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Tournament of Champions: Round 4, day 8

New platform, same old routine: box scores here, summary after the jump. And the platform at Cardinal70's tourney tracker page remains unchanged, as far as I know.

Game 6, 1926 v 1968
Game 6, 1934 v 1964
Game 6, 1982 v 1985

Game 6
(1926 leads, 3 games to 2)

summary by lboros

Can Ray Washburn continue his incredible streak? He’ll have to if El Birdos are to survive in this tournament; they’re facing elimination today against Hall of Famer Pete Alexander, who is nearly as red-hot as Washburn. Alexander has thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings, yielding only 5 hits in that span, while Washburn has allowed just 3 runs (2 earned) in his last 28 innings across the last 3 series. Not surprisingly, the final score was 1-0 when these two hooked in Game 2 (Alexander and the ’26s won). If El Birdos extend the series, it’ll be Gibson vs Rhem for Game 7. Here are the lineups for Game 6:

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
Chick Hafey, lf Mike Shannon, 3b
Bob O’Farrell, c Julian Javier, 2b
Tommy Thevenow, ss Dal Maxvill, ss
Pete Alexander, p Ray Washburn, p

Ol’ Pete encounters a wee spot ’o trouble in the first, yielding a walk and a hit with two outs, but he ends the threat on a bounce out by McCarver. Washburn follows suit in the top of the 2d, yielding a two-out hit to O’Farrell --- but that’s followed by a bloop double from Thevenow, which propels O’Farrell (running all the way with 2 outs) around the bases and into the dugout with the game’s first run. Then Alexander finds a gap, and another run scores. 2-0 after 2.

Washburn returns the favor in the 5th inning, ripping a single with nobody on and 2 out to turn the lineup over. It’s still 2-0 at this point; Brock is up as the tying run. He draws a walk to bring Flood to the plate. Curt gets around on one and ropes it into left field, scoring Washburn; it’s 2-1 now, and Alexander takes himself out of the game. Don’t know if he’s hurt or merely drunk; whatever the case, he is out and Hi Bell is on with the go-ahead runs both on base. Bell doesn’t take much time to get loose, and it shows --- he gives up a game-tying hit to Maris and then a groundball single to Cepeda, which puts El Birdos out front 3 to 2. McCarver piles on with another RBI hit, and Shannon scorches one out to shortstop ---- right at Thevenow, who gloves it for the out. The ’68s bat around and drive 4 runs across; they lead it 4-2 now.

Washburn is not pitching his usual game; he’s allowed 6 hits in 5 innings and, more telling, isn’t getting groundballs the way he likes to (just 4 ground outs vs 9 air outs so far). He gets a groundball off the bat of Bell in the top of the 6th, and it looks like a DP ball; they get Bottomley (who led off with a single) but Bell legs out the relay and is safe. Hafey follows with a double to right, putting the tying runs into scoring position, but Washburn induces another grounder, this one hit by O’Farrell toward Shannon at 3d. The infield’s at normal depth, so Sim-Red is conceding the run ---- and Shannon boots it! Bell scores, the tying runs moves to 3d with only one out, and O’Farrell’s aboard. When Thevenow flies out to right field (for what should be the inning-ending out), Hafey trots home and the game is knotted 4-4.

Tough break for Washburn; at the very least he should still be ahead by a run and in line for a win. Instead he departs for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 6th with a no-decision; Ron Willis comes on in the 7th and issues a walk to Billy Southworth with one out; an out later, he’s off with the pitch as Bottomley swings and lifts one to right. Maris has him played deep and takes a step back, then reverses course and comes in. He comes on harder, now on the dead run, but the ball falls in at his shoetops and bounces away. He chases the ball as Southworth rounds third; Roger’s got no play there. But he does have a play on Bottomley at second. Here’s the throw ---- he’s out! But did the tag come before Southworth slid across the plate, or after? Huge call coming here . . . . and the umps rule that Southworth touched the plate first. The run counts; it’s 5-4, and El Birdos are down to their last 9 outs.

Flood leads off the bottom of the 7th with a hit, but he stands pat as Maris flies to right and then is erased on Cepeda’s 3-6-3 double play. Wayne Granger comes in to hold the line in the 8th, and he fails to --- a walk, a wild pitch, a groundout, and a hit give ’26 an insurance run. Then Maxvill throws a double-play ball away --- the 2d costly error by the St. Louis infield --- to put runners at 2d and 3d with only one out. Sim-Red moves the infield in, and Granger bears down and gets a groundout to hold the runners in place. Dick Hughes then comes on to wrap up the inning and keep the score at 6-4. But El Birdos have the bottom of the order up; they get a two-out hit from Javier but nothing else, so they’ll need two runs in the 9th. Doesn’t look good.

Uh, wait a minute . . . . . make that three runs. Southworth and Hornsby lead off with hits, and groundballs by Bottomley and Bell push the lead runner across to give Hornsby’s guys a 7-4 lead. They turn it over to Syl Johnson, who faces pinch-hitter Dick Schofield leading off. Swing and a pop-up; Bottomley has it, that’s one away. Here comes Brock, 0 for 3 with a walk and a run scored today; he lifts one to right-center, a can of corn for Billy Southworth. Here’s Curt Flood, 2 for 4 on the day. Johnson gets a couple strikes on him, then tosses a slider in the dirt that Flood can’t hold up on. O’Farrell scoops it cleanly but puts the tag on Flood, just in case; that is the inning, the ballgame, the series. The Cards’ first champs knock off the ’68 pennant winners for their second series victory in this tournament. They move on to the semifinals, where they’ll face the 1946 squad --- Hornsby v Musial, Bottomley v Slaughter. That series will get started some time this week.


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Game 6
(1964 leads, 3 games to 2)

Today’s sim is an elimination game, which makes this an opportune time for a couple of items. First up, I wanted to go over each team’s pitching lines, as it seems to me that 1934 should have an advantage in that area even if its isn’t playing out that way. Here are the totals

1964 starters 28.0 37 21 20 4 16 1 6.43
1964 relievers 16.0 26 16 16 5 8 2 9.02
1964 total 44.0 63 37 36 9 24 3 7.37

1934 starters 37.0 26 14 13 12 23 1 3.16
1934 relievers 7.1 13 12 8 4 3 4 9.86
1934 total 44.1 39 26 21 16 26 5 4.27

1934’s overall starting pitching is significantly better, but the bullpens have been equally bad in total so far. However, most of this is obviously the product of one sim, the 19-6 drubbing of Game 3. Take that one game away and 1964’s numbers become:

1964 starters 22.2 30 14 13 2 10 0 5.16
1964 relievers 12.1 12 4 4 3 6 1 2.92
1964 total 35.0 42 18 17 5 16 1 4.38/td>

The 1964 starter’s ERA less Gibson (5.16) surprised me a bit. I really expected that number to go way down without Bob’s 7 runs over 5.1 innings. However, the truth is that none of the 1964 starters have been all that great. I was equally surprised to see how well the 1964 relievers have done outside of Game 3, but then again I suppose removing 12 runs over 3.2 innings will do that. On the other hand, the 1934 bullpeners have been consistently bad. Take a look:

Jesse Haines 2.3 6 7 3 3 1 2 11.64
Dazzy Vance 2.2 2 2 2 0 2 1 6.77
James Mooney 1.2 4 3 3 1 0 1 16.27

I know this isn’t all that surprising after the two walk-off homeruns of Games 4 and 5, but I do think the math quantifies the degree of ineptitude. If 1964 wins the series, the blame will likely rest on a pair of Hall of Famers in the ’34 pen.

The second topic I wanted to cover in the pre-game is of a more personal nature. This is very likely the last round of the tournament for which I will be doing sims or writeups. And as this is an elimination game, it could be my last chance to say thanks to both Larry and everyone who has been reading. I really appreciate the chance to be involved in this. And I especially appreciate everyone who has expressed interest in the project. I am looking forward as much as anyone to seeing which team is crowned the all-time champs.

With all that written, let’s get on to the day’s sim. After a pair of walkoff homers in Games 4 and 5, 1964 is sitting pretty. Today with Bob Gibson on the hill, they will have a chance to close the series. However, first they will have to get through Paul Dean, who has been a stud (2-1, 2.21) so far in the tournament. The lineups are below.

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

The 1964s collect a hit in the first (a Lou Brock single), but Daffy induces Bill White to ground into a 4-6-3 to erase the threat. The 1934s also get their first baserunner in the first, Frankie Frisch on a walk. Ducky follows with a single to bring up Ripper Collins. The first baseman easily had his finest season in 1934. He set historic marks for homeruns (35) and slugging percentage (.615) by a switch-hitter that stood for 21 and 23 years, respectively, until both were broken by Mickey Mantle. The records held for much longer in the NL where they were broken by a pair of cheats: Howard "I cork my bat" Johnson (37 hr in 1987) and Ken "I inject my butt" Caminiti (.620 slg in 1996). In any case, Ripper lives up to both his stats and his nickname, as he rips a liner to left, scoring Frisch for a 1-0 Gas House lead.

After Paul Dean goes 1-2-3 through the second, Gibson’s troubles continue in to the second. The former movie stuntman Ernie Orsatti opens the inning with a double. However Gibby gets down to business quickly and gets Durocher, Dean, and Martin all on swinging Ks. Dean returns the favor the very next inning, sandwiching a Javier groundout with Mike Shannon and Bob Gibson Ks.

Gibson opens with a fourth consecutive swinging strikeout (this one is Jack Rothrock), but Frank Frisch doesn’t fan as easily (only 10 Ks on the year), and he reaches base on a bloop single. Ducky follows with his second single of the day, again setting up Rip Collins. The 1964 infield is at double-play depth, but Gibson seems to be going for another strikeout. He tries to get a high fastball past Collins, but the slugger is adept at making contact (only 50Ks in 657 PA). Rip knocks the pitch in the air to center. Flood makes the catch; Frisch tags; there is the throw and a play at the plate. The Flash is . . . . safe, sliding under McCarver’s tag! Next up is Bill Delancey, and with Ducky already at second (he took the base on Flood’s throw home), Sim-Keane orders the IBB for the slugging catcher. Oddly however, 1964’s infield goes back at normal depth and doesn’t seem to be looking for a double play. Perhaps it is because of Orsatti’s speed, or perhaps it’s because Gibson continues to try for strikeouts on high heat. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter, because Orsatti manages to turn on a Gibson fastball for a single. Ducky lumbers around the bases to make it a 3-0 game. Leo Durocher now stands in at the plate. Gibson falls behind in the count 3-1 and, with two men already on, Hoot is forced to give Leo "Tip Lip" something to hit. Durocher lays into a Gibson fastball and rips it into the gap in right center. Bill Delancey trots home and Ernie Orsatti races all the way around from first base. Durocher heads into 2d with a stand-up double.

Staked to a 5-0 lead, Paul Dean throws strikes fearlessly, begging the 1964s to hit them. The fourth inning is a virtual replay of the first. Flood grounds out to open the inning before Brock singles and is erased on a double play off Bill White’s bat. 1964 gets a man aboard in the fifth (McCarver on a walk), but he only gets as far as 2d before Daffy fans Shannon to end the threat. Meanwhile Gibson pitches a perfect 4th and erases a Ripper Collins single in the fifth with a double play from Bill Delancey. Daffy pitches a perfect 6th, and Gibson starts his (pitching) half of the inning by getting Orsatti to ground out. Durocher, however continues to be a thorn in Gibson’s side; he hits his second double of the day. That brings up Dean, who swings away and gets one past a diving Julian Javier to score Durocher with the Gas House’s 6th run. Gibson then gets Pepper Martin on a deep fly to right (missing a home run by an uncomfortably narrow margin) before he allows another sky ball by Rothrock. This one, however, falls in for a double and chases Gibson from the game. Glenn Hobbie comes in and gives up another single to Frisch (making it an 8-0 game) before closing the inning. It’s another terrible outing for Gibson; he only goes 5.2 innings, allowing 8 hits and 8 runs.

The next inning opens with a Lou Brock solo shot to right. Bill White and Ken Boyer follow with back to back singles before Sim-Frisch gets Jesse "Pop" Haines up in the pen; he comes into the game after Dean gets Dick Groat on a 5-4 FC. Haines gets McCarver for the second out before throwing a fat pitch to Shannon. The Moonman responds with his second homerun of the series to make the score 8-4 and put the 1964s back in the game.

But any thoughts of a 1964 rally are quashed the next inning. With one out, a single, a walk, and another single load the bases to chase Hobbie from the game. Ron Taylor comes on to face Haines, curiously batting for himself. Whatever Sim-Frisch’s madness is, there seems to be method to it, as Pop manages to drive a ball deep enough for a sacrifice putting the lead back at 5 runs. Pepper Martin then caps the rally with a single good for the Gas House Gang’s 10th run.

The final is 11-4. For the second game this series, Gibson finds himself on the wrong end of a blowout. Paul Dean didn’t pitch spectacularly, but he still gets the win. His brother, 1934’s ace Dizzy Dean, will head to the mound tomorrow in the deciding game 7. He’ll square off against a pitcher that has nearly been his equal in the sim, 1964’s Curt Simmons. So I’ll be back for at least one more game. I hope you will join me.


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Game 6
(1985 leads, 3 games to 2)

summary by cardsfanunion

As the series shifts back to the future, the ’85 Birds will turn to wacky Jack Andujar to try to close this series out. He’ll face the ’82 version of Bob Forsch at Busch 2.0. Lineups are as follows:

1982 1985
Lonnie Smith, lf Vince Coleman, lf
Tom Herr, 2b Willie McGee, cf
Keith Hernandez, 1b Tom Herr, 2b
George Hendrick, rf Jack Clark, 1b
Darrell Porter, c Andy Van Slyke, rf
Willie McGee, cf Terry Pendleton, 3b
Ken Oberkfell, 3b Darrell Porter, c
Ozzie Smith, ss Ozzie Smith, ss
Bob Forsch, p Joaquin Andujar, p

In the top of the first, Andujar retires Lonnie and Herr, before surrendering a solid single to Hernandez. Hendrick grounds a single to left, and the ’82 Birds have the beginnings of a two-out rally. But series goat (for both teams) Darrell Porter strikes out to end the frame.

In the bottom of the inning Coleman leads off with a walk and steals second. (The preceding phrase is now loaded into my Word software as a shortcut, just to ward off carpal tunnel.) McGee singles to center and Vince scores with the first run of the game. Then McGee steals second (yawn) and scores on Herr’s single to right. Clark walks, which forces Herr to second in a rather conventional fashion --- but he shows off his aggression on the paths on Van Slyke’s flyball into center, moving up to third and getting there safely with one out. The move pays off, as Herr scores on Pendleton’s subsequent flyball. Porter grounds to first to end the frame --- made the last out in both halves of the first --- but it’s 3-0 in favor of the 85ers.

Facing elimination, the ’82 Birds can ill afford to fall too far behind. They try to come back in the top of the second, as McGee reaches on an infield single and (after Oberkfell hits into a forceout) Ozzie walks. Forsch hits the ball on the nose, but it’s right to Pendleton. Lonnie K’s to end the inning.

Still 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Van Slyke singles and (what else?) steals second. Pendleton smokes a double to right, and Van Slyke scores. Then Porter, seeking to atone for his futile throwing, drills a two-run homer. The 1985s can smell it; they lead 6-0, and Forsch’s night is done. The 1982 Cardinals only hit 67 homers all season; they are gonna have to hit a lot of singles to come back from this deficit. John Martin comes on to pitch, and though he allows an Andujar single and walks Coleman, no further damage is done.

The ’82 Birds try to make a game of it in the fifth, as Lonnie triples with one out and scores on Herr’s ground-out. Hernandez and Hendrick single with two outs, bringing Porter up with a chance to redeem himself. He smokes a long fly ball, deep into right; he wouldn’t do it again, would he? Van Slyke is back, at the track . . . . . he hauls it in to end the inning. Porter gave it ride, but he just got under it. It’s 6-1 after 5.

Still feisty, the 1982s put their first two men in the top of the 6th. McGee leads off with a single, Oberkfell singles him to third, and runners are on the corners with no one out for the Wizard. No one will go crazy on this day, however --- Ozzie grounds into a double play. It scores a run but kills the rally; the inning ends with the score 6-2.

The 1985s miss a chance to get the runs back in the bottom of the frame. Two walks and a bunt set up a second-and-third, one-out situation for Coleman, but he chops one to Hernandez playing in on the grass; he holds the runner at third and tags the bag for the out. McGee grounds out to end the inning and keep the margin at 4 runs. The ’82 Birds have one last rally in them --- Porter walks and McGee singles with one out in the 8th. Oberkfell’s up; a homer would be too much to ask, but a gapper would chase two runs home and make it a game again. Instead Obie grounds it to short; Ozzie to Tommy to Jack, a 6-4-3 double play. Inning over --- and, for all intents and purposes, game and series over.

Andujar goes out there in the 9th, trying for the complete game. He retires Ozzie; Tenace grounds one the other way, but Herr ranges for to his left, dives, gloves, and throws --- a great play for the 2d out. Andujar has just enough left in the tank to heave a strike to Lonnie, who hits a wicked liner the other way ---- right into Jack Clark’s glove. That takes care of it; the 1985s are safely on to the semifinals, awaiting the winner of the 1934 v 1964 series.

During the six-game series, the ’85 Birds stole 20 bases and were caught only twice. More amazingly, the ’85 Birds did all the thieving in games 2-6, stealing none in game 1. While Porter was awful, throwing out only 2 of 17 base stealers, Tenace was no better, throwing out none of the five basestealers who tried to steal off him. Either Tim McCarver or Bill Delancey will have his hands full in the next round.