Friday, November 29, 2013

Round 2: Bucs (6) upset Jints (2) in 5 game thriller

GAME 1 - Candlestick Park
Veale vs Marichal
Pirates 7, Giants 6

“Juan Gone”

Willie_Stargell-1968zBob Veale was bad, but thankfully for him and the Bucs Juan Marichal was worse.  Both hurlers couldn't keep the opposing team from the big inning.  First the Bucs got 3 in the 3rd, then the Jints fot 4 in the 4th.  The Bucs answered right back with 4 in the 5th and the Dominican Dandy was heading for the showers.  The Jints chipped away for 2 solo runs in the 5th and 6th to make it a 1 run game, but reliever Ron Kline got the final 4 outs and his 4th save of the tournament.  Donn Clendenon and Willie Stargell both hit big home runs and knocked in 3 apiece.  Marichal is very susceptible to the long ball and the Bucs know how to hit 'em.
Pirates lead series 1-0

Blass vs Perry
Giants 3, Pirates 1

“Say Hey, Say bye bye”Gaylord_Perry-1968c

The Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays, hit a 2 run shot with one out in the bottom of the 7th to break a 1-1 tie.  Gaylord Perry loaded up that heavy ball real good for 8 innings and Frank Linzy closed it out in the 9th.
Series tied 1-1

GAME 3 - Forbes Field
Sadecki vs Moose
Pirates 2, Giants 1


Ron_Kline-1968After 6 scoreless innings the Jints took a 1-0 lead on a squeeze bunt from Ron Hunt.  Ironically Hunt, a second baseman by trade bunted home Ray Sadecki (a pitcher) who led off the inning with a double.  Sadecki, who was on base 2 of 3 times today forgot that his primary role was that of a pitcher as he allowed the Bucs to score 2 runs in the bottom of the inning to lose his 1 run lead.  Back to back RBI singles by Maury Wills and Roberto Clemente put the home team ahead for good.  Ron Kline once again performed his magic with 2 scoreless frames for his 5th save of the tournament.
Pirates lead series 2-1

Marichal vs Veale
Giants 4, Pirates 3 (10 inn)

“Simply A-Mays-in”Willie_Mays-1968z

"Must win" pressure was squarely on the back of ace right Juan Marichal, who gutted his way thought 6 2/3 innings and left the game with a 3-2 lead.  The Bucs scratched out an unearned run off of Gibbon in the 8th and when neither team scored in the 9th extra innings were on the docket.  Pinch hitter Dave Marshall led off the top of the 10th with a clean single off reliever Tommie Sisk.  Bobby Bonds forced him at second, but made up for his lack of situational hitting by immediately pilfering second.  Ron Hunt struck out for the second out of the inning.  Sisk tried to pitch around Willie Mays, but the Say Hey kid lined one to right center to put the Jints up. 4-3.  Frank Linzy pitched a near perfect bottom of the 10th for his 2nd save of the series.
Series tied 2-2

GAME 5 - Candlestick Park
Blass vs Perry
Pirates 6, Giants 3

“Big Mac Slacks”

Game5Game 5's, when they are elimination games, are filled with a lot of tension which puts each pitcher under acute duress.  Both Steve Blass and Gaylord Perry were rock solid.  Unfortunately for Perry his defense didn't return the favor.  San Fran made 3 huge errors, with none being larger than the folly perpetrated by Willie McCovey in the 7th.  With one out and 1 on and the Bucs up by just a run Big Mac booted a Matty Alou grounder to put runners on 1st and 2nd.  Up stepped Roberto Clemente (3-5), who launched a 0-1 offering 406 feet over the chain link fence to make it a 5-1 game.  A mere 338 foot solo blast by Willie Stargell 2 batters later put the exclamation point on the Jints sentence.  Fault reliever Mike McCormick for the long balls, but lay equal blame on Stretch McCovey for his gaffe.  The Bucs went to trusty reliever Ron Kline to get the final 8 outs.  Kline closed it out, but not before making it interesting by allowing 2 runs in his first inning of work.  The rest was smooth sailing as the Bucs (#6) upset the #2 seed Jints in a 5 game thriller.  Pittsburgh will open up the LCS vs the upstart #9 seeded NY Mets.
Pirates win series 3-2

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Round 2: Amazin’s (9) shock Reds (4) in 4 games

GAME 1 - Crosley Field
Cardwell vs Nolan
Mets 3, Reds
"Hang Glider

Ed_Charles-1968zUp 2-1 after 7 the Reds brought in Clay Carroll to replace a tiring Gary Nolan.  Kenny Boswell singled home Jerry Grote with 2 out to tie the game.  In the 9th, the Glider, Ed Charles singled home Buddy Harrelson to put the Amazin's up 3-2.  Cal Koonce set the Reds down in order by getting Tony Perez to fly to center then fanning Lee May and Johnny Bench to end it.  Kudos to Ron Taylor who pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of starter Don Cardwell who threw 113 pitches by the 6th inning.
Mets lead series 1-0



Seaver vs Maloney
Reds 9, Mets 2
"Full of Maloney"

Cincy scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 2nd off of an ineffective Tom Seaver to roll to andJim_Maloney-1968d easy victory.  Tom, was not so terrific, in his 3 inning stint where he gave up 6 runs on 9 hits.  Reliever Alvin Jackson (3 runs in 5 innings) did little to inspire confidence as well.  On the other hand Jim Maloney fanned 6 and gave up just 1 earned run in 8 innings before handing the ball off to Davidson to end it.  Six Red batters had 2 hits.  Alex Johnson was the only Red regular not to get a hit.  Pete Rose, Tommy Helms and Johnny Bench each had 2 RBI's.  Lee May, Bench and Rose added homers
Series tied 1-1

GAME 3 - Shea Stadium
Arrigo vs Koosman
Mets 5, Reds 2

Jerry_Koosman-1968Rookie Jerry Koosman's solo blast in the 7th started off a 3 run rally to give the Amazin's a huge victory in Flushing.  Besides his long ball prowess Mr. Koosman found a way to add a complete game victory to his arsenal.  Kooz frustrated the Reds all day by allowing 11 baserunners but never breaking or allowing the big inning.  Five Met batters, including Koosman, all knocked in a run in a collaborative group effort.
Mets lead series 2-1



Culver vs McAndrew
Mets 5, Reds 0
"St. (Mc)Andrews"

If Koosman's victory last night was a beacon of light, McAndrew's performance today wasJim_McAndrew-1968c light out.  Other than a seeing eyed single, by his opposing numer (Culver), with 2 out in the bottom of the 3rd Jim McAndrew was flat out stingy.  Cincy only had once baserunner all day long.  While McAndrew wasn't flashy or electric (3 k's), his pitches kept the Reds big hitters off stride all day long.  New York jumped out to a 2-0 lead with two in the bottom of the first.  Four singles in a row culminated in Ed Kranepool driving home Boswell to make it 1-0.  Harrelson's squeeze play brought in Stahl and the Amazin's never looked back.  A solo run in the 7th on a Harrelson single and two more in the 8th made the Met lead that much more insurmountable.  With McAndrew cruising along the Amazin's upset the Reds and head to the NLCS.
Mets win series 3-1

Round 1: Tribe outlast A’s…Tiant flirts with No-No in clincher

Duke_Sims-1968zGame 1 saw Catfish Hunter chased in the bottom of the third with two outs after allowing six hits and three runs.  Cleveland scored only one more time but it was in the bottom of the 9th for a walk-off win. It was apparent that Jack Aker was struggling but he had recorded two outs with a runner on 2nd when Reggie Jackson's error allowed the runner on 2nd to march home.  For Reggie it was only a sign of what was to come as he went 2 for 21 with 9 Ks. The tribe scored twice in the first inning and another in the bottom of the second. Threatening to score again in the third, Diego Segui came in to shut down the inning.  Duke Sims had 3 hits on the day and Lee Maye collected 2.
Editor’s Note:  Orion Bell sent this message to me after completing the writeup for game 1.  Let’s all wish him a speedy recovery from his back and shoulder surgeries.  “Marc - I will send the boxes now but the remainder of the story tomorrow. My neck and shoulder are killing me.”

Nash vs McDowell
A's 2, Indians 1

Jim Nash outdueled Sudden Sam.  He fanned 7 without walking a batter.  In comparison,Jim_Nash-1968d Sudden Sam fanned 6, but walked 3.  Cleveland broke the ice with a solo run in the second when Max Alvis singled, stole second and scored on a Chico Salmon RBI single.  Jim Pagliaroni's two out double in the 4th scored Dick Green and evened the game up a 1-1.  Oakland took the lead in the 6th thanks to an erro by Salmon at second, which turned into a stolen base by Rick Monday and an RBI single by Dick Green.  Nash, who was in the zone, needed just that one run to lock down the win.
Series tied 1-1

GAME 3 - Oakland Coliseum
Siebert vs Dobson
A's 4, Indians 3

John_Donaldson-1968zAfter the Tribe scored two in the top of the 6th to tie the game up at 3-3 the bullpens took over and dominated.  Neither team scored over the final 3 1/2 innings, so the game went to extras.  In the bottom of the 11th the A's got to reliever Romo when Sal Bando singled with one out and stole second.  Rick Monday followed with a walk, but Dick Green lined one back to the box for the second out of the inning.  Pinch hitter John Donaldson lined one through the originator to win the game and give the A's a series lead.
A's lead series 2-1


S.Williams vs Odom
Indians 7, A's 5

John "Blue Moon" Odom was marginal (4 runs in 5 innings), but reliever Jack Aker (3Jose_Cardenal-1968c runs in 1 inning) was abysmal.  Those two combined to dig the A's a 7-1 hole that they could never climb out of despite a 4 run 8th inning that made the final score look close.  Tribe lead off man Jose Cardenal (3-5) scored 2 runs and knocked in 1.  Tony Horton, Duke Sims and Larry Brown each knocked in 2.  Starter Stan Williams was 2 for 4 at the plate and gave up just 1 earned run in 7 innings on the bump.
Series tied 2-2

GAME 5 - Municipal Stadium
Hunter vs Tiant
Indians 4, A's 0

Luis_Tiant-1968zOakland blew a golden opportunity to close the Indians out in game 4.  Game 5 saw the series venue shift back east to the "Mistake by the Lake", which gave the Tribe a huge home field advantage.  Having Luis Tiant on the mound gave them an insurmountable advantage.  Oakland starter Jim "Catfish" Hunter proved not to be "El Tiante's" equal surviving just 5 innings and allowing 4 runs.  El Tiante was locked an loaded and in the process of throwing a complete game 1 hit shutout, while fanning 11.  Those 4 runs that the Tribe scored for him must have felt like a 4 touchdown lead.  The only suspense on the day would be if Tiant could pitch an no-hitter.  That suspense ended with 2 out in the 9th when pinch hitter Keough lined the first pitch that he saw up the middle for a clean single.  Tiant quickly dispatched Danny Cater for the final out by striking him out with a hook on the corner.
Indians win series 3-2

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Round 1: Bucs (6) upset Cubbies (3) in 4

GAME 1 - Wrigley Field
Veale vs Jenkins
Pirates 3, Cubs 1

Two runs in the top of the 6th on RBI singles by Roberto Clemente and Donn Clendenon gave the Bucs a 2-1 lead.  Bill Mazeroski's two out single in the 8th gave the Bucs an insurance run they wouldn't have to call on.  Bob Veale did a great job in 7 2/3 innings, allowing just 1 run and fanning 5.  Ron Kline got the final 4 outs with a perfect effort.  Fergie Jenkins went the distance and fanned 9, but the 3 runs that he gave up proved too much for the Cub offense to overcome.
Pirates lead series 1-0

Blass vs Hands
Cubs 7, Pirates 2

Chicago evened the score behind a solid complete game effort from Bill Hands, who struck out 6 and allowed just 2 runs on 6 hits.  Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, was a perfect 3 for 3 with 3 RBI's.  Ron Santo chipped in 2 RBI's.  Clemente hit a homer for the Bucs in a game that was never really close thanks to the Cubbies jumping out to a 4-0 lead after 3 innings.
Series tied 1-1

GAME 3 - Forbes Field
Holtzman vs Moose
Pirates 2, Cubs 1

A 2 out Maury Wills double in the bottom of the 1st scored Freddie Patek to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead.  A single by hurler Kenny Holtzman in the 5th tied it up.  Chicago had a chance to have a big inning but catcher Randy Hundley was gunned down at third trying to take the extra base.  Don Kessinger ended the inning with a 6-4-3 DP.  This would loom large because the Bucs would score the go ahead run on a Willie Stargell sac fly in the 6th to make it 2-1.  Buc starter Bob Moose was done after 6 inning of barely avoiding calamity.  Luke Walker did a wonderful job with scoreless relief over the next 2 1/3 innings before yielding to Ron Kline for the final 2 outs in the 9th.
Pirates lead series 2-1

Niekro vs Ellis
Pirates 4, Cubs 3

Things looked good after the Cubs exploded for 3 runs off of Dock Ellis in the top of the 4th to take the lead 3-2.  Ellis' leash was short and so was his time on the bump.  Relievers Tommie Sisk, Elroy Face and Ron Kline (had 3 saves in the series) combined to shutout the Cubbies the rest of the way (5 innings).  Couple that with Pitsburgh's 2 run in the bottom of the 4th to supply a 1 run lead and you have a Pirate team that held on to win and upset the Cubs in this short series.  Matty Alou's one out RBI single scored Ellis and Maury Wills for what would be the eventual winning run.
Pirates win series 3-1

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Round 1: Motown defeats Chi-town 3 games to 1

Game 1  - Tiger Stadium
Don Wert drives in 2 with a squeeze bunt and a homer.  Denny McLain goes the distance  Tigers 4  White Sox 2
Tigers lead series 1-0 

Game 2  
Earl Wilson hits a home run but needs relief help in the 9th 
Tigers 3  White Sox 2
Tigers lead series 2-0 

Game 3  - Comiskey Park
Tiger bullpen collapses in the bottom of the 9th.  Duane Josephson triples home 2 in 3 run 9th.  Tigers manage only two runs on homers by Dick Tracewski and Norm Cash  
White Sox 3  Tigers 2
Tigers lead series 2-1 

Game 4  
Game 1 starter Tommy John gives up 5 runs in the top of the 1st.  When Tiger starter Pat Dobson walks in a run in bottom of the 5th, he Is followed by a procession of Tiger relievers.  They manage to hold off the Pale Hose   
Tigers 6  White Sox 4
Tigers win series 3-1 

--submitted by Tom "Crash" Davis-- 

Round 1: Jints Sweep Dodgers

GAME 1 - Candlestick Park
Singer vs Marichal
Giants 6, Dodgers 1
"Dandy !"
Bill Singer and the Dodger team as a whole were totally outclassed by the Domenican Dandy, Juan Marichal and the home run bats of Willie Mays and Jim Ray Hart.  LA was only able to muster up 1 unearned run off the Dandy, who went the distance fanning 7 and allowing just 5 hits.
Giants lead series 1-0


Drysdale vs Perry
Giants 6, Dodgers 5
"Bonds Bails Jints Out"

This much hyped matchup of future HOF hurlers never lived up to expectations.  Perry, who was spotted a 3 run lead crumbled early and was gone after 5 after allowing 5 runs on 12 hits.  Drysdale was shaky during the early going, but righted his ship to the point where he left the game leading 5-4.  Mudcat Grant pitched a scoreless 8th to protect Big D's lead.  Closer Jim Brewer came on to start the 9th for LA.  Pinch hitter Jack Hiatt led off the inning with a walk, then was forced at second on a fielder's choice off the bat of Jim Davenport.  An 0-1 offering by Brewer caught too much of the plate and Bobby Bonds launched it into the stratosphere for a game winning homer.  Kudos to reliever Bobby Bolin who threw 3 scoreless innings in relief of Perry.  Mike McCormick got the win with a scoreless top of the 9th
Giants lead series 2-0

GAME 3 - Dodger Stadium
Sadecki vs Sutton
Giants 7, Dodgers 3
Ray Sadecki, who has been nothing short of disappointing since arriving 2 years ago in exchange for Orlando Cepeda, had a great day on the hil giving up just 2 runs in 8 1/3 innings.  Frank Linzy got the final 2 outs in sloppy fashion, but that didn't matter because Jim Ray Hart knocked in 3 runs with his 3rd homer of the series.  Mays knocked in 2 runs.  Cater Dick Dietz and left fielder Jesus Alou each had two doubles as the Giants victimized Don Sutton for 7 runs on 9 hits in 6 innings.  Lost in the shuffle was Rocky Colavito's 2 run blast for LA in the bottom of the first that gave the Dodgers a short lived lead, as well as John Purdin's perfect 3 innings of relief.  San Fran thoroughly outclassed their rivals to the south to gain the series sweep.
Giants win series 3-0

Round 1: Bosox hold on to defeat Bombers in 5

GAME 1 - Fenway Park
Stottlemyre vs Culp
Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
"Hawkish Feeling" Welcome to the mini-dead ball era of the late 1960's, which was also an era where the smoldering embers of the Yankee dynasty faded into mediocrity, while the dormant Red Sox nation began it's rebirth.  This bitter and historic rivalry features a number 4 seed (Boston) taking on a number 5 seed (New York).  To start things off the Yankees sent Mel Stottlemyre to the hill.  Mel had the misfortune of arriving on the scene in 1964 just in time for the final pennant this dynasty would win for 12 long years.  He would pitch for some of the most pedestrian Yankee teams in history and still look great.  Sadly for him his arm gave out just before the mini-dynasty of the late 1970's began.  Today Mel would duel Ray Culp for 9 innings where the teams finished hopelessly deadlocked with both offense posting just one lone run.  Boston would score in the 5th when Mike Andrews singled home the man with the gold capped tooth (George Scott).  Ray Culp would protect that lead until the top of the 8th when Tommy Tresh scored on a slow roller to third off the bat of Horace Clarke.  With runners on 2nd and 3rd the great Mickey Mantle hit an opposite field shot to left that narrowly missed hitting the green monster, and instead landing safely in Yaz' glove.  Both teams went nicely in the 9th as did the Yanks in 10th.  Dooley Womack replaced Mel in the top of the 10th. The first batter he faced, Andrews, singled to start things off.  Yaz then came up in a big spot and went down looking on strikes.  Joe Foy followed by working out a walk, which pushed Andrews into scoring position.  The Hawk, Ken Harrelson followed with a clean single to score Andrews and help Boston to draw first blood in this series between bitter rivals.
Boston leads series 1-0

Bahnsen vs Santiago
Red Sox 5, Yankees 4
"The Dalton Gang"

Boston scored 4 in the bottom of the first then held on for dear life to take a commanding two games to none lead over the Yanks.  Yankee starter Stan Bahnsen, who did go 7 innings gave up 4 of the 5 runs he allowed in the first to put his team in a deep hole.  New York battled back to a 2 run deficit entering the 9th.  By this time Red Sox starter Jose Santiago was gone and Landis was now on the hill to close it out, having rescued Lee Strange who gave up a run in the 8th.  A 2 out single by Bobby Cox put the Bombers 1 run away from tying it.  Andy Kosco came to the plate with a chance to tie the game, but struck out on 4 pitches to end it.  Dalton Jones, subbing for Scott at first base, was a perfect 3 for 3 with 2 RBI's and run scored hitting out of the 8 hole.  The Bombers out hit (10-8) the Sahx, but could not push across the big run when it was most sorely needed.
Boston leads series 2-0

GAME 3 - Yankee Stadium
G.Bell vs F.Peterson
New York 6, Boston 4
"Rag-edy Andy" Down two zip the Bombers headed home to the Bronx to try and stave off elimination.  The usually packed House that Ruth built barely had enough fans in it to make one think it was actually a game day.  By 1968 Yankee fans fully lost interest in the men in Pinstripe suits.  After 3 years of being out of contention and a litany of retirement they didn't have much to cheer for.  Still the faithful rooted hard for #7, who by this point was on his proverbial last legs.  That strong young boy from Oklahoma with the matinee idol gap toothed smile was now a broken down old man who went from paroling the largest centerfield in baseball to hacking his way around 1st base.  Yes fans still came to root on the Mick, but it would take a late arriving crowd off the IRT to make the crowd look like a crowd on what just might be his final game in pinstripes.  On the hill for the Bombers was left Fritz Peterson.  Boston would counter with Gary "Ding Dong" Bell.  The Bombers would score 3 runs over the first 2 innings and the Sahx would tie them by doing the same in innings 2 and 3.  New York would then get 3 in innings 4 and 5 to go up 6-3.  On the day Mantle would fly to deep right, walk, ground to second and hit a clean single in the 7th.  After rounding 1st the 20,000 or so that finally arrived gave him a huge ovation, as if they knew that this could be the end.  Lindy McDaniel would come on in relief and shut the door on the visitors from Beantown to allow the Bombers to live for another day.  Interestingly there were 3 homers hit on the day and they were all hit by the losing team.  New York scratched and clawed for their runs as the Bronx Bombers were now morphing into the Bronx bunters.  Andy Kosco, who made the final out in game 2, went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI's.  Every other Yankee starter had 1 hit.  Bell took the loss and Peterson got the win.
Boston leads series 2-1

Culp vs Stottlemyre
New York 3, Boston 1
"The Mick Says Goodbye"

The mumblings and rumors surround The Mick's pending retirement were all abuz on 161st and River Ave.  It has finally started to sink in that the mighty Mickey Mantle's meteoric career would finally be coming to an end either today here in the Bronx, tomorrow in Boston or somewhere down the road if the Yankees somehow came back from an 0-2 deficit to advance.  Yesterday's sparse crowd of 20,000 was replaced by a sellout crowd of over 67,000 at the Big Ball Orchard in the Bronx.  Signs and banners said, "Stay Mick, Stay", "We Love Mickey", #7 in the scorecard, #1 in our hearts...Truly today was not about a must win game, but more about a love fest for a man who came to town 17 years ago being billed as the next DiMaggio, and leaving sometime this year being known as simply "The Mick".  Today was his day to summon all those great powers out of his failing body and for one last time thrill the fans.  Going 2 for 4 and knocking in the eventual winning run are the types of endings that only Hollywood could write.  In this case it was written by a humble country boy who was the son of a coal miner from Commerce, Oklahoma.  Today, September 23rd 1968 will forever be know in these parts as Mickey Mantle day.  The day he said goodbye to the fans in the Bronx on his own terms.
Series tied 2-2

GAME 5 - Fenway Park
Bahnsen vs Ellsworth
Boston 8, New York 6
"This Land-is your land" With the lovefest for "the Mick" in the Bronx behind us everyone began focusing on this epic series which was now entering a decisive winner take all game 5 up in Fenway.  Could the Yankees rally from an 0-2 series deficit to finish off the comeback and win 3 in a row and eliminate the Sahx, or would Boston right the ship and move on to the next round.  At the end of 7 innings with the score 8-1 Boston it looked like a sure thing for the home town boys.  Bylines were already written and celebrations on Newbury street were already taking place.  Beating the hated Yankees in a playoff series was one thing, but blowing them out of the building was another.  Boston fans were eating this up alive until the top of the 8th when New York batted around and scored 5 runs to make it a 2 run game.  At that point you could hear a pin drop.  Fenway was just that quiet, especially after pinch hitter Joe Pepitone hit a 3 run shot into the bullpen in right center.  Could New York come back and win it ?  After reliever Jim Lonborg gave away 5 runs in the 8th, Boston went to reliever Bill Landis who shut the door on the Yankees by striking out 3 of the final 4 batters to end it.  Boston wins, but it didn't come easy.  Hawk Harrelson (2-4) had 4 RBI's and homer to pace Boston's 12 hit attack.  The Mick (2-5) was greeted with cheers from the Boston crowd, who boed every other Yankees.  Sadly for the Mick, Hollywood endings don't happen every day.  With 2 out in the 9th he struck out swinging on a 1-2 pitch in the dirt to end the game, series and a legendary career.
Boston wins series 3-2
Click here to view Series Box Scores

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Round 1: "Red Storm Rising" - Reds (4) take out Braves (5) in a hard fought series 3 games to 1.

Game 1 - "May-Day"
While 1968 may have been the year of the pitcher, it wasn’t for these two teams. The Reds took the game 6 to 5 in 10 innings. The Reds scored two in the 8th to tie the score and got the game winning RBI in the bottom of the 10th from Game 1 MVP Lee May. May went 3 for 5 with 2 RBIs. None of the pitchers pitched well enough to be mentioned other than the fact that Reds pitchers walked 13 Braves.
Game 2 - "Tony, Tony, Tony"
Almost a repeat of Game 1. The Reds tied the score at 2 in the bottom of the 6th. It stayed that way until the Reds were able to push across a run in the bottom of the 11th inning for a 3-2 victory. For some reason Jim Maloney was named MVP lasting 7.2 innings giving up 1 earned run on 4 hits. In my mind Tony Perez should have earned those honors going 4 for 4 with 2 RBIs and a game tying homerun. Series now shifts to the launching pad in Atlanta.
Game 3 - "A-Run here and there"
Another tightly contested contest. The Braves came out on top with a well earned 6-5 win. The Reds got off to a quick 3-0 lead but a grand slam by Hammerin’ Hank Aaron in the 5th put the Braves up 4-3. The Braves added an insurance run in the 8th which was needed as the Reds scored once in the 9th and threatened for more before Dick Kelley got the last out. Ron Reed settled down after the 1st two innings and went 8 for the win.
Game 4 - "Culver Line"
George Culver tossed a 3 hit shut out to lead the Reds to 4-0 victory and the next round in the 1968 playoffs. The Reds struck for all the runs Culver would need in the 4th on Johnny Bench’s 2 run homer, which was his first hit of the series.
Special thanks to Michael Hopcroft for stepping in at the last minute to guide the Braves. Fantastic job. This was a close series as you would expect between the number 4 and 5 seeds.
--submitted by Ron Burnette--

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Round 1: "What's The Story....Jerry?" The Amazings (9) surprise the #1 seeded Cardinals 3-1

Game 1: New York 2 St. Louis 4
When you are facing Bob Gibson, you know runs and hits will be far apart. Then the dreaded question who's starting today coach, all the mets pitchers turn away as no one wants to face Gibby. Then a young 21 year old kid gets up coach give me that ball today.  Jerry to his Met teammates. You gotta believe just like the Ryan Express does. Top of the first Jones singles and Charles sacrifice bunts him to 2nd. Grote picks up his bat and says to team, this ones for the kid you gotta believe and hits a single scoring Jones. All is quiet until the 4th when Boswell leads off with a triple. Stahl grounds out scoring Boswell. After 4 the Mets are up 2-0. In the bottom of the 5th Ryan runs into trouble walking Maxvill and Gibson sacrifice bunts him to 2nd. Brock flies out but then the bottom falls out as Ryan walks the next 3 batters scoring Maxvill, but McCarver grounds out. Leaving the Mets up 2-1 after 5. In the bottom of the 6th Ryan continued to struggle as Shannon, Javier and Maxvill all singled, Shannon scored and Bob Gibson sacrificed to get runners on 2nd and 3rd. Brock singled scoring Javier and Flood was walked to load them up. Ryan then walked Maris scoring Maxvill. Ryan was pulled and Short came in and struck out the next two but St. Louis was up 4-2.  From that point on Gibby shut down the Mets and Short shut down the Cards. The Cards won 4-2 Bob Gibson was Game MVP going the distance for the win allowing 6 hits with 10 Ks and 0 walks. Meanwhile back in the Mets locker room the loosing pitcher held his head down disappointed with his performance (6-2/3 inning 7 hits, 8 walks 6 strikeouts) when Jerry piped up, "Listen up. It took the kid to show us the Cards need not be feared we may not have won today but if we follow his example and believe tomorrow will be better"

Game 2: New York 4 St. Louis 1

Tom Seaver took to the mound facing Nelson Briles. In the 3rd with one out he singled and scored on a "You guessed it a Jerry Grote single" Cleon Jones scored on a Ken Boswell single. In the 4th The Cards struck back with 2 out and Roger Maris on first Tim McCarver and Mike Shannon singled with Maris scoring but stranded 2 on base. In the 5th Jones singled again and Ed "The Glider" Charles blasted it over the fence making it 4-1. From that point on Seaver and his defense settled down and kept the Cards off the board. Tom Seaver was Game MVP going 9 innings allowing 7 hits with 7 Ks. Briles took the loss and lasted 4 1/3 innings allowing 11 hits.

Game 3:
Jerry Koosman took to the mound facing "Lefty" Steve Carlton. In the 2nd Shannon walked and McCarver singled, Dal Maxvill doubled scoring  Shannon. Swoboda got up and Jerry yelled "Believe"  and he smacked a 350 foot blast over the left field fence.Boswell doubled , Agee bunted him to 3rd and Greg Goosen bunted him home on a squeeze. In the 6th Jones walked, Charles singled to left and Grote walked. Carlton was in trouble. Swoboda singled scoring 2 Boswell grounded out. Carlton was pulled and Torres took over after walking Shamsky hoping for a double play that didn't materialize the Mets scored 1 more making it 5-1. Bobby Tolan came in as a pinch hitter and lofted one 343 feet out over the right field fence. In the 8th the Cards continued to claw Lou Brock singled, Curt Flood singled scoring Brock, Orlando Cepeda doubled Flood to 3rd. The Mets bullpen got up Shannon was walked in hopes of a double play but McCarver flew out to right and Flood scored with 2 out Koosman faced Tolan again with 1st base open and the relievers ready. Instead coach Chisholm let Kooman pitch and he struck out Tolan. Staying with Kooman in the 9th it was 3 up and 3 down and the Mets won behind the pitching of Jerry Kooman who went 9 innings allowing 9 hits 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. Carlton lasted 5 1/3 innings 5 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts but 5 runs. The Game MVP was Ron Swoboda 2 for 4 with 3 RBIs and 1 home run. The Mets win 5-4 and take the lead 2 games to 1.

Game 4:

Jim McAndrew started for the Mets expecting to face Gibson but instead Ray Washburn came to the mound for the Cardinals in the must win game. Brock singled and moved to  2nd on a fielders choice. He scored on a Maris single. After 1 Cards were up 1-0. In the Mets 2nd Boswell was walked which came back to haunt the Cards with 1 out and Boswell on 2nd Buddy Harrelson singled to right center scoring Boswell. St.Louis never saw the lead again. In the 3rd the Mets would take the lead with Jones singling advancing to 2nd on a hit and run, Jerry Grote you have to believe singled scoring Jones. That would be the GWRBI. In the 4th Agee lead off with a solo home run 348 feet down the left field line. Ed Kranepool doubled and would score when Jones doubled off the wall. It was now 4-1 Mets. In the 5th Grote singled. With 2 out Agee blasts a 383 foot shot over left. The Mets up 6-1 after 5. In the 7th the Cards threatened comeback with 1 out Maxvill and Tolan singled and Brock advanced them with a flyout. McAndrew gave Flood a free pass to load them up to face Roger Maris who would ground out to end the side. In the 8th they would try again with one out McCarver doubled knowing McAndrew was tiring and having not used a relief pitcher yet this series the Mets did not want any chance of a St. Louis comeback to force a 5th and deciding game. Cal Koonce was called in he grounded out Shannon and struck out Julian Javier. In the ninth he got Maxvill and Joe Hague to groundout, Brock then singled to left and Flood grounded out. McAndrew went 7 1/3 innings allowing 9 hits 2 strikeouts and 1 walk for the win, Washburn went  4 2/3 innings with 9 hits 1 strikeout and 1 walk for the loss. The Game MVP was Tommy Agee with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs and Jerry Grote was 3 for 4 on the day and 7 for 15 in the series. The Mets win the series 3 games to 1.

Afterwards facing the press the Cardinals Manager faced the Mets manager and said "Couldn't get those timely hits...the 68 Cards relied on pitching which I didn't get this series.  No power hitters so when I got behind that was not good.  You got both great pitching and timely hits, especially from Grote."

Thanks to Erik for the great series, it was a close series the difference as he said timely hitting and pitching. St. Louis left 37 runners on base where as the New York Mets left only 19. Hits were even with 33 for the Cardinals and 35 for the Mets.
--submitted by Robert Chisholm--

Monday, November 18, 2013

1968 Round 1: Baltimore Sweeps Minnesota in Three

  Game 1 The BIG BOYS Come To Play

 Memorial Stadium, Baltimore 81 degrees with a gentle breeze
 Minnesota: Jim Kaat
 Baltimore: Dave McNally

Minnesota opened this series on a high note as Harmon Killebrew belted a Dave McNally fastball down the left field line at Memorial Stadium posting the Twins to an early 1-0 lead over the Birds of Baltimore.  Kaat was very effective in getting out of a jam in the third, stranding three Baltimore base runners by striking out Brooks Robinson and getting Boog Powell to fly out deep to right field. But in the 5th Powell won the duel and the game for Baltimore by depositing a Jim Kaat offering deep into the right field bleachers for an Earl Weaver special, the three run homer. McNally pitched the complete game for Baltimore holding Minnesota to just 5 hits over 9 innings.

 Game 2 A 1968 Classic

 Memorial Stadium, Baltimore 72 degrees with 15 MPH wind coming in from LF
 Minnesota: Dean Chance
 Baltimore: Jim Hardin

In true form to 1968, this game was all about the pitching. Through 6 innings both teams combined had a total of 2 hits. Minnesota’s lone hit was an RBI double by Tony Oliva that plated catcher Bruce look whom Jim Hardin had just walked. When Hardin departed after six, he trailed 1-0. Dean Chance did not yield any hits until Curt Blefary, hitting for Hardin, broke up the no-hitter with a single to start the 6th. Blefary moved up to second on a wild pitch and to third on a fielders choice where he was replaced by the speedier Dave May. However, May was left stranded as Chance got Paul Blair to line out to left field and Frank Robinson to fly out to left. After six, the score remained Minnesota 1, Baltimore 0. In the bottom of the 7th , Boog Powell greeted Chance with a double, moved to third on a fielders choice and was driven in with a single by Baltimore second baseman Davey Johnson to tie the game. The Baltimore bullpen pitched three hitless and scoreless innings. In the bottom of the ninth Chance gave up two singles to Frank Robinson and Powell to open the inning and was replaced by Ron Perranoski who got Brooks Robinson to ground out to third before Davey Johnson drove in his second of the game with a single into right field. A classic duel, Dean Chance baffled the Baltimore hitters all day. Jim Hardin, Moe Drabowsky and Pete Richert held Minnesota to 1 hit.

 Game 3 A Chill in the Air, But Not In The Bats

 Metropolitan Stadium, Minnesota 68 degrees and light rain
 Baltimore: Tom Pheobus
 Minnesota: Jim Merritt

Twenty-three total hits in this game put a halt to pitching dominance. Baltimore opened up early by putting 2 runs on the board in the top of the first, only to have that answered by 2 from Minnesota in the bottom of the first. Baltimore then came back with 2 more in the top of the second, with Minnesota answering back with 1 in the bottom of the third inning. Baltimore put this one away against a tiring Jim Merritt in the top of the 4th error by Minnesota. Although this one appeared over early, Minnesota fought back and did bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth against Baltimore reliever Eddie Watt who yielded two walks and two singles in the inning before enticing Cesar Tovar to hit into a fielders choice to shortstop Mark Belanger.

Overall, a very well played series that could have gone either way.
 --submitted by Mark Nixon--

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Qualifier Round: Chisox rally to take final 2 to outlast Halos

GAME ONERick Reichardt drove in a pair of runs to lead the Halos to a 3-2 series- opening road victory in Chitown. Reichardt singled home Vic Davalillo in the 1st. Tommy McGraw answered for the Pale Hose in the bottom half with a solo shot. Reichardt singled in Davalillo again in the 3rd for a 2-1 lead. Bobby Knoop collected the GWRBI in the 5th by driving in winning pitcher George Brunet (1-0) who had led off the inning with a single. Duane Josephson brought home Tommy Davis in the Sox 6th, but they couldn’t notch another against the bullpen combo of Minnie Rojas, Andy Messersmith and Tom Burgmeier.

GAME TWO – With their backs to the wall in sunny California, the White Sox battle for 15 innings before topping the Angels 5-4 and forcing a one-and-done final. The Halos put two on the board in the 3rd. “Daddy Wags” Leon Wagner tied it with a 2-run blast in the 5th for the Sox. A dropped fly ball led to an unearned run in the top of the 8th for the ChiSox. The Angels plated two in the bottom of the frame and thought they had wrapped up. But Ken Berry silenced the crowd with a leadoff homer in the 9th to tie it up. It stayed that way until the 15th when Duane Josephson led off with a triple. One out later, Walt “No Neck” Williams hit a PH double. Bob Locker closed out the Angels to save the game for Jack Fisher.

GAME THREE – Duane Josephson doubled in a pair in the 4th to put the White Sox ahead and Leon Wagner singled in a pair in the 8th to provide the insurance. Chicago advances with a 5-2 win. Jim Fregosi did his best to help the Halos with 4 safeties. Gary Peters earned the win in 6 innings. Wilbur Wood, who appeared in all 3 games, added the save.
--submitted by Bruce Thomas-- 
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Qualifier Round: Twins seep Sens in 2

GAME 1 - RFK Stadium
Chance vs J.Coleman
Twins 8, Senators 2

3 runs in the top of the 5th broke a 1-1 tie as the Twins (formerly the Senators) returned to our nation's capitol to put a spanking on the expansion Sens.  Dean Chance, who fanned 6 and walked none went the distance allowing just 1 earned run.  The big bat was Bob Allison (3-4) who knocked in 5 and had a homer.  Ken McMullen made 2 errors for the Sens and offset it with a solo shot.
Twins lead series 1-0


GAME 2 - Metropolitan Stadium
Pascual vs Merritt
Twins 9, Senators 5

Minnesota easily overcame a 4-0 deficit by battering their former teammate Camilo Pascual.  Minnesota's pitching was nothing to write home about either, but when your offense scores 9 runs on 15 hits you don't need much pitching.  Tony Oliva (3-5) and Cesar Tovar (3-4) led an attack that saw every starter get a hit except slugger Harmon Killebrew (0-3, with 2 k's).  Bob Allison remained red hot homering again for the second game in a row while collecting 2 more hits.
Twins win series 2-0

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Qualifier Round: "What's the story...Jerry ?"

Game 1,
at New York,

A good pitching duel between Tom Seaver and Chris Short.  Everything was going the Fightin' Phils way until Cleon Jones stepped to the plate in the 7th inning with two down. Jones promptly smacked a Short fast ball off the fence in left center to plate two runs to knot the game at 3.  The Mets won the game in the bottom half of the 8th inning on back to back doubles by The Glider Ed Charles and fiery Jerry Grote. Seaver wrapped up the ninth to finish the game.  Mets 4...Phillies 3.


Game 2,
at Shibe Park,

Philadelphia held a narrow 1-0 lead heading into the seventh inning. Cleon Jones began the inning with a single to left center which broke up Larry Jackson's no hitter. Jones moved to third when Jackson hung a slider to the glider and Charles pushed a single through the infield to right field.  Jerry Grote bounced into a double play but Jones scored the tying run. Matters became worse during the ninth when the Mets scored 5 runs off Jackson and reliever Turk Farrell. Jerry Koosman earned the victory as he fanned 12 Philly batters through 8 solid innings.  Danny Frisella mopped up in the ninth inning to preserve the New York victory. Mets 5....Phillies 1

--submitted by Joey Scigliano--
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Qualifier Round: Dodgers (7) struggle to sweep Astros (10)

GAME 1 - Astrodome
Drysdale vs Giusti
Dodgers 5, Astros 2
Big D was his vintage self fanning 8 and hitting one (Doug Rader), but he ran out of gas after just 6 2/3 innings.  Jack Billingham, who would eventually get the win served up a 2 out RBI single to Rader to blow the Dodgers one run lead that they got in the top of the 6th on a two out two run single by Jim Lefebvre.  The theme of the day would be two out rallies as the dodgers cobbled together 3 consecutive singles by Haller, Gabrielson and Lefebvre, with the latter plating Haller for the go ahead run.  A pinch hit double by Willie Crawford off reliever Shea in the top of the 9th gave the Dodgers a 3 run lead.  Jim Brewer was brought on in the 9th to save it for Billingham.
Dodgers lead series 1-0

GAME 2 - Dodger Stadium
Dierker vs Sutton
Dodgers 1, Astros 0

Both team's young righthanders hooked up in a classic pitcher's duel.  Houston's Larry Dierker went the distance allowing just one run on 8 hitters.  His opposing number, Don Sutton, did one better.  Sutton recorded a complete game 7 hit shutout while fanning 7.  Dierker fanned 9.  Both guys walked just 1 apiece.  Runs were going to come at a premium today as the game remained scoreless for 7 1/2 innings.  Willie Davis (3-4) led off the home half of the 8th with a opposite field single to left.  Dierker threw over to first twice trying to keep Davis, who already stole 2 bases, close to the bag.  Wes Parker, batting left handed tried hard to pull one into the 3-4 gap, but after fouling off two pitches went down on strikes.  Dierker again threw over to first to keep Davis close, but finally 3 Dog got a good jump and stole his 3rd sack of the day.  Batter Tom Haller hit a bullet to Dennis Menke at short for the second out.  Menke fired to Torres, who was covering second, but Davis narrowly got back to the bag.  Len Gabrielson, who had flied out weakly twice and lined to first in his other AB lined an opposite field bullet just out of the reach of
Rader at 3rd to score Davis and make it 1-0.  Sutton took the hill in the 9th needing 3 outs to notch the shutout and close out the series in 2 straight.  After getting Wynn and Miller to fly out to Willie Davis in center, Sutton gave Menke a pitch that he could easily line into center to keep the Astros hopes alive.  Those hopes would be dashed as pinch hitter Aspromonte hit a sharp grounder to Popovich at short, who flipped the ball to Lefebvre at second for the final out of the game and the series.
Dodgers win series 2-0

Special thanks to Andy Sexton for doing a gr8 job with a team that was incapable of scoring a run vs even a little league team.  He did a great job making each Dodger victory a monumental struggle for the boys in blue
Series Boxscores are here