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Tournament of Champions: Round 1, day 7

the 1888/1987 series has an off-day, with the 1987s leading 3 games to 2. 2000 has already swept the 1930s out of the tournament. so today's slate is just 2 games:

Game 5, 1887 v 1996
Game 4, 2002 v 2005

full writeups come after the jump (darryl kile threw 5+ innings for the 2002s today), and all the tournament results are at Cardinal70's tourney tracker page.

(series tied, 2 games each)

summary by Zubin

Through 4 games, 1887's fielders have made seven errors --- but those errors have only cost them three runs. With that kind of fielding, the Browns are fortunate not to be down one game to three.

Game 1 starters return to the mound today, and Ozzie is back at short for 1996. The full lineups:

1887 1996
Arlie Latham, 3b Ozzie Smith, ss
Bill Gleason, ss Ray Lankford, cf
Tip O'Neill, lf Ron Gant, lf
Charlie Comiskey, 1b Brian Jordan, rf
Bob Caruthers, rf Gary Gaetti, 3b
Curt Welch, cf John Mabry, 1b
Yank Robinson, 2b Tom Pagnozzi, c
Jack Boyle, c Luis Alicea, 2b
Silver King, p Andy Benes, p

1996 gets off to a quick start for the second day in a row: Ozzie singles, Lankford and Gant walk, and Jordan flies out to left field, scoring Ozzie. Garry Gaetti comes up with one in, one out, and two on --- a chance to break it open early. He triples. Lankford and Gant both score, and 1996 is up 3-0. They add another tally in the second off an Alicea double and an Ozzie Smith single. It's 4-0, and the burden on Silver King --- who has thrown all but 5 innings in the series so far for 1887 --- seems to be taking its toll.

His mates try to pick him up, getting one run in the third and another in the fifth inning to cut the deficit to 4-2. King settles in and starts hanging zeroes on the Cardinals, holding them to just one hit (a single) from the 3d through the 7th. Leading off the top of the eighth, Jack Boyle hits a rare and unexpected homerun to get the Brownies within a run. King bats for himself and walks; Latham follows with another walk, and 1887 looks poised to tie it up or even take the lead. Gleason has an opportunity to bunt the tying run over the third with one out, but he pops out. That brings up O'Neill in a huge situation. Benes has gone the distance and is getting close to 100 pitches; TJ Mathews is available in the pen, and Eckersley could even be trotted out for a four-out save. But ultimately, Tony and Dave decide to stay with Benes. He gets O'Neill to hit it on the ground to 3d, and Gaetti nabs it, steps on third, and fires to first for an inning-ending double play. It's a huge out; the Cards are within 3 outs of a 3-2 series lead.

Gaetti leads of the bottom of the inning with a groundball single to left-center. Mabry draws a walk; Alicea draws another one out later to load the bases. Benes is lifted for pinch hitter Mark Sweeney, who lofts a lazy fly to Curt Welch in center. Again the Browns' defense falters, and this time it's costly: Welch misplays the ball, Sweeney reaches on the error, and Gaetti scores. With the bases still loaded, Ozzie draws a walk and Mabry scores; Lankford then bloops a single into left center to score Alicea and Sweeney. Ed Knouff finally relieves Silver King, but the damage is already done. 1996 takes a commanding 8-3 lead, and it stays that way. They lead the series now, 3 games to 2.


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Game 4
(2002 leads, 2 games to 1)

summary by lboros

In losing Games 2 and 3 of this series, the 2005 Cardinals only went 13 for 68 (.191) with 3 extra-base hits, all by Jim Edmonds. Most of this feeble hitting came against the '02 bullpen, which tossed 6 innings in both games. David Eckstein is only 2 for 11 in the series, Grudzielanek 1 for 13, MVP Pujols just 3 for 13. Now would be a good time for the bats to reawaken. On the 2002 side of the ledger, Tino Martinez is 2 for 12. He takes a seat in this game; Pujols comes in from LF to play first, and Eli Marrero gets a start in left field. The rest of the lineups:

2005 2002
David Eckstein, ss Fernando Vina, 2b
Larry Walker, rf JD Drew, rf
Albert Pujols, 1b Albert Pujols, 1b
Jim Edmonds, cf Jim Edmonds, cf
Reggie Sanders, lf Scott Rolen, 3b
Mark Grudzielanek, 2b Eli Marerro, lf
Abraham Nunez, 3b Edgar Renteria, ss
Yadier Molina, c Mike Matheny, c
Jeff Suppan, p Jason Simontacchi, p

Marrero makes his presence felt right away, not with his bat but with his glove. On the game's second hitter, he runs down Larry Walker's double in the gap and fires a one-hop, 300-foot peg to the plate to nail Eckstein (who led off the game with a single) trying to score from first. Albert walks, but Edmonds strikes out for the 2d out of the frame. Reggie Sanders, quiet since a 4-hit outburst in Game 1, steps in; Simontacchi delivers, and Reggie blasts it over the wall for a 3-run homer. The bases are clear, but Simontacchi gets himself back into trouble on singles by Grudzielanek and Nunez. That brings up Molina, who hits another 3-run bomb and puts the 2005s up 6-0. So much for the team's slump . . . . .

Luther Hackman comes in to mop up, but when the 2002s scratch out single runs in the next couple of innings Sim TLR 2002 makes an interesting call: he goes to Darryl Kile. As mentioned in the series introduction, DK isn't available as a starting-pitcher option for this team (for whatever reason), but he's on duty in the bullpen. He gives up a couple baserunners in the top of the 3d but gets through it unscatched; then he starts mowing 'em down. From the last out of the 3d through the 6th, he gets 10 outs in a row; a leadoff single by Grudzielanek breaks the string in the 7th, but DK gets the next 3 and strands the runner. Alas, his great work seems to be going for naught; the 2002s still trail by 4 runs at 6-2. Suppan is doing his usual workmanlike job, giving up baserunners aplenty but keeping runs off the board. With two outs in the 7th he finally tires; Tavarez comes in to face Edmonds with a man aboard, and Jimmy skies the first pitch to center, back back back ---- up and over the fence. The two-run shot makes it 6-4, and Kile heads back out with a real chance to win the game in relief.

But Eckstein doubles leading off and moves to 3d base on a ground out; Kile pitches around Pujols and Edmonds, walking both to bring Sanders to the plate. Veres, the groundball specialist, now comes in to face Sanders; he doesn't get the hoped-for double-play, but he does induce a weak pop fly that Marrero gloves for the 2d out while all the baserunners hold. That brings up Grudzielanek, who has two hits today and has reached on an error; Veres leaves one up, and Grud'k pounds it high and deep . . . . . and out. The grand slam restores the 2005 lead to 6 and sullies up DK's stat line but good; 3 of the runs are charged to him. It's too bad; he pitched much better than that.

The 2002s are still game; with one out in the 8th they string together three hits and a walk to make the score 10-6 with the heart of the order coming up. Drew whiffs for out number 2, but when Pujols walks to load the bases the tying run comes to the plate ---- in the person of Edmonds. Cal Eldred draws the assignment --- somewhat illogically, as the left-handers Flores and King are both available --- and he gets Edmonds swinging to keep the lead intact. Albert '05 singles home an insurance run in the top of the 9th, the 2002s counter with a meaningless run in the bottom half, and that is the game. The 2005 bats are back in business, and the series is tied 2-2.