Friday, July 28, 2017

They Must Be In The Front Row! : Mid-May 1956 Replay Mini-Update

7 homers in May so far for Frank.
The Braves continue to lead the world, the Great Shutout Plague abates, and the Pirates manage to start scoring (a few) runs. Here's my 1956 NL replay through May 15th.

MIL  20-5  ---
BRK  17-10  4
CIN  16-10  4.5
STL  13-13  7.5
PHI  10-14  9.5
NY  11-17  10.5 
PIT  9-18  12
CHI  8-17  12

Except for Milwaukee and Brooklyn being flip-flopped, my teams are in the exact spots in the standings that their actual counterparts finished in.  

"Watch me win the game!"
Braves--Milwaukee continues to steamroller the league, going 11-2 so far in the month. The only speed bump was two straight losses at Cincinnati, but the Braves came back and swept a doubleheader the next day. The injury bug has bitten a bit, with Bruton, Crandall and Covington out, but even with Joe Adcock returning to earth, it doesn't seem to slow this squad. The team enjoyed a pair of walk-off hits from unlikely heroes Felix Mantilla and Danny "The Irish Cop" O'Connell.  

Gill Man knocked in 5 against the Cubs.
Dodgers--The Bums started the month horribly, dropping 6 of 7, but have since reeled off 7 wins in a row. Superannuated infielder Pee Wee Reese, who couldn't buy a hit in April, is a .300 hitter in May, and contributed an 11th inning walk-off single against St. Louis. Jackie Robinson, pressed into every day duty by an injury to Ransom Jackson, has hit a solid .300 as well, while Gil "Gill Man" Hodges and Roy Campanella have provided plenty of muscle.  

The kid just might stick.
Reds--Rookie sensation Frank Robinson has socked 7 dingers so far in May, giving him 9 for the season and the team lead. He also has 5 doubles, 14 rbi and 15 runs scored in the month.  Reds fans have already forgotten last year's left field platoon tandem of Stan Palys and George Thurman! Joining the young star with 14 rbi in May is Big Klu, who continues to hit over .400 for the season. "I'm Ichiro!" he crowed, pooh-poohing his meager 2 home runs. On May 8th against New York, the Rhinelanders exploded for a 21-2 destruction of the visiting Giants. Robinson drove home 6, and even pitcher Brooks Lawrence managed to score 4 times. 

Cardinals--Stan Musial shows no sign of slowing down, as he has knocked home 16 tallies and scored 14 himself in May while slugging 10 x-base hits. Ken Boyer has chipped in with 15 rbi. Hitting hasn't been what's keeping the Cardinals treading water. However, GM Frank "Trader" Lane has already jettisoned disappointing starter Harvey "The Stupid Little Kitten" Haddix and has more deals in the works. However, his recent acquisitions of crap utility men Bobby Morgan and Grady Hatton seem perplexing at best. 

He gets the max for the minimum at TJ Maxx.
Phillies--For some reason, the Phillies found it necessary to trade half their rotation to St. Louis for. . . . The Stupid Little Kitten. Why? Goddess knows. Gone are effective artifact Murry Dickson and stingy anchor man Herm Wehmeier. Arrived, in addition to Haddix, are two crap relievers. Whee. Causing further worries in Philadelphia is the continued non-production of Del Ennis, who hit 1 homer in April and still sits goggling at it and refusing to hit any more. There was a little bit of good news, though. Robin Roberts notched his first win of the year and faced only the minimum 27 batters in destroying the Pirates 10-0 on the 11th. The Bucs did have three runners, but hit into one double play and the other two got caught bumbling around between bases and were tagged out. 

He can even stand on his own shoulder!
Giants--Hard times have befallen the Giants following their very presentable April. A dismal 3-11 log in May has sunk them to sixth place. Willie Mays is 22-for-52 in the month with 5 HR, but he can't do it alone. April basher Hank Thompson has turned into a May pipsqueak, and Bill White, dominant last month, is merely serviceable so far in May. 

They're two, two, two mints in one!
Pirates--After suffering through being shut out a whopping 11 times on the season, the Buccos seem to have finally gotten the knack of scraping up a run or two every now and then, but they still stink. What seemed to snap them out of their offensive coma was a 3-run inside-the-park homer by little Eddie O'Brien, one half of the Pirates' twin pairing at the end of the bench along with brother Johnny. It was the league's 2nd such blast of the year, along with one by Whitey Lockman of N.Y. (For the record, in over 550 major league ab's, Eddie never hit a single home run. Johnny hit 4. "I owe it all to the Orsino Board!" he crowed to assembled reporters.) Still, it's been a circus of incompetence in Pittsburgh. To wit: they have been unsuccessful in 11 out of 12 steal attempts. Throw in clean-up hitter Dale Long's failure to drive in even ONE run so far in May, and you see why they are virtually tied for last.

Cubs--Ah the lovable losers, those Cubs, etcetera etcetera. Take it from me, they'll never win a pennant! What they did have in early May '56 was two walk-off hits from Dodger reject Eddie Miksis and Giants cast-off Monte Irvin. What, you want more? There IS no more!

See you at the end of May for leaders and all of that. 

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