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Tournament of Champions, Round 3: day 7

better late than never on the tourney, eh? just getting to my hotel room in the desert; if i'da known it would take me this long to get back in front of my computer i'da posted these results this morning.

1982 faces elimination for the 2d straight day; Silver King tries to give 1888 a 3d consecutive win over the 1968s. summaries after the jump.

Game 5, 1888 v 1968
Game 5, 1942 v 1982

Game 5
(1942 leads, 3 games to 1)

summary by Pujols Shot Ya

1982 won Game 4 on the strength of a big first inning. They jumped on Mort Cooper for three runs and were able to hold off 1942 for a 3-2 win. That win came without the help of any extra base hits, though: all seven of 1982's hits were singles. Through the first four games in the aggregate, they have just six doubles, a triple and no home runs. The team's cleanup hitter, George Hendrick, has gone 2 for 15 with 2 walks in this series, both hits being singles. That's good for a line of .133/.235/.133. Ouch.

Hendrick and 1982 will attempt to find their power stroke against 1942 ace #2 Johnny Beazley. Sim-Whitey gives the ball to John Stuper for his first work of the series. Stuper had an undistinguished Major League career, only pitching four years, but he did start two games in the '82 World Series, both of which the Cardinals won. Another hero of that series, Dane Iorg, is on Sim-Whitey's lineup card today; he gets the start in left, with Lonnie Smith shifting to center and Willie back to the bench. Sim-Southworth sticks to the same order he had for Game 4:

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

Stuper starts off shakily, walking Jimmy Brown. He gets both Moore and Slaughter to ground into fielder's choices, but Musial grounds one just to the left of Ozzie and into left, putting runners on the corners with two down. Walker Cooper hits an easy groundball to third, ending the inning and continuing his struggles. He atones somewhat in the bottom of the frame, though; after Lonnie singles leading off the game, Cooper throws him out stealing, the first time he's gotten him in five tries this series.

It will be 1982's only hit for quite some time. Taking advantage of their lack of power, Beazley keeps pitching them high in the zone and gets one easy fly after another. Hendrick and Lonnie Smith wait him out for walks, but Whitey's hitters are otherwise handcuffed. Fortunately, Stuper is on his game too; he pitches around a two-out double in the 2nd and The Man's leadoff single in the 4th to keep it scoreless. But that can only last for so long. In the fifth, Marion leads off with a little dinker to left that drops in for a single. Beazley bunts him over to second, and then Brown hits a hump-backed liner into right center for an RBI single. Moore beats one into the ground up the middle, and with the high turf hop, Ozzie's only play is at first. The leaves Brown at second with two outs for Slaughter. Country takes the first pitch he sees into deep right. It's not deep enough for Busch II, though. Hendrick's able to run back and catch it easily. It's still just 1-0.

Stuper exits for a pinch-hitter after six innings, having acquitted himself very nicely: five hits and one run. He's relieved by Doug Bair; ugh. Bair had a fantastic 1982 (2.55 ERA, 143 ERA+), but he has appeared in every game of the series and the results haven't been pretty: He's pitched four innings, giving up five runs. He's facing the bottom of the order here, though, so let's see how he does. Kurowski takes an outside fastball from Bair and rips it to first, but Hernandez makes a nice little half-leap and snags it for the first out. Bair then gets Marion to ground out to third. Beazley's due up now, and since he's been dealing, Sim-Southworth lets him hit for himself. Beazley chases a high one though and Bair gets through the inning with no damage.

Bottom of seven now, and the 1982s still just have the one hit. Hernandez starts the inning off with a walk, his fifth of the series and the team's third of the game. Hendrick follows up with a walk of his own, and suddenly 1982 is threatening without lifting the bat off their shoulders. The real Whitey would have been bunting all the way, but the simulator doesn't bunt. Porter swings away and hits a line drive right at Hopp for the first out. Iorg then flies out to shallow right-center, and Beazley is just one out from getting out of the mess he created. But Oberkfell works him for another walk, and now the bases are packed and the go-ahead run is down at second. Herr is up; a single would at least tie the game. Herr's been struggling, though. Well, that's an understatement --- he's 1 for 17 so far in the series. It looks like his struggles are getting to him, as he jumps at the first offering, a pitcher's pitch on the outside half. He rolls over the top of it and hits a little grounder to first, inning over. Whitey's boys miss a golden opportunity, and they still only have 1 hit. With only two innings left, that might end up being their last good shot.

Bair comes out for his second inning in the top of the 8th and gets Jimmy Brown to fly out to center. Then he loses it, handing out consecutive walks to Moore, Slaughter, and Musial. Sim-Whitey has seen enough, but he again refuses to go to Sutter before the ninth inning. With the right-handed Walker Cooper at bat, his choice is the grizzled lefty Jim Kaat. At least we know he'll throw strikes. He throws one to Cooper, who lifts a fly ball to medium center. Moore takes off as Lonnie Smith makes the catch. Skates curl-hops and fires home, but the throw is off line and Moore scores easily. Kaat minimizes the damage by getting Hopp to ground out to first, but 1942 has a 2-0 lead and only needs to make it stand up for 6 more outs to win the series.

Kaat's due to lead off, so Landrum comes in to hit. Having paid attention the inning before, Landrum forces Beazley to throw strikes and coaxes a walk; that's six free passes now. Lonnie Smith follows with a groundball that's just out of reach of a diving Marty Marion --- at last, another hit! They both belong to Lonnie, but no matter; 1982 still has hope. Beazley continues to struggle, walking Ozzie to load the bases with nobody out for Hernandez. Sim-Southworth has Dickson ready in the pen, but for some reason he sticks with his obviously gassed ace. Trying to get ahead in the count, Beazley throws one right down the middle, and Hernandez yanks it deep into right. The ball short hops the wall, and everyone's off to the races. Slaughter bare-hands the carom perfectly and fires it back in to the cutoff man. The tying runs have scored, and Ozzie, the go-ahead run, is being waved around. Brown pivots and throws, but Ozzie simply outruns the ball. Miraculously, the '82 squad has the lead, 3-2.

Ozzie's barely picked himself up at home before Southworth bounds out of the dugout to go get Beazley; at least one batter too late. Dickson comes into the game now and gets Hendrick to ground out to third. He walks Porter, and with Dane Iorg at the plate Hernandez and Porter take off --- an unexpected double steal! But Sim-Whitey has overplayed his hand; Cooper guns to third and nails Hernandez easily for the second out of the inning. Iorg grounds out to third, ending the inning, but 1982 leads by one heading into the 9th.

Sutter comes on to attempt to close it out, and he's got the 7-8-9 hitters due up. He starts out by blowing away Kurowski, but Marion draws a one-out walk. Harry Walker pinch-hits for Dickson and smokes a line-drive single to right field; Marion stops at second. The top of the order is up now. Jimmy Brown grounds one to first for the second out of the inning, but the runners move up. Now it's all up to Moore. A basehit would put 1942 back in the lead and within 3 outs of a series win. Sutter starts him off with a couple splitters, but Moore lets them go low for balls. With the count 2-0, Sutter brings a fastball that catches too much of the plate. Moore rips it down the third base line and into the corner, but the umps got his hands up. It was juuust foul. After that near miss, Sutter throws another fastball, this one on the outside corner for a strike. Then he comes back with another splitter that Moore beats into the ground towards second. Herr charges, fields and fires to first. The throw beats Moore by a step and the '82 Cardinals win it!

Wow. What a game. 1982 wins 3-2 despite only getting three hits. Beazley picks up the loss despite carrying a one-hitter into the 8th. Kaat gets the win for limiting the damage in the 8th. 1942 still leads the series three games to two, and they're heading back to Sportsman's Park. But 1982 has picked up two close games in a row to make it a series. If they can get it to Game 7, they'll have One Tough Domincan waiting. Youneverknow. . . . .


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Game 5
(series tied, 2 games each)

summary by lboros

Through 4 games, El Birdos are batting .193 with no home runs. The Browns aren't hitting much better (.216), but they do have 2 homers --- one of them a game-decider. Brock is doing his part for the offense --- he's 6 for 18 with 2 doubles, a triple, and 2 steals --- but Shannon, McCarver, and Flood are making outs by the bushel (the latter is 3 for 18, the other two are 2 for 17).

They're not likely to heat up against Silver King; after his 11-inning shutout in Game 3 he has a 1.69 ERA for the tournament with a 0.875 WHIP. But Briles has performed pretty well in this tournament --- he's won 2 of his 3 starts, pitching into the 8th in both wins. Here are the lineups:

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

This game starts out well for the Browns: Latham doubles, Robinson walks, and O'Neill singles to get a run home. Comiskey's forceout plates a second, and El Birdos are down 2 runs to King before they even have a chance to go down in order against him. Which they do in the bottom of the frame. They manage a hit in the second (McCarver), but a double play erases the runner. In the third, however, they deploy their best offensive weapon of the series --- a Brownie error. It comes on the leadoff hitter, Javier, who gets on when a short flyball bounces off McCarthy's hands. Maxvill then singles him to second; Briles hits into a force that leaves runners at the corners; and Brock, El Birods' lone reliable source of power stands in. He nubs one down to first and flies down the line --- no way they're gonna get him. But Comiskey spins and throws it down to second just in time to get a force on lead-foot Briles. Brock takes off on the next pitch, but Flood gets one to his liking and lines it into center as Lou trots around to 3d. That brings up Maris, hitless in his last 10 at-bats. But he went 2 for 4 off Silver King in Game 1, including a double. He takes a rip here and laces one the other way. It cleaves the outfielders and rolls to the wall; Brock and Flood cruise home, Maris ends up on 2d, and El Birdos have their first lead of the homestand.

Silver King doesn't have it today; he's on a single day's rest, you can't blame him. In the 4th he yields line-drive hits to Shannon and Javier to put men on the corners with one out. Maxvill can't come up with a timely hit, though, nor even a sac fly; his pop out accomplishes nothing. Briles (a lousy hitter who has delivered two big hits in the tournament) then flies out to left, and it stays 3-2. . . . . well, for two batters anyway. Briles walks Lyons leading off the top of the 5th and then gives up a line-drive homer to Jocko Milligan; 4-3 Browns, and Silver King's got another lead to work with. But this one doesn't last long either: Brock triples leading off the bottom of the inning, and then (after a Flood groundout) comes home on a triple by Maris. He's on third with one out and Cepeda at bat, a golden opportunity for El Birdos to retake the lead. But they blow it: Cha-Cha pops out, McCarver grounds out to 2b, and the score remains tied 4-4. Two innings in a row the Cards have failed to score a baserunner who reached 3d with less than two outs; they're outhitting the Browns 8 to 4 but don't have a lead. The baseball gods usually reward this sort of wastefulness with a 1-run defeat.

The Browns waste an opportunity of their own in the 7th inning; Herr walks and swipes second, and with the bottom of the order up it's a clear bunting situation. But the sim hates the bunt. The sim never, ever bunts the man over to 3d in late-inning situations. The next three men all swing away, and all three ground out to short; Herr never moves. Briles departs for a pinch-hitter in the bottom half, and Willis comes on in the top of the 8th. Willis has lived dangerously throughout the tournament, and without delay he gets himself into trouble again: his afternoon begins with an HBP (of Latham), and a stolen base and two walks ensue. They're loaded up for Comiskey, and he scorches one --- but right at Maxvill for the first out. McCarthy also hits it to Maxvill, this time on the ground; it'd be a run-saving double play on a lot of batters, but the fleet McCarthy beats the relay. The run scores without a hit --- without the ball leaving the infield --- and the Browns take their 3d lead of the game at 5-4.

But El Birdos won't be denied. Cepeda and McCarver lead off the bottom of the 8th with singles. Then Shannon lofts one to left, medium deep --- deep enough to score the runner from 3d? We'll see. No, we won't see --- O'Neill drops the ball, and Cepeda trots home with the tying run. That's the 2d error of the game for the Browns. Javier's up, the circumstances cry out for a bunt, and of course the sim has Hoolie swinging away; he flies out to left. Maxvill then grounds into a DP, another squandered chance for the '68s. Wayne Granger enters in the top of the 9th and throws a perfect frame, fanning two. He's due up first in the bottom of the 9th, and Sim-Red sends up Dick Schofield, who raps a base hit. That's the 12th hit against King today; he only gave up 9 in Games 1 and 3 combined. After a flyout by Brock, Flood pounds one high and deep into the right-centerfield gap. It's an obvious hit, so Schofield doesn't hesitate to see whether the ball will be caught; he races around second and flies around 3d, touching the plate and leaping jubilantly into the arms of Maris. Only Roger's not jubilant. Flood's shot has bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. Schofield has to go on back to 3d base.

El Birdos can't really complain. They've benefited from more than their share of good luck (ie, incompetent Brownie fielding) in this series. All they need is decent contact from Maris; is that so much to ask? The infielders are in; the outfielders are in; King keeps the ball down, and Roger takes it the other way and hits a one-hopper directly at Ed Herr. He freezes Schofield at 3d, throws on to first; two outs. For the 3d time in this game, El Birdos can't get a man home from 3d. Cepeda steps in, hitting a nondescript .250 in the series; he lofts a King pitch to center, and Lyons trots in and gets himself under it.

And drops the ball.

It's Lyons' first error since Game 2 (he dropped 4 flies in the first two games, you might recall), but it costs the Brownies the game. All 3 of the Brown errors did --- the Cardinals only scored one earned run in the game, despite outhitting the Browns 13 to 4. Silver King takes his 2d loss of the series; in those two losses he gave up only 3 earned runs (vs 8 unearned ones). He still might get one more shot, in Game 7 against Gibson. The series shifts back to Sportsman's Park on Wednesday.