Saturday, January 14, 2012

Red Division Game Play by Play

It was a cool morning with temps in the 50's and a pretty good breeze coming in from center field.  The Horse Racers were ready to play the Warriors in the Red division game.  We were the home team in this game since we had the better record during pool play.

Washburn and Bennett - starting pitchers
1st Inning - The inning started with me walking the first batter (never a good sign - in fantasy camp you cannot give away any free bases) -- but I came back by striking out the next two batters and a ground ball force out at 2nd to end the inning.  We had a small rally going with base hits after two fly ball outs (myself included) but another fly ball out ended the inning.
2nd Inning - this was probably my best inning - I struck out the first two batters and induced a ground ball to third and it was an easy 1-2-3 inning.  Our turn to bat and Phil got a 2 out base hit but was stranded on first when the Warriors ended the inning.
3rd Inning - I once again gave up a lead off walk to lead off the inning (Walks will haunt....) the next three batters hit ground balls and we were out of the inning.  Washburn got a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the third and so going into the 4th inning it is a 0-0 ballgame.
4th Inning - I strike out the first batter in the top of the fourth and really feeling good right now.  I get the next batter 0-2, I miss with an outside fastball and come back with another -- this was right over the plate and Hodge took the pitch back up the middle for a base hit (my first one given up).  I come back and strike out the next hitter finishing him off with two breaking balls in the dirt.  I get a ground ball to 2nd for the third out.  The bottom of fourth for us was "time" -- we had the top of the order coming up and we were ready.  Joe and Randy both fly out (on 2 pitches) and we have 2 outs.  I stroll to the plate and after taking ball one and strike one, I get my bat on the next pitch and ground one up the middle for a base hit.  Washburn is giving it all he has -- this man cannot even walk without a limp but it out there pitching his guts out.  A really great effort he is putting forward.  It was amazing to watch.  I was on first and on the 2nd pitch I advance to 2nd base via wild pitch.  Two pitches later I get another opportunity to move up a base -- I decide to not 'hustle it down' to third (hoping to goat the catcher into throwing it down to third) and guess what -- he does!  The catcher threw a one hopper and it bounced off the third baseman and in fact bounced off my helmet (while I was standing on third) and I noticed the ball trickled away about 15 feet toward 2nd base -- I made a quick decision and sprinted home.  I knew a play at the plate was possible so I kicked it into high gear.  As I was digging for home I noticed the catcher getting ready to field it --- the lucky part is he had to move two steps towards first base to get it, he snags the baseball and I slide in just as he dives over to tag me -- my right foot sneaks in to touch the plate before the catcher's mitt tagged me on my left knee.  It's 1-0 Horse Racers -- the wild pitch ended up being walk and advancing to 2nd was my roommate Beach.   Smart base running.   A hit by pitch and another wild pitch puts runners into scoring position.  Williams steps up to the plate and after about a 8 pitch AB, he hits a dribbler down first and legs out a base hit. Beach scores to make it 2-0.  The next batter fouls out and the inning is over -- the Racers get on the board first.
5th Inning - I induce a ground ball to third (a very nice play by Beach as it was a short hop) for the first out.  The next Warrior batter took another fat pitch over the plate and laced it into left field.  I was able to get the next guy to pop out harmlessly to third and we have 2 outs.  I came back to end the inning with a strikeout, my 7th of the morning, to end the inning.  We start off the inning with a back to back walks (what I have said about lead off walks.....) and Ted rocked a hit to left field to load up the bases.  Yoda (as we love to call him) digs in and gets the barrel of the bat on the ball that sneaks past the 2nd baseman for an RBI base hit - Racers up 3-0.  The next batter hits a grounder to first and they turn the 3-2-3 double play and have seemingly killed the Racers Rally inning.  On the very next pitch Joe S. scorches one to left field that the Warrior left fielder ran over and made a nice running catch near foul territory to end the inning.
6th Inning - I, once again, start off the inning by giving up a lead off walk (you have to be kidding me!!).  The next batter hits a lazy fly ball to left and Randy S came in makes a sliding grab for the first out -- this was a great play.  Our defense has been amazing all week and this catch was huge as that would at a minimum been 1st and 2nd and nobody out -- instead we have one out and a guy on first.   The next batter hit a slow grounder to third but the 2nd baseman was unable to squeeze the ball and the Warriors have a makings of a rally.  The next batter comes up and I felt I made some good pitches that were called balls and before I know it the count is 3-1.  I throw another one and the batter fouls it off for a full count.  My next pitch was a bit inside -- but the umpire ran him up for strike three.  2 outs.  That was a generous call by the umpire (I did think the 2nd pitch was just as good that was called a ball -- but I will take it).  The next batter took my next pitch and hit a weak line drive to short to end the inning and possible Warrior rally.  We are through 6 innings -- Racers up 3-0.
7th Inning (we play 7 inning games here at fantasy camp....) - Our lead off guy flew out to center and I stroll up to the plate for my AB.  I take the two pitches (balls) and one strike -- on the fourth pitch I hit a soft liner to left field that drops in for a base hit.  A ground ball force play and a strike out end the inning and we are off to the bottom of the 7th.  The top of the 7th starts out with....can you guess...a walk -- a 4 pitch walk.  Oh boy -- real disappointing - I really pride myself on being a pitcher who throws strikes......and another walk.  The next batter hits a grounder to 2nd, which turned into a force play and we get the first out.  I give up another walk (seriously now!) and they have the potential tying run coming to the plate.  Todd D. comes up and digs in (Todd and I were teammates for a championship team two years ago -- he is a left handed batter).  I start him off with a fastball and he takes it for strike one.  The next pitch I bear down and threw a fastball outside corner in which he fouled it off.  The next pitch I try to get the outside corner but miss and it gets by the catcher -- runners advance to 2nd and 3rd.  On the next pitch my catcher sets himself up on the inside corner and signals for me to throw the 'deuce' -- I shake him off -- I want to throw the 'heater' (copyright Nuke LaLoosh) - I rock and fire one of the hardest pitches I could and Todd swings and misses and I get a huge strikeout in a dicey situation.   2 outs!  Terry G comes up to the plate (Terry hit over .600 in the camp) and on my first pitch he hit a lazy fly ball out to right center and Phil waited for it and squeezed the glove and Racers win.  

What a real solid baseball game -- we played well all week and end up winning 5 games and losing 4 games in all -- and the good part is we get a "Red" division championship.

My pitching line ended up being:  7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB's, 9 K's, CG, SO

A crafty lefty....
I was also 2 for 3 with the game winning run on offense -- so to say the least I had a very good game.  Our defense was so stellar this week that obviously aided in helping me with my pitching performance!

A base knock to left field

Red Division Champions - Horse Racers

The upper "Blue" division championship game ended up being a very good game.  The Cuban Stingers got a run in the top of the 2nd and 3 more in the top of the third to make it 4-0.  With Lance A. on the mound it looked to be plenty of runs.  The Brewskies scored lone runs in the 4th and 5th inning to make it 4-2.  We fast forward to the bottom of the 7th inning with the same score and the Brewskies get a lead off base hit and a Dick Bremer double to make the score 4-3.  Bremer moved to third base on the groundout to first (which ended up being a close play) and so the Brewskies have the tying run at third with one out.  Lance gets a strikeout (Slatts) for the 2nd out of the inning.  The next batter hits a routine grounder to 2nd base -- which ended up being routine -- and the Cuban Stingers win 4-3.

The final banquet night is tonight where they will honor all the teams and give out various awards this evening.   We had a great more final night banquet to go.....


~~ "You can observe a lot just by watching." - Yogi Berra ~~

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