Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Chicagoland Results (Game #4)

My 4th game in this tournament, the 2nd against Doug Schuyler's 1998 Yankees was easily the most memorable game of the my tournament play, and possibly for Doug as well. Like I mentioned before, all four of us were in a tough division, and I could see no one doing better than 4-2 going into this thing; I really would have not been surprised to see it go 3-3 all 4 teams (coming down to tie-breakers), the odds were pretty good. It nearly ended as that, Doug would go on to 4-2, Tom Johnson & I would go 3-3 (Tom gets the edge for 2nd place, I was 3rd place), and Gary from Long Grove was 2-4.

My Game 4 starter would be Christy Mathewson, he got rocked in the very first game of the tournament, allowing 8 runs in the first 3 innings! He would go on to pitch a much better game in Game 4, even if the box score at the end of the game doesn't quite express that -- kept us in this tough match-up as long as possible, until he finally lost his control; Then again, it could have been the ghosts of old Yankee Stadium taking over.

GAME #4 - 1912 Giants at 1998 Yankees
at Old Yankee Stadium

Starting Pitchers
NYG - Christy Mathewson (A-YZZ) (23-12, 2.12 ERA, 134 K's in 310 IP)
NYY - David Cone (B-XZ) (20-7, 3.55 ERA, 209 K's in 207.2 IP)

Bottom of the 1st
The Yankees follow a 1-2-3 inning by the Giants, with Derek Jeter starting this one off in the lead-off with a slightly different lineup (especially at the top). Jeter smacks a single to right, he was hitless in the first game, actually logging a hat-trick by striking out three times. Darryl Strawberry steps up to the plate, he hit a big HR in the first game of this series, he grounds out moving the base runner Jeter to second. Bernie Williams, once again in the 3rd slot, pops it up in the infield, this will be two away with one on. In many ways, Bernie was the most dangerous man in this lineup, and plays stellar defense; he had the team's highest OPS with .997, and actually was the only player on that 1998 team with an OPS over .900 -- Seven of the regular starters had an OPS over .800! Stepping up to the plate is Paul O'Neill, the Yankees' crowd starts chanting "PAU-LIE... PAU-LIE", finds his pitch, and loops a single to right, Jeter is going to score easy. Tino Martinez, who hit a HR in the first game, strikes out for the third time this series.
Yankees 1, Giants 0
Bernie Williams played a pivotal part in Game 4.

Top of the 2nd
David Cone takes the mound for the Yankees, he led the league with 20 wins, and had 200+ strikeouts for the fifth time in his impressive career. Fred Merkle is once again batting cleanup for the 1912 Giants, Cone sends him down looking, one out. This brings up Chief Meyers (4-for-9 this tournament), he batted .358 during the 1912 season (.918 OPS) -- definitely a plus at the Catcher position. Cone delivers, this one is going to the short porch in right, a Home Run for Meyers! He keeps on clicking, and this one is all knotted up 1-1, with one out. Josh Devore, the Designated Hitter, finally got his bat going last game with two doubles, but does nothing here as he flies to left. Cone ends up walking Red Murray, bringing up Art Fletcher who leads the Giants with 5 RBI's this tournament while batting in the 8th slot of the lineup. Fletcher does nothing though, as Cone allows only the solo shot by Meyers. Yankees 1, Giants 1

Bottom of the 2nd
Scott Brosius leads off the inning by grounding out to third, bringing up Chuck Knoblauch, the former Twins star. Knoblauch grounds it to short, in which Art Fletcher boots the grounder, he's not going to be able to do anything with Knoblauch's speed -- a routine grounder turned into a golden opportunity for the Yankees; E-6. Mathewson delivers the pitch, and Knoblauch is off-and-running, steals second. Mathewson delivers a wild pitch by Chief Meyers, and Knoblauch has now reached 3rd base, with only one out. Christy Mathewson eventually loses the battle at the plate with Jorge Posada, by giving him a free pass; Runners on 1st & 3rd. Chad Curtis steps up to the plate, batting ninth after leading off the last game, he ends up popping it up behind the plate -- two outs. Derek Jeter comes up to the plate, and the runners are going, Jeter doesn't offer at the pitch, and Knoblauch is a sitting duck at home plate -- OUT! The Giants get out of this one, untouched -- Someone must have missed a sign, double-steal failed. Yankees fans suddenly go quiet in disbelief. Yankees 1, Giants 1

Bottom of the 3rd
The Yankees' David Cone got the Giants' Beals Becker to hit into a inning-ending double play in the top of the 3rd, now it's the Yankees' turn to see if they can break this 1-1 tie. Stepping up is Derek Jeter, he got a single that lead to a run in the first inning; Mathewson delivers and Jeter laces another single to right. Darryl Strawberry shows he's no match for Mathewson, as Christy sends him down swinging, one out. Bernie Williams fights off a tough pitch and sends this one into the right field corner, bounces off the carom, as the Giants' Fred Snodgrass finally gets to the ball & guns it to the cut-off man, but Williams is going to reach third safely, as Jeter scores the go-ahead run; RBI triple for Bernie Williams. Still one out, and this brings up Paul O'Neill, who had an RBI single earlier -- but he won't do no damage this time, as Mathewson sends him packing to the bench, 3rd K for Mathewson. Tino Martinez comes to the plate, with two outs, drives this pitch into the right center gap, Williams will score easily, Snodgrass chases it down, throws the ball to the cut-off man Larry Doyle, Martinez is trying for third, Doyle guns the relay down to Buck Herzog, he applies the tag and he's OUT! Yankees' aggressiveness gets them once again, but not before they scored two runs off of Mathewson. Yankees 3, Giants 1

4th Inning through Top of the 5th
David Cone keeps pitching a stellar game, he has allowed only one hit through five innings (the solo HR to Chief Meyers in the 2nd Inning), with 3 K's & 2 walks -- 3 base runners total for the Giants.

Bottom of the 5th
Derek Jeter leads off with a double, Mathewson is lucky Jeter really didn't take full advantage of this mistake pitch, none the less, it's another scoring opportunity for the Yankees. Christy Mathewson then loses his focus against Darryl Strawberry, as he walks him, two men on (1st & 2nd) with no outs. Yankees fans are starting to get excited again, they are up 3-1 and are hoping to add to their lead. Stepping up to the plate is Bernie Williams, who snapped the 1-1 tie with an RBI triple last time up -- the pitch, and OH! He's plunked by a pitch from Mathewson, John McGraw is in the dugout shaking his head, never in his life has he ever seen his prized pitcher look so sloppy likes he's pitching in this tournament. Bases loaded, no outs, and no one warming up in the bullpen -- McGraw knows he's got no one better in that pen, so he's going with what he's got. Stepping up to the plate is Paul O'Neill, he has 3 RBI already in this series against the Giants, the pitch, and it's grounded to Fletcher, Fletcher flips it to Doyle, Doyle leaps over the sliding Williams and throws it over to Merkle at first, bang-bang double play! -- but the Yankees will get another run, as Jeter crosses the plate & while Strawberry advances to third. The Giants needed that double play badly -- Two outs, runner on 3rd, and maybe they can escape this inning allowing only a run, but first they need to get pass Tino Martinez. Martinez tried to stretch a double into a triple during the bottom of the third, last time up; Mathewson goes to the plate, and Martinez connects, but slams his bat down as he knows that this ball will be no problem for the right fielder Snodgrass -- third out.
Yankees 4, Giants 1

Top of the 6th
Yankees fans are getting louder, as the Yankees have pretty much been in control through five full innings, they are looking forward to getting their 3rd win of the tournament and possibly sitting pretty in the Bill Veeck Division standings after this one. They are ahead 4-1 in this one, and the man on the mound, David Cone is a big reason why, he has only allowed one hit up to this point.

The Giants' Buck Herzog steps up to the plate, just like many of his Giants' lineup mates, he has plenty of speed and is just hoping to get the opportunity to get on base to try to wreak some havoc on the base paths. Cone delivers, and Herzog goes down swinging. Fred Snodgrass steps into the batter's box, he's been struggling (1-for-9) so far; Cone delivers a nasty pitch, and Snodgrass could only stand there and watch -- 5 strikeouts for Cone! Two outs, and Beals Becker steps up to face Cone, he's doing even worse than Snodgrass, looking for his first hit, as he is hitless through 8 at-bats. Becker fouls off his second strike; fans on their feet, Cone delivers, and Becker sends this ball into the right center gap, as he's on second base standing -- only the second hit allowed by Cone. Giants hoping to get something going here, it's certainly progress, which brings up Larry Doyle. Doyle has no hits yet, but has had a hit in each of the last three tournament games, including a solo HR off of the 1976 Reds during Game #2. David Cone looks back at the runner on 2nd, goes home with the pitch, and Doyle sends a single to right, a liner over Knoblauch's head, Becker will score from second, Giants now trail by two runs. Fred Merkle will be the next batter, he's not been doing his job, with only one hit in 14 at-bats; Cone delivers the pitch, and Merkle scoots one past Knoblauch at second, O'Neill is quickly there to get the ball back into the infield & the runner Doyle will have to hold third.

Runners on 1st & 3rd, and Cone is now visibly frustrated, the catcher Jorge Posada will walk up to the mound & so will the Yankees' pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, in an attempt to settle down the All-Star veteran right-hander. It also appears that a couple of arms in the bullpen are at least stretching & getting ready to warm up in Ramiro Mendoza and Graeme Lloyd. Cone was cruising through 5 2/3 innings, and appears to have suddenly hit some sort of wall, while the dangerous Chief Meyers (.455, 5-for-11) steps up to the plate. Two outs, with the tying run on first, Cone delivers, Meyers grounds it to the shortstop Jeter, who will throw it across to the first baseman Martinez; third out. The Giants could have done more, while Cone stops a potential big inning. Yankees 4, Giants 2
David Cone pitched a great game overall during Game 4.

Bottom of the 6th
Christy Mathewson does his job, by probably pitching his most effective inning this game, by only allowing a walk to Chuck Knoblauch; while the others in the bottom part of the lineup, all grounded out in the infield.

Top of the 7th
David Cone is still in the game for the Yankees, he will face off against Josh Devore. Devore swings at the pitch and smacks it into left field. Runner on first, no outs, this is Cone's 4th hit allowed in 5 batters -- after he was in complete control through the first 5 2/3 innings. This brings up Red Murray, Cone throws it outside, ball & Devore is trying to steal second, the throw from Posada, and Devore's safe! Runner on 2nd, no outs, Cone brings it home, and Murray grounds it to deep second, Knoblauch only has a play at first; one out as the runner advances to 3rd.

Here comes Joe Torre, he signals toward the bullpen, and that's it for David Cone -- he'll go 6 1/3 and is responsible for the runner (Devore) at third. The Yankees bring in the right-hander Ramiro Mendoza to face Art Fletcher who has so far been hitless in this game through two at-bats. Mendoza delivers, Fletcher singles to left, Devore will score easily; the Yankees' faithful are starting to get nervous as the Giants keep chipping away at the Yankee's lead. The Giants' John McGraw goes to the bench, and sends in Tillie Shafer to bat for Buck Herzog, while Shafer approaches home, Torre comes back out of the Yankees' dugout, he has seen enough from Mendoza in only one batter faced, he will go to the pen this time for Jeff Nelson. This is Nelson's first appearance in the series, as he will face off against Shafer. Nelson pitches a strike & Fletcher will steal second base. One out, Nelson delivers and sends Shafer to the bench with a huge K hanging around his neck! Two outs, and Torre's wheels are still turning, as he'll take the ball from Nelson after one batter, and go with Graeme Lloyd. An interesting move, Lloyd was responsible for Game 3's loss, allowing the clutch RBI double to Devore in the bottom of the 8th; Lloyd will face off against Fred Snodgrass. The pitch to Snodgrass, and it's a routine grounder to short, and this one will get the Yankees out of the inning, but the Giants take another bite out of that lead.
Yankees 4, Giants 3

Bottom of the 7th
Christy Mathewson still in the ballgame, keeps the Giants in this one, with an easy 1-2-3 inning, by striking out both Chad Curtis & Darryl Strawberry. He has struck out 3 of the last 4 hitters he faced, and has now logged 6 K's throughout the night.

Top of the 8th
The Yankees keep Lloyd out on the mound, as Beals Becker laces a lead-off single to left. Lloyd delivers a pitch outside, it's called a ball & Becker is off & running for second, the throw from Posada, and he's... SAFE! Runner on 2nd, no outs, and Larry Doyle steps up to the plate. Doyle delivers a looper in front of the center fielder Bernie Williams, Becker is rounding third, Williams guns it towards home, and they nail him at the plate! What a gamble by the Giants, but they were no match for Bernie's arm, as Doyle advanced to second on the throw to home, Yankees fans are going crazy, and the Giants' manager John McGraw has come out of the dugout, and is discussing the tag with the home plate umpire, no argument from McGraw this time as he just nods and walks back towards the dugout. The tying run is still at 2nd, with one out; Lloyd will have to face Fred Merkle. The pitch to Merkle, swing and miss, and Doyle has stolen third, caught Posada napping, as Posada had a late reaction throwing it to 3rd-- that is McGraw baseball right there, always scheming -- small dead-ball at it's best! Doyle is quite a few feet off third base, trying to get in Lloyd's head. Lloyd sets and delivers the pitch to Merkle, and boy he's going to want that one back as this one keeps going.. GOING... GONE! Home Run by Merkle, a two-run blast into the left field stands here at Yankee Stadium and the fans are just stunned right now -- The Giants now lead, what a strange change in events as this game is starting to have a feel for an instant classic! The Yankees have Mariano Rivera is the bullpen warming up, but they would like to keep him for a save situation if possible, so Graeme Lloyd remains in the game for now -- but he's on the hook for a possible back-to-back loss, if the Yankees don't answer back in this one. Lloyd to face Chief Meyers, and Meyers swings at a pitch he wished he did more with, a grounder to deep second, to first, two outs. Lloyd just needs one more out to end this nightmare, and he will get that out as Josh Devore grounds out to Brosius at third.
Giants 5, Yankees 4

Bottom of the 8th
Christy Mathewson has retired the last eight batters, and will try to keep the Yankees off the score board the next two innings. Stepping up to the plate is Bernie Williams, he had the RBI triple in the bottom of the 3rd Inning -- that seems like so long ago, as this game has taken plenty of twists & turns since. Mathewson sets, and Bernie really got a hold of this one as it easily clears the right field fence, we are once again all tied up, just when you thought Mathewson found his groove. Paul O'Neill comes to bat, he has two RBI today, but this time he won't do anything as he strikes out. Tino Martinez, with one out and nobody on, flies out to left -- two outs. The Yankees' Joe Torre goes to the bench, and Shane Spencer heads towards the batter's box; John McGraw wants nothing to do with Spencer, and has Mathewson intentionally walk Spencer. Spencer had 10 HR's in 60 at-bats, and a 1.370 OPS in his short & impressive stint. Torre decides to have Knoblauch sit down for Homer Bush. Bush batted .380 with 1 HR in 71 at-bats during the 1998 MLB Season. Runner on 1st, with two outs, and Mathewson just needs to get past Bush; Mathewson delivers the pitch, you're kidding me? Bush sends this one deep, it may, it carries.. it's GONE! The ball made it out of reach, just over the left field wall -- a two-run homer by the unlikeliest hitter! The Yankees take back the lead, and stepping up is Jorge Posada -- Posada will hit this one deep, but it's nothing but a loud out. The fans are going nuts, and now are three outs away from winning this one.
Yankees 7, Giants 5
Homer Bush: The unlikely hero.

Top of the 9th
The fans are stomping as the tune "Enter Sandman" plays loud for the one & only Mariano Rivera. The Giants are going to need a miracle to pull this one out. Red Murray comes to the plate for the Giants, he has gone hitless, and will continue to do so as he flies out to left, one away. Art Fletcher grounds out to second, and now the Yankees are one out away. Tillie Shafer, who came in earlier for Buck Herzog, is the Giants' last hope. Rivera delivers, it's a single to left for Shafer. The Giants are still alive, Rivera will have to face George Burns, who is in pinch-hitting for Fred Snodgrass. The pitch to Burns & it's a strike, Shafer is stealing second, Posada throws it to second, the tag -- SAFE! Tying run at the plate, Rivera delivers.. ball. Rivera sets again, and he strikes out Burns for the final out! What a ballgame, and what a huge 8th inning! Yankees will split this series 1-1, and go to 3-1, while the Giants fall to 1-3.

                                    R   H   E
1912 GIANTS             5   10   1
1998 YANKEES         7    8    0    F
WP - Lloyd (NYY) / LP - Mathewson (NYG)


  • Homer Bush (NYY) - Clutch pinch-hit two-run homer in bottom of the 8th.
  • Bernie Williams (NYY) - 2-for-3, 3B, HR, 2 RBI & HBP.
  • Derek Jeter (NYY) - 3-for-4, 2B, 3 runs.
  • David Cone (NYY) - 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER / 2 R with 5 K's & BB.
  • Fred Merkle (NYG) - 2-for-4, 2-run HR.
  • Chief Meyers (NYG) - Solo HR.
  • N.Y. Giants - 5 stolen bases during last 4 innings.

I'm not going to lie, this one stung a bit, it was such an amazing experience to play such a one-on-one classic such as this game, this game was definitely the highlight of the tournament for me -- and this one as far back as I can remember may be the best game I played against someone... ever! I can barely remember high school, so the high school APBA league, we had some no-hitters & etc... but I can't recall a time, that a game went back & forth like the one between Doug & I -- I will always remember this particular game. Just like the Boston fans cursing Bucky Dent's name, I will be thinking in the same way when it comes to Homer Bush.

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