Sunday, April 10, 2016

Total Insanity At Forbes! : Friday, April 11th, 1969


CHI 5, MON 2 W-J.Niekro 1-0 L-Stoneman 0-1 S-Regan(1) HR-Williams(2)

STL 3, NY 1 W-C.Taylor 1-0 L-McAndrew 0-1

PHI 15, PIT 11 (12inns) W-Champion 1-0 L-Ramos 0-1 HR-Callison(1) D.Johnson(1)ISP Ryan(1) Stargell(1) Allen 4 runs, Callison and Johnson 4 rbi each.

CIN 6, ATL 3 W-Fisher 1-0 L-Stone 0-1 HR-Rose(1)

LA 9, HOU 2 W-Osteen 1-0 L-Griffin 0-1 HR-Fairly(1) Blefary(2) J.Alou(1)

SD 4, SF 3 W-Sisk 1-0 L-Bolin 0-1 S-Reberger(2) HR-McCovey(2) Brown(1)

"It's not a baseball, it's a live rattlesnake!"
The Buccos dragged their winless selves back to Pittsburgh for their home opener, hoping for better things, and oh what a wild and crazy affair it was! The Pirates sent 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the second and scored 5 times off of dazed Phillies starter Woody Fryman for a 5-0 lead. But Bucco starter Bob Moose threw the ball away twice in the top of the 3rd, allowing the Quakers to score 3 runs on just one hit, a Deron Johnson single. 

NOT Deron Johnson
In the top of the 5th, John Callison hit a two-run shot off of Moose to tie the game. In the last of the 6th, the Pirates went back on top 7-5, victimizing Turk Farrell. In the top of the 7th, Lou Marone, "helped" by a Dave Cash error, gave up 3 runs on an extremely unlikely inside the park home run off the bat of the plodding Deron Johnson. (You might possibly recall that, before the season began, I tweaked my Orsino Board to make this harder to do. My ISP HRs are determined by running speed, not power. To hit his ISP HR, Johnson had to first roll a weird number, which he did--40--and then roll a 36, no other number, and then roll a 20 with the 20-sided die, all of which he did. I'd love to know the odds against that!)  The Phils added 3 more off the ineffective Mister Marone in the 8th to take an 11-7 lead into the bottom of the ninth. 

Nothing to smile ABOUT.
In the bottom of the ninth, with Billy Wilson on the hill, slump-encrusted Matty Alou hit a lazy fly to left that the lead-footed Mister Johnson couldn't quite get to and it bounced off the tip of his glove for a two base error. He would have been replaced already by Ron Stone, but Stone had been used as a pinch hitter, leaving the water buffalo-like Johnson in left field. Dave Cash followed with a double, and Manny Sanguillen singled, making it 11-8 with Willie Stargell up. Wilson flung a hanging curve up there and Stargell smashed it for a 3-run game-tying blast. "I blame Dennis the Menace" whined Mister Wilson. A Jose Pagan single and a walk to Freddie Patek put two on with two out, but pinch hitter Bill Mazeroski popped out to send the game into extra frames.

"It's not a grounder, it's a grenade!"
In the top of the 11th, Dave Cash made his second error, putting Richie Allen aboard, and Larry Hisle singled, but Bruce Dal Canton pitched out of it. Then in the top of the 12th, Cash made his 3rd error of the game and 6th of the young season (!) to put Tony Taylor aboard. Allen singled and Hisle doubled them both in off of Pedro Ramos. Later Mike "Call me Jack" Ryan, who had come into the game a couple of innings earlier, hit one out to make it 15-11 Phillies. Billy Champion completed 2 shutout innings of work by retiring the Bucs in the bottom of the 12th for the win. He was the last man out of the Phillies bullpen. The Pirates set a National League record (as of 1969) by collecting 24 hits and LOSING. Well done, fellas. Sheesh!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Opening Day!: Monday, April 7th, 1969


CIN 14, LA 1 W-Maloney 1-0 L-Singer 0-1 HR-Bench(1) Maloney(1) Bench 6 rbi.

SF 3, ATL 0 W-Marichal 1-0 L-P.Niekro 0-1 Marichal 1-hitter.

Youngster Bench had his Wheaties!
Annnnnd, they're off! 21-year old backstop Johnny Bench cranked the season's first dinger in the ceremonial opener at Crosley Field. He added a triple and a single and drove in 6 as the Reds destroyed the visiting Dodgers. Bill Singer won the Sleepy Hollow Award for being the first hapless hurler to have his head handed to him. The Rhinelanders pounded out 17 hits and were altogether rude hosts to the Tinsel Town nine. Welcome back to my table top, Reds!

Flirty Juan
Juan Marichal of the Giants did some serious flirting on opening night, but with a possible no-hitter instead of a senorita. Bob Didier's two-out double in the bottom of the eighth spoiled his bid, and proved to be the Braves' only knock.

My new dice arrived all the way from England just in time for the start of the season, and my Opening Day coincides with actual Opening Day 2016. How cool is that? I am using the new boards, recommended by the APBA Blog, and I do like them so far. The annoying 9-strikeout against "A" pitchers is gone, among other small but agreeable changes. I'm not used to having to consult the boards very often, though! I also tweaked my own home-made Orsino Board. I made inside the park homers harder to get, and gave the better catchers more chance to cut down base stealers. I've always felt that catchers' defense got short shrift in APBA. 

I have dispensed with keeping some of the minor stats I kept last time, such as LOB, SH and SF. I have also made the decision to drop pitchers' appearances (though I'll still keep starts) and pitchers' walks and runs given up (as opposed to earned runs). I'll keep a running total of team runs allowed, though. Dropping these stats will make my score keeping much easier and I don't think I'll miss them at all. There's nothing worse than Bob Duliba or somebody pitching an inning and a third in a 10-2 loss and having to mess with his 3 walks, 7 runs given up and 329 boos from the crowd.
Bob "Ach" Duliba, bracing for another line drive.

I only have 25 men to a team, or so. "Or so" because I put everyone back to where they started the season, and will implement trades and so forth at the appointed hour. This gives some teams more, some teams less, to start. Anyway, I can see I will probably need to invent pitchers at some point, for some teams. We'll see. 

I hope you all enjoy the new season and will follow along with me!