Fantasy “All Time” Cardinals Playoff Thread

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  • #179779
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Good game Nigel. Very good game.

    Commish, both Peoria and Galena were listed first on the bracket and were the home teams.

    Louisville listed second is the home team this series, Sooo I guess I was reading too much into the bracket?

    #179780
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    both Peoria and Galena were listed first on the bracket and were the home teams.

    Louisville listed second is the home team this series, Sooo I guess I was reading too much into the bracket?

    Yep, before I start to write every series I go to a coin flip site and flip a random coin as to who gets the first home game. The first two times it was heads and this time was tails.

    #179781
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    All good

    #179787
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    I have to say the locker room was pretty down last night. McGwire kept playing Neil Young, ” I seen the needle and the damage done…” over and over.

    #179788
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Tonight’s pitching matchup for Louisville at Springfield is Mort Cooper vs Kid Nichols. Exciting times!

    #179793
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 2

    Buoyed by their extra inning victory, Springfield returns to the friendly confines of Hammons Field with a chance to end the Louisville Redbirds’ season. The local papers are all of the belief that their team has a certain “clutch” element that can’t typically be quantified. Their rivals in Louisville, however, don’t believe in such things and are turning their hopes to continue their run on a reversal of the bad BABIP luck they experienced in Game 1. Springfield, Missouri is abuzz with the tension of the titanic tussle that they await! Louisville fans travel surprisingly well, and have a not-insignificant presence in the ballpark tonight. It is a lovely 82 degrees at first pitch, and the breeze is very slight from left to right.

    Your lineups, brought to you by the Discovery Center of Springfield:

    Louisville Redbirds
    Manager – Whitey Herzog

    R – Bobby Bonds – LF
    L – Delino Deshields – 2B
    R – Mark McGwire – 1B
    S – Reggie Smith – RF
    R – Nolan Arenado – 3B
    S – Ted Simmons -C
    R – Eric Davis – CF
    R – Edgar Renteria – SS
    R – Mort Cooper – RHP

    Springfield Cardinals
    Manager – Miller Huggins

    S – Lance Berkman – RF
    R – Chick Hafey – CF
    L – John Joseph McGraw – SS
    R – Matt Holliday – LF
    L – Keith Hernandez – 1B
    R – Gene Tenace – C
    L – Solly Hemus – 2B
    R – Ken Boyer – 3B
    R – Kid Nichols – RHP

    In the bottom of the first, Louisville strikes first. Charles Augustus “Kid” Nichols stands ready to throw the first pitch, which is summarily dispensed into left field for a base hit by Bobby Bonds. Bonds gets the wheels going and steals second, then moves to the third on a Deshields grounder. McGwire lifts a high fly ball to center…clean to the warning track, but not quite out. Bonds scores easily and it’s 1-0 Louisville. The home crowd is a little shocked at how mechanical that first run was. The bottom of the first brings a response…and quickly. Lance Berkman takes Cooper deep on a 2-1 pitch and over the right field wall for a home run! It’s 1-1 and the Springfield fans give it a rousing cheer. Matt Holliday singles with two down, but is stranded on first.

    Louisville looks to counter as Arenado steps to the plate to lead off the second. He carefully manages the zone…he looks like he’s locked in tonight…and gets the pitch he wants 3-1. It’s a bomb to straightaway center…Hafey is on the run and leaps but it’s just too deep for him and over the fence for a 2-1 Lousville lead! Ted Simmons follows with a single, and matriculates to third base on a grounder to the right side and a fly out, but can’t quite make it home. Cooper collects two Ks in the bottom of the second to make the lead hold. In the third, the stubborn Louisville team looks to keep up the pressure. The leadoff man, Bonds, singles again. He tests the arm of Tenace and steals second once again. Unfortunately, he gets a little greedy after a Nichols strikeout of Deshields, and Tenace wins the battle as Bonds is out at third on a nice throw. Thus ends the threat. The next two half innings bring two brilliant plays…the first comes when Arenado dives to his left and then throws out Hafey from his knees to end the bottom of the third. The other comes when McGraw turns a nice double play with Hemus in the top of the fourth, with the brilliant pick by Hernandez just getting the runner to end the Louisville top of the inning. The Springfield offense remains a little stymied by Cooper in the last half of the fourth and it is still 2-1 Louisville.

    In the top of the fifth, Nichols looks to have settled in. Like much of the Springfield staff, he’s a guy who generally lets the ball get into play, but he does have an extra gear when he needs it. He quickly gets a ground ball and a strikeout of Renteria. The batter is the pitcher, Mort Cooper. Nichols paints two strikes on the inside corner before the third pitch drifts inside and stings Cooper on the elbow. Cooper walks down to first and tries to shake his arm off. The training staff is out to look at him and asks Mort if he wants to leave the game. Of course, he says no. The next batter is Bobby Bonds, who is finally retired by Nichols as he records his third punchout of the game. Cooper is back on the mound in the bottom of the inning. The leadoff man is Hemus, who works a walk from the suddenly wild Cooper. Boyer nearly does the same, but the 3-1 offering looks too good and he smacks it into left for a single. Nichols gets down a beautiful bunt, and with one out the runners are on second and third. Berkman is your man…he gets a pitch he loves 1-0 and deposits it into the right field corner to bring in two runs! The crowd wills Berkman to keep running as he rounds second and Lance obliges them…the relay from Smith to Deshields comes in and Arenado applies the tag…he’s out! The crowd is disappointed, but the aggression is appreciated and the Springfield side has taken a 3-2 lead!

    The sixth inning starts innocently enough. Nichols gets yet another grounder that McGraw gobbles up and passes on for the out. McGwire is up next, and he laces one into the gap in left center, sliding into second ahead of the quick throw in. Smith is up next, and he hits one sharply out to left…Holliday gets the single very quickly and holds Big Mac on third. Arenado is up next and the swings at the first pitch by Nichols…it’s deep to left field…but hooking…just foul. That one would have been danger if it was only a few feet right, but the home crowd breathes a sigh of relief as it’s simply a long strike. Arenado works the count full, and Nichols barely misses his mark to set Arenado on first. Huggins is now out to talk to Nichols and as he’s over 100 pitches, he decides to bring his closer, Percival, into the highest leverage spot in the game. Ted Simmons steps to the plate. Simba watches Percival throwing smoke in his warmup, with the stadium gun registering 100 mph. The first pitch blows by him, catching the top of the zone as it goes by. It’s 0-1. The next pitch is a ball, and the next a foul ball. The 1-2 is outside, a breaking ball. On the 2-2 pitch, Percival goes back to the curveball, and it arcs in beautifully. Simmons watches it breaking into the zone, and rears back…the crack of the bat silences the home crowd as the ball sails out…out…and over the right field wall. It’s a grand slam!! The Louisville fans, outnumbered ten to one, don’t care as they go crazy. Louisville has taken a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Springfield looks to be pressing a little as Cooper is replaced by Kaat once again. Three straight fly balls retire the side and we are on to the seventh.

    Louisville looks like they are walking on air, hardly caring that Percival comes back out and fans the side. Kaat returns after the seventh inning stretch and shows off his glove work on a snared liner back up the middle by Tenace. Hemus goes down on strikes and it’s now Boyer at the plate. Pugs in the booth has a look of indifference on his face as Boyer takes the first two pitches outside. He sits up real fast, though, when Boyer gives one a ride out to left! Bonds does his best to corral it, but he just can’t reach high enough as it sails over the wall and cuts the Louisville lead to two! Louisville threatens in the top of the eighth, with Arenado doubling with one out off the lefty Pollet. Howie shows ‘em how it’s done and walks Simmons intentionally before getting Davis to ground into a 6-3 step and throw double play. McGraw has put in some work today. Kaat is out and Haines is in for the Louisville nine, with the righty getting two quick ground balls to start the inning. The aforementioned McGraw is the batter with two down. He coaxes a walk and the home crowd is stirring just a little. The stir becomes a murmur as McGraw steals second, Simmons unable to get the throw down in time. The murmur becomes a cheer when McGraw, emboldened, steals third as well. Holliday has simply been watching from the plate, and is thrilled to get a chance to put a charge into one. That he does, lining a laser into center field on a 2-1 pitch and bringing the home team to within 6-5! The crowd is roaring now for Hernandez. Keith, unfortunately, can’t get the runner home as his fly ball to right is caught by Smith on the run near the track. To the ninth we go.

    The lefty Pollet gives up a quick single to Renteria, and the hungry visitors are applying the pressure once again. The pressure is quickly relieved when the pinch hitter Jefferies is baited into yet another double play, this one turned by Boyer and Hemus. The Springfield crowd is on its feet as Pollet gets Bonds to pop up to end the inning, as they will have a chance to win the series. Herzog goes to his pen once again and your pitcher is game 1 starter, Adam Wainwright. Waino does have some closing experience, after all. The first batter is Tenace. The big righty from Georgia makes quick work of the opposing catcher, working a fastball in, then a slider away and finishing him off with Uncle Charlie. It’s one down. The next batter is Solomon Joseph Hemus, Phoenix born and bred. Solly fights off several attempts by the crafty Wainwright to bait him into grounding one in play, but ultimately works a walk. The home crowd cheers in admiration. Boyer is your batter, and he lines one sharply to left field…where Bonds is waiting to grab it for the second out. The final chance for the Springfield Cardinals is lefty pinch hitter Jake Beckley. He is watching the big righty’s movements closely as he stalks around the mound before the first pitch of the plate appearance. Waino looks over to first and fires…strike! Hemus, however, wasn’t watching it come in as he tore off like a drag racer on his way to second, and is safe! The tying run is now on second with two out. The crowd is amped up and the participants are on edge. Wainwright’s second pitch is a strike…a beauty of a curve. He just misses the 0-2, and then the 1-2 is in the dirt to even it up. Beckley is looking for that hammer again. Everyone knows it’s coming. The ball leaves his hand…dances toward the plate…breaking…breaking…toward the outside of the plate as the two seamer fools Beckley and he waves weakly at the offering. It’s a punchout and Louisville wins it 6-5! The Louisville infielders quickly run to the mound and mob the savior of the game. Yes, their hope remains and the series will go back to Louisville knotted at one game apiece.

    The Springfield side stews over what could have been, and the fans are saddened, but both teams are alive to fight another day. One thing is for sure; these teams leave it all on the field, and we should expect no different tomorrow.

    #179794
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Good game Nigel. Another 1 run outcome.

    #179818
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Those Bonds boys have to be the best ever father-son duo, don’t they? The Griffey’s were real good as well.

    Can’t think of any other outstanding father-son combos. Quite a few pretty-good ones though. The Cardinals were part of at least a couple of others besides the Bonds. We had Todd Stottlemyre, whose dad Mel was a solid hurler for the Yankees and pitched well against us in the 1964 World Series.

    And we had Julian Javier, whose son Stan was a decent player. I don’t think David Freese is related to Gene Freese, who himself was a third baseman. Plus Gene had a brother named George, and I think he was a third baseman. If your name is Freese, to play in the big leagues you need to hone your skills at the hot corner.

    #179819
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 3

    After splitting the first two games, these twin titans return to Louisville to decide the series on the field, mano e mano. The mayors of Springfield and Louisville even have a friendly bet going that the winner will have to don the jersey of the rival in their next press conference. So…the stakes are high. Not to mention, the winner will move on to the semifinals to face off against Jamestown. This game takes place in the early afternoon, prompting local schools to give the kids a much-appreciated day off to catch the game. The owners of Cardinals Stadium decide to open up some extra seating to accommodate as many fans as they can, with a very large crowd filling up the ballpark for today’s game.

    Your lineups, brought to you by Papa John’s:

    Springfield Cardinals
    Manager – Miller Huggins

    S – Lance Berkman – RF
    R – Chick Hafey – CF
    L – John Joseph McGraw – SS
    R – Matt Holliday – LF
    L – Keith Hernandez – 1B
    R – Gene Tenace – C
    L – Solly Hemus – 2B
    R – Ken Boyer – 3B
    R – Vic Willis – RHP

    Louisville Redbirds
    Manager – Whitey Herzog

    R – Bobby Bonds – LF
    L – Delino Deshields – 2B
    R – Mark McGwire – 1B
    S – Reggie Smith – RF
    R – Nolan Arenado – 3B
    S – Ted Simmons -C
    R – Eric Davis – CF
    R – Edgar Renteria – SS
    L – Mike Cuellar – LHP

    The Springfield offense is ready to pounce in the first. Berkman leads us off with a liner into left center and strides to first base, ready to move. Hafey, in an odd move, tries to bunt for a hit but is gunned down by Arenado’s cannon as he races in on the ball. But the runner is moved over to second. McGraw then squibs one to Cuellar, who gets it and looks Berkman back before tossing it to McGwire for the out. There are now two out, and the batter is Matt Holliday. The big righty stands in the box and swings at the first pitch…a base hit into left field! Berkman rounds third and scores easily, for a 1-0 Springfield lead. Hernandez is then retired to end the first half inning. Louisville’s offense is stagnant in the first, with Bonds and McGwire sandwiching strikeouts around a Deshields lineout to second. Willis’ bedeviling curveball surprises even the Louisville players, who are accustomed to watching Wainwright’s hammer do the same to opposing teams.

    The second inning brings a settling for Cuellar, who gets two grounders and a punchout of the second batter, Hemus. Reggie Smith leads off the bottom of the second, and Willis lets one slide right down the pike, which Smith crushes out to right field! The fans scream with delight and the game is now tied at 2. Arenado follows with a single but is unable to advance any further as Willis strikes out two more batters. In the third, the Springfield offense is stymied by the leadoff man, the pitcher, striking out. A single by Hafey doesn’t lead to any runs. Louisville continues to scuffle against Willis in the bottom of the 3rd, with nary a ball leaving the infield and the 5th strikeout of the game for Vic. Cuellar starts off the fourth frame by giving up a single to McGraw. Holliday continues his big game by smoking a 2-1 fastball into the gap in left center as it skips all the way to the ball. McGraw is on his horse and dashes around to score easily, making it 2-1 Springfield. Cuellar comes back to get a strikeout of Hernandez and carefully works around Tenace, hoping to get out of the inning with a well placed ground ball. He looks to get it, as Hemus smashes one up the middle…the turf makes it too fast for the fielders and the ball ends up in center field. Holliday was running with the pitch and shows off his extra gear, making it 3-1 Springfield! Things look to get even worse when the Boyer hits one down the line…Arenado gobbles it up and makes a brilliant play to preserve the inning, stepping on third and firing across the diamond for the double play. The fans give a hearty cheer at the fine effort. Unfortunately, Willis makes things difficult for the fans to cheer anything in the bottom of the inning, with McGwire and Arenado going down on strikes and the only contact a weak fly ball by Smith.

    As we head to the fifth, Herzog is feeling desperate. Cuellar has pitched relatively well, but the team is being stymied by the opposing starter. Cuellar has a workmanlike half inning, with Bonds giving the fans a thrill with a nice running catch in left to end it. Ted Simmons finally solves the puzzle of Willis to start the bottom of the 5th, singling. Willis then strikes out Davis, and Renteria productively grounds one to Hernandez, who steps on the bag but can’t quite turn two. Whitey is going to have to go to his bench…and the pinch hitter is Bobby Bonilla. The man whose most famous moment as a Cardinal came when he had to miss the start of a season that opened the door for Albert Pujols is looking to redeem himself. He works the count full…and then connects on a curveball that flies just shy of Berkman, who was playing a little too deep in right. The run scores and it’s now 3-2, with the home fans feeling like they may have a chance.

    The top of the sixth is uneventful, as the new Louisville pitcher, Kaat, makes his third appearance of the series. He shows off some leather in making a fine play to nab McGraw to lead off. The next batter is Holliday, retired for the only time in the game on a fly ball to Davis in center. Hernandez finds himself in a bind as he gets behind on two called strikes, then has to battle just to make contact. His grounder is collected by Deshields and the half inning is over. The bottom of the sixth comes and Louisville will need to continue to chip away at the dominant Springfield pitching. Deshields leads off, and he’s no match as he is struck out for Willis’ 9th K. McGwire steps to the plate and the home fans are enthralled as the big righty battles with the other big righty on the mound. On a 2-2 pitch, the Marylander rears back and tries to get McGwire on an inside fastball. Big Mac belts it wayyyy out to left center, some 450 feet from home plate, and the game is now tied at three! Willis, for all his brilliant pitching, has not been able to keep the Louisville offense completely at bay. He finishes his game with ten strikeouts in six innings.

    In the seventh, Kaat comes back out and completes a fine half inning, allowing a two out walk to Boyer but getting a strikeout of the pinch hitter Huggins to send it to the bottom of the sixth. The new Springfield pitcher is Denton True “Cy” Young, your game one starter. Young is refreshed and ready to pitch. His craftiness is overwhelming and he strikes out Simmons, then gets Davis and Renteria to weakly ground out to Boyer at third. The game remains deadlocked at 3 heading to the eighth. Your Springfield leadoff batter is Berkman, and he will face the new Louisville pitcher, Jesse Haines. Haines bears down and fires…and Berkman slaps it into right for a base hit. So far, so good for Springfield. The second batter is Hafey, who grounds one to McGwire, who makes a good play on it to retire him. Berkman moves down to second. McGraw is up now, and Haines looks uncomfortable. McGraw gets a little ahead of the 1-0 pitch and just hooks it into the stands in foul territory down the right field line. The next pitch is much better, but also hugs the line and with McGwire no longer holding the runner, he can’t quite get it. Berkman lumbers around third and slides into home plate, giving Springfield the 4-3 advantage. There are at least a couple thousand Springfield fans in the park and you can hear them shouting! Haines now faces Holliday with one on. Haines gets behind 2-0 and looks to get a strike over any way he can. The 2-0 changeup looks like a batting practice pitch to Mr Holliday and he laces it out…out…and gone!! Springfield has taken a 6-3 lead in the top of the 8th! The home fans shield their faces, not only from the late afternoon sun, but to hide their tears as their hopes are looking bleak. Haines gets out of the inning, but the damage looks to be done. Young looks like he’s striding on air as he walks back out for the bottom of the inning. The pinch hitter is Jefferies. Young winds and delivers…a strike. Then another. Then another (foul). Then another (grounded to Boyer, who retires him). In fact, Young does not throw a single called ball the entire frame, collecting a strikeout (Bonds) and two grounders to retire the side quietly.

    The ballpark is eerily quiet as the top of the 9th starts. Wainwright is in to try to keep the bleeding to a minimum, and he does his job. He gets one strikeout, one fly ball that Smith catches, and one grounder to short. We are on to the bottom of the ninth, and Young is looking as sharp as ever. The leadoff man is McGwire, who can’t connect and strikes out for the first out. The next man is Reggie Smith, who has an odd at bat in that he doesn’t get a single ball thrown in the zone. His eye is rewarded and he trots down to first. The fans beg for more of that. It’s now Arenado at the plate. Cy walks around the back of the mound and steps back to the rubber…throws…a perfect strike on the outside corner. He then moves the ball back to the inside on his second toss, collecting another strike. By this point, it’s clear that his command has returned and Arenado does what he can to keep things going, flying one the other way. Berkman races over toward the line and catches it for the second out. Louisville’s season hangs in the balance as Simmons comes to the plate with two down. Simmons shows a keen eye in working the count full. On the 3-2, he pulls one that looks like it may get between the first and second basemen…only for Hernandez to get it on the dive and toss a dandy dime to McGraw covering second to get the force and secure the series! 6-3 is your final.

    Some Springfield fans run onto the field and are corralled by security as best as they can be. It looks like some are trying to tear the carpet up for a keepsake. But order is shortly restored and the home and visiting fans file slowly out as their collective trip down memory lane takes two different turns. For Louisville, it is time to “wait til next year.” Their fans clap politely as the team leaves the field for the last time. For Springfield, a series with Jamestown awaits as their dreams of glory remain alive.

    Springfield defeats Louisville, 2 games to 1

    #179821
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    A couple of father and son duos to watch are the Guerrero’s and Biggios. Vladimir Sr. and Craig are already HOF’rs.

    There are currently no father and son both in the HOF, but if Vladimir Jr. continues his breakout 2021 for multiple seasons, the Guerrero’s could be the first.

    #179839
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Good call on those Vlad guys, JJ. Could very well be the first dad-kid HOF combo. Junior looks to be darn good.

    #179840
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Regrettably, the opening game of the series between the Peoria Cardinals and the Northwest Arkansas Cardinals has been postponed for this evening due to storms in the Fayetteville area. The fans are disappointed, but they will get to see their home team in action tomorrow!

    (In reality, the next two nights are looking like no gos for writing for me, and I want to make sure we get the games in each series in order, so I’ll be writing as much as I can to get up date as much as possible.)

    #179845
    kscardfan
    Participant

    Free

    Doing a great job.

    #179852
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Regrettably, the opening game of the series between the Peoria Cardinals and the Northwest Arkansas Cardinals has been postponed for this evening due to storms in the Fayetteville area.

    You aren’t far off at all. We are currently recovering from about 8 inches of snow late last week.

    #179861
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Good series. We are already gearing up for next season. and perhaps if the lock out prevails, we could all trade for our personal favorite teams or even 40 man rosters

    #179867
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 1

    With half of the semifinals set, much of the heartland of America is getting excited for the rest of the playoffs. Already there are rumors that a number of communities are putting together bids to get in on the action next year, with some looking making very involved pep videos to announce their candidacy. It is unknown whether the commissioner, Brian Walton, will be taking any more teams, but there is some hope for many prestigious cities as far away as Anchorage, Alaska and Bangor, Maine. The proverbial wet blanket was thrown on the festivities with last night’s rainout, but northwest Arkansas is ready for their showcase in this quarterfinal series. The Ozarks are ablaze with both the passion for their team and the beautiful foliage, providing a great backdrop for the fans traveling to take in the game. Arvest Ballpark is a marvel of modern design and is a lovely setting for our game one! Over 9000 fans sandwich into the park to cheer on the home team. It’s a beautiful evening, some 65 degrees with no wind to speak of at first pitch.

    Your lineups, brought to you by Arkansas Children’s Northwest Hospital:

    Peoria Cardinals
    Manager – 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 – Grover Cleveland Alexander, RHP

    Northwest Arkansas Redbirds
    Manager – Branch Rickey

    L – Lou Brock, LF
    S – Willie McGee, CF
    R – Jack Clark, 1B
    L – Roger Maris, RF
    R – Gary Gaetti, 3B
    L – Tommy Herr, 2B
    R – Marty Marion, SS
    R – Tim McCarver, C
    R – Dizzy Dean, RHP

    The National Anthem plays and the Redbirds take the field, with Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean walking out the mound. He certainly keeps the powerful Peoria lineup off balance in the top of the inning, much to the happiness of the home crowd. Flood goes down on strikes and then Minoso and Hornsby ground out. Peoria hopes that Alexander continues his strong pitching, and he does for the first inning. Brock flies out and McGee and Clark are victim to the ground ball. We finish the first tied at 0. In the top of the 2nd, Dean comes back out and will face back to back lefties to start things off. He throws one by Mize to get the first out, but walks Slaughter for the first base runner of the game. He bears down and gets Kurowski on a popup, and Cooper to ground into the force at second. In the bottom of the inning, the Northwest Arkansas fans are brought to their feet when Maris leads off with a double, lined into the right field corner. The fans remain standing when Gaetti sacrifices Maris to third with a fly ball to center. The final piece of the puzzle brings a roar when Tommy Herr inside outs one into right field to bring in the run and make it 1-0!

    The third inning starts off with a Dark single off Dean. Alexander attempts to bunt him over, but bunts foul on 0-2 and he’s out. It proves costly as the next batter, Flood rips a single to left that may have scored the run. Minoso is up now and works a 3-1 count…only to hit one straight at Marion, who turns a quick double play with Herr and Dean is out of the inning. Marion keeps the hot hand and singles to left off Alexander to lead off the bottom of the 3rd. McCarver flies one to center that’s handled and there’s one down. With the pitcher up, Rickey boldly calls for the steal. Cooper’s throw is fast to second, but not fast enough to get Marty and he’s safely in scoring position. Alexander is a little off, but he’s ready to face his counterpart. Dean is ready, too, and helps his cause by squeaking one just past the outstretched glove of the shortstop and into left! Marion is coming around he’ll score! It’s 2-0 in favor of the home team. Alexander gets the double play from Brock and the inning ends.

    The fourth inning is dominated by the pitching, with Dean striking out two Cardinals and Alexander matching him by punching out two Redbirds. No runs score and it remains 2-0. The fifth brings some excitement for the Peoria fans in attendance. The first batter, Kurowski, goes down on strikes. The next batter is Cooper. He watches for the fastball on the first pitch and gets it. He swings and it’s a deep fly ball to center field…McGee is back and at the wall…it’s a goner! Peoria has cut the lead in half, 2-1. Dean is not wavering as he keeps attacking batters and gets through the half inning without any more incident. The bottom of the fifth is an odd one for everyone involved. McGee leads off with a walk. He then steals second. The fans leap from their seats as the throw was close, but replay shows that Willie beat the tag. Clark is up and he hits a rocket…right at the left fielder Minoso. Alexander walks Maris on 5 pitches and it’s Gaetti at the plate now. He gets a pitch to drive and does! The ball is scorched off the wall…directly to Minoso, who gets the ball in so quickly that not even the fleet footed McGee dares to scamper home. The bases are now loaded, with Herr at the dish. He works a 2-1 count and it looks like he may have been hit by the pitch! The umpire, CB Bucknor, doesn’t agree. The replays look like it could have been a HBP, but even with Rickey out to argue, it doesn’t make a difference. The pain becomes palpable as the 3-1 is a strike from Alexander, and the next ball is topped out in front of the plate. Alexander is on it quickly and gets the force at home plate for the second out. Marion hits a high fly ball into center that’s snagged by Flood, and the home team can’t capitalize on the base runners.

    Dean is back out for the sixth and is looking good. He seems unfazed by the murmuring of the crowd after that last half and is pummeling the zone with his pitches. The crowd seems to forget their troubles when the leadoff man and Minoso are both retired on strikes. The next batter is Hornsby, who strides confidently to the plate. He gets a pitch to drive 2-0 and it’s off to the races! Hornsby hugs second and is in position to tie the game. Mize is up now and he gives one a ride out to right. Maris is shading right and just manages to get it before it drops into the corner and the lead is preserved. The bottom of the sixth will be the end of Alexander’s night and he goes out with a solid half inning, giving up a single to McCarver, but no other base runners, as he gets Dean on strikes and the force out by Brock before getting out of the inning on a fly ball from McGee.

    The home crowd is thrilled to see Dean take the mound again, and Peoria is certainly not happy. He completes his penultimate frame with 92 pitches, getting a double play ball from Cooper to end the threat. The fans of Northwest Arkansas get yet another thrill right after the stretch, with the new pitcher Lynn coming in. That’s not the thrill…his second pitch is a fastball (surprise) that catches too much of the plate and Jack Clark gives it a ride out to left!! A youngster races over to collect it and the home team leads it 3-1! Lynn looks a little rattled from the bomb and he walks Maris. Gaetti is up with a shot to do some damage but Lynn is all over. He gets bailed out when Gaetti swings 2-0 and misses. The psychological boost buoys Lynn and his two seamer is pounded into the ground for an easy double play. Lynn then gets Herr to end the seventh, his team with a two run deficit to make up.

    Dean just won’t budge as he completes the eighth without incident. The home fans give him a rousing ovation as he walks off after striking out his final two batters, Lynn and Flood, to end the top of the inning. He finishes the game with nine rung up, and barely has been threatened. Lynn is back out for the bottom of the 8th, and he looks much better than he did to start his outing. His various fastballs are moving in and out, and he breaks McCarver’s bat. The pinch hitter Guerrero hits a ball to straightaway center, but the wind just can’t bring this one over the wall as Flood catches it on the track. Brock has had himself a quiet game and tries to drag bunt for a hit, but bunts it foul. He then grounds out to second and we are on to the final inning.

    Dan Quisenberry is on in relief for Rickey’s Redbirds. He will face Minoso, Hornsby and Mize. This trio is deadly when they’re on. Minoso steps up and swings at the first pitch. It flies harmlessly out to left, snagged by Brock for the first out. The crowd is now on its feet and cheering loudly. Each strike seems to bring another level of noise, each one more stirring than the last. Hornsby works the count full, but ultimately grounds one to Marion, who passes it on to Clark…two down! Mize brings some reprieve from the noise when he takes a 1-0 pitch and pokes it out to right field, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Enos Slaughter. “Country” has his team’s hopes in his hands…or rather, in his bat. He takes strike one…then strike two. Quisenberry is relentless as he’s refusing to give Slaughter anything good to hit. Slaughter takes a ball, then fouls off two pitches. Finally, 1-2, a ball a little closer to the plate comes in. Or so it seems. Slaughter’s cut produces nothing more than a sawed off grounder to Herr, who throws to Marion for the final out of the game. Northwest Arkansas wins it, 3-1.

    The fans in the stands are high fiving and throwing their hats in adoration! Northwest Arkansas has taken game one and Dean is the hero of the town. Peoria, meanwhile, was simply outdueled by the hot hand tonight. They feel like this one was winnable with more clutch hitting, but the local papers say otherwise. The heat will be on Billy Southworth’s club in game 2, for sure.

    #179882
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Another great read. Good games to all. Gus and Buddy Bell and Ray and Bob Boone were pretty good.
    Moises and whichever Alou brother was his dad were all good players. Matty may have been the best of the brothers, but they all had their moments. I think Felipe was his dad.

    #179883
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    The Camerons are ones to watch. also.

    #179893
    bicyclemike
    Moderator

    Paid - Annual

    Yeah, Felipe is Moises’ dad. Felipe was the best of the Alou’s – the first generation that is.

    The Bell’s went three generations, with the current Reds manager being Gus’ grandson. The bulk of Gus, career was in Cincinnati, so that is really cool that is grandson is the team’s current skipper.

    #179894
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    The Fielders deserve a mention too. They each have 319 career HR’s. Still 144 HR shy of the Griffeys total.

    #179897
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 2

    Peoria is hosting their now-record third game in this playoff bracket, but the town is no less excited. People are filing out of their offices, running home and racing over to Dozer Park to catch the action. The home team has their backs against the wall, but the local paper’s headline says it all: PEORIA CARDINALS HAVE ‘EM RIGHT WHERE THEY WANT ‘EM FOR GAME 2. The fans have confidence that the headline writer hasn’t just jinxed them. Meanwhile, Northwest Arkansas is playing with house money, as they stole game 1 and have another home game waiting should they fail to close the series out tonight. The game time temperature is 75 degrees and there is a slight wind blowing right to left.

    Your lineups, brought to you by Caterpillar:

    Northwest Arkansas Redbirds
    Manager – Branch Rickey

    L – Lou Brock, LF
    S – Willie McGee, CF
    R – Jack Clark, 1B
    L – Roger Maris, RF
    R – Gary Gaetti, 3B
    L – Tommy Herr, 2B
    R – Marty Marion, SS
    R – Tim McCarver, C
    L – Curt Simmons, LHP

    Peoria Cardinals
    Manager – 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

    The crowd claps politely as Lou Brock steps to the plate. Brock is unable to find his way to first base as Brecheen gets his breaking ball going early. McGee looks to beat this by putting down a bunt. Kurowski makes a nice play on it to get Willie by a quarter step and there are two quick outs. Now Clark works a walk, but Maris is retired to end the first half inning. In the bottom of the inning, the home team puts a dent in the scoreboard. Flood singles and moves to second on a ground out by Minoso. Brecheen knows how good Hornsby is, and is careful. He’s simply not careful enough as his 3-1 pitch just tips the outside edge of the zone. Hornsby barrels it on a line out…and gone! Just like that, the fans have risen are are high fiving one another as Peoria has a 2-0 lead! Simmons settles down and gets the next two lefties to limit the damage.

    The second inning is a quiet one for both teams, with Brecheen setting the side down in order, and Simmons allowing a broken bat base hit but no other base runners. The third inning starts out with some promise for Northwest Arkansas…McCarver singles to left to lead it off. Simmons now bunts him into scoring position with one out. Brock works a walk and there are two on. McGee is up, and he hits one the other way…Gaetti makes a great play and gets Brock at 2nd, but Hornsby is not quite able to get the speedy McGee on the turn. Clark has a chance with runners at the corners and two down…and he drives one toward the gap! Minoso races for it, dives…and makes the catch!! The home team roars with appreciation as Minoso’s fine play likely saved two runs. Minoso is confident as he bats now to lead off the bottom of the inning…he gets a pitch that he likes and drives it himself! It’s back…back…back…gone!! Peoria leads it 3-0 and we are in danger of a rout. Simmons steadies himself and gets through the rest of the inning without any more runs, but things feel shaky.

    The top of the fourth is a dud for the Northwest Arkansas offense, as Harry the Cat shuts them down on two grounders and a fly ball. The Peoria offense breaks through again in the bottom of the 4th, and it starts with back to back singles by Cooper and Dark. Brecheen bunts the runners over, and then Flood flies one to center to score the run and make it 4-0. Brecheen walks back out feeling pretty good. He has finished four innings on just 49 pitches, but will find that count soaring in the fifth. Rickey smartly realizes that his offense is having trouble making quality contact with Brecheen’s pitches, and instructs his guys to foul off everything they can to try to get him out of the game. The first batter, Marion, goes 7 pitches before grounding out. McCarver is up and works a full count, fouls off two in a row and then walks. Simmons takes every pitch and ends up needing five pitches before striking out. Brock steps up and slaps the 9th pitch of his at bat into center for a base hit. The Northwest Arkansas bench is feeling hopeful. McGee tops them all by ruining multiple good pitches as Brecheen throws the kitchen sink at him. After 10 pitches, he finally works a walk. The bases are now loaded and Clark is up again. Brecheen now has thrown 38 pitches this inning and while he hasn’t given up a run, he’s clearly a little worn. The first two pitches to Clark are balls, and Clark looks like he’s in the drive’s seat. Harry finds the stamina to get a strike looking and a strike swinging, evening the count. On the 2-2, he goes fastball low and away. Jack takes his cut but it’s not an ideal pitch and he grounds one right at Hornsby, who tags McGee on his way by to end the inning. After 43 grueling pitches, Brecheen has bent but not broken…the 4-0 lead remains. The crowd feels more relieved than excited, but on to the bottom of the fifth we go! The dynamic duo of Minoso and Hornsby do even more damage as they both double off Simmons and the lead swells to 5-0. Simmons finds reprieve in the lefties Mize and Slaughter, which allows him to sneak out of the inning with the hopes that his team can come back.

    The top of the sixth brings a new Peoria pitcher in Lance Lynn. Lynn is popping 96 mph fastballs and looks quite good in getting the first two strikes on Maris. Maris looks ready for the next one and crushes it!! It’s well over the right field wall and the one lucky fan will go home with a souvenir. More importantly, Northwest Arkansas is on the board as it’s 5-1. Lynn strikes out Gaetti and Marion around a groundout by Herr to end the frame. Simmons is a warrior as he comes out for the bottom of the sixth to save the pen. Cooper singles, but Dark grounds one to Marion, who turns a 6-3 unassisted double play, then Lynn looks helpless as he strikes out to end the 6th. The seventh turns out to be an inning without much ado as Lynn settles himself in and keeps pumping smoke. The Redbird lineup just can’t compete at this point and time is starting to run out. McCarver strikes out, and the pinch hitter Gant grounds out. Brock walks and steals second, but McGee strikes out. Chances are running out. The new Northwest Arkansas pitcher for the seventh is Andy Benes, who looks like he wants to finish the game off. Benes gets three straight grounders on 7 total pitches and we are on to the penultimate frame.

    Lynn begins the inning by walking Clark. Maris is looking to do more damage and gives one a ride to the warning track, but the wind just knocks it down and we have one down. Next up is Gaetti, who rips a single right back up the middle, nearly hitting Lynn as it races into center field. With two on and one out, Herr needs to make some hay. That he does…he works a 2-0 count and gets yet another Lynn fastball, lacing it down into the right field corner. Both runners score and it’s 5-3! Lynn is facing Marion now, and the count works full before Lynn paints the outside corner with a cutter and there are two down. McCarver is looking to get on base for the third time tonight and get a run in the process. Lynn is back at it with the high octane delivery and Tim can’t catch up, swinging through a high four seamer and the half inning ends with the home team still up by two. The bottom of the 8th brings no insurance for the home crowd as they remain hitless since the first batter of the 6th inning. This one will be won or lost with the Peoria arms.

    Southworth is in no mood to mess around and even though Lynn is looking good, he will bring in Isringhausen to close it out. Izzy would like to keep the drama to a minimum, and the crowd does too. The goal gets off to an auspicious start when pinch hitter Guerrero stings a single into center field off the Cardinal closer. The tying run will be at the plate in the form of Lou Brock. Izzy takes a visit from his catcher, which seems to settle him. He looks like he’s trusting his stuff as he gets two quick strikes on Brock before sawing him off with a fastball in on his hands…Brock is too fast to be doubled up but the first out is down. McGee is up next. Jason throws him nothing but offspeed pitches and Willie grounds one to the shortstop…once again he’s too fast to be doubled up, but Peoria will take the outs at this point. Clark is the final hope for the visitors as all the fans are on their feet now. Clark fouls a couple pitches off, and it’s 0-2. The next two are in the dirt, wasted. McGee moves to second on the second of the two low throws. Now it’s 2-2 and Isringhausen’s throw rockets toward the plate…and into the catcher’s mitt, with Clark unable to make contact on the 98 mph heater. Peoria wins it, 5-3.

    The fans all cheer and throw their caps onto the field like a bunch of confetti. The Peoria players are relieved, but know that there’s another challenge tomorrow. Northwest Arkansas awaits the rubber match.

    #179900
    kscardfan
    Participant

    Free

    Looked like the Ripper got a piece of that last pitch. Ah where is replay when you need it.

    #179915
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Two exciting games in this series thus far. The finale should be a doozy.

    #179929
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 3

    The return to Fayetteville is a long one for the Northwest Arkansas Redbirds, but the fans are lining the streets to await their arrival. Unfortunately, the weather has turned sharply cooler, with a high of 55 on game day. The evening tilt will be another 10 degrees colder, with a chance of light rain making it feel even brisker. The Peoria team bus rolls in late morning and the team looks confident as they take the field. Both teams desperately want to make the semifinals, but only one will stand at the end of the evening. Game on!

    Your lineups, brought to you by the University of Arkansas:

    Peoria Cardinals
    Manager – 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

    Northwest Arkansas Redbirds
    Manager – Branch Rickey

    L – Lou Brock, LF
    S – Willie McGee, CF
    R – Jack Clark, 1B
    L – Roger Maris, RF
    R – Gary Gaetti, 3B
    L – Tommy Herr, 2B
    R – Marty Marion, SS
    R – Tim McCarver, C
    R – John Lackey, RHP

    The sellout crowd is rocking at the first pitch…there are even a few beach balls flying around the crowd and rats in the booth has been trying to coax one up high enough to catch it. It’s quite the scene. Lackey has the intensity of a bulldog and peers in for the sign. McCarver calls for a fastball, and Lackey hits his spot for strike one. More strikes ensue, and Flood goes down swinging for the first out. The next two batters fare little better, as Lackey finishes the top of the first without trouble. The bottom of the 1st brings even more to love for the home fans, as Brock singles and McGee walks to begin things. Cooper has no idea where to throw when Rickey calls for the double steal and both Brock and McGee swipe their bags. With none out, Clark singles and both runs come around to score for a quick 2-0 lead! The Redbird fans are charged up and ready for some more action. Jackson looks immediately sharper, as he retires Maris on a breaking ball and gets Gaetti on a nifty double play to get out of the inning.

    Lackey is feeling it and throws three straight fastballs to Mize. The final one comes on a 1-1 pitch, and Johnny gets all of it! The ball flies almost 460 feet to straightway center field and Peoria is within one. Lackey finishes the rest of the top of the 2nd and we are on to the home side again. The pride of Nampa, Idaho, Larry Jackson, strides to the mound bent on keeping his team in the game. Tommy Herr lines one out to right that is caught in stride by Slaughter, then Marion goes down swinging and McCarver grounds out to Gaetti at third. We move to the third. The rain becomes a little more than a drizzle and the fans are starting to get a little less comfortable despite their sturdy rain gear. The TV crew are having a little more difficulty in keeping their cameras focused, too. They will have to adjust quickly, as Lackey is pitching in rapid succession. His slider is breaking sharply and the Peoria batters are struggling to see it, as he collects two strikeouts in the inning. Jackson matches him in the bottom of the frame, and we are moving on to the fourth.

    The first batter in the fourth is the #2 hitter, Minnie Minoso. The Cuban Comet leads us off with a battle, finally punching one the other way and into right field for the first base runner of the inning. Hornsby is up now, and he laces one into the gap! Minoso is on his horse and he is around third and will score on the double! Peoria has tied the game at 2, and their small bunch of fans is jumping and high fiving each other. It’s a whole new ball game and Lackey looks like the adrenaline has worn off a bit. He does retire Mize on a breaking pitch, but gives up another single to Slaughter and Peoria takes the 3-2 lead. Slaughter tries to get greedy on a single by Kurowski, but is gunned down by a great throw by McGee to keep things in check. Lackey then Ks Cooper to end the half inning. The home crowd is a little shell shocked and tries to give their support as Jackson returns to the mound. The first batter, Clark, squibs one to the second baseman and is quickly thrown out. The next man up is Roger Maris…he is patient and finds himself in a 3-2 count. Jackson winds up and tosses it home…the ball must have been slightly wet and his grip slips just a bit, causing his curve to balloon and come into the center of the zone. Maris gives it a rip and it flies out to right center…Flood can’t jump high enough to catch this one and the game is tied!! The fans go wild and hardly care that Jackson escapes the rest of the inning unscathed.

    The fifth inning goes to the pitcher, as a rejuvenated Lackey gets three straight ground balls. Jackson matches him with three fly balls. The second of those fly balls is the pinch hitter Guerrero, who comes in for Lackey, whose night is over after a mere five innings. Rickey didn’t want to take any chances and will go to the bullpen for the top of the sixth. The new pitcher is Dizzy Dean. Dean picks up where he left off in his start. He strikes out the shortstop Dark, the pinch hitter Smith and then gets Flood to ground out to the shortstop. Southworth matches his counterpart by bringing his game 1 starter back in, as Pete Alexander is your new hurler. He looks to dazzle, and does as he gets the Northwest Arkansas lineup in order in the sixth. The seventh makes it seem like we may end up tied forever as Dean gets a couple more strikeouts, plus a ground ball, and Alexander gets two grounders and a fly ball from to keep the game tied at 3 going to the eighth.

    Dean finally gives up a hit to start the top of the 8th, as Slaughter’s seeing eye single just gets past Herr and into right for the base knock. Dean now faces Kurowski with one down. In a familiar sight, he pummels the strike zone and gets the K, for one down. The next man up is Cooper…who smokes one down the line. Gaetti is quick to the ball and makes an amazing throw to second, where Herr makes the turn and throws it on for the double play!! That ball looked like trouble off the bat! Alexander is under some pressure to keep the game tied, but he looks ready to handle it. McCarver goes down on strikes, and Rickey decides he will go with the pinch hitter Gant, on a hunch. Will it prove wise or foolish? The first pitch is low, 1-0. Alexander goes fastball and Gant swings…it’s foul for 1-1. The next pitch is offspeed, and it’s outside. 2-1. The next throw is also errant, and it’s 3-1. It’s now 42 degrees and spitting rain, but Alexander is so focused that he’s sweating on the mound. Cooper flashes the sign for the curve, but Alexander nods that he’s not into that. They eventually settle on the fastball…Grover Cleveland comes set…throws…CRACK!! Gant launches one on a line that’s going out…out…it looks like it’s rising…and over the fence! It’s pandemonium in the stands and the dugout as Northwest Arkansas has taken a 4-3 lead!! Pugs is going hoarse from screaming in the booth! The fans finally settle down enough that the game can continue. Alexander walks Brock and gives up a steal, giving the home fans hope for some insurance. But the pitcher collects himself and gets McGee to pop up to first, then Clark to line out to the shortstop to finish off the 8th.

    It’s now do or die for Peoria…and they will face the Northwest Arkansas closer, Dan Quisenberry. Al Dark is your leadoff man…and Quiz makes quick work of him, breaking his bat as he grounds out to Marion for the first out. The next man up is Oquendo, the pinch hitter. Jose studies Quisenberry closely in the on deck circle, hoping for any sign of a change. The first two pitches are ruthless, strikes on the inside corner that Oquendo can’t do anything with. The next two are low in the dirt. Finally, 2-2, Quiz goes to the knuckleball in hopes of securing the out…the ball flutters to the plate and Oquendo swings…and connects! It bounds into right field for the base hit! Peoria has hope. The next man up is Curt Flood. Flood flies one 0-1 out to center, and it’s collected by McGee. There are two down and the fans are on their feet! Minoso is the final hope for Peoria’s season. Quisenberry gets a quick strike. The fans are now stomping and cheering loudly. Quiz throws one that Minoso can work with…he inside outs it down the line! Brock is over to cut it off, but Minoso strides to second and there are two men in scoring position! The cold air in the stadium is heavy as Hornsby us up with the season on the line. Dan vs Rogers is the game. Hornsby takes a pitch for a strike, then another one. The fans rise once again in anticipation of coming eruption. The curveball is low…1-2. Quisenberry comes back with a fastball…and it’s low. 2-2. Another fastball misses inside, and we have a full count. It feels like Peoria has been on their final out for an hour, but it’s been only a few minutes. The crowd wills Quisenberry to throw his best pitch, which he does…sinking low and in. Hornsby swings…and connects! The ball is barreled out to right center, dropping just in front of the diving Maris!! Both runs score and Peoria has retaken the lead, 5-4! The home fans are deflated. Quiz hangs his head, and hardly cares that he strikes out Mize to end the top of the 9th.

    The bottom of the ninth now turns the tables…it’s Northwest Arkansas’ season on the line. They will have Gaetti to lead off the inning, facing Jason Isringhausen once again. Gaetti lines one right at the shortstop, and Dark catches it for the first out. The next batter is Tommy Herr, who solves the 98 mph puzzle that is Isringhausen temporarily, knocking one back up the middle and into center for the base hit. Marion is now up, and he will work a 3-2 count. The home fans start to feel some hope. Rickey boldly puts down the sign for a steal, as the team has had a way of getting to Cooper tonight. The 3-2 pitch looks like a fastball…and Izzy fires…Marion swings…and misses! Herr is off and running, Cooper jumps and fires down to second….and…he’s…out!!! The umpire throws his hand and Herr looks up in time to hear the final call. Peoria has clinched it!

    The fans are stunned once again, as their season ends on the fine play by Cooper. The Peoria players all mob Hornsby, the man of the hour, and carry him off the field in jubilation. The home fans clap in honor of the valiant battle, and will go home to hopes of next year being a better year for their club. Peoria, meanwhile, moves on to the semifinals and awaits the winner of Memphis vs Little Rock. It should be a good one!

    Peoria defeats Northwest Arkansas, two games to one.

    #179932
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Hornsby coming up big with the season on line, fitting, I’d have expected nothing less. Good series!

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