simmons (7) v mcgee (10)
what did willie mcgee have that ted simmons lacked? look, i love e.t. as much as any of you --- i witnessed his first, painfully bad at-bat in the big leagues, as well as his last big-league homer. i'm a huge supporter, a longstanding rider on the "retire 51" bandwagon; but where's the campaign to retire simmons' 23? no, he didn't win an mvp award, and he never played a postseason game for st louis; but he did represent the cards in 6 all-star games and was their best player in a lean decade. perhaps more to the point, he was without question the greatest catcher in franchise history --- played 400 more games at the position than his next closest rival, and was the best hitter at the position by a long shot. to this day he ranks among the franchise's all-time top 10 in hits, doubles, home runs, rbi, and walks.
i loved both these players; hope it's a good series.
lineups and game summaries after the jump.
|mcgee '90||simmons '77|
|mcgee '85||simmons '80|
|mcgee '96||simmons '73|
|mcgee '87||simmons '78|
|mcgee '97||simmons '75|
|mcgee '82||simmons '72|
|mcgee '84||simmons '79|
|mcgee '83||simmons '74|
|mcgee '88||simmons '76|
simmons '77 makes his presence immediately felt: doubles leading off the bottom of the first (he never advances), then whacks a 3-run job with two out in the 2d. mcgee, nervous as ever, manages only two hits through five innings --- and loses his first two baserunners on steal attempts. he gets on the scoreboard in the 6th (walk, steal, single, sac fly), but simmons answers with a pair and cruises to an easy 6-1 win and 1-0 series advantage.
H/AB: mcgee 6/31, simmons 11/33
2B: simmons 2 HR: simmons
BB: mcgee 5, simmons 3 SO: mcgee 3
SB: mcgee 1 CS: mcgee 2
after manging only 6 singles in game 1, mcgee comes out pumping: a triple and two doubles in the first inning give him his first lead of the series, 2-0. in the bottom half of the inning he guns down simmons '80 huff-puffing around third base toward the plate; the teds, undaunted, tie it up in the next frame. mcgee retakes the lead on a two-out single by '88; he keeps chipping away, poking at least one hit in each of the first 8 frames, but fails to do any further damage. simmons, meanwhile, isn't seeing the ball very well; from the 5th inning on he scarcely gets the ball out of the infield. the players keep grinding away and, at length, discover that 9 full innings have elapsed; mcgee's 3-2 lead is still intact, and he is declared the winner. it's a 1-1 series.
H/AB: mcgee 13/38, simmons 7/33
2B: mcgee 4, simmons 3 3B: mcgee 1
BB: mcgee 1, simmons 5 SO: mcgee 4, simmons 1
SB: mcgee 5 CS: mcgee 2
mcgee's supposed to be the slap-hit specialist in this series, but the teds show they know how to peck away, too --- four singles and a walk in the first, netting three quick runs. the mcgees don't amass four hits until the 6th inning, and by then they trail 4-0. it's 6-1 when they finally get untracked, and despite some late extra-base clouts they never quite manage to bring the tying run to the plate. another snoozefest; simmons goes up 2-1 in the series.
H/AB: simmons 15/40, mcgee 9/36
2B: simmons 5, mcgee 3 3B: mcgee 1
BB: simmons 1, mcgee 1 SO: simmons 2, mcgee 4
SB: mcgee 1
simmons' early leads in games 1 and 3 have neutralized mcgee's biggest weapon, speed: he has only 12 sb attempts in 3 games, and 5 of those were unsuccessful. willie's hitting just .267 / .313 / .343 and has only 7 runs so far in the series. simba has 33 hits against only 3 strikeouts; his aggregate line so far is .311 / .365 / .434.
series conclusion to come soon.