at long, lonnnng last ------ the two Game 2s are after the jump.
I know I wrote last round would be my last, but LB was good enough to let me do at least one writeup for round five. A bit of disclosure first though. Unlike my previous writeups, I have not executed the sims myself and I have no knowledge of the outcome of the overall series. In that respect, like you, I am a spectator only.
As I predicted after 1964’s stunning come-from-behind game 7 win last round, this series is already off to an interesting start as far as stolen bases go. 1985 leads in that department 3-0. In game one, Coleman had two and McGee had one bag. But McGee and Pendleton were caught once each. According to the sim, Porter had a 25% putout rate while McCarver threw out 29% of base-stealers, so ‘85s lead might be due to luck, or it might be due to ’64 Brock’s 69% success rate (compared to 80%+ for Vince, Willie and Tommy). Maybe Brock will do better against Nieto today. He should as Tom (Nieto) only threw out 19% of base runners.
Well on to today’s sim. We will have a couple of pretty good number two men in Cox and Sedeki. The rest of the line-ups are below:
|Curt Flood, cf||Vince Coleman, lf|
|Lou Brock, lf||Willie McGee, cf|
|Bill White, 1b||Tom Herr, 2b|
|Ken Boyer, 3b||Jack Clark, 1b|
|Dick Groat, ss||Andy Van Slyke, rf|
|Tim McCarver, c||Darrell Porter, c|
|Mike Shannon, rf||Terry Pendleton, 3b|
|Julian Javier, 2b||Ozzie Smith, ss|
|Ray Sadecki, p||Danny Cox, p|
The ‘64s look for a fast start today and get it when Flood opens the game with a bunt single. But Sim-Keane doesn’t call for the steal and the next batter, Lou Brock, hits into a 4-6FC. Cox dares Bill White to hit one out; Bill gives the ball a ride but it dies it the hot and heavy spring air. With two out, Sim-Keane calls for the stolen base, but it’s all too predictable to the ’85 catcher and Nieto nails Brock at 2d for the third out. The ‘85s try to get something going in the first also. Tommy reaches bas with two out and steals second. However Clark can only manage a come-backer and the inning ends 0-0.
The game stays that way until the third. In a near text-book display of Whitey-ball, Vince reaches base with one out and swipes second on the subsequent pitch. McGee ultimately can’t get Vince home, but the next batter, Tommy, delivers a 2-out rbi single to put the baby birds on top. Jack Clark keeps the rally alive by reaching on an E5, but fashion model/ right fielder Tito Landrum, lines out to end the frame.
The lead doesn’t last long, however. In the fifth, ’64 MVP from the last round,The Moon man, Mike Shannon leads off with a single. Javier then steps into a Cox change up and takes first on a HBP. That brings up Sadeki in an obvious bunt situation and the 1985 defense is ready. Sadeki lays down a decent bunt to first, but Clark charges in, fields the ball cleanly a throws to 2d without hesitation. Tommy makes the putout, but there is no other play. Flood then bats with runners at the corners. He chops at a Cox slider and double hops the ball to Clark. Again Clark makes a heads up play to get the lead runner (Sadeki), but Ozzie has no play on Flood at first and Mike Shannon crosses home with the tying run. After Cox gets Brock for the third out, the action slows a bit as the Baby Birds go in order in the bottom of the fifth and the Old Birds do likewise in the top of the sixth.
Sadeki seems to be still going strong in the seventh. He gets Herr swinging (no easy feat) to lead off the inning, but the confidence that K brings him, proves to be his undoing. He pitches one just a bit too high and a bit to slow to Clark, who goes yard. No doubt about this one; its a liner to straight center and restores the one run lead.
The ‘64s look to come right back. McCarver leads off the seventh with a grounder past Ozzie. Cox then induces a ground ball off Shannon’s bat. Tommy to Ozzie to Jack goes the ball, but Shannon beats the throw(!?) and its a mere 4-6FC instead of a base emptying double play. Shannon’s blazing speed proves to be inconsequential when neither Javier nor Johnny Lewis (pinch hitting for Sadeki) can get the ball out of the infield.
The Baby Birds threaten again in their half of the seventh. Boyer makes his second error of the game to but Tom Nieto aboard. Ozzie uncharacteristically doesn’t move the runner over, grounding into a 4-6FC instead. Dan Cox then botches the sacrifice attempt by bunting back to the pitcher who throws to second to get Ozzie. Vince Coleman, of all people, finally manages to move the runner up by taking first on a base on balls. That gives Willie a great rbi opportunity, but the batting champ whiffs on six pitches to end the frame.
It was a strange decision by Sim-Whitey to let Cox bat for himself in a 1-run game last inning, but it proves to be somewhat effective as Cox sets the Old Birds down 1-2-3 in the eighth with a bit o’ help from Tom Nieto (gunning down Brock for the second time today). That brings the Baby Birds back up to bat. Herr grounds out to start the inning and Jack follows with a fly for out two. However Tito Landrum trys to get something started with a seeing eye single past Julian Javier. Pendleton follows with a Texas league single to put runners on the corners for Tom Nieto. Sim-Keane smartly pulls Ron Taylor (in the game since the seventh) for Mike Cuellar. Now Surely Whitey would pinch hit here, but his sim counterpart will have none of that He lets Nieto bat for himself and is rewarded with a seven pitch walk. That brings up Ozzie and with Caesar Cedeno and his .434 average looming in the on-deck circle, the Wizard seems likely to get a pitch to hit. Cuellar can’t get his off-speed stuff over; he falls behind 3-1 and is forced to give Ozzie a fat fastball. Oz turns on the pitch smoking a liner to left. Tito and Terry score to open up the game 4-1. Cedeno then walks to reload the bases, but it seems Vince used up all his patience at his last at bat. He swings at the first pitch he sees and ground out to short to end the rally.
As it turns out, it doesn’t matter much. In Whitey’s bullpen by committee, Jeff Lahti is closer for the day. He gets the first two before McCarver grounds a single. That brings up the hot hitting Mike Shannon. However, Jeff is unimpressed. He gets ahead of the future announcer, 1-2 and then freezes him on strike three.
And so the final is 4-1, Baby Birds. They up their lead in the stolen base count 5-0. More importantly they now have a commanding 2-0, heading back to 1964 and Old Busch Stadium/ Sportsman’s Park. Whether it is in the stands or in the broadcast booth, I’ll see you then.
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No time to waste; it’s Pollett vs Haines in Game 2. let’s get right to it, shall we?
|Taylor Douthit, cf||Red Schoendienst, 2b|
|Ray Blades, rf||Terry Moore, cf|
|Rogers Hornsby, 2b||Stan Musial, 1b|
|Jim Bottomley, 1b||Enos Slaughter, rf|
|Les Bell, 3b||Whitey Kurowski, 3b|
|Chick Hafey, lf||Joe Garagiola, c|
|Bob O’Farrell, c||Harry Walker, lf|
|Tommy Thevenow, ss||Marty Marion, ss|
|Jesse Haines, p||Howie Pollett, p|
Both teams but baserunners on in the first but can’t advance them into scoring position. The ’26s put two men on in the 2d but leave them both stranded; ’46 follows suit with two baserunners in the 3d, but Slaughter cashes in the opportunity with a two-out single, giving the ’46s a 1-0 lead. He comes up in the exact same situation in the 5th --- two on, two out --- but grounds out this time. Pollett’s looking sharp, and through 5 that 1-0 lead looks pretty safe.
It’s still intact in the 8th when Ted Wilks comes on to pitch. Nice line for Pollett --- 7 innings, 2 hits, no runs. But he’s at 98 pitches and the top of the order is up, beginning the 4th cycle through; legit decision to change pitchers here. Wilks gets the first two men on a K and and groundout, then trots toward the dugout when Hornsby lofts one to center. Moore glides in, flicks his glove at it; drops it. Fuming, Wilks busts Bottomley inside and induces a pop to the opposite side. Marion goes back, but it drifts past him and into the undefended left-centerfield gap, dropping 250 feet from home plate. It’s a double, and Hornsby’s running all the way with two outs and scores very easily. That’s the tying run; cheap cheap cheap.
The ’46s come right back in the bottom of the 8th. Kurowski leads off with a double against Art Reinhart and moves to third on Garagiola’s groundout. The infield comes in on Harry the Hat; moot point. He mashes it into the gap, putting his team back in front 2-1, and motors around to 3d base, where he’s poised to score an insurance run. Hornsby brings in Syl Johnson, who gets Marion on a groundout to first. Erv Dusak pinch-hits and draws a walk, but then gets nailed trying to steal second; inning over. But 1946 leads; they’re three outs from tying the series.
Ken Burkhart comes on to get the save, but he only lasts two hitters: O’Farrell singles, the weak-hitting Thevenow singles him to 2d, and Sim-Dyer gets Burkhart the hell outta there and goes to Fred Schmidt. The pinch-hitter’s Jake Flowers; he goes down on strikes. Douthit comes up and does the same. ’46 is an out away, and Schmidt has them mesmerized. He goes right for the jugular, throws Blades a strike . . . . . . he creams it. Ground-rule double; game tied 2-2, and go-ahead runs in scoring position. Managing like La Russa, Dyer goes back to the pen and calls for his 3d pitcher of the inning --- Red Barrett. The batter is Hornsby, and there’s a base open . . . . why in god’s name are they pitching to him? Well, there’s a base hit; two runs score, ’26 takes a 4-2 lead, and Sim-Dyer has really blown it. Terrible managing there.
Hornsby brings on Al Sothoron to close things out, but nothing comes easy for either side in this game. Schoendienst leads off with a hit, moves into scoring position on a groundout, and scores on Slaughter’s 2-out RBI hit; now it’s 4-3, and Kurowski’s up representing the winning run. Sothoron fires, and Whitey lifts it to left; not deep. Blades comes on and squeezes it, and that is the ballgame. 1926 wins it 4-3 to take a 2-nothing lead in the series.