Fantasy “All Time” Cardinals Playoff Thread

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  • #179938
    gscottar
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Great series! Congrats to Peoria and good luck as you move on!

    #179939
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Peoria has faced a grind so far, for sure. They have been battle tested for the semifinal series.

    Tonight’s game 1 in the Quarterfinal Series of Memphis vs Little Rock (at Memphis) features Bob Gibson vs Chris Carpenter. That should be intense!!

    #179940
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Nobody better crowd the plate.

    #179944
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 1

    The final quarterfinal series is on, and the sporting world has taken notice. BBC News has even sent a crew to cover such a monumental event, as they take in the culture and flavor of Memphis. The local fans have hungered for their chance at the big leagues for some time, and they are ready to pack the stands at AutoZone Park for game 1. Meanwhile, the Little Rock fans don’t have too far to travel and constitute a solid minority of the patrons at the ballpark. Some 15,000 fans are squeezed in and ready for the first pitch on a breezy afternoon.

    Your lineups, brought to you by Federal Express:

    Little Rock Cardinals
    Manager – Mike Shildt

    S – Ozzie Smith – SS
    R – Andres Galarraga – 1B
    R – Tyler O’Neill – LF
    R – Brian Jordan – RF
    R – Yadier Molina – C
    R – Pepper Martin – 3B
    R – Julian Javier – 2B
    R – Harrison Bader – CF
    R – Chris Carpenter – RHP

    Memphis Cardinals
    Manager Red Schoendist

    S – Rafael Furcal – SS
    S – Carlos Beltran – RF
    L – Larry Walker – LF
    R – Orlando Cepeda – 1B
    L – Jim Edmonds – CF
    R – Troy Glaus – 3B
    L – Darrell Porter -C
    R – Placido Polanco – 2B
    R – Bob Gibson – RHP

    Bob Gibson walks to the mound to the raucous cheers of the home fans. He was built for this moment, and everyone in Memphis knows it. Gibby gets his fastball and slider going in the first, and gets Ozzie to ground out, followed by swinging strikeouts of Galarraga and O’Neill. An ominous start for the Little Rock offense, to be sure. His counterpart may be the only other man in this city who can match Gibson’s intensity. Chris Carpenter is stalking around the mound like a boxer before a prize fight, knowing that he will need to be at the top of his game today. Carpenter will face two switch hitters and a lefty to start the game. He gets Furcal to swing through his fastball for the first out. Then Beltran grounds one to short, where Ozzie gobbles it up and tosses to Galarraga for the second out. Walker then grounds one to second and Javier gets the assist this time…the first is over.

    The second inning looks like a mirror of the first, with the pitchers dominating. This time, Gibson gets a strikeout (Jordan), a grounder to second by Molina and a pop up by Pepper Martin to record another perfect inning. Carpenter is heating up and matches the Gibson zero by getting Cepeda to ground out and striking out Edmonds and Glaus. We move to the third inning. Gibby is loving the battle, and he gets two more strikeouts in the inning, with Bader and his pitching counterpart going down. Carpenter is loving it just as much, as he collects three ground balls and lets his defense do the rest to maintain the scoreless tie. Gibby is back out for the fourth and he is letting it fly. Ozzie makes contact, but it’s pretty weak and the catcher is up and grabs the ball before firing to first for the first out. Galarraga is now up, and the Big Cat gets a hitter’s count for a change, with the 2-1 pitch coming. It’s a fastball and Galarraga lines it out to center…but right at Edmonds for the first ball of the game that leaves the infield, but nevertheless an out. Gibby then gets O’Neill swinging for the second time today, and he’s through four innings. Carpenter saunters back out for the bottom of the fourth, and to this point it’s been a combined 21 batters up, and 21 batters down for the offenses with 8 strikeouts. Furcal continues the run with a grounder that Ozzie gets to easily and throws to first. The next man up is Carlos Beltran. Carp makes mincemeat outta him, moving his pitches in and out masterfully, and Beltran succumbs to the curveball, for the second out. Larry Walker is up now, and Carp attacks him. The two seamer moves in on his hands and catches the inside corner for 0-1. The next pitch is the curve, and Walker is waiting…he slices one out to left that will drop in for the first base hit of the game! Carpenter is unfazed as he gets Cepeda on strikes to end the inning. It’s 0-0 heading to the 5th.

    Gibson looks menacing on the mound, and the pressure he’s putting on the Little Rock offense is relentless. Brian Jordan lifts a fly ball out to center, which Harrison Bader backpedals a little bit for but easily collects for the first out. The next man up is Yadier Molina, who shows some patience in working a 3-2 count. Gibby goes with the slider away and Molina throws the bat head at it…plinking it into right field for a 1 out base hit! Martin then strikes out, and it looks like the inning is going to end without much drama. Julian Javier is up…and Gibby misses his spot…the fastball is center cut and it’s rocketed toward the gap in left! It looks like it may drop! Jim Edmonds is on the run and dives…and makes the catch! That would have likely scored the run, and Edmonds saved it! The home fans are roaring with glee as we move past the halfway point. The Memphis offense is looking to get something going, and Edmonds intends to make it happen. He waits for the Carpenter pitch to get deep into the zone before lining it out to left field for the leadoff base hit. The next batter is Troy Glaus. Carpenter looks intently for the sign and likes what he sees from Yadi. Glaus is overwhelmed by the Carpenter fastball, and he’s quickly in an 0-2 hole. His next pitch looks like a dart coming in and Glaus pops it helplessly up on the infield, for the first out. Now it’s up to Porter, who is looking to put one over the fence. Somehow, the preternatural Yadi understands this and has Carpenter throw inside all three times…the final one to collect the strikeout. Yadi fires it up to first and catches Edmonds leaning…Galarraga applies the tag and he’s out! The inning ends with the game still tied.

    Moving on to the sixth, Gibson feels like his stuff is coming on and he gives the Little Rock hitters nothing to work with. He gets a strikeout of Bader and Carpenter goes down without swinging. Ozzie once again puts bat to ball, but it’s a weak grounder to Javier and Gibby is done with six innings. Carpenter gets Polanco, Gibson and Furcal in the bottom of the 6th, and gets a strikeout of his counterpart around two ground balls that Ozzie assists on to finish the inning unblemished as well. The seventh finally brings some action. Galarraga works the very first walk of the game, and is followed by O’Neill grounding one softly up the third base line. Glaus makes a really good play on the ball to get the speedy O’Neill, but Galarraga moves to second base. The visiting fans begin to stir in anticipation. Brian Jordan hits one sharply, but it’s not much difficulty for Walker to go get it as he gets the second out. The next batter is Molina. Yadi looks fastball on a 1-0 pitch and gets it…he lines it into left for the base hit! Galarraga is being waved home and here comes the throw to the plate from Walker…and he’s out! The tie remains and the home team has held. In the bottom of the 7th, the leadoff walk occurs again, with Beltran getting on base. He doesn’t dare test the vaunted arm of Molina, as much as he’d like to. Walker goes down on strikes, and Cepeda grounds one slowly to Smith, who goes for the sure out at first. Two down. The final chance for the inning is Edmonds. Carpenter misses just low the first pitch. The second is a two seamer that is wide of the zone. He’s in the driver’s seat now, and he knows it. The two seamer is put down again and Edmonds lines it out into the gap! Out of nowhere, Harrison Bader comes flying and dives…and makes the catch! What a play…Bader’s hat goes flying as he holds his glove up in triumph, as the home fans groan that the glovework has cost them a sure run. It remains 0-0 going to the eighth.

    In the top of the 8th, Gibson is rolling. He’s thrown 85 pitches and looks primed to go the distance. Pepper Martin is his first strikeout victim of the inning, and Julian Javier the second. Harrison Bader tries to bunt for a base hit, but the ball gets a little too far in front of the plate and Gibby makes a fine play, firing to first to get the final out of the frame. On to the bottom of the 8th. Carpenter is matching his counterpart with 90 pitches. The leadoff man is Troy Glaus, who can’t make contact as Carpenter collects another K. Next up is Darrell Porter. The lefty catcher shows excellent patience and works the count full. The home fans do their best to make some noise. Carp turns the ball between his fingers and lines up for the throw to the plate. The ball comes in and it looks like it’s not sinking quite as much as he’d like. Porter swings…and smokes it out to right. Jordan is on the run, heading toward the wall…he dives, and it’s…out of here!! Darrell Porter has just hit a tiebreaking home run!! It’s pandemonium as the fans go crazy and his teammates are up and out of the dugout to wait on him near the on deck circle! Polanco looks jubilant as he moves to the plate. Carpenter lets him know that there’s still baseball to be played as he brushes him back with an inside heater. Polanco wakes up from his daydream quickly and grounds out. Gibson looks displeased with Carpenter’s pitching but is in no position to do any damage as Carp gets him swinging for the final out of the inning.

    We move on to the 9th inning and it’s Little Rock’s last chance. Gibson will face the pinch hitter, David Eckstein. Gibby’s first pitch comes to the plate and…it hits Eckstein?! It was meant to be a brush back but Eckstein didn’t flinch as the ball hits him in the bicep and he walks to first base, the tying run on base! The home fans can’t believe it, and Schoendist wonders if Gibby has lost his mind. The next man up is Ozzie Smith, who bunts Eckstein over to second with one out. The tying run is in scoring position. Galarraga is your next man up. Andres takes a couple mighty cuts, trying to give his team the lead. Gibson’s pitches just elude him. The third pitch is in the dirt, blocked by Porter to prevent Eckstein from scampering over to third. The 1-2 bends so sharply that it looks like it may hit Galarraga before it bends back into the zone and the umpire signals strike! Two are down now, and the final chance is Tyler O’Neill. Tyler stands in, ready for the pitch…and it’s a strike. The next one is wide of the zone and O’Neill wisely lays off. The 1-1 fastball is to the plate and O’Neill connects! It flies out to left and Walker is on the move. The wind knocks it just down and Walker gets it on the run at the warning track, and we are done. Memphis has won a 1-0 thriller and leads the series by the same margin. Little Rock will have their do-or-die moment tomorrow, as it will be the Memphis fans sleeping soundly tonight.

    #179950
    flood21
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Good pitching duel. Gibby’s ready to go in
    relief if needed in game 3.

    #179951
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Darrell Porter with the game winner!

    1982 NLCS MVP and WS MVP

    #179968
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 2

    The I-40 Series continues after the barn burner in game 1. Both teams probably feel like they could have done more in the first game, but the pitching was stellar throughout. Thankfully for the bats, neither Gibson nor Carpenter will be starting this game, so they also feel like a reprieve is due. The weather is lovely, 72 degrees and a very light wind blowing right to left field. Little Rock is thrilled to be hosting this game, as they roll out the red carpet for both the visitors and home team alike. The mayors of the respective towns are both present in the stands, and the first pitch at Dickey-Stephens Park is thrown out by Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson, who fires one right down the middle. The fans applaud and we are ready for game 2!!

    Your lineups, brought to you by Dillard’s:

    Memphis Cardinals
    Manager Red Schoendist

    S – Rafael Furcal – SS
    S – Carlos Beltran – RF
    L – Larry Walker – LF
    R – Orlando Cepeda – 1B
    L – Jim Edmonds – CF
    R – Troy Glaus – 3B
    L – Darrell Porter -C
    R – Placido Polanco – 2B
    R – Lon Warneke – RHP

    Little Rock Cardinals
    Manager – Mike Shildt

    S – Ozzie Smith – SS
    R – Andres Galarraga – 1B
    R – Tyler O’Neill – LF
    R – Brian Jordan – RF
    R – Yadier Molina – C
    R – Pepper Martin – 3B
    R – Julian Javier – 2B
    R – Harrison Bader – CF
    L – John Tudor – LHP

    Tudor’s first pitch is a slider that Furcal pounds into the dirt and is a quick first out. The fans appreciate the speed with which Tudor works, as hopefully it means a quick win for the home team. Beltran and Walker don’t fare much better as both ground out and the side is retired. In the bottom of the first, the home team goes to work. Warneke gets Smith to lead things off, but Galarraga singles to left for the game’s first base hit. Next up is Tyler O’Neill. The musclebound Canadian stands in and works the count 3-1 in his favor. Warneke tries a get me over strike, and O’Neill hits a rocket! It’s on a line out to left center…and gone!! Little Rock takes a 2-0 lead and the fans are leaping and shouting their appreciation. Brian Jordan follows with a single, but Warneke gets Molina to fly out to end the inning.

    The second inning brings the first hit for Memphis as Cepeda gets a broken bat single out to left. Unfortunately, Edmonds can’t move him over as the changeup fools him and he goes down swinging. Glaus flies out to left and then Porter grounds one that Smith flips to 2nd for the force out and the home team is up again. Warneke looks better than he did in the first, and facing three righties, makes some hay. He gets a strikeout of Bader to cap off the easy inning. In the third, the pitchers look to be settled in. Tudor does walk Polanco, but Warneke can’t bunt him over and it’s costly as the Little Rock defense is air tight. Furcal grounds one to the right of Smith, who gets it and fires to 2nd for one…and on to first for the double play! Warneke gets two quick outs to start the bottom of the third before walking Galarraga in front of the dangerous O’Neill. This time, Lon wins the battle as he gets O’Neill to chase one low and away, and the third ends with Little Rock in front by two.

    In the fourth, Memphis cuts into the lead. Beltran leads off with a single. Schoendist calls for the hit and run, and it works to get him over to 2nd on the grounder by Walker. Cepeda is up now, and he slaps the first pitch he sees out to left. Beltran flies around third and slides into home to make it a 2-1 game. Edmonds and Glaus can’t move the runner any further, and the game moves to the bottom half of the 4th. Brian Jordan is your leadoff man…and he singles to center field to lead it off. Yadier Molina follows with another single, this one to right. Jordan’s base running skills are on display as he moves from first to third, and the home fans feel a big inning coming on. Martin is now at the dish, and he grounds one up the middle…Furcal snares it, steps on second and fires to first for the double play. But the run scores, and Little Rock has their lead back. Javier ends the inning by flying out to center.

    Next up for Memphis is the trio of Porter, Polanco and Warneke. Tudor is spotting his fastball well and mixing it up with offspeed pitches. He gets two grounders and then strikes his fellow hurler out to bring us to the midway point of the game. The bottom of the fifth leads us off with Bader. Harrison singles to left for another leadoff base hit. Warneke attempts to bunt him over but the bunt is a little too hard. Glaus gets to it before it hits the ground, and Bader is lucky to get back to first. When Smith pops out to the 2nd baseman, it looks like the opportunity may be squandered. Galarraga steps in and Warneke confidently paints the corner for strike one. The Big Cat watches for the next pitch and pounces on it…a bomb deep out to left field that leaves in a hurry! The home fans are on their feet once again as the lead has grown to 5-1!! Warneke is removed from the game as he looks spent. Perhaps the pressure was a bit much for the native Arkansan. Into the game is Dennis Eckersley, bent on giving the rest of the staff a break. Eck gets out of the inning by fanning O’Neill. The home team looks to be in control.

    The next two innings go quickly by, with Tudor finishing his outing off after 6 innings. He allows nary a ball to leave the infield and walks off the mound to an ovation. He has put his team back in the series. Eckersley looks dominant in striking out two in the home half of the sixth. In the seventh, the new Little Rock pitcher is Bruce Sutter. Sutter has his way with the Memphis lineup and gets Cepeda and Edmonds to ground out. Glaus is his final victim as he throws one by him and Troy swings through it. The crowd is sensing that the game is going in their favor and are standing nonstop at this point. The offense is stymied by Eckersley, with the pinch hitter Ludwick collecting the only hit in the bottom of the seventh. He’s quickly erased as Smith grounds into an inning ending double play. On to the 8th.

    Lee Smith is the new Little Rock pitcher, and he is greeted by a Darrell Porter double into the right field corner. Memphis is hoping that they can break through here. The next batter is Polanco, and Placido does his job with a single to right, scoring the run and cutting the lead to 5-2. Smith gets a visit from Molina, and it seems to do the trick. He gets the pinch hitter Pendleton to pop up to first, and then strikes out Furcal. With two down, Beltran gets sawed off and somehow, impossibly, the ball finds a tiny gap in between Javier and Galarraga, squirting into right field. Polanco is moving on contact and strolls into third. With runners on the corners, the tying run will come to the plate! It’s Larry Walker. Walker looks for a pitch to drive…a 2-1 fastball looks the best, but he just barely misses the barrel and the ball lands harmlessly in Jordan’s mitt to end the threat. The fans look relieved. Schoendist brings out another reliever for the bottom of the inning…it’s lefty Jerry Reuss. Reuss looks sharp and the Little Rock offense doesn’t do much. No walks, no hits and we are on to the ninth for Memphis’ last shot.

    Smith is out on the mound again, and he will be facing Cepeda to lead it off. Orlando is game, but Lee is too good and Ozzie gets the soft liner on the fly for the first out. The next man up is Jim Edmonds. Jimmy is swinging at the first pitch and hits it out to center field…Bader is on the run and makes the play look almost too easy as it falls into his glove and he spins and tosses it into the infield with one smooth motion. There are two down and the crowd of 8000+ are on their feet and cheering! Smith fires pitches into the zone one after one. Glaus takes the first and fouls off the next two. With the 0-2 count, it’s the pitcher’s playground and he snaps off a curve that barely makes the plate. Glaus swings meekly and tries to hold up…he just nicks it and it travels out toward short…here comes the Wizard on the charge…he bare hands it and throws it on to Galarraga and he’s out!! Little Rock has won it! The 5-2 victory means that tomorrow’s game in Memphis will be for the series. The fans of west Tennessee will surely be ready!!

    #179969
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    A game with both Edmonds and Bader in CF is well worth the price of admission.

    #179970
    flood21
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    The rubber game of the series looks like a match between Dan Haren and Mark Mulder who were traded for each other back in the day.

    #179973
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    The rubber game of the series looks like a match between Dan Haren and Mark Mulder who were traded for each other back in the day.

    Will we get to see who won that trade after all? Haha

    #179980
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Quarterfinal Series Game 3

    Memphis is going crazy with anticipation, despite it being only a day between games, as the entire city grinds to a halt before the 5 PM gametime. The fans are filing down to AutoZone park, which is holding some 20,000 fans tonight, the vast majority rooting for their home team. The teams are ready and so is the crowd!!

    Your lineups, brought to you by International Paper:

    Little Rock Cardinals
    Manager – Mike Shildt

    S – Ozzie Smith – SS
    R – Andres Galarraga – 1B
    R – Tyler O’Neill – LF
    R – Brian Jordan – RF
    R – Yadier Molina – C
    R – Pepper Martin – 3B
    R – Julian Javier – 2B
    R – Harrison Bader – CF
    L – Mark Mulder – LHP

    Memphis Cardinals
    Manager Red Schoendist

    S – Rafael Furcal – SS
    S – Carlos Beltran – RF
    L – Larry Walker – LF
    R – Orlando Cepeda – 1B
    L – Jim Edmonds – CF
    R – Troy Glaus – 3B
    L – Darrell Porter -C
    R – Placido Polanco – 2B
    R – Dan Haren – RHP

    Dan Haren, who was famously traded for tonight’s opposimg pitcber, walks to the mound and is ready to take on the Little Rock lineup. Ozzie Smith has not done much with the bat this series, and that continues as he grounds out to lead the game off. Haren then gets Galarraga and he’s off to a good start. Tyler O’Neill steps in and is ready…the first pitch curve is middle-middle and O’Neill doesn’t miss it…the ball flies high and deep…and gone! The 450 foot laser gives Little Rock a quick 1-0 lead! Haren then gets Jordan to ground out to end the top of the 1st. Mark Mulder is tasked with holding the lead for Little Rock…a tall one indeed. It lasts for all of one batter. Furcal grounds out and then Beltran is up…Carlos waits on the curve and then deposits it out into the left field seats and the game is tied! Walker singles, but Mulder gets a double play ball to end the first.

    The offense continues in the second, with Little Rock striking first. Yadi singles…then Martin singles…after a fly out by Javier, Bader singles and Little Rock retakes a 2-1 lead. Their small cheering section erupts! The pressure is still on, but Haren gets Mulder on a foul bunt and then Ozzie grounds out for the final out. The bottom of the second brings Mulder back to the mound, and he allows a Glaus home run to bring the game back into another tie. The Memphis fans go wild as this one looks like it’ll have plenty of fireworks.

    So it goes in both the third and the fourth, with the starting pitchers giving up solo homers; Mulder to Furcal in the third and Haren to Bader in the fourth. We are tied at 3 going to the fifth. In that frame, both pitchers end up finishing their outing with three earned. It will come down to be relief corps. The top of the 6th brings in a new Memphis pitcher, Jerry Reuss. The big lefty will be facing the top of the Little Rock lineup. Smith begins things by dropping a perfect bunt that goes for a base hit. He then steals second when Reuss’ timing gets a little too predictable from the stretch. Unfortunately, Galarraga and O’Neill strike out, but Brian Jordan comes through on a 2-2 pitch and singles to center, and the speedy Smith comes around to make it a 4-3 Little Rock lead! In the bottom of the 6th, Shildt goes with Bruce Sutter. Sutter slips past the top of the Memphis lineup, punctuating the inning by striking out Larry Walker with the splitter to preserve the lead. The 7th looms, and the home fans are nervous.

    Reuss comes out for one more inning, and he’s to face Martin, Javier and Bader. After two quick outs, Bader ends the chance of the quick inning by knocking one into the gap in left center…he’s moving and easily gets the double. Little Rock’s bench is psyched and they are ready to celebrate at a moment’s notice. The pinch hitter is Ryan Ludwick. Reuss fires wide for the first ball. The next pitch never reaches the mitt, as Ludwick launches it out toward center…Edmonds is on the run and he scales the wall…and makes the catch!! Jim Edmonds has saved the home run and it’s the home dugout’s turn to go nuts. That one will be shown on the highlight reels for a looong time! Game 1 starter Chris Carpenter is your reliever for the bottom of the seventh as Little Rock clings to the lead. Carp is looking sharp, with his two seamer breaking two bats in the inning. In between, he walks Edmonds and is looking at a 2-2 count on Glaus when Troy lines one into left field for the base hit. With two runners on and one down, Carpenter gets a much needed punchout of Porter. Polanco is up now. The count works in Carp’s favor and he gets his pitch in on the hands of Placido…whose broken bat flare is heading out to center. Bader is playing a little deep and has to sprint it…he runs and dives…and makes the catch! His golden locks fly loose in the fading light, and he has kept the Little Rock team in the lead as we go to the 8th!

    In the eighth, Schoendist brings out Eckersley in relief. The imposing righty looks locked in. He gets Smith swinging for the first out. An uncharacteristic error by Walker in left allows for Galarraga to be standing on second base with one out. O’Neill hits a swinging bunt, with the ball squibbed out in front of the plate. Porter takes the sure play and throws O’Neill out, with the Big Cat moving to third. Brian Jordan is up, and he goes down on strikes as Eck isn’t gonna mess around. He’s off to the dugout and the Little Rock lead remains 4-3. Carpenter returns to the mound for the 8th. He is attacking hitters with everything he’s got, determined to will his team into the next round. Pinch hitter Reggie Sanders is lucky enough to single into left to start things off, but is stranded as Carp goes strikeout-fly ball-strikeout to end the slight threat. We move to the ninth, and Memphis hasn’t scored since the third inning. The local beat writers are beginning to write their season ending narrative, and it doesn’t look so good for their GM.

    In the final stanza, the road warriors step in to face the new pitcher, Bob Gibson. Schoendist is hoping for as many innings as he can get from Gibby, who looks like he could throw all night. Gibby faces Molina, Javier and Bader in the top of the 9th, and the ball must look like a grain of sand coming to the plate. Gibby can’t be squared up and gets Molina to pop up into foul territory for the first out. Javier grounds one somehow past the shortstop and into left field for a single. The momentum is short lived as Bader strikes out and there are two down. The pinch hitter steps in, and it’s David Eckstein. He’s no match for Gibby, who gets him looking at strike three and this game looks like it will be won or lost in the bottom of the ninth! The new pitcher is Lee Smith, who walks to the mound looking a little nervous. Of course, who wouldn’t be? Orlando Cepeda is your first batter. Cepeda looks calm and collected, and works a full count. He fouls a couple of good breaking pitches off before Smith just misses his spot and loses Cepeda to the walk. Orlando walks up to first base. Your next man up is Jim Edmonds. Smith throws a fastball that Edmonds watches go right down central…strike one. Fans are wondering why Jimmy didn’t swing…that was a great pitch to hit. The next pitch misses low…1-1. A fastball goes wide again for a 2-1 count. Smith comes back with a beautiful change. 2-2. Yadi signals for the high fastball…and Smith puts it right in the glove. Or would have. Edmonds sits back a little and launches it…high…deep….and gone!!! The ball sails over the wall in right and Memphis has improbably, inconceivably, impossibly, won the game and the series!! 5-4 is your final.

    It’s as if the entire city just caught its breath and the chaos is evident. Fans rush onto the field and the cameras have a hard time distinguishing fan from player. Edmonds is mobbed first by his teammates, and later by the rush of fans. Little Rock’s players walk slowly off the field, as they were so close to continuing to chase their dreams, only for it to vanish in an instant. They are thankful for the opportunity, however. For Memphis, it’s redemption as they live to fight another day. The semifinals are waiting.

    Memphis defeats Little Rock, two games to one.

    #179985
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    That Memphis lineup with its switch hitters and staggered L/R batting order is really tough.

    #180004
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Sadly, tonight’s first game of the semifinal series between Jamestown and Springfield has been postponed due to inclement weather. Looking forward to seeing how these two match up, though! By the WAR/yr metric, they were the top two teams drafted. How did the voters decide, though? It’ll be decided “on the field” over the next few days!

    #180037
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Semifinal Series, Game 1

    Now that the field has been pared down to the four semifinalists, the baseball world shifts their attention to St Louis proper, where all the rest of our games will be played. Many fans come from all over and hotels are full of those who’ve come in from such far flung places as New York, California, Mexico, Qatar, Malaysia, and even Madagascar. This truly will be a “world” title for one great team. This first semifinal series features two excellent squads who were right there to the end of the season and are ready for a chance at the championship. Your setting…Sportsman’s Park, aka “Busch Stadium I,” with some 40,000 fans filling every nook and cranny of the stadium for tonight’s game. The Springfield Cardinals have been selected as the home team for tonight’s game. St Louis is ready!

    Your lineups, brought to you by Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company, builders of the Gateway Arch:

    Jamestown Cardinals
    Manager – Tony Larussa

    S – Frankie Frisch, 2B
    L – JD Drew, RF
    R – Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
    R – Dick Allen, LF
    R – Scott Rolen, 3B
    L – Andy Van Slyke, CF
    R – Spud Davis, C
    R – Bobby Wallace, SS
    L – Steve Carlton, LHP

    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 – Cy Young – RHP

    The fans are standing and hollering as Cy Young throws the first pitch of the game. It’s a strike to Frisch, and we’re off. Young appears to be on his game, as the only base runner allowed in the first is a single off the bat of JD Drew, who is stranded after Cy gets Goldschmidt and Allen to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Carlton rings up Berkman and McGraw to get out of the inning without incident. Young puts up another 0 in the top of the second, with Rolen flying out and Van Slyke and Davis hitting slow grounders to the shortstop and second baseman, respectively. It’s 0-0 through one and a half innings. In the bottom of the second, Carlton blinks first. His first batter is Matt Holliday, who works a 2-0 count and then rips a double down into the left field corner. Hernandez moves him to third on a ground ball to the right side, and now Tenace rips a single back up the middle for a 1-0 lead! Carlton looks imposing as he strikes out Hemus and gets Boyer to bounce one to Wallace, who makes the play to get him at first to end the second.

    In the top of the third, Young puts another 0 on the scoreboard. This time, he dials it up a bit and strikes out Wallace…and then Carlton. Frisch gets a piece of a pitch, but there’s Hemus with the 4-3 putout to end the frame. Springfield is looking to go back on the attack in the bottom of the third. Young leads it off and strikes out, while the order turns over and Berkman is up. Carlton quickly gets ahead 0-2, but can’t finish him off as the switch hitter inside outs one into right field for a base hit. Chick Hafey is up now, and he too singles, this time to center field! Berkman gets an amazing jump and goes first to third, and now Springfield is in a great position. Their shortstop, John McGraw, is at the plate. The lefty on lefty matchup looks like it may go to the batter as he grounds one to the left side that just might slip through! But no…Wallace flies over, just gets to the ball as he slides to one knee, then fires home in one motion and nabs the stunned Berkman, who thought he would easily score!! The crowd is thrilled with the brilliant play from one of the sport’s earliest defensive masters. Wallace simply smiles and tips his cap to the crowd. Springfield feels a little let down by that, and Carlton capitalizes by blowing one by Holliday to end the inning with his fifth strikeout of the game.

    Jamestown seizes on the momentum in the top of the fourth. JD Drew walks, followed by a fly out by Goldschmidt. Young now faces Dick Allen. Allen steps up and looks for a pitch to drive…and that he does. Young’s fastball drifts a little too much over the plate and Allen crushes it…way back and over the 426 foot wall in left center; Jamestown has taken the 2-1 lead!! The fans who’ve traveled to watch their team play jump and high five each other as the offense has staked Carlton to the lead. Young gets Rolen to bounce out, and then strikes out Van Slyke and no more damage is done. Carlton walks back out and looks determined to keep his team in front. He will face two lefties this inning, and his slider looks unhittable. In fact, the slider does not entirely miss the bat of Hernandez, but Davis manages to hold on for the strikeout. Tenace flies out to Van Slyke, and then Carlton uses the slider to induce a weak grounder that Rolen easily fires across the diamond to nab Hemus. On to the 5th we go!

    Jamestown smells blood in the water. Davis singles off Young and is followed by Wallace with a seeing-eye ground ball that somehow sneaks between Boyer and McGraw. When Carlton gets down a perfect sac bunt to move the runners over, it feels like Jamestown is about to blow this game wide open. Frankie Frisch is your man of the hour. Frisch is watching for any sign of what Young is about to throw. He thinks that he sees it as he stands in the on deck circle. He takes strike one, and then believes that he’s going to get a curveball on the 0-1 delivery. He’s right and he smokes it into center field on a line. The ball is hit so hard that it hardly gets 6 feet off the ground. Unfortunately, it’s hit right at Hafey, who gets it and hurls the ball toward home plate. Davis is charging home and…he’s out!! What a throw by Hafey, who has saved a run with his stellar toss. Carlton looks unfazed and comes back out for the fifth and looks to keep rolling. Boyer is his first victim, as Ken can only wave at the slider coming in on his hands before walking back to the dugout. Young will hit for himself and does well to lift a fly ball into left that Allen makes a little more adventurous than he should, but it’s nabbed for the second out. Berkman is up and he lines one right at Frisch, who makes the play that surely stung his hand a little but is worth it to keep his team up by a run.

    The top of the sixth is a drama free inning for Young, who finishes the frame with 98 pitches after a 1-2-3 of the trip of Drew, Goldschmidt and Allen, no small feat. The bottom of the sixth brings up Hafey, who walks to start things off. Unfortunately, McGraw is doubled up on the grounder to Frisch, 4-6-3. The bases are clear for Holliday, who works a 3-2 count before singling to left field to put on some pressure. It now looks like this will be the end of the game for Carlton, whose 109th pitch strikes out Hernandez to end the 6th. Carlton has nothing to be ashamed of for his fine outing, although he certainly would have liked to go a little deeper in the game.

    The offense looks to ensure him a win as we move to the 7th inning. Rolen singles to lead us off. The Springfield bullpen begins to stir, and Huggins is out to talk to Young. Cy promises that he’s good to finish the inning, and Huggins looks out to the pen in hopes that Young is a prophet. It isn’t looking so good when Young loses Van Slyke to a walk after putting him a 1-2 count. Andy’s eye was razor sharp that at bat, for sure. Although the umpire’s zone looks to have shrunk a little bit. The Springfield fans have a sinking feeling in their stomachs, as the offense is keying in on that Young curveball. Davis is now your batter. He’s swinging on the first pitch, and fouls one just outside the third base bag. The next pitch is wide…ball one. The 1-1 pitch is on its way and it’s rapped down the third base line! Boyer is playing closer to the bag than usual in case of a steal attempt, and he grabs it quickly. He steps on third base for one…adroitly chucks it to Hemus at 2nd for two…and the catcher’s speed burns the Jamestown side as Hemus fires to first, with Hernandez stretching to receive the throw. He’s out!! It’s a triple play!! Jamestown’s fans groan but everyone else cheers at the defensive feat, as Young finds a way to use his defense and get out of the game. The score remains 2-1, Jamestown. The bottom of the 7th brings a new Jamestown pitcher, Jack Flaherty. Flaherty is tasked to hold the lead, and starts things off with a wicked slider to punch out Tenace. The slider doesn’t quite have the same bite as he tries to back foot one to Hemus, who lines it out into right center for the base hit. Springfield is in business. The next man up is Boyer, who will look to be patient and let the pitches come to him. Flaherty is struggling to find the new, smaller zone and quickly works himself into a 3-0 hole. Boyer won’t swing at the next pitch and it’s a 3-1 count. That pitch misses wide and there will now be two runners on for the pinch hitter, Jake Beckley. Beckley is going to make up for lost time and he’s swinging at the first pitch…and lines it into the deep gap in right center! One run is in…now a second run is in as the relay finally comes toward the infield…Beckley is racing toward third and slides in belly first, his triple giving Springfield the 3-2 lead!! Flaherty is visibly upset as Larussa comes to the mound to calm him down. The pep talk seems to work as Jack channels his aggression into his pitches, hitting 98 and then 99 mph on a strikeout of Berkman, and then using the hook to fool Hafey and end the inning.

    The top of the 8th brings another Springfield pitcher, with Howie Pollet in to face Wallace, the pinch hitter Carpenter, and Frisch. It’s a massacre, as Wallace grounds out to McGraw and then the lefty Carpenter can’t do anything with the New Orleans native’s bayou breaking ball, striking out on a foul tip. When Frisch pops out on the infield, the Jamestown team’s hopes are fading. The closer Henke will be your new pitcher for the bottom of the eighth, and he’s looking stellar. He sets the Springfield side down in order, striking out Holliday in between ground balls from McGraw and Hernandez that are handled up the middle deftly by the second baseman.

    The top of the ninth looms as a pivotal point for both these teams. Percival is in and he looks to hold onto the lead and the crucial game one. He will face JD Drew first. Drew looks like he hit it on the screws, but it’s a grounder right at the second baseman. Hemus throws him out and there’s one down. Your next man up is Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy takes a ball, then a strike. Then another strike, and a ball. Percival goes breaking ball to try to put Goldschmidt away and the ball slides into the strike zone. Goldy swings and it’s a rocket…way out to left center…and gone off the railing in the seats! It’s 3-3!! Or is it? Hafey protests and tosses the ball back into the infield. This one is going to have to go to replay. Reviews seem to show that this one may not have hit the wall a mere inch or so below the top, and it’s confirmed. It’ll be a double for Goldschmidt, who was smart enough to run it out anyway. He stands on second with Allen at the plate. Percival saw Allen crush one earlier over the same spot that Goldschmidt just missed a homer moments before, so he’s careful to not give Allen much to hit. Allen, however, swings anyway…and grounds out to Hernandez, who makes a fine stop and flips to Percival covering the bag for the second out. It’s down to this, now. Scott Rolen is a base hit away from tying this one up. Goldschmidt is a good runner at second, and he just needs a chance to run it home. Rolen takes a ball low. Then a ball outside. He looks for one to drive 2-0…and it’s launched to left! It’s deep…but foul. The Springfield fans let out a sigh of relief as that one was smoked. The next pitch is a beauty, breaking down and away, and Rolen can’t lay off as he swings through. It’s 2-2 and Troy feels like he’s in the driver’s seat. Tenace sets the glove high in the zone and Percival rears back and fires one 98 toward the plate. Rolen swings…connects…it’s out to center, and Hafey is back on it…back on it…and makes the catch at the track. Springfield has won it, 3-2, and taken the first game of the series.

    The fans in St Louis can’t stop talking about tonight’s game, with the talk radio, local sports anchors, and all the best Cardinals blogs like The Cardinal Nation lit up all night talking about the key moments that turned the game. It’s certain to be exciting when these two teams match up again tomorrow night. The city can’t wait!

    #180041
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Good game Commish.

    #180044
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Good game Commish.

    Indeed! It’s a game of inches. Nichols vs Vance should be a good match.

    #180051
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    I couldn’t pick a favorite from the four remaining clubs. Memphis has that lineup and Gibby. Peoria and Springfield can really pitch and Jamestown is the most well rounded for my money.

    #180054
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Semifinal Series, Game 2

    While the Jamestown team is down in the series, they probably felt like they let Game 1 slip away and could easily have won it. In fact, Tony Larussa said as much to the team in the locker room after the game. For the Springfield Cardinals, it’s about keeping the pressure on. Manager Miller Huggins met with the media before game 2 and talked about making sure his team does all the little things right, and the wins will follow. St Louis is alive and rocking as they head to Sportsman’s Park for Game 2!!

    Your lineups, brought to you by Schnucks:

    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

    Jamestown Cardinals
    Manager – Tony Larussa

    S – Frankie Frisch, 2B
    L – JD Drew, RF
    R – Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
    R – Dick Allen, LF
    R – Scott Rolen, 3B
    L – Andy Van Slyke, CF
    R – Spud Davis, C
    R – Bobby Wallace, SS
    R – Dazzy Vance, RHP

    The Springfield offense is out to put this one out of reach early. Lefty Lance Berkman leads off and is aware that Dazzy Vance has been dominant when he gets ahead in the count in these playoffs. He pounces on the 1-0 pitch and lines it out into the gap in right field. Van Slyke is over to cut it off, but not before Berkman waltzes into second with the leadoff hit. Hafey swings at the first pitch, but grounds it to the shortstop, who throws across the field and gets the first out. The next batter is John McGraw. He takes a ball and strike, then strokes the 1-1 fastball out to right field, where it drops softly in front of JD Drew. Berkman is running with the contact and easily scores the run to make it 1-0. Next up is Matt Holliday, who lines out to left field. Two down. Keith Hernandez is your fifth batter of the inning. He settles in and takes a ball, then a strike. Vance tries to sneak a curve by him, and Hernandez lines it over Goldschmidt’s head and down the right field line! Drew is on the run and cuts it off before it gets into the corner, but with two out, McGraw is easily able to score and make it 2-0, Springfield. Vance then settles down and gets Tenace swinging to end the top of the first. Kid Nichols has been staked to the lead, and is aggressively pitching in the zone in the bottom of the inning. Frisch and Drew both ground out on the second pitch of their at bats, and Goldschmidt takes strike three to end the inning.

    The second inning brings more pressure on Vance, as he walks the leadoff man, Hemus. Boyer swings and misses on a hit and run sign, but Hemus is safely into second with one down. Nichols then swings and hits one to Frisch, who throws him out but the runner advances to third. Berkman comes up with a chance to drive in a run, and Vance gets him to fly one into right field that Drew collects for the third out. Jamestown needs some offense, and turns to Dick Allen. Allen comes through and singles out to left. The hopeful moment is short lived, however, as Rolen grounds one to the left side. Boyer bounds to his left, gloves it, fires to second for one and it’s on to first for the double play. Andy Van Slyke then strikes out to end the second.

    Moving on to the third, the Springfield offense begins to stagnate, or Vance finds his release point…one or the other. The first victim is Chick Hafey, who gets three straight pitches on the outside corner and only swings at the final one, going down on strikes. The next up is McGraw, and he gets under one and pops it into shallow center field, where Frisch makes the play going out. Finally, Holliday is fooled on curveball that darts across the plate and gets called as strike 3. Jamestown shares a similar fate as they ground out all three at bats to finish out the third.

    Vance continues his hot streak in the fourth, getting Hernandez to ground out to Frisch and then punching out Tenace and Hemus. He’s single handedly keeping his team in the game and their hopes for the season alive. He gets some help in the bottom of the fourth, when his offense roars to life. It starts out innocently, with Frisch dragging a bunt up the first base line that catches everyone off guard. He stands at first base with none out for JD Drew. Nichols tries to sneak a fastball in on his hands, and loses it too far in, catching Drew on the wrist and putting yet another runner on. The third man up is Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy is waiting on the two seamer and lines it into right field for a base hit, scoring Frisch and cutting the Springfield lead to 2-1. Dick Allen is up next, and hopes for a repeat of the second inning. Vance makes a good pitch, but Allen goes down and gets it, lining it out to left…just a little too hard, in fact as the ball flies into the mitt of Holliday for the first out of the inning. Scott Rolen is your next man up, and he’s going to force Nichols into the zone. After two pitches outside, Nichols complies and puts one into the zone. Rolen swings and it’s smoked! The ball flies out to left…and into the bleachers!! Jamestown has taken a 4-2 lead and Nichols hangs his head on the mound. Huggins comes out to talk to him, hoping to keep his pitcher from hanging any more pitches. Unfortunately, Jamestown is locked in now and Andy Van Slyke launches another home run, this one out to right and the lead is 5-2. But they’re not done…Davis and Wallace single, and Nichols is lucky to get a reprieve when Vance bunts them over, giving himself up despite a shaky throw over to first from Nichols himself that Hernandez makes a great play on. Frisch is your tenth batter of the inning, and he responds by singling on the first pitch, scoring two more runs. It’s 7-2 Jamestown, and the fans are stunned and euphoric at the same time. The bullpen is frantically trying to get someone hot now, but it’s not in time as JD Drew pummels a pitch into the alley for a standup double and another run scored. Jamestown leads 8-2 as Nichols mercifully gets out of the inning when Goldschmidt pops up the first pitch of his at bat.

    Springfield is in a serious hole now, and they know it. They attempt to battle back against Vance, who is playing with house money. He is willing to give up a base hit here or there in exchange for outs. That strategy works for the fifth and sixth, where he gives up a base hit in each frame but escapes without any runs allowed. Nichols stays the course and finishes 6 innings on 121 pitches, saving the bullpen some wear and tear for tomorrow. The Jamestown offense manages only one base hit in two innings, a single by Matt Carpenter as he pinch hits for Vance in the sixth.

    The new Jamestown pitcher for the seventh is Flaherty, who promptly gives up a home run to Ken Boyer, a shot out to left for the 3rd Springfield run in the game. The next man up is the pinch hitter, Miller Huggins, who is inserted into the game by Miller Huggins the manager. Flaherty punches him out with a sharp slider, then gets ground balls from both Berkman and Hafey to end the inning. The Jamestown offense remains ice cold after the stretch, with Drew, Goldschmidt and the defensive replacement, Jesse Burkett all being easy outs for the new Springfield pitcher, Howie Pollet. Flaherty is back out for the eighth, and Springfield chips another run away from the lead with a solo homer by Keith Hernandez the blemish on Flaherty’s record. Jack, however, bookends the inning with strikeouts of Holliday and Hemus to escape the eighth with an 8-4 Jamestown lead. Jamestown finishes their night with no runs for the seventh time in eight at bats, as Pollet allows a single to Spud Davis but no other base runners. We move to the ninth.

    The Jamestown closer is into the game, Tom Henke. Larussa hopes he will simply pound the strike zone and get the team out of this game with the W. He complies, but Boyer ruins the narrative by singling to left to start the inning. Next up is pinch hitter Jake Beckley, who is struck out on a wicked forkball by Henke. The lineup turns over and Lance Berkman is at the dish. Henke throws three straight fastballs, which turns out to be a case of going to the well one too many times, as Berkman slaps it down the right field line. Boyer is on the move and makes it all the way around to score, with Springfield pulling within 8-5. There’s a little hope left in the Springfield fans’ hearts, which grows bolder as Henke tightens up and walks Hafey to bring the tying run to the plate. The drama that had been sucked out of the game with the Jamestown explosion in the fourth is slowly coming back as the fans are getting into the game more. Henke throws his forkball for the first pitch of the at bat against McGraw, and gets a grounder that could well end the game…but McGraw beats the 4-6-3 out just barely to keep hope alive. There are now two down, and Matt Holliday is your batter with runners at the corners. The Jamestown fans back home are sitting on the edge of their seats as Henke fires a fastball for strike one. The next pitch is low in the dirt. 1-1. The third pitch is fouled off, followed by a fastball that just misses the zone. On 2-2, Henke comes inside and Holliday gets around on it…it’s lined low and toward left field…Wallace is on it and dives…and makes the catch! The Jamestown fans finally exhale and they have taken game 2, 8-5. Despite scoring in only one inning, they have managed to stave off elimination and carry the momentum into the rubber match. We can’t wait!

    #180055
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Nichols, Nichols, Nichols, got lit up!
    Good game Commish.

    #180070
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Semifinal Series Game 3

    After the Jamestown shellacking in game 2, it seems that everyone with a pen (or a keyboard) is weighing in on the final game of the series. “Springfield was lucky to win game one, and it sure seems that things turned the way they were supposed to in game two,” writes Bernie Miklasz. “With all the momentum on their side, plus an ace in the hole in Steve Carlton in relief, Jamestown is in the driver’s seat,” writes Peter Gammons. Ken Rosenthal opines, “Jamestown did only score in one inning, and what an inning it was. It will be up to them to find a way to keep the pressure on.” The first spot in the Cardinal Series will be awarded tonight, and the fans are very into it as the teams take the field at Sportsman’s Park.

    Your lineups, brought to you by Monsanto:

    Jamestown Cardinals
    Manager – Tony Larussa

    S – Frankie Frisch, 2B
    L – JD Drew, RF
    R – Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
    R – Dick Allen, LF
    R – Scott Rolen, 3B
    L – Andy Van Slyke, CF
    R – Spud Davis, C
    R – Bobby Wallace, SS
    L – Max Lanier, LHP

    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

    Willis is ready on the windup and the pitch…it’s a strike and we are into game 3! Frisch leads off and grounds out to the second baseman after three pitches, and Willis is looking good. JD Drew follows Frisch and he strikes out looking on a fastball high in the zone. That one hit Tenace right in the mitt, right where he put it! Paul Goldschmidt lifts a fly ball out to left, where Matt Holliday is waiting and the side is retired in order. The Jamestown pitcher is Max Lanier, all 5’11 and 180 lbs of him. Max will face a lineup that alternates left and right pretty much down the order. First up is Lance Berkman. He works the count full, and then singles into left to lead off the inning. That’s as far as he gets, as Lanier gets Hafey to pop up, McGraw on strikes and Holliday to line out to Wallace at short and the first inning ends 0-0.

    Willis looks strong in the second, striking out Allen to get the inning going. Rolen becomes his second victim of the inning with the overhand curve gobbling him up. Finally, Andy Van Slyke grounds one to the second baseman, who throws him out 4-3 to move us to the bottom of the 2nd. Lanier works quickly and gets Keith Hernandez to fly one that Drew easily corrals in right for the first out. Tenace raps one that just gets past Wallace and into left field for another single. Will Lanier bend, or will he break? The next batter, Hemus, tells the story. Hemus hits one up the middle that Frisch gloves and steps on second for one, then throws to Goldschmidt to complete the double play. It remains 0-0.

    In the third and fourth innings, both pitchers feel out the opposing offense a little more, with a walk and a hit allowed each, but only one base runner each inning as the score remains tied heading to the fifth. Willis has six strikeouts through four frames, and Jamestown is desperate to get something going. When Van Slyke leads the Jamestown offense off with a single to right, Larussa decides to be a little more aggressive. Davis lays down a bunt to move him to second, which opens up the chance for the intentional walk to Wallace to put men on first and second for the pitcher. Wallace and Van Slyke have good speed, and Larussa calls for the double steal. Tenace has to pick a place to throw, and it’s to third…where Boyer applies the tag and Van Slyke is out by a whisker! With two down now, Lanier swings away and strikes out, stranding the runner at second. Lanier comes to the mound and tries to keep things going on his end in the bottom of the fifth. Hemus is back up again, and he smokes one right back up the middle that nearly catches Lanier and scoots into center field for a leadoff base hit. Hemus then is moving on the 2-1 pitch to Boyer, who grounds out to Frisch. But it moves the man into scoring position. Huggins feels a little desperate for offense himself, and makes the choice to remove Willis after 80 pitches and 5 innings, with 7 punchouts. The man at the plate is Miller Huggins, himself. Huggins works a friendly count and then pounces on a fastball, driving it out to left. The ball falls in for a base hit! Hemus is galloping to the plate and it’s 1-0 Springfield!! Berkman follows with a ground ball that Rolen smartly gets the lead runner on. Then Hafey strikes out and the inning is over, but Springfield has taken the lead!

    Jamestown will face Cy Young, the new pitcher into the game for Springfield, in the sixth. Talk about a relief ace! Young rolls through the top of the lineup quickly, with three straight ground balls dispatching the side. Lanier finishes his outing in the bottom of the sixth, with McGraw and Hernandez sandwiching grounders around a Holliday fly ball that Van Slyke hauls in at the warning track. We move to the seventh, and Jamestown still can’t solve Young’s puzzle. He gets his big curve going and it’s lights out for Larussa’s hitters. Allen strikes out again, as does Rolen. Van Slyke makes contact, but it’s weak enough that Tenace is the man to get it and throw him out at first. Steve Carlton is into the game in relief of Lanier, and man does Jamestown need him to keep things steady. The first man up is Gene Tenace. The catcher rolls one out just past the mound…Wallace is charging…he bare hands it and throws…Goldschmidt stretches and he’s out! What a play by Bobby Wallace! The crowd finally has something to cheer about for Jamestown. When Hemus goes down swinging, it looks like Carlton will cruise into the 8th. His first pitch slider looks a little loopy, however, and it drifts into the zone. Boyer settles back and gives it a whack!! It’s flying out…out…Allen is back and watches as it sails over the left field wall! Boyer has given Springfield a 2-0 lead with his swat! Young then hits for himself, and Carlton takes out his frustration with three straight breaking balls that Young has no chance to hit. The inning ends, the damage done.

    The top of the 8th brings a rare leadoff hit off Young. He tries to sneak a fastball by Spud Davis, who slams it into the dirt with such ferocity that it bounds right between McGraw and Boyer and into left for a single. Alas, the task of scoring off the man they named the award for best pitcher for proves Sisyphean, as Wallace strikes out. Carpenter gives one the best ride of the entire evening, with a drive into the deepest part of the park. Unfortunately, the wall is over 420 feet away and Hafey makes the catch on the run, letting the wall curb his momentum on the play. Frisch follows with a weak grounder that Hernandez takes himself and steps on the bag to end the threat. Dazzy Vance is into the game in the bottom of the 8th. He’s looking a little shaky as he walks Berkman on four pitches to get the inning going. He looks less shaky as he Ks Hafey on three pitches for the first out. Berkman is moved to 2nd on a grounder by McGraw, but Vance induces a weak grounder by Holliday to end the inning with Springfield still clinging to the 2-0 lead.

    Jamestown has not scored since the 4th inning of yesterday’s game, and they are out of chances after this. The ninth looms and Huggins makes an odd choice. Young has been cruising, but he has a closer and he intends to use him. Percival is into the game. JD Drew leads things off. Percival pitches backwards and starts him off with two breaking balls before coming back with the fastball to try to get the out. Drew is not fooled and slaps it down the right field line. Drew aggressively turns the corner and Berkman is caught off guard. His throw is not in time and Drew has got himself a double! Huggins begins to sweat in the dugout. The next man up is Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy is sitting fastball on the 1-0 pitch and lines it into left center for a base hit! Drew is booking it home and scores easily, and Jamestown has pulled within 1!! The next batter is Dick Allen, and he knows he could give his team the win with one swing of the bat. He takes a couple of mighty cuts before choking up on the 0-2 pitch. It turns out that he probably should have held the bat normally as he just misses the sweet spot and the ball is a harmless fly ball out to Holliday, who makes the catch for the first out. Scott Rolen is your next batter. Rolen watches two Percival pitches go by, one for a ball and one for a strike. The next one is a slider and it catches the outside corner of the plate. Strike 2. Rolen then gambles on another breaker in the same spot and guesses right…he goes the other way and into right field for the base hit! Goldschmidt moseys on over to third base and is right there with only one out! Huggins is looking red faced in the dugout, but he won’t look toward his pitcher, who is still confident on the mound. The next man up is Van Slyke. He takes a ball outside. Then another outside. Then another. He’s really not going to walk him, is he? The next pitch is right down broadway…and Van Slyke swings! The ball is hit hard, but foul down the right field line. Strike 1. The next one finds dirt and Van Slyke is not fooled, walking down to first base to load the bases! The papers and blogs are starting to write their articles about how Huggins squandered a golden chance with one of the all time greats on the mound just because of some stodgy rules about “closers.” “Get with the SABR times,” they squawk. No one can bear to look as Tenace comes out to talk strategy. Things are tight. Davis is up and he takes a ball, and you can sense the tension ratcheting up. Finally, Percival finds his release and throws a 99 mph bolt right into the mitt for strike one. He follows it up with another. He may as well go with what he knows works, right? Davis decides to swing at the 1-2, but he misses badly as Percival throws another one right by him. There are two down now! The final chance is Bobby Wallace. Wallace is looking to do some damage with the bat after doing much with the glove in these playoffs so far. He takes a ball just outside before taking a strike at the knees. On the 1-1, he swings and hits a little looper out toward right. Hemus is sprinting out and Berkman is coming in and it looks like it may drop! Hemus approximates where it’ll be as he looks over his shoulder, turns and dives…he’s at full stretch as he reaches for the ball…and it just catches the tip of his glove as it dives to the earth. That little tip pops the ball up ever so slightly as Hemus continues to glide with it, and the ball bounces into the center of his glove for the out!! He remains on the ground and turns over, holding the ball triumphantly in his outstretched left hand, glove and all. It’s 2-1, your final!

    His teammates race out and dogpile on top of him, as he’s saved the inning, perhaps the game and season as well! Jamestown can’t believe it. They walk dejectedly off the diamond for one last time, giving it a great fight but ultimately falling short by miniscule proportions. For them it’ll be a long winter of “what if.” For Springfield, it’s on to the Cardinals Series as they’ve proven to be one of the best of the best. Their manager looks like a genius and the pitching is clicking. They will be a tough out.

    Springfield defeats Jamestown, two games to one

    #180075
    jj-cf-stl
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Great series. Heck of a write up!

    #180101
    kscardfan
    Participant

    Free

    That was a heck of a series I guess. Blackouts kept me from watching. If Bally’s continues with AT&T only it will be the first year of no Cards for me since FMW debuted.

    #180102
    stlcard25
    Participant

    Paid - Annual

    Since the hope was that we would get to watch baseball by the time this was done, and that isn’t going to happen, I’m gonna spread the series out a little more so that we can cover a few extra days. Sorry for the delay, and Springfield will have to face a longer than expected layoff, but this should be your schedule coming up:

    Sunday Feb 20-Tuesday Feb 22, Semifinal Series 2

    Friday Feb 25-Sunday Feb 27, Cardinal Series

    Let’s hope that there’s a corner turned and we have current day Cardinals games to look forward to by then!

    #180110
    Nigel T
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Thanks for your hard work and delightful write ups

    #180125
    flood21
    Participant

    Paid - Three Months

    Memphis vs Peoria looks like a good matchup on paper and hopefully just as good on Sportsman Park field.
    Memphis’s pitching staff biggest concern may be Peoria’s center fielder. He seems to be the sparkplug that runs their team.

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