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Tournament of Champions, Round 3: day 15

apologies for the scarcity of tournament updates this weekend; i've been away from my laptop most of the time. all 4 series in action here; gibson '64 and tudor '85 are pitching, and two versions of musial ('43 and '44) are in action. full tournament results at Cardinal70's tracker page.

the summaries come after the jump.

Game 4, 1944 v 1964
Game 4, 1931 v 1985
Game 5, 1926 v 1943
Game 4, 1886 v 1934

Game 5
(series tied, 2 games each)

summary by cardsfanunion

It's an all-important Game 5, as the series is even at 2 games apiece. The 1943 Cardinals has to feel good about their chances. They have only one game remaining on the road, and they have Game 2 winner Max Lanier on the bump for Game 5. Hornsby counters with ace Flint Rhem, who struggled in Game 1, pitching only four innings before giving way to the pen. He'll pitch for redemption today. Lineups are as follows:

1943 1926
Lou Klein, 2b Taylor Douthit, cf
Harry Walker, cf Ray Blades, 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
Max Lanier, p Flint Rhem, p

Hornsby starts the scoring off with a long solo shot to left off Lanier to give the 26ers a 1st-inning lead. But the '43 Birds strike back in the top of the second: Kurowski singles to lead off the inning, advances to second on a groundout by Sanders, takes third on a wild pitch, and scores on a double by Litwhiler. After Marion is caught looking for strike three, Lanier helps his own cause by singling to left. Litwhiler scores, and the '43s lead it 2-1.

Both pitchers settle in and start throwing up goose-eggs. Well, not literally; that would be gross. The '43 Birds threaten in the fifth, loading the bases with two outs, but Kurowski finally fails in a big situation and K's with the bases drunk. All of Poland mourns. In the top of the sixth, Litwhiler drives one into the gap in left center. That ball is trouble, but Taylor Douthit is there for a tremendous diving catch. He's showing Cardinal fans why he is the all-time leader in range factor by centerfielders. At least, he leads according to Wikipedia. And no, I'm not editing the Wikipedia pages to make this more interesting. Shame on all of you for even thinking that. . . . . it remains 2-1 through the end of the 7th, as the 43s try to take a 3-2 lead in this series before the teams time-warp to 1943 to finish the series out.

Controversy as the bottom of the 8th begins: Old Southworth pulls Lanier in favor of Murry Dickson. It's a curious move, as Lanier has given up only 1 run on 3 hits, with 1 walk and five strikeouts. Lanier does not look happy about the move. If there were large orange coolers in 1926, I'd bet he'd throw one. The move looks worse after O'Farrell and Thevenow lead off with singles. After player Southworth flies out, Douthit lines a double to left center. O'Farrell scores. Here comes Thevenow . . . . . he scores, and the '26 Cards rally for a 3-2 lead. Huge hit there --- a lead-changer in the 8th inning of a 2-2 series. Southworth pulls Dickson while Lanier fumes in the dugout. Munger enters the game, and retires the 26ers. But the damage is done.

Art Reinhart pitches a 1-2-3 ninth, and the 26ers have the series lead and the momentum as we shift to 1943 for Game 6.


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Game 4
(1934 leads, 2 games to 1)

summary by Zubin

So far in this series, things have gone about as well as Sim-Frisch and the Gashouse Gang could hope for. Diz won the battle of the #1 starters in game 1, and Walker did likewise against fellow #2 Bob Caruthers in Game 2. Game 3 was a Brownie victory, but it was close; #3 starter Paul Dean held his own against a strongly favored Dave Foutz. With the next two pitching match ups favoring the 1934s (Dizzy Dean v. Caruthers today and Walker v. Hudson tomorrow), I'd say that there is a pretty good chance the Gashouse Gang can end it at home. Today's lineups:

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
Bob Caruthers, p Dizzy Dean, p

The Gashouse Gang starts the scoring in the bottom of the first. Martin leads off with a flyball single and breaks for 2d with Rothcock at bat. Bushong's throw is wild, and the Wild Hoss of the Osage scampers all the way to 3d. Rothcock then singles to drive Martin in for a quick 1-0 Cardinal lead. Then Frisch guides one through the hole on the right side to put two on for Medwick. With the Browns looking for a double play, Ducky sizzles one on the ground towards short. Bill Gleason dives for it, but the ball is just out of reach and Rotchcock comes around to score. Its 2-0, nobody's out, and nothing has broken the way of the Browns. But that changes with the next batter: Collins grounds one to Robinson, who looks Frisch back to 3d and then makes a chest high throw to 2d to get Medwick by a step. The relay back to first is in plenty of time to get lead-foot Collins. Caruthers then issues the free pass to Bill Delancey and faces Ernie Orsatti. Caruthers' first pitch is up in the zone, and Orsatti crushes the ball to center. Welch races back to the track, then to the wall . . . . he makes the catch 420 feet from the plate to end the inning.

The Browns run themselves out of a rally the second. With one out, Welch doubles and swipes 3d. With Robinson, a skilled bat-handler, at the plate, a run seems assured. But Welch goes on contact when Robinson hacks at a Dean curve; the ball hops straight to Pepper Martin, who throws home without hesitation to get Welch on a tag at the plate. Then Robinson is nailed trying to steal 2d; two men lost on the basepaths, no runs across. It hurts all the more when the Cardinals score again in the next frame. Rothcock and Frisch open the frame with singles, and Medwick makes a bid for a three-run homer but hits it too short and too foul. One out. Caruthers and the Browns are looking for a DP off the bat of Collins, but instead he grounds one up the middle to score Rothcock. The next batter, Delancey, doubles to center and Frisch scores. Already trailing 4-0, with two runners in scoring position and only one out, Sim-Commy brings the infield in against Ernie Orsatti. Caruthers pitches, and Orsatti smokes a liner right at Comiskey for the second out. The light hitting Leo Durocher is then up; he grounds the ball softy to 3d. It should end the inning, but Latham boots the ball and Durocher reaches on the E5 as Rip Collins scores the Cardinals' 5th run.

The Browns get on the board in the 6th. Latham leads off with a bunt single and swipes 2d, then scores on Gleason's single. An out later, Comiskey grounds one up the middle to put two on and give the Browns an opportunity to make this a close game again. But they fail to capitalize: Welch grounds into a 4-6 FC, Robinson strikes out, and the score remains 5-1 Cards.

But not for long. In the bottom of the same inning, Rothcock, Frisch, Medwick and Collins hit consecutive one-out singles to bring home a pair of runs, and Delancey follows with a sac fly to pick up the 3d of the inning. And with two outs, in a replay of the 3d inning, Latham boots a Durocher ground ball to let another run home. Not a good day for Latham, but an even worse one for Parsian Bob on the mound: 5.2 ip, 15h, 1bb, 9r, 7er. Sim-Commy finally pulls him from the game and brings in Jumbo McGinnis.

Staked to a 9-1 lead, Dizzy Dean pretty much cruises the rest of the way. Collins adds a tally on a solo homer in the eighth, and the Browns score a single run in the ninth to make the final 10-2. Frisch is named the star of the game for his 4 hits, and it's another impressive outing for Dean: in two starts this series he has allowed only 3 runs on 11 hits.

He'll be rested for Game 7 if it gets that far. The 1934s now lead the series 3-1 and stand a single win away from advancing.


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Game 4
(1964 leads, 2 games to 1)

summary by giveml

The 1944 Cardinals have their swagger back after pounding out twelve hits and six runs in Game 3. Billy Southworth is confident the pitching depth in his rotation will begin to make a difference as he sends a fresh Ted Wilks to the hill. Wilks was a very determined man who didn't make it to the big leagues until the 1944 season when he was already 28 years old. The 5'9' Wilks wasn't going to dominate the hitters --- he only had 70 strikeouts in over 200 innings pitched --- but he was still a very effective pitcher. He parlayed his 21 starts into a 17-4 record with 16 complete games and a 1.07 WHIP. According to Joe Garagiola, "Ted Wilks' temperament was perfect, his makeup ideal --- strong, durable, without fear . . . . . He never walked himself into trouble, and he never thought himself into trouble. He threw strikes and knew no fear."

Johnny Keane counters with Mr. Swagger himself, Bob Gibson. Gibby shut the '44s down in Game 1 and seems like a good bet to boost his team to a 3-1 series lead. He has pitched effectively on short rest in the postseason and is eager to show Keane he can go nine innings. Gibson was not pleased at being removed after six in the first game and has had his game face on for two days.

The managers meet at home plate to turn in the lineup cards. There are no surprises as Southworth stands pat and Keane reverts to the same lineup he used against the right-handed Cooper in Game 1.

1944 1964
Danny Litwhiler, lf Curt Flood, cf
Johnny Hopp, cf Lou Brock, lf
Stan Musial, rf Bill White, 1b
Walker Cooper, c Ken Boyer, 3b
Ray Sanders, 1b Dick Groat, ss
Whitey Kurowski, 3b Tim McCarver, c
Marty Marion, ss Julian Javier, 2b
Emil Verban, 2b Mike Shannon, rf
Mort Cooper, p Bob Gibson, p

The `64s take the field and Danny Litwhiler steps in against Gibby. Maybe Hoot is a little too fired up; the first four men hit singles against him, giving Southworth's club a 2-0 lead before the crowd has even settled in. McCarver calls time to visit the mound. He knows Gibson hates it when he goes out to the mound, but he needs to give Gibby a chance to regroup and break the hitters' rhythm. Gibson says something profane and McCarver nods and trots back behind the dish.

The strategy seems to work as Ray Sanders goes down swinging on a high hard one. One little ground ball could end the inning. Kurowski obliges by hitting one on the ground, but it is a swinging bunt. Boyer barehands and fires to first too late to get the hustling Kurowski, leaving the sacks jammed for Marion. Gibson carves up Marion with a couple of high hard ones and then a slider away for the strikeout. Hardly any contact for the last three hitters; Gibby has pulled himself together nicely. He give Verban the same treatment he gave Marion, gets him in an 0-2 hole and throws him a slider. However, Verban was paying attention to Marion's at-bat and is looking for the slider. It doesn't bite like it should, and Verban lines it over Javier's head for a single, driving in both Musial and Cooper. The '64 fans sit stunned as Wilks strikes out for the final out. Their beloved Birds run into the dugout trailing 4-0.

Wilks attacks the '64s like a pitcher with a four-run lead. He gets Flood to chase strike three on a fastball up and out of the zone and strikes out Brock as well. Bill White fouls off a couple of pitches before watching helplessly on an 0-2 breaking ball on the black. The `44s race into the dugout, looking to pick up where they left off --- and they do. Litwhiler leads off by tomahawking a high, inside pitch down the left field line. Th drive just clears the 351 sign on its way into the bleachers. 5-0. No one is surprised, especially not Johnny Hopp, when the very next pitch plunks the '44 center fielder in the leg. But he shows no ill effects, gliding around to third when Musial rips a fastball into right on the next pitch. The cleanup hitter Cooper stands in, and Gibson needs a strike out or a pop up in the worst way. Being the run producer that he is, Cooper fights him off and puts the ball in play, a slow roller to Groat. He fields the ball cleanly and retires the hitter, but Hopp scores to make it 6-0 and Musial advances to second.

The '64 fans can't believe their eyes, but Keane gets Ray Washburn up in the bullpen. Gibby notices and puts a little extra zip on his fastball as he attacks Sanders with a vengeance. Sanders strikes out swinging on a 3-2 count, putting Gibby one out away from getting out of the jam. He attacks Kurowski as well, getting ahead in the count 1-2. He tries to put him away with a slider, but the veteran Kurowski takes it the other way for a base hit just out of White's reach. Musial scores on the play, and Keane decides he's seen enough --- his team trails 7-0, and Kenny Boyer hasn't even gotten to bat yet. He summons Washburn. Gibson fumes. Just not his day.

Wilks seems to have lost a bit of focus with the big lead. He normally possesses pinpoint control, but inexplicably walks both Boyer and White to bring up McCarver. Determined not to fall behind again, he fires a get-me-over pitch and the left-handed hitting catcher promptly drives it past Sanders into right. Boyer races home to put the `64s on the board, while Groat advances to third and McCarver takes second on the throw home. The next hitter, Javier, hits a two-hopper to Kurowski at third, but Whitey can't find the handle and everyone is safe. Groat scores on the miscue to make it 7-2 and Boyer moves up to third. Javier, who only stole nine bases during the '64 season, attempts his fourth steal of the series, but Cooper guns him down easily for the first out of the inning. (What was the sim thinking there?) Shannon does his best to pick him up by looping a fly ball in front of Litwhiler in left for an RBI single that makes it 7-3. After Washburn sacrifices Shannon to second Wilks gets out of the inning by inducing Flood to ground out to short. Nice rally, but if not for the bone-headed steal attempt it could have been even better.

Washburn sets the `44s down in order in the third; still a lot of game left. White shows as much, rocketing a ball into the left-field corner. Litwhiler makes an ill-advised dive for the ball, and it skips by him and goes to the wall. The left fielder is momentarily dazed, and by the time he tracks the ball down White has circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run. The deficit is now down to three; it's 7-4.

Washburn is sailing along in his third inning of work, retiring both Hopp and Musial on easy grounders. But Walker Cooper has other ideas as he smokes a liner over Groat's head into left center. Brock hustles over and makes a good play to hold him to a single. Ray Sanders, who struck out twice against Gibson, gets the measure of the tiring Washburn and triples off the center field wall, restoring the cushion to four.

It stays there thorugh six innings. Ron Taylor starts the seventh by grooving a fastball to Ray Sanders. He takes advantage of the friendly dimensions in right center to hit his third homer of the series, making it 9-4. That's still the score in the bottom of the eighth when Johnny Lewis leads off, pinch-hitting against Al Jurisich. He has appeared in every game this series and has thrown 99 pitches so far, getting tagged with two losses and five earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. He gets ahead of Lewis 0-2 but makes a waste pitch just a little too good, and Lewis slaps it into the left field corner for a lead-off double. After Flood grounds out, Brock manages to fist a Texas Leaguer into short right, scoring Lewis. Brock is thinking two all the way and slides hard into second with a double. The lead has been cut to 9-5 with the heart of the order coming up and one out; there's still time. White brings the crowd to its feet with a drive into right field, but Stan the Man glides back and makes the play, with Brock advancing to third. Boyer, who entered the game hitting .714 for the series, is hitless on the day. The fans are looking for him to make something happen. Jurisch challenges him, and Boyer hits a rope that is headed toward left field, but the 6'2" Marion leaps and snags the ball in the webbing of his glove to end the inning.

Mike Cuellar comes on to pitch the ninth. Cuellar would eventually be traded to the St. Louis Browns, er Baltimore Orioles, in the 1968 season and went on to win 125 games for the O's in the six years from 1969-1974, claiming a Cy Young award for the AL champs in 1969 when he went 23-11 with a 2.38 ERA . This is Cuellar's third appearance in the series, and the `44s have yet to get a hit off of him. Kurowski doesn't get one either --- but he does draw a walk leading off. Marion grounds a single through the right side, with Kurowski taking third. Cuellar gets the light-hitting Verban to pop up and then strikes out the pitcher Jurisch, but Litwhiler picks up his mates with a line drive into left that scores Kurowski. Keane sees that Cuellar doesn't have it today and goes to the mound where he signals for---Ernie Broglio!! The '44 bench howls, and Southworth storms out of the dugout. Even though Southworth hasn't managed a big league club since 1951, he knows that Broglio and Brock can't be on the field together; they were traded for each other! Eventually Southworth cools off; he's ahead by a bunch of runs, and you can't outargue the simulator. Broglio gives up an RBI single to Hopp to make it 11-5 before retiring his former teammate Musial to end the inning.

Jurisich sets down McCarver, Javier, and Shannon in order in the ninth for the save. Ted Wilks is named player of the game for his fine performance. The series is knotted at two games apiece, with the visiting team having won each game so far in the series.


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Game 4
(1985 leads, 3 game to 0)

summary by lboros

The 1931s had their chances in Game 3; they held two leads and took a 9-8 advantage into the bottom of the 8th inning. But you can't like their chances now. They've allowed 34 runs in 3 games and must sweep it from here on out. I'm surprised they've been such easy pickings for the 1985s; as I said at the outset, the 1931 team set a new Cardinal record for winning percentage. In this series, though, they're still at .000.

Andy High really sparked the 1931 offense out of the leadoff spot in Game 3, but he's back on the bench for Game 4. Sim-Gabby Street gives the ball to Syl Johnson, a bit player on 4 Cardinal pennant winners ('26 '28 '30 and '31). In 1931 he set or tied career bests in starts, ERA, bb/9, and k/bb ratio. He's opposed by John Tudor, who established career bests in just about everything in 1985.

1931 1985
Sparky Adams, 3b Vince Coleman, lf
Wally Roettger, rf Willie McGee, cf
Frank Frisch, 2b Tom Herr, 2b
Jim Bottomley, 1b Jack Clark, 1b
Chick Hafey, lf Andy Van Slyke, rf
Pepper Martin, cf Darrell Porter, c
Jimmie Wilson, c Terry Pendleton, 3b
Charlie Gelbert, ss Ozzie Smith, ss
Syl Johnson, p John Tudor, p

For the 4th game in a row, Whitey's team jumps on top --- Coleman walks, McGee hits into a force but then steals second, and Herr strokes a single to make it 1-0. But this time the 1931s have an immediate answer: In the top of the 2d Bottomley singles, Hafey doubles him home, and then Wilson knocks in the go-ahead run on an RBI hit. It's 2-1 for the 1931s after 2.

In the bottom of the 3d Vince Coleman singles; he's been relatively quiet in the series. Then he steals 2d and comes around on a bloop hit by McGee to tie it up. Tudor breezes through the 4th and 5th --- he's found his groove --- and Coleman ignites things again in the 6th with a single to right, his 3d time on base in this game. As in the first, McGee reaches on a forceout, but then steals 2d and comes around to score on a hit by Tom Herr. An out later, Van Slyke collects a two-out hit to make it 4-2. The series is sliding inevitably toward a sweep.

Gabby's guys try to fend it off in the next half-inning, putting two men on with one out. But Tudor pulls the string on Bottomley and gets him to beat a changeup into the ground; 4-6-3, threat over. He sets them down in order in the 7th, putting the '85s within 6 outs. In the bottom half, Herr and Clark lead off with walks against the new 1931 pitcher, Jim Lindsey. Van Slyke's grounder forces Clark at second but sends Herr on the 3d; Porter flies out to left and Tommy trots home to make it 5-2. Pendleton and Ozzie follow with walks to load the bases for Tudor; a pinch-hitter might break the game open, but Whitey's no fool. Tudor bats for himself and whiffs, taking the 3-run lead into the 8th --- which he completes in a handful of pitches, setting the side down in order.

If there's any suspense remaining, it's eliminated in the bottom of the inning: Whitey's team tacks on 3 more, with Clark and Porter driving in the runs. Tudor comes out and gets the last 3 in order, finishing off the game by retiring the last 10 men in a row. The composite score for the series: 1985s 42, 1931s 14. It's easily the most one-sided result of the tournament.

This sets up a Whitey vs Whitey confrontation in the quarterfinals --- the 1982 vs the 1985s. Ozzie vs Ozzie, Willie vs Willie, Joaquin vs Joaquin ---- lotta running and bunting and basestealing. Should be entertaining.