Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lightning Strikes! - 1982 NXPL World Series (Game 6)

The Detroit Tigers have battled back from a 2-0 deficit & now have the 3-2 advantage in the series. The Tigers send Joaquin Andujar to the mound to face off against the St. Louis Cardinals' Ron Guidry, as the series comes back to the Cardinals.

The Tigers decide to give Kirk Gibson a day off, with George Wright playing left, a defensive strategy (Wright has a fielding 2 with a 34 arm) -- that arm will be tough to tag up on.

GAME 6 (at St. Louis)

For the Tigers it would not matter if Gibson played or not, it ended up being a very long day for Detroit.

Tigers were no match for Guidry in Game 6.
The Cardinals team was greeted with a stadium full of a sea of red -- and the fans' spirits were as if they were up, 3-2 in the series (than the other way around). Ron Guidry, "Louisiana Lightning" was in full control, as he only allowed two walks to Mookie Wilson -- while he ended up NO-HITTING the Tigers' offensive juggernaut. What a way to bounce back from a so-so start in Game 3, by no-hitting the Tigers in a potential series clincher for Detroit, plus what a momentum shift, with the series now tied for anyone to win it in Game 7.

Guidry struck out 6 Tigers, while Willie McGee and Terry Puhl had to put on the after-burners to chase down some deep flies to keep the no-hitter in tact. He was backed offensively by Terry Kennedy (who's having a great series) with a 3-4 performance, his 1st HR of the series, plus 5 RBI in the game (7 RBI in series); Plus Keith Hernandez' bat finally woke up for 3 hits, lifting his low batting average up to .227 in the series... Leon Durham added two hits & scored three times for the Cards.

The Cardinals blow out the Tigers, 9-0.

The future Hall of Famer, Steve Carlton will face off against the Tigers' Dan Petry in the deciding last game.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The 'WHAT IF' 1975 World Series (Game 3)

The series is at a 1-1 tie, between the Boston Red Sox & Cincinnati Reds, after both teams' bullpens self-imploded. The 'WHAT IF' concept of the 1975 World Series was a healthy Jim Rice & the American League's DH rule in effect at Fenway Park... unfortunately for Boston, Rice ended up getting hurt in APBA play in Game 2 & will be out for the entire stretch in Cincinnati, he will be available to play Game 6 & Game 7 in Boston (if necessary). Juan Beniquez who played good for Boston this series, is out for the remainder of the series, and will no longer play a factor in Boston's possible success.

Game 3 (at Cincinnati)

Boston sends Rick Wise (19-12, 3.95 ERA & 141 K / Grade B-YZ) to the mound, to face the Reds' Gary Nolan (15-9, 3.16 ERA & 74 K / Grade B-Z).

Boston has Carl Yastrzemski playing in left (due to the Rice injury), after playing at first during the first two games. The Red Sox thought about using Bernie Carbo, but kept him out for a bench option, due to the fact he's not a good fielder as well; This also allowed Boston to play Cecil Cooper (Game 1's hero) at first base, since there is no designated hitter at a N.L. ballpark.

It would be Yastrzemski that would kick things off for Boston in Game 3. Fred Lynn would lead off the top of the 4th, by drawing a walk off of Gary Nolan; Carl Yastrzemski capitalized the opportunity with an RBI double. Carlton Fisk followed with a walk, placing runners on 1st & 2nd with no outs for Dwight Evans -- who followed with an RBI single, driving in "Yaz". With runners on 1st & 3rd, Denny Doyle would smack both runners in on a double to right; Nolan would retire the next three batters & get out the four-run inning.

For Rick Wise, that was all he needed, a 4-0 cushion -- Wise cruised on to keep the Reds' bats silent for the most part, allowing only 7 hits, with a complete-game shutout of the "Big Red Machine". Another great thing about Wise's performance is that he gave the Red Sox' bullpen a much-needed rest after their Game 2 failures. Wise struck out 6 Cincy batters & walked one.

No Cincy base-runners would reach third, as their biggest threat was Johnny Bench's lead-off double during the bottom of the 4th.

Red Sox win 4-0, and lead the series 2-1.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

2001 'WHAT IF' World Series - Oakland at Arizona (Game 6)

The series returns to Arizona, with the Arizona Diamondbacks trailing the Oakland Athletics in this series, 3-2; Eric Chavez hit a walk-off, two-run homer in Game 5.

The D-Backs will be sending Curt Schilling to the mound, to help try to bring back balance in this series, while the Athletics will be sending Mark Mulder to the mound.

Game 6 (at Arizona)
Counsell collects 3 hits in Game 6.

1st Inning - All is starting out well for Curt Schilling in the top-half as he strikes out the side in Terrance Long, Miguel Tejada & Jason Giambi. The Diamondbacks threaten in the bottom with a lead-off double by Craig Counsell, followed by a Jay Bell walk... but couldn't do more, as Luis Gonzalez flies out & Reggie Sanders hit into a inning-ending double play.

Top of the 2nd - After two quick outs to Eric Chavez & Jermaine Dye (Dye was Schilling's 4th K in 5 batters), Johnny Damon draws a walk & steals second base. Ramon Hernandez (2-for-10, .200 BA in the series) comes up to the plate, after not playing in Games 4 & 5; Hernandez eager-to-play, hits a two-run HR off of Schilling for the Athletics to draw first blood, 2-0.

The Diamondbacks don't stay down for long, as in the bottom of the 2nd, they strike back. Mark Grace leads off the inning with a single, followed by a Matt Williams double. With runners on 2nd & 3rd, no outs, Steve Finley scores in Grace on a sacrifice fly to right, while Williams tags up & makes it to third. Damian Miller would tie the game by grounding out to deep second, as Williams scores. With two outs, Curt Schilling batting, Mark Mulder gets Schilling to strike out; Game tied 2-2.

Craig Counsell leads off the 3rd with a single & then steals second base; Jay Bell advances Counsell to third by grounding out. Luis Gonzalez & Reggie Sanders fail though, as Mark Mulder sends them packing with back-to-back strike outs.

The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the 7th inning. Steve Finley leads the inning off with a single. Damian Miller strikes out for out number one, Mulder's 4th strike out of the day at this point. Greg Colbrunn comes in to the game, to pinch-hit for Curt Schilling; Colbrunn draws a walk. With runners on 1st & 2nd, one out, Craig Counsell delivers a go-ahead RBI single, driving in Finley. Counsell is always one of the players in MLB history, need a big moment & he was somewhere involved, be it the 1997 Florida Marlins or the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks... Another player that rings a bell & comes straight to mind is David Eckstein (Angels, Cardinals); Counsell's RBI single would be his 3rd hit of the day.

With Counsell on 1st, Jay Bell would strike out for the second out of the inning. With Luis Gonzalez coming to the plate & 4 HRs this series, the Athletics were wise to intentionally walk him & face Reggie Sanders instead. With Arizona leading 3-2 & two outs, Sanders would strike out for Mark Mulder's 6th K of the game.

Top of the 8th - Oakland second baseman Frank Menechino reaches first on an error by Arizona's shortstop Craig Counsell. Oakland calls on Jason's bro Jeremy Giambi to pinch-hit for pitcher Mark Mulder; Giambi hits into 4-6-3 double play. With two outs, against reliever Byung-Hyun Kim (Grade A*-XYW), Terrance Long rolls 42 (result 40 - Ball [Walk against W] )... a two-out bases-on-balls to Long. Down 3-2, Miguel Tejada capitalizes on Kim's mistake & sends the ball into the stands for a two-run HR to give the Athletics, a 4-3 late lead. Jason Giambi would strike out for out number three.

Oakland calls on reliever Mike Magnante, who pitches a scoreless 1-2-3 inning against veterans Mark Grace, Matt Williams & Steve Finley.

Tejada reacts in 8th Inning, with HR off of Kim.

Bottom of the 9th - Diamondbacks are down to their 8th, 9th & 1st hitters of the lineup (Damian Miller, pitcher/likely pinch-hitter & Counsell, who has three hits). Oakland's closer Jason Isringhausen strikes out Miller for the first out. Arizona calls on Erubiel Durazo to pinch-hit against Isringhausen & draws a walk -- needing more speed on the base paths, Arizona calls on the speedy Tony Womack to pinch-run for Durazo; Womack steals second. One out runner on second, Craig Counsell flies out with no advancement from Womack for out number two. Jay Bell, being the last chance for Arizona grounds it to Eric Chavez at third, the long throw across the diamond, Jason Giambi leaps in the error, out number three & the Oakland Athletics have just won the World Series!

The road teams have won 5 of the 6 games of this series, the only time the home team was Game 5's walk-off home run for Eric Chavez in front of Oakland's fans.

It's really difficult to go through the game notes to see who exactly takes home the World Series MVP for Oakland at the moment, I do know in a losing effort, Arizona's Luis Gonzalez hit 4 home runs.

* * *     * * *     * * *      * * *      * * *

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

League Openings (Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League)

The Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League is looking for new owners, we are checking out all applications to the league, and currently have some team slots open for the upcoming 2017 BoS Season. Do you think you are capable of being an owner/GM to lead your team to a World Championship? Must possess the hunger to scout & manage in-game situations as well.

Requirements are: APBA Baseball for Windows (BBW) 5.75 (Upgrade 20), which can be bought from the APBA Games site. 

It costs $20 for the APBA BBW game, and comes with the 1921, 1961, 2011 MLB Seasons (a great value); The latest upgrades can be found at:

The league is looking for two available owners + 4 more for possible expansion, more details to come on the possibility of expansion.

  • A keeper's league
  • 16-teams, 162 game-season (hoping to expand to 20)
  • DH-Rule for both leagues.
  • Division winners + one wild card from each league go to the playoffs (With 20 teams, there will be at least one more wild card per league, likely).
  • Annual rookie/free agent drafts
  • No League fees for new members.
We are currently towards the end of our 4th season.

Looking for committed owners who have a love for the wonderful game of baseball!

For further information, please...
Contact me at:

Shawn Baier

Rough Start for Kershaw (APBA 2K9)

The N.L. West foes have been taking it to Clayton Kershaw (Grade A-XYZ), in this young season. 

After two starts, Kershaw is sporting a 9.90 ERA & has allowed 13 hits & 6 home runs! The real head-scratcher was his season opener against the offensive anemic San Diego Padres, who found away to take Kershaw deep four times -- with back-to-back HRs happening twice; Nick Hundley & Adrian Gonzalez during the bottom of the 3rd, while Max Venable & Scott Hairston accomplished the same feat during the bottom of the 5th.

With the Dodgers & Giants tied at 3-2 in second, the two teams played each other for Kershaw's second outing for the season -- his performance was not much better, allowing home runs to Buster Posey (2) & Pablo Sandoval (1). 

Meanwhile, his Giant counterpart, Tim Lincecum, is having a great season in two outings, with a 2-0 record, 1.38 ERA, 15 K's, while allowing only two walks & no homers to date.

Buster Posey, by the way, went 4-for-5, with a HR & double, 2 RBI & 4 runs scored; His season to date: 12-for-24 (.500), 2 HR, 6 RBI, 5 doubles, 9 runs with a out-of-the-world 1.529 OPS (.958 Slugging / .571 On-Base Percentage)!

Monday, September 12, 2016

1982 NXPL World Series - Games 3, 4 & 5

The Detroit Tigers find themselves down, 2-0 in the World Series, losing both games 4-3 & in 10 innings. To start off in such a hole, and losing close games like they did, can leave a bitter taste in a team's mouth.

This Tigers team all year around has clawed back when their backs are against the wall, they'll have to do so again, if they want to win this series.

Tigers APBA Manager Shawn Baier decided to play the APBA ball strategy and go with Jerry Udjar (Grade 13) over Dan Petry (Grade 11-Y) for Game 3, to face off against Ron Guidry of the St. Louis Cardinals. Tigers' manager has Mario Soto on stand-by just in case things get out-of-hand in Game 3

GAME 3 (at Detroit)

Rookie Hojo leaving his mark on 82' club.
Bottom of the 1st, with one out, the Tigers' Bill Madlock and Jason Thompson hit back-to-back singles. Runners on 1st & 2nd, Lance Parrish lashes a single that makes it's way between Garry Templeton and Ken Oberkfell, Madlock rounds third & scores, Thompson holds at second. Kirk Gibson strikes out & Ben Oglivie grounds out to finish the inning. Tigers lead 1-0.

The St. Louis Cardinals would not collect their first hit off Jerry Udjar until the top of the 5th, a single by Terry Kennedy (his 4th hit of the series) -- Udjar, by the way, pitched a no-hitter during the season against the Boston Red Sox on July 11th.

The Detroit Tigers ran into some problems during the top of the 7th, starting with a lead-off walk to Keith Hernandez. After a Leon Durham fly out to Ron LeFlore to center, Terry Kennedy collects his 5th hit of the series (a single to right), moving Hernandez up to second. Willie McGee, with runners on 1st & 2nd, 1 out, lashes a single that gets past Alan Trammell in deep short, Kirk Gibson runs in after it, the Cardinals are waving Hernandez home, here comes the throw home, Kennedy is going for third, McGee to second... Jason Thompson cuts off the throw, and throws it to third as they get Kennedy by inches; Hernandez scores, tying the game 1-1 with 2 outs -- Tigers traded a run for a huge out. Terry Puhl smacks a hit to the left-center gap, McGee is rolling past third, and will score easily... Cardinals take a 2-1 lead.

The Tigers have seen enough of Jerry Udjar after 6.2 innings of work, calling on reliever Andy McGaffigan; Udjar allowed 4 hits, 2 runs, with 3 K's & 2 walks. McGaffigan gets Garry Templeton to pop up in foul territory to Lance Parrish for the final out of the inning.

Bottom of the 7th, Ben Oglivie leads off with a double off of Ron Guidry. The next batter, Lou Whitaker lines a hit to left, toward the gap, rolling, that's good for extra bases... Oglivie rounds third and scores, as Whitaker rolls into second, game tied 2-2. Alan Trammell hits a hard grounder to deep second, Tom Herr gets there and only has a play at first, as Whitaker advances to third, 1 out. The Detroit Tigers go to their bench, with Howard Johnson pinch-hitting for the pitcher McGaffigan; Hojo rewards the Tigers with an RBI single.

The St. Louis Cardinals do a double-switch, with reliever Joey McLaughlin coming in for Guidry, he'll bat 7th, Terry Puhl is out of the game & will be replaced by Jim Dwyer. The Tigers go to the bench, with Mookie Wilson taking over Ron LeFlore; Wilson hits a one-hopper to McLaughlin at the mound, throws to first, for out number two -- Johnson advances to second. Still in the 7th Inning, with two outs & the Tigers up 3-2 -- Bill Madlock adds to the lead with an RBI single, Cardinals finally get out the inning, when Jason Thompson grounds out to Keith Hernandez at first... but the Tigers now lead 4-2.

Tigers' southpaw Andy Hassler pitches a scoreless 8th Inning.

Tigers call on George Wright as a defensive upgrade in left field, moving Kirk Gibson over to center, as Mookie Wilson is done for the night; Tigers call on their closer Dave Rozema, who lead the Tigers with 19 Saves, sporting a fancy 1.30 ERA in 34.2 innings of work. The Cardinals' Leon Durham leads off with a double, but the Cards are not able to score him in as Rozema closes down St.Louis, to help keep the Tigers in this series, they are still down 2-games-to-1 though.

GAME 4 (at Detroit)

Oglivie breaks silence with 5th Inning HR.
A pair of 20-game winners go at it in Game 4 -- Detroit sends out Dan Petry, while the Cardinals send out future Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton.

The game remains scoreless through 4 innings. Top of the 5th, Ben Oglivie breaks the silence, by leading off with HR to deep right off of Carlton; The Tigers do no more damage in the inning.

The Tigers threaten in the bottom of the 6th, but strand runners on second & third.

Bottom of the 7th, with the Tigers still clinging to 1-0 lead, Alan Trammell leads off the inning with a double off of Steve Carlton. Dan Petry comes to the plate, and has pitched 7 scoreless innings, in which APBA rewards the pitcher with a grade advancement, after two unsuccessful attempts at bunting (resulting in strikes), the Tigers decide to finally pinch-hit for Petry, which was a very tough & interesting decision --- Tigers call on Howard Johnson, he strikes out. Jason Thompson eventually comes through with a two-out RBI single. Cardinals call on reliever Joey McLaughlin to get out of the remainder of the inning; Tigers lead 2-0.

Top of the 8th - The Tigers send out reliever Randy Moffit to take the place of Petry, send out George Wright to play left, moving Kirk Gibson to center, while Ron LeFlore comes out of the game. Moffit walks Jim Dwyer leading off the inning for the Cardinals. Cardinals call on Bake McBride to pinch-hit for pitcher Joey McLaughlin; Tigers counter with going to the pen for lefty Andy Hassler, which Hassler than walks McBride -- No outs, runners on 1st & 2nd, and the Tigers are struggling to hold onto delicate 2-0 lead.

The Tigers call on their third reliever of the inning in Andy McGaffigan, while they seek their 1st out of the inning. The Cardinals manager calls for time, and sends out Derrel Thomas to pinch-run for McBride at first base. Tom Herr facing McGaffigan, squares to bunt, fouls it off as Lance Parrish dives for the catch, one down. Ken Oberkfell strikes out for out number two. Tigers not out of the woods, as Keith Hernandez steps to the plate; Hernandez batted .352 for the Cardinals during the 1982 NXPL Season, winning the National League Batting Title (Hernandez only batted .299 in actual 1982 MLB Season). Hernandez hits a bullet to right, the base runners were off with the hit, Dwyer is around third, the throw home, he's safe under the tag, the throw to third... SAFE! Cardinals cut lead in half, 2-1. Leon Durham (who finished 2nd in the N.L. with a .320 batting average) draws the walk -- Bases are loaded with 2 outs, for Terry Kennedy, who has been a thorn in the Tigers' side this series; McGaffigan strikes him out, as Kennedy leaves them stranded!

The Cardinals' reliever Al Hrabosky pitches a successful 1-2-3 innings, keeping the Tigers from adding to their slight, 2-1 lead.

The Detroit Tigers call on Dave Rozema to face off against Willie McGee, Terry Puhl & a likely pinch-hitter for Hrabosky. McGee rips a ball past Gibson in center, McGee leads off with a double, that puts the tying run at second with no outs for Terry Puhl. Puhl squares and bunts it down the first base line, Jason Thompson gets the ball, looks at third, but tags first, successful sacrifice as McGee is at third, with only one out. Cardinals go to the bench, and call on Ray Knight to pinch-hit for the reliever Al Hrabosky (as predicted). The Tigers' manager almost hesitated, but decides to make the call, moving in his infield and play for the play at home. Rozema delivers, McGee breaks for the plate, its bunted toward the mound, Dave Rozema is up with it, throws to home, the tag & he's out! They get the lead runner, a huge play for Detroit! Cardinals call on Miguel Dilone to pinch-run for Knight at first. Derrel Thomas, the Cardinals' last hope, hits a deep fly to right, Ben Oglivie runs to the wall, at the warning track.. CAUGHT!

Detroit escapes with a 2-1 victory, evening up the series at 2-2.

GAME 5 (at Detroit)

The Tigers starting rotation of Mario Soto, Joaquin Andujar, Dan Petry & even Jerry Udjar all pitched really well during the season, it's really hard to peg one as the ace of this year's ball club -- Overall, Mario Soto usually got the nod in the 1st slot of the rotation... which he will face off against the Cardinals' John Denny.

Denny pitched well-and-beyond his real-life 1982 MLB numbers of 6-13 record with 4.83 ERA; He would go 22-3 with a 2.09 ERA (leading the league in victories & ERA).

Denny would not be so phenomenal in this one, as he has trouble with his control throughout the game. Starting with the bottom of the 3rd Inning, after allowing lead-off single to Mookie Wilson, Denny follows with back-to-back walks to Bill Madlock & Jason Thompson. With no outs, the bases loaded for Tigers' cleanup hitter Lance Parrish comes to the plate, Parrish hits into a double play, Madlock advances to third, Mookie Wilson scores -- Tigers lead 1-0. Denny would end up walking Kirk Gibson, for his 4th walk of the game already. Denny strikes out Ben Oglivie to get out what could have been a real ugly inning for the Cards.

Terry Kennedy collects his 6th hit of the series, during the top of the 4th.

The bottom of the 4th, lead-off single for Lou Whitaker. After an Alan Trammell pop-up, Mario Soto lays down a bunt to move Whitaker up to second. Mookie Wilson scores Whitaker in on a two-out RBI single, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Bill Madlock comes up against Denny & gives the Tigers the comfortable cushion they were looking for with a two-run HR! Tigers lead 4-0 -- 3 runs scored on two outs this inning.... those types of runs are just brutal. John Denny gets out of the inning, by striking out Jason Thompson.
Madlock hits out two, as Tigers win 7-2.

Top of the 5th, the Cardinals stick with John Denny, as he draws a walk against Mario Soto... but the Cardinals were not able to do anything with the lead-off walk to the pitcher, as they follow, going down 1-2-3 afterwards.

Lance Parrish leads off the bottom of the 5th with a solo HR to left. Lou Whitaker draws a two-out bases-on-balls, which is followed by an RBI double by Alan Trammell to give the Tigers a huge, 6-0 lead over the Cardinals.

Bill Madlock would add his 2nd HR in the game off of reliever Mike Torrez in the bottom of the 8th, later on. Mario Soto would allow 2 runs in the top of the 9th against the Cards, but otherwise pitched a great game to give the Detroit Tigers, a 7-2 victory & 3-2 series lead.

The series heads back to St. Louis for Game 6 with the Tigers in the driver's seat, it will be Joaquin Andujar for the Tigers, facing off against the Cardinals' Ron Guidry.

 * * *     * * *      * * *

Friday, September 9, 2016

Lofton: The Unluckiest Player Ever?

Last night, me and my brother Chris Baier were trading emails back & forth, and he brought up Kenny Lofton. He mentioned that Lofton is criminally underrated (which I agree) and that he belongs in the Hall of Fame, which I feel he has a worthy case.

Chris mentioned the fact that he had close to 2,500 career hits (2,428 to be exact), could flat out hit (.299 career batting average), and that his only competitor stealing bases during his era was Marquis Grissom; On top of that he had several gold gloves & helped make his ball-clubs winners. If he had championship rings, he could really build a case...

but that's just it, he has no rings.

My younger bro, listed all of Lofton's chances, and how he kept coming up with no cigar. After you read the list below, you may start to believe that Lofton is indeed, the unluckiest player ever...

  • 1994: His first-place Cleveland Indians miss out on the playoffs due to the strike.
  • 1995: Indians lose the World Series in Game 6 to Tom Glavine.
  • 1996: Cleveland loses the A.L. Division Series to the Baltimore Orioles.
  • 1997: Kenny Lofton is a member of the Atlanta Braves, where they lose out to Livan Hernandez, the Florida Marlins & a very generous strike zone!
  • 1998-1999: Back with Cleveland, Lofton's Indians lose to superior Yankees (1998) and Red Sox (1999) teams in the ALCS & ALDS; People tend to forget that the Indians were up 2-1 on the Yankees.
  • 2002: Kenny Lofton is the starting CF for the San Francisco Giants, who blow a 6-run lead to the Anaheim Angels in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series; Rookie John Lackey finishes off the Giants in Game 7.... oh, it gets better... 
  • 2003: Guess who's a member of the 2003 Chicago Cubs? You named it!
  • 2004: Acquired at the trade deadline, Kenny Lofton watches his New York Yankees teammates blow the first-ever, 3-0 series lead, in the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox.
  • 2007: Oh, man, Kenny! Your team (Cleveland) led the ALCS, 3-1, and were ready to pounce on a cooled off Colorado Rockies team, until your team choked.
Seriously, that's a lot of bad luck!
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