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Tournament of Champions, Round 3: day 2

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today's main thread is directly below. two more Game 1s in today's action, including the first of two planned Gibson '68 vs Silver King '88 pitching matchups: the two best pitchers in the entire tourney, head to head. the 2006 club is also in action w/ Suppan on the hill, and Joaquin Andujar makes an appearance in today's action as well. summaries are after the jump.

Game 1, 1888 v 1968
Game 1, 1942 v 1982
Game 2, 1885 v 2006
Game 2, 1946 v 1967

1888 BROWNS v. 1968 CARDINALS
Game 1

summary by lboros

This is my first series writing about the 1888 Browns; Zubin wrote up their round 1 and round 2 triumphs, the latter of which was a very unpopular thrashing of the beloved 2004 team. I wasn't too keen on seeing them advance into this round, but after taking my first real close look at them I've decided they're pretty a interesting club. Here's a picture of 'em:

As the series unfolds I'll try to work some of what I've learned about these guys into the writeups; for now (since I'm in a hurry) I'll just refer you to This Game of Games, a swell blog that covers 19th-century St. Louis baseball. The blogger over there, Jeff Kittel, has been following our tournament with great interest and rooting unabashedly for the 19th-century clubs. His site's a fun read, and it's packed with vintage photos, baseball cards, etc etc. I highly recommend it.

The one thing I'll note about this matchup before we get going is that it pits the tournament's two best pitchers head to head: Gibson v1968 and Silver King v1888. Gibson's 1.12 ERA and 251 ERA+ are the best in the tournament --- and, indeed, they're the 4th- and 7th-best marks (respectively) in baseball history. Silver King's 1.64 ERA and 197 ERA+ (both second-best in the tournament) rank only 66th and 37th on the all-time list, but King carried those numbers over 585.2 innings --- nearly twice as many innings as Gibson threw in '68. And that's not a small factor --- due to the high innings total, King will be able to pitch 4 times in this series, while Gibson can only take the ball thrice. That could be the difference in the series right there.

King threw only half as many shutouts (6) as Gibson (13), despite starting nearly twice as many games --- that's because he allowed nearly as many unearned runs (98) as earned ones (107). It was a wayyyy different game back then. . . . . anyway, here we go: King vs Gibson, along with the rest of the lineups:

1968 1888
Lou Brock, lf Arlie Latham, 3b
Curt Flood, cf Yank Robinson, 2b
Roger Maris, rf Tip O'Neill, lf
Orlando Cepeda, 1b Charlie Comiskey, 1b
Tim McCarver, c Tim McCarthy, rf
Mike Shannon, 3b Harry Lyons, cf
Julian Javier, 2b Bill White, ss
Dal Maxvill, ss Jocko Milligan, c
Bob Gibson, p Silver King, p

If you were wondering how King could allow 98 unearned runs in one season, get a load of his first inning in this series: Brock reaches on a dropped flyball by centerfielder Lyons, then steals second as Flood strikes out. Then Maris hits one to second, and Yank Robinson boots it; there are men at first and third with one out and Cepeda at bat. But King gets both him and McCarver to pop out to O'Neill in left; the '68s get five outs in the inning, yet still don't score. Not an auspicious start for either side.

Gibson mows them down in the first, but Tommy McCarthy tags him for a double with one out in the 2d, then steals 3d and scores on a flyball to left field. In 1888 McCarthy became the first man in baseball history to steal 2d, 3d, and home in a single trip around the basepaths; he swiped 93 that year but only ranked second (behind Latham) on a team that stole 468 bags.

Gibson's mates get the run right back in the 3d inning on doubles by Brock and Maris; White makes an error later in the inning, and Lyons commits his 2d muff of the game an inning later, but King pitchers around both miscues and takes a 2-hitter (the 2 doubles) into the sixth inning. Gibson has allowed only 2 hits himself --- McCarthy's double and Comiskey's single in the 4th inning. Comiskey promptly stole 2d and 3d to get within 90 feet of a run with only 1 out, but Hoot swatted the threat aside by getting a couple of popups. Through 5 innings it's 1-1, and there have only been 4 hits in the ballgame; pitcher's duel, as advertised.

But in the 6th, the '68s begin to stir. Maris singles, and (after a lineout) so does McCarver. With men at the corners but the slow-footed Shannon at bat, Comiskey orders his infielders to play at DP depth. It doesn't matter; Moonman wafts one over the infielders for a run-scoring single. He gets a double-play ball on the next batter, Javier --- but White boots it at shortstop and another run comes around to score. That's 5 errors now by the 1888s; they're lucky to be trailing only by 2. Now Maxvill pops one out to centerfield . . . another error, again by Lyons (that's his 3d of the game). The miscue loads the bases for Gibson. The fielders are still at DP depth, and Hoot chops a dribbler one to 3d --- way too slow for a double play. Latham charges and takes his only play, an attempt to get Shannon on the force at home . . . . but the throw is too late. Shannon scores, and now it's 4-1. Brock follows with another high-hopper to first, and again the throw comes home . . . . . oh, for god's sake, the throw's late! Silver King has induced four feeble outs in a row, yet his defense hasn't retired a single man and 3 runs have crossed the plate.

And now you know how King could allow a zillion unearned runs in one year.

With the sacks still jammed, he gets another groundball off the bat of Flood; at last one gets fielded cleanly, and the Brown turn a nifty 5-2-3 double play to end the interminable frame. The '68s won't put another runner on base for the rest of the contest, but it won't matter; the Browns' gift runs are more than enough for Hoot '68. He runs into trouble only once, in the 8th, when 3 singles bring home a run and get Lyons to the plate representing the tying run. Harry Lyons in 1888 batted .194 and had an OPS+ of 49; I doubt that Gibson is quaking in his boots. He gets him on a ground out to 1st base.

Both pitchers throw spotless 9th innings, and so ends Game 1 --- a 5-2 "win" for the 1968s. What a crappy game. Silver King actually outpitched Gibson --- fewer hits, more strikeouts --- but with six errors committed behind him, he never had a chance.

BOX SCORE

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1942 CARDINALS v. 1982 CARDINALS
Game 1

summary by Pujols Shot Ya

As a long time lurker, I volunteered to write this series as a learning exercise. I wanted to dig into the stats and stories for some of the teams that were before my time (I'm 26). So let's jump right in with a little background.

The 1942 Cardinals, simply put, were amazing. They went 106-48 that season, beating out the Brooklyn Dodgers by 2 games to win the pennant, and then took down the Yankees in five games to win the World Series. A truly great team --- but things could have been much different. The Dodgers had won the pennant in 1941 and were 4 games up on the Cardinals heading into games of September 5, 1942, with just 20 to play. And then the Cards just stopped losing. A week later, on September 11th and 12th, they took two games from the Dodgers to draw even in the standings. A few days after that, they went up by a game and never gave it back. The Dodgers would show some resolve, winning nine of their last ten games, but the Cardinals would match them blow for blow. St. Louis ended up winning the pennant by two games. Brooklyn went 11-9 over those last 20 games, while St. Louis went 17-3 over the same period (and 43-8 over their last 51!). The Dodgers, with their 104-50 record, got to sit at home. What a bummer for them.

In the World Series, The Cards five-game win over the Yankees was much closer than it looked. The Cards won two of the games in their last at-bat; in a third, they scored the winning run in the 7th inning; and the 4th win was a tight 2-0 game. They won the Series mainly because they drew 17 walks to the Yankees' 9. Those "clogged bases" and some clutch hitting decided the series for the Cards.

So, what made this 1942 squad so great? Their ace was Mort Cooper, who won the league MVP with almost 280 innings of 1.78 ERA ball (194 ERA+). Unless Wikipedia is lying to me, that 1.78 ERA was the lowest of any righthander between 1920 and 1967. Johnny Beazley (2.13 ERA/162 ERA+) also had a very good year. The staff was rounded out by Max Lanier (2.96/116) and Ernie White (2.52/136). Lanier went on to lead the league with a 1.90 ERA the following year, but in 1942 he was the weakest member of a very good staff. For the hitters, the 1942 team had an in-his-prime Enos Slaughter (.318/.412/.494), a 21-year-old Stan Musial (.315/.397/.490), and a collection of young, mid-range talent surrounding them. One of those guys was Walker Cooper, the brother and batterymate of Mort.

Now on to the 1982 team. Finishing with a 92-70 record, they don't inspire quite as much awe in me as that 1942 team. On the pitching side, they were led by Joaquin Andujar's career year (2.47/147). He was surrounded by a bunch of middling pitchers: Bob Forsch (3.48/105), Dave LaPoint (3.42/107), John Stuper (3.36/109) and Steve Mura (4.05/90). As in 1942, the Cards in 1982 had two good hitters, Lonnie Smith (.307/.381/.434, 68 SB) and Keith Hernandez (.299/.397/.413), surrounded by a lot of middle-of-the-road guys. Hidden away on this team is a former Word Series MVP who had a cameo on the Simpsons and was name-dropped in "Anchorman." I'm talking, of course, about backup catcher Gene Tenace. Born Fiore Gino Tennaci, he was ahead of his time. He coupled a career .241 batting average with a .388 OBP and .429 SLG. Not a bad line. In 1982, he put together a .248/.436/.500 line over 124 ABs platooning with Darrell Porter. This was his last effective year, and he was out of the league after 1983. I'm going to be rooting for him to get a start or two against the lefties this series to provide some more postseason heroics.

Looking at this series, it's hard to see the 1982 team keeping up with the '42 powerhouse. 1942 has a decided edge in pitching and two Hall-of-Famers in Musial and Slaughter. For 1982 to make this a series, they'll need some great pitching from Andujar, decent outings from the rest of their staff, and a lot of Whiteyball. My prediction: 1942 in 5 games. But as Tampa Bay, Dallas, Green Bay and New England can tell you, my predictions are almost always wrong.

One prediction that's sure to come true: the shortstop play in this series will be exemplary: Ozzie and Slats, two of the best SSs in big-league history --- and definitely the two best in St. Louis history.

Alright, enough talk, on to Game 1. It'll be ace against ace here in old Sportsman's Park, Joaquin vs. Mighty Mort. The scene is hopping, although Keith Hernandez seems a little distracted. He somehow got Marty McFly's sports almanac, and he's been making bets all week. But I digress . . . 1942 is feeling confident, and there are Redbirds all over the field. Here are the lineups:

1982 1942
Tom Herr, 2b Jimmy Brown, 2b
Lonnie Smith, lf Terry Moore, cf
Keith Hernandez, 1b Stan Musial, lf
George Hendrick, rf Enos Slaughter, rf
Darrell Porter, c Walker Cooper, c
Willie McGee, cf Johnny Hopp, 1b
Ken Oberkfell, 3b Whitey Kurowski, 3b
Ozzie Smith, ss Marty Marion, ss
Joaquin Andujar, p Mort Cooper, p

Whitey wastes no time breaking out the running game, flashing the steal sign to his first baserunner of the series --- Hernandez, who takes a two-out walk in the first inning. He gets caught (hey, he's Keith Hernandez). 1942 goes down in order in the bottom of the frame, and the '82 Birds do likewise in the 2nd. Cooper is dealing. But so Andujar; he holds them hitless through two innings and pitches out of a jam in the 3rd inning. That frame begins with a double by Marion, the #8 hitter. Cooper bunts him over to third, and it looks like 1942 is going to get on the board. But with the infield in, Brown grounds out to 1B and Marion holds at third. The next batter, Moore, grounds it right to the Wizard, and the inning ends with the game still scoreless.

Lonnie Smith drops a little flare into right for a one-out single in the 4th, the first base hit for the 1982s. He promptly steals second (their first theft of the series) and advances to third on a Hernandez fly to RF. With two out, Mort jumps ahead of Hendrick 0-2. Mort's working Silent George inside-outside with his fastball. Hendrick hangs tough and fouls a couple off, but Mort gets him to chase outside and all Hendrick can do is dribble one to second base to end the frame.

Enos starts off the bottom of the 4th with a four-pitch walk. Musial comes up looking fastball; Andujar obliges with his first pitch, and Musial rips it down the right field line for a double. Slaughter holds at third, but Andujar is visibly frazzled. He starts Walker Cooper off with a couple balls, one that almost clips him. The 2-0 pitch is a little too good, and Walker laces it through the hole and into right. Slaughter and Musial both score, and 1942 is up 2-0 --- and they're not done. Hopp grounds a single through the left side, and Kurowski smokes one up the box for a run-scoring single. With runners on first and second, Marion hits a bouncer to the left side that barely scoots past Ozzie and another run scores. There are no outs, the 1942 Cards have already plated four, and they've got runners on first and second. Mort Cooper bunts them over to second and third, but Brown (for the second straight at-bat) grounds out with the infield in, and the runners have to hold. Moore then pops out to shortstop, and Andujar gets out of it without any further damage.

In the top of the fifth, Porter starts off the comeback with a single up the middle. McGee dumps one into shallow right-center, but Musial makes a sprawling catch for the out (told you he was feeling spry). With Porter at first, Oberkfell hits a slow roller to second; Brown and Marion twist it, but ties go to the runner and Oberkfell is called safe at first. The hustle pays, off as Ozzie smokes a two out double to the wall in right center, scoring Oberkfell. Sim-Whitey decides to end Andujar's day and sends Dane Iorg up to pinch-hit with Ozzie on second. Iorg blasts one to straightaway center. Slaughter puts his head down and speeds towards the wall, but the ball gets on Enos quicker than he expected. He gives a late jump, but it's over his head and rolls to the fence. Ozzie scores, and the lead-footed Iorg chugs all the way around to third with a triple. Herr can't get him home, though. He grounds out to end the inning.

Sim-Whitey calls on John Martin and his 4.23 ERA in the bottom of the fifth. Slaughter greets him with a screamer down the first base line, but Hernandez makes a diving, backhanded play and tosses to Martin covering first to nip him. The play saves a double, and it also probably saved a run because Musial follows with a single into center. Martin then gets Walt Cooper to strike out and Hopp to ground out. It's 4-2 after five.

In the top of 6th, with two outs, Hendrick and Porter get on via a walk and single, but Willie strikes out on (according to the sim) "a ball out of the zone". Sounds familiar. In the bottom of the frame, with one out, Martin walks Marty Marion on a perfect pitch, low and away. Sim-Whitey has seen enough. He bursts out of the dugout, spit flying, to argue the call. The ump runs him, and Whitey responds by kicking dirt on him. After Whitey finally leaves the field, Mort Cooper grounds into a fielder's choice. The bench coach calls in Doug Bair who retires Brown on a grounder to first.

It's still 4-2 when the '82s send up the top of their order in the 8th. Herr grounds out, but Lonnie Smith drives a single into left to bring the tying run to the plate. Hernandez rips a drive to deep center field, but it hangs up enough for Slaughter to make an over-the-shoulder catch just short of the track. With two outs, Hendrick grounds one to short, but Marty Marion's throw is low and Hopp can't scoop it. E-6. (Never mind what I was saying about the great shortstop play . . . . . ) With runners on first and second, Porter takes a borderline pitch for strike three. Inning over. Sim-Whitey introduces the postgame spread to the floor after that last strike.

Bair retiries Walker Cooper to start the bottom of the 8th, but then he gives up a double to Hopp. Kurowski follows with a deep fly to centerfield. McGee goes back, but there's no way he's going to catch it. It's over the fence, 420 feet away, and out of nowhere Kurowski gives 1942 a 6-2 lead. The inning ends without any more damage, but 1982 is down four runs heading into the last inning, a tall order.

Willie flies out to start the 9th. Oberkfell singles into left-center, and Ozzie (practicing for '85?) takes a shot at the short right-field porch, but Musial tracks it down on the warning track. With two outs and the pitcher due up, we get our first look at Fiore Gino Tennaci (Gene Tenace). Surely setting us up for some late-series heroics, he grounds out weakly to third base to end the game.

That's the ballgame. Mort Cooper is the player of the game, pitching all nine innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks.

BOX SCORE

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1885 BROWNS v. 2006 CARDINALS
Game 2
(2006 leads, 1 game to 0)

summary by Zubin

We are all familiar with St. Louis's 10 championship teams of the 20th and 21st century. The 1886 Browns stand as another undisputed championship team for winning the most famous and best (according to Bill James) 19th-century World Series; that brings the total to 11. Yesterday, I described the 1885 team as the first of 12 champions for the Cardinals/ Browns franchise. I initially wrote that as a point of contrast between the 1885 and 1996 squads, but after doing a bit of background research on the 1880s Browns, I found that naming them champions is much more legitimate than I initially thought.

After the seventh game of the 1885 Championship, even the Chicago Tribune declared that the Browns "Win the World's Championship." Throughout the next season (1886), both the Tribune and the New York Times referred to the Browns as champions; I couldn't find any such mention for the Browns' opponent in the 1885 championship series, the Chicago White Stockings. Finally, as I mentioned yesterday, as of 1939 the Hall of Fame seemed to think the Browns won the Championship that year. Granted my research is limited, but it seems pretty clear that at the time and for decades afterward, the baseball world viewed the 1885 Browns as champions. No one seemed too seemed to buy Al Spalding's phony-baloney about a tie until relatively recently. That begs the question: why did the conventional wisdom about the 1885 Series change?

I'm not certain, but I think there are a couple of factors. The first is that a notion of a distinct modern era (post-1900) arose that made the early World Series' irrelevant for some time. The second is the popularity of reprints of "Al Spalding's Official Baseball Guides." I know Spalding's guides are a popular source of information on 19th-century baseball, so I hypothesize that when the conventional wisdom about vintage baseball changed in the 1990's, many people referred to the guides for information. The 1886 guide reported: "As the record showed the [1885 World Series] contest to be a tie, by the written direction of Messrs. Spalding and Von der Ahe, the sums of $500 each were on the 28th day of October paid to the Chicago and St Louis clubs." (For the complete account, read here: part 1 and part 2.) Thus modern sources often indicate the series was a tie or at best ended in dispute, without noting that the consensus at the time held St Louis as the winner.

Well, enough about past series, and on to the series (or sim-series) of the moment. Yesterday 2006 jumped out to a somewhat unexpected 1-0 series lead in mostly convincing fashion. Tony's lineup hit well enough (9 for 37, or .243) considering the competition, and Carpenter pitched a strong 8 innings. But Izzy nearly blew it in the 9th, and that kind of highlights a major flaw in the 2006 bullpen. While the real 2006 postseason bullpen had Wainwright pitch in the highest-leverage situations, sim-2006 will have to rely on a very hittable (and homer-able) Jason Isringhausen. So even if everything else breaks the way of 2006, they still might lose a few games in the 9th.

For today's game, Jeff Suppan takes on David Foutz; lineups are otherwise unchanged from Game 1:

2006 1885
David Eckstein, ss Arlie Latham, 3b
Chris Duncan, lf Bill Gleason, ss
Albert Pujols, 1b Tip O'Neill, lf
Jim Edmonds, cf Sam Barkley, 2b
Scott Rolen, 3b Charlie Comiskey, 1b
Juan Encarnacion, rf Curt Welch, cf
Ronnie Belliard, 2b Yank Robinson, rf
Yadier Molina, c Doc Bushong, c
Jeff Suppan, p Dave Foutz, p

Foutz rolls through the Cardinals in order until the 3d, when Suppan reaches on a miscue by Bill Gleason. But Yank Robinson makes a diving grab of Eckstein's ensuing shallow fly to right, ending the threat. In the 4th, Gleason atones for his misplay the previous inning with a sterling play on Duncan's slasher into the hole: ranging far to his left, the shortstop makes a diving stop and a perfect throw to first to keep the leadoff man off base. On the very next batter he leaps to knock down Pujols' sizzler, but he can't track the ball down and Pujols reaches on the IF single --- the first hit of the game for aught-six. Sam Barkley then gets in on the acrobatics, diving to rob Edmonds of a hit and erasing Pujols from the basepaths with a 4-6 FC. Both plays are fortuitous for the Browns, because without them Rolen's subsequent grounder to right would have driven home the game's first run. Instead it merely puts runners at the corners, and Foutz retires Encarnacion to escape the inning unscathed.

But Jeff Suppan, in simulation as in real life, is up to the task of matching zeros with anyone's ace. He scatters 4 hits through the first 4 innings and pitches around a pair of two-out hits by Welch and Bushong in the 5th, retiring Foutz on a fly to left. Foutz returns the favor in the next half-inning, pitching around a pair of singles by Eckstein and Pujols. Supps allows a walk to O'Neill in the Browns' half of the 6th, but Molina guns him down in the Brown's first SB attempt of the series. As we head into the 7th, it's still a 0-0 tie.

Then Foutz finally makes one mistake too many. With two outs he gets one up in the zone to Belliard, who lines one to left for a double, the first XBH of the game. Molina follows with another double, this time to the gap in left center, and the 2006s take a 1-0 lead. With full faith in his bullpen, Sim-Tony lifts Suppan for pinch hitter Scott Spiezio, who gets an IBB. The frame ends on an Eckstein ground out.

B'Looper comes on in the 7th and sets them down 1-2-3, sending the tiring Foutz back out with little rest between innings. The Cardinals go right back to work in the 8th: Duncan and Pujols each hit singles to put runners on the corners for J'Ed, who grounds one far enough to the right side to plate Dunc. The Cardinals lead it 2-0 --- and there's more. Sco'Ro, Juan'Cion, Belli, and Yadi all belt out singles to fatten the lead to 5-0. Sim-Tony lets B'looper hit for himself and make the second out of the inning, but Eck resumes the barrage with another single. Duncan, batting for the second time in the inning, walks before Albert hits into the 6-4FC to end the frame. The Cardinals take a commanding 6-0 lead.

Despite the lopsided score, Sim-Tony --- in true-to-life fashion --- uses three pitchers to get the last six outs. The relievers complete the shutout as the 2006 Cardinals take a totally unforeseen 2-0 lead in the series. What is it about these guys? They seem to be as unexpectedly good in the sim as they were in the real-life post-season.

The series takes tomorrow off but resumes Friday at Busch Stadium III.

BOX SCORE

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1946 CARDINALS v. 1967 CARDINALS
Game 2
(1946 leads, 1 game to 0)

summary by Brock 20

After yesterday's defeat in 13 innings, El Birdos look to return to form. Here's a hint: hitting the ball might help, guys. They will send rookie Dick Hughes to the mound. Hughes finished second in the Rookie of the Year balloting, losing out to Tom Seaver. Compare their records for 1967:

IP H BB K W-L ERA WHIP
hughes 222 164 48 161 16-6 2.67 0.95
seaver 251 224 78 170 16-13 2.76 1.20

Looks like Hughes might've got robbed, eh? He also finished 17th in the MVP vote that year. Unfortunately, after his Pedro Martinez-like performance in 1967, Hughes would pitch only one more season --- a rotator-cuff injury ruined him.

The 1946 World Champions pitch Harry "The Cat" Brecheen, a 15-game winner and 16th-place MVP finisher. That's where the similarities between Brecheen and Hughes end. The Cat would amass 1900 professional innings in 12 professional seasons in St. Louis. Aside from the pitchers, the lineups are the same as yesterday:

1967 1946
Lou Brock, lf Red Schoendienst, 2b
Curt Flood, cf Terry Moore, cf
Roger Maris, rf Stan Musial, 1b
Orlando Cepeda, 1b Enos Slaughter, rf
Mike Shannon, 3b Whitey Kurowski, 3b
Tim McCarver, c Joe Garagiola, c
Julian Javier, 2b Harry Walker, lf
Dal Maxvill, ss Marty Marion, ss
Bob Gibson, p Howie Pollett, p

Brock grounds out to third and Flood strikes out looking to start things off, but Maris hits a sky-high ball that Slaughter loses in the sun; it falls in for a two-out double. Cha-Cha gets intentionally walked to bring up Shannon, hitless in five trips yesterday. He breaks through with a two-out RBI single into left. Maris scores, and El Birdos lead 1-0. McCarver cannot break his slide, however, and pops out to first.

The rookie Hughes will have to face his own manager, Mr. Schoendienst, leading off the game. He gets him on a flyout to shallow right. Terry Moore, one for six yesterday, singles through hole to right center, and Musial follows up with a bloop single to center; the aggressive base running of the '46 Redbirds comes to the fore as Moore charges from first to third on the single. Slaughter hits a ball to Cha-Cha, whose only play is to Maxvill covering second; Moore scores on the fielder's choice, and the score is tied.

Nothing happens in the second, but Flood leads off the top of the third with a single. Let's see if Sim Red wants to run; no, he gives Maris the bunt sign instead. The infield is at double play depth, and Maris drops one perfectly; runner at second, one out. Cepeda then breaks the tie with a well-hit double to center, scoring Flood easily and putting El Birdos are back on top. Shannon and McCarver end the inning by grounding out to second and the pitcher, respectively. McCarver hitless watch: AB number 8.

The '46 Champions start the bottom of the third with the top of their order. Sim Player Red goes down swinging. Moore chases and is sent down on strikes. Two quick outs. Musial, being his normal self, singles to left --- a seemingly harmless base hit with two outs. But Slaughter follows up with a walk, pushing Musial into scoring position. And all of a sudden, the wheels come off for Hughes. In quick succession: Kurowski's single scores Musial, Garagiola's single scores Slaughter, Walker's single scores Kurowski, Marion's single scores Garagiola, Brecheen's single scores Walker. Red draws the walk on his second plate appearance of the inning, and Moore follows up with a line drive --- but mercifully it finds Javier's glove, and the inning is finally over. But not before the '46 team pushes across five runs and takes a 6-2 lead.

It continues in the bottom half of the fourth: Musial leads off with a single, and Slaughter drives him home with an absolute monster blast to dead center, 422-plus feet away at Sportsman's Park. We have our first home run of the series and an 8-2 lead for the post-World War II champions. Sim Red has finally seen enough of Hughes; he pulls the rookie and replaces him with Briles, the losing pitcher in yesterday's game. Briles retires his first two batters, then plunks Walker on the arm and gives up a single to Marion. The '46 Cardinals have runners on the corners with two outs, but Briles strikes out the pitcher to end the inning.

Down by six, the '67 team tries to make things interesting in the sixth inning. McCarver finally gets his first hit of the series (!), a leadoff single to right field. Javier smokes a single the same direction, and Have Glove Will Travel Maxvill muscles up with a triple. It's still a four-run game, but things are tightening up. Sim Red sends up Ricketts to hit for Briles; he flies out to Moore in shallow center, and Maxvill stays put. Lou swings and misses at strike three way out of the zone, and now the Cards have two outs and Maxvill still at third. But Flood picks up his mates with a ground single through the middle, chasing Maxvill home. It's 8-5, and The Cat is done for the day; Ted Wilks takes the ball for the second day in a row and completes the inning.

Ron Willis sends the '46s down in order, and Shannon leads of the top of the seventh with a hard-hit ball that Kurowski can't handle. Safe at first. McCarver hits a Texas League single for his second straight hit, and (after a Javier strikeout) Maxvill delivers again with a single to left; Shannon scores, and it's a two-run game with the tying runs aboard. Sim Red sends Bobby Tolan up for Willis; he grounds into a 3-6, fielder's choice, but McCarver scores and the lead is now down to a single run. Sim Red immediately sends Tolan, who swipes second base. A hit from Brock would tie it up, but he grounds out to third to end the inning. Tough day so far for Lou; he's 1 for 5.

Up in the booth, Jack leans over and wakes up Harry so he can sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

With Willis out of the game, Sim Red taps Al Jackson to keep it close. He promptly issues a leadoff walk to Marty Marion. Erv Dusak strides to the plate, hitting for Wilks; he walks, too. Sim Player Red grounds into a fielder's choice, forcing Dusak at second but moving Slats over to third. Then Moore walks to load the bases for Stan. Stan hits it on the nose but right at Cepeda; two down, and Jackson just might tiptoe through. Bases loaded for Slaughter. Knowing that Jackson is struggling with his control, Enos waits him out --- sure enough, he draws a walk, the fourth of the inning. Marion scores, Jackson departs, and Jack Lamabe gets Kurowski to chase a third strike and keep the deficit at two runs. It's 9-7 heading into the 8th.

Ken Burkhart gives up a leadoff single to Flood in the top of the 8th, but Maris bounces into a force and Cepeda grounds it to Kurowski, who throws to Red, who relays to Musial. End of inning, and the '46 team is three outs from a 2-0 series lead. They go in order in the bottom of the eighth, and Burkhart heads back out to try and sew this one up. Shannon, leading off, hits a deep one to left center field that falls into the glove of Walker. One out. McCarver nails a line drive for his third straight hit; the tying run is now at the plate. With the defense at double play depth, Javier grounds into a 5-4 fielder's choice. The '67 team is down to its last out with the light-hitting Maxvill at the plate. A homer would tie it up, and Maxvill only hit 1 of those in 1967; but then, he's 3 for 4 today, and Sim Red doesn't have a lot of options on his bench --- aside from Ricketts and Tolan (who've already appeared), every reserve has a batting average lower than Maxie's .227. So he bats for himself.

And grounds out to third. The 1967 team is down 2 games to 0.

The HOF core of the 1946 receives the credit for winning this slugfest. Slaughter reaches base in four out of five plate appearances and drives in four runs, including the two-run homer. Hitting right in front of him, Stan Musial goes four for five, with a double and two runs scored. The '67 team's Hall of Famers, Brock and Cepeda, go 2 for 9 with five men left on. Game 3 takes place on Friday at Busch Stadium II.

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