Friday, September 26, 2014

BoS: NLCS Games 1 & 2

PORTLAND MICROBREWERS (94-68) vs. URBANA LOCOMOTIVES (104-58). The Brewers swept the Seattle Rainiers in the opening round, while Urbana got a first round bye.

GAME 1 - Hisashi Iwakuma - PORT (9-7, 4.18 ERA) vs. David Price (23-4, 2.35 ERA)

A back-and-forth battle between the two best teams in the National League. The Microbrewers would touch up Urbana's starting pitcher David Price with a barrage of 6 extra-base hits & 5 runs as he stays in for the complete game. It's only fitting that "Big Papi" David Ortiz hits a HR in the post-season to go along with Freddie Freeman's two-run game-changing home run in the top of the 6th. N.L. MVP-candidate Adrian Beltre tried his best by momentarily tying the game 4-4 in the 4th.

Portland 5, Urbana 4

Portland's Freddie Freeman is locked in.

GAME 2 - Matt Harrison - PORT (13-13, 3.73 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (19-10, 2.78 ERA)

Freddie Freeman shows Cole Hamels the same respect he had for Price's season record, as he got the Brewers off to a 2-0 start in the top of the 2nd, with a two-run blast. It would be Freeman's first of two HR's for the night, making it 3 HR's in this young series already -- 5 HR's during these playoffs! The Boys of Summer may have its first "Mr.October" in Freeman.

Urbana's bats were quiet (collecting only 4 hits). Nick Markakis did his best for the Locomotives, smacking a solo HR in the 6th, but unfortunately he made friends with the wall in right, as he slammed into the wall going for a ball. Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz (fitting that he plays for the Locomotives) tries to keep this close by hitting a two-run HR in the bottom of the 7th, making it 4-3 Portland. Ruiz and Adrian Beltre would collide in the top of the 8th, costing Beltre the rest of the game, thank goodness for Urbana fans' sake that they at least have a day of rest, even though it's a long travel to the Pacific to play Portland.

Glen Perkins locks down his 2nd save of the series, while Matt Harrison (acquired from the lousy Traverse City Panthers) pitched an effective game, allowing only 3 ER's & 4 hits in 8 innings -- he struck out 5, while walking 3. Cole Hamels struck out 6, while allowing 7 hits, 4 runs & 2 walks in 8 innings.

Portland 4, Urbana 3

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BoS: ALCS Games 1 & 2

BOSTON BRAVOS (92-70) vs SOUTH SHORE FIGHTING IMPS (110-52). The Bravos won their series 3-1, while the Fighting Imps had a first-round bye.

GAME 1 - Edwin Jackson - BOS (9-9, 5.47 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy - S.S. (18-11, 3.08 ERA)

Corey Hart got things started for the Bravos, with a two-run HR in the first, but the Imps answer back with four runs in the bottom of the first, taking a 4-2 lead. The Imps never looked back, as they score 6 runs & 11 hits off of Edwin Jackson's lousy start. Jake Peavy did better with 8 K's, but still allowed 3 runs in 6 innings.

Allen Craig lead Boston with 3 hits out of the team's 13 hits, going 3-for-4, with a RBI double & run; Each member of the South Shore's starting lineup got a hit in this one.

South Shore 7, Boston 3

GAME 2 - Chris Capuano - BOS (17-9, 3.74 ERA) vs Scott Diamond (14-6, 2.64 ERA)

David Wright and Matt Holliday each had RBI singles, during the bottom of the 4th, that would make all the difference -- as the Imps take control of the series (2-0), with a 2-0 victory. Scott Diamond pitched a three-hit shutout, while the Bravos' Chris Capuano pitched a good game, allowing only two runs in 7.1 innings, while getting no support from his lineup. Capuano & Diamond each had 7 strikeouts. Wright went 2-for-3 in the contest.

The series goes back to Boston, we'll see if Boston can fight back in this one.

South Shore 2, Boston 0

Sunday, September 21, 2014

BoS - League Divisional Series (Games 3 - 4)


American League
The Fairgrove Tigers visit Boston to play the Boston Bravos, both teams split the first two games in Fairgrove, MI. 

Game 3 - Ryan Vogelsong - FAIR (19-8, 2.98 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey - BOS (14-11, 3.08).

The Boston Bravos struck first with a RBI double by Adam LaRoche during the bottom of the 4th. Ichiro Suzuki added a solo HR to right in the bottom of the 5th, to make it 2-0.

The Fairgrove Tigers cut the lead in half, with an RBI double by Jason Heyward, driving in Michael Morse -- but R.A. Dickey was too much for the Tigers, as he goes the distance, allowing 6 hits & a run, as Fairgrove stranded 6 runners. Dickey also had 9 K's. Ryan Vogelsong was ineffective, allowing 5  hits & 4 runs in 5.1 innings, earning the loss.

Boston wins 5-1 & takes a 2-1 series lead.

National League
The Seattle Rainiers are looking for some help from their hardcore fans, to help them bounce back hopefully against the Portland Microbrewers. The Brewers stormed back, and shocked the Rainiers in Game 2. Can Seattle make this a series?

Game 3 - Cliff Lee - PORT (11-9, 3.93 ERA) vs. Wei-Yin Chen (11-8, 4.13 ERA)

Yoenis Cespedes gets things going for the Rainiers with a solo HR off of Lee to deep left center. Josh Willingham adds another solo HR in the bottom of the 4th.

Seattle would take their 2-0 lead into the top of the 7th, when Freddie Freeman gets started by hitting a solo HR off of Chen. Seattle holding onto a 2-1 lead in the 9th, calls on Jonathan Broxton to close things out, as Freeman strikes again with another solo shot, tying it up 2-2. Seattle would walk Alfonso Soriano, and would pay the price allowing another long ball, this time by veteran Eric Chavez.

Freeman: Just getting started?
With Seattle fans in shock, Glen Perkins of Portland, comes in and closes things out, as the Portland Microbrewers are advancing to the National League Championship to play the Urbana LocomotivesAustin Jackson and Mike Trout each went 2-for-4 in Game 3, as Jackson batted .545 for the series, with Trout batting .600. Trout smacked in 8 RBI the first two games of the series.


American League

Boston has now won two straight to take 2-1 lead, as Fairgrove will try to even the series 2-2 in Boston, and hopefully send it back to Fairgrove.

Gordon was all smiles for Boston.
Game 4 - Rick Porcello (7-5, 3.77 ERA) vs. Brandon Beachy (8-5, 3.38 ERA)

Entering the bottom of the 5th, with a 1-0 lead, Boston would score three key runs. Alex Gordon would get his 2nd ribbie of the day (RBI single in the 3rd), with a sac fly, scoring in Omar Infante, making it two outs. Adam LaRoche would come up big again, with a two-run double, giving him 6 RBI's for the series. Boston now leads 4-0.

Adam Jones gets the Fairgrove Tigers on the board with a solo HR off Beachy, in the 6th. The Bravos' Alex Gordon answered back with a RBI double in the 7th, making it 5-1. Gordon had 3 RBI for the day, 2-for-3 performance.

Boston turns to Johnny Cueto to close out the last 3 innings for the Bravos, with 3 K's.

Brandon Beachy ended the day with 9 K's, Boston wins the series on three consecutive victories, and now look forward to heading to New York to play the South Shore Fighting Imps.

Friday, September 19, 2014

2013 BoS - Gold Glove Winners


C - Yadier Molina (Washington)
1B - Adrian Gonzalez (Buffalo)
2B - Brandon Phillips (Washington)
3B - Miguel Cabrera (Buffalo)
SS - J.J. Hardy (South Shore)
LF - Andre Ethier (Fairgrove)
CF - Adam Jones (Fairgrove)
RF - Jay Bruce (Buffalo)
P - Matt Cain (Carolina)


C - Buster Posey (Hannibal)
1B - Freddie Freeman (Portland)
2B - Aaron Hill (Urbana)
3B - Adrian Beltre (Urbana)
SS - Yunel Escobar (King Road)
LF - Curtis Granderson (King Road)
CF - Andrew McCutchen (Sacramento)
RF - Justin Upton (Hannibal)
P - Clayton Kershaw (King Road)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

League Divisional Series - Boys of Summer

GAMES 1 & 2 

American League
The Boston Bravos (92-70) of the A.L. East, travel to Fairgrove, Michigan -- to face the A.L. West Division Champs. The Fairgrove Tigers sported a 95-67 record. The Bravos took 7 of 12 from the Tigers during the season, we'll see if any of this plays out for Boston. Both teams have even splits for their home & away records, pretty balanced. Everything on paper is pointing at this series to be pretty even, maybe going the distance for all 5 games? We'll see.

Game 1 - Edwin Jackson - BOS (9-9, 5.47 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner - FAIR (15-8, 3.49).

The Fairgrove Tigers appeared to get contributions from everywhere in their lineup, as everyone except for two of their starters collected hits, as the team went 11-for-32. Jason Heyward, Andre Ethier & Salvador Perez each had 2 hits, while Ethier & Perez added a RBI. Boston's Edwin Jackson wasn't exactly sharp, allowing 3 runs & 8 hits in 5.1 innings, all while collecting 7 strikeouts though, without allowing a walk.

The game remained 1-0 Fairgrove, ahead on a sac fly by Adam Jones (in the bottom of the 2nd) until Fairgrove padded it's lead with two runs in the bottom of the 5th. Down 3-1, in the 7th, Boston finally got on the board with a RBI double by Omar Infante. Tigers answered back with another sac fly, this time by, Howie Kendrick, for an insurance run & lead of 4-1.

Madison Bumgarner was dealing in Game 1.
That's where the score remained with an excellent performance by Fairgrove's starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner, allowing only 6 hits & one run, while massing 13 strikeouts, in only 6.2 innings. Fairgrove relievers, Craig Stammen and Robbie Ross, lock down the rest of the game, adding 3 more K's to the mix (Boston batters struck out 16 times).

Can Boston bounce back in Game 2?

Game 2 - Chris Capuano - BOS (17-9, 3.74 ERA) vs. Mat Latos - FAIR (14-10, 4.12 ERA).

Bostons' bats once again could only manage 6 hits, but so was the case for the Tigers. Fairgrove struck first with a two-run homer by Howie Kendrick (giving him 3 RBI for the series) during the bottom of the first. Boston inched closer with Chris Johnson scoring off a sac fly by Omar Infante in the second. 

The big moment of the game came with Adam LaRoche hitting a clutch two-run homer in the top of the 6th for the Bravos. Alex Gordon added a RBI single in the 7th, as Boston took a 4-2 lead.

LaRoche delivered a blast that changed the tide of Game 2.
Chris Capuano pitched a effective game of 6 innings, 6 hits & 2 runs, plus 3 walks allowed, while striking out 9 Tigers; while Mat Latos was not on his 'A' game. Craig Kimbrel would come in for the save as the Bravos hold onto a 4-2 victory.

Series even, 1-1.


The wildcard Seattle Rainiers (86-76) travel south to Portland to face their division rivals, the N.L. West Division Champions - the Portland Microbrewers, who ended up with a 94-68 record. Portland definitely has the upper hand in pitching, while Seattle slightly has them with the bats.

Game 1 - Max Scherzer - SEA (10-12, 4.05 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman - POR (7-5, 3.96).

Mike Trout, the face of the franchise, kicks things off early for Portland with a solo blast to right off of Max Scherzer in the bottom of the first, with two outs. 

Bottom of the 3rd, Austin Jackson (acquired from the Traverse City Panthers during the season) hits a solo HR off of his friend Scherzer, to make it 2-0 Portland. Marco Scutaro reaches base on a single, which brought up Mike Trout once again, he once again belts it out, this time to deep left -- putting an early 4-0 lead on the board.

Trout puts up a monster Game 1 for Portland.

Mike Trout didn't stop there, as he knocked in two during the bottom of the 4th, to score in two on a double. Trout's line for the day: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 runs on 10 total bases! Trout ended up overshadowing his teammate, starting pitcher Chris Tillman's terrific day. Tillman pitched a two-hit shutout, striking out 11 Rainiers for the night.

Seattle's bats would have to come alive in Game 2, before letting this series get away from them.

Game 2 -  Bronson Arroyo - SEA (16-9, 3.62 ERA) vs. Jonathan Niese - POR (16-8, 2.61 ERA).

During the top of the third, Seattle strikes first as Jose Altuve hits a double, after a single by Rob Brantly, Derek Jeter scores in Altuve off of a single. Prince Fielder pulls off a rare triple to score both base runners in, as Josh Willingham hits a solo HR for the Seattle Rainiers. Exactly the inning & start to a game that Seattle was hoping for.

Portland answers back in the bottom of the third. Mark Ellis draws a walk, Austin Jackson follows that with a double. With runners on 2nd & 3rd, Marco Scutaro singles in Ellis, making it 4-1 Seattle. Mike Trout (4-for-5 for the series) hits a sacrifice fly, scoring in Jackson from third.

Down 4-2, in the bottom of the 4th, Jason Kipnis singles, steals second & is batted in by Freddie Freeman. Portland would end up tying the ball game, 4-4, in the bottom of the 5th, on another sacrifice fly by Mike Trout (his 8th RBI of the series). During the inning Portland knocked out Seattle's starter Bronson Arroyo (bringing in reliever David Robertson) & Scutaro collected his second hit.
Big game for Marco Scutaro of Portland.
Seattle strikes back with a solo HR by Yoenis Cespedes in the top of the 6th, knocking Portland's starter Jonathan Niese out of the game, taking back a 5-4 Seattle lead. Portland doesn't stay down for long, the Brewers pinch-run Coco Crisp for Mark Ellis, after Ellis drew a walk, Crisp would end up stealing second; Austin Jackson drives Crisp in on a single, tied 5-5.

Bottom of the 8th, David Ortiz draws a walk, Portland pinch-runs A.J. Ellis for Ortiz, Jason Kipnis gets walked, runners on 1st & 2nd. Seattle calls on Charlie Furbush, as he comes in and shuts Portland down.

Seattle fails to score in the top of the ninth against Portland reliever Matt Albers. During the bottom, Portland's Russell Martin leads off with a double off Furbush. Austin Jackson strikes out. Marco Scutaro hits a deep fly to left center into the gap, Mickey Brantley in center doesn't even offer going after it, as Portland's dugout pours onto the field in a celebration walk-off! Down early 4-0, the Microbrewers come storming back in this one.

Seattle fans will come out for sure in Game 3, but they will be hoping it's not their last game. We'll see... what a comeback for Portland. Marco Scutaro had 3 hits & 2 RBI in this one -- including the all important walk-off hit.

Monday, September 15, 2014

1903 World Series (Game 4)

Pittsburgh calls on Phillippe for Game 4.

Game 4 (at Pittsburgh)

Cy Young returns to the mound for the Boston Americans, as the Pittsburgh Pirates seek to even up the series with Deacon Phillippe on the mound.

Bottom of the 1st - One out double to right for Fred Clarke, decides not to challenge Chick Stahl's strong arm in right, for a possible triple. Young to face Honus Wagner, the pitch, it's a topper out front, Young is up with it, throws it to third to get the lead runner Clarke -- it's by Jimmy Collins at third, the left fielder Buck Freeman races in, Clarke is going for home, here's the throw, and he's out! Wagner pulls up into second, Young charged with the error. Two outs as Tommy Leach steps into the batter's box, Young winds & fires, it's on the corner, no! The ump says it missed the plate, sure looked good from here, as Cy Young shakes his head in disagreement, runners on 1st & 2nd now, as Leach drew the walk. Claude Ritchey steps up to the plate, batting .300 in this World Series for the Bucs, Young delivers, deep fly to right, Stahl chases it down, three away, no runs.

Bottom of the 3rd - Fred Clarke hits a two-out single for his second hit of the game, but is thrown out stealing second by Boston catcher Lou Criger's great throw, with Honus Wagner standing at the plate.

Top of the 4th - Patsy Dougherty leads off with a single to right, Boston's first hit of the game. Freddy Parent follows with a single of his own that drops in the right center gap, Ginger Beaumont is quick with the throw to avoid any more advancement. Jimmy Collins pops up behind first base, as the Bucs' second baseman Claude Ritchey comes up with the catch, one away. Buck Freeman hits a routine fly to center for the second out, runners don't advance. Chick Stahl slaps one towards first baseman Kitty Bransfield, he spears it, runs to the bag, side retired.

Top of the 5th - George LaChance nearly knocks the ball out of the park in right center, as the ball caroms off the wall, Ginger Beaumont is there with the ball, as LaChance tries for second & makes it in safe. The previous play, the hitter Hobe Ferris nearly knocked one out to far right, as Jimmy Sebring snagged it at the wall. One out & the batter is Lou Criger to face Deacon Phillippe, the pitch, hit over towards first, first baseman Kitty Bransfield has it, flips it to Phillippe covering first, two away -- LaChance moves over to third. Stepping up to the plate is Boston pitcher, Cy Young, let's see if he can help his own cause, the pitch, big K! Young slams his bat down in disgust. The score still remains scoreless for both teams.

Kitty Bransfield leads off the bottom, with a bases on balls, as Cy Young tried to be a little too fine with his pitches. Jimmy Sebring hits this one hard to right center, center fielder Dougherty is after it, he leaps, it's gone! Two-run homer for Sebring off of Young; those are the first runs that Young has allowed in 16 innings of work this series. Jimmy is exuberant as he's greeted at home plate by his teammates. The Bucs couldn't do any more, but Sebring puts the Pirates on the board with 2-0 lead entering the 6th.

Post-Season Glory for Jimmy Sebring? Sebring hits HR in the 6th for Bucs.
Two-out single to Jimmy CollinsDeacon Phillippe intentionally walks Buck Freeman to face Chick Stahl. The intentional walk to Freeman was the third issued to Freeman in this series, talk about respect, can't really blame them, Freeman is batting 3-for-8 (.375) with a HR, 3 RBI & 3 runs in this World Series. Phillippe sets up against Stahl, the pitch, and Stahl calls time out, as the Boston third baseman/manager Jimmy Collins comes out of the dugout, he's making a switch, he's going to have Charley "Duke" Farrell pinch-hit for Stahl. As you recall Farrell was responsible for Boston's only runs in Game 3, with a two-run triple, we'll see if luck is once again on his side. Phillippe delivers, this one is in the dirt, the runners will move up. The catcher goes up to the mound to try to get Phillippe to refocus on the task at hand. Phillippe sets up, delivers the pitch, Farrell hits this one into the right field corner, this is going to score both runs, Farrell dives into second, a two-run double, 4 RBI this series in two at-bats for Farrell. It's all knotted up at two apiece now. The go-ahead run is at second with Hobe Ferris coming to the plate, the pitch, big strikeout for Phillippe, to get out of the inning. The Americans send in backup catcher Jake Stahl (no relation to Chick) to play right for Farrell.

The "Duke" strikes again for Boston.

Top of the 7th - One out single to right for Lou Criger. Phillippe to face Cy Young, he jams him on the hands, Honus Wagner charges in, wings it to Kitty Bransfield, not in time! Runners now on 1st & 2nd. Phillippe to face Patsy Dougherty, the pitch, Dougherty follows it back & out of play. Phillippe gets ready to bring it home, the delivery, Patsy smacks this one into the gap in right, Ginger Beaumont is there, Boston's Criger is around third, the throw home from Beaumont, and he's out! Out by inches, as Young will make it to third, runners on 1st & 3rd, with 2 outs for the upcoming batter, Freddy Parent. The pitch to Parent, it's blooped towards short, Wagner's running back, it drops in for a hit, Young scores from third, as Boston takes a 3-2 lead -- Boston is starting to accumulate hits against Phillippe, as the Bucs' bullpen is busy. Runners on 1st & 2nd, Jimmy Collins slaps the ball towards second, the 2B-Claude Ritchey is up with it, flips the throw over to second with Wagner covering, and they get the force & final out of the top-half of the inning.

Bottom of the 7th - Cy Young strikes out Kitty Bransfield, he has quietly put together 6 K's for the night. Young to face Jimmy Sebring, the pitch, he piles into this one, that could be trouble, Jake Stahl races to the wall, back, and robbed by Stahl at the wall! That could have been Sebring's second round-tripper of the night. Ed Phelps grounds out to short for the final out of the seventh.

The Bucs have no choice, but to have Deacon Phillippe continue pitching for at least one more half-inning. The pitch to Buck Freeman, he gets the sweet spot of the bat on this one, it's to left, Fred Clarke is after it, he catches it, and hits the wall -- he holds on to the ball, nice catch! He gets through the rest of the inning with ease.
Leever comes in to relieve.

The Pirates will send in Fred Carisch as a pinch-hitter for Phillipe in the bottom of the 8th. The pitch by Young, that's rocked deep to left, it's high, it's long-gone! Carisch with a monster shot, he sure is taking his time around the bases. Ginger Beaumont would hit a routine fly to center, while Fred Clarke hits a challenging shot towards short, but is out at first by a step. Cy Young now to face Honus Wagner. The pitch to Wagner, spanked sharply to third, Jimmy Collins is up with the brutal bounce, the long throw, and they got him for the final out of the inning.

Sam Leever comes in to face Boston in the 9th, cruises to an easy inning.

Cy Young stays in, trying for the complete game victory, he will have to face Tommy LeachClaude Ritchey & Kitty Bransfield. Routine fly out to right for Leach, while Ritchey goes down swinging. It all comes down to Bransfield. Bransfield has come up big before, does he having any more tricks up his sleeve? Young sets, delivers, and it's grounded to the first baseman George LaChance who takes it on the high hop & flips to Young covering first.

We are going to extras, Leever will start his second inning of work. Jimmy Sebring would rob another homer, as this one appeared to be gone in right, a hot smash by Patsy Dougherty. The very next play, Freddy Parent laces a single over Honus Wagner's head at short, Fred Clarke comes in to field it, and boots it off his foot, as it rolls towards center now. Ginger Beaumont is after it, Parent hits second with a full set of steam, he's going for third, Beaumont's throw, and he's safe! Score that a single, and a error on Clarke. The go-ahead run is now on third, with Jimmy Collins coming up to the plate, it's hit to Wagner at short, he gloves it, the throw over to first, SAFE! The throw is wild, Bransfield is after it, Parent scores easily, Collins is going for second, the throw, and he's out at second on a aggressive run. Error on Wagner, two errors this inning by Pittsburgh. Two outs now for Boston, as Buck Freeman steps up to the plate, the pitch, just catches the plate, strike three! The Americans lead though, 4-3, as we enter the bottom of the 10th.

Cy Young has been simply amazing this series for the Americans.

Cy Young is still in there for Boston, Jimmy Sebring hits a routine fly to center, for out number one. Ed Phelps hits a fly to right, two away. The Pirates are down to their final out, they will likely bring in a pinch-hitter for Sam Leever. The Pirates send in Gene Curtis to face Young. Young delivers, it's by George LaChance into right, Curtis does his job, they'll get a pinch-runner in to run for him in Hans Lobert. Ginger Beaumont steps up to the plate, everything is in his hands, the pitch by Young, this one is hit deep, Dougherty three steps to his right, back, back, and it's caught. The Americans now take a 3-1 series lead.

Pirates fans will be questioning the intentional walk to Buck Freeman, that helped propel Boston's two-run inning, with a pinch-hit two-run double by Duke Farrell during the top of the 6th.

Cy Young pitches another solid game, he has a 3-0 record this series, in two starts, one relief appearance of a combined 22 innings of work, with a 1.23 ERA. He also has 15 K's this series.

FINAL SCORE:  Boston 4, Pittsburgh 3 (10 Innings)

Friday, September 12, 2014

1903 World Series (Game 3)

The Boston Americans send Tom Hughes to the mound, as the Pittsburgh Pirates counter with Sam Leever (taking the place of Ed Doheny in the rotation) in a battle between two 20-game winners (Leever had 25 wins). The series goes to Pittsburgh, as the Pirates find themselves in a 2-0 deficit, and hope to make this a series.
Sam Leever will play a big part in Game 3.

Game 3 (at Pittsburgh)

Bottom of the 2nd - Tom Hughes delivers a pitch to Tommy Leach, Leach drills this one high and deep towards Patsy Dougherty in center, it's starting to tail away from him, this one drops in as Leach makes it to second ahead of the throw. Hughes walks Claude Ritchey, with no outs, Hughes will be hoping for a double play. Kitty Bransfield hits a little blooper to right that drops in, Leach scores, Ritchey holds third, as Bransfield collects a double -- 2nd & 3rd, with no outs for Pittsburgh. That brings up Jimmy Sebring, Hughes with the heat, this one is smacked heading for the right field corner, it drops in, both runners are going to score, Sebring to second, the relay, and he's safe! The Pirates lead 3-0, and still have no outs. Hughes with the pitch, upstairs, and Ed Phelps takes the pitch -- for a bases-on-balls, bringing up the Bucs' starting pitcher Sam Leever. Hughes issues his 3rd walk of the game, loading the bases up for Ginger Beaumont. A RBI single to right for Beaumont, the slow Phelps will hold third, bases still loaded & still with no recorded outs in this inning, as the Pirates are trying to put this much-needed game away early. Hughes will now face the dangerous Fred Clarke -- the pitch, Clarke hits this one into the left field corner, Buck Freeman has it, Phelps scores, Leever is rounding third, but the Bucs will play it a bit conservatively here. Bases still juiced with no outs, now for the great Honus Wagner. Wagner hits this one to Jimmy Collins at third, who backhands it, throws it to home for the force, a quick throw from Lou Criger behind the plate to first, a much-needed double play, as the Pirates' Clarke & Beaumont, move up to 2nd & 3rd. Tom Hughes just needs to get past Tommy Leach, who kicked this inning open with a double. Leach lines out for final out of the inning, but not before the Pirates put in a good inning with 5 runs, 5-0.

Sebring had a clutch two-run double in the 2nd.

Top of the third, the Boston Americans have pinch-hitter Aleck Smith pinch-hit for the pitcher, so we have seen the last of Tom Hughes. Hughes allowed 5 runs, 5 hits & 3 walks in only two innings of work. Two outs, Leever delivers the pitch to Smith, this one is hit towards the gap in right, Beaumont is over, so is Sebring, and it drops for a hit, Smith will reach second easily. Leever delivers to Dougherty, he swings, but he held up, and takes first base on a walk. Runners, now on 1st & 2nd for Freddy Parent, the pitch, he pops it up behind the plate, Phelps scrambles, throws his mask out of the way, it's out of play. Leever resets, the pitch, he grounds it to third baseman Leach, Leach guns it to third for the long throw & he is out. There goes some possibilities for Boston, score remains 5-0.

Norwood Gibson replaces Tom Hughes for Boston on the mound. It's Gibson's first appearance of the 1903 World Series. After a one-out walk to Kitty Bransfield, Gibson gets Boston through the inning.

Top of the 6th - Freddy Parent collects his first hit of the series, a one-out double to right center gap for Boston. With two outs, Pittsburgh elects to intentionally walk Buck Freeman, who already has a homer this series. Runners on 1st & 2nd, two outs for the batter Chick Stahl.  Stahl pops it up behind third base, Leach has it covered, three away.

Bottom of the 6th - Jimmy Sebring leads off with a looped single to right. Ed Phelps moves Sebring over to second on sacrifice bunt. One out, Gibson still on the mound in relief, delivers to the hitter Sam Leever, Leever squares, and hits this one down the first base line, first baseman George LaChance fields it, throws it to third, it's off-line, and Sebring is safe, Leever safe! LaChance is not charged with an error, but runners on the corners with one out. Ginger Beaumont flies to left, Freeman catches it, as Sebring tags up, the throw to home, and he's safe! Leever holds first, two outs now for player/manager Fred Clarke. Clarke flies out to center for final out, Pittsburgh puts up some extra padding, with a 6-0 lead here in Game 3.

George Winter comes in to relieve Norwood Gibson, who pitched four innings (allowing one run) after the starting pitcher Tom Hughes allowed 5 runs. Winter gets Boston through a 1-2-3, bottom of the 7th.

Charley "Duke" Farrell of Boston.

Chick Stahl loops a lead-off single to right. Patsy Dougherty flies out to left. Freddy Parent smacks a bullet between Tommy Leach and Honus Wagner on the left side, Stahl rounds second, but holds -- that is Parent's second hit of the ball game. Jimmy Collins hits it hard to Leach at third, he just reaches it, he will have no play at third, the throw to first, in time, for the first out, runners on 2nd & 3rd. George Winter was originally supposed to come up, Boston sends a pinch-hitter to hit for him instead -- who are they going to call? Charley Farrell, who batted .404 in 52 season at-bats, with a .466 on-base percentage. Leever sets & delivers to Farrell, Farrell smacks this one into the corner, Sebring will be chasing it down, the two runners score, Farrell is pushing for third, and he's safe, a two-out, two-run triple, and the Pittsburgh crowd is starting to get a tad nervous. Chick Stahl hits a deep fly that momentarily gives the center fielder Ginger Beaumont some trouble, but he finally gets to the fly, three down. Boston trims the lead down to four, Pirates up 6-2.

Bottom of the 8th, Boston sends Game 2 starter Bill Dinneen to the mound; He has a 3.00 ERA in 6 innings of work with 3 K's. Romer Grey pinch-hit for catcher Ed Phelps, but flied to center. Art Weaver would take over at catcher for the Pirates

The Pirates keep Sam Leever out there, going for the complete game victory. Hobe Ferris leads off by flying out to center. Leever to face George LaChance, winds & fires, it's hit over to Claude Ritchey behind second, the throw over to first, and that's the second out. Lou Criger hits a routine fly to center, and that's going to be it. The Pirates' fans are happy to get a victory, now we'll see if Pittsburgh can even up this series.

FINAL SCORE: Pittsburgh 6, Boston 2

Mid-West Winter League Update

End of the Regular Season

The Tigers swinging for the 1988 MWWL Playoffs.

The last I left off, we were at the end of the 1988 Season & the Traverse City Tigers and Cedar Park Bears were tied in first. The Tigers had 148 games under their belts, with a 89-59 mark, while the Bears had 150 games, sporting a 90-60 record. The Tigers were on the road for 7 games at the Detroit Stars, while Cedar Park was hosting the Mexico City Chihuahuas for 7 games.

Traverse City would edge Detroit in the series 4-3, while Mexico City edged Cedar Park, 4-3 -- with the Tigers now in first by a single-game. 155 games through, and the Tigers' magic number was 6. Quite a first, season to come down to the very last game it appears. Traverse City (93-62) hosts the Janesville Juggernauts (62-93), while Cedar Park (93-64) has the unfortunate time to host the Chicago Demolition for the final 5 games of the season -- Chicago comes in with the Mid-West Winter League's best overall record at 111-46 (.707 win pct), who are 40 games up on their division's second-place team.

Cedar Park wins their first game, 2-1, while T.C. loses 2-0 to Mexico City; Finding themselves tied in first once again. Janeville's Rob Deer & Ray Knight hit solo homers, as their pitcher Eric Show shutout T.C. -- while Cedar Park's Tony Armas wins with a walk-off in the ninth against the Demolition.

The second game for Traverse City found themselves in extra-innings, in the bottom of the 12th, Lance Johnson (batting .156) smacked a game-winning single into center for the walk-off, off Mexico City's reliever Mitch Williams. While Chicago wins a close 5-3 game, Dave Stewart wins his 22nd game, while Dennis Eckersley closes it out with his 36th Save for the season -- the game ended up taxing Cedar Park's bullpen as Chicago scored 3 quick runs, with the Bears' John Dopson only lasting 2/3 of an inning. Traverse City ends the day (October 3rd, 1988) with a one-game lead in the A.L. West. The Detroit Stars punched their ticket as the 2nd wild card team, both Traverse City and Cedar Park will be in the playoffs either way, as they fight for a division title.

Maddux: The young anchor for T.C.'s rotation.

October 3rd, the Tigers' Pete O'Brien hit a two-run single with Joe Carter adding a two-run double in the bottom of the 1st against Janesville, it was all that they needed as they won 4-2 with Greg Maddux winning his 15th game of the season. Chicago helps T.C. by defeating the Bears 6-2, with Roger Clemens winning his 19th & a good day from Kal Daniels (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI). The next day, T.C. lost 6-1, while Cedar Park had the day off -- Tigers with 1.5 game lead with magic # at 2 games.

October 5th, the Tigers sent Eric King to the mound. The Tigers added 4 runs early to take 4-2 lead. The Tigers added salt on the Juggernauts' wounds by hitting back-to-back-to-back solo HR's by Joey Meyer, Jesse Barfield, and Nick Esasky off of Janesville reliever Eric Plunk. T.C. would get word that Doug Drabek kept the Bears at bay, while George Brett helped by going 3-for-5, with a HR & 2 RBI.

The Traverse City Tigers have won the A.L. West Division Title! 

Enjoyed this wonderful season, and I made the moves that I felt were necessary to move forward and pursue a World Championship during the season. A veteran-laced team with a lot of fight. My division rivals made it an excellent race with the Cedar Park Bears, Detroit Stars & Mexico City Chihuahuas -- a four-team race throughout the season for the most part, so thank you to those excellent managers that made the experience even better. Plus thanks to an excellent commissioner in Stray Corrado, in making the Mid-West Winter League a success. The league brings back wonderful memories, and memorable players from a time that doesn't seem so long ago at times.

Next: The 1988 MWWL Playoffs

Saturday, September 6, 2014

1903 World Series (Game 2)

Game 2 (at Boston (A))

Bucs call on Phillippe for Game 2.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are thrilled that they won't have to face Cy Young in Game 2, after Young shut the Bucs down in Game 1, 4-0. The Pirates are looking to even the series with Deacon Phillippe on the mound, against the Boston Americans' Bill Dinneen.

Kitty Bransfield gets his first hit of the series, a two-out triple that sailed over the head of center fielder Patsy Dougherty, Bransfield took advantage of Dougherty's weak outfield arm, making it to third safely just under the tag. Bransfield keeps his World Series magic rolling with 20th career World Series hit. Bransfield would score on the next play, as the young Jimmy Sebring smacked a single past the diving third baseman Jimmy Collins.

Boston's Jimmy Collins hits a one-out bloop single out of reach of Bucs' second baseman Claude Ritchey, and then steals second on a close throw by catcher Ed Phelps. Tying run on second, and Buck Freeman steps up to the plate, Deacon Phillippe doesn't want anything to do with Freeman & his 13 HR's for the season, and intentionally walks him, hoping that Chick Stahl will hit into a inning-ending double play. The pitch to Stahl, it's popped up behind third, and Tommy Leach brings down out number two. The .251 season batting average of Hobe Ferris steps into the box to face Phillippe, the pitch, this one is hit, a little looper to shallow left, the shortstop Honus Wagner may have a chance, his back is to the plate, he turns and reaches, and it drops for a hit... the runners were off with the pitch, and Collins is well-around third, he'll tie it up, 1-1, Freeman reaches third, as Ferris holds first. The batter is now George LaChance for the Boston Americans, Phillippe delivers, base hit right field, Freeman trots home, Ferris goes to third, the throw from Ritchey, and he's safe! First & third, and there is still two outs, the Pirates struggling to get this last out. The catcher Phelps visits Phillippe at the mound, trying to settle him down, all he needs is this out, and see if his bats can reclaim the lead. Lou Criger steps up to the plate, the Game 1 hero, he grounds it to short, Wagner to first, and that will do it, as Boston now leads 2-1 after four.
Boston's Ferris.

Bottom of the 5th, Bill Dinneen hits a grounder to second, and the ball happens to bounce off the heel of Claude Ritchey's glove, and Dinneen's safe on a error by the second baseman. After a deep fly out by Patsy Dougherty, Freddy Parent hits a deep grounder to short, Honus Wagner had no play at second, he throws it to first, and it's high pulling the first baseman Kitty Bransfield off the base. Runners on 1st & 2nd, one out, with two errors by the Pirates here in the 5th (Wagner charged with throwing error). Phillipe delvers and it's a base hit to left by Jimmy Collins, runners move up, and we now have bases loaded for the dangerous Buck Freeman. The pitching coach comes out to talk strategy with the Deacon Phillippe. Freeman steps into the box, Phillippe looks over at third, sets up, delivers, Freeman swings... and misses! Big K for Phillippe, Deacon is pumped, it will now be up to Chick Stahl to make something of this inning for Boston, after a couple of Pirates miscues. Stahl ends up hitting a routine fly to center fielder Ginger Beaumont. Just a loud inning with no results. The Americans still lead 2-1.

Tommy Leach smacks a lead-off double over Patsy Dougherty's head in center. The Red Sox' third baseman/manager Jimmy Collins walks on over to the mound, he waves over to the bullpen, he's calling on Cy Young, the man that the Pirates did not want to see. A bit of a shocking move since Bill Dinneen (the Boston starting pitcher) just allowed only his 4th hit of the ballgame. Young will face Claude Ritchey. Young is coming off a five-hit shutout Game 1 performance of 7 strike outs; Young sets, delivers, Ritchey flies to center, Leach hesitates and doesn't tag up on Dougherty's weak arm, we'll see if that comes back to bite them. Mr, Showcase, Kitty Bransfield steps up to the plate, trying to tie the game with one hit, but Bransfield goes down swinging. It's up to Jimmy Sebring here in the top of the 7th, the pitch from Young, base hit right field, Chick Stahl is after it, Leach is around third, they are sending him, Stahl has a strong arm, the throw, the play at the plate and he's safe, as Sebring stays at first. Ed Phelps hits it to Freddy Parent at short, who flips it to second for the third out. We are at the 7th Inning Stretch all knotted up at two apiece!

Deacon Phillippe on the mound still for the Bucs, since they don't have much of a pen really. He will face the pitcher Young, CF-Dougherty, and SS-Parent. Cy Young hits a hot smash to Claude Ritchey at second, he dives, knocks it down, the throw, not in time! Young beats out the throw, as they give him the hit. Patsy Dougherty hits a fly out to center, for out number one. Freddy Parent hits one deep to right, but not deep enough as Sebring brings it down, Young back to first, two away. Phillippe delivers, and it bounces out of the catcher's mitt, Young makes his way down to second, score that a passed ball on catcher Ed Phelps. The go-ahead run is now a big hit away, with Jimmy Collins stepping up to the plate. Collins batted .296 this season for the Americans. Phillippe sets up, the pitch, and it's wide -- ball four, runners now on first & second for Buck Freeman. The Pirates intentionally walked him earlier, but decide to face him this time, the pitch comes in... it's smacked to left-center, the center fielder Ginger Beaumont is on the run, he's running out of room, it's gone! A opposite-field home run for Freeman, only the second home run in World Series history -- the first one belongs to the Pirates' current third baseman Tommy Leach, for his HR in Game 7 of the 1901 World Series against the Chicago White Sox. The Americans now own a commanding 5-2 lead in this game, where offense is hard to come by. Chick Stahl eventually grounds to first for final out of the inning.

Buck Freeman delivers big blow for Boston.

Jimmy Collins makes a defensive upgrade with Jack O'Brien in left, replacing possible hero Buck Freeman. Cy Young remains on the mound, who came out of the bullpen to relieve in the top of the 7th. Gene Curtis will come in to lead-off the inning, pinch-hitting for Pirates' starter Deacon Phillippe; Curtis batted .421 in limited action this season (8-for-19). Young with the pitch, Curtis grounds it to first, the flip to Young covering first, one out. Ginger Beaumont flies to left. Young brings it home, Fred Clarke hits this one to center, routine, that's three away, and Boston is now 3 outs from making this a 2-0 series lead.

Ed Doheny, the southpaw, who was the slated Game 3 starter, takes the mound for the Pirates. Doheny gets through the inning with ease, 1-2-3.

Top of the ninth, the Americans still going with Cy Young. The great Honus Wagner leads it off, as his Pirates find themselves down 5-2. The pitch from Young, Wagner lays off the pitch, ball four, as Tommy Leach approaches the plate. Young delivers, Leach smacks it to short, Parent over to second for one, over to first, no.. they won't get the throw off as the second baseman was taken out by Wagner, one down, one on. Next brings up the lefty Claude Ritchey, Young looks over to first, brings it to the plate, Ritchey smacks this one deep in the hole, the third baseman Jimmy Collins just reaches it, but won't be able to get a throw off, as Ritchey makes first safely, with Leach moving up to second. The tying run is at the plate in Kitty Bransfield, he only had 2 HR's though in 505 at-bats in 1903, he will have to hit this one into the gap. Young takes his time, delivers, it's a easy grounder for Hobe Ferris at second, shuffles it over to Parent for one, Parent over to first -- Double play! That is the ballgame, and the Pirates bench is quiet, as the Boston faithful in the stands are now singing.

The Bucs have not been able to do anything against the Red Sox pitching. Cy Young has now pitched 12 scoreless innings, and wins his 2nd game of the series (this one in relief). No word on who's pitching Game 3 for the Pirates, the Red Sox are still going with their Game 3 starter, 20-game winner Tom Hughes (112 K's & 2.57 ERA in 244.2 innings).

The Boston Americans are now in the driver's seat.

FINAL: Boston 5, Pittsburgh 2

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Update on the Boys

Regular Season comes to an end.
Here is a quick update on my Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League for BBW. The Urbana Locomotives (N.L. East) and South Shore Fighting Imps (A.L. East) were the first two teams to clinch their divisions. The Imps finish with the league's overall best record at 110-52, while Urbana had the National League's best record with 104 wins.

The Portland Microbrewers clinched the N.L. West at 94-68, they went 3-3 in their last series against the Sacramento 66'ers, while the Seattle Rainiers won their series 5-1 over the King Road Kings to reach the playoffs as the N.L. Wild Card with an 86-76 record. In the American League, the Fairgrove Tigers clinched the A.L. West, and helped make sure the Boston Bravos (of the A.L. East) qualify as the wildcard by beating the Carolina Panthers, 5-1. The National League West had all four of the division's teams mathematically in the hunt, the last two series.

The Bravos still have a rescheduled game (due to rain) to play, with the Bronx Bombers visiting -- for the official final game of the regular season.

So the playoff picture looks like this...


Boston Bravos (92-69) at Fairgrove Tigers (95-67) for Games 1 & 2
Fairgrove at Boston for Game 3 & Game 4* (*if necessary).
Game 5* (*if necessary) at Fairgrove.

South Shore Fighting Imps get 1st Round (Bye)


Division rivals...
Seattle Rainiers (86-76) at Portland Microbrewers (94-68) for Games 1 & 2
Portland at Seattle for Game 3 & Game 4* (*if necessary)
Game 5* (*if necessary) at Portland.

Urbana Locomotives get 1st Round (Bye)

The Locomotives are hoping for a long series, so that Carlos "Chooch" Ruiz (and his .360 batting average) can play a part in the ALCS.

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