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Tournament of Champions, Round 3: day 13

good to have real baseball back --- but simulated baseball continues apace. a pair of Game 3s today; summaries after the jump.

Game 3, 1926 v 1943
Game 3, 1886 v 1934

Game 3
(series tied, 1 game apiece)

summary by cardsfanunion

As the series shifts to pre-Depression America, Bill Sherdel will pitch for the '26 Birds against Howie Krist and the 1943 Cards. Old Billy Southworth, manager of the 1943 Cards, appears confident after evening the series. After a distinguished playing career, Southworth signed as a manager for the top farm team for the Cards in 1928. He won a championship and was promoted to manage his former teammates just one year after retirement. In an attempt to instill discipline that even George Steinbrenner would have admired, Southworth decreed that players were not even allowed to drive their own vehicles. The Cards did not respond, and Southworth was sent back to the minors.

Perhaps Southworth was trying to impose discipline on others as a surrogate for his own lack of control in his own life, as it soon became apparent that Billy was an alcoholic. Southworth struggled on his return to the minors as a manager and left baseball in 1933. After conquering alcohol, Southworth returned to manage in the minors in 1935 but didn't receive another shot a managing in the majors until 1940. On returning, he relaxed his rules somewhat, but he still wouldn't allow alcohol in his clubhouse as a manager. From 1940 to 1945, Southworth would manage the Cards to two World Series championships and three pennants. From 1942 to 1944, he had the most successful three-year run of any manager in team history.

Today's lineups:

1943 1926
Lou Klein, 2b Taylor Douthit, cf
Harry Walker, cf Billy Southworth, rf
Stan Musial, rf Rogers Hornsby, 2b
Walker Cooper, c Jim Bottomley, 1b
Whitey Kurowski, 3b Les Bell, 3b
Ray Sanders, 1b Chick Hafey, lf
Danny Litwhiler, lf Bob O'Farrell, c
Marty Marion, ss Tommy Thevenow, ss
Howie Krist, p Bill Sherdel, p

The game begins as a pitchers duel, with Krist allowing one hit through the first three innings and Sherdel throwing a no-hitter through three. In the top of the fourth, Walker leads off with a single and advances into scoring position on a groundout by The Man. Cooper lines a single to left, and Walker tries to score, but Hafey comes up with a perfect throw home and nails him to keep the game scoreless. Kurowski collects the third single of the inning, but the '43s won't push a run across as Sanders grounds out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Hornsby walks and moves over to second on a groundout by Bottomley. That brings up Hafey, fresh off his run-stopping peg to the plate. He shoots one into the gap in right-center; nobody's going to throw Hornsby out on that one. He scores, Hafey ends up on second, and the 26ers take a 1-0 lead.

Litwhiler leads off the top of the fifth with an infield single. Marion and Krist both hit into fielder's choices, but Klein singles Krist to third with two outs for Harry the Hat. But Walker hits into the inning's third fielders choice to retire the side.

In the bottom of the fifth, Hornsby singles home Douthit, who reached on a single and stole second, and the score is now 2-0. The 1943s go in order in the top of the 6th, and the 26ers threaten to break it open in the bottom of the frame against relief pitcher Murry Dickson. Bell leads off with a double; Hafey fans, but O'Farrell singles Bell to third, and then Thevenow walks to load the bases. Sherdel hits into a fielders choice, forcing Bell at home. Two outs now, and Dickson's almost out of it as the top of the order comes up. But he pitches Douthit too carefully and walks him; that makes it 3-0. Then Southworth the player singles, and two more runs trot home; 5-0. Hornsby launches one out to left-center that bounds over the fence for a ground-rule double and a 6th run. So much for Dickson; Al Brazle relieves him and gets out of the inning, but the game is pretty far gone.

The 6 runs are far more than Sherdel needs on this day. He'll go the distance, shutting out the '43 Birds on 8 hits. But you wonder how the outcome might have been different if Hafey's throw hadn't nailed Harry Walker at the plate way back in the 4th. The '26 Cards now lead the series 2-1 heading into Game 4.


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Game 3
(1934 leads, 2 games to 0)

summary by Zubin

Another quick intro today, since work is all hell and I am behind on my writeups. So far 1934 leads 2-0 in the series, but the games have been relatively close. Frisch & Co. won Game 1 simply by wearing down Foutz over 10 innings, and Game 2 was up for grabs until the end. However, the Gashouse Gang is outhitting Commy and company .259 to .227. So far my pre-series prediction is holding up: Whatever pitching advantage 1886 has is more than equalized by 1934's offensive advantage.

Lineups again don't change from the previous games; Daffy Dean takes on Dave Foutz.

1886 1934
Arlie Latham, 3b Pepper Martin, 3b
Bill Gleason, ss Jack Rothrock, rf
Tip O'Neill, lf Frankie Frisch, 2b
Charlie Comiskey, 1b Joe Medwick, lf
Curt Welch, cf Ripper Collins, 1b
Yank Robinson, 2b Bill Delancey, c
Doc Bushong, c Ernie Orsatti, cf
Hugh Nicol, rf Leo Durocher, ss
Dave Foutz, p Paul Dean, p

Both teams waste opportunities in the first. Arlie Latham, the first batter of the match, reaches and two pitches later makes for 2d. The throw isn't in time and the 2, 3 or 4 men will have an RBI chance . . . or not. The overeager Latham is caught stealing 3d an out later. You can guess what happens next: O'Neill clubs a double that would have scored Latham. Unfortunately for the Browns, Comiskey strands O'Neill at 2d to end the frame. In the Cardinals' half, Martin leads off with a hit and swipes 2d. He advances to 3d on the sac fly, but neither Frisch nor Medwick can pick him up. No score after one.

The Browns have better luck the next inning. Welsh reaches on a E6, steals 2d, and comes home on a Yank Robinson single. Robinson then steals second and a couple of outs later scores on a Dave Foutz double. Browns lead 2-0.

The Cardinals come right back. Collins opens the inning up with a double, and Orsatti pokes one through the hole an out later to put runners on the corners for Durocher. The Browns are looking for a DP, and The Lip seemingly obliges with a roller to 3d, but the ball dies in the grass. Latham grabs it and throws to second, but there isn't a play at first and Collins scores. It's a 1-run game.

The Browns get their leadoff man on again in the third when Bill Gleason singles. The stolen base would seem to be in order, but for whatever reason Gleason stays put and gets erased on a 4-6-3 DP off the bat of O'Neill. The oddly passive baserunning seems all the more inopportune when Commey singles right after the twin killing. However, Welch's double to right sends the Browns' captain all the way around the bases and restores the lead to 2 runs.

The Cards have some bad luck in the bottom half of the frame: Martin singles, and Rothrock hits the daylights out of the ball on a hit-and-run --- but the ball goes straight to Yank Robinson, who completes a catch-n-throw double play. Undeterred, Frisch puts the hit-and-run on again in the 4th after a leadoff walk by Medwick; it results in a groundout that moves Ducky into scoring position, but Delancey and Orsatti strand him. Dean's cruising by now, retiring 9 in a row at one point, but his teammates don't mount another rally until the 7th inning. Collins doubles leading off, Orsatti singles him to third with one out; tying runs on base for Durocher. Good time to pinch-hit, but the sim lets Leo bat and he hits it right back to the pitcher. Foutz freezes the runner at 3d, then wheels and throws to second to get the lead runner. Burgess Whitehead pinch-hits for Dean and chops it down to third base to end the promising inning.

That's the Cardinals' last chance; they won't get another baserunner. Foutz completes the six-hitter and gets named player of the game. 1934 still leads the series 2-1. I'll be back tomorrow with Dizzy Dean v. Bob Caruthers in Game 4.