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Tournament of Champions: Round 1, day 4

two series off (1887 v 1996, 2002 v 2005), two series on: they're both game 3s. box scores only, click right here; to read full writeups, look after the jump.

Game 3, 1930 v 2000
Game 3, 1888 v 1987

Game 3
(2000 leads, 2 game to 0)

summary by lboros

For a team that scored a thousand runs and batted .314 as a team, the 1930s haven't impressed so far --- only 9 runs in two games (they averaged nearly 7 a game in real life) and a .254 average. So Street shakes up the lineup for Game 3, moving Frisch up to the #2 hole and Hafey to #3. For the second straight day they will send a graybeard to the hill --- this time 36-year-old Burleigh Grimes, last of the legal spitballers. The Cards acquired Grimes, who was getting raked with the Boston Braves (7.35 ERA), at midseason in 1930 in exchange for Bill Sherdel, a 20-game winner as recently as 1928. Grimes turned things around in St. Louis, going 13-6 with a 3.01 ERA and winning 17 (plus two World Series games) in 1931. Sherdel got relegated to bullpen duty and was out of baseball by 1932. Nice trade by Branch Rickey.

The action shifts to Busch II for the next 3 games. The

1930 2000
Taylor Douthit, cf Fernando Vina, 2b
Frank Frisch, 2b JD Drew, rf
Chick Hafey, lf Mark McGwire, 1b
Jim Bottomley, 1b Jim Edmonds, cf
George Watkins, rf Ray Lankford, lf
Sparky Adams, 3b Fernando Tatis, 3b
Gus Mancuso, c Edgar Renteria, ss
Charlie Gelbert, ss Mike Matheny, c
Burleigh Grimes, p Andy Benes, p

The teams exchange early runs --- 2000 in the first on a 2-out hit by Lankford, 1930 in the 3d on fielder's choice by Frisch. The new lineup doesn't have the desired impact for the 1930s --- Frisch and Hafey both go hitless in their first 3 at-bats, and both strand Grimes at second base (the potential go-ahead run) as they make the last 2 outs of the 5th inning. Grimes' spitball is working --- he induces 9 groundouts in the first 4 innings --- but a fastball gets away from him in the 5th and hits Vina right on the helmet. That seems to shake him up; he immediately gives up a couple of singles, plating two runs, and departs for Grabowski, who allows the inherited runner to score. Halfway through the game, the 00s lead it 4-1 and the 30s are in deep doo-doo.

They claw back --- Gelbert singles home a run with two out in the 6th, and Hafey blasts a solo homer (his 2d of the series) in the 7th to cut the lead to 4-3. Hi Bell goes back out to pitch the 7th for the 1930s, his 2d inning of work; he gets Drew on a flyout, but McGwire singles and then Edmonds fires a moonshot high and deep to right field; 2-run shot, and a 6-3 for the Aughts. George Watkins' homer leading off the 8th brings the 30s back to within two; that's how it stands for Veres when he comes on in the 9th.

Veres gets the first 2 men quickly, but Frisch --- 1 for 13 in the series so far --- keeps things alive with a base hit. That brings up Hafey as the tying run; he strokes a single to bring Bottomley to the plate as the go-ahead run. He's not the same player he used to be --- his 1930 slugging average is only .493, the first time in his career he fell below .500, and his RBI total of 97 is the lowest since his rookie season, 7 years ago. But Sim Sunny Jim has come through in this series, anyway --- as he steps to the plate he is 5 for 14 with a homer and 2 doubles, and he's 2 for 4 in this game. Dangerous hitter.

But he's never seen a split-fingered fastball before in his life. Veres throw him three in a row, and Bottomley swings over the top of all three. He's out, and so are the 1930s --- they trail in the series 3 games to 0.


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* * * * * * * * * *

Game 3
(series tied, 1 game to 1)

summary by Zubin

In game two, 1987 was relatively dominant. Dan Cox and the Cardinal bullpen only allowed four hits and three walks, while the Cardinal offense cranked out eleven hits (including five doubles) and drew seven bases on balls. Terry Pendleton was named player of the game for his three rbis, but I think Willie McGee had a better overall performance. Willie only had two rbis, but if not for some bad base running he would have had another.

1987 obviously had a much easier time with Elton Chamberlain than they did with Silver King, which is not surprising --- Silver King figures to be the most dominant pitcher in this tournament other than 1968 Bob Gibson. But 1987 will have to beat King if they're going to win this series, as he will get 4 of the 7 starts for the Browns --- including today's.

John Tudor takes the hill for 1987. Steve Lake stays behind the plate for 1987 and Jocko Milligan has catching duty for 1888:

1888 1987
Arlie Latham, 3b Vince Coleman, lf
Yank Robinson, 2b Ozzie Smith, ss
Tip O'Neill, lf Tom Herr, 2b
Charlie Comiskey, 1b Jack Clark, 1b
Tommy McCarthy, rf Willie McGee, cf
Harry Lyons, cf Terry Pendleton, 3b
Jocko Milligan, c Jose Oquendo, rf
Bill White, ss Steve Lake, c
Silver King, p John Tudor, p

Tudor is off his game from the very beginning. After getting the leadoff man, he proceeds to walk Robinson and O'Neill. Comiskey then bloops a double into left center, scoring both Robinson and O'Neill, and steals third. Hall-of-famer Tommy McCarthy hits one past Tom Herr into right for a single; Comiskey scores, and the Browns are up 3-0. They make it 4-0 an inning later on a Silver King triple and a Terry Pendleton error.

In the bottom of the second, the Cardinals start their comeback. One-out singles by Clark, McGee and Pendleton load the bases for Lake. He smokes a liner to left-center, and Jack and Willie both score. Tudor is lifted for pinch-hitter Curt Ford, who rolls a ground ball to the right side to score Pendleton. The Browns lead is cut to 4-3.

The teams exchange gift runs in the fifth --- the Browns score on a wild pitch by Tim Conroy (what is he doing in the game?), while the Cards score on an error by Lyons. They still trail by 1 when they load the bases in the 7th with 1 out on an infield hit and a couple of walks. A single by McGee, who drove in 100 that year, would put the Cards in the lead; a fly ball would tie it. But Willie pops up to second, and Pendleton can't pick him up --- he flies out to center. The Browns' lead holds.

They try to give the game away again in the 8th, committing two errors to put men at second and third with just one out and the top of the Cardinal order up. Coleman hits a sharp grounder to short, but Bill White atones for his mates' bad fielding with a tremendous play --- he not only freezes the runners but also throws out the fleet Coleman at first. Ozzie can only manage a grounder to first. Pat Perry pitches out of trouble in the top of the 9th, giving the Cards one more chance to break through . . . . but nothing doing. The last three men go in order. Sliver King throws another complete game victory, and the Browns hold on to win 5-4.