three run homer, his second. While Detroit scored two in the top of the eighth off Giants' relievers - including a second Cullenbine homer -- Rod Beck closed it down in the ninth for his sixth save.

Game Two:
SF 6, DET 4
W: Burkett (4-0)
L: Trucks (1-1)
S: Beck (7)
MVP: John Burkett

The Giants' other great starter, John Burkett, moved to 4-0, benefiting from some longball by SF bats off Detroit starter Virgil Trucks. Barry Bonds hit his fourth, a two run blast, in the first to give the Giants an early 2-1 lead after Cullenbine's sac fly brought home a Detroit run in the top of the inning.  In the bottom of the fourth, Willie McGee scorched a double down the right field line, Royce Clayton walked, and Burkett lined a surprise two-out single to plate them and give the Giants a 4-1 lead. Detroit struck right back off Buckett in the fifth as Eddie Lake's seeing eye single between SS and 3B scored two to make it 4-3. The crushing blow for the Giants occurred in the bottom of the sixth, as Matt Williams just cleared the left field fence for a two run homer and a 6-3 Giants lead. Again, Detroit tried to make it a game, but Beck was again lights out in the ninth for his seventh save.
Game Three:
DET 7, SF 1
W: Hutchinson (4-0)
L: Black (0-3)
MVP: Fred Hutchinson

Detroit wasn't going down quietly in this series, as SF pitching wasn't as sharp. Bud Black kept the Giants in the game, only giving up three runs in his six innings of work, two of them in the fourth on a groundout from Hoot Evers and a ground single from Johnny Bloodworth. But Hutchinson was mowing down Giants hitters, only giving up one run on a Thompson double that led to a run in the sixth and a 3-1 Detroit lead. But after Black left, Giants relievers Jeff Brantley and Bryan Hickerson allowed four more Detroit runs in the bottom of the seventh. Lake and Cullenbine (a series star) hit back to back homers off Brantley, who was probably thinking of his upcoming broadcast career instead of pitching. Detroit won an easy one, 7-1.

Game Four:
DET 3, SF 2
W: Caster (1-0)
L: Wilson (0-2)
S: Benton (1)
MVP: Al Benton

Manager Davis started Newhouser on three days rest in a must-win game for the Tigers vs.
the Giants' Trevor Wilson. Newhouser looked good early, shutting down Giants bats in the first three innings. Detroit took a 2-0 lead as Newhouser stroked an RBI single and Cullenbine hit another homer, his seventh and fourth of the series. But then Newhouser had to leave in the fourth with a finger blister, worrying manager Davis considerably. However, seldom used reliever George Caster came on to shut the door, giving up only a scratch RBI single from Williams in the fourth and a run in the seventh as he walked Bonds with the bases loaded. Meanwhile, Detroit got the insurance run it needed on Wakefield's solo homer, his third, in the sixth. Reliever Al Benton kept the Giants' bats cold in 2.1 innings of shutout work. Detroit squeaked through for a 3-2 win and a Game Five date.

Game Five:
SF 2, DET 0
W: Swift (4-0)
L: Trout (0-5)
S: Beck (8)
MVP: Bill Swift

The Giants again sent out Swift to nail down the rubber game of the series, while Detroit was forced to counter with Dizzy Trout, who had been ineffective during the tournament (but was a 17 game winner in real life that year). Manager Davis was nervous, while Manager Pryweller wondered if the Giants' bats could heat up again before they were cooled for the tourney. It turned out that neither mattered a lot - the Giants hit just enough to win, while Trout was good enough (albeit a bit wild) but had no support from Detroit hitters. Swift was magnificent, throwing 7.1 innings of six hit, shutout ball while striking out six. Detroit got a man as far as third base twice but couldn't deliver. The Giants could only score two runs off Trout -- both on RBI singles from Swift, a good hitting pitcher. It was truly the Bill Swift show today. Rod Beck nailed it down again with his eighth save and third of the series, with help from the stellar Mike Jackson. SF moves on after a difficult series.

Tom send the files to Marc already.....

See you next round!

Joe Pryweller

'12 O's outlast '64 Phightin's in 5 to gain Final 4 Spot

All:  A fantastic, and very closely contested series ends in 5 with the O's of Baltimore winning 2 of 3 in Shibe Park to take the series.  Gary and I were locked in tightly contested, generally low scoring matches including two that went extra innings.  Games summaries are below.  Thanks to Gary for getting the games in early and for a very enjoyable series.

Game 1 Shibe Park
Philadelphia 2  Baltimore 1
Chen vs Bennett
Game MVP:
  Dennis Bennett
A well pitched game on both sides.  Chen gives up 4 hits over six innings, Bennett gives up only 5 over 8 innings pitched.  Philadelphia strikes first after Chen walks Cookie Rojas, then gives up a double to Ruben Amaro, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.  Chen then strikes out Herrnstein, but then throws a wild pitch advancing the runners and giving Philly the lead.  Chen then walks Bennett before getting Danny Cater to hit into a ground out and end the inning.  In the top of the 4th Baltimore answers with a run of their own off of Bennett on a leadoff double by Adam Jones and an RBI single by Matt Weiters.  A Richie Allen solo home run against Chen in the 6th, drives Chen from the game and provides the winning margin for the Phillies in game 1 as the Baltimore bullpen matches Bennett, Roebuck and Shantz of Philadelphia to shut out both teams the rest of the way.

Game 2 Shibe Park
Baltimore 2 Philadelphia 1
Gonzalez vs Bunning
Game MVP:
  Ryan Flaherty

Another tight pitchers duel, but not in the classic sense.  Baltimore starter
Migueel Gonzalez in pulled by Baltimore manager Mark Nixon after recording just 1 out in the game.  In the top of the first Tony Gonzalez and Wes Covington led off the game for Philly with back to back singles, leaving Gonzalez on third with none out.  After Matt Weiters allowed a passed ball,Philly took the lead 1-0.  Tony Taylor next drew a walk before Richie allow flied out down the left field line.  Concerned Gonzalez just did not appear to have it on this day, Dana Eveland was called into the game, answering the call with a strike out of Clay Dalrymple and a harmless fly out to centerfield by Johnny Callison.  Eveland would be the first of 7 Baltimore relievers to pitch on this day and hold Philadelphia to two hits over 9 2/3 innings.  Jim Bunning held the Baltimore bats in check until the top of the 7th before allowing Chris Davis to hit one out to tie the game a 1.   In the top of the ninth, Bobby Shantz came on to strike out Baltimore lead off batter Nolan Reimold.  Next Baldschun came in an gave up a double to Nick Markakis before Baldschun was able to pitch his way through the heart of the Baltimore order and give Philly a chance at a 2-0 series lead in the bottom of the ninth.   Baltimore closer Jim Johnson yielded a one out triple to Johnny Callison and hit Ruben Amaro with a pitch before Steve Johnson (no relation) came in to strand Callison at third base by walking Herrnstein, then getting Cookie Rojas to pop to shortstop and Johnny Briggs to fly out.  In the tenth Philly brought in Roebuck to pitch and he quickly got the first out before facing Baltimore utilityman Ryn Flaherty who somehow managed to take him deep to right centerfield and put Baltimore on top 2-1.  Baltimore went to their 7th relief pitcher of the day as Darren O'Day retired the Phillies in order in the bottom of the tenth inning.

Game 3 Camden Yard
Philadelphia 9  Baltimore 1
Short vs Hammel
Game MVP:
  Chris Short
In what would be the only blowout of this series, Philly scored early and often in this one.  A three run 1st inning home run by Richie Allen and a Ruben Amaro RBI single forced Baltimore to go to the pen again in the first inning and posted PHilly to an early 4-0 lead.  Baltimore countered with 1 in the bottom of the inning, but would draw no closer the rest of the day.  In the second Philly continued the onslaught of offense using three singles, a walk and a two run Johnny Callison home run to break this one wide open at 8-1.  The rest of the way what was left of the Baltimore pen was able to hold Philadelphia to just one more run as Chris Short cruised for the Phillies gving up only 4 Baltimore hits and striking out 9 in a complete game shutout.  Apparently playing DH ball did not sit well with Baltimore on this day.

Game 4 Camden Yard
Baltimore 2 Philadelphia 1
Bennett vs Saunders
Game MVP:
  Chris Davis

Another tight game that would result in extra innings.  Gus Triandos gave the boys from Philly the early 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the top of the third inning.  Meanwhile, Bennett was once again spinning another masterpiece against the Baltimore hitters and would only give up 3 hits over nine innings in this one.  Unfortunately one of those hits was a solo homerun by Baltimore reserve outfielder Lew Ford and after 6 innings this one was tied 1-1 which is where it would stay after regulation.  As had become expected, the 10th and 11th innings were uneventful for both teams as the pens continued to dominate the hitters.  In the bottom of the 12th, Roebuck who had entered the game for Bennett in the 10th got two quick outs before Baltimore cleanup hitter Chris Davis hit one over the scoreboard in rightfield to send the teams back up I-95 to Philadelphia and a game 5 to determine the winner of the Alvin Dark Region.

Game 5 Shibe Park
Baltimore 3 Philadelphia 1
Chen vs Bunning
Game MVP:
  Wei-Yen Chen
Despite both starters pitching superior games in Shibe Park to open the series (Chen in game 1, Bunning in Game 2), neither resulted in a win. Another great pitching duel was in store in game 5 as Chen would ultimately hold Philadelphia to 5 hits over 7 2/3 innings and Bunning would hold Baltimore to 6 hits over 8.  The scoring got underway in the top of the second when the previous nights hero, Chris Davis of Baltimore, hit a solo home run to stake Baltimore to a 1-0 lead.  Davis' home run to right center was followed by a Matt Weiters Home run to right center to up the lead to 2-0.  At this point, 1-2-3 innings were the rule of the day as neither pitcher would concede much of anything.  In the top of the 7th, Baltimore added another run when Davis doubled to rightfield, Manny Machado singled and J J Hardy was safe at first on an eror by Richie Allen that allowed Davis to score and put Baltimore up 3-0.  In the bottom of the 7th Philadelphia got one back on a Gus Triandos solo home run, but Chen recovered and got out of the inning without any further damage. In the bottom of the ninth a tiring Darren O'Day (who had come in for Chen in the 8th gave up a leadoff double to Clay Dalrymple.  With a very tired bullpen, Baltimore called upon fireballer Pedro Strop to lock down the game.  With the tying run at the plate, Strop got Wes Covington to ground out back to the mound, Richie Allen to flyout to shallow center and Johnny Callison to fly out to center.  
--submitted by Mark Nixon--

Thursday, January 15, 2015

'64 Sox "Peter out" '63 Red birds in 5 to seal 1st Final 4 Slot

Game 1 - Comiskey
Gibson vs Pizarro
White Sox 3, Cardinals 0

News alert:  The great Bob Gibson (6IP / 3ER) was bested by unheralded Juan Pizarro (9IP / 0ER).  Pizarro fanned 7 and allowed just 4 hits in this nifty complete game shutout.  The Pale hose scored all their runs in the bottom of the 3rd.  Don Buford led off the inning with a single, then moved to second on a rare Curt Flood error.  Tommy McCraw singled him home, then scored himself on a Floyd Robinson two bagger.  Robinson himself scored on a Stephens squeeze bunt.  Those 3 runs looked like 30 with Pizarro on his A game.
White Sox lead series 1-0

Game 2
Broglio vs Peters
White Sox 5, Cardinals 3

Scoring 5 runs on 4 hits seems to be the White Sox way.  Pete Ward was responsible for 3 of those 4 hits.  Chicago's 3rd baseman scored 2 runs as well to supplement Gary Peters fine (7 2/3 IP / 2 ER) outing.  Chicago reliever Eddie Fisher had a bit of a hiccup finishing off the 8th for Peters, but knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm closed out the game with a perfect 9th to put the Chisox in a great position to sweep the series.
White Sox lead series 2-0

Game 3 - Sportsman's
Horlen vs C.Simmons
Cardinals 2, White Sox 1

Manager Holm handed the ball to Joel Horlen to close out the series.  Horlen (9IP / 1R) didn't disappoint, but his efforts were all for naught because after 9 innings of play the score was knotted at 1 apiece.  On the other side we have Curt Simmons, who looked like an iron man matching Horlen pitch for pitch and even going into the 10th.  Horlen ceded to Eddie Fisher, who had issues in game 2.  Leading off the home half of the tenth Kenny Boyer became a 1 pitch fate di acompli for Fisher by launching a 372 foot shot deep into the St. Louis night to end the game in grand style.
White Sox lead series 2-1

Game 4
Pizarro vs Sadecki
Cardinals 8, White Sox 7

Chisox went back to game 1 star Pizarro on short rest, and watched their hero take it on the

chin to the tune of 4 runs in a bit more than 4 innings of work, before being removed.  Pizarro's only solace was the fact that his opposing number (Ray Sadecki) was far worse.  St. Louis' lefty gave up 7 runs in 3 innings to the light hitting Pale Hose, before being chased from the hill.  Up 7-0 after 4 1/2 innings of play the Pale Hose looked to be in a cakewalk and a series clincher.  A 6 run bottom of the 5th, which chased Pizarro, put the Redbirds right back in the game.  Having stolen all the momentum back the Cards were now about to be the recipient of all the right bounces.  After Javier struck out to lead off the bottom of the 6th George Altman single and stole second.  He would eventually wind up on 3rd as Ron Hansen made an error on on the next batter's grounder.  That made it easy for Altman to score on Flood's ground out to tie the game.  In the bottom of the 8th the Redbirds manufactured the go ahead run in similar fashion with Javier scoring on James'sac fly to left.  The quorum of Ron Taylor, Lou Burdette, Ray Washburn and Bobby Shantz combined to pitch a scoreless final 6 innings.  Washburn, who threw 2 perfect frames got the win and Shantz would get the save.  The series would now head back to Chicago for a decisive game 5.
Series tied 2-2
Game 5 - Comiskey
Gibson vs Peters
White Sox 5, Cardinals 0

The Cards now had all the momentum and what looked like money in the bank with Bob Gibson on the mound.  Unfortunately for St. Louis, this is 1963 and Gibby was one year shy of creating his aura and mystique.  At this point in his career he was a mean hard throwing righting, who tended to be wild in the strike zone.  The young / bad Gibby would make a brief 3 inning (3 ER) appearance today, before being lifted in the 4th for Ernie Broglio.  Conversely the Chisox sat back and watched Gary Peters cruise to an easy peasy 1 hit shutout.  Bill White's 2 out single in the 4th would turn out to be St. Louis' only hit of the day.  Peters dominated with his bat two by knocking in a run in the 2nd with an RBI double and with an RBI single in the 6th.  Chicago needed all 5 games for the first time in the tournament to progress to the Final 4 as they await the winner of the '65 Giants vs '73 Dodgers series.
White Sox win series 3-2

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We are now down to the Elite 8


The Elite 8 round of the Holiday Festival.  We've dwindled down from 64 teams to 8.
This is the final round where we will play best of 5.  Just wanted to make note of that.
Here are our matchups for the right to make the Final 4 !!!
In the Leo Durocher Bracket:
Al Lopez Region:  1946-DET (Tom Davis) vs 1993-SFG (Joe Pryweller)
Alvin Dark Region:  2012-BAL (Mark Nixon) vs 1964-PHI (Gary Mauer)
In the Walter Alston Bracket:
Davey Johnson Region:  1965-SFG (Larry Reeves) vs 1973-LAD (Marc Weiss)
Billy Martin Region:  1964-CHW (Dan Holm) vs 1963-STL (Jim Williams)
​For those keeping score of interesting trends:
1.  We have 4 teams from the 1960's left in the Elite 8
2.  We have no #16 (= to a #1) seeds left after the 1909 Cubs went down last night.
3.  All 9 NYC teams (NYM/NYY/BKO)​ are gone from the tournament.
4.  Five of the 8 remaining managers are active KOD managers.
5.  7 of 8 have at one time participated in KOD
6.  Only 1 city has two entries left (San Francisico)
7.  There is only 1 AL DH era team (2012-BAL) left

Click here to access the tournament website, brackets and blog

'46 Tigers drop top seed '09 Cubbies in cross era battle

09 Chicago came into the series having shut out the powerful 2003 Mariners in three straight games.  The 46 Tigers had averaged 8 runs per game in their 6 wins.  Something would have to give.
Game 1:  Ed Ruelbach had won his two previous starts throwing 18 innings and not having given up a run.  Virgil Trucks who in 1952 would go 5-19 with two no hitters, had thrown one inning in the previous 9 games.  The Tigers 4th starter had not needed to start due to the schedule.  Now he would be called upon to try to hold in the bunting, slashing, running Cubs.  His rustiness was evident when he drilled Frank Chance with a fastball to lead off the first.  Harry Steinfeldt bunted him to second and Pat Moran doubled him home.  Meanwhile Ruelbach was shutting down the Tigers through the first fur, allowing two weak singles.  But Doc Cramer drew a walk to lead off the 5th.  Birdie Tebbets singled and an Eddie Mayo groundout moved the runner to 2nd and 3rd.  Virgil Trucks took matters into his own hands and ripped a single to right scoring both runners.  The Tigers never looked back.  Hank Greenberg doubled home 2 in the 9th.  Trucks was magnificent, giving up only five hits, no walks and no strikeouts.  The Tigers had some concern as Kell had to leave the game late when he was struck in the head with a thrown ball while sliding into 3rd with a triple.  Tigers 5  Cubs 2

Game 2:  Three Fingered Mordecai Brown was 2-1 coming in, having struggled in his
three appearances.  Dizzy Trout had not pitched badly in his three appearances but he had been tagged with the three Tiger losses of the tourney.  Kell had taken some aspirin for his headache and was back in the lineup.  In the first, after Solly Hofman was safe on an Eddie Lake error, Chance singled with two outs.  Trout should have been out of the inning and hit temper got the better of him.,  He lost his control and walked the next two hitters, forcing in a run. Chance scored another run in the 3rd when he singled was moved to 2nd and scored on Jimmy Archer's single.  Meanwhile Brown was easily shutting down the Tigers on 3 hits through the first 5 innings.  With two out in the 6th, things began to look up for the Tigers as Roy Cullenbine singled and trotted down ahead of Greenberg's 5th homer of the season (and the only homer in the series).  Chicago came right back in the bottom of the frame when Joe Tinker singled.  Brown attempted to bunt him to second but Tebbets mishandled the bunt and everyone was safe.  Johnny Evers stroked a double and gave Brown a lead he would not relinquish.  Cubs 3  Tigers 2
Game 3:  Orval Overall (no really that was his given name, not a nickname) had thrown two complete games, including a shutout.  Hal Newhouser had thrown 4 complete games, giving up 7 earned runs and winning all four.  In the top of the 3rd, the West Siders scored in typical fashion.  With two outs, Hofman worked Prince Hal for a walk, stole= second and scored on Frank Schulte's single.  But Overall couldn't make it stand up.  In the 6th, with one out, Overall pitched around Greenberg too carefully and Hank, showing patience took a walk.  Dick Wakefield doubled him to third and he scored on Cramer's groundout.  Newhouser looked energized as he took the mound in the 7th.  He would only allow a walk over the next three innings, striking out 4.  The Tiger bats still needed to get going and the next inning they did.  Mayo led off with a single and went to second on Newhouser's sacrifice.  With two out, Georgie Kell tripled him home and scored on Greenberg's single.  Kell had a great series going 6 for 16.  But more importantly, he sacrificed his body by playing in at third on nearly every hitter.  Consequently, the Cubs were deprived of a major weapon as they were unable to bunt for a hit throughout the Series. Tigers 3  Cubs 2
Game 4:  Rube Kroh would start for the Cubs.  He had last pitched two weeks prior, going 11
innings against the A's with no decision.  He would be matched up against Fred Hutchinson.  Hutch had been the surprising choice for the Tigers' third starter over Virgil Trucks, but he had responded with 2 wins.  Hoot Evers would get the call in center against the lefty Kroh.  Evers had lost his centerfield starting job too Doc Cramer, going a disastrous 0-12 in his first 4 games.  He had since been relegated to pinch hitting and defensive replacement.  The Tigers would also be without Birdie Tebbets who had started every previous game of the series, behind he plate hitting .353 coming into this series.  But Birdie needed a day off and manager Tom Davis decided he would rather have Birdie available for a fifth game.  Paul Richards would serve behind the plate and he called and caught a great game, throwing out Johnny Evers in Chicago's only steal attempt of the game before giving way to a pinch hitter in the 8th.  The Tigers scored first when Cullenbine and Greenberg doubled.  After Wakefield moved Hank to third with a single, Hoot Evers brought him home with his first hit of the tourney.   The Cubbies got one back in the 5th   Chance led off with a single and went to third on Steinfeldt's single.  Tinker's fly ball made it a 1 run game.  Hoot Evers singled home another run in the 6th to give Hutch a two run lead he took into the 9th.  Hofman led off the frame hitting an easy ground ball to Lake who booted it.  Schulte worked Hutch for a walk and the tying run was on.  Chance's sacrifice moved the tying run to second.   Harry Steinfeldt was the next hitter. , He had come into the series hitting nearly .400 but the Tigers had shut him down through the first three games, going 0 for 10.  He had singled earlier, but after talking it over, the decision was made to pitch to him rather than set up the force.  This was the right decision as Steinfeldt hit a high pop up in short left, too short to try to score the runner.  Joe Tinker was the Cubbies' last hope but his lazy fly to left settled into Dick Wakefield's glove and the Tigers advanced to the Elite Eight.   Tigers 3  Cubs 1
Kudos to Cubs manager Brian Stokes for taking this club into the round of 16.  The 09 Cubs simply cannot hit   They have absolutely no power (big surprise) but unlike other teams of the era, they had no hitter over .290 in the lineup.  Every run had to be painstakingly manufactured and with George Kell taking away the bunt option, they were forced to swing away, and hit a lot of last fly balls.  Unlike their previous victims, the Mariners, the Tigers were able to adjust to hitting no homers (only one for the series) and instead scored on doubles and triples.  The pitching was pretty evenly matched but the Tigers simply had better hitters.
--submitted by Tom "Crash" Davis--

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

‘64 Phightin’s need 5 games to eliminate ‘97 Pinstripes

Game 1 -

Jim Bunning vs David Cone @ Yankee Stadium

The game was tied at 1 when the Yankees broke out the bats in the bottom of the 5th. After Wade Boggs was safe on an error, Joe Girardi singled then Rey Sanchez squeezed Boggs home.Tim Raines singled then it was Derek Jeters turn, Jeters single scored Sanchez then Raines scored on a fielders choice. Bernie Williams capped it off  with a 2 run homer to put the Yanks up 7-1. Philly added a run in the 7th but it was too little, too late as the Yanks cruised to a 7-2 victory.

Cone (W) Stanton (H) Bunning (L)

New York Yankees lead the Philadelphia Phillies 1 game to 0.

Game 2 -

Chris Short vs Andy Pettitte @ Yankee Stadium

The Philly bats came alive starting in the 2nd when Richie Allen had a leadoff triple and scored on a Frank Thomas sac fly. Johnny Callison added a tally after walking and scoring on a Ruben Amaro single. Philly added to the lead in the 5th, after 2 quick outs Philly loaded the bases and Frank Thomas delivered with a big double scoring 3 runs. New York got on the board in the 6th on a Charlie Hays solo home run but the Philly 6th was the nail in the coffin as the Phils put up 4 more highlighted by a Cookie Rojas double. Philly wins big 10-3. Off to Philadelphia!

Short (W) Pettitte (L)

Series tied 1 game apiece.

Game 3 -

David Wells vs Dennis Bennett @ Shibe Park

This one was over in the top of the 1st. when the Yanks put up 5 early runs highlighted by Jorge Posada and Tino Martinez doubles. New York added 2 in the 5th and 2 in the 8th to bomb the Phils 9-1. “The Boomer”, David Wells picks up the win with a 5 hit 1 run complete game victory.

Wells (W) Bennett (L)

New York Yankees lead the Philadelphia Phillies 2 games to 1.

Game 4 -

Dwight Gooden vs Jim Bunning @ Shibe Park

Closest game so far in the series. New York opens strong with 3 in the 1st. Paul O'Neill blasted a 3 run homer and Philly fans at Shibe were thinking the Phils may be on their last leg. Philly answered with 1 in the 1st when Tony Gonzalez scored off a Wes Covington double. The Philly 2nd opened with Johnny Callison hitting a leadoff HR to right to cut the lead to 3-2. Later in the 2nd, Wes Covington blasted a 2 run homer and Philly was alive with a 5-3 lead. That lead held into the 5th when New York got their bats going and tied the game at 5 on a Bernie Williams 2 run homer to right center. The Yanks took the lead in the 7th 6-5 but Philly answered in their half of the 7th to tie the game at 6.The game remained tied and went into extra innings at 6-6. In the bottom of the 10th Tony Taylor lead off with a triple to right center. After an intentional pass, a ground out, another intentional walk, and an infield popout, Danny Cater ended it with a seeing eye single between 1st & 2nd. Philly evened the series with a 7-6 thriller.

Shantz (W) Roebuck (BS) Banks (L)

Series tied 2 games apiece.

Game 5 -

Chris Short vs David Cone @ Yankee Stadium

Back to the House That Ruth Built to settle this competitive series. Philly chased starter David Cone in the 4th after posting 4 in the 3rd and threatening to blow it open in the 4th with a Tony Gonzalez double. Stanton came in and held the Phils in check holding the score at 4-0. New York put 1 on the board in the 5th when Bernie Williams scored off a Curtis double closing the gap to 4-1. The Yanks really made a game of it in the 7th when they rallied and closed the gap to 4-3. Chris Short hung on and was able to get Raines to ground out to end the threat. Short got his mojo back and set the Yankees down in order in the 9th to cling to a 4-3 series ending victory.

Short (W) Cone (L)

Philadelphia Phillies win series 3 games to 2.

Thanks to Yankees Manager Mike Hill for an exciting, competitive series.  --submitted by Gary Mauer--

Saturday, January 10, 2015

‘73 LA clinches series on Bordi wild pitch

Game 1 - Yankee Stadium
Messersmith vs Guidry
Dodgers 3, Yankees 0

Andy_MessersmithFans up in the Bronx witnessed a true battle of aces. Gator was rock solid giving up just 2 runs in 8 innings of work. Andy Messersmith was just a tad better tossing a nifty 3 hit complete game shutout. LA scored 2 in the top of the 2nd thanks to a leadoff homer by the Penguin, Ron Cey. After a single by Garvey and a double by Mota the Dodgers threatened to blow it open. Guidry would have none of this "blow it open" stuff and proceeded to limit the damage to just 1 more run, which came on a Yeager sac Fly. LA added an insurance run via a bases loaded RBI walk issued by reliever Brian Fisher to Willie Crawford. Messersmith walked the illusive Rickey Henderson to start the 9th, but down by 3 the fleet footed Yankee Centerfielder wasn't about to risk taking off. Brooklyn's own Willie Randolph put a good scare into Messersmith by lining an opposite field bullet the found Crawford's glove and not the short porch. Big guns Mattingly and Winfield went down easy to end the game as Messersmith preserved his shutout, while the Dodgers took the series opener.
Dodgers lead series 1-0

Game 2
John vs Niekro
Yankees 5, Dodgers 2

Niekro Nabs his 300th in 1985 vs Toronto

Dodger manager Marc Weiss would rueMarcAndPhil the day that he met up with Yankee starter Phil Niekro to help the latter work on his Knuckleball grip. Both men met in Cooperstown 2 years back and discussed all the nuiances of the tantalizing pitch that has saved many a career. Niekro's 300+ major league wins are a true testament to his talent. Weiss, who himself has 40+ JFK league wins and two series clinchers to his resume believes in the fact that knuckleball pitchers are part of a tight fraternity and they must always help each other like a band of brothers in distress. While quite virtuous in nature that generosity would come back to harm the Dodger skipper as Niekro's knuckler was dancing like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. That ball had moves that weren't even invented. Niekro would go 6 2/3 and give up just one solo un in the 6th. LA had their chances, but Niekro was in total control. After 130 pitches, manager Brian Collins lifter "Knucksie" in favor of his conventional throwers. Bordi, Shirley and Rags all came through with flying colors, with the latter giving up a harmless solo tally in the 9th. Hit Man, Don Mattingly knocked in 3 of New York's 4. Rickey had a solo blast.
Series tied 1-0

Game 3 - Dodger Stadium
Cowley vs Sutton
Dodgers 5, Yankees 1

On paper this didn't look to be much of a matchup with HOF'er Don Sutton, at the height of his talent, facing enigmatic Joe Cowley. LA jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the home half of the first when "3 dog" Willie Davis led off with a homer. LA fans didn't even get settled into their seats to turn on the transistor radio to listen to Vinny by the time the team was up 1-0. Fans expected more, but Cowley was not obliging. Sutton and Cowley were locked up in a tight one until the bottom of the 5th, when Cowley lost his control and for all intents and purposes the Yankees lost the game. With the bases loaded Cowley walked in 2 runs to put LA up 3-0. An error by shortstop Bobby Meachem in the 6th off a blistering shot from Ken McMullen allowed Willie Crawford to trot home with the Dodgers' 4th run of the day. Both teams traded solo runs in the 7th, but Sutton took control again and walked off with a complete game victory.
Dodgers lead series 2-1

Game 4
Whitson vs Osteen
Dodgers 3, Yankees 2 (11 inn)

Yankee manager Brian Collins got as much as he could get out of Eddie Lee Whitson. At one point he was about to bring Billy Martin in to punch out the reticent righty. By removing Whitson in the 4th manager Collins committed himself and his team's tournament future to the success of his bullpen. New York would use an incredible 8 relievers as manager Collins matched them vs the Dodger batters to perfection. LA on the other hand had the luxury of being up 2 games to 1 with 4th starter Claude Osteen on the mound. On most teams lefty Osteen would be an ace or at worst the number 2 guy, but not on the pitching rich Dodgers. In 7 innings of work Osteen would give up just 1 unearned run on 5 hits without walking a batter. Still with that type of effort he would leave the game up by just one run (2-1). With three outs left to go Charlie Hough, who pitched a scoreless 8th, needed to keep his poise to lock down the series. After Andre Robertson led off the inning with a single Billy Sample grounded out to short advancing Andre to second. Catcher Butch Wynegar hit a room service one hopper to Bill Russell at short for what should have been the 2nd out of the inning. Russell, who in 1973 would not make you forget about Mark Belanger, booted the ball to put runners on the corners. Bobby Meacham followed with a perfectly executed squeeze bunt that caught everyone napping, including the Dodger manger. New York would not score again this inning, but the game would now head to extra innings. Neither team scored in the 9th. The Bombes got a lead off single from Rickey Henderson to lead of the 10th. Everyone in the house knew he had the green light. Dodger lefty Jim Brewer knew it too. Rickey got a big lead and a great jump, so he took off for second. Only problem...Brewer still had the ball. Brewer threw to Buckner at first, who threw to Russell (covering 2nd) to complete the pick off of MLB's all time stolen base king. Joe_FergusonBrewer would settle in to set down the final two Yankee batters in the 10th and 3 of 4 in the 11th. LA would open the 11th with Joe Ferguson doubling off of Yankee closer Dave Righetti. That hit signified the end of Rags' day. Shirley came on to face left Willie Crawford, who was unconventionally lifted for a pinch hitter, Don Sutton. Sutton, who was game 3's winning pitcher, was brought on solely to sacrifice Fergy over to third, which he did on the first pitch Shirley threw. With the infield in and Ron Cey up, Rich Bordi was brought in to replace Shirley. Bordi's 1-2 offering to Cey was a wicked curve in the dirt that catcher Ron Hassey could not block. The ball rolled all the way to the backstop as Ferguson galloped home from third to clinch the series for LA on a walk off wild pitch.  LA advances to the “Elite 8”.  Managers Weiss and Collins shook hands exchanged post game pleasantries.  Both managers were impressed with each other’s strategy and hoped to see each other again in March during a KOD21 matchup.
Dodgers win series 3-1