Sunday, October 26, 2014

Not So Fast!

The Dynamic Duo of the 27' Yankees.
So I have picked up the dice and have been rolling of late, we are at the halfway point in what I have decided that would be fittingly for the league -- 48 total games for the Crazy 48's. We are 24 games through for each team; After the next 4-game series for each team, it will be nothing but series against each 5 division rivals for each team -- a 20-game dash to the finish.

Once the playoffs start, there will be 6 teams (4 division winners & 2 wild card teams) for each league to qualify for the playoffs. It will be done very much like the NFL playoffs with the #1 & #2 seeds, getting a first-round bye. All the series will be the best-of-five, until the League Championship Series (which will be best-of-seven) -- then the best-of-seven World Series.

At the beginning of the season, the 1927 New York Yankees looked nothing like the 1927 New York Yankees, they took a double-pounding from two St. Louis teams -- one that was a tough St. Louis team, the other? Not so much. The 27' Yankees lost their opening series (3-1) against the Stan Musial & the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals, I want to say in one of those games Enos Slaughter hit a walk-off single to drive in a winning run -- so the series was closer than the 3-1 dictates. Then the Yankees had to play the 1944 St. Louis Browns, a team that goes down in baseball history of being one of those happy go-lucky fluke success stories, in a war-depleted MLB. The Yankees ousted the Browns in my APBA Tournament of Champions tournament (that's been on-going) -- winning the series easily, 3-0. So APBA history was good for the Yankees in those aspects, but instead they got schooled by the Browns, 3-1 in that series.

So the 27' Yankees started off a rough 2-6, they won their next series 3-1 & were 5-7 -- even then I was receiving messages from people like my dad's buddy Bob (who I consider one of my "APBA Uncles") -- "Hey, you got to get those Yankees rolling!"

Since their 5-7 start, they have went 8-4 entering their series against the 1999 Rangers. The 27' Yankees at 13-11, are in 4th place, trailing first place by 5 games. The 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords (despite being 2-5 in their last 7 games, without Josh Gibson) are in first at 18-6, followed by the 1929 Chicago Cubs (16-8) & 1912 New York Giants (14-10). In fact, the whole division (Stars I - Ruth Division) is really full of non-slouches as the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals (12-12) and 1931 Philadelphia Athletics (10-14), along with the whole division all have plus-run differentials against their competition. The Athletics' bullpen, injuries & a not-so-great Lefty Grove (0-4, 4.26 ERA) have been the team's Kryptonite this season.
They sure don't make 8.28 ERA's like they used to.

I was playing game-to-game for each series for each team (it was fun like that), while recording every game on this blog -- but now, comes crunch-time, and it's a little less brutal to my notebooks as well, to play two-at-a-time (double-headers) for the first parts of each series. The way I have the schedules, the series switches places -- the first two-games will always be hosted by the team with the real-life worst Pythagorean record, this allows better teams who usually have the better two starting pitchers to have to go on the road (I have been doing this all season). The Pittsburgh Crawfords are the only team out of the 48 teams, to just alternate home & away at the beginning of each series, due to not being able to put a concrete Pythagorean record on a Negro League team.

So now is the beginning of Series #7 (Games #25-28) and the 1927 Yankees head to Games 1 & 2 of their series in Arlington to play the 1999 Texas Rangers. The Rangers have power, led by Rafael Palmeiro's 10 HR's & 20 RBI -- but they have no pitching, their rotation is led by two APBA C starters in Aaron Sele (C-XZ) and Rick Helling (C-Y), the other two are D starters in John Burkett & Jeff Fassero (Mike Morgan is a D-Z starter, used in relief). They have used their bullpen 74.1 innings through the first 24 games, a good 3 innings per game -- it's truly amazing that the bullpen has not been used more. Helling has been a pleasant surprise against some stiff competition with a 3-2 record & 3.69 ERA -- while the team's funniest stat may be the fact that their only complete game  (a shutout) was by Fassero (in his only victory) while sporting a 7.08 ERA. You think that's bad? Fassero does not have the team's worst ERA, that goes to John Burkett and his 8.28 ERA! Don't worry John Burkett fans, he is doing much better for the 1993 San Francisco Giants (3-2, 3.41 ERA with a shutout).

The Rangers are the only team in their Stars IV - Bobby Cox Division with a negative score differential (despite all the offense) and are tied for last/5th place with the 1981 Montreal Expos at 12-12.

So anyways, on to the action...

The 1927 Yankees have Waite Hoyt verses Aaron Sele. The Yankees strike quickly with Lou Gehrig hitting a two-run homer (his 6th of the season) in the first inning. Mark Koenig collects an RBI single in the fourth -- Koenig would end up having quite a start to this series in the first two games, going 5-for-11, with 3 RBI, a double & steal; raising his batting average up to .353 (with a .374 OBP). Koenig also happens to be one of 5 Yankees with at least 20 RBI this season (in 26 games), I believe off the top of my head that the Yankees are the only team to have that many players over that mark.

Up to the 4th inning, the Texas Rangers only had one base-runner, and that was the first play of the game when Mark McLemore reached on a error committed by Koenig. Hoyt had already struck out 5 Rangers up to this point. A lineup that has six guys with power in Rusty Greer, Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro (who by the way leads the Rangers with 10 HR's), Juan Gonzalez, Lee Stevens & Todd Zeile. The team's lineup is the backbone, and this backbone currently has no spine, since Hoyt is currently pitching a no-hitter.

The Yankees would actually do most of their damage this game on singles, than the long ball, as both Bobby Meusel and Tony Lazzeri added two-run singles in the top of the 6th, during a five-run inning that put the Yankees up, 8-0. Meusel would rack up some RBI in these 2 games, a total of 7 RBI! He would go 2-for-5 with 2 RBI & 2 steals in this game, while going 2-for-4 with two triples* (* tying a league record with 6 other players) in the next game, 4 RBI's off the triples, plus a sac fly.

Hoyt: Going for a no-no in Game #25.

Babe Ruth was quiet in the double-header, came in with 12 HR's & 30 RBI, collected neither HR's nor RBI, while collecting 2 doubles in 9 at-bats, while striking out 4 times in the first game. It's good to be seeing other people like Koenig, Meusel and (finally) Lazzeri of late. Lazzeri went 5-for-8, drawing 2 walks, and smacking in 4 runs -- raising his average to .177 (he's been really disappointing, has batted better in the 6-hole).

So what's going on with Waite Hoyt? Still pitching a no-no? Yes, he would record his 10th strikeout in the bottom of the 8th.

Enter the bottom of the 9th, he has a good shot against the 8th, 9th & 1st batters of the lineup in Royce Clayton, Roberto Kelly and Mark McLemore. Clayton flies to left, and Roberto grounds out to second...all that stands is McLemore.

Now I have had plenty of no-hitters (I would say, just short of 20 -- probably 16 or 17) and only one perfect game in Don Sutton in my history with APBA and that's with dice -- never got one head-to-head with someone playing me, I had someone no-hit me face-to-face, my best friend from high school -- who I introduced the game to (and that's how he pays me back, LOL!).

So let me tell you, I smelled a no-hitter from the 3rd inning on... so it was all down to McLemore, I'm feeling it, I roll a 61, result 36 (ball), oh I got this Hoyt is a A-YZ, I'm styling --

DICE ROLL: 25...


(Not So Fast!)     Single to Center!

Mark McLemore was the only Ranger to reach base, he reached earlier on the error, and now has broke up Hoyt's no-no, which I want to say on two other occasions with Hoyt, I have carried a no-no into at least the 7th inning.

The no-hitter would have been a first in a different area for me, it would have been the first time I had three different pitchers in the same season get no-hitters, I have had Greg Maddux pitch one during the 1992 season in a APBA League, he would pitch another in the same season during Game 1 of the LCS in that league; Maddux is the only player I have had duplicates with (twice) -- he's my Nolan Ryan.

In the no-hitter department, but non-APBA department, I pitched a perfect game with Justin Verlander in my Playstation 3 game - MLB' 13 The Show. Verlander's perfecto was against the White Sox, during that season Verlander went 24-2, with a 0.97 ERA & 420 K's, adding another 4-0 record, 50 K in 33.1 post-season innings. On 3 other occasions I went into the 9th with Verlander & a no-hitter in tack and it was broken up by Minnesota, once by the same White Sox & the other I believe Houston. In a different game, I pitched 25 K's against Minnesota with J.V -- the Perfect Game? Oh, just 17 K's.

Also in the no-hitter department, got free tickets at the PX (Ft. Gordon, GA) for the Augusta Green Jackets (minor league team) couldn't go -- some mandatory military thing came up, the pitcher for Green Jackets pitched a no-hitter that evening (doh!).

By the way, New York outscored Texas 21-4 in the two games.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The 2013 BoS World Series: Game 5

Portland's offense woke up in Game 4, but is it too late? The South Shore Fighting Imps own a 3-1 series lead, in the league's inaugural World Series. This will be the last game in front of the Portland crowd regardless of the outcome of the series; The Microbrewers are just hoping this is not the last game, period.

Game 5 - Doug Fister - S.S. (14-6, 3.59 ERA) vs. Matt Harrison - T.C./POR (13-13, 3.73 ERA).

South Shore sends out their Game 1 starter in Doug Fister. He pitched a terrific three-hit shutout last time out, let's see if he once again come up big -- this time in enemy territory.

Top of the 2nd, Allen Craig doubles. David Wright draws a walk from Harrison, putting runners on 1st & 2nd for Matt Holliday. Holliday singles to left, Craig rounds third and is heading home... and he's safe. South Shore draws first blood, 1-0.

Bottom of the 2nd, Portland answers back. Back-to-back walks for Freddie Freeman and Jason Kipnis. With two-outs, Eric Chavez hits a RBI single to score in Freeman, tie game. Runners on 1st & 3rd, A.J. Ellis gets a hold of a mistake pitch by Doug Fister, driven to left, Allen Craig is running out of room... gone! Portland has a 4-1 lead

During the bottom of the 3rd, Mike Trout hits a one-out single, and then steals second -- but David Ortiz and Freddie Freeman could not get him home.

Top of the 4th, a lead-off double by Allen Craig. David Wright strikes out, while Matt Holliday draws a walk. Runners on 1st & 2nd, with one out -- Erik Kratz hits a RBI double, Holliday will have to hold third. J.J. Hardy draws a walk, as the Portland crowd is nervous. Matt Harrison to face Ben Zobrist, with bases loaded, Zobrist grounds it into a fielder's choice at second, run scores -- It's now only a 4-3 sliver of a lead for Portland.

Portland has had some lost chances on insurance runs early, and let South Shore back into this ballgame.
Holliday watches his blast off Harrison in the 5th.

Top of the 5th, back-to-back double by Melky Cabrera and Allen Craig ties the game up, at 4-4. South Shore not done -- Matt Holliday sends one deep,  hitting his second HR of the series, a two-run blast giving the Imps a 6-4 lead now. This crowd has been silenced, and are in a state of shock.

During the top of the 6th, South Shore would tack on a few more runs with a RBI single by Joey Votto, plus a two-run double by David Wright. Matt Harrison was taken out of the game after five innings, allowing 9 hits & 7 runs, while walking 4 Imps. 8 runs by South Shore during a three-inning span, has made it's imprint on this game.

Bottom of the 6th, Doug Fister would load up the bases for Portland, one out. Pinch-hitter Alfonso Soriano would pop up, while Austin Jackson hits a liner down the first base line... which is snagged by Joey Votto, showing some leather! The Microbrewers come up flat in a golden opportunity.

Allen Craig collects hit #4 with a solo shot in the top of the 9th, to make it 10-4. During the bottom half, the South Shore Imps send in Darren O'Day instead of their usual closer Fernando Rodney. The Imps were one out away from running onto the field, when David Ortiz hits a double. Playoff hero Freddie Freeman would score him in with a double of his own. 10-5, two outs with a man on second, it's O'Day versus Jason Kipnis. O'Day delivers, two strikes now on Kipnis. Kipnis steps out, back in the box, the pitch, swings, and comes up empty! The South Shore Fighting Imps are the World Champions of the BoS! Congrats to Bill Gillam and his amazing ball club, from day one it seemed they ran the table, made the deals that brought in Joey Votto and Allen Craig. They always had a answer for their division rivals, the Boston Bravos when that team was on fire, the Imps knocked them back down, or went on a winning streak of their own.


Doug Fister was not as sharp as in Game 1, but his offense helped him collect his 2nd win of the series; he allowed 8 hits, 4 runs & 3 walks in 7 innings -- he had a series ERA of 2.25 in 16 innings.

Matt Holliday walks away with World Series MVP honors, batting .444, 2 HR's, 5 RBI -- plus 8 hits, 4 runs & drawing two walks. Holliday had a series OPS of 1.333 (.500 OBP + .833 Sligging).

The 2013 BoS World Series: Game 4

The Portland Microbrewers will attempt to pull off the impossible... well, almost the impossible -- It has happened once in Major League Baseball history, coming back from a 3-0 series deficit. Do they have what it takes to overcome South Shore's terrific pitching this series? The fans in Portland are packing into the stadium, from all the excitement here, you would think it's the other way around in this one.

Game 4 - Tom Milone - S.S. (18-8, 3.16 ERA) vs Hisashi Iwakuma (9-7, 4.18 ERA).

Scoreless ballgame until the bottom of the 3rd, after a Marco Scutaro single, Mike Trout followed with a two-run homer to give Portland a 2-0 lead.

The best was yet to come for the Microbrewers who have been aching for some offense. Bottom of the 4th, Russell Martin hits a two-run HR after Alfonso Soriano reached first on a single. This was only the beginning -- Austin Jackson hits a double, and is scored in by a Marco Scutaro single. Mike Trout collects his 3rd hit of the game already on a infield single. After giving up a wild pitch, South Shore's Tom Milone offers up a three-run cookie to David Ortiz. Freddie Freeman gets himself a single, just before South Shore's manager pulls Milone out early in this one. Milone gives up 8 run on 12 hits, in 3 1/3 innings -- ouch!

Mike Trout was all smiles in his Game 4 performance.

Top of the 5th, down 8-0, the Imps' Matt Holliday hits a solo HR off of Hisashi Iwakuma to put South Shore on the scoreboard. Shortly after, Iwakuma walks off the mound in pain, word came after the game that he was done for the season. Alfredo Simon comes in to relieve Iwakuma; Simon pitches 2.2 innings of scoreless relief -- while Luis Avilan and Glen Perkins also do a good job keeping the Fighting Imps from adding more to the score.

Mike Trout would collect 4 hits in Game 4, along with his HR & 2 RBI; while David Ortiz finished 2-for-3, with 3 RBI & BB. The top four hitters in the Brewers' batting order, collected 11 total hits -- the team finished with 16 hits, as their offense finally woke up. Their 16 hits was more than their 13 hits combined from the first three games of the series.

The South Shore Fighting Imps had a hard time in this game, as they only managed four hits & a run, while leaving five runners on base -- while the Portland Microbrewers avoid a sweep, and will take it one game at a time.


South Shore leads the series, 3-1.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

On Deck...

A custom-made card of mine for Cobb.
I have quite a few articles coming out soon, some updates on some projects in the near future...

  • 2013 Boys of Summer World Series - I will have the conclusion coming up inside the next 48 hours. It's hard to believe the first season is now over, as we have enjoyed a short off-season and prepare for the upcoming season's draft that will take place on November 1st. We added three new owners, and we are now 16 members strong -- excited about the new blood in the league.
  • 1903 World Series - The Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Americans will continue in the next couple days. I had plenty going on with the BoS Playoffs (above) that it took a momentarily break. The defending World Champs find themselves down 3-1 against Boston, this is the Pirates third consecutive World Series. The World Series project is a APBA Baseball for Windows project. I bought APBA's new World Series disks package when it was on sale -- a lot of fun!
  • Mid-West Winter League - The new season started, my Traverse City Tigers found themselves staying put for the most part in the off-season. The team won the A.L. West last season, and got ousted 4-1 in the American League Championship to the eventual World Champion - Chicago Machine. My team ended up making only one deal in the off-season, and that was Tim Raines for Harold Baines, a one-for-one deal that helps both ball clubs. Baines came from the National League where his value has sank due to his declining fielding (strictly a DH for most part), while Raines is slowing down, and doesn't have the OPS (On Base + Slugging) that Baines still has in the tank.
  • Mid-West Baseball League - My Traverse City Crusaders (52-110) ended up with one of the worst records in the entire league. Earlier this month, we ended up winning the rights to the #1 overall pick in the league's draft lottery. The Crusaders also have two other 1st Round Draft Picks in the 2015 MWBL Draft. I will also be doing a recap on my current roster, and looking back at my first season's transactions (which were a plenty).
  • The Crazy 48's League - I have now played 24 games each for the 48 teams in this league, I have decided I will play one more regular 4-game series, and then I will have each team play their division rivals for 4 games each (24 total games), in which all 48 teams will end with 48 games each. I was going to do 162 games each, but that was long before I joined a couple of BBW leagues, running my own BBW league, and trying to keep my blog all running. It was an ambitious project, and I was on pace to complete it by my 40th birthday, but since last November I completely hit a wall, and have played a couple since for each team. There will be 6 teams from each league moving on to the playoffs, 4 division winners & 2 wild cards from each league (12 total). A bit of NFL style to the playoff rounds, top 2 seeds of each league get a first-round bye.
  • The ALTERNATE MLB Project - This is a new project that I plan to launch, and something that I have thought about often, and it's a alternate world of the MLB -- what if the Mariners and Blue Jays were the last of the expansion teams? What if we had a world without the Marlins, Rockies, D-Backs & Rays? What if there was no wildcards? What if we had the good ol' League Championship series (featuring only the division champs of only TWO divisions)? The good ol' days, if you ask me. The league will start off with 1993, the Marlins & Rockies never exist, yet Gary Sheffield, Andres Galarraga, Dante Bichette, and Benito Santiago have to play somewhere -- they will be dispersed in a draft order of free agency of sorts, worst team of 1992 gets best player. Dodgers you are on the clock...

Friday, October 17, 2014

The 2013 BoS World Series: Game 3

Game 3 is a must-win for the Portland Microbrewers, coming back from a 2-0 deficit has far better chances than trying to recover from a 3-0 deficit. The good news the Microbrewers are back home for this one, in front of a packed house.

Game 3 - Scott Diamond - S.S. (12-9, 3.54 ERA) vs Chris Tillman (9-3, 2.93 ERA).

The South Shore Fighting Imps jump off to a big lead early on. After back-to-back singles by David Wright & Matt Holliday, A.J. Pierzynski takes advantage of a pitch left up by Chris Tillman, sending a deep blast to center field to make it 3-0.

Top of the 3rd, David Wright (with two outs) hits his second single of the day. The next batter, Matt Holliday sends a double down the left field line, the Imps send Wright around third in an attempt to score, but Austin Jackson once again throws out a runner at the plate -- bringing up memories of the NLCS against Urbana.

The Imps' Pierzynski: 3 hits & 3 RBI.
The Brew Crew would not get their first hit off of Scott Diamond until the 5th inning, a single by Alfonso Soriano with two outs -- Portland would be unable to do anything else with that, as the score still remains 3-0. Diamond pitched a no-hitter earlier in the season (Game #71) against the Washington Filibusters.

A.J. Pierzynski gets a two-out double in the top of the 6th with two outs, knocking out Portland's starting pitcher Chris Tillman; Portland calls on Nick Vincent. Vincent would not allow South Shore to score that inning. During the bottom half, Portland finally gets on the board with a solo home run by Austin Jackson.

South Shore would tack on a few more runs, with Matt Lindstrom as their reliever, so he'll earn a save with 2.2 innings of relief. Scott Diamond records the win, Chris Tillman the loss. The Imps would record 14 hits, while Portland struggles once again offensively with 3 hits -- while scoring only one run in the first 3 games.


Portland finds themselves in a huge 3-0 hole, will South Shore go undefeated this post-season, and finish the World Series with a sweep? Or does the Microbrewers have some fight left in them?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The 2013 BoS World Series: Games 1 & 2

The 2013 Boys of Summer World Series for the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League is finally here (It actually has been done for a few weeks, a little behind in my blogging). You may have seen some of the results on the APBA Facebook Group and The APBA Blog.

2013? You ask. Yes, for us it is the Boys of Summers' 2013 Season, featuring the 2012 MLB Statistics. We are playing a bit of catch-up after the APBA Online fiasco, APBA Online apparently has made many changes to their site, but we felt it was better to go the old-fashioned BBW way. We will be drafting for our upcoming 2014 Boys of Summer season on November 1st, and will be starting the season hopefully by mid-November.

If you have not read any of the action, just check out any of my posts labeled 'BoS Playoffs' or scroll down on the home page to find out the highlights. I will tell you this, this year's inaugural World Series will take place between the American League Champion - South Shore Fighting Imps (managed by Bill Gillam) and the National League Champion - Portland Microbrewers (managed by Brad Stark).

The two teams set league firsts for the League Championship Series, South Shore became the first team to sweep a series, while Portland & the Urbana Locomotives went the distance in seven hard-fought games.

We start this year's series in South Shore, the leagues will alternate year to year on the host, this year is the A.L. Champions that will get home-field advantage.

Game 1 - Cliff Lee - POR (11-9, 3.93 ERA) vs Doug Fister - S.S. (14-6, 3.59 ERA)

Bottom of the 1st - Shin-Soo Choo of the Imps smacks a HR to right, off of Cliff Lee, giving South Shore the early lead.

The Imps would add to their lead in the bottom of the 4th. David Wright would hit a ball over Austin Jackson's head in center to drive in Joey Votto to make it a 2-0 lead.

Fister was on cruise control for South Shore.
The 5th inning, the Imps' Shin-Soo Choo hits a one-out liner over Jason Kipnis at second, Joe Mauer grounds out to third to advance Choo to second, for out number two. Melky Cabrera would hit a ball to right to drive in Choo. Cabrera successfully steals second base. Joey Votto would come up to ground the ball to Marco Scutaro at short, who throws it pass Freddie Freeman, allowing Cabrera to make it 4-0 Imps, E-6 on Scutaro. Allen Craig would single to left-center, but would be stranded by David Wright. The Brewers just couldn't get that third out to get out of the inning in time to avoid the two additional runs by the Imps.

Doug Fister would be in total control in this one, pitching a three-hit shutout against Portland. Fister would strike out 10 Microbrewers, while allowing 3 walks.

South Shore 4, Portland 0

Game 2 - Jonathan Niese - POR (16-8, 2.61 ERA) vs Jake Peavy - S.S. (18-11, 3.08 ERA)

We have another great pitching match-up in Jonathan Niese (who had one of the lowest ERA's in the N.L.) and tough, veteran Jake Peavy -- an 18-game winner this season. Portland hopes to tie this one up before heading back west to their home stadium.

The Microbrewers looked as if they were about to strike first in the first inning, when Marco Scutaro reached first safely on a fielding error by J.J. Hardy. Mike Trout followed that with a single to right, advancing Scutaro to second -- but nothing more comes of it, as Peavy gets Dave Ortiz and Freddie Freeman to pop out. During the bottom half, with two outs, Melky Cabrera of the Imps beats out a nubber to the mound -- that was all the Imps needed as Joey Votto, in a hit-and-run play, ends up reaching second on a double, scoring Cabrera to draw first blood, 1-0.

Portland threatens again in the 4th, after a Mike Trout strike out, David Ortiz singles to right center. The very next batter Freddie Freeman is plunked by Jake Peavy, Freeman trots down to first as he gives Peavy a dirty look. Runners on 1st & 2nd, as Jason Kipnis steps up to the plate. He laces a single to right, Ortiz is rounding third, they are sending him home, as he is gunned down! Freeman advances to third on the play, as Kipnis stays put at first. Colby Rasmus ends the threat by popping up to J.J. Hardy at short.

The Imps once again answer back in the bottom half of the 4th. Allen Craig led off the inning with a double, and would eventually score off of a two-out single by J.J. Hardy, making it 2-0.

Joe Mauer would lead off the bottom of the 5th, with a single. The next two Imps players manage to do nothing. With two outs, Allen Craig draws a walk from Jonathan Niese. David Wright follows up the at-bat, with a single that parachutes into left, scoring in Mauer & moving Craig up to third. Portland's manager goes to the pen for Alfredo Simon (2.84 ERA). Simon gives up a single to Matt Holliday, driving in Craig, as the Imps take a 4-0 lead.

David Wright & Ben Zobrist would cushion a commanding 6-0 lead, during the bottom of the 7th, with RBI doubles.

Both teams would leave a ton of players on base in this one, Portland had their opportunities (8 Left-on-base) and managed a few more hits in this one (7 hits in this one), but they could not keep up with South Shore's bats who managed 14 hits (yet stranded 11 base-runners).

Peavy picked up where Fister left off, as Portland has not found any answers.
The Imps also had another complete game shutout by one of their starting pitchers, as Jake Peavy follows Doug Fister's Game 1 masterpiece, with a shutout of his own. The Fighting Imps are known for their bats, but their arms are the stories in this young series.

South Shore 6, Portland 0

South Shore leads the BoS World Series, 2-0 -- as the series shifts to Portland for a possible three games. Portland will hope their bats wake up, as Jason Kipnis seems to be the only player doing a thing in this lineup; Mike Trout and Freddie Freeman have both been quiet, who were both having an impressive post-season entering the classic.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Couple 'Crazy' Comebacks

Gibson's Izzy Card with Grays.
So I have been itching to play some of my "Crazy 48's" (and some APBA Board game in general), I have just got a few projects done lately. Sure, I have plenty of more stuff to prepare for the next few weeks.

I was just on the APBA Facebook Group, when two posts caught my eye.

One, was the unfortunate passing of a Brian Epping. Did I know Brian? No. Do I know his passion for APBA Baseball? Most certainly; If you are like me & many other APBA fans, you will know that APBA is a passion that's unparalleled when compared to most other hobbies.

The other post was by Ted Knorr. Pirates fan Knorr and his friend, Fred Walker (Yankees fan) have now for three years in a row, have replayed Game 7 of the 1960 World Series -- the game that is best known for Bill Mazeroski's series walk-off HR to left field at Forbe's Field.

Here is a link to the story by the way: APBA 1960 World Series Replay

So these posts gave me a extra push tonight to try to finish Game #24 for the rest of the teams on the schedule. I finally caught up some stats for the 1975 Reds/1937 Yankees game results, 1985 Blue Jays/1912 Giants results. I would start the night off by playing the 1971 Giants/1944 Browns, then proceeded to a game between two starting pitchers with the names Dobson (Joe for Boston, Pat for Detroit) in the 1946 Red Sox/1968 Tigers match-up. I would catch up their stats as well.

The best two games were to come in the...

  • 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords (18-5) at 1993 Philadelphia Phillies (12-11). The Crawfords have been on a bit of a skid of late, going 3-4 since losing their star catcher Josh Gibson; while the Phillies have won 4 of their last 5 (including two straight against the Crawfords).
  • 1981 Montreal Expos (11-12) at 1929 Chicago Cubs (16-7). The Cubs have faltered any chance of gaining ground on the Crawfords, when Pittsburgh loses. They are nibbling at that division lead, and have trimmed it down by two games.
Like I said earlier, the Crawfords started off 15-1, but lost Josh Gibson in the 16th game, have gone 3-4 since, and won't see his return until Game #50. The two teams are sending their 4th starters to the mound, since it is also the 4th and final game of the series; Harry "Tin Can" Kincannon (D-YW) for the Crawfords, while Danny Jackson (C) gets the knod for the Phils. So we will be guaranteed some offense in this one, for sure, it has all the makings for it.

It was tied 2-2 after two innings, RBI singles for Judy Johnson & Andrew "Pat" Patterson for Pittsburgh, while Kevin Stocker of the Phillies tied the game up with a two-run single.

The top of the 3rd, the game got ugly for the Phillies. The Crawfords would put up a 6-spot, started by Oscar Charleston's RBI double. Sam Bankhead followed that by hitting a two-run HR (his first of the season); Judy Johnson added another RBI single, as Pat Patterson had a two-run triple to make it a 8-2 lead, after three innings. Danny Jackson would be pulled after the inning, giving up 9 hits, and allowing 8 runs and two walks in 3 innings!

The Phillies' pinch-hitter Kim Batiste would hit a two-run HR in the bottom of the 4th, but Harry Kincannon would keep the Phils in check by pitching 7 effective innings, allowing 4 ER's & 7 hits in 7 innings -- although control was an issue for him (6 walks), he would collect 7 K's. He settled down to pitch three scoreless innings after Batiste's HR in the forth. 

Reliever David Harvey of the Crawfords (D-Z) pitched a good 8th inning, and with the Phillies being quiet for a few innings, a 8-4 lead(basically having control of the game), and no real good grades in the bullpen, unless they felt like sending one of their starters in for one inning (in this case it would have been Leroy Matlock) -- the Crawfords felt this game was in the books.

The Phillies on the other hand woke up in the ninth. John Kruk led things off with triple, Ricky Jordan (playing at third, Dave Hollins got hurt in the 5th) would fail to score in the runner on a infield ground out. Darren Daulton draws a one-out walk, bringing up Wes Chamberlain who has a lot of power. Chamberlain would clobber a three-run HR (his first HR, but 6th extra-base hit in 35 at-bats), trimming the lead to a sliver of one run (8-7). Jim Eisenreich and Mariano Duncan followed with back-to-back singles. With runners on 1st & 2nd, the Phillies call on Pete Incaviglia to pinch-hit for the pitcher Larry Andersen. This move prompted the Crawfords to go to the pen for Bertrum Hunter (D-Y), which would make him a C-Y against the first batter in Incaviglia (with both being righties); Incaviglia would strike out for the second out. Kevin Stocker would tie the game with a RBI single up the middle, as Eisenreich scores, Duncan advances to third, bringing up Lenny Dykstra. Dyskstra gets his pitch and sends this one into the gap, as Duncan scores easily for the game-winner.

Dykstra says let the party begin!

(1993) Phillies 9, (1935) Crawfords 8

The Crawfords have now lost their 3rd game in their last eight -- still leading their division, but can the 1929 Chicago Cubs gain a game in the next one, to be only one game down?

The 1981 Montreal Expos have won 2 of the first 3 games this series against the favored Cubs, and would be sending their 4th starter in Ray Burris (B-Z). He will have the advantage against Sheriff Blake (C-YW). The Expos are going to start two bench guys today in Terry Francona and Jerry Manuel (two future MLB Managers) to spark a little offense, Chris Speier certainly has better defense than Manuel, but has struggled -- batting .162 with an awful on-base percentage of .230!

The Expos will have to deal with the Cubs' "Fearsome Foursome" of....
  • Kiki Cuyler - .321 AVG, 2 HR, 8 RBI (26 hits), 9 SB's & .881 OPS.
  • Rogers Hornsby - .304 AVG, 6 HR, 19 RBI (28 hits), 12 BB's & .979 OPS.
  • Hack Wilson - .349 AVG, 6 HR, 22 RBI (30 hits), 10 BB's & 1.121 OPS.
  • Riggs Stephenson - .300 AVG, 5 HR, 20 RBI (24 hits) & .914 OPS.
Anyone of these players can single-handily change a game or series outcome. Rogers Hornsby had a slow start, but is now looking every bit of the superstar that he is. 

The Expos would jump to a 3-0 first inning lead with Terry Francona's two-run single leading the way, Jerry Manuel's RBI single was the other factor in the inning -- good call, so far on Montreal's management. Warren Cromartie would add an RBI single in the second, as Gary Carter tacks on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0 Expos. Larry Parrish smacks a two-run double in the fourth, scoring in Andre Dawson & Terry Francona.

Ray Burris looked solid through four innings with a 7-0 lead, allowing only one hit & two base-runners up to that point, then came the bottom of the 5th...
Hornsby's Izzy Card with Cubs.

Charles Grimm hit a lead-off double, Bib McMillan moves Grimm over to third by grounding out. Backup catcher Mike Gonzalez hits a RBI single (for the Cubs' first run), Cubs reliever Art Nehf helped by hitting a single, and Kiki Cuyler would draw a walk. Three men on for Rogers Hornsby, with two outs. Hornsby would clear the bases with a triple off of Burris. Burris would get the dangerous Hack Wilson to fly out for the final out -- but not before the lead was trimmed down to only a three-run Montreal cushion, Expos lead 7-4.

The Cubs decide to keep Art Nehf (D) in to pitch one more inning, maybe a little for his single (that would lead to a run) during Chicago's 5th inning rally. It ended up being a bit of a mistake, as Andre Dawson bruises a lead-off solo HR to right -- Dawson already has a single & double as well in this one, so he's in striking distance of the cycle. Nehf would get the next three batters to go down in order, Expos are up 8-4.

The bottom of the 5th was looking like a possible quick inning for Ray Burris, when he got Riggs Stephenson to ground out & Charles Grimm to fly out. Bib McMillan (the usual starting 3B, came in as a sub in the 5th inning) would hit the two-out double to keep the inning going. The Cubs go to their bench and call on dangerous bench guy Footsie Blair. The Expos go to the pen and call on "The Spaceman" Bill Lee (C/B*-Z) and will be a A*-Z against the first batter Blair -- a good strategy if he got the out, but ends up walking him. Two outs, with runners on 1st & 2nd, Lee (now a B*-Z again) faces another pinch-hitter in Cliff Heathcote; Heathcote hits a two-run triple, trimming the lead down to two runs (8-6). 

The Cubs fans can smell blood in the water, as Woody English steps up to the plate -- rolls into double columns (then 66!), a two-run blast! This would be English's second HR in 95 at-bats during this "Crazy 48's" season -- in the real-life 1929 MLB season, English only had one HR all season in 608 at-bats! The Cubs couldn't add to the inning after a single by Kiki Cuyler, tie game at 8-8.

Bottom of the 7th, the Expos stick with Bill Lee, in which the Cubs' Charles Grimm would score in Hack Wilson on a sac fly, to take their first lead of the game, 9-8. Wilson led the inning off with a double. The Expos would tie the game in the top of the 8th, with an RBI double by Warren Cromartie, knocking in Tim Raines from second (who reached 2nd on a single & steal).

Montreal goes with Woody Fryman in the 8th, even though Kiki Cuyler collected a single & steal with two outs, Rogers Hornsby would strand him with a fly to center.

Rodney Scott for the Expos would hit a one-out double off of Guy Bush (who is a rotation guy, brought in to relief). The Expos stick with pitcher Woody Fryman to hit in his place in the batting order, he can hit for a pitcher. He would drive in the go-ahead run in Scott, with a RBI single. The Expos decide to keep Fryman in to try to secure the victory, instead of going with their closer Jeff Reardon. Fryman gets Hack Wilson, Riggs Stephenson & Charles Grimm to go down in order as the Expos hold off the comeback in this one.

(1981) Expos 10, (1929) Cubs 9

Sunday, October 12, 2014

BoS: NLCS Game 7

The Portland Microbrewers owned a 2-0 & 3-1 series lead at one point, now it's all knotted up at 3-3, can the Brew Crew derail the Urbana Locomotives' recent rally?

Game 7 - Matt Harrison - T.C./POR (13-13, 3.73 ERA) vs Hiroki Kuroda - URB (21-11, 3.13 ERA).

After Portland's "Big Papi" David Ortiz scored in a run with a single in the first, the Locos' Adrian Beltre smacked a three-run homer in the bottom-half of the inning, for a quick 3-1 lead.

The consistent stud Mike Trout would tie the game for Portland, with a two-run double during the top of the 3rd. Adrian Beltre, once again answers back with a homer, this one a solo shot -- trying to get those extra MVP votes for N.L. MVP. Urbana up, 4-3.

Beltre puts on a offensive display in Game 7.

Freddie Freeman, quiet for basically a game this series (last game), decides that 5 HR's in a single-series is not enough, and ties it up with a solo HR in the 4th inning. A.J. Ellis would get thrown out attempting to score later in the inning; while Adrian Beltre hits a double in the 6th inning for his 9th hit of the series, but is stranded.

The game is tied 4-4 through 7 innings, both starters are out of the game by the 8th inning.

Top of the 8th, "Mr.October" of the Boys of Summer APBA League Playoffs - Freddie Freeman tacks on an important late-game run with a sacrifice fly off of Urbana reliever Jonathan Papelbon.

Portland calls on their closer, Glen Perkins to try and close out the Locomotives. Bottom of the 9th, Two outs, pinch-runner Nate McLouth on first, Yorvit Torrealba is up, Urbana can't pinch-hit since Torrealba is the team's only catcher with a hurt Carlos Ruiz. Torrealba gets his pitch, this one is sent to the gap, McLouth is heading towards third, Austin Jackson has the ball, McLouth is being waved around third, Jackson fires it from center, McLouth is going for home, the slide... and he's OUT!

The Portland Microbrewers are going to the World Series on a great defensive play from Austin Jackson. Jackson came over in a trade mid-season from Traverse City. Torrealba was almost the hero again, as a stunned crowd almost witnessed the game being tied to force extras.

Matt Harrison picks up his 2nd win of the series, as Freddie Freeman wins NLCS M.V.P. honors, batting .364 with 6 HR's & 10 RBI!


The league's inaugural WORLD SERIES will be between the....
South Shore Fighting Imps (110-52) and the Portland Microbrewers (94-68)

BoS: NLCS Game 6

The Urbana Locomotives have trimmed the series lead to 3-2, and will attempt to tie the series in Game 6 to force a Game 7 with the Portland Microbrewers.

Game 6 - Hisashi Iwakuma - POR (9-7, 4.18 ERA) vs Cole Hamels - URB (19-10, 2.76 ERA).

Urbana's Torrealba, one of the unlikeliest heroes.
Not much offense in this one. The Locomotives strike first against Portland, with a sac fly by Tyler Colvin scoring in Alex Rios, during the bottom of the 4th. Rios would collect 3 of Urbana's 8 hits for the night.

Portland's David Ortiz tied the game with an RBI single, as Mike Trout scores. Trout has two hits, and is having a good series, batting .304 -- but has been over-shadowed by the amazing series his teammate Freddie Freeman. Trout's great post-season included 8 RBI in the LDS against Seattle.

Coco Crisp stole second & third in the 7th inning, but got too aggressive stealing home, only to be called out with the tough tag by Yorvit Torrealba -- preventing the go-ahead run.

Everything came down to the bottom of the ninth. A dropped third strike by Portland's catcher A.J. Ellis allows runners on 1st & 3rd, after a lead-off double by Tyler Colvin. Jimmy Rollins would ground the runner to Garrett Jones over to second, Colvin has to hold third, one out. The Brewers' reliever Luis Avilan intentionally walks Justin Maxwell, trying to set up a double-play opportunity. The next batter would be Yorvit Torrealba, who earlier prevented Portland's Coco Crisp from stealing home. Torrealba would hit it deep enough, to have Colvin tag up -- a walk-off sac fly for the Locomotives! We are going to 7 games.

In the league's inaugural season, we have two League Championship Series first, a sweep (South Shore sweeping Boston) and a seven-game series now between Urbana and Portland.

Both starting pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma (POR) and Cole Hamels (URB) pitched good games. Iwakuma allowed 1 ER (2 runs) & 8 hits through 8 innings of work, plus 6 K's. Even though Hamels allowed only 4 hits & a run, he had some control issues with 5 walks.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

2013 BoS Silver Slugger Award Winners


C - Joe Mauer (South Shore)
1B - Adam LaRoche (Boston)
2B - Robinson Cano (Bronx)
3B - Miguel Cabrera (Buffalo)
SS - Elvis Andrus (Fairgrove)
LF - Melky Cabrera (South Shore)
CF - Shin-Soo Choo (South Shore)
RF - Carlos Beltran (Washington)
DH - Matt Holliday (South Shore)


C - Buster Posey (Hannibal)
1B - Edwin Encarnacion (Sacramento)
2B - Aaron Hill (Urbana)
SS - Erick Aybar (Sacramento)
3B - Adrian Beltre (Urbana)
LF - Ryan Braun (Sacramento)
CF - Mike Trout (Portland)
RF - Josh Hamilton (King Road)
DH - Josh Willingham (Seattle)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

BoS: NLCS Games 3-5

The Urbana Locomotives, the team with the best record of the National League, finds themselves down 2-0. Now the series moves out west to Portland, can the Locomotives regain steam and take this series back to Urbana?

They'll have to do it without Nick Markakis who slammed into a wall in Game 2, and has cost him 20 days. Adrian Beltre will play in Game 3, as he missed the remainder of Game 2, colliding into Carlos Ruiz.

Game 3 - Hiroki Kuroda - URB (21-11, 3.13 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman - PORT (7-5, 3.96 ERA).

Tyler Colvin smacks a two-run HR to right to get things rolling for the Locomotives in the 2nd, Garrett Jones follows that up with a homer of this own -- a quick 3-0 start for Urbana, as it has quieted this Portland crowd early. Carlos Ruiz added a RBI single in the 3rd inning, while Garrett Jones struck again for his second HR of the game; 5-0 Urbana.

Colvin doing his best to keep Urbana in the series.

Portland scores a couple runs in the 7th, to bring the Brewers within striking distance, an RBI single by Freddie Freeman. For Freeman, it was his 5th hit of the series, with 6 RBI's. A.J. Ellis would drive in Freeman a couple batters later.

Wilton Lopez would pitch 2.1 innings of relief to close out the game for the save, recording 3 K's.

Carlos Ruiz would get injured by getting hit by a pitch from Matt Albers late in this one, the report after the game is that he will be out for 8 days. This is the second time in the last few weeks that Ruiz got injured, talk about bad timing.

Urbana 5, Portland 2

Game 4 - Jeremy Hellickson - URB (8-14, 3.38 ERA) vs. Jonathan Niese - PORT (16-8, 2.61 ERA)

Freeman: Derailing Urbana's pitching.

The Locomotives couldn't figure out how to hit Jonathan Niese, and how to pitch to Freddie Freeman who has played party spoiler. Niese would hold Urbana to only five hits, while Freeman added two more HR's (making it 5 HR's for the series). Freeman hit HR's in the 3rd & 5th innings off of Hellickson, Freeman has had ice in his veins this series.

Jason Kipnis added 3 RBI on two hits, one of the hits, a two-run HR in the 8th off of Urbana reliever Javier Lopez.

The Urbana Locomotives now find themselves down 3-1 to the Portland Microbrewers.

Portland 6, Urbana 0

Game 5 - 

Garrett Jones hits a big three-run HR in the 4th off of Portland starter Cliff Lee. The Locomotives would thrive in this one with the long ball, hitting 4 HR's, 3 of them off of Lee. Adrian Beltre, Tyler Colvin (added another HR this series), Justin Maxwell hit a HR, and is batted .364 this series, after only batting .220. For Jones, he hit his 3rd HR of the series.

Portland's two runs both came off homers by David Ortiz and Todd Frazier in a losing cause, as Urbana trims down the Microbrewers series lead to, 3-2 -- bringing the series back to Urbana.

David Price looked like the Cy Young favorite we were used to seeing, with a strong 7-inning performance that allowed only 4 hits and two runs, with 8 strike outs.

Urbana 6, Portland 2

BoS: ALCS Games 3 & 4

The series heads to "Beantown", as the visiting South Shore Fighting Imps lead the Boston Bravos in this series, 2-0. Boston has last led in the first inning of Game 1, and failed to score in Game 2 -- We'll see if they have the answers to heighten their chances in this series.
Straight-up Impin' : Joe Mauer.

Game 3 - Tommy Milone - S.S. (18-8, 3.16 ERA) vs. R.A. Dickey (14-11, 3.08 ERA)

Getting things started in the first, the Imps' Shin-Soo Choo scores from third on Joey Votto's RBI single, that is Votto's first RBI of the series. Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the Boston Bravos, would tie the game up during the bottom of the 5th, with a solo HR to deep left -- it would be one of the few mistakes that Tommy Milone would make all night.

The game would stay knotted up one apiece until the top of the 8th. Joe Mauer leads the inning off with a single to right, Boston's Ichiro Suzuki just couldn't get to the corner in time, Mauer thought about second. Melky Cabrera would fly out for out number one. Joey Votto collects another hit, making it to second on a double, a roller into the right field corner, Mauer makes it over to third. Allen Craig would hit a liner that tips off of Omar Infante's glove, and rolls away from him, as Mauer scores to break the tie. David Wright comes to the plate, and Boston's manager makes the change for Jason Motte. Wright ends up flying out to right, as Votto tests Ichiro's arm by tagging up, and just makes it under the catcher's tag. A 3-1 lead, and big inning for the Fighting Imps.

The Imps would have Troy Patton pick up the save, with 2 K's. Tommy Milone, once again gets the job done with one earned run & 4 hits allowed in 8 innings, picking up 5 K's. R.A. Dickey didn't have ace material tonight, allowing 9 hits, 3 ER & 2 walks in 7.1 innings, by picking up the loss.

South Shore 3, Boston 1

The Boston Bravos have their backs against the walls, and are down 3-0 in the series. They have made impressive runs before, especially their record 15-game winning streak during an outstanding stretch where they went 29-3 in a 32-game span. The problem is the South Shore Fighting Imps went 14-8 against Boston in the season series, plus this series for a total of 17 wins.

Game 4 - Doug Fister - S.S. (14-6, 3.59 ERA) vs. Brandon Beachy (8-5, 3.38 ERA)

Doug Fister was in complete control, although allowing 10 hits. The Bravos would not help themselves, by stranding 9 base runners. Chris Johnson would score Boston's only run in the first inning, as Joe Mauer and Melky Cabrera would collect 3 hits each -- Cabrera got 2 RBI. Brandon Beachy was all over the place, allowing 10 hits, 6 ER's & a walk in 6.1 innings.

The South Shore Fighting Imps are the 2013 American League Champions and will be waiting for the winner of the NLCS between the Portland Microbrewers & Urbana Locomotives. Portland currently owns a 2-0 series lead.

South Shore 6, Boston 1

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