|The Dynamic Duo of the 27' Yankees.|
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.