Fantasy “All Time” Cardinals Playoff Thread

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  • #179543
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Votes are trickling in, but I’m hearing that the competition is fierce. Any number of teams could come out on top still, as these rosters are incredible!

    #179560
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    24 hours are left to vote! There’s still time to get your tally in. I’ll post the list of series tomorrow, and games will begin tomorrow evening!

    #179571
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Voting has closed. I’m just waiting to make sure no votes have come in since the last update, and then the games can begin! Before then, here is your playoff schedule:

    Play In Series (Jan 29-31)

    1. Peoria Cardinals vs Casper Cardinals

    Quarterfinals (Feb 1-12)

    2. Galena Cardinals vs Jamestown Cardinals

    3. Springfield Cardinals vs Louisville Redbirds

    4. Peoria/Casper winner vs Northwest Arkansas Redbirds

    5. Memphis Cardinals vs Little Rock Cardinals

    Semifinals (Feb 13-18)

    6. Quarterfinal Winners 2&3

    7. Quarterfinal Winners 4&5

    Cardinals Series (Feb 19-21)

    8. Semifinal Winners

    #179576
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Two really strong rosters in the play-in series.
    If they had met in the finals it wouldn’t have surprised me.

    #179577
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Two really strong rosters in the play-in series.
    If they had met in the finals it wouldn’t have surprised me.

    I agree, very strong indeed. Fwiw, the draw was randomly generated, including the opponent for the play in winner. The voting was pretty close, with the possibility that any of the #1-5 choices could have been #1 had we gotten one more vote in. I believe every team got voted on multiple ballots, as well. I think as a whole we did a great job of putting together quality teams. It should be fun to play it out.

    #179580
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Play In Series (Best of 3) Game 1

    Casper Cardinals at Peoria Cardinals

    It’s a day full of pomp and pageantry as the first ever All Time Cardinals Playoffs gets underway! The gentlemen and women, boys and girls of Peoria are out in droves to take in an elite matchup of the Peoria Cardinals vs the Casper Cardinals. Prior to the game, the commissioner of the league, Brian Walton, throws out the first pitch and a number of prominent Cardinal legends give short speeches fitting the momentous occasion that this is! PugsleyAddams and his curmudgeonly sidekick ratsbuddy are working the mic for today’s game. Truly, this is a “red jacket” event as the stadium is a sea of red shades, with streets lined with onlookers who eagerly await the result of every pitch.

    Your game time temperature is 72 degrees, with a slight breeze blowing from left to right field at Dozer Park. It would take a truly gargantuan shot, but we’ve heard reports of local youth congregating on Peoria Lake in hopes that perhaps Stan the Man will knock a ball clean into the clear waters of Illinois’ finest inland waterway.

    Your lineups for the day, sponsored by OSF Saint Francis Medical Center:

    Casper Cardinals, managed by Johnny Keane

    L – Jose Cruz – CF
    R – Eddie Stanky – 2B
    L – Stan Musial – RF
    R – Joe Medwick – LF
    L – Jim Bottomley – 1B
    R – Joe Torre – 3B /R
    R – Roger Bresnahan – C
    R – Dick Groat – SS /R
    P – RHP Mordecai Brown

    Peoria Cardinals, managed by Billy Southworth

    R – Curt Flood, CF
    R – Minnie Minoso, LF
    R – Rogers Hornsby, 2B
    L – Johnny Mize, 1B
    L – Enos Slaughter, RF
    R – Whitey Kurowski, 3B
    R – Walker Cooper, C
    R – Al Dark, SS
    P- RHP Grover Cleveland Alexander

    The ump calls out, “play ball!” and off we go! The top of the 1st is uneventful as the two sides are feeling each other out. Grover Cleveland Alexander gives up a sharp rap in the form of a Stan Musial single to right with two out, but he battens down the hatches and collects a grounder by Joe Medwick that Al Dark collects and tosses to first to finish the inning. In the bottom of the inning, the Peoria side strikes first, as Minnie Minoso works a 1 out walk on a 3-2 pitch juuuust off the plate, much to the chagrin of “Three Finger” Mordecai Brown, followed by league Player of the Year Rogers Hornsby slapping a single to left. Johnny Mize then drives Minoso in with a sac fly to right, and it’s 1-0 Peoria! Alexander tightens things up and strikes out the next two Peorians to keep it 1-0 after 1. Our second and third innings are dominated by the pitching side as the two stalwarts duel into the fourth inning.

    In the top of the 4th, Casper gets back on the board as Stan the Man doesn’t quite knock one into Peoria Lake, but he does fatten the hopes of the small Casper contingent on hand as he knocks a 2-2 heater over the right center field wall to tie the game at 1! The Peoria nine battle back in the bottom of the very same inning, with a run saved only by a heady play by Casper third baseman Joe Torre. With one out and runners on first and third, a sharp grounder to his right pushes our hero slightly off kilter, but not enough that he can’t make a savvy throw home to nab the runner at the plate, thus preserving the tie.

    Emotions ebb and flow through the fifth and sixth frames, with each pitcher surrendering a base runner; however, a fine play by Curt Flood in the gap robs Dick Groat to end the fifth, and Groat pays Flood back with a slick double play to stifle the Peoria sixth.

    Remaining deadlocked at 1 going to the 7th, Billy Southworth decides to go with one of his relievers to save Grover Cleveland’s arm a little. In comes Lance Lynn, who is rudely greeted by Stan Musial’s third base hit of the contest. It seems that Stan is slightly peeved that Hornsby got Player of the Year (thanks to his highest rate of WAR/year of anyone in the league), but in this world, it’s all in good fun. Stan advances on a pitch that Walker Cooper can’t corral, and we are in business! Joe Medwick does his job to move Stan to third on a grounder to second base. Now it’s Jim Bottomley with the key base knock, a dandy of a swat into the right field gap! He ends up on second base and the Casper Cardinals lead it 2-1! Lynn then gets himself out of the jam and we move to the bottom half with the locals getting a little restless. Their hopes immediately are bolstered by a tremendous output from the Peoria offense off Mordecai Brown to begin the bottom of the 7th. Minnie Minoso smacks a single, followed by a Rogers Hornsby double, as he warms to the chase. Minoso scores easily and it’s 2-2. Hornsby steals third to set up a fly ball from Johnny Mize, his second RBI of the game. It’s 3-2, Peoria. The crowd goes wild! Keane is out to talk to Brown, and it’s decided that he should stay in and see if he can give it a go. Enos Slaughter gives one a charge, nearly hitting it over the fence, but it bounces off the top and Slaughter ends on second. He scores on a Whitey Kurowski single and it’s 4-2, with the Peoria faithful’s cheer being heard clean across the highway at the Peoria zoo, where children gather around the park radios to catch the action. Mordecai is relegated to the bullpen as Slim Sallee cleans up the mess and the Casper side attempts to mount a comeback.

    It is not to be, as Lance Lynn is followed by Jason Isringhausen, with both throwing darts of increasing intensity while the home fans roar louder and louder through the eighth and ninth. A Bottomley walk in the ninth provides a slight glimmer of hope as Torre strides to the plate as the tying run. However, Izzy closes the door with a 6-3 grounder and the Peoria Cardinals take the 1-0 series lead!!

    #179581
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    For me the SP matchup favored Peoria, but I began to wonder if Southworth had overmanage when he pulled Alexander after 6 IP.

    #179582
    forsch31
    Participant

    Free

    If all the write-ups are this good, this is going to be fun to follow.

    #179583
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    I was so pissed when he pulled Alexander, I broke my transistor on the driveway and had to go in and sit by the console to finish the game.

    #179584
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    For me the SP matchup favored Peoria, but I began to wonder if Southworth had overmanage when he pulled Alexander after 6 IP.

    The sabr crowd was too loud, I guess! Being that there are players from all different eras, it’s fun to try to imagine how they’d match up. Pitchers, especially, wouldn’t be likely to be able to “ease up” with these lineups. That said, with the offensive and pitching quality being almost a dead heat, I think you’ll see all types of games play out in these series.

    #179585
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Something I thought of tonight…would you rather see the games played out series by series, or game by game? Meaning, there will be one game per day but would you rather see each series finish before the next starts, or alternate across series? So after this first series, one day would be Galena vs Jamestown Game 1, the next Springfield vs Louisville Game 1, etc. I’ll leave it up to the community to decide their preference.

    #179586
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Series by series would allow us to assimilate the rosters better…I think.

    #179587
    forsch31
    Participant

    Free

    If I understand correctly, after the Peoria vs. Casper series, you would either do like you describe in your last post OR you would do Galena vs. Jamestown series, game-by-game, until that series is done and then on to the next series. If so, I would rather see the Galena vs. Jamestown complete series before moving on to Springfield vs. Louisville. That kind of gives each series a sort of World Series feel.

    #179594
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    A couple of lefties take the mound today. Harry Brecheen (Peoria) vs Bobby Shantz (Casper).

    Brecheen, a 5war pitcher over a 162 game avg and a 133 career era+, while Shantz logged 3.1war over 162 and a 119 career era+.

    The SP matchup again favors Peoria but Casper has a highly platoonable lineup and knows the series is on the line….

    #179596
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I also vote for series by series. I think it will enhance the drama and be a little easier to remember who has done what.

    #179598
    kscardfan
    Participant

    Free

    Tastes great. Less filling. I feel strongly both ways. Game on.

    #179599
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Ok, we will go on with the way I planned it originally (series by series). Look for game 2 between Peoria and Casper later on.

    #179600
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Play In Series Game 2

    It is never a comfortable feeling in “do or die,” but the Casper Cardinals find themselves in just such a position as they square off against the Peoria Cardinals for supremacy in the play in series game 2. Luckily for them, the friendly confines of Mike Lansing Field await them. The “Coliseum of the North Platte” is a place where many hopes and dreams have died before, with Johnny Keane’s bunch hoping that history will once again play out in Casper. Pitchers beware, we have a fresh breeze from the west for today’s affair, and it is unsure if the 400 foot center field will be able to handle a “squared up” fly ball! The fans, however, are quite comfortable despite the 80 degree high, thanks to the aforementioned breeze.

    Your lineups, sponsored by Floyd’s Truck Center:

    Peoria Cardinals, managed by Billy Southworth

    R – Curt Flood, CF
    R – Minnie Minoso, LF
    R – Rogers Hornsby, 2B
    L – Johnny Mize, 1B
    L – Enos Slaughter, RF
    R – Whitey Kurowski, 3B
    R – Walker Cooper, C
    R – Al Dark, SS
    L – Harry Brecheen, LHP

    Casper Cardinals, managed by Johnny Keane

    R – Eddie Stanky – 2B
    R – Roger Bresnahan – C
    L – Stan Musial – RF
    R – Joe Medwick – LF
    R – Joe Torre – 3B
    R – Ed Konetchy – 1B
    L – Vada Pinson – CF
    R – Dick Groat – SS
    L – Bobby Shantz – LHP

    The first inning is a wild beginning, as Peoria starts with consecutive hits by Flood, Minoso and Hornsby. Unfortunately, all three are singles. Johnny Mize faces a tough lefty in Shantz, but he manages to (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) fly out to right for his third RBI of the series and a 1-0 lead. Shantz gets Slaughter to chase one low and away and it appears that he may just sneak out of it without much damage. However, Whitey Kurowski raps one into left field, which gives Peoria a 2-0 lead. But we aren’t done. Walker Cooper drives one deep, but not out…the double still scores Hornsby for a 3-0 advantage to the visitors. The top of the first ends that way. In the bottom half, the home team roars back, with Stanky and Bresnahan finding themselves on base for Stan, who has three hits in four at bats in the series. Brecheen stands and fires, fooling Musial with one pitch after another. A wry smile may even be visible as the old teammates share a laugh after the strikeout. However, Musial is the one smiling only moments later when the wind catches a well struck fly ball by Joe “Ducky” Medwick, causing it to sail over the 355 sign in left, tying the game at 3!! The pride of Broken Brow, Oklahoma settles down and gets out of the inning without more damage.

    Yet, mother nature gets her way, as we often see in these cases. Home runs by Vada Pinson for the home team and Minnie Minoso by the visiting side dot the second and third innings, with the difference being the Casper belt being with a man on base, for a 5-4 Casper lead heading to the fourth. Bobby Shantz must be remembering his youthful days on the banks of the North Platte’s cousin, the Schuylkill (pronounced skoo-kl) River as he strikes out the side in the fourth, setting down Peoria in order for the first time. Casper then grabs control, knocking Harry the Cat out of the game with a barrage of base knocks, with three ultimately scoring on a double by Ed Konetchy and a single by Dick Groat. It’s 8-4 going to the 5th.

    Billy Southworth’s plucky bunch didn’t come all the way to Casper for naught, as they fight back in the fifth. Rogers Hornsby lines one into the gap between Pinson and Medwick and it bounces oddly off the wall, leaving Rogers on third base standing to lead off. He scores on a single by Mize, who finally collects his first hit of the series despite having 4 RBI in two games. Mize sneakily catches Shantz daydreaming of Pennsylvania as he swipes second base, scoring two batters later on a single by Walker Cooper. It’s 8-6 halfway through, and it appears this one will be a battle of the bullpens! Peoria likes the results from game 1 late, so they bring in Lance Lynn for relief. What sweet relief it is, as he sandwiches two Ks around a grounder to keep within reach.

    In the sixth, the new Casper pitcher is righty Burleigh Grimes. Grimes cleans up, with a walk of Curt Flood the only blemish on his frame. Casper keeps up the pressure in their own half of the sixth, with Stan Musial slapping one off the right field wall, prevented from going out only thanks to the low trajectory of his missile. Lance Lynn gets the next two hitters, only for pinch hitter Jim Bottomley to ground one up the middle to score Stan from second, for a 9-6 lead.

    The seventh inning is uneventful, given the stakes. Both Grimes and Lynn appear settled, with three strikeouts dotting the box score between them. In the eighth, the tables turn. Peoria strikes first, with Enos Slaughter singling to right. An unfortunate errant pickoff throw set him on second, but it doesn’t matter much as Walker Cooper hits a no doubter to center field for a 9-8 tally! Peoria is feeling it as they pinch hit Lonnie Smith with two outs and he nearly ties it, turning on the jets on a gapper to wind up on third. It’s 9-8 with two out and Curt Flood at the plate! In an unorthodox move, Keane brings in lefty Slim Sallee to face righty Flood. It works, as Sallee dots the corner on a 2-2 pitch for the punchout and a slender lead into the bottom of the 8th. Casper’s finest are uneasy. Children are packed onto the field at Crossroads park, hoping that they can hear the game over the loudspeaker from the stadium next door. Families gather around their TVs to watch the game with bated breath. In short, they need a hero to stanch the bleeding. The bottom of the 8th brings one. The new pitcher is none other than game 1 starter, Pete “Grover Cleveland” Alexander. He faces off against Eddie Stanky, who works a walk. Catcher Roger Bresnahan grounds out productively, moving Stanky to second. The next batter is Stan Musial. The battle is intense between the two Hall of Famers. Stan fouls off good pitch after good pitch. After 8 pitches and an 0-2 count, Stan finally gets one he can work with, a fastball over the inner half of the plate. He doesn’t miss, launching the ball deep over the right field wall for an 11-8 Casper advantage!! The spectators are in a state of stunned euphoria as one lucky fan makes like Willie Mays, just preventing the ball from bouncing into the North Platte with some fine glovework. This 490 foot shot will not be lost to history. Alexander knows he’s met his match, but sometimes you just tip your cap to a well fought battle. Anyway, back to the action…the rest of the 8th goes on with little action, save the constant murmur of the fans packing the stands.

    Peoria’s final chance is in the top of the 9th. Harry Franklin “Slim” Sallee has a slick delivery that syncs with his slender frame, and Peoria is soon down to their final chance. Rogers Hornsby singles, which brings Johnny Mize to the plate again with a chance to do damage. Mize takes a mighty cut, and lifts a fly ball to center…but he got under it just a bit and it falls into the mitt of Vada Pinson, sealing the 11-8 Casper win and a 1-1 series tie as we head back to Peoria!!

    #179612
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Tonight’s pitching matchup will be LHP Bob Caruthers vs RHP Larry Jackson in the rubber game! Who’s excited??

    #179614
    kscardfan
    Participant

    Free

    I’m betting Cards win. Any takers?

    #179622
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    I’m rooting Redbirds, but not with a betting confidence.

    #179623
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    I really contemplated drafting Jackson for about three strait rounds at one point. Many sites listed him as a top all time starter in Cardinal history.

    #179625
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Wow, great write ups and fabulous series so far. I do have to say though, word is the Casper owner, the CEO of Marathon Oil, is none-too-happy that their club, thinking that they had the goods to compete for the tournament title, only made the play-in round.

    A loss to Peoria, as solid as that club is, likely means the axe to General Manager Bike Mike. So there could very well be at least one GM position open after this tournament. Rumors also circulate that if Bike Mike is fired, manager Johnny Keane will not be back either.

    #179627
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    You’re a goner dude! I got Peoria in this one. Stan cools off and Hornsby has a thing about waiting for next season.

    #179628
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Play In Series Game 3

    It’s a beautiful day in Peoria, with the air cooling to a crisp autumnal finish and the citizens of the fine city atwitter as their team prepares for the evening’s game “under the lights” of Dozer Park. The local schools have let out early so everyone can be home for supper and over to the field in time for the 7 PM start. It’s a mild 65 degrees as the first pitch approaches, with the breeze a non-factor. A packed house of 8500 is to be expected to catch this colossal clash between Casper and Peoria. Nay, but the officials in town are saying that the stadium is stuffed to the gills with some 12,000 fanatics! Another 10,000 pack the streets around the field and it’s estimated that nine in every ten households in the town has tuned in tonight over the radio or television. The rest are Cubs fans.

    Your lineups, brought to you by Brienzo’s Wood Fired Pizza on East Marietta, for all your gametime pizza needs:

    Casper Cardinals, managed by Johnny Keane:

    L – Jose Cruz – CF
    R – Eddie Stanky – 2B
    L – Stan Musial – RF
    R – Joe Medwick – LF
    L – Jim Bottomley – 1B
    R – Joe Torre – 3B /R
    R – Roger Bresnahan – C
    R – Dick Groat – SS /R
    L – Bob Caruthers – LHP

    Peoria Cardinals, managed by Billy Southworth:

    R – Curt Flood, CF
    R – Minnie Minoso, LF
    R – Rogers Hornsby, 2B
    L – Johnny Mize, 1B
    L – Enos Slaughter, RF
    R – Whitey Kurowski, 3B
    R – Walker Cooper, C
    R – Al Dark, SS
    R – Larry Jackson, RHP

    The fans are roaring at the first pitch, with Jackson pumping a strike over the plate. The noise becomes a problem after the first two batters, with Stan Musial striding to the plate following two consecutive outs by his teammates. The umpire, the notorious Joe West, stands back and admonishes the home town fans, noting that the fire marshal may need to be called out for failing to keep the mass from overflowing the stadium capacity. Stan temporarily quiets the crowd with a stroked single into right field, but Jackson thwarts the rally with a grounder to end the top of the first. Peoria likewise goes quietly in the first, with Hornsby drawing a walk and Mize going down on strikes to end the first frame.

    The second is similarly silent, with the only action a single by Whitey Kurowski in the home side of the inning. The third stays the same, and the fans have settled into the mid inning doldrums. Or so they think. In the top of the fourth, Jackson blinks first. The order has turned over and Eddie Stanky leads things off. He quickly takes two pitches off the plate, before turning on the 2-0 off speed pitch and lining it out into the bleachers in left field! The home crowd sits, stunned by the display of power from a man who went years without putting any over the fence. Stan further quiets the crowd with a rousing double into the gap in right field. He finishes on second and eventually scores on a Bottomley single to make it 2-0. The crowd is brought back into the game in the bottom of the fourth, as the Peoria team finds a way to halve the lead on a Minoso single and a Mize double. It’s 2-1 as we head to the 5th.

    In this middle inning, “Parisian” Bob Caruthers strides to the plate. Caruthers is no rube with the bat, as he swats a mistake out into the gap in right field! He runs like a deer and hugs third base with one out! Jose Cruz plates him with a single and it’s 3-1 Casper at the half way point. The bottom of the fifth brings a decision for Peoria. Jackson has finished a mere five frames, but the team finds itself with a first and third, one out situation after back to back singles by Cooper and Dark. Southworth makes the call and we have a pinch hitter…Lonnie Smith. “Skates” makes Southworth look brilliant as he singles in Cooper to make it 3-2. Caruthers now faces off against Flood, who singles again to make it 3-3. He finishes off the inning without further issue, but the home crowd is now amped up for their team’s fight!

    The sixth inning brings a lull as the new Peoria pitcher is, once again, Grover Cleveland Alexander. He sets the Casper contingent down in order, and Caruthers finishes his game off by doing the same in the bottom half. As we enter the seventh, the local TV stations are all waiting outside the park to catch whatever action they can. The fans are so loud that the birds aren’t even flying over the stadium. Even the mosquitos appear to have taken cover, but we can’t say that for sure.

    Casper nearly strikes in the top of the seventh. Alexander wanders slightly over the plate, and Bottomley slaps a double into right. With one out, the batter is Joe Torre…he lines one into center field! Bottomley is around third and here comes the throw to the plate…Flood to Cooper nabs him! It stays 3-3 as Torre advances to second on the throw. Alexander gets the strikeout to end the inning and we go to the bottom of the seventh. Your new Casper hurler is Mordecai Brown. Curt Flood walks with one out, and steals second off Bresnahan. “Three Finger” tugs at his cap before unfurling a mighty “bender” that flummoxes Minoso for two down. The next batter is Hornsby, who displays amazing bat control by lining a pitch low and away into left field! Flood scampers to the plate but Medwick’s toss flies faster and truer and he’s out!! The tie is preserved and the fans groan.

    In the eighth, Alexander leaves little doubt for the home fans that he’s brought his “A” game as he sets down Groat, Brown and Cruz in order. The home team’s dreams of a great finish find some hope in the bottom of the frame. Brown’s steam is too much for many batters, but Mize sees it well and lines one into right field to lead things off. The next batter is Enos Slaughter, who bunts Mize over to second. Brown gets the next batter to ground to second and the runner remains while the first out is recorded. Kurowski can’t catch up to the high heat and goes down swinging, to make it two outs. The man of the hour is William “Walker” Cooper. Cooper takes a mighty cut at two straight pitches but is able to do little more than foul the pitch off. The next one, however, is a little more in his “wheel house” and he lines it out to center…just shy of a diving Jose Cruz! Or was it?? The run scores and the crowd goes wild, but we have to go to replay on this one!!

    After several minutes of agony, poring over every angle and replay, the booth decides that it was no catch and it’s now 4-3 Peoria!! The roar is deafening…the fans euphoric…this is history in action! Even Alexander, sitting in the dugout, is elated as he’s gotten a run to work with now.

    The top of the ninth brings Casper’s last chance. They intend to make the best of it. The inning starts with a Stanky walk. Musial stands to give Casper a charge, but he grounds out to Mize at first, moving Stanky to second. Alexander menaces on the mound, but his control eludes him. The crowd is getting restless as Pete puts too many balls just outside the zone, and walks Medwick. They groan as West’s zone seems to have shrunk to the size of a pea, with yet another free pass issued to Jim Bottomley. It’s now 4-3 Peoria, with the bases loaded and a mere one out in the top of the ninth! Izzy is warming up, but everyone knows that this one is Alexander’s to win or lose. Your batter is Joe Torre. The first pitch is a strike, much to the relief of the home crowd. Their hopes are returning. They recede again on the next pitch, called a ball. The intensity ebbs and flows as strikes and balls alternate until we sit 2-2. Alexander rears back and chucks one high and inside, Torre pulling back in reaction. Ol’ Joe knows where the next pitch will be and he’s ready…the low and outside fastball is poked out to right! It’s slicing…drifting…into foul territory where Musial dives for it. It’s just off his glove! Perhaps a blessing as the runner was sure to “tag” on the diving catch. Alexander comes to on a second 3-2 offering and sinks one low in the zone…Torre catches this one “square”…right up the middle! Will this hit give Casper the lead? One detail your announcers forgot to mention is that Billy Southworth did a little switcheroo for this ninth frame…Hornsby slid to third and the “Secret Weapon,” Jose Oquendo, entered the game at second. On this knock, Oquendo races to his right, slides, backhands the ball and flips it to Dark, who shimmies across the base and fires it to Mize for the 4-6-3!!

    The crowd’s breath instantly comes back and the place erupts! USGS measures seismic activity and thinks there’s been an earthquake, with the team mobbing Oquendo and carrying him off the field for his brilliant play! Even ratsbuddy in the booth has to admit that the play was pretty nifty. His cohort Pugs reminds him that nifty is for gifties, and that was an all timer of a “Web gem.” Peoria’s players are ebullient, unable to contain the joy that they’ve brought to their city with this win. Casper, dejected, finds itself resigned to having been edged by a slightly superior club, but will no doubt have plenty to make Casper proud on their return home. Peoria, meanwhile, moves on to play Northwest Arkansas in the Quarterfinals, 4-3.

    Peoria defeats Casper, two games to one.

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