gibson on the mound today; also a tudor vs andujar matchup. the summaries are after the jump; here's a link to Cardinal70's tourney tracker page.
Game 4 features a rematch between Game 1 starters Joaquin Andujar (the '82 version) and John Tudor, cir. 1985 --- probably the two best pitcher-seasons of the Whiteyball era. An interesting battle is developing in this series between leftfield counterparts Vince Coleman and Lonnie Smith. So far, Coleman is 3 for 11 at the plate with 2 steals. Lonnie, clearly inspired by the chance to show up the man who eventually replaced him, is 5 for 11 at the dish with 3 steals, though Lonnie has been caught once. Lineups for today's game:
|Vince Coleman, lf||Lonnie Smith, lf|
|Willie McGee, cf||Tom Herr, 2b|
|Tom Herr, 2b||Keith Hernandez, 1b|
|Jack Clark, 1b||George Hendrick, rf|
|Andy Van Slyke, rf||Gene Tenace, c|
|Terry Pendleton, 3b||David Green, cf|
|Darrell Porter, c||Ken Oberkfell, 3b|
|Ozzie Smith, ss||Ozzie Smith, ss|
|John Tudor, p||Joaquin Andujar, p|
Coleman leads off for the 85ers with a walk and, true to form, steals second. After McGee grounds out, Tommy Herr doubles to plate Coleman to make it 1-0. Not to be outdone, Lonnie singles to left leading off the bottom of first, and then he steals second to bring Herr to the plate. Just to show he doesn't play favorites among the two teams, Herr doubles for the 82 Birds to score Lonnie; he's got an RBI for each side. Way to go, Tommy. After one inning, Herr is tied with Herr 1-1.
The '82 Birds threaten again in the second. Oberkfell singles to center, then steals second. In 1982, Oberkfell stole 11 bases but was caught 9 times. It's a fair bet he stole most of his bases after the catcher was worn out from trying to throw out Ozzie, Willie, Lonnie, et al. Whatever the case, Oberkfell isn't done, as he swipes third after an Ozzie groundout. Andujar strikes out with Kenny on third and one out, but Lonnie walks to prolong the inning for that man again . . . . Tommy Herr. He delivers with a single up the middle to score Oberkfell to make it 2-1.
The third inning is quiet, except that Coleman walks and steals another base to catch Lonnie in steals for the series. In the top of the fourth Pendleton hits a one-out single, and steals second . . . . . and third. Porter follows with a double to right to plate Pendleton and tie the game. Then Slightly Older Ozzie singles to center, and Porter comes around to give the '85 Cards the lead, 3-2.
After the fourth, both Andujar and Tudor settle in. Tudor allows only a single and a walk from the fourth to the eighth. Andujar, meanwhile, doesn't allow a baserunner after the fourth until Clark and Van Slyke strike back-to-back two-out singles in the 8th. Both are stranded as Pendleton grounds out, keeping the score at 3-2 for the '85s. But it's a sign of what's to come in the 9th; Andujar's tiring. He gives up a one-out single to Ozzie. That brings up Tudor, whose line so far reads: 8 innings pitched, 5 hits, 3 walks, 2 runs, and 11 strike outs. But he's at 109 pitches, so Sim Whitey '85 decides to pinch-hit for him and entrust the game to the bullpen. Cesar Cedeno steps in, and while he's batting Ozzie steals second. Then Cedeno singles him home, and the '85 Birds add an insurance run; it's 4-2.
Jeff Lahti comes on in the bottom of the 9th to get a very uneventful save. The 1985 Cardinals win this one 4-2 on the scoreboard (also 5-3 in the steals category). The player of the game is clearly Herr . . . . . but no one is sure which one.
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The series shifts from the Depression era to 1964 for the next three games. The return to their home field also marks a normalization of the starting rotation for 1964, as Bob Gibson will take the mound today; Curt Simmons will follow for Game 4, and Ray Sadecki will pitch in Game 5 (barring any goofy moves by Sim-Keane). It may not be the Dean Brothers and Bill Walker, but that is a pretty decent rotation from here to the end of the series, however long it goes.
I have to admit, I knew relatively little about the '64 Birds coming into this series. In fact, really the only thing I thing I knew about the club was that the Cardinals were the benefactors of the Philadelphia's famous collapse. As I have learned, they were a pretty good club. The team had four All-Stars: first baseman Bill White, who hit .303 with 21 homers; third baseman Ken Boyer, who clubbed 29 home runs with a league-best 119 RBIs en route to being named the NL MVP; shortstop Dick Groat, who hit .292; and outfielder Curt Flood, who hit .311. That quarter, along with mid-season acquisition Lou Brock, was enough to give the Cardinals the second-best offense in the NL with 715 runs (behind the Milwaukee Braves' 803 runs). The pitching numbers weren't as spectacular when compared to the league (652 runs allowed, 6th of 10 teams), but they did have 20-game winner Ray Sadecki, Bob Gibson (19 wins) and Curt Simmons (18 wins).
As mentioned before, Bob Gibson takes the mound for the home team. The younger Dean will toil for the Gas House Gang. 1964's lineup reverts to its Game 1 form against a righty; no changes for 1934's batting order. Lets play sim-ball!
|Pepper Martin, 3b||Curt Flood, cf|
|Jack Rothrock, rf||Lou Brock, lf|
|Frank Frisch, 2b||Bill White, 1b|
|Joe Medwick, lf||Ken Boyer, 3b|
|Ripper Collins, 1b||Dick Groat, ss|
|Bill Delancey, c||Tim McCarver, c|
|Ernie Orsatti, cf||Julian Javier, 2b|
|Leo Durocher, ss||Mike Shannon, rf|
|Paul Dean, p||Bob Gibson, p|
Gibby starts the game by fanning Pepper Martin and Jack Rothcock, before a '34 batter (Frisch) can hit a ball in fair territory --- and it's right back to Gibson for out number three. Paul Dean has a rockier start. After getting Flood on a grounder, Brock singles. He is erased, however, on a failed SB attempt. Bill White follows on a single that would have otherwise scored Brock, but he too is erased from the base paths trying to stretch it to a double. So Dean only retires one batter but still faces the minimum.
In the second, it seems that Gibson gets a bit too confident with his high heat. He jams Medwick for the first out, but a few pitches later he gives Ripper Collins a bit too much of the inside plate. Ripper's drive clears the 354-foot sign in right-center to give the Gas House Gang a 1-0 lead. The lead only lasts a couple of frames, however. In the fourth, Brock leads of with a solid single to right and then makes a successful theft of 2d. The future (or former, depending on how you look at it) president of the NL, Bill White, then gets a hold of a hanging Paul Dean curve and deposits it into the seats deep in left. 1964 takes a 2-1 lead.
Gibson looks as if he could make that slim edge stand up. Through 5 innings he has allowed just 3 hits, 1 walk, and 6 Ks. But then, in the sixth, all hell breaks loose. It starts with an uncharacteristic lead-off walk by Gibson. He is unfazed, however as he quickly gets Frisch in the hole 1-2 and set up for a double play. The Flash seemingly obliges with a grounder to first, but the ball is hit just a bit too soft and the 1964s have to settle for a 3-6 FC. Gibson is annoyed. The next batter, Medwick, then pokes one though the right side (the ball had eyes) to put two on with only one out. Gibson leers at his infielders. Collins, who has already homered today, comes to the plate. Again Gibson gets ahead on the count to set him up for a double play, but again Gibson loses him. This time, it's a swinging bunt that squibs the ball well in front of Boyer. By the time Ken fields, Frisch has already scored and Collins is safe at first. The slugging catcher, Bill Delancey then steps in. Again Gibson gets ahead on the count. Delancey gets jammed and he pops the ball to shallow right; the ball should be caught, but Mike Shannon hesitates before he changes and the result is a gift single that loads the bases. None of the last four men have hit the ball well, and three of them have hit balls that could have been double plays had luck been slightly different; instead the tying run is in, the bases are loaded, and there's only one out.
Gibson is furious. He pitches to Ernie Orsatti and runs into more bad luck. Orsatti hits one on the ground to first, but instead of opting for a double play or sure out at first, Bill White fires home. There is a play at the plate, but Medwick is called safe. The Gas Housers have the lead, and Gibson's losing his cool. The next batter, Durocher, squirts one through the hole on the left side; Collins and Delancey score to make it 5-2. That's when Sim-Keane decides to let Gibson cool off in the clubhouse.
Ron Taylor comes in, and the 1964s go from bad luck to bad pitching. He gives up a line-drive double to Paul Dean that clears the bases and makes the score 7-2. Taylor then walks Martin and Rothrock. He allows a single to Frisch to make it 9-2; another single to Ducky puts the 1934s into the double digits. Ron Hobbie comes in to mop up, but he only fares slightly better. Collins laces an RBI single, and Orsatti and Durocher each deliver their second hits of the inning make the score 13-2. Paul Dean mercifully ends the inning with a flyout. In all the Gas House Gang send 17 men to the plate to collect 11 hits, 3 walks, and 12 runs. For all practical purposes the game is over.
The 1934s go on to add another 6 runs in the top of the ninth off seven consecutive hits (including Paul Dean's second double of the day). The 1964s score 4 useless runs in the bottom of the ninth to make the final 19-6, easily the most lopsided and highest-scoring sim I have covered. Rip Collins collects four hits and four RBIs for player-of-the-game honors. Paul Dean goes 8.1 innings for the win. Gibson takes a frustrating loss, going 5.1 innings and giving up 7 runs, all of them earned. 1934 now leads the series 2-1. Curt Simmons will try to right the ship for 1964 tomorrow; he will take on Dizzy Dean. See you then.
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The 1926 Cardinals have scored 1 run in this series, yet they're even --- wow. The '68 Birdos aren't exactly tearing the cover off the ball either (3 runs in 2 games). We'll see if the change of venue results in more runs on the board. The '26 team does make one lineup change, swapping out Ray Blades (1 for 6 in the first two games) for second-year outfielder Chick Hafey. Lineups:
|Lou Brock, lf||Taylor Douthit, cf|
|Curt Flood, cf||Billy Southworth, rf|
|Roger Maris, rf||Rogers Hornsby, 2b|
|Orlando Cepeda, 1b||Jim Bottomley, 1b|
|Tim McCarver, c||Les Bell, 3b|
|Mike Shannon, 3b||Chick Hafey, lf|
|Julian Javier, 2b||Bob O'Farrell, c|
|Dal Maxvill, ss||Tommy Thevenow, ss|
|Nelson Briles, p||Flint Rhem, p|
1926 starter Flint Rhem gets just a little lucky in the first, retiring Maris and Cepeda on sharp line drives following Flood's one-out groundball single. But no luck involved when he pitches out of a two-on, one-out jam in the 3d --- he gets Flood chasing out of the zone, then Maris on an easy foul pop. Meanwhile, El Birdos hurler Nelson Briles breezes through the '26 order 9 up and 9 down, retiring 6 of the 9 men on groundballs. He doesn't change a thing in the 4th inning --- more groundballs --- but the ones hit by Southworth, Hornsby, and Hafey all scoot through, resulting in a couple of runs. They didn't hit the ball hard at all, but the `26s still got more runs in that inning than they'd scored in the previous 21 combined.
Another grounder scoots through with two outs in the bottom of the 5th, as Douthit reaches on a single. Then Briles makes his worst mistake of the game --- he walks Southworth, bringing up Hornsby with 2 men on base. Rogers is just 2 for 9 in the series so far; he's all kinds of due. And he rips a sharp one-hopper past Shannon and down into the left-field corner. Both runners scamper around and come home; it's 4-0, and the way El Birdos are hitting in this series it might as well by 400-0. Bottomley's up with a base open, but Briles elects to pitch to him; bad move. Sunny Jim unloads on him, pounding a long homerun to right-center. It's 6-0; game over.
No, really; that's a wrap. El Birdos nudge a run across in the 6th, but they finish with just 1 run on 3 hits. Through the first 3 games they are batting .200 / .208 / .242, with 4 runs scored. The final score's 8 to 1, and the '68 pennant-winners are gonna need a big game from Hoot in Game 4 just to stay in the series.
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For Game 4 we are at Busch III, and before we begin I will tell you: This game is ugly. How ugly? Two words: Jason Marquis. Now, we all complained about Marquis's performance, but I will remember him best for his disagreements, some may say tantrums, that he pulled during the 2006 season. Well, pull up a chair, brace yourself, because Bi-Polar Betty is off his meds today.
For the visitors, Howie Pollet pitches. Pollet was the hard-luck loser in Game 1, when he got outdueled by Carp. Pollet won't need to worry about dueling today. He will have to figure out how to stay loose for long periods on the bench and make sure he doesn't hurt himself in his five at bats. Yes, you read that right.
The game's so ugly I'm not even going to go play-by-play. You can click on the link and get the gory details. I'm just going to skim through highlights here, mainly the scoring plays. That should translate to the same length as the other recaps. Here are the lineups:
|Red Schoendienst, 2b||David Eckstein, ss|
|Terry Moore, cf||So Taguchi, cf|
|Stan Musial, 1b||Albert Pujols, 1b|
|Enos Slaughter, rf||Scott Rolen, 3b|
|Whitey Kurowski, 3b||Juan Encarnacion, rf|
|Joe Garagiola, c||Scott Spiezio, lf|
|Harry Walker, lf||Ronnie Belliard, 2b|
|Marty Marion, ss||Yadier Molina, c|
|Howie Pollet, p||Jason Marquis, p|
In the first, Terry More grounds a one out single to left field. The next batter, Musial, drives him home with a towering blast to right field. The Greatest Generation are up 2-0 nothing after one inning. After the second passes quietly, the Greatest Generation tack on a few more in the third. Moore and Musial hit back-to-back singles, then trot around on a three-run homerun by Enos. This chases Marquis, who is replaced by Weaver. On the second batter he faces, Weaver gives up a bomb to Garagiola into the left-field bleachers. End of three, and the 1946s are up 6-0 --- and they're just getting warmed up.
In the top of the fourth, Marion leads off with a triple. After Pollet and Red fail to plate him, and Terry Moore walks, Musial pushes one through the hole for a single. The next batter, Slaughter, lines a single to right and Moore jogs home to make it 8-0. The 2006 squad finally answers --- feebly --- in the bottom of the inning with a two-out rally. Rolen singles, Juan walks, and Spiezio drives an RBI single to left. After four innings, the 1946 team leads 8-1.
In the top of the sixth, Red leads off with a double. Moore grounds out. After Musial and Slaughter draw back-to-back passes to load the bases. Sim Tony brings in Wonder Brad to pitch. Brad gets Whitey K. to ground to Eck. Eck flips to Belliard, who throws to Pujols for a possible inning-ending DP . . . . . but no, Whitey beats the throw by a step. Red scores, and the inning continues. And continues . . . . . . . Garagiola lines a single to right to plate Musial; Walker follows that with a single to score Whitey; Marion walks; Pollet grounds his own single through the hole to score both Garagiola and Walker; Red walks; and finally, mercifully, Moore strikes out to end the inning. Moore makes two of the three outs that inning, and his team leads 13-1 after six.
It goes on in this vein --- three more runs in the seventh to make it 16-1, another three in the eighth (on Slaughter's second three-run bomb of the game) to make it 19-1. . . . . what is it with the sudden outbreak of 19-run barrages? The 2006s actually keep trying, scoring a second run in the 8th to make the final score 19-2. I don't know if simulations take psychology into account, but if this were a real game ESPN would be running charts and graphs of the greatest beatdowns in history. Eighteen hits, ELEVEN walks, fifty-five plate appearances. That's good for a .527 OBP. Slaughter went five for six with seven RBI, including the two three-run homers. Musial went six for six and scored five times, with a two-run home run. Garagiola went five for six, plated five, and also hit two dingers. It's the most emphatic win of the tournament, and three wins in a row for the 1946 team. The Game 1 lead the '06 Champs jumped out to is now a two-game deficit, and they are facing elimination.