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Tournament of Champions, Round 4: day 3

a pair of Game 2s today, both featuring the 1960s-era cards against the Depression-era cards. summaries after the jump; complete results and tournament history at Cardinal70's tracker page.

Game 2, 1926 v 1968
Game 2, 1934 v 1964

Game 2
(1968 leads, 1 game to 0)

summary by lboros

In his last three starts of this tournament, covering 21 innings, Ray Washburn has yielded only 8 hits and 2 runs, 1 earned --- a 0.43 ERA. He got roughed up pretty good in his first start, 6 runs in 7 innings, so his overall tournament ERA is 2.25, with 16 hits allowed in 28 innings. Not bad against competition of this caliber. He's squaring off today against the same pitcher he faced twice during the play-in round, Pete Alexander. Washburn and the 1928 version of Ol' Pete hooked up in a classic in Game 6 of that series, both yielding just 3 hits in 7 innings. The score was deadlocked when they departed; the 1968s eventually won the game, and the series, in the 11th inning.

That was Alexander '28. The pitcher in today's game, Alexander '26, threw 7 innings of 2-hit, no-run ball his last time out, winning Game 6 win over 1943 to clinch that series. Confused yet? Me, too; let's just get on with the game. No lineup changes from yesterday:

1926 1968
Taylor Douthit, cf Lou Brock, lf
Billy Southworth, rf Curt Flood, cf
Rogers Hornsby, 2b Roger Maris, rf
Jim Bottomley, 1b Orlando Cepeda, 1b
Les Bell, 3b Tim McCarver, c
Ray Blades, lf Mike Shannon, 3b
Bob O'Farrell, c Julian Javier, 2b
Tommy Thevenow, ss Dal Maxvill, ss
Pete Alexander, p Ray Washburn, p

Washburn gets off to another strong start, setting them down in order in the 1st; Hoolie Javier pitches in with a diving catch of Hornsby's sharp liner. He gives up a hit in the 2d and a walk in the 3d, but his sinker doesn't seem to be working; only 2 groundball outs through the first 3 innings. Washburn rectifies that in the 4th, getting all 3 outs via the grounder. Alexander, meanwhile, is getting almost nothing but worm-burners: He sets down the first 9 men to face him, 6 of them on grounders and 2 via the strikeout. Only one ball in play goes into the air. Maris breaks up the no-hitter in the 4th inning with two outs in the 4th, but he doesn't move past first base.

Thevenow singles with one out in the 5th inning, and Alexander bunts him on over to bring up Taylor Douthit. He works Washburn for a walk (the pitcher's second of the game), which brings up Southworth. with Hornsby on deck, Washburn can't afford to get too fine; he throws one over the plate, and Southworth yanks it over 2d and into the outfield. Thevenow comes around, and the game has its first run, 1-0.

Alexander gets 3 groundouts in the bottom of the 5th, but Maxvill leads off the 6th with a single (El Birdos' second hit of the day). The enables Washburn to stay in the game, as a bunter; he pushes it right back to the mound, though, and forces Maxie at second. Brock and Flood fail to get the ball out of the infield, and Washburn goes back to the mound still trailing 1-0. He mows them down 1-2-3, running his consecutive-out streak to 7; his pitch count is now at 96, so Washburn is through. Another stellar line for him: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run. That's 2 runs in his last 28 innings, and an overall tournament ERA of 2.06 in 5 stats. Nice.

El Birdos try to get Washburn off the hook in the 7th. Cepeda gets the team's 3d hit of the game with one out in the 7th, and Shannon greets reliever Art Reinhart with another single to send Cha-Cha around to 3d. It takes a hit from Javier, but he taps it to short and and Thevenow tosses him out. Nothing doing in the top of the 8th, and in the bottom half Les Bell hits a leadoff double off Wayne Granger, as the '26s get to work on an insurance run. . . . . or not. Blades strikes out, O'Farrell walks, Thevenow pops up to left, and Reinhart bounces out to 2b. We head to the 9th with the score still 1-0.

Last chance for El Birdos --- and Flood gets things off to a good start with a base hit. Maris turns on an inside pitch but beats it into the ground; Bottomley fields, throws to Thevenow, then takes the return throw in plenty of time to complete the DP. Cepeda won't go down without a fight, though; he singles. McCarver chops one to Hornsby for the last out ---- but he boots it! Everybody's safe, the tying run is a base hit away, and Shannon --- El Birdos' RBI leader --- stands at the dish.

Hornsby calls the right-hander, Syl Johnson, into the game. I'm thinking: where's Hi Bell? Better pitcher than Johnson, better save total, higher number of appearances, higher number of innings pitched . . . . . why wouldn't' the sim prefer Bell to Johnson? Second-guess locked and loaded. Johnson falls behind Shannon 2-0, then crosses him up with a curve --- pitcher's pitch on a hitter's count. Shannon hacks it down to Thevenow, who steps on the bag for the final out. The bullpen makes it stand up: 1926 evens the series with a 1-0 win. Washburn takes the tough-luck defeat; Pete Alexander '26 wins his 2d straight.


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Game 2
(1934 leads, 1 game to 0)

summary by Zubin

Well, it is two games into my second 1934 series, and I haven't written much about the club. 1934 was, of course, a World Series winner, 4-3 over Detroit, but I had no idea about the road they traveled to get there. Before the Cardinals took over 1st place, the New York Giants had led for 127 straight days. On September 28, Dizzy Dean defeated the Reds 4-0 to bring the Cardinals even with New York. The next day, Paul Dean won 6-1, while the Giants lost to Brooklyn. The day after that, the elder Dean shut out Cincinnati again, 9-0, to give St. Louis a lead it never relinquished.

They were dubbed the "Gashouse Gang" by New York sportswriter Frank Graham, after a notorious New York Gang, for it was believed that Cardinals' gritty, aggressive brand of ball came to symbolize the game during the 1930s --- at least in the National League.

Today the Gas House Gang has a chance to go up 2-0 on the 1964s. The lineups for today's match are below. Roger Craig (the team's #4 starter) will take the ball for the younger generation, and Bill Walker pitches for the Gas House Gang. 1964's line-up switches up a bit against a southpaw: Dick Groat and Bill White switch spots in the batting order, as do the Moon Man and McCarver:

1964 1934
Curt Flood, cf Pepper Martin, 3b
Lou Brock, lf Jack Rothrock, rf
Dick Groat, ss Frank Frisch, 2b
Ken Boyer, 3b Joe Medwick, lf
Bill White, 1b Ripper Collins, 1b
Mike Shannon, rf Bill Delancey, c
Julian Javier, 2b Ernie Orsatti, cf
Tim McCarver, c Leo Durocher, ss
Roger Craig, p Bill Walker, p

From the outset, this one looks to be a high-scoring affair. Brock is the first base runner of the game, but he is gunned down at second on a stolen base attempt. It's a fair stroke of luck (or skill) for the `34s, because the next batter, Groat, strokes a base hit that would have scored Lou. Boyer grounds out to end the threat, and the inning ends in a goose egg. Roger Craig starts off with a couple of fly outs before he finds himself in trouble. Frisch starts the rally with a two-out double, and Medwick plates him with a single for the game's first run. Ripper Collins keeps the turnstile spinning with a double to left and, after an IBB to Bill Delancey (how many times have I had to write that now?), Ernie Orsatti hits an RBI single to make it 3-0.

The `34s add a couple more runs in the second. Walker reaches on an E-7, and Martin singles to set up the RBI opportunity for Rothrock. He dumps a Roger Craig splitter into right-center for a double, scoring Walker and Martin and increasing the lead to 5-0. Craig's first start of the tournament isn't an auspicious one.

Walker settles in and retires nine `64s in a row before a lead-off walk in the 5th, and that inning goes nowhere. Craig finds his groove as well, pitching a scoreless third and fourth before giving way to Ray Washburn in the fifth. Ray pitches a perfect fifth, then bats for himself leading off the top of the sixth (why? his team trails 5-0) and draws a walk. That rattles Walker, who seems to lose his command and begins falling behind the 1964 batters. Flood lays into a fat pitch for a single; Brock follows with another single to score the 1964s' first run. Groat sac flies Flood, and Boyer delivers an RBI single to cut the lead to 5-3. The inning ends there, but it's a game again.

Walker is lifted for a pinch hitter (Bill Whitehead) in the bottom of the sixth, and that sets up a relief appearance by Hall of Famer Jesse "Pop" Haines in the seventh. He retires McCarver to start the inning, but Medwick drops a flyball off Javier's bat. Johnny Lewis (pinch hitting for Ray Washburn) hits into a force, and it looks like Pop just may get out of the inning unscathed. But Flood is able to coax a walk, and Brock plates a run with a single. Then Groat punches a go-ahead double. A five-pitch walk to Boyer chases Haines from the game, before Bill White bloops a single off James Monney to put the `64s on top 7-5.

True to their nickname, the Gas House Gang plays tough. A pair of doubles in the eighth inning cuts the 1964 lead to a single run. Dazzy Vance comes on to pitch a scoreless ninth, setting up a come-from-behind opportunity for the '34s. Mike Cuellar's on the mound, and he walks Rothrock to open the frame. Cuellar jams Frisch to induce a pop up, but Medwick hits a single up the middle to move the tying run to 3d base with only one out. A flyball or grounder probably ties it, and an XBH likely wins it for the Gas House Gang. Sim-Keane wisely goes to his best pitcher in terms of both era and opponent average, Barney Schulz. He starts Collins low and outside, busts him up and in, and then throws one of his signature knuckleballs. The result is a foul out to catcher --- Rothrock stays moored at 3d base. Now only Bill Delancey stands between the `64s and a tie series. Delancey works the count full. Schulz delivers the payoff pitch... strike three!

1964 wins 7-6 and evens the series at 1 game each. Dick Groat is named player of the game for his 3 RBIs, including the go-ahead run in the seventh. Hall of Famer Jesse Haines is the goat for this game. In 2/3 an inning he allows 4 runs, though none are earned. Tomorrow is an off day, but on Wednesday Bob Gibson will square off against the younger Dean. See you then.