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Tournament of Champions, Round 4: day 4

this was ready to go at 3 p.m. ---- forgot all about it. sorry!

Game 3, 1982 v 1985
Game 3, 1946 v 2006

Game 2
(series tied, 1 game each)

summary by Brock 20

With the series knotted a one game apiece, we switch to Busch II. Today's matchup features Murry Dickson for the visitors versus Anthony Reyes for the home team. No changes in the field for the visitors, but Sim Tony juggles his lineup. Duncan will play left and Edmonds will make his first appearance of the series:

1946 2006
Red Schoendienst, 2b David Eckstein, ss
Terry Moore, cf Chris Duncan, lf
Stan Musial, 1b Albert Pujols, 1b
Enos Slaughter, rf Jim Edmonds, cf
Whitey Kurowski, 3b Scott Rolen, 3b
Joe Garagiola, c Juan Encarnacion, rf
Harry Walker, lf Ronnie Belliard, 2b
Marty Marion, ss Yadier Molina, c
Murry Dickson, p Anthony Reyes, p

The highly touted pitching prospect from USC looks sharp in the first. He gets Red to fly out to right, strikes out Moore, and gets The Man to fly out to right. Three up, three down. Not a bad way to start. The 2006 team gets the lead off batter on again, as Eckstein hits a sky-high ball that falls for a double. He is stranded in scoring position as Duncan and Pujols ground out and Jimmy chases a ball out of the zone. No score after one.

After Slaughter lines out on a come backer, Kurowski breaks the deadlock with a poke over the left-field wall. Reyes' tendency to give up the extra-base hit strikes early. It strikes again in the next inning, as Dickson hits a ball hard to left for a double. Red flies out to shallow right, but Moore pokes a single through the middle to put runners on the corners for Stan the Man. He hits a big double that falls past Jimmy. Dickson strolls home and Moore races all the way around to score; two RBI for The Man. Enos walks, so there are runners at first and second for Whitey K., who already has a homer on the day. He hits a ball hard to left that falls for a single. Stan scores, but Slaughter must stop at third. Garagiola strikes out and Walker grounds out, but the Greatest Generation plates three on the inning to take a 4-0 lead.

The bottom of the third starts with a lead off single by Yadi. Having had his fill of Reyes, Sim Tony pulls him for a pinch hitter, Spiezio. Scott goes down swinging. Dunc follows an Eckstein line out with a walk, bringing up Albert in a position to do some damage. He puts a charge into one, and the crowd rises in excitement, but the ball falls into Moore's glove for the last out of the inning.

Weaver, the new pitcher, gives up a solo home run to the first batter to face him, Marty Marion. But then he settles in and sets about the task of keeping the 1946 squad from increasing their lead. He holds the line for a few innings while the 2006s try to get untracked. But they never get to Dickson, who departs after five innings, and they do nothing in reliever Al Brazle's first inning of work. In the bottom of the seventh, still trailing 5-0, the Bracket Busters finally get some runs. Juan leads off with a single, and that's followed by a Belliard double; runners at second and third with no outs for Yadi. He lines a single to right, and Juan scores; then J-Rod, pinch-hitting, reaches on an infield single that drives in Belliard. The top of the order is up, nobody's out, and the tying run's at the plate; this is starting to get interesting. But ace reliever Ted Wilks get Eckstein and Duncan on poorly hit balls. Pujols comes to bat with a chance to tie the game with a single swing; he ropes a ball up the middle, but Marion seizes it to end the threat. 1946 takes a 5-2 lead into the eighth.

Looper comes in, the 2006 team's fourth pitcher of the day, and gets Garagiola on a flyout to center for the first out. But Walker reaches on a throwing error by Scotty, and Marion, in his second display of power on the day, one-hops a ball into the left field bleachers for a ground-rule double. Sim Dyer, playing to win, pulls Cork for pinch hitter, Del Rice. He rewards the decision with a single to left that plates both Walker and Marion. Red grounds into a 6-4 force and Moore grounds out to short to end the inning.

Sim Dyer goes to his closer, Ken Burkhart, for a six-out save. He gets the 2006s 1-2-3 in the eighth, as Edmonds, Rolen and Enc all fail to reach base. In the bottom of the 9th, Belliard grounds a single up the middle, but Yadi quickly erases him on a 5-4-3 double play and the Cards are down to their last out. Sim Tony pinch hits for TJ, bringing in Hector Luna, who I thought was in Cleveland. It doesn't really matter, no protest needed, as Luna grounds out to third.

Dickson goes five innings of scoreless ball, but the star of the game honors go to Whitey Kurowski. Whitey reached base three times in five plate appearances with a double and a home run. Marion also deserves mention for his three for four day, with a double and home run as well. In the other dugout, it was just plain ugly. Reyes would be the obvious goat, giving up four earned in three innings, but Dunc, Pujols, Jimmy and Scotty all share in the blame. Combined, they were two for sixteen. The team as a whole reached base at only a .300 rate, compared to .359 for the 1946 team. Reyes dug a hole, but the team did nothing to help themselves out of it. It doesn't get any prettier for the Bracket Busters, they pitch Marquis tomorrow in the fourth game of the series.


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Game 3
(series tied, 1 game each)

summary by cardsfanunion

We're back in 1982 as this series is tied at 1 game apiece. The '82 squad will send Dave LaPoint to the hill to start opposite Danny Cox. Cards fans will remember LaPoint as a promising rookie in 1982 who went 9-3 with a 3.42 ERA. More stat-savvy fans would have been frightened by his 1.454 WHIP. The starting of the lefty means Tito Landrum will start in right for the '85 Birds. Van Slyke was absolutely dreadful against lefties in 1985. They'll also start Tom Nieto at catcher. So far Darrell Porter has been able to keep the '82 Birds' running game in check. Thus far, they have attempted only 2 steals, and were successful just once. Here's how they'll line up:

1985 1982
Vince Coleman, lf Lonnie Smith, lf
Willie McGee, cf Tom Herr, 2b
Tom Herr, 2b Keith Hernandez, 1b
Jack Clark, 1b George Hendrick, rf
Tito Landrum, rf Darrell Porter, c
Terry Pendleton, 3b Willie McGee, cf
Tom Nieto, c Ken Oberkfell, 3b
Ozzie Smith, ss Ozzie Smith, ss
Danny Cox, p Dave LaPoint, p

LaPoint makes quick work of the '85 Birds in the top of the first. Lonnie leads off for the '82 squad with a single, and he immediately tests --- and bests --- Nieto by stealing second. After a Herr ground out, Smith tries to steal third, and he's nailed by Nieto. The putout is huge, as Keith Hernandez follows with a double that would have scored Smith if he'd simply stayed put. Hendrick ends the frame by grounding out to second; potentially big missed opportunity there.

In the top of the second LaPoint is his own worst enemy, as he muffs a Jack Clark grounder, and somehow the big first-baseman is able to reach base before LaPoint can recover. Landrum follows with a single to put runners on first and second with no one out. After Pendleton flies out, Nieto grounds a single to left. They're gonna waive Clark home. He looks like he needs to hail a taxi as he rounds third, and Lonnie guns him down at home to keep the game scoreless. The frame isn't wasted, though, as Ozzie follows with a single to score Landrum from third, and the '85 Birds lead it 1-0.

In the bottom half of the inning, Porter leads off with a single. After a McGee flyout, Oberkfell rips a double to center, putting runners on second and third with one out. The elder Whitey brings the infield in, and the move pays off, as Ozzie grounds out to Clark. Cox then gets LaPoint to fish on a ball out of the zone to end the frame with a strikeout.

Both teams put baserunners on in the third, but neither can score. In the bottom of the fourth, McGee '82 leads off with a walk and a steal. Oberkfell smokes a double to deep leftcenter to score McGee. Smith follows with a walk, and he's erased on a fielders choice by LaPoint. With runners at the corners, the infield elects to play at double-play depth. They get the grounder to short, but Lonnie Smith beats the relay throw as Oberkfell scores. Lonnie promptly steals second for his third steal of the series, but he stranded as Herr grounds out. Still, the '82 Cards go ahead, 2-1.

The 85 Birds threaten in the top of the fifth, as Coleman singles and steals second. After McGee walks, Herr flies to right-center. Coleman tags and aggressively moves to third on the play to put runners on the corners with one out. But LaPoint bears down and K's Clark looking. After Landrum walks, Pendleton grounds to third to end the frame.

The '82 Cards extend the lead to 3-1 in the sixth on a ground-rule double by Oberkfell and an RBI single by Ozzie. McGee tries to bring the '85 squad back with a one-out double in the seventh, but he's stranded as Herr and Clark are retired. They get their leadoff man on again in the eighth, as Landrum singles against Jim Kaat (just into the game). After a Pendleton flyout, Nieto collects his second hit of the night to put the tying runs on base. But Ozzie and pinch-hitter Cesar Cedeno area retired to end the frame. Still 3-1 for the '82 champs.

In the bottom of the 8th, Bill Campbell is called in to relieve Danny Cox, who gave up 3 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks in his seven innings pitched; the typical workmanlike performance. Campbell promptly misplays a leadoff grounder by the Wizard. Ozzie compounds the error by stealing second. Then the young shortstop scores on pinch-hitter Dane Iorg's single. Lonnie follows with a walk, and Herr bloops one into right-center for an RBI single. Campbell bears down and gets Hernandez and Hendrick to strike out looking. But Sim-Whitey opts to pull Campbell for Ken Dayley, who gives up an RBI single to Porter. Three insurance runs cross the plate, and it's now 6-1 in favor of the '82 Birds.

That's how it ends; Jeff Lahti pitches a scoreless ninth, and the '82 Birds take a 2-1 series lead.