Part I of "Down the Stretch" is now 3 months old (almost), so click on link below...
In case, you forgot what happened (Results from first 4 Games of the series)
The American League Standings entering September 19th, 1988...
|A.L. East||W||L||GB||Magic #|
|3||FORT WORTH PANTHERS||64||80||39|
|A.L. West||W||L||GB||Magic #|
|1||TRAVERSE CITY TIGERS||89||55||0||14|
|2||CEDAR PARK BEARS||86||60||4|
|4||MEXICO CITY CHIHUAHUAS||72||71||16.5|
|A.L. WILD CARD Race||W||L||GB||Magic #|
|1||CEDAR PARK BEARS||86||60||0||9|
|3||MEXICO CITY CHIHUAHUAS||72||71||12.5|
Due to many posts I need to work on my blog & need to get out, plus a busy schedule participating in one other league, running another league, I will try to make this post and other posts a little shorter -- yet, straight-to-the-point for the MWWL regular season.
What ended up taking place in the remainder of this series between Cedar Park left me shell-shocked.
|Bears' Hudler: Running wild in Game 4.|
Like I said before, The Traverse City Tigers (in a key division series with the Cedar Park Bears) had a 3-0 series lead, improving our division lead to 4 games, time to finish this, once and for all.
Cedar Park: Not so fast.
For this game, I was sending Dave LaPoint to the mound, I picked him up prior to the All-Star Break in a trade, had a pretty decent year, good innings, Grade 9 (for BBW). Sending him against one of their best pitchers in Greg Swindell, overall I believe besides one game, we kind of took it to Swindell a couple times this season.
Rex Hudler would lead off the game with a single, he would continue to be a pain in my ass this game. He steals second. Andres Thomas would hit him in easily on a single, Thomas would end up scoring on a RBI double by Dwight Evans. Kirby Puckett with no outs, would score in Evans on a single. The Tigers would end the quick 3-0 strike eventually.
Hudler would hit a single in the 5th, steal second once again, and get knocked in my Andres Thomas for a 4-0 lead in the top of the 5th.
Tigers down 4-1 in the bottom of the 6th, with two runners on, Jesse Barfield smacks a clutch three-run homer of Swindell. Barfield has hit some good HR's late in this season, especially during times when we really needed a boost. At this moment, I'm thinking we are going to come back & rip the Bears' hearts out.
No, too much Rex Hudler, Hudler would go 4-for-5, with an RBI, 3 runs & doing his best Ty Cobb imitation by stealing 4 bases on the strong arm of Bob Boone. Every time Hudler was on base, Thomas was there to smack him in; Thomas went 3-for-5, with 3 ribbies. Cedar Park would tack on a few more runs, as Swindell settled back down after the brief, rough 6th inning for the complete 7-4 game victory, he wasn't exactly sharp, allowing 8 hits, 2 walks, 4 earned runs, while striking out only two Tigers.
The good news is that I didn't have to deal with Hudler, the Bears were giving him a well-deserved day off. The Bears strike first once again, this time in the top of 1st, the Bears had runners on 1st & 3rd. Randy Bush would hit in his real-life Twinkie teammate in Kirby Puckett to score, the Tigers would get out of a potential mess, that would just be 1-0.
Ernie Riles would tie it up for the Tigers with a two-out solo HR off of John Cerutti. Really loved the pick-up of Riles during the season, he has been a huge lift either coming off the bench or spot-starting for Paul Molitor, or placing him at short or second from time to time. Plus he only cost me a 7th Round pick in a weak up-coming 1989 Draft.
|Cerutti kept the Tigers in check.|
The top of the 4th was annoying, because John Candelaria cruised through the first two batters for two outs, then comes a solo HR by Andres Thomas. Claudell Washington then slaps a sneaky single that had eyes, between Johnny Ray and Nick Esasky. Washington would steal second, that was another thing that drove me nuts the second half of this series, Bob Boone suddenly couldn't throw anyone out trying to steal (despite his +5 arm). Kirby Puckett would hit an RBI double to take 3-1 lead.
The top of 5th, Ernie Whitt would hit a solo HR for the Bears, for extra insurance, putting the lead to 4-1. The score would stick until bottom of the 9th, where T.C. threatened. Ernie Riles would hit a lead-off triple off of Alejandro Pena, Tim Raines would then draw a walk. No outs, runners on 1st & 3rd, Marty Barrett would hit a sac fly that scores in Riles. Raines would advance to second on the fly. After that, Paul Molitor (who's been clutch all year) would pop up, while Ron Hassey who has had some good late hits from time to time, would ground it to short for final out.
Bears have bounced back with two consecutive victories. Bears win 4-2 in this one. John Cerutti held the Tigers down, with only 3 hits & a walk in 8 innings, allowing a runs, including 4 K's.
|4 RBI during Game 6 of the series vs. T.C.|
Bob Knepper takes the mound for Traverse City, he faces Mike Boddicker. The Tigers took the first three games, only to lose the next two as the Cedar Park Bears try to even up the series.
The Bears kicked off the game on the right note, as Rex Hudler leads off with a homerun to left, off of Knepper. The Tigers bounce back in the bottom of the second, Paul Molitor scores from third on a passed ball. Molitor reached first originally on a throwing error by Ron Gant, then stole second, and tagged up advancing to third on a fly to right by Bob Boone.
Speed kills, or at least in this case Hudler is the one doing the killing. Hudler laces a single to kick off the inning, he then would steal successfully off of Boone's strong arm. Hudler gives Cedar Park the lead, on Andres Thomas' ground out to short.
Hudler would continue to frustrate me with yet another four steal performance. After reaching safe on a error by the Tigers' shortstop Rafael Ramirez, Hudler once again stole 2nd & 3rd base, matching his Game 4 performance of 4 steals in a single-game. Hudler would eventually score again this time on a sac fly by Andres Thomas towards the left-field gap, taking a 3-1 early lead.
Thomas would play a bigger role by smacking a two-run HR off of Juan Agosto (making it a 4 RBI performance) during the top of the ninth, as the Bears would eventually win the game 6-3, as the Bears even up the series 3-3.
Cedar Park scores 4 quick runs in the top of the first. Down 4-2, Dwight Evans would smack a three-run HR off of Greg Maddux in the 7th Inning. Maddux didn't have his "A" game, and would go 6.2 innings, allowing 8 earned runs on 11 hits. Mike Moore wins his 16th game of the season, improving his ERA to 2.81 on 7 innings of work (allowing two runs).
Tigers fans leave for the parking lots stunned as the Bears take the series (4-3) after a 0-3 series deficit, and are deadlocked in a division tie for first.