Friday, December 30, 2016

The Latest

The latest on all my projects in a brief report before heading into the New Year.

Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League

The Fairgrove Tigers (100-62) swept the 'Cinderella' Holland Hitchhikers (83-79) in the World Series. It was Manager/Owner Robert Mosher's 2nd World Title in the league's four-year existence, becoming the first owner to win it twice, and the first owner to sweep a World Series opponent.

It was a wild ride for Steve Ruder & the Hitchhikers, who snuck in the door during the last day of the season, due to a horrendous division-leading collapse by the Urbana Locomotives.

Super Bum strikes again: Bumgarner addes to BoS Legacy.

For the Tigers, Madison Bumgarner continued his BoS Playoff heroics, by adding a 8 inning performance that only allowed 5 hits & 2 runs, plus 5 K's. Meanwhile on offense, Salvador Perez and Paul Goldschmidt each hit 3 home runs in the short 4-game series, with Chris Davis adding 2 HR as well.

You can catch the lead-up to the World Series in the link below. The BoS Award Ballots have been trickling in, and we will have those results soon.

APBA 2K9 Project

It's been an interesting & fun project so far, with no projected timeline on when this will finish. I have started this project just prior to the 2016 Chicago Fantasy World Series in mid-July, and have played 89 games to this point. I am on April 11th of the 2016 MLB Schedule, as the project is based off the best player cards from the 2009, 2010 & 2011 APBA Baseball sets, and that player playing for the team he played for the most during that three-year period. 

So far a few surprises have emerged: The Arizona Diamondbacks are 6-1 (in first), Pittsburgh Pirates are tied in first for the N.L. Central with the Milwaukee Brewers at 4-2... while perennial winners like the Boston Red Sox (0-5) and St. Louis Cardinals (1-4) have started off sluggish. 

The New York Yankees (2009 World Champions), Philadelphia Phillies (2009 N.L. Champions) & the Texas Rangers (2010 & 2011 A.L. Champions) are three of the biggest pre-season favorites. 

Also, the M&M boys in Minnesota have been raising a ruckus, as Justin Morneau leads all baseball with 6 HR & 17 RBI in just 7 games.

1983 NXPL Season

This is my third season in the Non-Expansion Professional League as Manager/Owner of the Detroit Tigers. We are coming off a successful season as the defending 1982 American League Champions, in which we lost a close seven-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. I feel we added some amazing pieces to give our team a better chance to repeat as League Champions & hopefully one step closer in winning a world championship.

We are currently 10-10, two games out in a very tough & balanced American League. We seem to be playing better of late, but still have a lot of work to do. The Chicago White Sox currently lead the A.L with a 12-8 record, while the Chicago Cubs lead the N.L. with the same 12-8 record. My Tigers play those White Sox on the road, and then we return home to play the Minnesota Twins.

Ben Oglivie and Jason Thompson, two of my big sluggers last season, are currently struggling for me -- while my starting pitchers still seem to be my bread & butter.

Monday, December 26, 2016

The Holiday Hump

Wanted to give a quick shout out to my readers & friends of the Boys of Summer & APBA Baseball universe. I hope all your holiday travels have been safe this holiday season, and wanted everyone know that once the new year begins, the Boys of Summer will have plenty coming your way... I just didn't realize it's been over two weeks ago since my last post already, so please bare with me as we get past this holiday hump.

This holiday season had the wife & I busy as well as I am sure was the same case for most of you -- The holiday season can be a hectic one for a lot of us, the main goal this holiday season is that every one had a wonderful holiday season, as they spent it with family and friends... that is what counts!

I thank the lord for this blessed life & I do not take any of it for granted, I plan to have better new year resolutions that will focus more on my faith, even if that means scaling back on Baseball, because without God this is all not possible.

By the way, I am a huge Batman fan, and thought it would be cool to have a picture of Batman, Robin & Santa together.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

BoS Season Nearing End

The acquisition of Donaldson helped give Fairgrove a push in the right direction.
It's been some time since I have done a post on the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League.... Too long in fact. Like recent seasons, the regular season came down to the last series.


We would witness the Urbana Locomotives (managed by APBA Blog's Thomas Nelshoppen) go from 74-59 (8.5 games up on 2nd place Louisville) to losing their division with a 81-81 record, tied with the Louisville Sluggers -- all while the Holland Hitchhikers (Steve Ruder) leap frogs both teams, by winning the N.L. East with a 83-79 record.

Holland becomes the 4th different franchise to win this division in its 4 years of existence. The only team in this division that could win at home this season, in this division, was the Louisville franchise (47-34 at home), the other 3 teams all went 37-44 each.

By the way, Holland won entered the playoffs on a 6-game winning streak, while Urbana lost their last 9 games.

My Traverse City Panthers would finish in last with a 78-84 record, only 5 games out of first, despite trading away both Josh Donaldson & Matt Carpenter at the trade deadline. I don't regret the moves because both trades are to better the franchise's future.

The N.L. West, meanwhile was between two sturdy, playoff-contenders in the San Diego Heroes & the 3-Time National League Champion - Portland Microbrewers. San Diego would become the first N.L. West Division Champs in division history, not known as Portland, winning the division by 4 games over the Brew Crew with a 97-65 record. Portland still qualified for the N.L. Wild Card spot.

The San Diego Heroes are managed by my youngest brother, Christopher Baier. Chris Baier, if you all remember is my same brother that went to the Championship Game (using the Basic APBA Cards) for the Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament (GMABT), in it's 1st tournament.

Over in the American League, we had a 5-team race for 3 playoff spots. The last couple years, it's been like this in the American League, with some unfortunate teams not making the cut. The Fairgrove Tigers (Robert Mosher) were for the most part, the only safe bet to be heading for the playoffs, in fact the Tigers would be the only team to win 100 games this season, and the first team to do that in the BoS in two seasons (there was no 100 game winners or losers in Season 3 - 2015). Mosher gave his Tigers that extra push, when he acquired Josh Donaldson from Traverse City (with OF-Norichika Aoki) in exchange for 3B-Nick Castellanos, SP-Yordana Ventura & their 2017 1st Round Draft Pick -- while also landing pitchers Zack Greinke & Dan Haren from the South Side Spartans in exchange for pitchers Rick Porcello & Jake Odorizzi.

The Chicago Nine after a rough first month, got things in order & threatened to take the division from Fairgrove, but would finish second with 93 wins; Chicago would win the A.L. Wild Card spot over the A.L. East's Corktown Tamales (89-73) & South Side Spartans (85-77). The Micatin Destroyers, formerly known as the South Shore Fighting Imps would win their 3rd A.L. East Division Title (all under manager Bill Gillam), winning their first division title since 2014, after a down year (68-94) in 2015.

The bad finish in 2015 that led to the worst record in the BoS for the Imps, set them up for the future, led by the #1 overall pick of third baseman Kris Bryant. The Imps changed their name due to the similarity of their South Shore title to the Spartans' South Side name title, plus Gillam wanted to use a team name that he has used before in past APBA Baseball projects in the Micatin Destroyers.



The Holland Hitchhikers' wild ride kept rolling into the playoffs, led by Rougned Odor's .571 batting average in 15 plate appearances (.600 OBP / 1.071 SLG /1.671 OPS), plus 5 ribbies -- while Holland cut off the Portland Microbrewers' hitting supply (.239 Team BA) as Portland came up empty in a 3-1 series loss. Portland's only win came on the road in Game 2, a 7-5, 11th Inning victory.

Meanwhile, in the American League...

Stroman was all pumped up for Chicago in the ALDS round.
The Chicago Nine would edge the Micatin Destroyers on paper in a 3-2 series victory, but the box scores indicate that Micatin's bat went silent, batting .203, while striking out 50 times & stranding 31 base runners in the process. Micatin's pitching was actually the best among the LDS competitors, leading the bunch with a 3.88 ERA. The Nines' Marcus Stroman was brilliant, winning 2 LDS games with a 2.65 ERA with 17 K's in 17 innings (1 CG) -- while the offense was led by the likes of Dee Gordon, David Ortiz & Nolan Arenado.
Man on Fire: A historic series for J.D. Martinez.

The Fairgrove Tigers (A.L.) and the San Diego Heroes (N.L.) earned first-round byes, and now play the winners of the LDS playoffs.


First off, the American League Championship Series...

Not sure if it was the time off that effected the San Diego Heroes or it was the fact that Lance Lynn (of Holland) owned them in his two outings; Lynn went 1-0, with 11 K's & a 0.66 ERA -- he did allow 9 walks though, but that all leveled out as he only allowed 6 hits, which combined resulted in a sturdy 1.098 WHIP (13.2 Innings).

It also didn't help San Diego's matters that Holland had the three hottest bats in either LCS in J.D. Martinez (.435 BA), Starling Marte (.421 BA) & Bryce Harper (.409 BA). Martinez led the entire bunch with 1.804 OPS, 6 HR's & 13 RBI; The 6 round-trippers is easily a BoS Playoff Series record!

Martinez' record-breaking performance triggered memories of Portland's Freddie Freeman from a few years ago, while Holland's run can be compared to the equivalent of the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals, 2007 Colorado Rockies & the 2014 Kansas City Royals.

The National League Championship Series featured a familiar playoff face in their ace, Madison Bumgarner... of course, most MLB fans are quite aware of his playoff success, but let it be known that in the Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League, he has been no stranger here as well. Certainly, the Chicago franchise won't forget his name anytime soon.

Bumgarner would go 1-0, with 1.13 ERA, 20 K's in 16 innings of work (including his 4-hit, 1 ER, 11 K performance in Game 2). By the way, let's not take away the fact that Zack Greinke (a trade deadline deal) would pay huge dividends with his great LCS performance as well... 1-1, 1.80 ERA & 14 K's in 15 innings -- which included his 3-hit shutout (9 K's) in Game 1 of the series.

It's not far-fetched to believe that "Mad Bum" may be Superman.

A look at Bumgarner's brilliant BoS Playoff Career, so far...

  • 2013 ALDS: 1-0, 1.35 ERA, 13 K / 1 BB (1.050 WHIP), 6 H & 1 ER allowed (6.2 IP).
  • 2014 ALCS: 2-0, 0.56 ERA, 18 K / 5 BB (0.813 WHIP), 8 H & 1 ER allowed (16 IP).
  • 2014 BoS WS: 1-1 5.68 ERA, 12 K / 5 BB (1.184 WHIP), 10 H & 8 ER allowed (12.2 IP).
  • Game 5 - 2014 WS: Only bad outing "Mad Bum" has ever produced, he lasted 5.2 IP, allowing 6 hits, 7 earned runs, 4 walks -- while producing 8 K's. Every other start in his playoff has been 1 ER allowed or less!
  • 2016 ALCS: 1-0, 1.13 ERA, 20 K / 4 BB (.625 WHIP), 6 H & 2 ER allowed (16 IP)
  • Playoff Totals: 5-1, 2.10 ERA, 63 K / 15 BB (.877 WHIP), 30 H & 12 ER allowed (51.1 IP & 7 game starts).

The Fairgrove Tigers combined for a 2.52 ERA, while holding Chicago to a .181 batting average. The Tigers would win the series, 4-2 -- their 2-0 series start with Greinke & Bumgarner proved to be too much for Chicago to overcome.


Next up: The 4th BoS World Series, featuring the 100-62 Fairgrove Tigers (A.L. Champs) against Cinderella's 83-79 Holland Hitchhikers (N.L. Champs) -- N.L. has home-field advantage for this upcoming series.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

More Realistic with Optional Fielding.

Sacrificing fielding for hitters like Gomes has consequences.
In the past, before I played Optional Fielding, I had questions on how it officially works, now that I know how it works, I have not looked back. I was officially shown how it works by my friend James Welch at last summer's 2016 Chicago Fantasy World Series Tournament in Grayslake, Illinois.

Our teams got whooped up on by the young guns in Matthew Pike & Reese Mooney, and we (James & I) would only play 1 game of our 3-game series, due to the fact that our division play ran over & the fact that we wanted to spend quality time with others at the tournament. During that one game though, Jim would introduce me to the aspects of Optional Fielding, and what he does to make it easy for him to make game play go by easily. He mentioned that it is nice to have a easy go-to-index card or sheet, to make the process easily.

I would take that idea & place it on a index card that I use now, it helps a lot -- plus the more you play Optional Fielding, the more & more you recognize the usual numbers used for this play. At first, I would maybe miss a optional fielding opportunity number, but now that I have been playing with Optional Fielding since that Tournament in July, it comes so natural & easy.

Above is my index card, on the right side using Picassa, I highlighted an arrow towards the infield defense which also plays an effect on numbers such as results 21, 22, 24, 25, 29, 33 & 34 -- plus results on left side with the other following positions.

In a recent game for my APBA 2K9 Project, in which the best players from each of the 30 franchises from 2009, 2010 & 2011 seasons -- playing a 162 game season, based off the 2016 MLB schedule, and with Houston as part of the American League; I have decided to show the effects of that game using Optional Fielding to show how it can completely can come into play.

Late career Chipper, definitely a liability.
Before I get to the game I want to showcase -- Earlier this season, I remember playing Jonny Gomes (OF-1) in left field for the Cincinnati Reds, known for his offensive punch. This is just another example on how his defense can be a liability, when you sacrifice fielding in favor of a bat. In a game against St. Louis Cardinals with no one on in the first inning & 1 out, the Cardinals' Colby Rasmus rolled a 'Result 15' -- The Reds are a fielding one team in this game, but in this case when playing Optional Fielding & that certain numbers are specifically assigned to Opt Fielding (like #15), you go to your left fielder's fielding, which in this case Gomes is a OF-1, which goes to Fielding 3 result for Bases Empty -- resulting in 1st & 2nd on a error (E-7 /LF). If Gomes was a OF-2, the play would have resulted in a single, and if he was a OF-3, the play would result in a Fly Out.

I have also seen how Optional Fielding would play out when a late-career Chipper Jones' 3B-3, would result in a 5-3, with runner on 1st advancing to second -- instead of a better fielding third baseman would have pulled off a throw to second, to catch lead runner & pull off a double play -- this is where Optional Fielding plays a huge difference in more realistic play... this is where Chipper's defense will haunt your team from getting out of an inning later, than rather sooner.

So late in a game between the American League Houston Astros visiting Milwaukee, playing the Milwaukee Brewers, I noticed on a few occasions how this game was effected with the realism of Optional Fielding.

Bottom of the 6th:

Both teams are fielding 2 (37) - Bases Empty, Milwaukee up with Ryan Braun leading off the inning, rolls a 53-16 result... If you are playing with the regular basic rules, we all know that the '16 result' against a fielding 2 results in a single, but with OPTIONAL FIELDING, you go to the CF's fielding grade, against the Astros' center fielder Michael Bourn's OF-3, which is a fielding 1 for that position, which results in a FLY OUT with Optional Fielding.

The very next batter was Corey Hart, rolled the same dice roll 53, which in this case was a '17 result' with Houston's right fielder was Hunter Pence (OF-2), a fielding 2 on optional fielding, which this time resulted in a single. Pence has been a fielding 3 in multiple seasons, but for his 2011 card, he's a OF-2, which resulted in a hit over his usual sure out.

Later in the game, Top of the 9th:

Bases empty, one out, Carlos Lee comes to the plate for the Houston Astros, he rolls a 53-15, against Milwaukee's Ryan Braun in left (OF-2) resulting in fielding 2's '15-Single'. Chris Johnson comes to the plate next, rolls a dice roll 53-19, with the '19 result' playing against Milwaukee's Casey McGehee, who is only a 3B-3 -- which results in fielding 3 option, and a single, advancing the runner to second. Now if, this play was hit to a 3B-5 or 3B-6, which the Brew Crew would have Aramis Ramirez in later years at third (3B-5), this play would have resulted in a 5-3, ground out, with runner advancing to second.

Miguel Tejada would roll a 63-31 on next at-bat, which is a FLY OUT result all across the board, but let's say the CF was a fielding OF-1 instead of OF-2 in this case, and that the pinch-runner Jason Michaels (in for Carlos Lee at this point) was F (Fast), he would have tagged up -- this is just another case, where the fielding not being as good as it can be, can come back on the defense & where opponents can scrape a few more runs.

Back to factors such as Chipper Jones, you can see the difference in grading compared to that of a 3B-5 or 3B-6 in players such as Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt & Brooks Robinson; Plus checkout how both Lou Whitaker & Alan Trammell would be fielding 1's in Optional Fielding, which will pay dividends if the Detroit Tigers happen to be fielding a basic game normal fielding as a fielding 2 with a 38 or 39 for example -- using optional fielding will show the payoff of having the best double play combination in MLB history at your disposal.

Now that I took the Optional Fielding challenge, I will keep at it for ALL my solo projects, I would love to take this time & bring this more realistic touch to some of my other Basic APBA player friends, and see if they would take the challenge... believe me, you will love it. I would love to see someone like my friend Rich Z or someone else maybe bring this touch to their solo projects, maybe for one of their solo tournaments, or even a short series.

Anyways, I hope my readers enjoyed this article, I wanted to feature this for many good reasons. I hope you found it entertaining at least.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Upcoming Holiday Lineup

Things to look forward to on Boys of Summer:

  • Game 7 Finale of the 'WHAT IF' 1975 World Series between the Boston Red Sox & Cincinnati Reds.
  • Latest Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League news, season news & playoff news.
  • NXPL reboot news.
  • Plus the latest on the APBA 2K9 League, as we enter April 11th on the schedule. 

Most importantly, a happy holidays to you and all your family & friends, safe holiday travels -- take it all in & enjoy my friends.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sluggish Start for Tigers (83' NXPL Season)

Double Trouble: MLB's Greatest Double Play combination of Whitaker & Trammell.

World Championship expectations are heavy in the air for the Detroit Tigers, they lost last year's World Series (1982 Season) to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven hard-fought games, after leading the series, 3-2.

By the way, for those that were wondering the NXPL is a league without expansion, 8 teams in the American League, 8 teams in the National League, in which both leagues the pitchers bat. It is an APBA BBW (Baseball for Windows) League for computers.

Francona to part of strong 1984 bench.
This year the Tigers added plenty of good additions to the team, even brought players back through the draft. We drafted pitchers Mark Thurmond, Keith Atherton & John Martin, while drafting hitters in Terry Francona, Darryl Motley, Rusty Kuntz, Duane Walker, while bringing back Rusty Staub, while drafting some infield depth in Andre Robertson, Ed Jurak & Randy Johnson. Thurmond will be our 5th starter for the 1984 season, he will be a spot starter / LH Reliever for this season. Atherton (Grade 15-Y) will be closing games for me this season. Francona, Motley, Kuntz & Walker were strictly drafted for next year's bench for 1984, all had good years. Staub was drafted for some bench punch for this 1983 season, to go along with Joel Youngblood

Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker really step up another level from 1982 to 1983, while Tom Seaver after a down-year in 82' is back in my rotation to go along with Mario Soto, Dan Petry, Joaquin Andujar & young Walt Terrell. Atherton will also go along nicely in the pen with Dave Tobik and Dave Rozema for now, while being a part of the pen for the future with Andy McGaffigan.

The season has started, we barely won a series against Minnesota, in which if it was not for a blown save, we would have won that series, 4-1, but instead 3-2.

The next series was against emerging Boston, who I see being a challenger to the pennant now after one series -- he has a tough lineup with players like Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Dwight Evans, Willie Upshaw & Ozzie Smith. I am not sure if their pitching can go head-to-head throughout the season, but he may do what I had to do with last year's bullpen & plug them in the right place & right time... but with a lineup like his, he should be tough. We lost the series, 4-1, my dependable bullpen which I upgraded on paper from last season has been a huge disappointment so far... We'll get to that in a bit.

Also there is the Baltimore Orioles, who I thought entering last season, would go wire-to-wire with us for that 1982 American League crown -- this year, they definitely will, they made a trade in which they acquired the #1 Overall Draft Pick from the Toronto Blue Jays in which they drafted Darryl Strawberry. They also have Cal Ripken & Eddie Murray, plus other strong vets in Doug DeCinces, Don Baylor, Bob Grich & Darrell Porter, with their usual good pitching, plus Atlee Hammaker. Baltimore just swept Seattle in 5 games, and is currently on a 6-game winning streak.

For me, my 4-6 start, is the worst start for any of my Tiger teams, this being my third year; We have started the previous seasons 7-3 & 8-2... definitely too early to push the panic button though.

My lineup overall should have a more consistent flow, but I definitely am lacking the bench punch that I had last season, that's really why I picked up Staub late in the draft, he really has no future value, but him along with Youngblood will be my go-to guys in hopeful clutch situations. Kirk Gibson has a down year in batting average, which will give Mookie Wilson more playing time, while Lance Parrish won't have the big year he did in 82' and is currently struggling for me (likely will be batting out of 5th spot for season, soon); Plus Jason Thompson & Ben Oglivie's HR numbers are down from last season, yet no one gave Thompson that memo, since he has 3 home runs early on for me through 10 games.

The Wright Man: Wright was excellent pickup prior to 1982.
My drafting of George Wright in 82' will play a bigger impact in 1983, even though in many ways he played above & beyond for me in 1982 already, so that draft pick for me has paid dividends; He has an excellent OF arm that most teams will not want to tag up on from third, while he is out in left.

I'm hoping that this year's draft picks start paying off in the so-far/under-performing bullpen of the Tigers -- Keith Atherton (Grade 15-Y / equivalent to A-Y) is the early scapegoat, allowing 11 earned runs already in only 3.1 innings. Dave Tobik, Dave Rozema, Randy Moffit, Jim Slaton & Mark Thurmond plan to be huge factors in helping this bullpen round off nicely.

Our next opponent is another home series against the California Angels, who usually play pretty well against me with their hitting. Nothing is a given in this league, but I do think my team is still a title contender, despite my team not showing it at the moment.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Rookies Shine at Chicagoland Fall Tourney

Last Saturday, the Fall edition of the Chicagoland (Chicago World Series) Tournament took place at the Chicago O'Hare Days Inn Hotel. The tournament as always, was a smashing success, and for this particular event, the rookies came out to shine!

The tournament championship finale came down to two APBA tournament rookies, while the tournament was ran by our friend Rob Spatz, a rookie in the aspect of running his first tourney, not a rookie when it comes to tournaments, APBA spirit & his professionalism. I enjoyed watching the build-up to the event, my only regret is that I was not able to be present to watch the tournament take place.

Spatz took over for Doug Schuyler, who has ran the previous Chicago tournaments, in which him & Jim Saska co-produced the event & made this event what it is today. Since then, Saska has moved to Virginia, while Schuyler has handed over the reigns to Spatz. So hats off to all three of these men for making it happen, plus I think Doug should get an extra pat for taking these tournaments that extra mile.

The tournament also had the cool & interesting them of all the teams being sub-.500 teams, basically a tournament full of losing teams. This idea has been bounced around at previous tournaments, I know that myself has witnessed at tourneys before on APBA members speaking how cool it would be to do such a thing, but this time.... a tournament finally delivered on the idea.

Here is some of the photos from the event...

Two of the classiest: Don Smith (left) and Scott Fennessy.
Longtime Tourney Vet: Clark Eichman rolls during the All-Star Game.
We Are Family: Rich Zawadski (right) takes in a match-up between his son, Eric (APBA 66), against Ken Schulz who has been part of numerous APBA tourneys with his own family members in the past.

The tournament also witnessed the continuation of the APBA tradition of a game that is shared between father & sons. Pastor Rich Zawadzki, an APBA pillar and friend of many of us in the APBA community, brought his son Eric to this fall's event. Eric was supposed to be father Rich's designated roller for the 1920 St. Louis Browns, but had to fill in for the injured Bradd Romant, who lost a fight with an exacto knife, while doing house work -- we just like to kid that he was working on his drone in the same way that Cleveland Indians' pitcher Trevor Bauer injured himself during the playoffs. Bradd's APBA choice was the 1980 Cleveland Indians.

Passing Down the Game: Rich Zawadzki & his son Eric, made the trip from Jackson, MI to Chicago.

Eric Z faces off against Ryan Daniels' 2001 Colorado Rockies.

The Big Kid John Roels gave Eric this cool, authentic original APBA T-Shirt.
How did the Zawadzki's do? Rich came in second with a 6-3 record for his 20' Browns, while Bradd's 80 Indians with 'Designated Roller' Eric at the helm, went 1-8 -- while division mate, Ken Schulz did not take it easy on either of the Zawadzkis, by sweeping them a combined, 6-0. Schulz won the division by going 7-2 with the 1967 Atlanta Braves. Another APBA tourney regular & friend, John Roels was cool enough to give young Eric his APBA Baseball, an old-school APBA original -- it may be appear to be a dress on the young lad, but he will fill out that shirt & will likely be wearing that shirt at future tourneys as an young adult. 

His father was definitely enjoying his time, with this Facebook post....

Speaking of Roels, he likes to capture his enthusiasm & spirit for APBA tournaments by dressing the part, this time in Reds gear -- that's why I referred to him as the 'Big Kid'; Another nickname I gave him was "The Painkiller" after he defeating my brother (Christopher Baier) in the 1st Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament (GMABT), winning with the 1937 New York Yankees, by rolling dice with a Prescription bottle. 

Roels usually has great luck at these tourneys, but his 1955 Cincinnati Reds finished second with a losing record of 4-5; Rookie tourney manager Chet Wazio won their division (Harry Chiti Division) with a 8-1 record, by managing the 1971 Chicago White Sox.

Rookie Playoff Match-up: Vince Bianco (Eventual Tourney Champ) faces Chet Wazio,
Rookies took presidence in this tournament, a handful of first-timers, young & older; Wazio and Eric Z were not the only rookies having fun, as the tournament would come down to a first-timer winning the entire thing in Vince Bianco. Bianco's 1964 Los Angeles Dodgers edged Chris Shore's 1987 Boston Red Sox for the Jose Oquendo Division title, moved on to face Wazio's 71' White Sox in the playoffs, pulling off the back-and-forth victory in extras (10 innings) by winning, 5-2. He would play veteran Schulz in the playoffs, as the Dodgers defeated those 67' Braves, 4-2. He would cruise for the Championship win over Todd Daniels' 2000 Houston Astros

The 2000 Houston Astros was an interesting story, led by Jose Lima (a D starting pitcher), would win a 9-0 shutout over Eric Berg's undefeated 9-0, 1964 Minnesota Twins. I know that plenty of us liked the Twins' chances, and it hurts to watch such a great guy like Eric get knocked out like that, don't get me wrong, I am sure Todd is a great guy as well, but you won't find too many tourney contenders as chill & nice as Mr. Berg here.... So I am still rooting for you to win a title someday, Eric! 

It's Lima Time: Jose Lima delivers 9-0 shutout for Todd Daniels' 2000 Houston Astros.
Here is a breakdown brought to us by tournament host, Rob Spatz via Facebook....

More pictures on the successful tournament...

Mike Hill (left) faces off against Kurt Bergland (right) in the playoffs.

Bob Spatz (Rob's father) shows off his 1973 Hank Aaron card (33-1).

This is It; 2016 Chicago World Series Championship - T.Daniels (left) & Vince (right).

Vince Bianco is presented with traveling trophy from Bob Ellers (2016 Summer Champ).

Fall Guy - Vince Bianco is presented with keeper trophy, with Tourney host Rob Spatz.

So that pretty much wraps up my coverage on last weekend's big event -- Once again, congrats to Vince Bianco, we hope to see you at many tournaments in the future... Also, excellent job on Rob Spatz for taking over the Chicago World Series, as we look forward to many more tournaments in the future from APBA's heartland.

Take care everyone, as we approach the holidays, and most importantly....

Keep Rolling 66's!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The 'WHAT IF' 1975 World Series (Game 6)

We arrive back in Boston for Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Not only do the Red Sox return to Boston, but Jim Rice returns from his 3-game injury stint (where he missed all the action in Cincinnati). The good news Boston didn't hurt too much without Rice, as they own a 3-2 series lead.

Game 6 will feature the same pitching match-up of Game 3, Boston's Rick Wise facing off against Cincinnati's Gary Nolan; In that game, Wise pitched a complete-game shutout, shutting down the "Big Red Machine" & holding them to 7 hits... while Boston had a big four-run 4th inning, as Boston won 4-0.

Can the Reds force a Game 7? We'll have to see....

Game 6 (at Boston)

Morgan has been racking up the steals in this series.
The Cincinnati Reds' Joe Morgan got running early & has been doing a lot of that this series actually. Morgan (batting 2nd) smacked a single to left off Wise & then stole second; The stolen base was his 7th steal of the series (he would later steal base #8 in the 5th) & has stolen a base in every game except for Game 4, while he stole as many as 3 bases in Game 5. For the life of me, in all my APBA Baseball projects, I have never had a player steal this often in any World Series replay or 7-game series format.

Now I have seen stolen bases this frequent though, during season formats in two players through my APBA projects, those two players being Tim Raines' 1981 card & Billy Hamilton's 1894 Phillies card (during my BATS 1 Season). Raines currently has 33 steals in 32 games, while Hamilton stole 56 bases in 51 games for the All-Time Phillies team.

Back to the action, Morgan's single & stolen base in the 1st inning, set up Johnny Bench's RBI on a ground out to deep short, as the speedy Morgan never tapped the breaks... It is this kind of heads up, great base running that helped make Morgan a Hall of Famer.

Top of the 2nd - Dave Conception drew a walk, but got caught stealing 2nd for the second out of the inning, but it became evident early on that Rick Wise's control from Game 3 was nowhere evident in Game 6, as he would walk Ken Griffey, while plucking Cesar Geronimo with a pitch in the next at-bat -- that is 2 walks & a HBP in three consecutive at-bats. With runners on 1st & 2nd, with 2 outs, Pete Rose makes Wise pay with an RBI single. Wise's control problems continue as he walks Joe Morgan, allowing a bases loaded situation to Johnny Bench -- something the Red Sox would love to avoid... fortunately for Boston, Bench would fly out for the third out. This inning could have been far worse, and Boston only trails 2-0 at this point.

Gary Nolan's control was not much better early on this one, he would allow 3 walks & also hit a batter with a pitch, inside the first three innings of the ball game. Nolan's biggest jam in those first three innings came when Fred Lynn singled to right, to advance the runner (Denny Doyle reached on Nolan's 3rd walk). With two outs, and two runners on, plus Carlton Fisk coming up to the plate, the Red Sox chose to intentionally walk Fisk & his season batting average of .331, by taking their chances with another Hall of Famer in Carl Yastrzemski & his less dangerous .269 batting average -- Not too often you would ever see this scenario, even in a World Series, would you see someone intentionally walk one HOF'er to face another. Cincinnati's big gamble pays off, as Nolan strikes out "Yaz" to get out of the early jam.

Joe Morgan's bases on balls & stolen base in the 5th Inning, would lead to another Reds run, as he would later score from third base on a Tony Perez sacrifice fly -- making it a 3-0 lead.

This game (Game 6) could be considered a complete role reversal for both pitchers, Gary Nolan would settle down after the first three innings & would settle in for a complete game, 4-0 shutout -- the same exact score & shutout that Rick Wise for Boston experienced in Game 3. Wise would allow 4 earned runs & 5 hits through 6.1 innings (Nolan allowed similar numbers in Game 3, with 4 ER & 5 hits in 5 innings); Nolan would go on to only allow 5 hits in the shutout.

Now the big kicker, the game would come at a price for the Cincinnati Reds, with two outs & Joe Morgan on first during the top of the 9th, Tony Perez would hit the ball to Denny Doyle at deep second, Doyle would relay the throw to Rick Burleson at second for the force, Morgan's slide was rough at second, in which he would lay there in pain. The trainers came out, helped him off the field, and according to post game reports, he will indeed miss the crucial Game 7, while the Reds play in enemy territory.

Can the Cincinnati Reds pull off a consecutive victory without Morgan, at Fenway?

Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The 'WHAT IF' 1975 World Series (Game 5)

The Cincinnati Reds evened the series in Game 4, led by George Foster, who went 2-for-3, with a three-run homer, double, while drawing two walks & scoring twice; Foster is having an amazing series, batting .563 (9-for-16), 2 HR, 8 RBI & 6 runs.

The Boston Red Sox want to win this last game in Cincinnati & go home with two chances to win the World Series in front of their home crowd.

Game 5 (at Cincinnati)

Bill Lee cheering on his hitters from the dugout.
Bill "The Spaceman" Lee takes the mound for Boston, he got roughed up in Game 2 at Fenway, allowing 5 earned runs & 6 hits in 6 innings of work. Lee will face the Reds' Fred Norman, who will get his first start of the series, he did appear in one scoreless inning of work in Game 2.

Boston got things started early in this one, as rookie Fred Lynn smacks a solo HR in the first inning with one out; Lynn's first HR of the series, he has 4 RBI now on 4 hits (lifting his average up to .267). Carl Yastrzemski followed with a double, but the Red Sox could do no more that inning.

Cincinnati would have runners on 2nd for three consecutive innings, but could not score in the runners.

Top of the 4th - Carlton Fisk hits a one-out double off of Norman, while Dwight Evans would follow by drawing a walk. Cecil Cooper would take advantage of his opportunity by hitting a three-run home run to give the Red Sox an early commanding, 4-0 lead. That was Cooper's 2nd HR of the series.

One of the few highlights for the Cincinnati Reds in this game, belonged to Joe Morgan, who would steal second three times in this game; Other than that, Bill Lee & Boston was in control... Lee pitched 8 strong innings, allowing only 5 hits & one earned run (RBI double to Cesar Geronimo in the 7th).

Carlton Fisk would tack on a solo HR (2) in the 9th off of Pedro Borbon for extra insurance, as the Boston Red Sox win Game 5, by the score of 5-1.

The series now heads back to the east coast, for Game 6 in Boston... We'll see if they can wrap up the series, now that they have a 3-2 series lead.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wide World of Sports

Time to get this party started - 1988-89 Detroit Pistons, one of many purchased.

So for awhile now, I have kicked around the idea of ordering from DK Sports (Dave Koch Sports). As you all know from reading my material on my Boys of Summer blog, that I am a fan of APBA Baseball, which have excellent products in their basic card game, Master Game & computer games... Unfortunately, they do not have anything productive in computer Football or computer Basketball, and their Football Card Game is a time-consuming product which does not fit my life, where I am already trying to squeeze in endless replays & projects. 

I got the extra push to actually buy the Basketball & Football products from DK Sports, while shooting the bull at work, while cooking. Working with my buddy, Charles, we are always discussing great teams of the past, and have had our debates of who would be who & from what era, etc etc... We would have debates from everything, would the 1992 Dallas Cowboys show up the New England Patriots teams of the 2000'sJoe Montana vs. Tom Brady & to even.. Did Tom Brady make Bill Belichick or did Belichick make Brady?...

Yes, there is a lot of Brady in those debates, love them or hate them, these Patriots will always be open for discussion. 

The fortunate thing about DK Sports, you can settle these debates (somewhat) with these computer replays or exhibitions. 

First, I'll mention the products that I have bought & how convenient it is to purchase all that. I got to buy these products with $100 of Birthday money from my amazing wife... who by the way is cool with all my replays & projects.

I bought the 2016 Baseball Basic Game ($29), which comes with the Championship set, which features...
  • 1932 - Philadelphia Athletics, New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs & Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1959 - Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Braves & Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • 1975 - Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, Cincinnati Reds & Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1992 - Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves & Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 2007 - Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies & Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • 2015 - Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs & New York Mets.
I bought the 2016 Football Basic Set (with Great Teams) ($29), which features...

  • 1965 - Green Bay Packers, Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns & Chicago Bears.
  • 1971 - Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49'ers, Miami Dolphins & Baltimore Colts.
  • 1988 - Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears & San Francisco 49'ers.
  • 1990 - New York Giants, San Francisco 49'ers, Buffalo Bills & Los Angeles Raiders.
  • 2003 - New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers & Philadelphia Eagles.
  • 2015 - Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers & Arizona Cardinals.
I bought the 2016 Basketball - Deluxe Game (on sale for $39) + 20 Winning Teams (NBA history) which features...
  • 2015-16 - Every single 2015-2016 NBA team from that season.
  • 1984-85Every single team from the 84-85' season.
  • 1970-71 ABA Season 
  • 2014-15 Golden State Warriors
  • 2012-13 Miami Heat
  • 2008-09 Cleveland Cavaliers
  • 2008-09 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2007-08 Boston Celtics
  • 2006-07 Dallas Mavericks
  • 1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1996-97 Chicago Bulls
  • 1995-96 Chicago Bulls
  • 1991-92 Chicago Bulls
  • 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1985-86 Boston Celtics
  • 1982-83 Philadelphia 76'ers
  • 1972-73 Boston Celtics
  • 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers
  • 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks
  • 1966-67 Philadelphia 76'ers
Because these great packages didn't have all the teams that I would also like to see added, the site gives you the option to add any team from any season from any sport -- for ONLY $1.50! Which at anytime, any week or any moment, you can say hey -- I want to download this team, BOOM! You own it, just like that!

Oh, by the way, everything from above is also downloadable straight to your computer, no waiting for disks in the mail, which could take weeks depending on the service, etc etc

Here is the list of additional NFL Teams that I added...
  • 1950 Cleveland Browns
  • 1957 Detroit Lions
  • 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers
  • 1985 Chicago Bears
  • 1986 New York Giants
  • 1993 Dallas Cowboys
  • 1995 Detroit Lions
  • 1999 St. Louis Rams
  • 2000 Baltimore Ravens
  • 2002 Tampa Bay Bucs

Here is the list of additional NBA Teams that I added...
  • 1986-87 Atlanta Hawks
  • 1988-89 Detroit Pistons
  • 1990-91 Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1992-93 New York Knicks
  • 1993-94 Houston Rockets
  • 1994-95 Indiana Pacers
  • 1996-97 Utah Jazz
  • 2001-02 Sacramento Kings
  • 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs
  • 2003-04 Detroit Pistons
I am really happy with the products and now I can settle some of these debates (somewhat) and relive historic & fun teams... It will certainly be a blast, I can't wait to share everything with you.

The Football action will be shared to you via Guts & Glory of the Gridiron, my new football blog.

Monday, October 31, 2016

No Trick... Just Treat!

One of many debates: Montana or Brady? Who would you have take snaps?
The Boys of Summer is proud to announce an additional site to stand as it's brother site to all things football related for my new Football projects. The site has not officially started, but will be called "Guts & Glory of the Gridiron".

We will eventually add a Basketball site as well in good time. No need to get alarmed my Boys of Summer fans, I still plan to deliver good ol' Baseball blogs on this site... I am just stretching my blogging game a bit.

I don't expect the posts on those sites to be as frequent, and will probably be more reporting on the football games that I am playing with DKSports (Dave Koch Sports). I am still a APBA die-hard, but APBA simply does not do a good computer Football & Basketball game.

I have for some time peeked on the DKSports sites & wondered if I should buy the games. The extra push to actually buy the games, is probably due to me & a buddy at work discussing Football & Basketball past, as we debated over who would have beat who from what era.... I mean, seriously, who has not discussed what would happened if Joe Montana's Niners go head-to-head with Tom Brady's Patriots?!

Anyways, here's a sneak peak at what the site will look like...

More to come...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Philadelphia Teams Phail at Momentum

Crazy 48's Season Update

Two of the Three Crazy 48's Philadelphia franchises played this past week in key series, granted that the last few series for most playoff contenders will be key series. The 1931 Philadelphia Athletics are unfortunately not in playoff contention (at the moment) entering Game #29, but they are playing their 1st place division foes in the 1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords -- but any time a team needs to make serious ground, beating up on the 1st place team to better their chances, is definitely a place to start.

Meanwhile, the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies find themselves also facing an elite team in the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Some APBA elitists may scoff at myself labeling the 2001 M's an elite team, but they definitely are, this team fields an APBA grade 45 / fielding 1 easily! Plus an all Grade B rotation to go with a stellar bullpen (one of the absolute best bullpens ever in all of APBA) & a dangerous lineup.

The 1993 Philadelphia Phillies plan to make a run at the post-season.

We'll start with the...

2001 Mariners / 1993 Phillies series...

Both teams have excellent lineups & bullpens, so the starting pitchers will be on shorter leashes than usual. Both teams would be locked up in a 3-3 tie after 3 innings in Game 1, Mariners would break away with some big small hits by Mike Cameron & David Bell in the 5th, as Mariners walk away with the victory in Game 1 (of the 4-game series), winning 6-3. Both starting pitchers (Seattle's Freddy Garcia & Phil's Terry Mulholland) didn't make it to the 6th inning.

Bret Boone hit his 9th HR of the season in the first game, and would continue to be a monster in this series.

Game 2 featured the Mariners' Aaron Sele facing off against the Phillies' Tommy Greene. The Mariners' bats were quiet this game, collecting a grand total of 4 hits! Boone would not be a factor in only this game, only because he got injured sliding into second base during the top of the 1st & would not return for the remainder of the game; Mark McLemore would slide over from short to second, as Carlos Guillen filled in at shortstop. Kevin Stocker's two-run single (his 3rd hit of the game), plus Lenny Dykstra's two-run double during the bottom of the 6th off of reliever Ryan Franklin will prove to be the dagger in this one, as the Phillies win 5-2.

After hosting the first two games of the series, the Phillies now travel to Seattle, now playing under A.L. (post-DH rules).

Lenny Dykstra would continue his hot hitting with a two-run homer in the top of the 3rd, putting the Phillies up 3-1. The Phillies pile on a couple more runs in the 4th, with Wes Chamberlain (playing DH in Seattle) would smack a two-run triple to score in both Dave Hollins & Darren Daulton.

The Phillies at this point, seemed to be in complete control, even after a solo HR by John Olerud in the 4th, had Seattle trailing 5-2. Bret Boone would make it a ballgame though, hitting a two-run HR (in the 5th) off of starter Curt Schilling to make it only a 5-4 Philly lead.

Man on a Mission: Bret Boone has put together a solid season (.351 BA, 10 HR & 27 RBI in 32 games).

Bottom of the 6th, with a man on second, Al Martin would hit a two-out single to score in Mike Cameron -- tying the game up at 5-5.

This game would go to extras, with the Mariners' bullpen dominating from the late top-of-the-5th onward -- by only allowing one hit (a Darren Daulton single), while logging 9 strikeouts! The Mariners' lineup, meanwhile, would get their hits, but keep falling short in driving that go-ahead run.

Eventually, with Mike Cameron on first, David Bell would deliver a walk-off double off of Roger Mason in the bottom of the 12th, to win the ballgame, 6-5; Bret Boone went 5-for-6, with a HR, double, 3 singles, 2 RBI & 2 runs in this one.

The Phillies would win Game 5, although they once again flirted with late game disaster, by edging the Mariners, 5-3. Lenny Dykstra hit another homer (his 5th), while collecting a late single & stolen base as well. Pete Incaviglia, who has lost playing time of late, due to his struggles at the plate, went 2-for-4 with a HR & 3 RBI. Danny Jackson (Grade C) pitched 6 good innings, allowing only 4 hits & one earned run (he did allow 4 walks though, while collecting no K's). Mitch Williams collects his 7th Save of the season.

The Phillies would walk away with a 2-2 series split, remaining 4 games out of 1st, but Phillies fans have to wonder, how much that Game 3 choke (which could have resulted in a 3-1 series win) will come back to haunt them. The Phillies are currently just outside of that 8-team playoff bubble at 17-15, with a 19+ scoring differential, tied with the 1981 Montreal Expos; The 2001 Seattle Mariners & 1998 Atlanta Braves are tied in 1st in the (Bobby Cox) Division race at 21-11.

Next up for these two teams: The Mariners get a push-over series against the 1999 Texas Rangers (who have no pitching), while the Phillies will have to face off against the team they are tied with, in the 81' Expos. I do think the Phillies have the edge in this series, but I believe Montreal will get a win here.

1935 Pittsburgh Crawfords / 1931 Philadelphia Athletics

It's been quite some time since I continued this series, played Game 1 quite a ways back, although I have the stats logged, but I currently can't find the game sheet at the moment, but Crawfords did win. It probably ended with Satchel Paige dominating as usual, he started 8 games this season & completed ALL 8 games, while logging two shutouts (one no-hitter against the 1942 St. Louis Cardinals)...

Here is Satchel's stats, this season....
  • 12 games, 8 GS, 8 CG, 2 SHO (including no-hitter).
  • Perfect 8-0 record.
  • 1.42 ERA (12 ER / 13 R)
  • Only 36 hits & 6 walks allowed (.553 WHIP)
  • 67 strikeouts
  • 76 Innings Pitched
  • 4 Saves (4-for-4 Save Opportunities)

Paige defeated Lefty Grove in Game 1, Grove struggled majority of season, but finally logged a win last series, and hung in there with Paige in Game 1 of this series, but Crawfords pull out the victory. Grove is now, 1-5, with a 3.47 ERA, after two strong starts of late.

Game 2 would be all about coming up clutch for the Crawfords -- in which they failed in this one. Four times in this game, they would have a runner in scoring position, with one out or less & they would come up empty each time. Crawfords only collected 7 hits in this one, one more than the Athletics though. The Athletics capitalized off their opportunities though, Mule Haas' RBI double & Jimmie Foxx would give the A's a 2-0 lead in the top of the 6th; Jimmy Dykes' RBI double in the 7th (after a lead-off Bing Miller triple) would give the A's a 3-0.

George Earnshaw's shutout bid would be spoiled by a 9th Inning homerun by the one-and-only Josh Gibson, his 6th HR (22 games played); Earnshaw collects 7 K's against the Crawfords. 

The Crawfords' Leroy Matlock who logged the loss in this one, actually was pitching a no-hitter through 5.1 innings, but would allow 6 hits for the remaining 3.2 innings though.

With the series tied 1-1 & new-found momentum, the Athletics take the series back home to Philadelphia, while the Crawfords will be sporting two APBA Grade D starting pitchers for Game 3 & Game 4 -- while Philly will be sporting a Grade B & C for the next two games.

Game 3 starts early with the Philadelphia A's up 3-0 after 3 innings. Max Bishop, who has played nothing like his card, enjoys his move to the 5th slot in the lineup, collecting two doubles in this game, while drawing a walk -- his two-out double made it 3-0 in the 3rd; Jimmy Dykes hit a two-run single in bottom of the 2nd to get things rolling.

Popeye Harris for the Crawfords, hits his 3rd HR of the season to give Pittsburgh some light. After the Athletics failed to get some runners in, during the bottom of the 5th, the Crawfords take advantage of the Athletics' failed opportunities, with a two-run 6th Inning double by Josh Gibson, to tie the ballgame at 3-3. Oscar Charleston continues the Crawfords' attack with an RBI single to give them the lead. 

X marks the spot, as Jimmie Foxx ties the game (4-4) late in the bottom of the 8th, with a lead-off homer off of reliever David Harvey

Top of the 10th, reliever David Harvey reaches first on an error by the Athletics' Dib Williams; Jimmy Crutchfield reaches on a walk, both on no outs. Popeye Harris would score in Harvey on a RBI single, Crutchfield advances to 3rd base. Josh Gibson's sac fly, scores in Crutchfield. These two runs would be enough, as Satchel Paige comes in for his 4th Save of the season.

For the Crazy 48's Season, starting pitchers can only come in for saves after a game's rest, so for starting pitchers in the first slot (aces), they can only come in (for one inning only) on the 3rd game of the series; Game 2 starters can come in for Game 4 bullpen sessions. 

It kind of helps these teams with small pitching staffs, especially a Negro League team like the Crawfords that ONLY have 6 total pitchers. Plus it gives these old teams, the old-school feel, starting aces like Lefty Grove of the Athletics are no strangers to Saves, Lefty logged 54 career saves, while actually leading the American League with 9 Saves in 1930.

Game 4 would be all about hitting for both teams, as they combined for 21 hits. Both starting pitchers were out of the game by the 6th Inning.

Statue of Cool Papa Bell outside of the Cardinals' ballpark.

The Crawfords would have a 6-2 lead after 5 innings, thanks to a two-run double by Cool Papa Bell; Bell also scored in previous innings twice, thanks to a bases on balls & triple -- finishing the game 2-for-3. Andrew Patterson also had two RBI on two hits, including a 2nd Inning triple. 

The Athletics would make a run at it, with three runs in the bottom of the 6th; Mule Haas had an RBI single, while Al Simmons followed with a two-run double. The Crawfords would end up holding on with a 7-5 victory, with Leroy Matlock coming in for his team-leading 5th Save.

The Crawfords would take the series, 3-1. Three of the games were close, with Philadelphia having a real shot at two of those other opportunities, so the script could have been flip-flopped and the last place Athletics could have gained some ground & with 4 more series against division rivals could have made a good jump start to a late playoff run, but it all may be too late.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The 'WHAT IF' 1975 World Series (Game 4)

George Foster making huge impact on series.
The Boston Red Sox find themselves up 2-1 in the series, after Rick Wise's Game 3 (4-0) shutout of the "Big Red Machine". Now Cincinnati looks to even things up, with Don Gullett (Grade A-Y) on the mound, as he will be matched up against the Red Sox' Cuban sensation Luis Tiant (Grade B-YZ).

Game 4 (at Cincinnati)

Denny Doyle leads the game off with a triple to left-center off of Gullet; Fred Lynn follows with sac fly RBI. Carl Yastrzemski hits a single to right, but Carlton Fisk & Dwight Evans would not continue this early momentum for Boston. Boston leads 1-0.

The Reds answer back quickly, starting with a lead-off double by Pete Rose to kick off the bottom-half of the 1st Inning; Joe Morgan draws a walk on next at-bat. Johnny Bench hits a grounder to deep second, as Boston gets the runner at second for the force; Fielder's choice, one out. Tony Perez steps up to the plate, with runners on the corner, slashes a single over short to drive in the tying run at 1-1; Bench advances to second. The dangerous George Foster would take advantage of a mistake pitch by Luis Tiant, sending the ball over the right field fence for a three-run homer. Reds take an early 4-1 lead.

Don Gullett would help his pitching cause with the bat, by leading off the bottom of the 2nd Inning, with a double off of Tiant. Pete Rose gives the Reds more scoring insurance, with RBI single.

Carlton Fisk would hit a three-run homerun in the top of the 3rd, to pull within a run, but that's as close as it would get, as the Reds come up huge later in the game with a monster 8th inning. The monster inning featured 7 runs, including a two-run single by Tony Perez.

Perez would finish the game with 3 hits, 3 RBI & 2 runs, while George Foster has been putting up great World Series numbers -- .563 Batting Average (9-for-16), 2 HR, 8 RBI & 6 runs.

Series is now tied 2-2, with Game 5 in Cincinnati.

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