Home | Webstore
Latest News: OOTP Update 20.7 - OOTP 20 Available - FHM 6 Available

Offseason Discount! SAVE 50%!

  

Go Back   OOTP Developments Forums > Out of the Park Baseball 20 > OOTP Dynasty Reports

OOTP Dynasty Reports Tell us about the OOTP dynasties you have built!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-18-2019, 01:15 PM   #3001
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (7-6) vs. Crusaders (7-4) – April 19-21, 2033

The Crusaders had been on the short end in terms of runs so far, ranking in the bottom three in runs scored, but also the top three in runs allowed, with a +3 run differential. They led the CL in stolen bases, however. Last season the Crusaders did claim ten wins over the Raccoons in their 18 contests against another.

Projected matchups:
Rico Gutierrez (1-0, 6.10 ERA) vs. Mike Rutkowski (1-0, 1.38 ERA)
Andy Palomares (1-1, 8.74 ERA) vs. Eddie Cannon (2-0, 0.56 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (1-1, 3.20 ERA) vs. Gilberto Rendon (2-1, 2.95 ERA)

Three right-handers… maybe. The Crusaders came in on two days’ rest following a rainout against the Titans on Sunday. They could pretty much send in any pitcher they pleased, including sole southpaw starter Ramiro Benavides (0-1, 9.00 ERA). The Critters had only had Monday off and forewent the chance to skip “Mostly Dead” Gutierrez thanks to a double header on Sunday.

Game 1
NYC: CF Tessmann – 1B Payne – 2B M. Hurtado – C Dear – LF Cambra – RF Reardon – SS J. Zamora – 3B Pulido – P Rutkowski
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – C Garcia – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – 2B Stalker – P Gutierrez

After Joe Payne’s double and Matt Dear’s RBI single plated a run for New York at the first opportunity, Rico Gutierrez – lo and behold – struck out the side in the second inning. Granted, he also walked two, and one of those was a dubious call in a full count, and the other was a foul bunt on 1-2 by the pitcher Rutkowski, but maybe I am nitpicking now… In any event, Payne hit a leadoff jack in the third to make it 2-0 after Stalker had popped out to strand Zitzner and Perkins on the corners in the bottom 2nd. Half an inning later, the Critters got on the board; Ramos drew a 1-out walk, stole his measly second base of the season, and came around on Reichardt’s sharp single to right-center. A Wallace single to right and a full-count walk to Travis Zitzner loaded the bases for Fernando Garcia, who tied the game with a sac fly to left before Jennings bounced out to Payne.

Numerous full counts meant that Gutierrez was done after five innings and 103 pitches, with the score remaining locked at two runs each, giving him another no-decision. Nick Bates got in line for a W for a scoreless sixth in which he worked around a Firmino Cambra single when Zitzner opened the bottom of the inning with a huge homer to left, putting Portland up 3-2. Agan, the Critters shuffled the bags full after that – Garcia singled, Perkins doubled, and Stalker walked, bringing up the pitcher’s spot with three on and one out. Tom Hawkins hit a comebacker for a force play at home, leaving it to the .140 raker Ramos to get something done. He grounded over to Jose Pulido, whose throw to first was sub-par, got through Payne, and two runs scored on the dismal error. Two more scores on a Wallace single following Reichardt getting nicked to restock the bases. Jesse Wright replaced Rutkowski, walked Zitzner, but got Garcia to whiff, closing out a 5-run inning, four of which were unearned. With the game more or less over, the Coons tacked on another two unearned runs in the eighth. Those, too, were the result of a Pulido throwing error; Wallace and PH Elliott Thompson got 2-out RBI. New York got a run off Victor Anaya in the ninth; Cambra led off with a single, moved around on two outs, then scored on an unfortunate wild pitch, putting the tiniest of dents into the score. 9-3 Raccoons! Wallace 3-5, 3 RBI; Zitzner 3-3, 2 BB, HR, 2B, RBI; Thompson (PH) 1-1, 2B, RBI;

First Raccoons pitcher to two wins? Nick Bates. – Did anybody have that in the raffle? No? – What? Chad had it? Ugh, Chad and his dumb luck!

(Chad dances off and swings the hips in the mascot costume)

In further unfortunate developments, Nick Valdes snowed in for the middle game of the set. I mean “snowed in” quite literally. He was on the way home from rocket-skiing in the mountains, having melted off one of the final glacier in the US during his holidays.

Game 2
NYC: CF Tessmann – LF Cambra – 2B M. Hurtado – RF Reardon – 1B Payne – C Leonard – 3B J. Zamora – SS Pulido – P E. Cannon
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – C Thompson – 2B Stalker – P Palomares

Before long, the Coons’ infield defense and their pitcher melted away just like the mountainous snowfields. Ramos committed an error in the first inning that led to a run on a Mario Hurtado single, and while the Critters made up that deficit in the second, which Jennings led off with a triple, coming in to score on Thompson’s groundout, there was another unfortunate error in the fourth inning, this time by Perkins. Hurtado was on first with nobody out when Chris Reardon shot a bouncer at Perkins, whose throw to second base was errant and went off the reaching Stalker’s glove for the error. While Payne grounded out, the bags filled up on a walk to Keith Leonard, followed by Jorge Zamora’s 2-run single up the middle. Pulido singled to load them back up, but Cannon whiffed and Danny Tessmann grounded out to strand three in a 3-1 game.

The Coons did precious little outside the Jennings triple, but Palomares allowed a leadoff triple to glacially-paced Keith Leonard in the top 6th. That one went to left, where Jimmy Wallace meandered after the ball to the best of his abilities, which was not a good thing in any case. The run would score on a Pulido sac fly, putting the Crusaders 4-1 ahead, two runs earned in total, and that was also Palomares’ final inning; he finished with 109 pitches. The Raccoons didn’t get the tying run to the plate again until the bottom 7th when Cannon allowed a leadoff single to Jennings, then struck Justin Perkins with a fastball. Perkins was none too happy about it, but could be convinced by the umpire to not take Cannon’s head clean off. Thompson was the tying run, but grounded into a fielder’s choice. Stalker came up with runners on the corners, lined out to Hurtado, and Ferrero hit for David Fernandez, who had pitched a messy seventh. Noel Ferrero dropped an RBI single into shallow center, livening up that .138 batting average, and bringing up the .146 terror Ramos. Valdes coolly asked what the **** had happened to him, and I grumbled something about bad luck and that Cristiano Carmona had numbers on that, but Valdes wouldn’t go and leave me the **** alone as I rocked back and forth with Honeypaws clutched against my chest while Berto stepped in. He would hit the 0-1 pitch up the middle for a single, but Thompson had to hold. Reichardt batted with three on, two outs, and I rocked more intensely as he fell to 0-1, 0-2, and then cracked a pitch to deep left. High! Higher! GONE!! GRAAAAAAAAAAAND SLAAAAAAAAAAAMMMM!!!!!

The crowd liked that one, and Valdes and me did, too, jumping up and down and squeaking like little boys when the ball broke the plane. It put Portland 6-4 ahead and lined up the tough end of the pen. The Critters went to Garavito to begin the top 8th owing to the left-hander Leonard leading off in a mixed bag of batters. He retired two before Pulido hit a single. Matt Dear pinch-hit in the #9 slot, promoting a move to Ed Blair, who lost him in a full count, then was recycled for Hennessy against Tessmann, but the Crusaders countered with PH Dan Brown – who popped out on the first pitch, swamping the tying runs. The Coons got Jennings on with a single in the bottom 8th, but that was all, and Wise issued a leadoff walk to Cambra to start the ninth, but then rallied with strikeouts against Hurtado and Reardon. Joe Payne ripped away at the first pitch, but hit a clonker into the ground for a casual third out. 6-4 Furballs! Ramos 2-4; Reichardt 2-4, HR, 4 RBI; Jennings 3-4, 3B; Ferrero (PH) 1-1, RBI;

With this W, Nick Valdes flew home happy, and the Raccoons moved into second place behind only the Titans, who were 9-4 at this point, which also saw ALL CL North teams above .500, with a virtual tie for fourth between the Crusaders, Elks, and Indians, all one game above .500.

The Coons then would get Benavides in the Thursday game, so we’d play some platoon games.

Game 3
NYC: CF Tessmann – 3B J. Zamora – 2B M. Hurtado – RF Reardon – 1B Payne – C Leonard – LF D. Brown – SS Pulido – P Benavides
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – 1B Zitzner – C Garcia – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – LF Ferrero – 2B Hawkins – P Chavez

Chavez threw 20 pitches in a messy first inning, 10% of which hit Crusaders batters. Tessmann and Payne felt the pain, and Jorge Zamora singled in between, but all three were stranded when Leonard grounded out to Tom Hawkins. New York instead got an unearned run in the second when a terrible throwing error by Garcia over the head of Zitzner placed Dan Brown on second base. He scored on productive outs by Pulido and Benavides, but the Coons erased the deficit quickly when Perkins hit a leadoff single in the bottom 2nd and scored on Noel Ferrero’s gap double. Hawkins and Chavez couldn’t get him in, but Berto singled up the middle to score Ferrero from third, and that was the first of three straight 2-out singles off Benavides, with Zitzner driving in another run to make it 3-1. Garcia grounded out to short to end the inning.

But Chavez and Garcia were vehemently not on the same page. Top 3rd, leadoff walk to Hurtado, then a wild pitch, then an RBI single by Reardon at 3-1, cutting the lead to 3-2. Payne and Leonard both hit singles with two strikes, the latter tying the game with a pair of runners on base and nobody out. Chavez bailed out with strikeouts, then saw Jennings and Perkins open the bottom 3rd with singles. Not much to see here in terms of shrewd pitching…! However, Ferrero hit into a fielder’s choice, and Hawkins into a double play, meaning nobody scored. The next chance came in the fifth with leadoff singles by Zitzner and Garcia. Benavides threw a wild pitch to Jennings to advance the runners into scoring position, allowing Jennings to plate the go-ahead run with a grounder to short. That was the only run; while Perkins walked, Ferrero whiffed and Hawkins grounded out to Zamora. Bernie held on in the sixth, then was hit for with Marsingill after having offered 99 pitches when his spot came up at the start of the bottom 6th. Marsingill led off with a double to right and Ramos walked, but the lead runner was nipped in a double steal attempt, and the Critters didn’t tack on.

Garavito nailed PH Firmino Cambra to begin the seventh. Anaya replaced him right away and got three outs while protecting the 4-3 lead. Jennings was caught stealing by Leonard in the bottom 7th, and nobody scored in that inning. Anaya opened the eighth with a K to Reardon before Fernandez was brought on for two left-handed batters, both of which singled, putting Payne and Leonard on the corners with one out. Blair replaced Fernandez, rung up Brown, and got Pulido to hit a soft liner to Ramos for the third out of the inning. PHEW. The quest for the insurance run continued with pinch-hitting Jimmy Wallace doubling into the gap to begin the bottom 8th against righty George Barnett. Groundouts by Hawkins and Thompson and a Ramos pop kept him stranded at third base, bringing up Chris Wise with no cushion. He struck out ex-Coon Matt Jamieson, flew out Zachary Ryder in the #1 hole, and then got Zamora to ground to short… but he legged it out, bringing up Hurtado, who also grounded to short, and this time the batter didn’t reach first base on Ramos. 4-3 Coons! Zitzner 3-4, 2B, RBI; Garcia 3-4; Perkins 1-2, BB; Wallace (PH) 1-1, 2B; Marsingill (PH) 1-1, 2B;

A sweep! How sweet!

Raccoons (10-6) vs. Thunder (6-10) – April 22-24, 2033

Losers of four in a row, the Thunder were second from the bottom in runs scored (not even three runs per game!) and had given up the third-most runs instead. Whatever runs they scored, they usually did get them on the long ball; they had scored only 47 runs despite 15 home runs! They already had a -25 run differential, which didn’t bode well. The Coons’ run differential was +20 at this point. To make things worse, one of their most crucial players, Luis Sagredo, was already on the DL. The Coons had won the season series the last two years, including a 5-4 mark in ’32.

Projected matchups:
Ignacio del Rio (1-1, 2.79 ERA) vs. Scott Soviero (0-2, 11.37 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (1-1, 1.54 ERA) vs. Dusty Kulp (1-1, 1.98 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (1-0, 5.28 ERA) vs. Joe Robinson (0-1, 4.60 ERA)

Southpaws seemed to sandwich the right-hander Kulp here. There was no shortage of left-handed pitching for Oklahoma. They had FOUR left-handers in their bullpen, which seemed excessive to me. The southside corps included longtime Critter Billy Brotman, winner of a pair of rings with our late-20s machine.

Game 1
OCT: RF Celaya – CF Olszewski – 1B D. Cruz – C Burgess – SS Serrato – LF Cutler – 2B V. Ochoa – 3B Felicame – P Soviero
POR: 2B Pinkerton – CF Reichardt – RF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – LF Ferrero – SS Stalker – P del Rio

…and again the other team came out and scored first, in a true nightmare of a first inning. Lorenzo Celaya reached on an infield single before being forced by Drew Olszewski’s grounder. Olszewski went to third on Danny Cruz’ single to right, Wallace unleashed a terrible throw that allowed an extra base to the runners, and thus scored Olszewski right away. Mike Burgess singled in Cruz, was forced on an Alex Serrato grounder, and then Pinkerton fumbled Steve Cutler’s grounder for the second error of the inning. del Rio struck out Victor Ochoa to escape the steaming mess. It would take the Coons a while to have more hits than errors on the board, to which Justin Perkins contributed with a throwing error in the third, but that one did not lead to additional runs. Zitzner and Garcia had hit singles in the second, but Perkins had chucked into a double play, while in the fourth Wallace and Zitzner led off with singles, after which Soviero lost Garcia on balls, presenting Perkins with three on and nobody out, as well as zero speed on the bags. He struck out. Ferrero hit a sac fly, Stalker popped out, and a tremendous chance was tossed in the trash. Well, at least some place where the Raccoons might find it again…

Del Rio tossed 99 pitches through seven, holding the Thunder, who barely registered in the box score after the first inning, to four hits and two runs, but was still trailing the 2-1 game. Hawkins batted for him with nobody on base and two down in the bottom 7th and singled past Serrato. Pinkerton slapped a ball over Danny Cruz and up the line. That one got past Celaya and Hawkins raced around the bases to score while Pinkerton slid into third base with a game-tying RBI triple! Reichardt unfortunately grounded out to Antonio Felicame to end the inning. Bottom 8th, Soviero was knocked out with a leadoff walk to Jimmy Wallace. Brotman came on and got two outs before Perkins singled. Wallace moved to second, from where Ramos would run for him. That move didn’t really figure decisive in the end; Noel Ferrero buried a ball in the gap so thoroughly that everybody would have scored from second base, even Cristiano Carmona. Perkins scored from first base on the double, too, putting Portland up 4-2. Stalker flew out to right, sending the game to the ninth. But, who’d pitch? Wise, Blair, Garavito, and Fernandez had all tossed two days in a row, and Hennessy had been burned already. That left only Bates and Anaya, who got the nod. Burgess struck out. Pinkerton – moved to right when Ramos stayed in the game and Stalker shifted to the keystone – made a leaping grab on Serrato at the fence for the second out. That brought up an array of left-handed bats, but Anaya didn’t have the tying run at the plate yet and the first two were hitting well under .200, this was his game. Cutler ran a full count, then looked at strike three down the middle. 4-2 Furballs! Zitzner 2-4; Ferrero 1-2, BB, 2B, 3 RBI; Hawkins (PH) 1-1; del Rio 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K;

The Titans‘ Mario Gonzalez lost a pitching duel, 1-0, to Tijuana’s Josh Irwin, and with that the Coons were in sole possession of first place.

WHAT??

And I got TWO days to marvel over this because for the second Saturday in a row the Coons were rained out, this time at home. Another double header was set up for Sunday, which we’d at least enter with a more rested bullpen and with one good pitcher still leading off the double duty Sunday. The Thunder also kept Kulp in the first game of the twin bill.

The weather was still bad on Sunday; there was rain in the forecast.

Game 2 (1)
OCT: RF Celaya – CF Olszewski – 1B D. Cruz – C Burgess – SS Serrato – LF Cutler – 2B A. Rojas – 3B Becker – P Kulp
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Perkins – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – C Thompson – 2B Stalker – CF Ferrero – P Sabre

If the Critters wanted to extend their winning streak, they’d have to come from behind AGAIN. Sabre had a heck of a first inning, allowing a leadoff single to Celaya, who stole second, reached third on Thompson’s bad throw, and scored on an Olszewksi double. The Thunder got the new runner in on a sac fly, but a Serrato single and a walk to Cutler kept traffic around until Alfredo Rojas flew out to Ferrero to strand them. While Kulp had a 1.98 ERA, his WHIP was almost as high as that; 21 hits and walks in 13.2 innings coming in, so maybe he was due for a whacking. The first inning was uneventful for Portland, but in the second we got Jennings on base right away. Thompson flew out, Stalker grounded out, but Ferrero walked onto the open base unintentionally, bringing Sabre to the plate with two on and two outs. He slapped a single through between Rojas and Cruz, and it died quickly enough to allow Jennings to score from second base with the home team’s first marker of the game. Ramos then continued to defrost with a gapper in left-center, a score-flipping 2-out, 2-run double, and scored on Perkins’ double to right, 4-2, after which Wallace grounded out to Rojas to end the inning.

Sabre struggled, issuing two walks and a single in the third, but Burgess hit into a double play in between to keep the Thunder of the board. In turn, Zitzner hit a leadoff jack in the bottom 3rd, 5-2, his fourth on the year, and he was still the only Coon with more than one bomb, and his 9 RBI were also tops on the team. Soon after, rain hit and led to a rain delay of almost an hour, which was certainly not going to help either pitcher, but both remained in the game by necessity, the Thunder going as far as to not lift Dusty Kulp in the fourth with Rojas (leadoff triple) at third and one out. Thierry Becker had already lined out softly to Perkins, and Sabre carved up the opposing pitcher for a crucial second out. Celaya grounded out, wasting the triple.

Sabre didn’t get the win, however. He was on fumes in the fifth, got two outs, then saw Ramos misfire on a Burgess grounder for an error. Sabre melted away to walk the bags full before being relieved by Ed Blair, who nixed the tying runs with a crucial K to Rojas. Kulp was still in, but was yanked after four and a third, after Billy Jennings sent one soaring over the fence in right, becoming the second multi-dinger Critter (finally…) and moving the tally to 6-2. Reliever Jimmy Jackson appeared, allowed singles to Thompson and Stalker, then had a meatball blasted into the stands by Noel Ferrero, 9-2, and thus it was FERRERO to become the first Coon with double-digit RBI on the season. Maud – did Chad have that, too? – Son of a coon!! …

With that, the game was about finishing it with the least amount of relievers possible. Blair was sent to bat here so he could get a few more outs. He would strike out, then pitch a perfect sixth. After that we were ready to burn one of our high-stamina left-handers, who would have a chance for a 3-inning save. We picked Fernandez, who had tossed only 3.2 innings but had walked seven on the season. Time to get straightened out. He had a long, long seventh, loading the bases on two hits and a walk to Serrato, then walked in a run facing Rojas, 9-3, before Becker struck out to strand everybody. Fernandez threw too many pitches and ran out of stuff entirely by the ninth inning, putting another two Thunder on base. With over 50 pitches on the clock, he had to be replaced by another pitcher. Nick Bates came on to face Rojas with two outs, and got the final out on a single pitch that Rojas grounded to Ferrero at first base. 9-3 Furballs! Perkins 2-5, 2B, RBI; Jennings 2-3, BB, HR, RBI; Thompson 2-4;

At least, with only one pitch thrown, Bates remains available for the second contest. We also still have Wise, Anaya, Garavito, and Hennessy in the quiver, but the starter would be Rico Gutierrez...

Game 3 (2)
OCT: RF Celaya – CF Olszewski – 1B D. Cruz – SS Serrato – LF Cutler – 2B A. Rojas – C Riley – 3B Becker – P J. Robinson
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Ferrero – 1B Zitzner – C Garcia – 3B Marsingill – RF Pinkerton – 2B Hawkins – P Gutierrez

Steve Cutler hit a 2-out RBI single, plating Celaya to get the Thunder up 1-0 in the top of the first before Rojas grounded out to Ramos. Perfect – now we can rally again! Zitzner homered the game tied leading off the bottom 2nd – Zitz was on fire! – and the Coons took the lead the following inning on Reichardt and Ferrero singles, with an enabling wild pitch in between. Alright… (kicks up the feet and leans back) … my job is done for the week! Thierry Becker’s clumsy error put on Zitzner, and Garcia slapped a single through the left side to score Ferrero, 3-1. Marsingill grounded out, ending the inning.

HOWEVER. This was still “Almost Dead” Gutierrez pitching. The Thunder stranded them on the corners in the fourth, then got a leadoff single from their pitcher in the fifth. Celaya popped out, but Olszewski walked, and then Cruz spanked a bouncer right at Ramos for a 6-4-3 spot of salvation. Rico Gutierrez had no strikeouts, five hits, and two walks through five innings, and somehow was 3-1 ahead. The sixth saw three soft outs for Gutierrez, but the Coons put their first three on. Garcia singled, Marsingill singled, Pinkerton walked in a full count. Hawkins sent a clean RBI single into shallow center, 4-1, and with that extra run we were confident enough to have Gutierrez hit for himself; cocky you might even say. He struck out, Ramos hit into a double play, and the Coons did not cash in big… Gutierrez began the seventh on 82 pitches and up by three, which was a situation where you were waiting for trouble first. Liam Riley grounded out, but Becker singled to left. Robinson was not hit for, so Rico stayed in to face him to get the bunt and an out. He got the bunt. He didn’t get an out, because Marsingill threw it away. Becker and Robinson were in scoring position, the top of the order was up, and that counted as trouble – here came Garavito, with eight outs to collect. Celaya got rung up, and Olszewski got robbed in the gap by Ferrero, ending the inning. PHEW.

With my paws sticky and sweat-soaked, some pressure came off in the bottom 7th. Reichardt singled, was caught stealing, Ferrero singled, and Zitz hit another shot to left, a 2-piece to grow the lead to five! That ended Robinson’s day, and Jimmy Jackson served up a dinger to Marsingill with two outs, 7-1. The Critters picked the eighth from Garavito for a total of five outs, then indeed sent back Nick Bates to have him finish two games in a day. Rojas struck out. Riley flew out. Becker lined out. 7-1 The Striped Terrors! Reichardt 2-5; Ferrero 3-4, RBI; Zitzner 2-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI; Garcia 2-4, RBI; Marsingill 2-4, HR, RBI; Hawkins 2-4, RBI; Gutierrez 6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, W (2-0); Garavito 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K;

In other news

April 21 – SFB SP Matt Huf (2-1, 2.08 ERA) 2-hits the Thunder in a 6-0 Bayhawks win. Underlining Huf’s dominance are the 11 strikeouts charged against the Thunder.
April 21 – The 3-12 Aces hold out for 16 innings before being sunk with a 3-run homer by ATL 1B Adam Avakian (.309, 2 HR, 15 RBI) in the top of the 17th. The Knights win, 4-1. ATL SP/MR Chris Cooper (1-0, 0.82 ERA) throws six innings of 2-hit ball in relief for the win.

Complaints and stuff

Zitz currently leads the ABL in OPS with a 1.154 mark that will probably not hold up, but I sure appreciated the power outburst this week that also netted him Player of the Week honors with a .478 (11-for-23) average, 4 HR, and 6 RBI.

Three comeback wins in a sweep of the Crusaders that made the Critters the first team to win ten games in the North, then another three comeback wins against the Thunder on Friday and Sunday! What the **** is going on??

We are also FIRST in runs scored with exactly five per game, which isn’t a bad rallying job from the way the season started (3 G, 1 R). We have also won 13 of 15 after a 1-4 start against the Titans and Condors. It is hard to judge how good the team actually is, though, because they were 2-4 against those top teams, split four with the Indians, but also swept three decent-to-meh teams. I guess we will know more about how good the team is a week from now, because we’ll see the Titans again on the next weekend.

This time we are less lucky with the fallout of the rain postponement, because the Falcons come here starting on Monday. We have *Thursday* off, however, so we can still scrape by without having to resort to a spot starter or somebody getting sacrificed on short rest with Palomares, Bernie, and del Rio lined up for Charlotte, and then Sabre can go on regular rest against the Titans on Friday.

Not all is sugar though. Manny Fernandez is not hitting well (.212, 0 HR, 2 RBI) in St. Pete, and Darren Brown went 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA before suffering a partial tear in his labrum and will miss most of the season.

Fun Fact: The 1978 Raccoons came off a sad-sack losing season in the ABL’s inaugural year and started off hot at 10-5 and 13-8. They ended up matching their 1977 record, 67-95.

We were actually over .500 into early June that year. The second half was a complete collapse though, with the team crashing from 24-19 to 36-45 at one point.

Stats table was taken on Monday, so that's why there are so many rested relievers. I normally take it before moving to Monday, but I'm old and ****.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
ayaghmour2 (10-18-2019)
Old 10-18-2019, 01:43 PM   #3002
DD Martin
Minors (Double A)
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 166
Thanks: 179
Thanked 80x in 69 posts
Wow didn’t see this start to the season coming. I’m hoping this is not like the season in the TV show Dallas where an entire season was a dream when Patrick Duffy sat out in a contract dispute. Hopefully this is real and we don’t wake up to find out it was just preseason!
DD Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Westheim (10-18-2019)
Old 10-19-2019, 06:27 PM   #3003
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (13-6) vs. Falcons (8-9) – April 25-27, 2033

The Falcons had started really, really average. They had pretty bad defense and were tied for second in stolen bases, but apart from that they were average in runs scored, runs allowed, and had an average rank in their division, which wasn’t bad for a team that had lost a blinding 110 games the season before, and 89 or more games in all but one of the last ten years. None of these two teams had managed to win as many as six games against one another in any season since 2027, when the Coons had won seven games from the Falcons. We had since lost four of the last five season series, all to a tune of 4-5, including the one in ’32.

Projected matchups:
Andy Palomares (1-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Matt Moon (2-0, 4.50 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (2-1, 3.16 ERA) vs. Chris Miller (1-0, 1.23 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (1-1, 2.73 ERA) vs. Doug Clifford (0-3, 5.40 ERA)

Right, right, left, then an off day, which we’ll probably need before the Titans will come stomping in.

Game 1
CHA: CF Adkins – 2B D. Ruiz – LF Salto – C Huichapa – 1B R. Morales – 3B G. Ortiz – RF Aguilar – SS Aguirre – P Moon
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – C Garcia – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – 2B Stalker – P Palomares

The Raccoons’ recipe for success from the previous week continued at least for the part where the other team scored the first run. Danny Ruiz stuck a triple into the rightfield corner in the first inning and Graciano Salto scored him with a single before being caught stealing. The Falcons got a second run in the second inning, but that was after putting three on with nobody out. Roberto Morales and Greg Ortiz singled, and Jerry Aguilar was walked on four pitches before Oscar Aguirre hit a comebacker for a force at home. Moon hit a sac fly to center, and Reichardt also took Travis Adkins’ fly to retire the side. Third inning, only more trouble for Palomares, who couldn’t get anybody out, although Ruiz reached on a Ramos error. Salto and Ernesto Huichapa chucked singles, 3-0, as did Morales, 4-0, and Palomares walked Ortiz to load them up. A Jerry Aguilar sac fly made it 5-0, and when Aguirre singled to load the bags, Palomares was yanked. Nick Bates replaced him, but nothing got any better. He walked Moon (!!), allowed an RBI single to Adkins, and plated another run with a wild pitch before the inning somehow mysteriously ended in the middle of an 8-0 slaughter. On top of that, we had an hourlong rain delay in the fourth inning. Wonderful game, just perfect for a Monday. So far the Coons hadn’t even been on base yet; Reichardt walked in the bottom 4th after Moon had retired ten in a row to begin his day, Wallace doubled, and Zitzner hit an RBI single, but then the inning died. Into the fifth, the dreaded pitching debut for Preston Pinkerton in 2033 awaited. The Falcons stuck him with four runs before the groans in the ballpark had subsided, and that was only the fifth. The bags filled up on a single and two walks in the sixth, too, and then Dave Trahan pinch-hit for Moon and socked a grand slam to center. Victor Anaya took over to as much success as to see two Falcons thrown out at home plate in the very same inning as the team was down by a mere 15 runs. Nothing about that changed in the final three innings. 16-1 Falcons.

That was … unpleasant. That was the baseball equivalent of explosive diarrhea, and I hope the return to the top of the rotation will plug that splashing broken pipe.

Please….!

Game 2
CHA: CF Adkins – RF Trahan – LF Salto – 1B R. Morales – 3B G. Ortiz – 2B D. Ruiz – C Carmichael – SS Aguirre – P C. Miller
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – 2B Marsingill – C Thompson – P Chavez

Ramos walked, stole a base, and was stranded in the bottom 1st, but at least somebody seemed still alive in this new week that was so far full of horrors. That included Bernie’s second pitch of the game being hit right to, but not over, the fence by Travis Adkins, and nobody reaching base for Portland the first time through after the Ramos walk until Berto walked again in the third with two outs, only to be left on first base when Reichardt flew out to Trahan, who would lead off the fourth with a sharp single to right, then scored on Roberto Morales’ double, the first run in the game, as usual not for the brown-clad team. The Coons finally got into the H column in the fourth, just like on Monday, with a Wallace single to begin the bottom 4th. He was swiftly doubled up by Zitzner. Jennings singled, Perkins grounded out. Nobody scored. A similar pattern repeated itself in the home half of the sixth, with Ramos hitting an infield single, getting doubled up by Reichardt, and then Wallace dropped one into shallow center. Zitzner struck out to end that frame.

Bernie all the while soldiered on bravely and held the Falcons to a single run through seven despite lacking his good stuff. He whiffed only four, but also allowed only four hits. His stint in the game ended through no fault of his own when Perkins walked and Thompson singled in the bottom 7th and the two were on the corners with two outs and the #9 slot up. Tim Stalker hit for him and grounded out to short. Blair and Garavito pieced the eighth together, with Aguirre hitting a single off the former and being caught stealing on the latter’s watch to end the inning. Bottom 8th, Berto lined out to Salto before the Falcons went to the pen and right-hander Bryce Sparkes, who allowed a single to Adrian Reichardt, then a gapper to Jimmy Wallace on the first pitch. Thanks to a hit-and-run call born out of despair, Reichardt got a great start and scored on the double, tying the game and taking Chavez off an unthankful hook. Wallace, however, was stranded with two groundouts. Garavito held the Falcons away in the ninth (Wise had pitched a garbage inning on Monday, so we tried to walk off in regulation without pestering him) before righty Marcus Goode appeared for the Falcons. Unfortunately, the Critters lacked a lefty pinch-hitter, something that needed addressing. Thompson drew a 2-out walk, but Ferrero popped out batting for Garavito. Wise got the tenth, and scored upon, too, issuing a 2-out walk to PH Jorge Lopez before the heretofore hitless Jason Carmichael hit a double past Jimmy Wallace, which was its own sad story. Lopez scored with one of those early starts, and th Coons entered the bottom of the inning trailing, but with the top of the order due up. Goode walked Berto on four pitches, bringing the winning run to the plate again. Reichardt slapped a single over the head of Aguilar, and Wallace knocked one up the middle; three on, no outs! Zitzner had the chance to end it, but poked the first pitch at second base guard Gavin Westmoreland, who beat Ramos to home by a whisker, but the bags remained stacked for Jennings, who fell to 2-2 before poking a ball back past Goode, who swiped, but missed it, and Aguilar hustled in, but had no play – tied game on an infield single! And then? Perkins popped out, Marsingill whiffed, and the game went on. Fernandez got the 11th, allowed a single to Trahan and a homer to Salto, and the Coons could not get past Ramos’ umpteenth walk in the bottom 11th. 4-2 Falcons. Ramos 1-2, 4 BB; Reichardt 2-6; Wallace 4-5, 2B, RBI; Jennings 2-5, RBI; Chavez 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K;

Maud? Maud? – Why are they not winning anymore?

Game 3
CHA: CF Adkins – RF Trahan – LF Salto – C Huichapa – 1B R. Morales – 3B G. Ortiz – 2B D. Ruiz – SS Aguirre – P Clifford
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Ferrero – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – C Garcia – 2B Stalker – 3B Hawkins – P del Rio

Literally nothing happened for the first three innings; del Rio was perfect, and the Coons were hitless, but had at least drawn two walks to no great effect. All that changed in the fourth. First, it started to rain, and second, del Rio turned into a turd. Adkins singled, he nailed Trahan, the two pulled off a double steal, but he walked Salto anyway. Three on, no outs, Huichapa popped out to Stalker. Then we had another disconcerting rain delay, and when play resumed, Morales hit a rocket to right, but precisely into the path of Billy Jennings, who hustled in to make the catch and to shy Adkins back to third base. Greg Ortiz, Raccoons trade target two winters ago, grounded out to Tom Hawkins to end the inning. For the third time in the series, the Raccoons only got a hit in the fourth inning, a Zitzner single, but made as little of that as of the leadoff double Stalker knocked in the fifth. The game remained scoreless through six when Huichapa hit a blooper for a leadoff single to set the Falcons up in the top of the seventh. Del Rio instantly walked Morales, then had Ortiz fly to shallow right, where Jennings fumbled the ball for an error. Three on, no outs, again. Mario Mendoza pinch-hit for Ruiz and hit a groundout that brought Huichapa across with the first run, but Jorge Lopez lined out to Ramos and Clifford flew out to Ferrero to keep it at 1-0. Bottom of the inning, Garcia and Stalker hit singles, and Hawkins hit into a double play to end the inning, at which point I screamed like my innards had been pierced by a halberd and went to look for liquor, but things hadn’t markedly changed when I came back, slightly doozy, with a pitcher containing a mix of Capt’n Coma, some rice wine I had found in Dr. Chung’s office, and a few blood thinners, in the bottom of the ninth. Clifford was tasked with holding his own 1-0 lead against the 4-5-6 batters. He extinguished the Raccoons in six pitches. 1-0 Falcons. Stalker 2-3, 2B; del Rio 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, L (1-2);

First place went away on Thursday, as well as most of my residual headache, when the Loggers beat the Knights to take sole possession of the top slot in the North. The headache returned in full force on Friday, along with the Titans and Nick Valdes.

No, Nick, I don’t know why the **** they scored only three runs against the Falcons. – Yes, they scored only one run against the Titans at the start of the season. – Okay, I might look like the wise man of the mountain, but I have long accepted that I can’t know the reason for everything…!

He was not happy about that.

Raccoons (13-9) vs. Titans (11-9) – April 29-May 1, 2033

First the negatives – the Titans had swept the Critters in a 3-game set at the start of the year, and the Coons’ bats had since returned to ice cold. On the other hand, they were only eighth in runs scored themselves, and fourth in runs allowed, with a miserable +2 run differential. Their pen was crumbly (but would we ever see it?), and there was another advantage I claimed we had: the Raccoons came off a day of rest and had played only one game in the last two days, but the Titans had played three games in the last two days (including a 15-inning grinder!) after an off day on Monday thanks to icky weather in San Francisco, where they had dropped two of three and had given up 18 runs.

Projected matchups:
Raffaello Sabre (1-1, 1.93 ERA) vs. Jordan Caldwell (2-0, 3.52 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (2-0, 4.15 ERA) vs. Dustin Wingo (1-1, 0.84 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (2-1, 2.76 ERA) vs. TBD

Due to their circumstances, the Titans struggled to name a starter for Sunday as the series began. Adam Potter (2-2, 4.73 ERA) and Tony Chavez (2-0, 3.00 ERA) had pitched in the double header on Wednesday. Chavez was highly unlikely as he was reported day-to-day with back issues and would probably not be sent on short rest on top of that, so our best guess was that we’d get one southpaw (Wingo) sandwiched by righties.

Palomares was skipped after the Monday disaster and would rejoin the rotation after del Rio’s next assignment. That was as far as we could push him – no further off day would crop up until the 12th of May.

Game 1
BOS: CF M. Avila – SS Spataro – LF W. Vega – 1B Uliasz – C Lessman – 3B E. Gonzalez – RF M. Walker – 2B T. Johnson – P Caldwell
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – P Sabre

Boston scored in the top of the first (…) thanks to a Moises Avila single, a throwing error by Thompson on Avila’s stolen base attempt, and a groundout by Keith Spataro. Reichardt hit a jack in the bottom of the inning to re-tie the game, and Tim Stalker rammed another one over the leftfield fence in the second to put the Raccoons in front for the first time all week (...!), while 2-out singles by Thompson and Sabre evaporated when Willie Vega shagged a Ramos fly to shallow left. Sabre was not without flaws and put Spataro and Vega on the corners in the third inning, but then got a crucial strikeout against Justin Uliasz (121 RBI in ’32, 18 so far in ’33) to strand them. That however didn’t keep Mark Walker from homering to tie the score the following frame… Nick Valdes then explained to me his insane plan of movable outfield walls that we would raise 25 feet whenever the other team would be batting.

Boston took the lead without the aid of another homer in the fifth inning. Spataro drew the leadoff walk, Sabre served up an RBI triple to Vega, and Uliasz’ groundout got him across as well, making it a 4-2 game. Reichardt pulled back another run with another homer in the fifth, but when Sabre was done after six messy innings, he was still on a 4-3 hook. But he didn’t remain on it – while nothing came of Tim Stalker’s leadoff single and stolen base in the bottom 6th, the Coons still had some sort of rally sense in them. Fernandez and Bates did some stingy relieving in the seventh and eighth, and Billy Jennings drew a 4-pitch walk to begin the latter inning. Perkins grounded out to advance him, but Stalker hit another deep fly to left. I screamed “outta here” prematurely, while Valdes yelled “lower the wall!” – none of those happened, but the ball hit off the fence and was far enough into the corner that Willie Vega couldn’t prevent Stalker from sliding in with a game-tying RBI triple! Thompson ran a full count, but struck out, bringing up the other catcher, Fernando Garcia, to hit for Bates. Caldwell threw a wild pitch at 0-1, which moved Stalker across with the go-ahead run; Garcia ended up fanning, but IT COUNTS!! Chris Wise was brought in for the ninth. PH Manny Ramirez grounded out to short, but Avila and Spataro slapped clean singles with one out. Vega drew ball four in a full count. I resigned myself to my fate and tried to lick the remainders out of Wednesday’s pitcher. With the sacks stacked, Uliasz hit a sac fly to right, where Pinkerton made the catch after Wallace had been removed for D, and the game was tied. Roberto Avila struck out, sending the Coons back to the plate, with Pinkerton now batting third. Great! He made the third of three depressing outs in the inning.

The game went to extras, where Anaya allowed one walk in the 10th, then two walks and a 2-out Roberto Avila RBI single to put Boston back on top. The Critters carted up the bottom of the order against Jermaine Campbell in his second inning of work, with Stalker leading off. I was bemoaning the emptiness of my pitcher, when Valdes asked me why there was “double time” flashing on the scoreboard. I had no idea. Maud!? – Maud!? … just then Cristiano rolled into the room and casually remarked that if Stalker hit a double now, he’d have a cycle. Ooooh. Yeah, no, we totally knew that, no-no, we hadn’t missed that. *Clonk* made the bat on the ball and a liner soared into deep left. Three guys in my office screamed (Slappy had long passed out on the couch) as the ball bounced fair and then off the wall to Willie Vega. Stalker turned around second, but retreated wisely, and that completed all four legs of the cycle. And it was even his SECOND CAREER CYCLE. Valdes and me jumped up and down screaming, and while Cristiano couldn’t jump, he screamed anyway. It didn’t take long for the everyday slack to catch up to us. Thompson struck out. Marsingill popped out. Ramos popped out. The Coons lost. 6-5 Titans. Reichardt 2-5, 2 HR, 2 RBI; Stalker 4-5, HR, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI; Thompson 2-5, 2B;

Come Saturday morning, I drank my coffee with a good shot of toilet cleanse, and bits of a crushed poisoned rat bait.

Anything to get rid of the foul taste of Friday!

Game 2
BOS: CF M. Avila – SS Spataro – LF W. Vega – 1B Uliasz – RF I. Vega – 2B R. West – 3B T. Johnson – C R. Avila – P Wingo
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – 2B Stalker – RF Ferrero – P Gutierrez

Uliasz’ 2-out, 2-run homer in the first kept the Coons’ score-last streak alive, much to Valdes’ dismay. He was grumpy by default, but after the blown cycle game he was hissing at everybody in sight, including Maud. The Raccoons did little to better his mood. Gutierrez allowed another two singles after the Uliasz homer, but Todd Johnson grounded out to Perkins to strand runners on the corners. Top 2nd, Wingo doubled off the wall, Spataro hit one OVER the wall, and it was already 4-0. The Critters only reached base when Tim Stalker set out for his next cycle, hitting a leadoff double in the bottom 3rd. Ramos finally found a hole for 2-out RBI double, and then scored on a Reichardt single to cut the gap in half, but there remained the basic malady of Rico Gutierrez being tasked with pitching and not doing a very good job about it. The fourth and fifth saw Titans on base, but no cigar, yet in the sixth Todd Johnson homered and Moises Avila hit a 2-out single to send Gutierrez into the clubhouse to cry, or at least I hoped he’d do so in his ****ing shame.

Bates stranded the runner with a K to Spataro, and the Critters made up a run in the bottom 6th to get back to within a pair of the Titans when Wallace hit a leadoff double, Garcia singled, and Perkins plated the lead runner with a groundout, but it just wasn’t enough, was it? By the seventh, Berto was a ****ing homer short of the cycle after burying a triple in the gap with two outs but nobody on base – he had hit a single in the fifth inning to get to 3-for-4 in more ways than one. Wingo walked Reichardt, then was yanked for Alex Contreras. The righty got Wallace to fly out to Ivan Vega, stranding the tying runs. Nothing good happened in the eighth, apart from the Zitzner leadoff single that allowed Garcia to tumble into a 6-4-3, which prompted Valdes to yell at bobbleheads on display in the office. The pen at least held up and allowed the bottom of the order to come up with two runs to tie, three to win in the bottom 9th against Campbell, who had nine walks in 13.2 innings and looked vulnerable. Stalker grounded out. Thompson hit for Ferrero… and grounded out. Jennings hit for Pinkerton… grounded to the right side, but Uliasz missed it for a single. That brought Berto to the plate as the tying run, and he needed a homer to complete the cycle, never mind that his homer rate per at-bat in his career was slightly less (0.39%) than Cristiano Carmona’s chance to ever be able to walk. Berto flew out to Moises Avila. 5-3 Titans. Ramos 3-5, 3B, 2B, RBI; Wallace 2-4, 2B; Jennings (PH) 1-1; Bates 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K;

Nick Valdes left town raging that this sort of play had to have dire consequences. If I played my cards right, maybe he’d have me disappear in some frivolous construction project in a nature reserve…

…and back stiffness be damned, Tony Chavez was lined up for Sunday by the Titans. At least in the morning; come the afternoon, they went with Potter instead.

Game 3
BOS: CF M. Avila – SS Spataro – LF W. Vega – 1B Uliasz – C Lessman – 3B E. Gonzalez – RF M. Walker – 2B R. West – P Potter
POR: SS Ramos – C Thompson – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 2B Stalker – 3B Marsingill – CF Pinkerton – P B. Chavez

Bernie struck out four the first time through, but straight singles by the 5-6-7 batters plated a run for Boston in the top 2nd, completing an entire 2-week homestand in which we had not scored first even ONCE. The same area of the lineup was more trouble in the fourth, when only Lessman and Walker found base hits while Edgar Gonzalez whiffed. The Titans left them on the corners on Rhett West’s grounder to Ramos. Potter was 3-hitting the Coons in the fourth when he made awkward arm and shoulder motions, sending clear signals of discomfort to the bench, which immediately hauled him in. At that point Billy Jennings was the tying run on third base with two outs. Reliever Wyatt Hamill ended up allowing a game-tying double to Marsingill, but the go-ahead run was stranded with an intentional walk to Pinkerton and a K against Bernie. Top 5th, the Titans had two on thanks to a Spataro single and Bernie fumbling Willie Vega’s 2-out comebacker for an error, but again Uliasz was carved up for a strikeout with two on and two down to end the inning. This was the seventh K on Chavez’ ledger in this game. He was however also up to 82 pitches through five innings. He spent ten more in a whiff-free sixth, then served up a leadoff jack to Rhett West in the seventh, which put him back in the slammer, now down 2-1. That became 3-1 and a definitive exit when Moises Avila hit one in the same direction, only deeper after Todd Johnson’s groundout.

And that was far from the end. The eighth inning began with Fernandez, who allowed two doubles and walked a guy before being yanked, but that was nothing to the way the Titans brutalized Victor Anaya. Roberto Avila hit an RBI double. Moises Avila hit a 2-run triple. Keith Spataro hit an RBI triple. Willie Vega hit an RBI double. At that point, Anaya was yanked, bloodied from top to bottom, and Pinkerton was waved in from centerfield. He actually struck out Uliasz (!), then surrendered another run on a Lessman single, putting the Titans into double digits and the Raccoons firmly in their place. Fittingly, it also started to rain, and not just from my eyes… 10-1 Titans.

In other news

April 28 – DEN 1B Kumanosuke Henderson (.270, 2 HR, 16 RBI) will miss at least a month with a broken foot.
April 30 – OCT SP Andy Jimenes (0-3, 2.87 ERA) will miss two weeks with a mild oblique strain.
May 1 – OCT SP Zach Warner (3-1, 1.38 ERA) and OCT MR Billy Brotman (2-0, 2.00 ERA, 1 SV) combine for a 1-hit shutout of the Knights, who amount to only a CF/2B Justin McAllester (.208, 0 HR, 4 RBI) single while going down to defeat, 9-0.
May 1 – VAN 2B/OF Eric Morrow (.281, 1 HR, 13 RBI) drives in five runs on as many base hits in a 15-1 shellacking over the Crusaders.

Complaints and stuff

(sits at his desk with a metal sweeping bucket over his head and speaks with a cracked, metallic sounding voice) I am wearing this so nobody can see that I cried. I think it works very well.

Kevin Harenberg was Hitter of the Month in the Federal League, batting .360 with 2 HR and 20 RBI, which is nothing that concerns the Raccoons directly except for nostalgic reasons, but I felt the pressing urge to report something, anything positive.

The team as a whole is terrible. They suck. There is also no hope. They will always suck. We will never have a winning team again. Heck, we will never score FIRST in any ****ing game again. The streak is up to *13* games in which the other team got on the board first, going back to the second game of the double-header in Indy two Sundays back. I think this colossal level of misery is best fixed by sending the entire roster to some remote and icy gulag in the frozen wastelands. Too bad that thanks to global warming there aren’t many frozen wastelands anymore.

Maud! … Maud! – Can we trade the entire roster to Vancouver? – No? – Aw.

(with a clonking sound, rests bucket-covered head on the desk)

Fun Fact: Tim Stalker is the only batter in ABL history to hit for multiple cycles without leaving the field as winner even once.

It is TRUE. It is a very Raccoons story. We obviously lost the 11-inning gut-wrencher on Friday, and we also lost his first career cycle on May 10, 2029, a 9-8 defeat against the Gold Sox in Portland. Stalker batted leadoff that day with Ramos routinely on the DL at that point and went 4-for-6 with 4 RBI in an ultimately futile rally after Dan Delgadillo had been whomped for six runs early on.
Attached Images
Image Image Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
DD Martin (10-20-2019)
Old 10-21-2019, 06:49 PM   #3004
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (13-12) @ Loggers (14-10) – May 2-5, 2033

The Critters crawled into Milwaukee on a 6-game losing streak in the latter half of a 6-6 homestand, which was one of those great developments that made me forego sleep for more drunkenness at night. Milwaukee was more steady, allowing the fewest runs in the Continental League, but had little offense to show off, with the fourth-fewest runs tallied in the CL. Their run differential was only +6, so things could probably still go either way for them. They also had already piled up four player on the DL, including Alfredo Casique and Gabe Creech. Last year’s season series had ended in a 9-9 tie.

Projected matchups:
Ignacio del Rio (1-2, 2.36 ERA) vs. Josh Long (2-1, 0.47 ERA)
Andy Palomares (1-2, 8.69 ERA) vs. Johnny Nelson (0-2, 4.68 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (1-1, 2.38 ERA) vs. Mike Hodge (3-0, 0.74 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (2-1, 4.94 ERA) vs. Joe West (1-0, 7.04 ERA)

All right-handers here.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 2B Stalker – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – P del Rio
MIL: RF Valenzuela – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – 1B Sears – 3B Meehan – CF Stephenson – SS Lockert – LF Will Ojeda – P Long

Del Rio bled singles out of the gate, allowing two in the first, and two more, plus a walk, in the second. Five total runners were stranded all by Jimmy Wallace, who robbed Jamie Meehan in the gap in the first inning, and Jim Young racing in in the second. Wallace continued to make a bid for having his name on a game; when Perkins reached base in the top 3rd, del Rio’s bunt was taken to second base by Young, but late. Ramos and Reichardt didn’t get the runners over, let alone in, but Jimmy Wallace found the gap between Josh Stephenson and Will Ojeda for a 2-run double and the first markers in the game, and THAT double broke a 13-game stretch where the other team scored first on us. THIRTEEN. Zitzner grounded out to end the inning, and then Wayne Morris led off the bottom 3rd with a double as del Rio continued to be no bueno, and Andy Sears whomped him for a 2-run homer to left. The Coons retook the lead in the fourth, getting Billy Jennings and cyclist Tim Stalker on base with leadoff knocks, but only Jennings scored on a Fernando Garcia groundout before Perkins whiffed and del Rio popped out to shallow center. That lead also didn’t last even one inning. Will Ojeda slapped a leadoff single to left in the bottom 4th, advanced on a bunt and a stolen base (rare enough off Garcia so far) and scored on Danny Valenzuela’s groundout to get everybody even at three. The Loggers got two more singles with Morris and Sears in the bottom 5th, but then ran into a 9-5 double play when Josh Stephenson flew out to Jennings with one out on the board, and Jennings killed off Morris, who tagged to go to third base, but didn’t live to tell about it.

Del Rio would knock out Long with a 2-out RBI single, plating Jennings to get up to 4-3 in the sixth. Himself, Ignacio also would not last past five and two thirds, but that was on account of rain that started in the top of the sixth and got real bad in the bottom of the inning and forced a rain delay pretty soon, and that one took almost an hour. Anaya got the Critters through the inning after play resumed, and the top of the seventh saw Tommy Iezzi skinned for three runs once Tim Stalker belted a fastball over the fence with Zitzner and Jennings aboard. After Hennessy held the Loggers away with a slam-sized lead, Jennings tacked on a run off Philip Rogers in the eighth with a grounder on a three on (Ramos single, Wallace and Zitzner walks), one out situation. That was the final run in the game; the Loggers had only one more runner, Will Ojeda walking against Bates in the eighth before getting doubled off by Rodrigo Canas, and the Coons ended their spill. 8-3 Furballs. Ramos 2-5, BB; Wallace 2-4, BB, 2B, 2 RBI; Jennings 2-4, BB, 2B, RBI; Stalker 3-5, HR, 3 RBI; Perkins 2-4, BB, 2B;

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Palomares
MIL: RF Valenzuela – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – 3B Meehan – SS Lockert – 1B O. Huerta – CF Wheeler – LF Will Ojeda – P J. Nelson

Ramos doubled in the first and would score on Wallace’s poor grounder that Nelson kicked into foul territory for a pathetic error, which gave a 1-0 lead to Palomares to start his day at the office, and we were slowly reaching a point where the cheap roster filler had to show something other than fireworks for his Coons tenure. How about a nice steady six innings, two runs rather than the other way round? His first pitch was barfed all the way to the fence (but into Jennings’ glove) by Danny Valenzuela, so doubts beset me. For what it was worth, Palomares hit one of those deep flies himself, lifting out to Valenzuela near the warning track to end the top 2nd, and then lined up at least a few zeroes while the Loggers were making sound contact but also remained unlucky. Portland had them – Reichardt and Wallace – on the corners in the third inning, but neither Zitzner nor Jennings could get a runner across. Then the fireworks happened in the bottom 4th. Matt Lockert hit a leadoff single to left and would come to bat again in the inning. He initially stole second base and was still there with two outs and Ojeda up. The youngster was struggling and Nelson was a left-hander, and we didn’t trust Palomares with extra runners on base, so we didn’t go for the intentional walk, and it didn’t matter, because everybody – Ojeda, Nelson, Valenzuela, their mothers, the mascot, and the mascot’s mother – would hit a 2-out single off Palomares, who was bludgeoned to the sweet relief of death with six consecutive base knocks the put the Loggers up 4-1 with three on and Lockert back in the box. He’d face Ed Blair and grounded out on the first pitch, but Blair allowed a run of his own the following inning, putting Mike Wheeler on base before allowing a 2-out RBI single to … John Nelson, 5-1.

(sigh!)

The Critters, who had been extremely invisible for a few innings, happened into a run in the sixth when Zitzner singled, was forced out by Jennings, Stalker doubled, and Thompson hit a run-scoring groundout, but that was too little to matter, especially with Bates giving the run right back in a shoddy bottom half of the same frame. Hennessy did the seventh and the Coons were still a slam behind by the eighth, with an otherwise depleted pen posing the question Wise or Pinkerton for the bottom 8th. We went with the closer, who had not pitched since Friday and retired 3-4-5 in order. The Coons went in order in the ninth just as much. 6-2 Loggers. Reichardt 2-5; Wallace 2-5, RBI; Stalker 2-4, 2B;

Eh. They already won on Monday. It can’t even be worse than last week anymore…

Also, since we were in a 13-game stretch without an off day, I’d try to give everybody some rest otherwise. It would be right-handed bats for this series, and then the left-handers on the weekend when I expected to see some southpaws on the mound for the opposition.

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – RF Jennings – CF Reichardt – 3B Marsingill – C Garcia – 1B Ferrero – P Sabre
MIL: RF Valenzuela – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – 1B Sears – 3B Meehan – CF Stephenson – SS R. Rios – LF Will Ojeda – P Hodge

The Coons would dig Sabre going deep in this game, seven innings would be great, and eight would be even greater. He threw five pitches in the first, none of which was hit to Alberta, which was neat for an appetizer, and then it started to rain in the second. He struck out Jamie Meehan in the bottom 2nd, which was the first K by a Coons starter this week (!!), and also helped strand Andy Sears and his leadoff bloop double that had gotten past a sliding Adrian Reichardt. By the third, the Raccoons scored Sabre a bushel of runs; Ferrero walked, was bunted over, stole a base, Ramos walked, too, and a wild pitch by Hodge got the first run on the board. Stalker hit an RBI single, Wallace and Jennings hit doubles, the latter getting 2 RBI, and it was a 4-0 game all of a sudden. And it was also still raining on-and-off, and the Critters couldn’t afford an early knockout for their pitcher…!

Sabre had a 2-hitter, whiffing three, through five innings, then was spotted a fifth run in the top 6th. Reichardt and Marsingill had knocked singles to occupy the corners with nobody out and while I did not approve of double play grounders, Garcia’s was one to forgive with the team already ahead by a fair bit. Get Sabre back out there, too, before the floods consume us all. Pitch count-wise he was in GREAT shape through five, throwing only 44 pitches. He also hit a double off Alex Banderas and was stranded on base his next time at the plate while keeping the Loggers in check. It was the eighth inning when Sabre ran his first full count and issued his first walk to Josh Stephenson, unfortunately also leading off the inning. Robbie Rios fanned, the rain returned for the 300th time, Will Ojeda hit an infield single, Mike Wheeler struck out, the tarp was brought out to cover the field and almost immediately rolled back up, and Valenzuela popped out, but that inning took 30 pitches after he had tossed less than twice as many balls in the seven previous innings combined. He still got the ninth after batting for himself in the top of the inning, whiffing against Chris Myers. Leadoff single by Jim Young, but then Morris spanked one at Perkins, to second, to first – double play! One more out, and it was not Sears, who singled to right. It was Meehan, hitting a comebacker to end the game. 5-0 Furballs! Wallace 2-4, 2B; Jennings 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Marsingill 1-2, BB; Sabre 9.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, W (2-1) and 1-3, 2B;

Sabre!! Whee!! First career shutout and complete game in 33 attempts! Really starting to like that kid!

And just when you’re merry, it’s time for Rico Gutierrez… although he knows a thing or two about shutting out the Loggers, too. He’s done it five times in his career.

Game 4
POR: SS Ramos – CF Pinkerton – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – C Thompson – 2B Marsingill – P Gutierrez
MIL: RF Valenzulea – C Canas – 2B W. Morris – 1B Sears – CF Stephenson – SS Lockert – 3B R. Rios – LF Will Ojeda – P J. West

Preston Pinkerton’s homer to right in the first inning gave the Coons the first run in each game in the series; baseball remained weird, then got weirder when Rico Gutierrez opened the game with two strikeouts. When did that last happen?? Also, when the Loggers opened the bottom 2nd with Sears and Stephenson singles and went to the corners, Gutierrez got a comebacker for a fielder’s choice, rung up Rios, walked Ojeda half-heartedly, and then popped out Joe West, which had to count as success. But the writing was on the wall… Canas and Morris hit singles in the bottom 3rd, Gutierrez nailed Stephenson, and with two outs served up a hanging breaking ball that Matt Lockert rammed for a slam over the leftfield wall, putting the Loggers on top, 4-1.

Persistent, terrible rain knocked out Gutierrez after 4.1 innings and still in the same score but with Stephenson at third base after a 1-out triple and Lockert in a 2-1 count. That count was inherited by Bates after a 90-minute delay. He got a pop from Lockert, then a grounder to short from Robbie Rios, stranding the Gutierrez-owned runner. The Raccoons offense didn’t get much cobbled together until the seventh inning when they placed Perkins and Thompson on base to begin the inning. Marsingill hit into a fielder’s choice, Ferrero – inserted in a double switch – whiffed, and Ramos flew out to center. That was the last good chance their had as this series slipped away from them and into a 4-game split. 4-1 Loggers. Jennings 1-2, BB; Reichardt (PH) 1-1; Fernandez 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K;

Raccoons (15-14) @ Blue Sox (13-15) – May 6-8, 2033

The Blue Sox were ranked eighth in offense in the Federal League, fifth in runs allowed, but had a -12 run differential. Their rotation was decent enough, but their pen was a constant source of horrors, getting piled on to a 5.51 ERA tune. They just couldn’t get anybody out…! This was also a small-ball team, stealing bases and taking it a single at a time, sitting near the bottom in the ABL in homers. We had played each other both of the last two years, and the Coons had won a grand total of one game of those six matches, in 2032.

Projected matchups:
Bernie Chavez (2-2, 3.00 ERA) vs. Sean Fowler (3-2, 3.43 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (2-2, 2.70 ERA) vs. Pablo Correa (2-3, 4.98 ERA)
Andy Palomares (1-3, 8.87 ERA) vs. Steve Russell (0-1, 3.14 ERA)

One more righty, then the two southpaws. This includes ex-Coon Steve Russell, who had been part of the package for Noel Ferrero, and boy, was that not working out for us…

One of the Sox’ best, Jim “Mastodon” Allen (.379, 2 HR, 15 RBI), was listed day-to-day with a bruised jaw.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Chavez
NAS: 1B Bossert – CF Simmons – 3B J. Allen – LF R. Sanchez – 2B Bouldin – RF Ugolino – SS Salmonsen – C A. Jaramillo – P Fowler

Again the Coons pounced in the first, which featured triples by Ramos (scored on a Reichardt groundout) and Zitzner(!), who plated Wallace and his 1-out walk, and scored on Jennings’ sac fly to set Chavez 3-0 ahead. Fowler was further exploded in the third inning, which featured four more Critters runs, including a 2-run single by Thompson to run the lead to 7-0, at which point the attention shifted to Bernie and whether he could out-dazzle Sabre’s performance on Wednesday. Probably not – he retired the first six, but then walked Seth Salmonsen and allowed a single to Alex Jaramillo. The Sox didn’t score, but hit two sharp lineouts in doing so, and the shutout went away in the bottom 4th, but then in unearned fashion. Jim Allen and Billy Bouldin hit singles, Elliott Thompson threw away the ball on a double steal attempt, and that led to two runs on the play itself (one) and on Fabien Ugolino’s groundout (the other). Justin Perkins countered with a solo homer in the fifth, moving the score to 8-2, but three singles by Jaramillo, reliever Paul Metzler(!), and Justin Simmons loaded the bases in the bottom 5th with one out. “Mastodon” Allen hit a grounder to Perkins that was only good for one out and plated a run, 8-3, before Raul Sanchez flew out to Wallace. The bases were loaded AGAIN in the sixth, then with two outs after two singles and a walk and with .333 hitter Chance Bossert at the plate, and it was not impossible that this was Bernie’s final batter. Mound conference – but he faced him, and his first pitch was kicked for an RBI single. Ed Blair replaced him, gave up a 2-run single to Simmons, and only then did Allen ground out to keep it 8-6. Sanchez and Bouldin slapped singles off Garavito to get the tying runs on the corners in the bottom 7th with nobody out. Jay Elder struck out before Anaya replaced him, gave up a 1-out RBI single to Salmonsen, and then the Blue Sox actually ran themselves out of the inning by trying another double steal. Bouldin was thrown out, and Jaramillo grounded out to end the inning. The Raccoons maybe should have tacked on a ****ing run by now, but wouldn’t, instead stranding five runners between the final three innings. Hennessy held up in the bottom 8th, and Wise appeared in the ninth to face the 4-5-6 hitters with no cushion, and walked Raul Sanchez right away. Bouldin struck out, Carlos Montellano bounced out to Zitzner, but that moved the tying run into scoring position against Salmonsen, who was hitting .327, including a damn lot in this game. He walked, bringing up Alex Jaramillo again, also on three base hits. Wise snuck strike three, cut on and missed, by him. 8-7 Blighters. Ramos 4-5, 3B; Reichardt 2-5, RBI; Zitzner 2-4, BB, 3B, RBI;

7-0 in the third, and then THAT… such games make me ****ing angry!

(screams madly, turns green in the face, and breaks through the wall into the hotel hallway)

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – 2B Stalker – 1B Zitzner – LF Jennings – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – CF Pinkerton – P del Rio
NAS: 1B Bossert – SS Salmonsen – 3B J. Allen – 2B Bouldin – RF Ugolino – CF Montellano – LF C. Sanchez – C A. Jaramillo – P P. Correa

Another day, another Coons run on the board before anything else, this time Zitzner doubling home Adrian Reichardt in the first. That didn’t hold up, because del Rio had traffic in every inning, and plenty of it in the bottom 3rd, which Correa (!) opened with a single (…!!!), Bossert singled as well, and Jim Allen doubled both in when he hit one to the base of the fence. For good measure, del Rio knocked Billy Bouldin to add another runner, but Fabien Ugolino hit into a double play to end the damn inning. The Sox kept shredding him the next inning; leadoff walk to Montellano, who was on third after a stolen base and a groundout, and was plated by Jaramillo with a single to center. And even though Correa bunted into a force, the next three batters knocked singles to score two more runs. Bouldin finally flew out to center, keeping the score at 5-1, but nothing kept working for Portland. Marsingill hit for del Rio in the fifth, hit a 1-out single, went to third on a Ramos single, Berto stole second, and then both were stranded in scoring position when Reichardt popped out and Stalker flew out to Ugolino. Nobody scored, except in the bottom 6th, where the Blue Sox got another three guys on and scored another run off Fernandez and Bates…

Marsingill and Reichardt reached base in the seventh, but Wallace, hitting for Bates with two outs, flew to deep center… and into Montellano’s mitten, stranding those two, too. And then, it was time for some pitching by Preston Pinkerton, because these Critters knew how to deplete a ****ing bullpen… (and that was AHEAD of a Palomares start…) He allowed three walks, three hits, four runs, and then we still had to throw in another guy. Oh well, Wise had to pitch a garbage inning. it wasn’t like he’d be needed in a Palomares start anyway… The Blue Sox got him for a run as well… The Coons got two meaningless runs on four hits off a meaningless reliever (Mike Bass) in the ninth, none of them mattering. 11-3 Blue Sox. Ramos 2-4, BB; Ferrero (PH) 1-1; Marsingill (PH) 1-2, BB;

Jim Allen knocked five hits and plated as many runs in this rout. The Critters only reached five hits in the ninth inning…

Game 3
POR: SS Stalker – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – C Garcia – RF Ferrero – 3B Perkins – 2B Marsingill – P Palomares
NAS: 1B Bossert – CF Simmons – 3B J. Allen – LF R. Sanchez – 2B Bouldin – RF Ugolino – SS J. Jaramillo – C A. Jaramillo – P Russell

For the seventh time this week the Critters scored first, but this time on an unearned run in the second inning when Perkins drove in Noel Ferrero, who had reached base on a throwing error by Jose Jaramillo. Another run in the third inning was Sox-aided; Reichardt and Zitzner were on base with a single and walk, respectively, when a wild pitch to Garcia crucially moved them to third base before Garcia hit a soft RBI single to the feet of Raul Sanchez. Ferrero struck out to strand a pair. Only one Sock reached base the first time through the order, and that was Jose Jaramillo being safe on a Zitzner error. He advanced on a bunt, then was singled in by Chance Bossert when the lineup turned over, cutting the lead to 2-1, before Simmons flew out to the fence. Bottom 4th, Jim Allen ripped a leadoff double to left, went to steal third after a K to Raul Sanchez, and Garcia threw the ball past Perkins to bring in the tying run for Nashville. I was enthusiastically banging my head against the nearest wall…

Ferrero singled home Reichardt with a 2-out bloop in the fifth to give the Coons a new 3-2 lead that instantly in danger with a Jose Jaramillo single to begin the bottom 5th, but the other Jaramillo (no relation, except to be nagging and tugging away at my nerves) hit into a 6-4-3 double play to Stalker. Top 6th, Palomares shot a double up the leftfield line and Stalker and Reichardt both drew 1-out walks to load the bases against a tiring Russell, who was nevertheless left in for Jimmy Wallace’s lefty stick. He got him to 0-2, but then allowed a grounder to right. Bouldin’s only play was to first, and the Coons got their pitcher across, 4-2. Zitzner fouled out to strand two more runners.

The Critters dragged Palomares through seven, with Bouldin hitting a single in the bottom 7th before being caught stealing. The bottom of the order was up in the eighth with Palomares on 70 pitches, but here was the next problem – we had burned Wise the day before, because why would we need him in a Palomares start? Good move! Palomares would be left in at least until somebody got on base, which didn’t happen. One Jaramillo grounded out to short, the other popped out to Ferrero, and Montellano whiffed in a full count. Oy! That was it, though. The Raccoons failed to score another run, and the 4-2 game would be handed to Anaya in the bottom 9th, with Garavito warming up as well while the Blue Sox were already alternating righties and lefties almost all the way through the lineup. Bossert popped out. Jay Elder pinch-hit in the #2 hole, and walked in a full count. “Mastodon” Allen came up, and was the last guy for Anaya in any case. He knocked a 1-0 pitch up the middle. Stalker warped over – six Gold Gloves! – to swipe the ball right on the back, toeing it fondly, and zinging to first to beat both runners by 45 feet each! 4-2 Raccoons…! Reichardt 2-4; Ferrero 2-5, RBI; Palomares 8.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER; 0 BB, 5 K, W (2-3) and 2-4, 2B;

Palomares not only didn’t allow an earned run, he also had the only extra-base hit. That was clutch!

In other news

May 5 – Scoring in every inning bar one, the Gold Sox still drop an 11-10 game to the Stars. DEN OF/1B/SS Tyler Miles (.315, 5 HR, 21 RBI) goes deep twice and drives in three on a 4-hit day.
May 5 – Washington LF/RF/1B Louis Fraisse jr. (.255, 1 HR, 8 RBI) could miss the better part of the season with a concussion.
May 6 – New York trades C Matt Dear (.268, 1 HR, 7 RBI) to the Buffaloes for 2B/SS Randy Schuler (.210, 1 HR, 17 RBI) and a prospect.
May 7 – DEN LF/CF Abel Madsen (.294, 3 HR, 20 RBI) socks four hits and drives in five runs in the Gold Sox’ 17-3 rout of the Knights. Every batter in the Gold Sox’ lineup, including SP Michael Frank (6-0, 1.78 ERA), has multiple hits, and they pummel the Knights’ pitchers for 25 base knocks in total.
May 8 – IND SP Victor Govea (2-3, 3.28 ERA) spins a 3-hit shutout against the Buffaloes, whiffing four in the 5-0 Indians win.
May 8 – Shoulder soreness will keep BOS OF Willie Vega (.323, 3 HR, 17 RBI) out of games for the rest of the month.

Complaints and stuff

I continue to fancy our young pitching, which now has a ho-hum 7-6 record, but with a 2.94 ERA. That is a bit better than what I hoped for.

Chavez is of that Mark Roberts type. Strong stuff, but hard fastballs will sometimes get hit. And Roberts became Pitcher of the Year anyway. Del Rio might be more of the workhorse type like Tadasu Abe. Sabre doesn’t really fit those; he doesn’t throw very hard and he is a groundballer that will shine with strong defense all around, and well, we have two Gold Glove infielders, and two that are at least solidly above-average, plus strong defensive catching. It does not *shock* me that he is currently doing the best of the bunch.

Little else on the roster is exciting, except for Jimmy Wallace, who leads the batting title race and has an .879 OPS, but struggles tremendously on defense. His zone rating is -1.9 already…

Also, Berto reached the .200 plateau on Friday after the 4-hit game in the nearly blown huge early lead game. Wow, lofty heights!

Fun Fact: The most recent Raccoon to win the batting title in the Continental League was Cookie Carmona, batting .344 in the 2017 season.

That was the only one he won, and he hit more than .344 only once in his career. That year he also led the CL in triples with 13, but barely qualified for the batting title race after missing 46 games due to injury. It was the last year he was primarily used in centerfield, moving to a corner after that. It was also the last time he put up 5+ WAR, although he had a bunch more 3+ WAR seasons before coming unglued in his early 30s.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
DD Martin (10-25-2019), pgjocki (10-21-2019)
Old 10-23-2019, 07:17 PM   #3005
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (17-15) vs. Gold Sox (18-13) – May 9-11, 2033

The Gold Sox’ last division title had come 30 years ago and right now they held first place in the FL West by a slim margin. The offense was humming, putting out about 5.6 runs per game, which easily led the Federal League, but the pitching was more on the troublesome side. They were allowing the fifth-most runs in the FL, with the bullpen a particular concern. They were near the top in defense, and they also led the league with the most stolen bases, swiping more than 1.2 bases per game. The last meeting between these teams had been in ’29, when the Critters had lost two of three games.

Projected matchups:
Raffaello Sabre (2-1, 1.88 ERA) vs. Tony Fuentes (2-2, 1.57 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (2-2, 5.40 ERA) vs. Paul Peters (3-2, 7.25 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (3-2, 3.43 ERA) vs. Robbie Blair (3-3, 3.89 ERA)

Three right-handers were awaiting us.

This was one of only two home series entirely within the month of May for the Raccoons, who would get right back out on the road after an off day on Thursday for a 4-city trip. As such, it was not beneath Nick Valdes, our dear and beloved owner, to snow back in and see how his most troubled investment (his words, not mine) was doing. And while he was on it, he hung a picture of himself in every room, including Slappy’s broom closet, on which he was looking importantly towards the left edge of the frame (or towards the future, as he called it), with the sun in splendor in the background. Dr. Chung instantly recognized the composition from his homeland, where pictures of the beloved leader were also to be hung in every house… at least before the whole joint had turned capitalist in The Great Change of ’31.

Game 1
DEN: LF DeLoach – SS T. Miles – CF Madsen – 2B Pizano – C Zarate – RF N. Nelson – 3B J. Hernandez – 1B Vasquez – P T. Fuentes
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – C Garcia – 2B Stalker – 3B Perkins – P Sabre

The running started right away; Elvis DeLoach hit a single to left to begin the game, and after Tyler Miles flew out to center, he went right away. Fernando Garcia politely told him NOPE, and threw him out at second base, his 14th runner disposed of this season for a 42% success rate. The bags were full in the second on account of singles by Danny Zarate and Nate Nelson, and Sabre throwing one into Joel Hernandez. Strikeouts to Rodolfo Vasquez and the opposing pitcher, both in full counts, ended a troubled inning. The Raccoons would not amount to a base hit the first time through; Perkins drew a walk to lead off the bottom 3rd, was bunted to second, and got to third on Berto’s bloop single to left. Reichardt grounded to the left side and was retired by Hernandez’ throw to first, but Perkins came around, scoring the game’s first run.

Sabre was in considerably less trouble the second time through Denver’s order, although he hit Nate Nelson with a pitch. He also had the Coons’ second base hit, a 2-out single in the bottom 5th, but was quickly stranded when Ramos flew out. The 1-0 lead was then in danger in the sixth when Tyler Miles sunk a ball in the gap for a leadoff triple. Abel Madsen lined out to short, Mario Pizano, the longtime Indians scourge, hit a comebacker to Sabre, and Miles was still standing on third base with two outs for Zarate. Just when he was about out of trouble, Sabre hung a 1-1 pitch and Danny Zarate belted it over the fence to flip the score, 2-1 in the Gold Sox’ favor. Bottom 6th, Adrian Reichardt hit a leadoff double, but was stranded on second base. Nick Valdes asked where the offense was. I shrugged. Top 7th, Hernandez with a leadoff single, Jeremiah Brooks pinch-hitting and walking on four pitches, and then PH Federico Nuno hit one over Reichardt’s head for a 2-run double, and moved up to third base on the throw to home plate. That got rid of Sabre in a hurry, and I remarked to Valdes that the offense was *there*. Garavito replaced the fallen starter, but conceded the fifth run on another Miles triple, putting the Critters down 5-1, although Miles would remain stranded on a pop induced by Garavito and Nick Bates getting Mario Pizano to ground out.

Bottom 7th, the Sox were also in their pen, sending righty Ben Phillips with a 12.15 ERA. He walked Garcia and Stalker before Perkins stupidly grounded into a double play. Valdes snorted. I sighed. Noel Ferrero grounded out to Pizano to end the inning. But we’d have two on again in the bottom 8th. Ramos walked, and Wallace singled to right, kicking Phillips from the game, to be replaced by ex-Critter Jonathan Fleischer and his 4.82 ERA. Zitzner swung at the first pitch and knocked it into a 3-6-3 double play, ending the eighth. Adam Rosenwald finished off the Raccoons in the ninth, which saw Elliott Thompson drop in a pinch-hit single, but that was it. 5-1 Gold Sox. Thompson (PH) 1-1;

…and then I felt sort of unwell, sending up the corpse of Rico Gutierrez against the league’s premier offense…

Game 2
DEN: RF Nuno – SS T. Miles – LF N. Nelson – 2B Pizano – C Zarate – 3B Corder – CF Torruellas – 1B Vasquez – P Peters
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – C Garcia – 2B Stalker – 3B Perkins – P Gutierrez

The good news was that Gutierrez would allow no runs in this game! The bad news? He left the game after the second inning with an oblique strain. The question was whether the Raccoons would be better off using the pen for seven innings… At least they took the lead again, scoring first for the ninth straight game (streaky buggers…!) when Jennings drew a 1-out walk in the bottom 2nd and Garcia and Stalker hit back-to-back doubles over Rafael Torruellas in centerfield to put the team 2-0 ahead. The tying runs were on for Denver in the third, with David Fernandez selected for long man duties. Nuno singled, Miles walked, but two grounders stranded them on base. The same two guys were on base again in the fifth after a pair of 2-out walks by Fernandez, who was out of steam after 47 pitches and replaced with Ed Blair. He got Nelson to 0-2 before the former Falcon took a mighty rip … but popped out over the infield to keep it 2-0 Critters, who also got the Justin Brigade onto the corners in the bottom 5th with nobody out. Perkins led off with a single, and Marsingill hit another one after entering in a double switch with Blair that had removed Tim Stalker. Peters allowed Ramos to tick a liner into shallow right for an RBI single. Valdes and me high-fived as we briefly interrupted the nervous pacing near the window that allowed unobstructed view of the field. Peters nicked Reichardt, loading the bases with nobody out for Jimmy Wallace, batting .342 and eagerly wagging his bat. He also hit a liner into the outfield, and that also fell in for an RBI single, 4-0. Zitzner came up and hit a liner to Miles… unfortunately with the runners on the move. There was no way to reverse quickly enough for Reichardt, who was rendered out when Miles hustled over to tap second base ahead of him, and Wallace, who fell down when he hit the brakes and could also not crawl to first base fast enough to beat Miles’ throw – a 6-3 triple play ended the inning. I went straight for the liquor cabinet while Valdes spoke to his portrait – of course he had hung one in my office, too – and assured his self that one day, some day, it would all be well when all the inept personnel had been discarded. I couldn’t help but feel that I was included, but if there was something Capt’n Coma could subdue, it was feelings. Cheerio.

It remained a 4-0 game, also because Perkins was robbed at the fence by Nuno in the sixth and Reichardt was denied by Nate Nelson’s running grab in the gap in the seventh. The Raccoons arrived at their fourth reliever in the eighth inning, sending Nick Bates against the 4-5-6 batters, resulting in a deep fly to Reichardt, a Zarate single to left, and Adam Corder’s 4-6-3 double play grounder. The ninth would be Chris Wise against the bottom of the order. The first pitch was ticked to right for a single by Torruellas, but that was as much as Wise would give them. The next three batters were outs, including two whiffs. 4-0 Raccoons. Wallace 2-4, RBI; Stalker 1-2, 2B, RBI; Fernandez 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, W (2-1);

Dr. Chung reported that he did not expect Rico Gutierrez to miss a start. He considered oblique injuries a fad and that pitchers were faking it, anyway.

Seven shutout innings from the pen here, seven shutout innings from the pen there – it wouldn’t hurt if Bernie could toss a shutout in the rubber game. Valdes and me agreed on this one. We did however not agree on the way I was paying respect to his portrait.

Game 3
DEN: RF Nuno – SS T. Miles – CF Madsen – 2B Pizano – 3B Corder – LF DeLoach – C Brooks – 1B Vasquez – P R. Blair
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – 3B Hawkins – P Chavez

The Coons’ streak of scoring first ended when Abel Madsen hit a monstrous homer in the first inning to put the Gold Sox up 1-0. Portland countered; Berto drew a leadoff walk in the bottom 1st, moved up on a grounder, but it took two singles by Wallace and Zitzner to score him, neither of which reached the outfield grass. Blair nicked Jennings to load the bases for Tim Stalker, who hit into another one of those annoying double plays to end the inning. The Critters would eventually take the lead in the third inning. Zitzner plated Reichardt with a sac fly after the veteran centerfielder had opened the inning with a double to left.

It was not a huge lead at 2-1 but Bernie tried his best to make it feel sizable. He allowed little to the Sox, and when they did get two men on in the fourth, he started a 1-6-3 inning-ending double play. The game breezed by; before long it was the seventh inning and Bernie hit a 2-out double off Robbie Blair, but the Critters didn’t feel like tacking on. Ramos grounded out to Pizano, his old stolen base crown rival, and that was the inning. Top 8th, Chavez was up against the 6-7-8 batters and held a 2-hitter on 72 pitches. DeLoach grounded out to Stalker, Brooks flew out to Reichardt, and Vasquez went down on strikes, making you wonder whether Bernie had nine in him. Although an insurance run WOULD be nice. Reichardt led off the bottom 8th with a single off Blair. A hit-and-run was called, Reichardt made for second while Jimmy Wallace whiffed, and Brooks had Reichardt beat – but his aim had been terrible and the ball flew over a leaping Tyler Miles into centerfield. Reichardt scurried for third base with nobody out. Then he was stranded there; Wallace hit a comebacker, Zitzner grounded out to first, and Jennings flew out to Nuno. And now? Valdes was no help, cursing and cussing how this team was throwing away each and every chance it got. With that, we watched Bernie Chavez go to the mound in the ninth inning. Nate Nelson hit for Blair, fell to 0-2, then flew out. Nuno grounded out to Stalker. Miles lined out to left. It was a complete game! 2-1 Raccoons!! Reichardt 2-4, 2B; Chavez 9.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, W (4-2) and 1-2, 2B;

Ber-nie! Ber-nie!

With that, everybody departed. The team went to New York with everybody directly involved in tow, and Nick Valdes had to fly to Mozambique, where there was only one male elephant surviving in the wild, and Valdes desperately wanted that trophy if the Critters couldn’t get him one. He was dismayed though when the team refused to line up and sing him farewell upon his departure; well, except for Dr. Chung, who knew his way around an authoritarian regime.

Raccoons (19-16) @ Crusaders (18-14) – May 13-15, 2033

Both teams were within three of the division-leading Titans as this series began. The Crusaders had been swept by the Critters in the first 3-game set of the season, but right now were rather hot on a 6-game winning streak. They were overall average in both runs scored and runs allowed, but that was due to their weak start. There had been plenty of red alarms around their pitching, but during their winning streak they had allowed only two runs per game. Since the Critters were rather timid with scoring runs, this could turn out to be a problem down the road this weekend…

Projected matchups:
Ignacio del Rio (2-3, 3.48 ERA) vs. Ramiro Benavides (1-3, 6.67 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (2-2, 2.57 ERA) vs. Gilberto Rendon (6-1, 1.96 ERA)
Andy Palomares (2-3, 6.61 ERA) vs. Mike Rutkowski (1-4, 5.36 ERA)

Benavides would be the only southpaw to oppose us this season, and also the only southpaw in the Crusaders’ rotation. Meanwhile we used the off day on Thursday to move Palomares behind Sabre in the rotation, which put all of our Tremendous Three in a row again.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – RF Jennings – 1B Zitzner – 2B Stalker – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – LF Ferrero – P del Rio
NYC: CF Tessmann – 1B Cambra – 2B M. Hurtado – RF Ryder – LF Saito – SS Schuler – C Leonard – 3B J. Zamora – P Benavides

Berto hit a leadoff double and would eventually score… on a wild pitch, and that was after Reichardt walked and Jennings chucked into a double play. Zitzner singled anyway with two outs and scored on a long, long double by Tim Stalker to give del Rio a 2-0 edge. Garcia struck out to end the top 1st. Del Rio struggled out of the box, walking Danny Tessmann on four pitches. He surrendered that runner on singles by Firmino Cambra and Zachary Ryder, but hung a K on Hirofumi Saito and had Ramos handle Randy Schuler’s grounder to strand runners on the corners. That maintained a 2-1 lead that Ramos didn’t add to, stranding Noel Ferrero with a groundout in the top 2nd, and with that in mind the fourth inning saw del Rio swing away with one out and Garcia and Perkins on base; Berto kept having terrible luck and there was no trusting him with two outs right now. Lo and behold, del Rio snapped a single to center, loading the bases for Ramos instead! Now he came through, slapping a 2-2 pitch over the head of Schuler for an RBI single, 3-1. Reichardt flew out to Saito in shallow left, and Jennings lined out to short, stranding three precious runners…

Nothing dramatic happened through the end of six innings, which del Rio completed in 80 pitches and on three hits. His pitch economy was nowhere near Bernie Chavez’, and he had lost three Crusaders on balls. He went on to issue a 1-out walk to Keith Leonard in the bottom 7th, and that started his demise. Jorge Zamora knocked a baseball into the rightfield corner for an RBI triple, and while del Rio had PH Dan Brown at 1-2, he couldn’t ring him up. Brown poked a grounder to Stalker into play, allowing Zamora to bring the tying run across on the groundout. Tessmann and Cambra went on to chip in 2-out singles before Mario Hurtado grounded out to strand them. By the top of the eighth the battery was out of the game; del Rio was going to be replaced and Fernando Garcia tweaked something on an infield single and required a pinch-runner. Preston Pinkerton would take that job with one out and Perkins batting against David Gerow, who had an ERA under one. Perkins promptly struck out, after which the Critters sent Jimmy Wallace to bat for Ferrero. He rolled a single through Cambra; Pinkerton dashed for third base, and Elliott Thompson would hit for del Rio… but struck out, leaving the starter with a bitter no-decision. Bottom 8th, Garavito put Ryder and Schuler on base with a walk and a single, respectively, and left with two outs and the runners in scoring position. Anaya handled a Zamora comebacker to end the inning, then was stuck with the loss in the ninth. The Coons couldn’t get through Erik David in the top of the final inning, and Anaya just couldn’t get anybody out. Randy Hurley reached base on a Ramos throwing error that put him on second with nobody out. Tessmann legged out an infield single. Cambra grounded to Stalker, who, six Gold Gloves be damned, couldn’t throw home in time to get Hurley out, and the Crusaders walked off. 4-3 Crusaders. Ramos 2-5, 2B, RBI; Garcia 3-4; Wallace (PH) 1-1;

Dr. Chung was outraged that another player was faking an oblique strain, but that was what Garcia had come down with. He was out for at least a couple of days, and the Raccoons had to make a roster move since they couldn’t go with just one catcher (not that they had ever tried).

And so David Tinnin would make his major league debut. He had been our fourth-round pick in the 2029 draft and was batting .295 with two homers in St. Pete so far this season, where his only competition was Daniel Rocha’s fly-laden corpse. His scouting report did not look that great, and he was also already 26 years old. Preston Pinkerton got the axe to make room on the roster.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Sabre
NYC: CF Tessmann – 1B Cambra – 2B M. Hurtado – RF Reardon – SS Schuler – C Leonard – LF Jamieson – 3B Ryder – P G. Rendon

Tessmann hit a leadoff triple off Sabre in the bottom 1st and scored on Firmino Cambra’s groundout. Sabre walked Hurtado, but got a double play from Chris Reardon, which served to give us a false sense of security. This was going to be one of those games. First, Jennings hit a leadoff double in the top 2nd, but was caught up trying to stretch it to three and was tagged out by Zachary Ryder. Then the bottom 2nd saw Leonard and Ryder reach base; they were in scoring position with two outs and the pitcher at the plate. The damn Costa Rican groundballing devil Rendon pushed a single through the left side, scoring them both and giving New York the 3-0 edge. Sabre walked Tessmann before Jennings caught up with a Cambra fly to end the inning. In the third, Reardon was on second base with two outs, Sabre had Leonard at 1-2, and still got screwed for another run with a single between Stalker and Zitzner, 4-0. An inning later, Rendon was down 1-2, poked a grounder to left, and through a befuddled Perkins’ legs for a 1-out single. Well, one of those games! Nothing came of that, but Perkins kept being annoying by hitting into a double play in the fifth when Elliott Thompson had erred on base with a leadoff walk. Oh my!

Sabre was unceremoniously yanked after leadoff walks to Hurtado and Reardon in the bottom 5th, and Nick Bates got the ball. Schuler flew deep to center, but Reichardt made the catch. Leonard popped out, and two-time Raccoon Matt Jamieson grounded out to Perkins, who for once didn’t **** up. Top 6th, Rendon led off with a 4-pitch walk to Ramos, who stole second base, his ninth of the year – slowly warming up? Reichardt hit a ball up the leftfield line for an RBI double and suddenly we seemed in business! …at least until all the middle of the order managed to do was to get Reichardt in with a sac fly. A parade of relievers was able to keep the Crusaders to their four runs after the early departure of Sabre, but that didn’t help the offense, who failed to generate much worth of note in the seventh and eighth innings and arrived facing pricey winter acquisition Erik David in the ninth inning still trailing by two. At least the meat of the order was up again! And Jimmy Wallace hit a leadoff single! And then Zitzner hit a deep fly to center that of course like anything else wouldn’t go out but land with Tessmann, Jennings popped out, and Stalker fanned to conclude the game… 4-2 Crusaders. Wallace 2-4, 2B; Bates 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K;

Eh. I don’t know. Not going well right now…

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 3B Marsingill – C Thompson – 2B Stalker – P Palomares
NYC: CF Tessmann – 1B Cambra – 2B M. Hurtado – RF Reardon – LF Saito – SS Schuler – C Leonard – 3B J. Zamora – P Rutkowski

The brown-clad team continued to run like a well-oiled machine, with Ramos opening the Sunday tilt with a single to right before being caught stealing. In turn, Palomares allowed 2-strike singles to Tessmann and Cambra to begin his day, threw a wild 2-2 to Hurtado before striking him out on the next pitch, allowed a sac fly to Reardon, walked Saito, and then somehow got Schuler to fan at a pitch that burrowed its way into the earth’s crust ten feet from home plate, stranding two in a 1-0 game. Good start…! Palomares struck out the side in the second, which hinted at some sort of stuff still being alive in his old body, it was just not seeing much daylight…

No Furball found his way on base until Reichardt and Wallace hit back-to-back 1-out singles in the fourth. Reichardt sped for third base on the Wallace single to center, drew a bad throw from Tessmann, and that allowed Jimmy to move up to second base, taking away the Critters’ favorite toy, the double play grounder to end the inning. Zitzner hit an RBI single to right instead, which DID set up another double play chance for Jennings, who promptly grounded to Hurtado… the Crusaders were just too slow to turn two. Jennings beat out the return throw, and Wallace scored to put Portland on top. Marsingill walked, but Thompson flew out to Tessmann a bit too easily, stranding two runners. We did tack on two more in the fifth though, although much of that was on Keith Leonard pouncing on Palomares’ bunt with Stalker on first and nobody out and taking it to try and get the lead runner – he didn’t. Instead the Coons had two on and no outs. Ramos and Reichadt grounded out to score Stalker, and Wallace hit an RBI double to bring Palomares around, 4-1, before Zitzner grounded one to Cambra. Palomares went through five with four hits and seven strikeouts, but his pitch count was way up and he was not likely to live past the bottom 6th… or through the sixth for that matter. Hurtado and Reardon made quick outs, but Saito singled, stole second, and was tripled in by Randy Schuler on Palomares’ 100th pitch. Garavito replaced him, but surrendered an RBI single to Leonard, 4-3, before getting Zamora to ground out…

Portland was idle in the top 7th, and while Garavito retired the first two in the bottom 7th, Cambra reached with a 2-out single. The Critters had to dig deeper into the pen. Ed Blair was brought out and rung up Hurtado to end the inning. Top 8th, Saito misplayed a Zitzner fly into a double to begin the frame. The Crusaders walked Jennings intentionally to harvest more double play grounders with Gerow on the mound, but Marsingill flew to deep center for the first out, and that allowed Zitz to reach third base, from where he scored with an insurance run when Thompson hit a single over the leaping Schuler. Stalker flicked an RBI single to center, before Blair was retained to bunt. Ramos struck out, stranding a pair in scoring position. Blair did the bottom 8th for the Coons in nerve-wrecking fashion, getting strikeouts from the right-handed batters Reardon and Schuler, while walking the left-handed ones Saito and Leonard. Zamora popped out to strand those. Wise was out to save this game in the ninth, ringing up Dan Brown to begin the inning before Tessmann singled. Cambra fell to 1-2 before chopping a grounder into play, to Stalker, to Ramos, to Zitzner – ballgame! 6-3 Coons! Wallace 2-5, 2B, RBI; Zitzner 3-5, 2B, RBI; Stalker 1-2, 2 BB, RBI;


In other news

May 9 – It’s season over for VAN CL Raul de la Rosa (0-1, 3.48 ERA, 7 SV), who has received news that his UCL is ruptured and needs replacing. He is headed for Tommy John surgery.
May 10 – After a single, an intentional walk, and a hit batsman, SFW MR Tony Cash (0-1, 8.53 ERA, 1 SV) walks off the Titans, 9-8 in 10 innings, with a wild pitch.
May 10 – CHA LF/RF/1B Graciano Salto (.306, 8 HR, 24 RBI) goes yard in the fourth inning for the only run in the Falcons’ 1-0 win over the Stars.
May 11 – Condors and Buffaloes poke away at each other in vain for 16 innings before Tijuana’s Chris Miller (.291, 3 HR, 14 RBI) singles home Robby Ciampa with a walkoff single off TOP MR Rob Owensby (1-1, 3.09 ERA), giving the Condors a 2-1 win.
May 13 – BOS SP Adam Potter (4-2, 3.91 ERA) and BOS CL Jermaine Campbell (1-2, 2.18 ERA, 10 SV) spin a combined 1-hit shutout of the Loggers in a 3-0 Titans win. The Loggers’ only hit comes with two outs in the eighth, a single by OF Gabe Creech (.190, 0 HR, 3 RBI).
May 15 – RIC 3B/2B Ben “Nine Fingers” Freeman (.308, 3 HR, 15 RBI) will miss six weeks with an oblique strain.

Complaints and stuff

With great aches and pains the team scored 18 runs this week, which is just not enough to keep pace with the Titans in the long run. Or the short run. But, well, we never aspired to win the division this year, except maybe when in delirium. On the plus side they also surrendered only 17 runs, which just last year would have been considered two games’ worth.

With that, the team and me will separate. The Coons have to travel to Elkland, and I have to go back to Portland, watching them, horrified, from a distance. Rico Gutierrez should be able to make his scheduled start on Monday, opening a 4-game set.

At least it’s only two trips to Vancouver this year…

…and I have to get rid of all of Nick Valdes’ portraits…

Fun Fact: The last Gold Sox team to make the playoffs, the 2003 edition, did so with three Hall of Famers (f.e. Scott Hood, Dale Wales) and a handful of Raccoons castoffs.

They also had infielder Jose Correa, who would become a Raccoon later, but these castoffs include Stephen Buell, one of those forever-prospect outfielders for the Coons in the Decade of Darkness that were suddenly 27 and still not any good; Samy Michel, who never got much of a fair shake from the Critters, but then again was also blocked completely by Al Martin (not that being good would help Martin once Adrian Quebell rolled around), but Michel had his best season in ’03, and the only one with over 500 PA; and Antonio Donis, who at that stage was already 31, but still in his confused-and-bewildered phase, but struck out 91 in 75.1 innings in relief.

It wasn’t until 2005 that Donis made his way back into the rotation on a permanent basis. The Raccoons had employed him as a starter in his early years, with entirely mixed results, and he had made only 18 starts in the seven years prior, but won the WHIP title right away and by the following year suddenly stormed the Federal League to win his first Pitcher of the Year award at age 34. He would add two more at 38 and 39 and is of course the third Hall of Famer on that 2003 Gold Sox team.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
DD Martin (10-25-2019)
Old 10-25-2019, 01:42 PM   #3006
DD Martin
Minors (Double A)
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 166
Thanks: 179
Thanked 80x in 69 posts
Preston Pinkerton got the axe to make room on the roster. .....Noooooooooooo!

Edit - a Glad to see Pinky is back, I was afraid the “axe” meant DFA

Last edited by DD Martin; 10-26-2019 at 04:24 PM.
DD Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Westheim (10-25-2019)
Old 10-25-2019, 10:41 PM   #3007
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (20-18) @ Canadiens (16-21) – May 16-19, 2033

The Raccoons were in Vancouver for four, the first meeting between the two teams, who had split last year’s season series right down the middle while they both trundled straight to Nowhere. The Elks were in the bottom three in both runs scored and runs allowed in the 2033 Continental League. Their rotation was very respectable, but their bullpen was a bottomless disaster, posting an ERA over five, worst in the CL. They were actually second in batting average, but still managed to score the third-fewest runs, somehow. Maybe they were due a breakout! Thank goodness the Critters were there…

Projected matchups:
Rico Gutierrez (2-2, 5.08 ERA) vs. Steve Corcoran (5-3, 2.61 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (4-2, 3.02 ERA) vs. Logan Bessey (3-3, 4.30 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (2-3, 3.53 ERA) vs. Jeremy Truett (4-1, 2.60 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (2-3, 3.06 ERA) vs. Fernando Nora (2-5, 5.40 ERA)

The Elks had two southpaw starters, and we’d get both of them to begin the series, while I was sitting at home and trying to make myself reasonably comfortable with four game of burning hell under my bum, keeping both Honeypaws and a selection of snacks, most of them liquid, well within reach. Oh, and a pillow to scream into, just in case.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – CF Reichardt – 1B Zitzner – 3B Perkins – RF Jennings – LF Ferrero – C Tinnin – P Gutierrez
VAN: 2B Morrow – 1B Arroyo – LF LeJeune – SS L. Hernandez – RF Braun – 3B M. Cole – C Hinojosa – CF Pohl – P Corcoran

Ramos and Stalker led off with singles, pulled off a double steal, and then watched taken aback as both Reichardt and Zitzner hit pops over the infield, and then Perkins hit another one between infield and outfield. Esteban Arroyo didn’t get back to it, the ball dropped in and ran away from both Arroyo and Adam Braun, who was batting .198 after the trade that sent him out of Portland for a 2-run double. Jennings then grounded out, but then caught Braun’s fly to right with Arroyo and Jesse LeJeune on base after hard singles off Gutierrez, stranding those. The Coons would go up 3-0 in the third, Zitzner singling home Tim Stalker, who had hit a leadoff double past Braun. Rico Gutierrez had two shutout innings to begin his day, like last time out, and this time even felt like pitching a bit longer. He lined up two more clean-ish innings, and arrived in the bottom 5th with a 4-hitter and didn’t even look half-bad. But when Steve Corcoran buried a ball in the gap for a leadoff double, I sighed, poured myself and Honeypaws two hard ones, and then dropped them both into by throat before Arroyo’s RBI double with one out. Singles by LeJeune and Lazaro Hernandez followed, but Braun grounded out to kill the inning with the score 3-2 through five.

While the Raccoons’ offense had apparently gone to bed, Gutierrez’ day was not over yet. Nothing terrible happened in the sixth and he was out there for the seventh, which was led off by Corcoran, who promptly blooped a single. Oh great. The Elks tasked Eric Morrow with bunting, which he did, but badly, forcing out his pitcher at second base, and keeping the tying run at first. Gutierrez looked like he could use a day or two in the oxygen tent after just 84 pitches, but the thing was that three left-handed bats were coming up and despite three southpaws in the pen, the Coons remained allergic to switching lefty-for-lefty. And there was the OTHER thing: there were nine hits off Gutierrez in the game; two by the right-handed hitting pitcher, and the other seven had ALL come out of those three lefty hitters. Open swung the bullpen door – Mauricio Garavito would have a look! He grounded out Arroyo to Perkins, and LeJeune flew out to center, except that Reichardt had misjudged the ball and took a tumble on the inning-ending catch, spraining his thumb in the process. He had to come out of the game (and remember that the Coons had ditched Pinkerton to avoid putting Fernando Garcia on the DL, which required adding a third catcher). Jimmy Wallace was brought on, playing left with Ferrero moving over. He was up to bat second in the top 8th, following up Tim Stalker’s single with a 6-4-3 double play. Zitzner singled after that, but Perkins popped out. After Victor Anaya worked around a Ramos error in the bottom 8th, the Coons put Billy Jennings on with a leadoff single in the ninth against righty Ed Miller, who balked the runner to second, leading to an intentional walk to Noel Ferrero(!) before David Tinnin was asked to bunt. The debutee failed, bunting into an easy force at third base. Thompson batted for Anaya, but whiffed, yet Ramos came through, knocking a ball into left-center for a 2-out RBI single. Stalker fouled out, but there was at least one insurance run for Chris Wise, who soon looked like he might need it after Zitzner dropped Ramos’ throw on Toby Ross’ grounder leading off. The ex-Coon on first, Morrow struck out, though, and on the very next pitch Arroyo served a perfect double play ball to the 6-time Gold Glover Tim Stalker, 4-6-3 ended the game. 4-2 Raccoons. Ramos 2-5, RBI; Stalker 3-5, 2B; Zitzner 3-4, RBI;

David Tinnin’s major league debut? Groundout, strikeout, foul pop out, groundout (bunted into force at third). Could have been better. Meanwhile, Travis Zitzner reached 20 RBI, the first Critter to do so this season after merely 39 games.

Furthermore, Adrian Reichardt reached the DL with a torn thumb ligament, but Dr. Chung wired home that it was not too terrible and he would have him swing the bat by early June. It sounded almost like a threat.

The Raccoons tried to make amends as best as possible. The Agitator on Tuesday morning cried for the promotion of 2031 #5 pick Manny Fernandez, but he was batting .226 in St. Pete and it was just no good at this point. Preston Pinkerton was recalled, and that was it.

Game 2
POR: SS Stalker – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – 3B Perkins – RF Ferrero – CF Pinkerton – C Tinnin – P Chavez
VAN: 2B Morrow – 3B Anton – LF LeJeune – RF Wojnarowski – 1B Arroyo – C Hinojosa – CF Braun – SS L. Hernandez – P Bessey

Adam Braun was not completely useless; he threw out Marsingill tagging up to go home on a Jimmy Wallace flyout after he had himself hit a 1-out triple in the top 1st, ending the inning. The Critters had four hits the first time through, including a leadoff single by Bernie in the third. Stalker and Marsingill made poor outs, bringing up Jimmy Wallace, who crashed a fastball for a 2-out homer to right, putting the Critters up 2-0! Unfortunately, Lazaro Hernandez got one back from Chavez to begin the bottom 3rd, whopping a solo homer to right, and Bessey and Matt Anton hit singles before Bernie came through against the left-handers LeJeune and Brian Wojnarowski, ringing them both up.

Top 4th, a single and a walk put Ferrero and Pinkerton on base to begin the frame, with Tinnin up next, which sparked at least some thought of whether HE should bunt (uh-oh) with Bernie batting a solid 5-for-18 behind him. Tony Hinojosa, equally successless replacement catcher for Vancouver, took the option off the table when he fudged Bessey’s first pitch for a passed ball, moving up the runners anyway. That punched Tinnin a ticket to first base, and Bernie batted with three on and nobody out, but whiffed. Stalker fouled out. Marsingill grounded out. Nobody scored, and I poured two hard ones for me and Honeypaws, and then again drank them both myself. At least some distance was provided by Wallace in the fifth, mashing a solo tater to center, 3-1, his second in the game after hitting a total of one homer for almost the first quarter of the season. He *narrowly* missed a third bomb in the top 6th, having to settle for a 2-out RBI double that cashed Marsingill, who in turn had just hit his second triple of the game, bringing in Bernie Chavez, who again in turn had hit his second single of the contest while pitching a 4-hitter with 6 K through five, which was also the Coons’ offensive total now in a 5-1 game, at least until Zitz hit an RBI single to score Wallace. That was the end for Bessey, who was yanked after 5.2 innings, 13 hits, and six runs. Denny Marsh dug him out to end the inning. On the other side of the box score, Bernie lasted seven innings, allowed five hits, and struck out nine. He might have gone deeper, but lost the zone in the bottom 7th and walked both Hernandez and PH Rob Sher before whiffing Morrow to escape trouble himself. David Fernandez did not escape trouble in the eighth; missing both stuff and location he allowed a walk and two hits, conceding two runs on an Esteban Arroyo single. That put the game in save range in the ninth, but Wise had pitched two days in a row; the Raccoons sent Ed Blair, who got rid of Hernandez, PH Bill McWhirter, and Morrow just fine. 6-3 Critters. Marsingill 2-5, 2 3B, RBI; Wallace 3-4, BB, 2 HR, 2B, 4 RBI; Zitzner 2-5, RBI; Perkins 2-3, BB; Ferrero 2-5, 2B; Chavez 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, W (5-2) and 3-4;

This was the first save for Ed Blair this year (and as a Critter); he has a save in each of the last seven seasons now, and usually it’s only one or two, although he saved as many as 18 games in a year with his first team, the Knights. He has 37 for his career.

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – 3B Perkins – C Thompson – CF Pinkerton – P del Rio
VAN: 2B Morrow – 3B Anton – LF LeJeune – C Ross – RF Wojnarowski – 1B Arroyo – CF Pohl – SS L. Hernandez – P Truett

The injury woes would not get any less. Just a handful of pitches into the game, and following a leadoff single by Berto, Jeremy Truett hit Tim Stalker in the knee. Stalker collapsed at the plate and had to be helped off the field by Dr. Chung, who threateningly entered the dirt around the batter’s box wielding a bone saw. No on-field amputation was required, but a pinch-runner and replacement keystone guardian was, and Marsingill got the assignment. The Coons were now down to three bench players (Tinnin, Ferrero, and Hawkins) and it was the top of the first… I poured two hard ones for me and Honeypaws, then left the childish glass things to the stuffed toy raccoon and drank straight from the bottle while Wallace hit an RBI single up the middle, and Zitzner knocked a bases-loading single. Truett had yet to retire anybody, but then got Jennings to ground to short. The Elks couldn’t turn two, though, so while Marsingill scored, runners remained on the corners for Perkins, who dutifully hit into the double play, keeping it a 2-0 game, and Matt Anton’s walk and Toby Ross’ homer tied the game before long against del Rio. Ill control, mainly, would see del Rio put runners on base frequently; the damn Elks stranded two in the second, one in the third, and saw Arroyo hit into a 3-6-4 double play in the fourth, displaying creativity while being dismal all the same.

The Coons also stranded their share of baserunners, but would take a new lead in the sixth. Jennings hit a 1-out double, Perkins was on good use as he had bee nthe entire month, but Elliott Thompson dropped in a soft one for a 2-out RBI single to give del Rio a new, 3-2 lead before Pinkerton grounded out. The damn Elks answered promptly – Matt Anton hit a leadoff single, Ross legged out an infield single, and Wojnarowski hit a blast over the fence, his sixth of the year, to flip the score and then some, 5-3 for the team with the vile stench. On to the seventh, another ex-Coon was in the game in right-hander Matt Stonecipher and his 5.54 ERA. Tom Hawkins hit for del Rio to begin the frame and rammed a single to left, Berto singled to center, and the tying runs were aboard. Marsingill’s groundout advanced them to scoring position for the scalding-hot Jimmy Wallace, who grounded out to second – scoring Hawkins – before Zitzner whiffed and kept the team down 5-4. The Coons did nothing in the eighth, but Wojnarowski gave himself a 2-homer day when he peppered a 1-2 pitch by John Hennessy over the fence in right-center, adding an insurance run before the Coons could try to come back in the ninth. Noel Ferrero was penciled in to pinch-hit in the #9 hole to being the inning against right-hander Ed Miller, who got two fly outs before Marsingill singled to left to bring up Wallace as the tying run. He struck out on three pitches. 6-4 Canadiens. Ramos 2-5; Marsingill 2-4; Wallace 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI; Thompson 3-4, RBI; Hawkins (PH) 1-1;

More damage reports: Tim Stalker was about to miss the rest of the week with a knee contusion, maybe a few days longer, but he would not go to the DL.

But Fernando Garcia was good to play again. With that, David Tinnin (0-for-8) was sent back to St. Pete and we called up another outfielder. Still not Manny Fernandez, though. How about some Ed Hooge? He was batting .276 with one homer in AAA. We didn’t feel the need to bring up an infielder specifically to address the Stalker injury since with Pinkerton and Ferrero we had two outfielders that were also experienced at one or more infield positions.

Game 4
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – C Thompson – CF Hooge – 3B Hawkins – P Sabre
VAN: 2B Morrow – 3B Anton – LF LeJeune – C Ross – RF Wojnarowski – 1B Arroyo – CF Pohl – SS M. Cole – P F. Nora

Unable to find strike three despite numerous chances, Raffaello Sabre was tagged with two runs in the bottom 1st when the disgusting Wojnarowski drove in Anton and LeJeune with a single to right, two outs, and two strikes. The Raccoons would come out and scratch Nora for three in the top half of the second, which started with a Zitzner double and Jennings single, saw Thompson strike out, and then had every member of the bottom of the order grab an RBI; Ed Hooge doubled to right in his first game of the season, Tom Hawkins singled in Jennings, and Sabre hit a sac fly before swiftly moving on to concede a 2-strike single to Nora in an otherwise uneventful bottom 2nd. Anton opened the following inning with a double to center. Sabre nailed LeJeune, putting two on with nobody out, but then got the next three batters retired… even though Esteban Arroyo had a pretty good bid for a 2-run double in the depths of centerfield until that ball was run down and killed by Hooge.

There was no killing the fly to left that Tom Hawkins hit in the fourth with Elliott Thompson on second base – that one was outta that stinkin’ place and increased the Coons’ lead to 5-2, but an embattled Sabre lasted only six innings, conceding a third run on two hits and Mike Cole’s run-plating groundout in his final frame of the game. The Critters handed a 5-3 game to the pen and hoped for the best. They got two outs for no runners from Anaya, then three outs from Hennessy, albeit with a Wojnarowski single in the bottom 8th. With two outs, the next pitching change brought on Nick Bates, who rung up Pat Pohl to get out of the inning. The Raccoons would get both of their catchers on base in the ninth inning, but wouldn’t score against Matt Tillman, sending the lead to the kind and loving paws of Chris Wise to nail down a series win. Cole grounded to third base on the first pitch of the inning, but Hawkins threw the ball away for a 2-base error. A wild pitch on 0-2 to Tony Hinojosa moved Cole to third, and Hinojosa hit a sac fly to Hooge, but at least that removed all the distractions from the base paths as I poured the contents of a bottle into a bowl with whatever pills I found in a hurry. Morrow struck out, and Anton grounded to third, where Tom Hawkins this time kindly made the play to end the game. 5-4 Coons. Thompson 2-4; Hawkins 2-3, BB, HR, 3 RBI;

Suddenly the stewing and foaming cocktail in the bowl was no longer needed – the Raccoons had taken the series from their archenemies!

Raccoons (23-19) @ Bayhawks (25-17) – May 20-22, 2033

Second in the South and two-and-a-half games behind the Condors, the Baybirds were on a 5-game winning streak and understandably looking for more. How convenient – the Coons are a-comin’! They were second in runs scored *and* runs allowed in the league, signaling just past the quarter post of the season that maybe they should be taken seriously. Their run differential was +56, which was certainly impressive, while for comparison the Coons’ was only a meager +7. Then again that beat our run differential last year around this time. What was it, negative 98?? Last year, this series, too, had given the Raccoons nothing but nightmares. We had won a single game from the Bayhawks in all of ’32.

Projected matchups:
Andy Palomares (3-3, 6.32 ERA) vs. Joe Dishon (5-2, 3.97 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (3-2, 4.72 ERA) vs. Matt Huf (3-4, 3.81 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (5-2, 2.82 ERA) vs. Rodolfo Cervantes (4-2, 3.00 ERA)

Only right-handers to contend with here!

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – CF Hooge – C Garcia – 3B Hawkins – P Palomares
SFB: LF Balado – 3B D. Myers – RF Suhay – 1B Levis – 2B J. Cruz – C M. Thompson – CF Hawthorne – SS Sears – P Dishon

Joe Dishon got dished on right from the start. Ramos singled to right, but was forced out by Marsingill before Wallace singled, Zitzner hit an RBI double, and Jennings dropped an RBI single. Ed Hooge got little chance to do damage before he was hit by a pitch, bringing up Fernando Garcia with the bags packed. Annoyingly, Garcia popped out foul on the first pitch, and Hawkins grounded out to Dave Myers to end the inning with two runs from four hits. Palomares got an almost entirely right-handed lineup, safe for the switch-hitter Jose Cruz. He retired the first seven before giving up a double to Micah Sears in the bottom 3rd, soon followed by Jose Balado’s RBI double into the leftfield corner that took one run off the Coons’ then-3-0 lead, extended in the top of the same inning when a Hooge blooper scored Zitzner from second base. A Ramos Special grabbed back the Balado run in the fourth; Berto walked, stole second without a throw, and came in on a Marsingill single before Jimmy Wallace killed the effort with a double play grounder.

Things remained interesting nevertheless; Ben Suhay, hitting .174 coming in, opened the bottom 4th with a single, and a Hawkins flub added Doug Levis on base, too, and brought up the tying run with nobody out. A pop, a grounder, and a fly to center off George Hawthorne’s bat kept the runners on base, but the Baybirds were far from having all their feathers plucked in a 4-1 game. They scored an unearned run in the fifth as the Portland defense continued to crumble unnervingly. Sears singled, advanced on a grounder, stole third, and scored in the same motion on Garcia’s throwing error. Again, the Critters came back and reclaimed that run; Berto opened the sixth with a gap double, but then it took a while to score him. Wallace was walked intentionally, allowing Jennings to the plate with two outs, knocking a single up the middle to finally plate Ramos from third base, 5-2. Not that the Bayhawks didn’t keep pushing – Suhay hit a leadoff double in the bottom 6th, Palomares walked Cruz with one out, but a Mike Thompson groundout and Hawthorne’s fly to left stranded the runners. Not that Palomares was fooling anybody, but somehow he was holding up still. In a 5-2 game, he was on a batter-by-batter basis now and would remain in barring a runner with a menacing look, a lefty pinch-hitter, or the pitch count hitting triple digits, which it did not through eight innings, with the Bayhawks retired in order in both the seventh and eighth innings, with Palomares on 94 pitches after eight. He wasn’t going to get the ninth inning… until Ed Hooge hit a homer off Mike Simcoe in the ninth that took off the save for the time being. With Wise having been out three out of five days we were not averse to the thought of having somebody else face the 5-6-7 batters. Cruz flew out to defensive replacement Ferrero in left. Thompson hit a bouncing single up the middle. Alright, Palomares would get the right-handed Hawthorne… and the centerfielder also singled, but Thompson went to third base and was thrown out by Preston Pinkerton! Hawthorne went to second base with two outs, and Palomares would face Sears, but Blair and Garavito were ready now for a pinch-hitter in the #9 hole. Neither got into the game – Sears grounded out to Marsingill. 6-2 Furballs! Ramos 2-4, BB, 2B; Marsingill 2-5, RBI; Zitzner 2-5, 2B, RBI; Jennings 2-4, 2 RBI; Hooge 2-3, BB, HR, 2 RBI; Palomares 9.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, W (4-3);

Well, well – that came as a surprise!

More of that, please.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Hooge – RF Jennings – C E. Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Gutierrez
SFB: CF Balado – C M. Thompson – RF Suhay – 1B Levis – 2B J. Cruz – 3B D. Myers – LF Hawthorne – SS A. Castillo – P Huf

That was another almost all-right-handed lineup… but now for Rico Gutierrez, who had routinely faltered against such constructions even when his fur hadn’t come out in patches. Mike Thompson, Suhay, and Cruz spanked him for base hits in the opening inning, with two runs scoring on a Levis sac fly and Cruz’ 2-out knock. That came after Zitzner found runners on the corners in the first and hit into an inning-ending double play, and before Jennings was doubled up by Elliott Thompson to end the top 2nd. Billy Jennings was hurt on a defensive play in the bottom 2nd, requiring replacement by Pinkerton, and not adding to my happiness level, which also wasn’t helped by Ramos hitting into the Coons’ third inning-ending double play of the game, in the ****ing third inning of the game…

Gutierrez, who survived through five on defense and the opposing pitcher, ex-Coon Matt Huf (but that ex was a long time ago, remember, the Mark Roberts / Jon Gonzalez trade!), would be the fourth double play sinner of the game, also bunting into a 1-6-3 gut puncher in the sixth inning. Defense got Gutierrez through seven innings, with the seventh featuring a scalding line drive hit right into Perkins’ mitten, while in the meantime the Coons were being 3-hit by Huf, and they had more or less double off all of those hits through ineptness. Top 8th, Hooge struck out, Pinkerton grounded out, Thompson grounded out. Nope, no hitting to see here; barely qualifies as “batting”. Ed Blair handled the eighth for Portland, before the top 9th saw Huf still in the game on 89 pitches. Hawkins hit for Perkins and grounded out. Ferrero hit for Blair… and walked! …and then was forced out by Ramos’ grounder. Marsingill bounced one over to Alex Castillo at short – ballgame. 2-0 Bayhawks.

For the rubber game, the Coons had a 3-man bench. Stalker was not feeling ready. Jennings was subjected to various stretching and bending exercises to find the points where it hurt, and he would then have to do 250 repetitions.

I’m not gonna question that. I questioned him a few weeks ago when he reordered his steak, beans, and mashed potatoes on his plate in a certain way, and when questioned casually, hissed back that this dish had to be brought into line with the party view on plates.

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Hooge – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – RF Ferrero – P Chavez
SFB: LF Balado – 3B D. Myers – 1B Levis – CF Cassell – C M. Thompson – RF Hawthorne – 2B I. Russell – SS A. Castillo – P Cervantes

The first inning brought a double play, hit into by the Coons, in case you weren’t sure, and Wallace was the offending party. It came however with Ramos and Marsingill on the corners, so at least scored the game’s first run. Bernie Chavez was tough as nails, but at the same time lacked control over much of his arsenal. While he didn’t walk the Baybirds in droves, his pitch count was driven up by scores of long counts, as it seemed like every at-bat reached at least the 2-2 stage. He rung up five batters through as many innings while allowing three hits, one walk, and allowing no runs despite sabotage in form of two errors (Perkins, Wallace) behind him. However, it took him 80 pitches doing so. On the other end of the box score, he had plated Perkins with a 2-out base knock in the top of the fifth, only the second run of the game.

Top 6th, Cervantes nailed Wallace, the CL batting leader(!!), to begin the inning. Zitzner hit a ball fair over the bag that turned foul afterwards and stopped dead at the wall in the rather spacious foul ground behind the first base dugout, where a young Baybirds fan reached over and touched the ball with his filthy wings, which led to a call of interference and then the umpires huddled to debate where to place the runners with both managers chirping from the steps of their respective dugouts. Zitzner was assessed a double, putting a pair in scoring position with nobody out. Hooge was walked intentionally to give us a better chance for a double play, which was a SMART move… but Cervantes drilled Garcia to force in a run instead. And no double play was to be had in this inning, although the Critters still found a way to make a complete mockery of themselves. Perkins hit a bouncer to Dave Myers, who killed off Zitzner at home. Ferrero hit a comebacker to Cervantes, who killed off Hooge at home. Bernie whiffed, stranding three.

It did become a 4-0 game the following inning when Wallace doubled home Berto as the stars were kind enough to align for once. Bernie maintained a shutout, but of course couldn’t finish it. He threw 102 pitches for seven innings, shaking off Alex Castillo’s 2-out triple in the bottom 7th when he got PH Ricky Tello to pop out. While the offense stranded a full set of runners (Hawkins double, Ramos walk, Marsingill reaching on an error with two outs) in the top 8th, the bullpen would not miss a beat. Nick Bates and David Fernandez retired six batters in order to put the series into the Critters’ books as a W. 4-0 Raccoons! Ramos 3-3, 2 BB; Marsingill 2-5; Hawkins (PH) 1-1, 2B; Chavez 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K, W (6-2) and 1-3, 2B, RBI;

In other news

May 17 – BOS SP Tony Chavez (3-1, 2.31 ERA) 3-hits the Indians in a 4-0 shutout. He strikes out eight batters.
May 17 – Knights and Falcons play more than six hours and into the 19th inning after the Knights blow a 6-3 lead in the ninth, after which nobody scores until the Falcons run out of pitching in the top of the 19th and concede four runs while failing to come back in their half of the inning, leaving very exhausted Knights with a 10-6 victory.
May 18 – Boston loses both OF/2B Moises Avila (.259, 2 HR, 15 RBI), who goes to the DL with a bruised wrist after being hit by the pitch and is expected to miss three weeks, and 1B Justin Uliasz (.221, 3 HR, 27 RBI), who hits the DL with a hamstring strain and is probably going to be out for a month.
May 19 – A torn back muscle could cost SFW SP Pat Okrasinski (3-2, 3.72 ERA) the rest of the season.
May 19 – The Buffaloes pick up INF Seth Salmonsen (.337, 0 HR, 12 RBI) from the Blue Sox in exchange for 2B/SS Alex Majano (.337, 0 HR, 13 RBI). Neither of the two batters had participated in enough games to qualify for the batting title.
May 19 – DAL OF/1B Aaron Botzet (.292, 6 HR, 23 RBI) could miss up to three months with a shoulder dislocation.
May 21 – LAP C/1B Danny Patron (.333, 1 HR, 18 RBI) hits his second career home run off NAS CL J.D. Ryerson (4-2, 5.18 ERA, 9 SV), a 10th-inning walkoff grand slam to give L.A. a 7-3 win over the Blue Sox.
May 22 – Dallas’ SP John Rucker (4-2, 3.20 ERA) shines in a 1-hit shutout of the Miners. He fans nine batters as the Stars win 9-0. A sixth-inning single by LF/CF Tony Hensley (.308, 0 HR, 1 RBI) is all the Miners have going for them.

Complaints and stuff

Jimmy Wallace leads the CL, and ranks second behind Nashville’s “Mastodon” Allen, with a .351 batting average. He has drawn 17 walks against 11 whiffs. He has three homers, which is not a lot, really. He is on pace for a 5.5-or-so WAR season. If he can hit like THAT, he can be a defensive agony radiator as much as he damn well pleases. I am very interested in his BB% and K%. Those were 6.3 and 11.4 last season, respectively. This year? 9.9 and 6.4! That is a marked turnaround and if everybody could stop hitting into ****ing double plays, maybe he could get some RBI going here!

He was also born on April Fool’s Day, so maybe this is an elaborate joke the baseball gods set up 26 years ago.

Double plays… the Coons hit into a full dozen of those this week, which seems excessive. They have hit into a double play (or triple play…) for 13 straight games. That also seems excessive.

Injuries are starting to accumulate. We have Monday off and Stalker should be back by the time we play in Vegas on Tuesday. Still no idea about Jennings. He hasn’t done his 250 repetitions of “marathon” yet, so Dr. Chung says he can’t speak judgment on what ails him.

Fun Fact: The Raccoons have not done better than an 11-7 record against the resentworthy Elks since the 2012 season.

You know, the one where Ray Gilbert took our souls away on the final weekend of the season, and our playoff spot.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
DD Martin (10-26-2019)
Old 10-26-2019, 06:23 PM   #3008
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
The week begun with Billy Jennings hitting the DL with an elbow sprain. He was expected to miss at least a month and thus whisked to the DL. Outfielders, huh? We had only four of that sort in St. Pete at this point and had to pick one of them. Between the withered husks of Sean Catella and Ryan Allan, as well as the 2026 sixth-rounder / waste of time Bobby Houston there was little to be gained.

How about some Manny Fernandez? Our 2031 #5 pick was still not hitting a whole lot, but he also only got credit for a .258 BABIP that played a role in his .231/.292/.340 slash line.

Raccoons (25-20) @ Aces (18-26) – May 24-26, 2033

The Aces pitching staff was *alright*… they were not wowing you in any way, but they were holding their end of the scale. The offense wasn’t. Not by a long shot. They had the fewest runs scored in the Continental League, putting up less than 3.4 runs per game. The Raccoons had lost the season series in 2032, 4-5.

Projected matchups:
Ignacio del Rio (2-4, 3.95 ERA) vs. Chris Guyett (4-5, 3.90 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (3-3, 3.20 ERA) vs. Natanael Abrao (0-4, 5.20 ERA)
Andy Palomares (4-3, 5.28 ERA) vs. Howard Haws (3-4, 2.69 ERA)

Another set with only right-handed opponents!

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Hooge – CF M. Fernandez – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – P del Rio
LVA: CF Stedham – SS G. Reece – RF Montes – 3B Armfield – 1B LeClerc – C Scheffer – LF J. Nelson – 2B Briones – P Guyett

The first 11 batters in the game were all retired, including debutee Manny Fernandez grounding out to Mario Briones, before Philip Scheffer hit a double to right, and .194 slugger Justin Nelson fired a ball over the fence in left. The Aces would complete their extra-base hits card by the fourth, which Andy Montes led off with a triple to center before being converted into their third run via a Justin LeClerc sac fly. That was three more runs than the Critters, who had nothing to show except for Garcia and Berto going to the corners in the third, and being left there. There was some movement in the fifth inning, though. Manny Fernandez entered the ABL’s record book for hits with a leadoff single to center, snapped on a 1-2 pitch by Guyett. Fernando Garcia immediately homered to left, cutting the gap to 3-2. Del Rio flicked a single, and while Ramos popped out foul, Tim Stalker shot a liner up the leftfield line for a game-tying, 2-out RBI double. The Aces walked Jimmy Wallace with intent, Travis Zitzner without such, and then had Hooge at the plate. He grounded to right, with LeClerc making the play deep behind the base and lobbing the ball to the hustling Guyett, who dropped it for an error that put the Coons up 4-3. More of that was to come. Fernandez batted with the bags still full and hit a dying quail into shallow right for a single that Andy Montes overran for an error and another gift run, 6-3, and that put the nails into Guyett. J.J. Ringland would wiggle out of the inning after a walk to Garcia, getting Perkins to ground out.

Ignacio del Rio wasn’t done with offensive heroics yet; he hit another single in the sixth, then was driven in again on another Tim Stalker effort for extra bases, this time a homer to left, 8-3, and then came up with the bags full and one out – Fernandez single, Garcia intentional walk, Perkins reaching on pitcher Jorge Farinas’ error – and slapped an RBI single over the head of Briones, 9-3. Ramos’ single and Stalker’s sac fly plated another run each. But the Aces were not done combusting yet; in the eighth, Ed Hooge hit a triple, swiftly followed by righty Andres Rodriguez serving up a booming 2-run homer to Manny Fernandez, who was ticking off a whole lotta “firsts” in this game! That was it for Coons offense though; Jesse Stedham homered off del Rio in the eighth, and Gavin Reece tagged him with a single to knock him out after 7.1 innings. Unfortunately David Fernandez would be no help in keeping the runner on base, allowing a single to Chad Armfield and ultimately moving Reece across with a wild pitch, but the Aces never got even near the Coons anymore in this smothering. 13-5 Raccoons! Ramos 2-5, RBI; Stalker 2-5, HR, 2B, 4 RBI; M. Fernandez 4-5, HR, 4 RBI; Garcia 2-3, 2 BB, HR, 2 RBI;

Four hits, first homer, first stolen base, too – what a day for Manny Fernandez on his debut!

From here, there was only one way … downwards.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Hooge – CF M. Fernandez – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – P Sabre
LVA: CF Stedham – SS G. Reece – RF Montes – LF E. Martin – 3B Armfield – 1B LeClerc – C Scheffer – 2B Briones – P Haws

Sabre didn’t allow a hit the first time through, but walked Philip Scheffer to begin the bottom 3rd, leading to a run on Stedham’s 2-out triple to center. That was the first run of the game, the Critters again preferring to sleep in. An Ed Hooge single was all they had to show for after three innings. Tim Stalker’s leadoff jack in the fourth was certainly a step in the right direction, but was an isolated incident in a dire-looking box score through five. Sabre lacked stuff, and allowed a leadoff single to LeClerc in the bottom 5th. The runner found third base after Scheffer and Briones were retired, but at least the pitcher was at the plate with two down. Sabre nailed him – in the sense that he threw a pitch into Haws’ body, bringing up the so far dangerous Stedham with Aces on the corners. Some words of choice later, Sabre blew him away with the high heat that Stedham couldn’t catch, and it was one-all through five.

Tim Stalker’s fur-on-fire outburst continued with another home run in the sixth, again the solo variety, which put Portland up 2-1 with one out in the inning. That remained also the score through seven, with Sabre shedding a walk in between… and depressingly he’d walk one more. That would be the leadoff man in the eighth, also known as … the opposing pitcher. Unsurprisingly, that spelled the end for Sabre, with Garavito inheriting the left-handed top of the order, as would not have been the plan anyway, just not with the tying run having stupidly been put on base. The pesky Stedham reached with a drag bunt that caught the Coons completely off guard and added the go-ahead run. Gavin Reece ran a full count before whiffing, Montes struck out on five pitches, and Evan Martin did so on three. Top 9th, righty Steve Bailey issued a very careful leadoff walk to Tim Stalker, who was forced out by Wallace, but Jimmy then stole second base, his first of the year. Zitzner kept failing away and made the second out on a poor grounder, but Ed Hooge plated the insurance run with a clean single to right, 3-1. Fernandez buried a ball in the gap for an RBI double, and the bags filled up with walks to Garcia and the PH’ing Thompson, but Marsingill struck out to strand three runners. Chris Wise didn’t care – he turned the Aces away in the bottom 9th at the cost of a LeClerc double that led nowhere nice for the Las Vegans. 4-1 Coons! Stalker 2-3, BB, 2 HR, 2 RBI; Hooge 2-3, BB, RBI; Sabre 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, W (4-3);

Stalker, Hooge, and the Fernandez double – that was all our pawful of hits in this game, though…

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – RF Hooge – CF M. Fernandez – C Thompson – 1B Ferrero – P Palomares
LVA: CF Stedham – SS G. Reece – RF Montes – LF E. Martin – 3B Armfield – C Scheffer – 1B Carman – 2B Briones – P Abrao

The barrage continued – when Jimmy Wallace went yard to cash Berto for a 2-0 lead in the first, it was already the sixth dinger off Aces pitching in this series. Not that it helped Palomares not getting clocked – in the sense of getting hit with a grandfather clock, in the head, over and over – by the Aces, who hit four sharp liners in the bottom 2nd alone, three of which fell for hits for Evan Martin, Chad Armfield, and Vince Carman, and netted two runs to tie the score.

The Coons cobbled together Hooge, Thompson, and Ferrero singles to score a 2-out run in the fourth and take a new 3-2 lead, but that lasted all of one pitch to Chad Armfield. Palomares, who had ended the top 4th with a K, then served up a 1-0 that was hit out of sight to tie the game again. And it was pretty clear that Palomares was not going to get this start straightened out anymore. He retired the next three, but gave up a leadoff single to Abrao in the fifth and conceded that run on a 2-out Andy Montes double, which gave Vegas their first lead in this Thursday game. He lasted six and was hit for to begin the top of the seventh. Tom Hawkins hit a double in his spot, but was stranded by two grounders to Armfield and Stalker’s fly to center. On the other side, the Aces loaded the bags in the bottom 7th against Anaya (Stedham single) and Hennessy (Montes single, walk to Martin), but with two outs Armfield rolled an easy one to Marsingill to end the inning.

It was still a 4-3 game, and the tying run reached base right away in the eighth with Wallace’s single off Nick Wright, who was right-handed but had a 1.77 ERA as claim to fame. That removed him and brought on Farinas, a southpaw that had been central in Tuesday’s runaway meltdown. Pinkerton batted for Hooge to counter Farinas but grounded out, advancing the runner. Zitzner batted for an 0-for-3 Fernandez, bringing on righty J.J. Ringland, resulting in Wallace’s advance to third base and another ground-… actually, hold on, Reece threw the ball in the dirt, Carman wouldn’t come up with it cleanly, and runners were on the corners with one out. Unfortunately, Thompson fanned before another righty, Shinsaburo Matsubara, was brought on to face Ferrero. We had no lefty bats on the bench and had to consign ourselves to our fate, a grounder to short that was not thrown away this time, ending the inning. Nick Bates did away with Vegas on eight pitches in the bottom 8th, then vacated for Justin Perkins to lead off the ninth against Steve Bailey, another righty. He whacked a 3-2 pitch to center for a single, the umpteenth consecutive inning with the leadoff man on for Portland. Ramos grounded out, and Marsingill and Stalker both whiffed as this very winnable game got away unnecessarily. 4-3 Aces. Wallace 3-4, HR, 2 RBI; Thompson 2-4; Hawkins (PH) 1-1, 2B; Perkins (PH) 1-1;

Raccoons (27-21) vs. Knights (18-28) – May 27-29, 2033

The Knights were in last place in the South. They were in the bottom three in both runs scored and runs allowed in the league, and didn’t look like they had much rally in them. The rotation was ghastly, the defense was crummy, and they were slow and tardy on the bases. The Coons had swept them in April in Atlanta, but the Knights had the advantage of having had Thursday off.

Projected matchups:
Rico Gutierrez (3-3, 4.40 ERA) vs. Mario Rosas (5-3, 2.81 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (6-2, 2.53 ERA) vs. Justin Osterloh (1-6, 4.81 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (3-4, 4.20 ERA) vs. Julio San Pedro (1-2, 3.45 ERA)

Rosas would toss from the left, and after that it would be two more righties.

Game 1
ATL: C S. Garcia – SS Thomson – RF Pincus – 1B Avakian – 2B J. Johnson – LF Eppler – 3B S. Williams – CF Seago – P Rosas
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – C F. Garcia – CF Hooge – RF Ferrero – P Gutierrez

Stephen Williams left with a back injury after one inning, which he sustainted on a fabulous (grinds teeth) play to retire Fernando Garcia and end the bottom 1st with three Critters (the 2-3-4 batters had singled) left on base. Chris Maneke replaced Williams in the field and batting seventh. Bottom 2nd, Hooge and Ferrero went to the corners with leadoff singles… and were stranded, too. Well, Hooge was. Ferrero was doubled up on Ramos’ 6-4-3 ****ball. Five hits in two innings – and no runs! Mario Rosas on the other hand led off the third with a double off Rico Gutierrez, so good things were probably in store for the Knights. But no, ineptitude raged on both sides of the box score: while Gutierrez walked Steve Garcia, Keith Thomson and Roy Pincus both flew out to center. Rosas moved to third on the first out, then went for home on the second, but was thrown out to end the inning. Top 4th, Gutierrez issued a leadoff walk to Adam Avakian, then surrendered one deep fly after another. Hooge caught those of John Johnson and Brian Eppler, but couldn’t catch up with Maneke’s that fell for an RBI double. Nate Seago and Mario Rosas both singled to score him, Gutierrez walked Garcia, and just when he was about ready to fed to the lions, Keith Thomson popped out on an 0-2 pitch, stranding runners all over in a 2-0 game.

The Raccoons remained inept all the time, hitting into a double play as soon as possible, f.e. after Ramos’ 1-out single in the bottom 5th. Marsingill was right up to the task, ending the inning. In turn, Gutierrez was shoved into the nearest waste bin by the Knights in the top 6th, in which he walked Eppler, allowed a single to Seago, and then a 2-run double to an unretired Mario Rosas, on an 0-2 pitch. While the pen was getting involved now after 5.1 ****ty innings with seven hits, five walks, and four runs and counting, I calmly got the box with the soap blocks from the bottom shelf and a $3 pack with 12 pairs of socks and marched over into the clubhouse to organize a highly due whacking for the idiot starting pitcher du jour. Rosas would be doubled off when Keith Thomson, following Anaya’s walk to Steve Garcia, lined out to Ramos, who found the opposing starter far astray and ended the inning by beating him to the sack, keeping it a 4-0 game. The pen would hold that score in fact as well as the offense, which did absolutely nothing. From the third through the eighth innings, they amounted to precisely one base hit, and Rosas entered the bottom 9th chasing a shutout against the alleged meat of the order. Stalker grounded out. Wallace grounded out. Zitzner got rung up. 4-0 Knights.

Game 2
ATL: C S. Garcia – SS Thomson – RF Pincus – 1B Avakian – 2B J. Johnson – 3B Maneke – LF R. Parker – CF McAllester – P Osterloh
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – RF Hooge – C Thompson – P Chavez

Berto got on base and stole another in the bottom 1st, but was left on by the middle of the order. Zitzner and Fernandez, however, occupied the corners with leadoff base knocks in the second inning. Ed Hooge hit the most stupid bloop for an RBI single in shallow left, which brought in the first run of the game. Sure. Whatever works, boys! Thompson then hit into a double play, which was unhelpful, and Bernie was rung up. On the mound, it was a slog for him. He allowed two singles and struck out three the first time through, but that also took him 43 pitches as he again got stuck in plenty of long counts. So, no, this was not one of the great Bernie Chavez games we would revel in remembering years from now. Much the contrary. In the fourth he got two easy outs before then allowing a single to John Johnson. Maneke singled. Rich Parker hit an RBI single. Justin McAllester hit an RBI single. ****ing Justin Osterloh hit an RBI single. Steve Garcia hit an RBI single. Only Keith Thomson grounded out, after SIX soul-murdering 2-out singles in a row that plated four runs and when the ****ing inning was finally finished, the Coons were down 4-1 again.

The Critters would get Zitzner on base in the bottom 4th, but he was doubled off by Fernandez. No Furball reached base again until Manny Fernandez was back at the plate and hit a homer in the bottom 7th, but that was not going to avoid the third straight loss, either. Osterloh was done after seven innings of 2-run ball, handing it off to southpaw Chris Cooper for the eighth, and Cooper served up singles to Ramos and Marsingill to place the tying runs on the corners before being yanked for righty Arturo Arellano. Stalker hit a 2-2 pitch sharply at Johnson for a run-scoring double play and I unleashed a primal cry for justice that made the windows rattle and was, according to Maud, audible on the NWSN broadcast. The Knights were near an insurance run in the ninth, or multiple runs actually, with Garavito placing Seago on with a single, Thomson with a walk, and Ed Blair, sent to the rescue, surrendered a 2-out dive to the fence to Roy Pincus, which was barely caught up with by Hooge. Thus the bottom 9th commenced with the Coons needing one to tie, two to win, facing southpaw Roland Warner and his 1.27 ERA. Travis Zitzner whipped the second pitch to left and over the head of Seago for a leadoff double, which was a neat start for sure. Fernandez struck out. Hawkins batted for Hooge for handedness reasons, grounded out anyway, but moved the runner over at least. Garcia hit for Thompson, but flew out to Seago, who this time managed to occupy the right place in leftfield. 4-3 Knights. Zitzner 2-4, 2 2B; Fernandez 2-4, HR, RBI; Ferrero (PH) 1-1;

No, Maud, your tea never works. It only makes me more angry!

There was however no immediate solution to the current issues. The league refused to disallow the double play, so the Coons would probably continue to hit into them…

Game 3
ATL: C S. Garcia – SS Thomson – RF Pincus – 1B Avakian – 2B J. Johnson – 3B Maneke – LF R. Parker – CF McAllester – P San Pedro
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – RF Hooge – 3B Perkins – C Thompson – P del Rio

Thanks to the retained double play rule, the Coons got out of the first after del Rio walked Garcia, allowed singles to Thomson and Avakian, and then somehow got Johnson to file the three runners away in 4-6-3 fashion. The Critters amounted to only one hit through four innings and remained wholly disregardable, while del Rio did his best, but his best wasn’t enough. He allowed four hits through four innings, then two more in the fifth. Garcia hit a single; Pincus hit a 2-run bomb, the first scoring in the game. That was all the Knights got off del Rio in six innings, but it was at the same time plenty. Berto hit a leadoff single in the bottom 6th, then was caught stealing. It was all so terrible, I complained, while holding a bottle in one hand and on to Slappy’s shoulder with the other as I wept on the couch.

Even the Knights hitting into a 5-4-3 triple play in the eighth inning wasn’t going to save the Critters. John Johnson did the deed after Nick Bates had allowed both Pincus and Avakian on base with singles. It was still 2-0 Knights, and the offense seemed like all their paws had fallen asleep on Thursday and were not going to wake up again. San Pedro lasted seven and a third on a 3-hit shutout before running out of his pitch allotment. In a tight game, Chris Cooper was back to face the #9 hole and PH Tom Hawkins, who lined back into the pitcher’s mitten. Ramos flew out, ending the inning. Roland Warner was back out for the ninth in a game where Roy Pincus’ shot was still the only scoring. Tim Stalker, who had been scalding hot in Vegas and a total turd in this series, hit a leadoff double near the leftfield line, bringing up the tying run with no outs. Wallace flew out to McAllester. Zitzner hit a comebacker on a 3-1 pitch. As Manny Fernandez’ first week in the majors drew to a close, he was not pinch-hit for. He was hitting .421 after a week, he had to be doing SOMETHING right. And the kit hit a single through Avakian, scoring Stalker with two outs and bringing the winning run to the plate! That would be Ferrero batting for Hooge. He popped out. 2-1 Knights. M. Fernandez 2-4, RBI;

(looks like six weeks’ worth of rain)

In other news

May 25 – BOS SP Adam Potter (6-2, 3.62 ERA) 2-hits the Falcons in a 3-0 shutout, striking out four batters.
May 29 – LAP SP Dave Christiansen (5-4, 2.87 ERA) allows three hits and strikes out seven in a 7-0 Pacifics shutout over the Buffaloes.
May 29 – Veteran leftfielder Jeff Wadley (.287, 3 HR, 18 RBI) of the Warriors drives in five in a 14-4 romp of the Capitals. Wadley has three hits, including two doubles.

Complaints and stuff

I claim a moral victory for hanging a golden sombrero on Rich Parker on Sunday, which is about all the victory we can claim for the last four days. Those were four bitter losses against two terrible teams, and expose the once-27-20 Coons as the frauds they are above .500!

Manny Fernandez’ injury-borne debut week saw him hit .450/.450/.800 – if he keeps hitting this way, he can stay!

Zitzner, Perkins, and the catchers are all in pronounced slumps. Ferrero and Ramos have yet to hit anything at all this year. Berto used to challenge the .330 mark. Seeing him struggle with .230 at the end of May is … unnerving.

Fun Fact: The Sunday spectacle was our fourth loss in a row and our 4,444th regular season loss overall.

They didn’t even manage to leave four runners on base…..
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
DD Martin (10-26-2019)
Old 10-29-2019, 02:38 PM   #3009
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
2033 DRAFT POOL ANALYSIS

Good news, after some hiccups* I know everything about the draft pool for the 2033 teen ball raffle. Who would have known you’d have to hold our scout’s reports the correct side up to get an actual clear picture??

This was not one of those drafts that knocked you out of your shoes, but there were quite a few interesting selections for a team that was picking, oh, say, fourth in every round and had an extra pick in the supplemental round, too. We had prepared a list of 89 players (and not 68 as I initially thought, again, whoops) and the following boys and girls (not actually) were on the vaunted hotlist (*indicates HS player):

SP Mike Lang (13/12/7) *
SP Corey Booth (12/14/9) – BNN #9
SP Chris Lulay (13/13/10) – BNN #1
SP Kurt Crater (14/13/13)
SP Luis Torres (12/13/14) *
SP Jared Ottinger (12/12/10)
SP Oscar Valdes (12/12/10)

C Rick Urfer (9/15/11) – BNN #10

1B Bill Jenkins (10/10/15) – BNN #3
SS/2B Tony Aparicio (12/14/13) * - BNN #6
SS/3B Brad Critzer (10/7/12) *

OF/1B Scott Martin (14/9/14)
OF Steve Jorgenson (12/12/9)

Of all those starting pitchers, Lang is probably #1, and everybody else ties for second place, because they all appear good in some aspects, and not so good in others, f.e. Crater and Torres lack anything even near a quality third pitch, which is always a downer. Booth has a well-rounded package, but collects plants and bugs, and who wants to have that sort of weirdo around the clubhouse? Lulay finally is a born leader, engaged in the community, a fine young pitcher, too, but he’s too goddamn ugly to look at for even two seconds.

Tough choices!

But if I’m honest, my preferred pick is none of the seven pitchers above, although I am quite certain we’ll take one of the six not named Mike Lang with our #4 pick. Lang will be gone by then, as will Tony “Moby Dick” Aparicio, a slugging shortstop with above-average defensive capabilities. I am thinking of a group including Shane Walter, Vic Flores, and Ronnie McKnight here as far as former Raccoons are concerned. Only McKnight won defensive silverware and he also slugged the most, but he also had the most depressing career arc. He was Rookie of the Year the year *after* Matt Nunley and yet Nunley outlasted him by almost a decade…

But that is the mold I see for Aparicio, whose nickname comes from his introverted personality and his love for books. Apparently he read Moby Dick when he was five. Smart, it seems, but if he’s in a room with you and several plants you have a hard time telling him apart from said plants. He is *that* silent. Nevertheless, he’d be my top selection!

*My first go at this draft pool dissection had me at about M in the batters’ section when I wondered why the **** every guy with solid ratings had such a terrible ranking based on stats. Turned out I didn’t copy their school wOBA, but their BABIP into Excel. Again, whoops! This might explain why this team has such a terrible draft record with batters. =)
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2019, 03:51 PM   #3010
Bub13
Major Leagues
 
Bub13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine
Posts: 451
Thanks: 103
Thanked 170x in 120 posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westheim View Post
*My first go at this draft pool dissection had me at about M in the batters’ section when I wondered why the **** every guy with solid ratings had such a terrible ranking based on stats. Turned out I didn’t copy their school wOBA, but their BABIP into Excel. Again, whoops! This might explain why this team has such a terrible draft record with batters. =)
D'oh!

Remind me of the recent draft where I got into the 3rd or 4th round and kept thinking "all of the available pitchers are just TERRIBLE this year" before I realized I had sorted by "batters only" instead of "all players." Derp.
Bub13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Westheim (10-29-2019)
Old 10-31-2019, 12:09 AM   #3011
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (27-24) @ Thunder (24-27) – May 30-June 1, 2033

The Coons had swept the Thunder in April, but they had lost all other second series against the teams they had swept in April so far, so hopes were naturally low – where else would they be? Nevertheless, the Thunder were fourth in runs scored, but very much last in runs allowed. Their run differential was an unsightly -42.

Projected matchups:
Raffaello Sabre (4-3, 3.00 ERA) vs. Scott Soviero (0-8, 8.31 ERA)
Andy Palomares (4-4, 5.37 ERA) vs. Andy Jimenes (0-4, 4.65 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (3-4, 4.64 ERA) vs. Zach Warner (5-1, 2.44 ERA)

…of course it would be nice to not lose against that 0-12 duo that we’d face in the first two games. Soviero was a southpaw; the other two offerings were right-handers.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – C Garcia – RF Ferrero – P Sabre
OCT: RF Celaya – CF Olszewski – 1B D. Cruz – LF Sagredo – SS Serrato – C L. Riley – 3B Felicame – 2B A. Rojas – P Soviero

A bloop (Drew Olszewski) and a blast (Danny Cruz, far, far, far away) put the Thunder up 2-0 in the first inning against Sabre, who seemed to have gotten too much praise recently and had to piss it all away. It got more bitter in the third inning, which first saw Tim Stalker step into the box with Ramos and Marsingill on base and hitting into an inning-murdering double play, and then Sabre came back, walked the goddamn opposing pitcher leading off, and gave up another monstrous bomb to Cruz with two outs, digging himself a 4-0 hole.

Sabre learned, feeding Cruz nothing but garbage for a walk his next time around, but the Raccoons didn’t, and let another garbage pitcher make away with a free win. Through six innings, they amounted to four hits and a run off Soviero. The latter came about in the fifth inning with a leadoff single by Fernando Garcia and a walk drawn by Ferrero. Sabre bunted over the runners, Ramos hit a sac fly, but that was it. Marsingill grounded out, and the team remained behind by three. Sabre lasted six and a third before being knocked out by PH Ruben Orozco’s single in the seventh, also the seventh ball knocked for a base hit off Sabre, only five of which had ever been found again. David Fernandez came on and cleaned up the top of the order to finish the inning. Soviero was done after seven, the Thunder not willing to gamble any further with him. Ex-Critter Billy Brotman completely dominated the Coons in the eighth, and they would face another left-hander in the ninth inning, trying to make up three runs against Tony Gallardo and his 3.19 ERA; the 29-year-old Gallardo was technically a rookie, signed out of Cuba this past winter. Jimmy Wallace dipped a single to center to begin the inning. Zitzner flew out to center. Manny Fernandez hit into a fielder’s choice, keeping the tying run in the batter’s box. Garcia walked in a full count, narrowly, bringing a pinch-hitter into the batter’s box, Justin Perkins batting for David Fernandez, who had gotten five outs after Sabre’s demise. He flew out to Lorenzo Celaya, who barely had to move. 4-1 Thunder. D. Fernandez 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K;

That was a ****ing **** game.

Don’t you dare delivering any more like this!

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – RF Hooge – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Palomares
OCT: 3B Becker – CF Olszewski – 1B D. Cruz – C Burgess – LF Sagredo – SS Serrato – RF S. Cutler – 2B A. Rojas – P A. Jimenes

Any sort of offense out of this Coons lineup remained mere desire. Through five innings, Tim Stalker had two singles, and the only other Critter to even reach base was Justin Perkins, making it to second on a fifth-inning throwing error by Alex Serrato. None of all that led to a run… or a runner on third base even. Palomares kept up for a while, pitching a 3-hit shutout with 2 K through four before he was unhorsed by a double-error defensive meltdown in the bottom 5th. Perkins threw away Jimenes’ harmless grounder with one out, putting the pitcher on second base. Thierry Becker then singled to right, Ed Hooge’s throw to home plate was terrible, and Jimenes scored with Becker going to second base, from where two more singles by Drew Olszewski and Danny Cruz scored him, giving Oklahoma a 2-0 lead. Mike Burgess hit into a double play to clean up. The only Raccoon left alive, Stalker, began the sixth with a hit in the gap, a double that soared over a lunging Luis Sagredo’s glove. Sagredo fell down and the ball ran away from Olszewski while Stalker was chugging around the bases, and by the time Olszewski caught up with the baseball, Stalker was turning third and was not going to be stopped – inside-the-park homer for one of the brown-clad guys!

Nothing good happened the rest of the inning, but Palomares at least kept it a 1-run game in the bottom 6th, even though the Coons had to walk Alfredo Rojas intentionally with Sagredo in scoring position and two outs to collect the third out from Jimenes. The top 7th then began with Elliott Thompson getting nailed. Perkins singled to left, and the tying and go-ahead runs were on. Palomares bunted them over, Ramos lined out to short, and Stalker flew out to Olszewski – nobody scored. As usual. Wallace hit a leadoff single in the eighth against Jimenes, who was then replaced by lefty Nick Celmer after a groundout by Zitzner. The Coons countered with Marsingill and Ferrero pinch-hitting for Fernandez and Hooge. One grounded out, the other whiffed. And nobody scored. Perkins then finally hit a double off ex-Coon Jared Stone in the ninth with one down. Tom Hawkins grounded out, moving him to third base. And Berto Ramos lined out to another shortstop, Victor Ochoa. 2-1 Thunder. Stalker 3-4, HR, RBI; Perkins 2-4, 2B;

John Hennessy pitched in the eighth inning and was in back pain afterwards. Dr. Chung diagnosed him with a herniated disc and also general sissyness, which I didn’t know was in the ICD-15. Regardless, Hennessy would miss a month on the DL, and the Coons had to bother the Alley Cats for another pitcher, which turned out to be 2029 sixth-rounder and 24-year-old right-hander Kyle Green, who had a 3.38 ERA in St. Pete.

…and if we don’t get the offense going very soon, I will throw a couple of guys out of their hotel room’s window, which will perhaps also facilitate more DL stints…!

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – CF Pinkerton – P Gutierrez
OCT: RF Celaya – CF Olszewski – C Burgess – 1B D. Cruz – SS Serrato – LF Sagredo – 2B A. Rojas – 3B Becker – P Warner

The Coons stranded a pair in the second inning – Zitzner getting nicked and Thompson walking – and also couldn’t get Ramos home after a 1-out double in the third inning. Rico Gutierrez resisted the pest control agents in the early innings, allowing only two hits and no runs, and thus when Manny Fernandez took Zach Warner’s 71mph curve to town beyond the centerfield fence with one out in the fourth marked the first run in the game. Thompson and Pinkerton would hit singles to go to the corners, but the inning ended with Gutierrez’ groundout to Rojas. Returning to the mound in the bottom 4th, he had the first guy up, Burgess, at 1-2 before serving up a goose egg himself that was hit 420 feet to tie the game. He allowed a single to Cruz on 0-2, walked Serrato, then reported unfit for service with elbow soreness. Nick Bates was tossed into steaming cauldron of looming defeat and gave up back-to-back singles to Luis Sagredo and Alfredo Rojas, the latter giving Oklahoma a 2-1 lead, then a sac fly to Thierry Becker. Warner hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the miserable inning.

With defeat assured in a 3-1 game, the Critters gave Kyle Green his ABL debut in the sixth. He retired Serrato, Sagredo, and Rojas in order in that inning, and also retired Thierry Becker on a grounder to short to begin the seventh before being replaced by Garavito with Orozco pinch-hitting for Warner and two more lefty swingers in the 1-2 spots. He got a grounder and a punchout, keeping the game close enough that a reasonably talented team could still see a way to make up the deficit. Jimmy Wallace indeed hit a jack off Marcos Ochoa in the eighth, but that was a solo job and still kept the Coons a run short. Garavito and Blair held away the Thunder in the bottom 8th, bringing out Jared Stone for the top 9th, with Marsingill pinch-hitting for the pitcher in the vacated #5 hole, Manny Fernandez having fallen victim to an earlier double switch. Marsingill struck out. Thompson struck out. Garcia hit for Perkins, fell to 2-2, then shoved a ball through the left side for a single. Which was all the same to Stone. He rung up Pinkerton to complete the sweep. 3-2 Thunder. Garcia (PH) 1-1;

Rico Gutierrez was apparently still not irrepairably broken. Dr. Chung insisted he’d make his next start.

And, no, they will not ever win again. And now we’re off to Boston…

Raccoons (27-27) @ Titans (33-18) – June 3-5, 2033

The Titans had been a rather pedestrian 9-7 at some point, but had ignited the afterburners in late April and had since zoomed away from the rest of the division. They were third in runs scored, tied for second in runs allowed, and humming. Somehow they were being nigh unbeatable for about six weeks without an entire choir of .300 hitters (only Mark Walker hit .306) or a serial dinger masher (nobody had even five homers for the team!). They also didn’t steal bases. Somehow, they still flattened the North, routinely. They were also unbeaten by the puny Coons this season, 6-0 in six games.

Projected matchups:
Bernie Chavez (6-3, 2.85 ERA) vs. Dustin Wingo (4-2, 3.62 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (3-5, 4.09 ERA) vs. Jordan Caldwell (5-1, 3.48 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (4-4, 3.24 ERA) vs. Adam Potter (6-2, 3.80 ERA)

Could be this order, lefty and two righties, or could be something else; the Titans had been off on Thursday, just like the Critters. They had two more southpaws in reserve in Mario Gonzalez (5-4, 4.00 ERA) and Tony Chavez (4-1, 2.22 ERA).

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – C Garcia – RF Ferrero – P B. Chavez
BOS: RF M. Walker – 3B E. Gonzalez – LF W. Vega – C Lessman – SS Spataro – 1B Jam. Richardson – 2B T. Johnson – CF Curro – P Wingo

Portland scored first (!) when the Titans could not turn two on Wallace’s grounder to short that followed singles by the 2-3 batters who went to the corners. Marsingill came across, Zitzner actually also hit a single, but Fernandez grounded out to strand the remaining runners. Of course the lead held not even a single inning, with Bernie Chavez being beaten to death on five hits in an endless bottom of the first inning. Mark Walker led off with an infield single, moved up on a grounder, and scored on Willie Vega’s double. David Lessman, Keith Spataro, and Jamie Richardson all followed with singles to take a 2-1 lead and have the sacks full when Todd Johnson hit into a double play to get Chavez off the butcher’s table. Wingo walked both Garcia and Ferrero to begin the top 2nd and Chavez bunted the runners over. Wingo gave up the lead on Ramos’ sac fly to center (although I’d damn sure like him to get a triple for once!), but then rung up Marsingill to end the frame.

After Bernie got around a leadoff walk to Corey Curro in the bottom 2nd, Stalker and Wallace went to the corners to begin the third inning against Wingo. Both starters were wobbling, but which would fall first? Not Wingo – K to Zitzner, a pop from Fernandez, and then a ****ty grounder to short from Garcia plated absolutely nobody. And just as there had been runners all over in the early innings, there was hardly anybody reaching base in the middle innings and the score remained 2-2 through six. While Bernie did not strike anybody out until the fourth inning, he also did not allow another base hit after getting shagged for five in the opening frame.

Top 7th, Ramos and Marsingill opened the inning with singles to put pressure on Wingo. The desperate Critters called a hit-and-run, Stalker missed, but Lessman also couldn’t beat Ramos to third base – all runners were safe. From there, Berto scored on a so far unretired Tim Stalker’s sac fly to break the tie, and while that knocked out Wingo, his replacement Alex Contreras allowed the other runner on another sac fly hit by Jimmy Wallace, leading all of Portland with a mighty 28 RBI in this first game of the middle third of the season. Contreras subsequently got zitzed with Travis Zitzner’s seventh dinger of the season, a no-doubter over the fence in right to get the tally to 5-2. Bernie lasted seven before being pinch-hit for. He struck out nobody in his first 11 outs, then rung up six in his final 10 outs. Curro hit a 2-out single in the seventh, but was stranded anyway. Garavito did the eighth, and Chris Wise was broken out of his protective foil cover for the ninth inning. David Lessman hit a leadoff single after which the Coons twice failed to get a double play on grounders on the infield, putting Spataro on second with two outs and Todd Johnson hitting a fly to deep left. Ferrero was over there with Wallace routinely yanked for defense. The ball did not trouble him, and he caught it to end the Raccoons’ winless spell. 5-2 Critters. Ramos 2-4, RBI; Marsingill 2-5; Stalker 3-4, RBI; Zitzner 2-4, HR, RBI; Chavez 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, W (7-3);

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – CF Hooge – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – P del Rio
BOS: RF M. Walker – 3B E. Gonzalez – LF W. Vega – C Lessman – SS Spataro – 1B Jam. Richardson – 2B T. Johnson – CF Curro – P Caldwell

Boston scored in the first without the benefit of a hit. Edgar Gonzalez reached base when Zitzner dropped Perkins’ throw for an error, after which del Rio walked the bags full against Willie Vega and Lessman, then had Spataro hit a sac fly to right. Jamie Richardson grounded out to Perkins, and this time Zitzner was kind enough to hold on to the throw… The Raccoons were then up to tie the game in the top 2nd, although they could have had much more. Manny Fernandez was caught stealing for the second out before the next three batters all slapped singles. Perkins drove in Hooge, with Garcia thrown out at third base on a messy play, to get even at one. Top 4th, the Coons reached the corners with a Wallace double, a Zitzner single, and nobody out off Caldwell. Frustration continued as Manny Fernandez hit into a double play, which brought home the go-ahead run, but could you please THE **** STOP DOING THAT?? Hooge singled, of course, but Garcia flew out to left. Edgar Gonzalez’ homer with two outs in the fifth would tie the score again, and that was also del Rio’s final inning. Countless long counts and four walks had consistently supercharged his pitch count and he was over 100 after only five frames.

Anaya worked around a 1-out double by Jamie Richardson in the sixth, getting Johnson to ground out to Stalker (nifty play right there) and hanging a K on Curro. The top of the seventh inning saw Garcia flick a leadoff single in soft manner. Perkins grounded out, but PH Tom Hawkins legged out an infield single that died halfway up the third base line to put runners on the corners. Caldwell then pitched Ramos so careful he walked him on four pitches, filling up the bases with still one down for Stalker, who had silently moved into the top echelon in OPS in the league. His standing there was not going to be helped by his grounder to Todd Johnson. To short, to first, everybody back to the ****ing dugout. The Titans looked ready to end the silly charade in the bottom 8th when David Fernandez walked Spataro and allowed a sharp single to Richardson with one out, but his replacement Ed Blair got a double play from PH Ivan Vega, now sending the Titans back to the dugout, scratching their heads. Top 9th, when a Spataro error put Garcia on base to start the frame against Jermaine Campbell, the Coons sent Preston Pinkerton to pinch-run. He was doubled up all the same by Perkins’ ****ting ****-arse grounder to Spataro, 6-4-3. Kyle Green was sent into the bottom 9th, got two outs, then allowed a single to Mark Walker, walked Gonzalez, and ended the game when Willie Vega banged a hanger off the centerfield fence for a walkoff double. 3-2 Titans. Ramos 1-2, 2 BB; Zitzner 2-4; Hooge 2-4; Garcia 2-4; Hawkins (PH) 1-1;

11 hits, two walks, four double plays.

At this point, the Raccoons as a whole are doing nothing but simply annoying the living crap out of me. And the damn Titans have implemented a stupid rule that you only get two alcoholic beverages per game at their park, so I can’t even drink myself ****ing senseless while the pathetic sucking is going on …!

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – CF Hooge – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Sabre
BOS: CF M. Avila – SS Spataro – LF W. Vega – C Lessman – 3B E. Gonzalez – RF M. Walker – 1B Jam. Richardson – 2B T. Johnson – P Potter

Zitzner hit another homer over the fence in the first inning, that one counting for two with Wallace aboard after having forced out Tim Stalker with a grounder. That was already all the scoring through five; the Raccoons played reliably pathetic against Potter, while Sabre scattered a few hits here and there, four in total through five innings, but didn’t allow a run. Funnily/sadly, two of the hits went into Potter’s piggy bank, a pair of singles, the latter of which he tried to stretch into a double but was thrown out by Hooge in the attempt. Zitzner led off the sixth with a triple to center, then tagged and went for home on Fernandez’ fly to left… and was thrown out by Willie Vega, a Gold Glover that would be the death of us for many more years to come. Hooge singled to right, of course, then was picked off, of course.

Moises Avila drew a leadoff walk in the bottom 6th and stole second, but Sabre rung up Spataro and Vega and got an easy grounder from Lessman to end the inning. Sabre would line up seven shutout innings on five base knocks, but then was done thanks to getting into the triple digits in pitches. Top 8th, Zitzner came up 3-for-3 and a double short of the cycle, but his ball hit to center was shallow and landed in front of Avila, holding him to a 2-out single, which knocked out Potter but ultimately led nowhere. After Anaya and Fernandez pieced together the bottom 8th, Ed Hooge opened the ninth with a double to right off Contreras. Maybe THIS could turn out to be a welcome insurance run and the first marker on the board since the first inning? Thompson walked, setting up a double play chance we had been waiting for. Marsingill hit for the chronically useless Perkins, but grounded out to Gonzalez, but at least that was only one out at first base… Noel Ferrero batted for the pitcher Fernandez, slapped a 1-1 pitch to right and over Johnson, and that sucker FINALLY dropped in! RBI single, 3-0! Ramos hit another one of those, Stalker hit into a fielder’s choice, but Wallace squeezed out a walk to fill the bags with two down for Zitzner, who – remember – was still a double short of the cycle. And while Zitz landed *another* base hit, that too fell in front of an outfielder, in this case Sean Bowman in right, and he was held to an RBI single. That got a southpaw involved; Wyatt Hamill got Fernandez to ground out, ending the inning with a 3-spot and as many runners stranded. Ed Blair retired the Titans in order in the bottom 9th. 5-0 Furballs. Ramos 2-5, RBI; Zitzner 5-5, HR, 3B, 3 RBI; Hooge 2-4, 2B; Thompson 1-2, 2 BB, 2B; Ferrero (PH) 1-1, RBI; Sabre 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, W (5-4);

In other news

May 31 – CIN SP Danny Soto (2-2, 2.84 ERA) was pitching his best season so far, but is now headed for Tommy John surgery with a torn UCL and will miss at least 12 months.
May 31 – DEN 1B Kumanosuke Henderson (.256, 3 HR, 19 RBI) will be out for three to four weeks with an oblique strain.
May 31 – Four leads are blown and a dozen pitchers sent to sit in the corner in the wicked and wild 15-12 win the Wolves secure over the Capitals. SAL 3B Lorenzo Rivera (.257, 0 HR, 8 RBI) has four base hits and three RBI.
June 1 – ATL SS Keith Thomson (.258, 2 HR, 16 RBI) will be out for all of June with a broken hand.
June 3 – Aging superstar TOP RF/LF Pablo Sanchez (.267, 0 HR, 15 RBI) will miss all of June with torn thumb ligaments. The 39-year-old 3-time Player of the Year has another year to go on his contract.

Complaints and stuff

The team ended May with six straight losses, which is unfortunate given that we were not all that ****ty (14-9) up until then, and in those six games they scored a total of nine runs. They also did not allow more than four runs in ANY of those six games, and STILL lost all of them. The losing streak has since ended, but the offense is still meh. For what it’s worth, we are 57 games into the season and still haven’t found anybody to get 30 RBI.

The medical report says that Adrian Reichardt will be able to go on rehab next week; it should only take him a few days to get back in the groove, and then he might be back with the team at the end of the week or early the following week.

Which brings up to Manny Fernandez, who hit a ton last week, and nothing this week. He was .450/.450/.800 his first week up; this time around, he amounted to a slash line of .087/.087/.217 … I tend to wager that his truth lies somewhere in between, but he’s a likely candidate for going back to St. Pete when Reichardt is ready. Of course, Ed Hooge is also here, and lightning could strike either one in this regard.

Next week: homestand against Indy, Pittsburgh.

Fun Fact: Even with Jimmy Wallace regularly running in the wrong direction on fly balls, the Raccoons are first in the league in defense.

He also merits continued monitoring given that he is leading the batting race in the CL. It looks like a breakout year for Wallace, the #59 pick by the Buffos in the 2026 draft, who we picked up in 2030 for Jose Menendez and assorted spare pieces. He made an uninspired debut the same fall, then had full seasons hitting a bit about league average the next two years (OPS+ respectively: 117 and 106). This year his OPS+ is 144, with a .321/.389/.474 slash line.

His fielding remains a nightmare, though, because he is well on pace to cost the team more than a full win just by wearing a glove on his head and trying to catch balls with his cap.

Out of curiosity, who did the Raccoons draft in ’26 ahead of Wallace? Our draft log tome declares that to be Jamie O’Leary and George Burke. The second-sacker AND second-rounder Burke has never played above AA ball and is currently a free agent. The hurler O’Leary was actually in the rotation for us in ’29, putting up the fantastic 2-11 record with a 4.32 ERA that got him deported to New York along with “Yusneldan” Delgadillo in The Great Chris Wise Robbery.

Wise is 10-7 with 72 saves and a 2.54 ERA for his career. Delgadillo retired this winter at age 30 (or so he claims…) with a 53-46 record and 4.04 ERA, also one save. He had that one great season in ’26 and then sucked ever after, a true one-hit wonder. O’Leary, currently rotting in AAA Lexington, is 4-17 with a 5.05 ERA in the majors.

I say it could have been worse!
Attached Images
Image Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
DD Martin (10-31-2019)
Old 11-02-2019, 04:36 PM   #3012
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
The Critters returned home to find Nick Valdes having grown a beard and standing in front of the ballpark, continuously painting an already pretty white spot next to the entrance while muttering that he had to paint this wall white, so we could have a white team.*

We left him out there.

Raccoons (29-28) vs. Indians (30-24) – June 7-9, 2033

The weeklong homestand began with the Indians coming into town after an off day on Monday. They were in second place and also thanks to the Coons taking the set in Boston had inched to within 3 1/2 games of the Titans, while the Critters were six back at the begin of play. The season series was even at two wins each. Stats hinted at the Indians punching above their weight, with a +3 run differential resulting from wholly average numbers in most categories. They did hit the second-most dingers, however, and couldn’t steal a base for their lives.

Projected matchups:
Andy Palomares (4-5, 4.94 ERA) vs. Andy Bressner (5-3, 3.11 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (7-3, 2.82 ERA) vs. Victor Govea (5-3, 3.84 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (3-5, 3.94 ERA) vs. John McInerney (5-3, 2.72 ERA)

McInerney remains their only southpaw. There was one significant player on the DL for them, young closer Tim Thweatt being parked with forearm tendinitis that had apparently healed off quick, but now he was trapped on the DL and could not get off until the weekend.

The off day allowed the Coons, who had ended the Boston series with Sabre on the mound, to skip one of their beleaguered veterans. Since Palomares had been *solid* over the last few games and Rico Gutierrez had been fighting not only his ineptitude but also nagging injuries, Gutierrez was skipped to the end of the line.

Game 1
IND: LF Acor – 2B Schneller – CF Baron – C J. Herrera – RF Plunkett – 1B J. Elliott – 3B Czachor – SS Ryu – P Bressner
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Hooge – RF M. Fernandez – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Palomares

Getting around nailing Dan Schneller with two strikeouts to John Baron (who led Indy with nine homers and a zillion K’s) and Juan Herrera, Palomares got the lead via a Ramos Special in the bottom 1st. Berto singled, stole second, and came around on Jimmy Wallace’s double. That early barrage (…) aside, offense was incredibly slow to begin this series. The Coons got only one more hit through four innings, and Palomares had a 2-hit shutout going through five. Ramos and Stalker did single in the bottom 5th, but Berto was thrown out when Stalker fell asleep in a hit-and-run, and Wallace grounded to Schneller anyway to end the inning, and had the Arrowheads needed two outs, they would have gotten them on that ball, too. Schneller and Herrera would hit singles through the left side in the top 6th to pose a 1-out threat, but then Mike Plunkett hit a sharp bouncer right at Perkins for a comfy 5-4-3 double play. The next inning began with a walk to John Elliott, but the bottom of the order grounded out, struck out whiffing, and struck out looking – that last one was Bressner, not hit for with the tying run in scoring position and two outs. Bottom of the inning, Palomares hit a 1-out single before being forced out on Ramos’ grounder to second. Berto was safe at first though. Stalker doubled to left, but Berto stumbled and could not be sent home, and Wallace was walked intentionally to bring up Zitzner with three on and two outs. Any sort of hit would be extremely great – and the Coons got it! Zitzner singled over the head of Schneller into shallow right-center, and two runs scored to extend the ancient 1-0 lead! Hooge grounded out to end the inning, but it was now 3-0 and the Raccoons would give Palomares at least the chance to complete another inning; on 89 pitches through seven a shutout was however not likely. He struck out Dustin Acor, but then had Schneller double into the corner, and that was it for Palomares; the Critters sent Ed Blair to keep the peace. He struck out Baron, but conceded the run on a Herrera single before getting Plunkett to ground out. The Coons got the run back on Ramos’ single plating Manny Fernandez, who had begun the bottom 8th with a double to center, but ended up stranding three when Wallace grounded out against Juan Melendrez, a southpaw, and that with Noel Ferrero ready to replace Wallace for defense anyway. I was sure hoping that that wasn’t gonna bite us because the Agitator had eyes on this one too… Chris Wise did a fine Josh Boles impression by getting two outs before putting two on in the ninth, Hiroaki Ryu and Alfredo Quintana knocking singles, but then rung up Acor to finish the game. 4-1 Coons! Ramos 3-5, RBI; Stalker 2-4, BB, 2B; Palomares 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, W (5-5) and 1-2;

Game 2
IND: LF Acor – 2B Schneller – CF Baron – C J. Herrera – RF Plunkett – 1B J. Elliott – 3B Czachor – SS Ryu – P Govea
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Hooge – RF M. Fernandez – C Garcia – 3B Hawkins – P Chavez

The Indians batted through the order in the first, which was a first indicator that Bernie Chavez had yet to attain legit ace status, although bad luck was involved to some degree. Acor opened with a shy 2-strike single, Schneller walked, and Baron hit a bouncer to short, but the Coons took too long to turn two and Baron was safe. Both him and Acor stole a base in the inning, and Juan Herrera hit a 2-run single to get Indy in front. Then Plunkett buried a ball at the base of the batter’s eye to make it 4-0 – that was not rotten luck, that was a hanging 1-0 breaking ball. Elliott and Ryu ALSO got on base, but a K to Govea ended a miserable 39-pitch first inning that right away put this game into the poo column. The Coons got on the board with two outs in the bottom 1st, Wallace doubling and Zitzner singling him in, and then also put Ed Hooge on before Fernandez struck out. The tying run was at the dish again in the second, then with a Hawkins single, Govea misfielding Chavez’ bunt, but Ramos hit into a fielder’s choice and Stalker flew out easily to Acor to end that inning, too.

Chavez kept looking for his good stuff, but never found it. He didn’t last four innings, giving up a solo homer to Acor in the fourth and walking John Baron before being yanked after 3.2 innings of 5-run ball. Nick Bates got out of the inning, then bunted following a 1-out Hawkins single in the bottom 4th. Ramos’ 2-out triple made this a 5-2 game, Walker stalked, and Jimmy Wallace came up as the tying run once more and hit the first pitch into shallow right for an RBI single, getting him to 30 RBI. Zitzner flew out on the very next pitch, stranding the tying runs, but they were on again in the bottom 5th in form of Garcia and Hawkins, then in unearned fashion following a 2-out error by Ryu. Noel Ferrero hit in the #9 hole, got nailed, the lineup turned over, and Berto rushed a ball past a diving Schneller for a 2-out, 2-run single that tied the game! Stalker then flew out to Plunkett, leaving it five-all after five.

The Coons then turned to Kyle Green, which went well for the Indians. Green sucked balls, fell behind every one of the seven hitters he faced, and gave up three walks and two hits, including early on a 2-run bomb to John Baron that yet again put the Coons behind. Anaya would strand three runners by retiring Ryu with two outs. Govea lasted six before making way for left-hander Arnie Terwilliger, who was apparently not related to the Terwilliger Curves on I-5 and refused being rolled down said curves in a barrel, either, shutting the Coons out in the seventh and eighth. It was still a 7-5 game when Lance Legleiter showed up in the bottom 9th, a weird assignment for a team trying to make up 3 1/2 games considering his 5.23 ERA. Hooge popped out, but Manny Fernandez singled, bringing the tying run back to the plate. Elliott Thompson hit for Garcia for the platoon advantage. The 1-1 was wild and moved Fernandez to second, but Legleiter would lose Thompson in a full count anyway, making a 2-for-4 Tom Hawkins the winning run. First pitch, punched to short, to second, to first, ballgame. 7-5 Indians. Ramos 2-5, 3B, 3 RBI; Wallace 4-5, 2B, RBI; Hawkins 2-5; Pinkerton (PH) 1-1;

Game 3
IND: LF Acor – 2B Schneller – CF Baron – C J. Herrera – RF Plunkett – 1B J. Elliott – 3B Czachor – SS Ryu – P McInerney
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Ferrero – C Garcia – CF Pinkerton – P del Rio

Both teams had a double play grounder to suck life out of them in the early innings, and then stranded pairs in the third. The Indians brought McInerney with a single and Acor with a double all the way into scoring position before Schneller grounded out to first and Baron popped out. The Coons had Pinkerton and Ramos reach with singles, but Marsingill flew out easily to strand them. Herrera walked and Plunkett singled when his bouncer took a nasty hop over Ramos after hitting the edge between infield grass and dirt, putting two on to begin the fourth inning, but del Rio fought back with an easy fly off Elliott, a K to Ryan Czachor, and Ryu grounding out to Ramos. The ice wouldn’t be broken in this rubber game until the bottom of the fifth inning in which Ferrero and Pinkerton hit doubles up either line, and the Indians had also intentionally walked Fernando Garcia in between with nobody out, which gave the Coons a 1-0 lead and two more runners in scoring position with nobody outs, albeit with the pitcher at the plate. However, they had to pounce here. Just put it in play! Del Rio struck out, which gave another four-fingered salute to Ramos, loading them up and enticing Marsingill to hit it to a middle infielder for two. No such luck – but his fly to left for a sacrifice became also the last Coons run of the inning. Stalker flew out to right to strand a pair in a 2-0 game.

Herrera and Elliott hit singles off del Rio in the sixth, but Czachor got rung up to end the frame. Zitzner hit a 1-out double off the wall in the bottom of the inning. After Ferrero grounded out to move him to third, the Indians walked Garcia with intent, and Pinkerton by accident, bringing up the #9 hole with three aboard and two already disappeared in some trash can. But del Rio was on 96 pitches, making it not the hardest choice to bat for him. Hawkins took the stick – and flew out to Baron. But maybe it would be enough anyway; Garavito and Blair turned in scoreless innings to get through eight. No more offense materialized for Portland, either, leaving the 2-0 lead to Chris Wise in the ninth. Plunkett grounded out to short, Elliott whiffed, and Czachor grounded back to Wise for a rather casual final out in the set. 2-0 Raccoons! Pinkerton 2-3, BB, 2B, RBI; del Rio 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, W (4-5);

That was a fine series win! If fewer things go wrong for Bernie in the first on Wednesday, that is a sweep. But it’s okay. Bernie’s still learning.

…which is what I always say about players before suddenly realizing that they’re 28 and will never learn.

Raccoons (31-29) vs. Miners (27-33) – June 10-12, 2033

Also only 3 1/2 games behind in a miserable FL East were the Miners, who were still the team the Raccoons had the best all-time record against, winning games at a .609 rate, and that despite losing the last three interleague meetings with them! We had most recently dropped two of three to them last year and hadn’t won a series since 2027. Pittsburgh was fifth in runs scored in the Federal League, but in the bottom three in runs allowed. Their rotation and bullpen were struggling about equal amounts. They led the league in dingers, but had only seven stolen bases to their name, an even more dramatic split than the Indians had shown.

Projected matchups:
Raffaello Sabre (5-4, 2.95 ERA) vs. Matt Brost (2-2, 3.00 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (3-5, 4.88 ERA) vs. Julio Palomo (4-6, 4.55 ERA)
Andy Palomares (5-5, 4.52 ERA) vs. Jonas Mejia (7-5, 4.48 ERA)

Those would be all right-handers.

Game 1
PIT: 2B McKenzie – CF M. Mendoza – 1B Santillano – 3B Lastrade – LF Palacios – RF Bonaccorsi – C Wall – SS Trawick – P Brost
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Hooge – RF M. Fernandez – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Sabre

Sabre began Friday with three deep flies to center sandwiching Mario Mendoza’s walk, so we got ready for another not so easy game. The Critters began their day at the plate with a Ramos single to right, then a Stalker double to left, presenting the meat of the order with a fine scoring chance. They sneezed on it, with Wallace popping out at 3-1 and Zitzner hitting into a double play with a liner to Jim McKenzie who doubled off a confused Tim Stalker far off second base, ending the inning. Neither team reached base again until Sabre fumbled Zitzner’s feed to put Mendoza on base to begin the fourth, but Santillano, coming in at .300 with 11 homers and 44 RBI, fed a quick one to Ramos for a double play, and Omar Lastrade flew out to very deep center… they were now just inches from either beating Ed Hooge for extra bases or hitting it over the fence outright…

Bottom 5th, still in a scoreless game, Manny Fernandez hit a double to left-center to get the inning underway. The Miners walked Thompson intentionally to get to Perkins, by now slumped to .208, but the Gold Glover slapped a ball over Jake Trawick for a single, bringing up Sabre with the bags full and nobody out. He popped out to short, but that kept the bags full at least, and when Brost missed with the 3-1 to Ramos, that pushed home Fernandez for the first marker on the scoreboard. Stalker fouled out, Wallace lifted out to Vicente Palacios, and three were left stranded. While Sabre remained undeterred and unmolested except by Mendoza through six, the Miners would lose Brost to injury with one out in the bottom 6th. Replacement Rafael Urbano (a staple of the Indians and Titans in a decade long gone) gave up a double to Fernandez, the first guy he faced. Thompson dished an RBI single to right, but that would be all for the inning, 2-0 through six, and Mendoza struck out to begin the top of the seventh. Santillano reached on a Stalker error, which was a rare enough occurrence to be worth mentioning in any case. That now made for three runners against Sabre, two reaching on errors after the Mendoza walk in the first. Lastrade lined out to Zitzner, and Palacios whiffed to end the inning. But that was as far as the no-hitter would last. Yvon Bonaccorsi opened the eighth with an infield single – again because Zitzner and Sabre couldn’t get together in a convincing manner. Sabre was too slow in convering first base, as simple as that. He however angrily retired the next three batters on five pitches, including a couple of pops over the infield, and kept the 2-0 lead in one piece.

Despite a pinch-hit double by Ferrero in the bottom 8th the Coons failed to tack on a run, but Sabre went back out in the ninth anyway, having thrown only 80 pitches, but the top of the order was up and they were all left-handed batters, so relief was ready in the pen. Jim McKenzie’s leadoff walk was the end for him and the Coons went to Wise, who walked Mendoza before he served up an RBI double to Santillano. That didn’t blow the lead; Lastrade’s groundout to short did, and the go-ahead run was still on second base with one out. With that, Wise was yanked and the Coons went to David Fernandez, but the Miners countered with a pinch-hitter in Luis Leija, who walked. Another right-hander, Pat Green, batted for the damn Bonaccorsi, which sent out Ed Blair. Green popped out, but Kurt Wall hit an RBI single in a full count. Trawick grounded out, stranding two, but the Miners were now in command and sent another ex-Indian, Nick Salinas to see after the Coons in the bottom 9th. Marsingill batted for Perkins and singled, putting the tying run on base. Garcia hit for the unsuccessful Blair, but flew out to center. Ramos slapped a single to the right side, which sent Marsingill all the way to third base. Stalker hit a fly to right, caught by Leija, Marsingill was sent and – was safe! Defeat staved off, here came, with two outs… Preston Pinkerton. Wallace had been removed for defense, when we now needed offense. Berto stole second, but Pinkerton struck out, sending the game to extras. Anaya had a perfect inning in the 10th, and when Zitzner nicked a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, the Coons called for the bunt with Ferrero. He dropped it between the mound and home, Salinas pounced and fired to second – WILD! All Coons were safe and the winning run was at second base! Fernandez grounded slowly to third base, allowing the runners to move up and Thompson to bat with the win 90 feet away. The Miners went for the double play – Thompson was put on, and Marsingill would bat with the bags full. He sure hit a ball in the direction of Jake Trawick, but the shortstop couldn’t quite reach it, and Marsingill delivered victory with a walkoff single…! 4-3 Coons. Ramos 2-4, BB, RBI; Stalker 2-4, 2B, RBI; Ferrero (PH) 1-1, 2B; Fernandez 2-5, 2 2B; Marsingill (PH) 2-2, RBI; Sabre 8.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K;

That was a jolly good game through eight, even through the Bonaccorsi single. Then there was some short-circuiting. At least they pulled out the W. I almost cried, but not quite.

Ed Hooge was sent to St. Petersburg after this game. It was not absolutely his fault, having batted .255/.349/.382, but Adrian Reichardt was ready to return after some warmup games in AAA.

Game 2
PIT: C Wall – SS J. McKenzie – 1B Santillano – 3B Lastrade – LF Trawick – 2B P. Green – RF Palacios – CF Hensley – P Palomo
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – 3B Marsingill – RF M. Fernandez – C Thompson – P Gutierrez

Shunned earlier in the week, Gutierrez retired the Miners in order in the first before giving up singles to Trawick and Pat Green in the second. Those two then pulled off a double steal, despite their team normally never stealing anything except maybe the show from Raffaello Sabre. After Palacios popped out, the Coons walked Tony Hensley with intent, allowing Gutierrez to get the third out from the pitcher. Santillano hit a deep fly to left in the third inning. One stunning surprise was that it didn’t go out, and the other was that defensive lame duck Jimmy Wallace was actually waiting for it to drop into his glove for the third out there. Bottom 3rd, Portland took the lead in scruffy manner; Thompson walked to begin the inning before Omar Lastrade misfielded Gutierrez’ bunt to put two on with no outs. Ramos grounded out, and Reichardt hit a sac fly to right. Oh, whatever works! Stalker grounded out to end the frame.

To anybody’s surprise, that 1-0 lead was rather resilient despite Rico Gutierrez on the mound. He maintained a 2-hit shutout through five, with Santillano back at the plate in the sixth inning with two outs and nobody on. He hit another deep drive, but again couldn’t get it outta here and this time settled for a double to right. There were certainly worse things a 5-time Player of the Year could do to your skinny lead. Lastrade lined out to Berto to end the inning. The Coons were also not getting anything done offensively and were held to two base hits even through six. That became their undoing. Gutierrez began the seventh with a single hit by Trawick, but he was picked off by Thompson before long. Pat Green however hit a lazy slider over the fence, tying the score at one on Gutierrez’ 93rd pitch of the game. When Josh Keen pinch-hit for Palacios at this point, removing the lefty bat, Gutierrez was yanked immediately. A procession of Bates, David Fernandez, and Anaya kept the Miners from scoring again in regulation, but Palomo came into the bottom 9th still with a 3-hitter and was determined to hold out against the meat of the order, and things didn’t look so bad for him. Stalker flew out to deep left, Wallace grounded out to Green. Only Zitzner was left – but Zitz ended the game, blasting a 378-footer on the first pitch he saw, well over the leftfield fence! 2-1 Critters! Zitzner 1-4, HR, RBI; Marsingill 2-3, 2B; Thompson 1-2, BB; Gutierrez 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K;

This team has a paw with skinny wins this week…!

I wish they’d put up five in the first and run with it for a change…

Game 3
PIT: C Wall – CF M. Mendoza – 1B Santillano – 3B Lastrade – LF Palacios – RF Bonaccorsi – 2B Hensley – SS Trawick – P Mejia
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – 3B Marsingill – RF M. Fernandez – C Garcia – P Palomares

Mario Mendoza’s homer put the Miners in the lead right in the first inning, and they would move out to a 2-0 lead on doubles by Santillano and Palacios in the fourth. In between the Raccoons had done precious little and were hitless against the former Condor Mejia. The fourth was the final inning that Palomares finished before being completely torn up in the fifth. Trawick led off with a single, Wall also singled after Mejia popped out at 3-2, and he walked Mendoza, which cleverly led Santillano to the plate with three aboard and only one out. Santillano gave it his best bit for a slam, but fell short in center, and Reichardt also made the catch on the edge of the warning track. It was a sac fly, but if Palomares could retire Lastrade it was still only a 3-0 - … oops, no double to left, two runs scored, and that was it for Palomares, yanked after 4.2 innings and six runs once Palacios doubled home Lastrade off Garavito. It was a 6-0 game and it was also pretty much lost. The Critters didn’t get a hit until the bottom 6th, which Manny Fernandez opened with a gap double, and while he scored on a wild pitch and a Perkins single from the #9 hole, there was little hope the Coons would turn the game around anymore. Which was one reason to bring Kyle Green and see whether he had recovered from his spanking by the Indians. More or less no, with Kurt Wall opening the top 7th with a double into the corner, and Mendoza being offered a walk by the rookie. Santillano hit the ball hard – but right into Marsingill at second base (Perkins had stayed in at third) for a double play, and Lastrade popped out, letting Green get away with having little to offer in terms of stuff or resilience.

And then it did get interesting. Mejia was still around in the eighth, which he began with a walk to Fernando Garcia. Perkins hit another single, Ramos drew another walk, and suddenly there were three aboard, nobody out, and the tying run was in the on-deck circle. It was station-to-station when Adrian Reichardt singled into shallow center, cutting the gap to 6-2. Stalker had been removed earlier when Perkins had stayed in the game, and Kyle Green was in the #3 spot. Elliott Thompson batted for him, but was held to sac fly. Wallace flew out uselessly, while Zitzner’s drive to left fell short of the wall, but for an RBI double. The tying runs were in scoring position with two gone, but Marsingill grounded a 1-2 pitch to Trawick to end the inning. Nick Bates would keep the Miners at bay in the ninth, but the bottom of the order was not able to stir enough trouble against Salinas in the bottom of the inning… 6-4 Miners. Perkins (PH) 3-3, RBI; Green 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K;

In other news

June 7 – CHA LF/RF Dave Trahan (.259, 5 HR, 26 RBI) lands three hits and plates five runs in the Falcons’ 13-3 rout of the Bayhawks.
June 8 – SAL INF/RF Jose Castro (.299, 3 HR, 27 RBI) has five hits and drives in one run as the Wolves down the Gold Sox, 15-4.
June 8 – The visiting Knights take the lead twice in extra innings, but blow it both times before being defeated, 7-6 in 12 innings, by Tijuana’s SP/MR Ethan Jordan (2-0, 3.20 ERA, 2 SV) – with the bench depleted – dropping in a walkoff single against ATL MR Drew Johnson (1-4, 6.49 ERA).
June 8 – Ulnar nerve irritation renders NAS CL J.D. Ryerson (4-2, 4.60 ERA, 12 SV) out for the season.
June 9 – RIC 3B/SS Guillermo Obando (.302, 2 HR, 18 RBI) is out for the rest of the month with a strained hamstring.
June 11 – DAL INF Jon Ramos (.324, 1 HR, 22 RBI) scorches the Loggers for six hits in a 18-4 blowout. All but one of his hits are singles, the exception being a fifth-inning triple. He drives in two runs. He is the fifth Star to collect six hits in a game after Gabriel Cruz (1983), Darrel Tracy (2000), Hector Garcia (2008), and Hugo Mendoza (2015).
June 11 – Season over also for CHA SP Aaron Lewis (6-3, 3.35 ERA), diagnosed with a torn labrum.
June 11 – TIJ RF/LF/1B Willie Ojeda (.294, 3 HR; 30 RBI) is on crutches with a broken foot and will miss about a month.

Complaints and stuff

There was good things and bad things this week; good things, we won four games and lost only two. Bad things, there is no such thing as a comfortable win with this team.

We are also within just three games of foundering Titans (3-8 in June). I don’t know whether that will make me do stupid things at the deadline…

Next week: Oregon Brawl down I-5 in Salem, then the draft, then a 3-game set at home with the damn Elks.

Fun Fact: With the Stars getting their fifth-ever 6-hit game this week through Jon Ramos, only the Loggers and Raccoons have had a player dish out six hits more often in league history.

That would be six times each, including the Raccoons’ Freddy Lopez in 1977 and Jorge Salazar in 1994 doing the honors to the Loggers. No Logger has ever collected six hits against the Raccoons, and no Logger has done so at all since Todd Moultrie dropped in six against the Aces on May 30, 2010.

*And that is the only homage Max Frisch will ever get in this story.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 06:15 PM   #3013
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (33-30) @ Wolves (37-24) – June 13-15, 2033

The 33rd ever regular-season Oregon Brawl would take place in Salem. The Coons were 54-42 against them all-time, and had won the last two meetings, two games to one each, with the most recent encounter taking place in ’31. The Wolves were a stunning first in the FL West and actually had the second-best record in the league behind the Bayhawks. Like every other team the Raccoons were playing these days, their sixth-place offense relied on the long ball and could hardly steal a base (but even the Miners had gotten three off the Critters, so…). They had allowed the fewest runs in the Federal League, but were only fourth in both runs allowed and runs conceded.

Projected matchups:
Bernie Chavez (7-3, 3.24 ERA) vs. Brandon Nickerson (6-7, 5.17 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (4-5, 3.65 ERA) vs. Brian Frain (7-4, 3.95 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (5-4, 2.78 ERA) vs. Phil Harrington (10-1, 1.71 ERA)

All of these three were right-handers.

Harrington was maybe the best pitcher in the game right now. He was an Oregon boy from Klamath Falls, and had been taken #51 in the 2023 draft. He had led the FL in both ERA and strikeouts for three straight years, but had not been able to get the wins to notch the triple crown, having topped out at 16. He was however a 2-time Pitcher of the Year AND a 1-time Reliever of the Year – the Wolves had used him as closer in his first two full seasons. At 28, he had piled up 37 WAR (a useless stat), and right now stamina was his only weak spot. He struggled to reach even 200 innings or six innings per start. He had a single complete game in his career.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – CF Reichardt – LF Wallace – C Thompson – 1B Ferrero – RF M. Fernandez – 3B Perkins – P Chavez
SAL: SS J. Castro – CF Higashi – 1B I. Pena – LF Weinstein – RF Banfi – 3B McGee – C Canody – 2B J. Perez – P Nickerson

Bernie’s struggles continued for a bit longer. His stuff was unconvincing and the Wolves found ways on base… but also ways off base again. Jon Perez was nicked to begin the bottom 3rd, but doubled up by Nickerson’s poor bunt before Jose Castro walked, Rai Higashi singled, and Ivan Pena stranded them all with a comebacker to Chavez for the third out. Kyle Weinstein and Tyler Canody drew walks in the fourth, but were left stranded when Perez struck out in a full count. And while that was all rather sad to watch it was still more than what the Raccoons’ offense cobbled together against the pushover Nickerson through four innings, managing two singles and nothing else. Top 5th, Ferrero was nailed to begin the frame, which at least put someone on base, at least until he was thrown out stealing. Manny Fernandez grounded to short, then reached second base on a throwing error by Castro. It still didn’t lead to a run, despite a 2-out walk to Chavez and a wild pitch. Ramos grounded out to Perez, leaving the runners stranded. Chavez got through five in shutout fashion too, albeit needing over 80 pitches and while falling to 3-1 on Nickerson in the fifth before the opposing hurler would fly out to shallow center.

The Coons stranded a pair in the sixth, and Chavez fell apart in the same inning. Ivan Pena hit a leadoff single, but was doubled up by Weinstein. From there, Bernie had Luigi Banfi at two strikes and walked him, Chris McGee at two strikes and allowed an RBI triple, and then walked Canody as well on his way to the dugout. Anaya replaced him and got the .190 hitter Perez to ground out, keeping this a 1-0 deficit. Top 7th, Fernandez led off with a fly do deep left. Weinstein made the catch before bouncing off the fence, falling down and losing the ball in the process. By the time he rescrambled all his limbs and fangs, Fernandez slid into third base with a leadoff triple. He scored on the ****tiest bloop single off Justin Perkins’ bat, dropping in front of the still uncomfortable Weinstein, tying the game again. Anaya was employed to bunt, bringing Perkins into scoring position for Ramos, who was put on intentionally. Marsingill popped out, Reichardt lifted out to Banfi, and that was that…

Top 9th, Fernandez reached base again to begin the inning… even if only on an error by pitcher Miguel Salazar, who dropped a feed from Rai Higashi. Something started to brew in the measliest of ways with a Perkins infield single. Next up was Travis Zitzner, already inserted into the #9 spot in a double switch the previous inning. He buried a ball in the right-center gap far away from Banfi and Yachi Tabata for an RBI double, and the Critters had the lead! Berto was again walked intentionally, getting us to three on and no outs. Salem had the infield in, Marsingill grounded a ball right at Perez, and he fired home to kill off Perkins rather than take two and concede a run. Reichardt pulled the exact same move, just with Castro on the other side, and Wallace fell to 0-2 while I wondered whether my favorite liquor store in Salem had been on 12th or 14th street. But Jimmy came through, knocked a single near the rightfield line, far away from Banfi, and two runs scored! Salazar walked Thompson, but rung up Tim Stalker to finally end the inning after three (unearned) runs. Wise retired the Wolves quickly to get this one in the books. 4-1 Raccoons! Perkins 2-4, RBI; Zitzner 1-1, 2B, RBI;

How many tooth-to-nail games have we had in a row now? This is exhausting!

Game 2*
POR: SS Marsingill – RF M. Fernandez – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P del Rio
SAL: SS J. Castro – CF Higashi – 1B I. Pena – RF Benfi – 3B McGee – C Canody – LF Way – 2B Tabata – P Frain

With Fernandez and Stalker on base, Jimmy Wallace hit a drive to deep left that already had me excited when it annoyingly dropped into the glove of Brian Way right at the fence. Zitzner fouled out, and the Coons didn’t score in the first inning – but they did in the second. Reichardt was nailed by Frain, Thompson singled, and after Perkins’ awful groundout the first run came home on del Rio grounding out to second base. Marsingill upped to 2-0 with a triple to right before Fernandez flew out to Way. Too bad Yachi Tabata took it all away with a 2-out, 2-run homer in the bottom 2nd, scoring Canody. First base had been open, but the matchup looked like it was in del Rio’s favor and we wanted to avoid the intentional walk. Well, that greed did not become us.

Tabata was up again with two outs in the fourth, but then with Banfi on second and Canody on first, and this time del Rio prevailed with a K. The Coons had hit into double plays in the third and fourth innings, hit nothing bloody much in the next two innings, and then got Reichardt on base in another hit-by-pitch scenario to begin the seventh. Thompson and Perkins were no great help, and with two outs we let del Rio bat because he had the Wolves somewhat under control now and the runner was still on first base. The count on del Rio ran full before he slapped away at another pitch with his tiny black button eyes closed. The bat made clonk when it hit the ball and slapped it deep into the gap in right-center. Since Reichardt had gone on movement, he easily scored from first base to break the 2-2 tie, with del Rio reaching second base before scoring on a Marsingill single to make it 4-2. Fernandez struck out, ending the inning, and when del Rio was back on the mound he offered a leadoff double to Canody, who reached third base on a passed ball. Del Rio struck out the next two before veteran left-handed batter Tsuneyoshi Tachibana hit for Frain, at which point we elected to bring on David Fernandez. A strikeout ended the seventh inning. Castro would hit a leadoff single off Fernandez in the bottom 8th, but get doubled up by Ivan Pena to end that frame, sending Wise to warm up. He got an extra run to work with in the top 9th, with Thompson walking against righty Nick Wright before being brought around on singles by Ramos and Marsingill. Wise didn’t need the add-on run; he retired the Wolves on three grounders. 5-2 Coons! Marsingill 3-5, 3B, 3 RBI; Stalker 2-4; Thompson 1-2, 2 BB; Ramos (PH) 1-1; del Rio 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, W (5-5) and 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI;

Coons! Coons! Coons!

…however, the offense was struggling every day and I didn’t see them beating Harrington unless they would exhaust him early and get the pen involved in timely fashion.

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – RF M. Fernandez – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – 3B Hawkins – C Garcia – P Sabre
SAL: SS J. Castro – C Canody – 1B I. Pena – LF Weinstein – RF Banfi – 3B McGee – CF Way – 2B Tabata – P Harrington

In a mild stunner, the Coons scored in the second inning on a pair of doubles by Zitzner (in the gap) and Hawkins (up the line). Unfortunately, the Wolves turned the game right away on Sabre, who allowed a leadoff double to Kyle Weinstein, an RBI single to Banfi, who moved up on Fernandez’ throw home, and then two groundouts in 2-strike counts, which gave Harrington a 2-1 lead he was not considered likely to relinquish. The Coons failed to get another base hit off Harrington through five, with Reichardt at one point being robbed in the gap by Brian Way, who himself in turn then hit a leadoff double past Wallace in the bottom 5th. Yachi Tabata singled him in right away, extending the score to 3-1, but was stranded thanks to gritty defense. Fernandez hit a single in the sixth, but it just wasn’t enough. On top of that, Sabre came apart in the sixth, facing four batters and retiring none. Pena and Weinstein hit soft singles, he struck Banfi with another pitch, and Chris McGee’s 2-run double put the final nail in the coffin for Sabre. Nick Bates replaced him, allowed an RBI single to Way, and this game was moving into rout territory even though Bates then rung up Tabata and got Harrington to hit into a double play. On the mound, Harrington was impossible to tackle, let alone stage a comeback. He lasted eight innings, allowed four hits and rung up seven, before lefty Jacob Poirier came on for the ninth, facing the 3-4-5 batters. Stalker and Zitzner reached. With one out, Marsingill hit for Kyle Green in Reichardt’s deserted slot and dropped a single in front of Weinstein, who overran the ball, giving everybody an extra base. Stalker scored, 6-2, and the tying run was in the on-deck circle. Miguel Salazar replaced Poirier, rung up Hawkins, and Thompson, who batted for Garcia, too. 6-2 Wolves. Marsingill (PH) 1-1, RBI;

After six hits and five walks beaten out of him over 5.1 innings of his major league career, Kyle Green got his first strikeout on McGee in the eighth.

Raccoons (35-31) vs. Canadiens (29-37) – June 17-19, 2033

As usual, I had a very bad vibe in my stomach with this series, but maybe it was just the usual expectation that with the damn Elks around, stupid things would happen. They were in last place which made them no less dangerous, and they had the highest batting average in the CL while they scored the fourth-most runs. They also gave up only the fourth-most runs with a decent -8 run differential, so they were due a few wins… We had won three of four from them in Vancouver earlier in the year.

Projected matchups:
Rico Gutierrez (3-5, 4.52 ERA) vs. Steve Corcoran (7-6, 2.83 ERA)
Andy Palomares (5-6, 4.99 ERA) vs. Logan Bessey (6-6, 4.48 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (7-3, 3.13 ERA) vs. Jeremy Truett (7-3, 3.03 ERA)

After a week without southpaws, we’d get two to start this series; Truett would be a right-hander. Elks mainstay Alex Torres and closer Raul de la Rosa were on the DL; the latter was out for the season.

Game 1
VAN: 2B Morrow – 3B Anton – LF LeJeune – C Ross – RF Korecky – 1B E. Arroyo – CF Pohl – SS L. Hernandez – P Corcoran
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – 2B Stalker – C Garcia – RF Ferrero – P Gutierrez

Rico Gutierrez continued to be a mixed bag, getting no strikeouts, but instead removed Esteban Arroyo from the series entirely the first time through. He struck the first-sacker in the knee, and the Elks had to take him out and replace him by Tony Hinojosa. Portland had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom 2nd following Zitzner’s walk and Reichardt and Stalker singles, then farted and let the chance mostly slide away. Only Ferrero singled home a run, everybody else hit ****ty pops. The Elks weren’t much cleverer about their chances early on and Gutierrez would rough-and-tumble through four and two thirds with a shutout, but that came apart on Matt Anton’s homer to dead center. That one counted for two and gave the damn Elks the lead, thanks to a leadoff walk drawn by Lazaro Hernandez in the inning. Ramos – forced out by Marsingill – and Wallace would hit singles in the bottom of the inning, but were stranded when Zitzner flew out to Will Korecky, who would get a ball outta here in the sixth inning, a solo shot to right, burying the Coons two deep. Fernando Garcia, the former Elk, would put some hurt on his former team with a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the inning.

Eric Morrow’s 2-out triple in the seventh did not bring in a run, but a reliever for the Raccoons with Ed Blair replacing the yanked Gutierrez. The damn Elks countered, with Brian Wojnarowski and his .311 clip and eight homers pinch-hitting for Matt Anton. Blair lost him in a full count, then was lifted for Garavito. Demonic Jesse LeJeune still slogged an RBI single into right. Only Toby Ross, .283 with 14 homers, grounded out. Corcoran lasted seven and two thirds; Zitzner hit a leadoff double in the eighth, but was stranded anyway on Reichardt’s grounder, Stalker whiffing, and Garcia grounding out against Matt Tillman. In turn the stupid Elks scored two runs on Kyle Green, who shoveled the bags full in the ninth and Nick Bates couldn’t dig him out. A Manny Fernandez homer in the bottom 9th didn’t matter. 6-3 Canadiens. Garcia 2-4, HR, RBI; M. Fernandez 1-2, HR, RBI;

Game 2
VAN: 2B Morrow – CF Pohl – LF LeJeune – C Ross – RF Wojnarowski – SS L. Hernandez – 3B M. Cole – 1B D.J. Robinson – P Bessey
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – 3B Perkins – C Garcia – RF Pinkerton – P Palomares

It wasn’t like I hadn’t known it – of course more depressing crap came up in the middle game. Palomares’ second inning saw a Wojnarowski single to begin things, Hernandez getting nailed, but the he retired Mike Cole and D.J. Robinson … before conceding a 2-out RBI single to the ****ing pitcher. Morrow hit another one of those, making it 2-0, before Pohl struck out to end the inning. The Coons had another one of their patented slow starts and had only two soft singles in the first three innings before Jimmy Wallace’s wake-up call put him at six dingers for the season, a leadoff jack in the bottom 4th. Zitzner and Reichardt pasted singles to right to increase the pressure. Perkins fell to 0-2 before poking a bouncer to the left side that narrowly escaped Cole for another single, but an adept third baseman might have turned it for two. Garcia stepped up with the bags full, the tying run 90, the go-ahead run 180 feet away. He hit the 0-1 into no man’s land in shallow left-center; three Elks converged, none made play, and the tying run scored while the bags remained full for Pinkerton, who lobbed an 0-2 pitch over the head of Robinson for a 2-run single, putting Portland ahead 4-2. Palomares bunted over the runners, one run scored on Ramos’ groundout, another one on a Marsingill single, and Bessey filled the bags again with a pair of walks. Logan Bessey’s days ended there, but he was loaded with another run on a Reichardt single as right-hander Casey Glenn made his first appearance of the season. He got Perkins to fly out to left, ending a 7-run riot of a fourth inning.

That was not all. Glenn walked the 7-8 batters in the fifth. Palomares bunted them over, Ramos singled them home, 9-2. Glenn was in for distance, and not for style points. He shoveled the bags full in the sixth, but got out of that when he reached the bottom of the order, but then allowed a tenth Critters run in the seventh on Ramos and Wallace doubles. The battering continued against Denny Marsh, the next garbage reliever. Zitzner and Reichardt had hits for one run, Perkins hit a sac fly, and on that play the Elks lost Pat Pohl to injury. Garcia hit an RBI single, increasing the lead to 11 runs. Meanwhile Palomares kept ticking off innings with little to no pressure and was also not hit for in the bottom 8th. Palomares was sent to go get them a ninth time, but gave up a leadoff single to LeJeune. That was where the NO YOU WON’T kicked in. Palomares released the reserves. He struck out Ross. He struck out Wojnarowski. He struck out Hernandez! 13-2 Furballs!! Ramos 3-6, 2B, 3 RBI; Marsingill 2-5, RBI; Wallace 2-4, BB, HR, 2B, 2 RBI; Zitzner 2-4, BB, RBI; Reichardt 4-4, BB, 2B, RBI; Garcia 3-4, BB, 2 RBI; Palomares 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, W (6-6);

All starting position players had at least one base hit, and only Palomares didn’t have one from the starting lineup.

I bet we lose the rubber game, 1-0!

Game 3
VAN: 2B Morrow – 3B Anton – LF LeJeune – C Ross – RF Wojnarowski – SS L. Hernandez – CF Pohl – 1B D.J. Robinson – P Truett
POR: SS Ramos – RF M. Fernandez – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Chavez

Infield single, walk, single, single, single – the first five batters all reached base in the rubber game. Ross singled home Morrow, but Anton was thrown out at home by Adrian Reichardt on the same play. With the bags full, Lazaro Hernandez’ groundout plated a second run before Pohl – with a barking back – struck out to strand a pair. Bernie Chavez remained off the rolls. The Coons turned the game around however in the bottom 1st. Ramos with a leadoff single and Fernandez with a walk reached base, stole a pair of bases, and Stalker scored a run with a groundout. Truett lost Wallace on balls, but Zitzner’s groundout kept Fernandez pinned at third. Reichardt batted with runners in scoring position, floated a blooper to shallow right, Wojnarowski dove for it and missed it, and the Coons took the lead on a 2-run single and error! Thompson grounded out, but it was already a 3-2 game.

The offense died down a bit, because Bernie allowed only two runners in the next three innings and because the Coons stranded five in the same time, including Tim Stalker fouling out with three Critters aboard in the bottom 4th. Wallace had a great snatch on a Morrow drive in the fifth, and yet it was all in vain, because for the second time in the game, Bernie waved five consecutive stupid **** Elks on the bases. Four singles, a hit batter, and three runs, all with two outs, and all three runs with two strikes, before Pat Pohl, still in pain, struck out and stranded Wojnarowski and Hernandez. Bottom 5th, the tying runs reached scoring position right away; Wallace singled to left, Zitzner doubled to left, and the chance for an instant comeback was there. Reichardt grounded out, plating Wallace, 5-4, Thompson grounded out uselessly, and Perkins was walked with intent by the Elks. Marsingill hit for the battered Chavez, but grounded out to Matt Anton, leaving them on the corners.

The pen did its very best to allow the offense to come back. Anaya got three outs, Fernandez got four, and Bates got two in the next three innings. The offense did nothing, except for stranding Perkins at third base in the bottom 8th. Chris Wise got the ninth inning in search of work, nailed Morrow with one out, but pitched around that to keep the Elks off the board, and they would have another comeback chance in the ninth, sending the meat of the order against right-hander Ed Miller and his 3.98 ERA. Tim Stalker whipped Miller’s second pitch for a double to left, and the winning run was at the plate. Wallace hit it on the ground, though and grounded out to first base, but that advanced Stalker to third. Zitzner struck out. Reichardt knocked a 1-1 pitch to left, Anton dove for it – but missed it! Single! Coons tie the game!! Elliott Thompson’s fly to left ended up with LeJeune, sending the game to extras. Nobody reached in the 10th, and Ed Blair gave up a 2-out double to Cole in the 11th, his second inning of work, but pitched around that and got out of the inning. Bottom 11th: Matt Stonecipher returned to Raccoons Ballpark. He had basically a walk and a strikeout per inning and a 4.45 ERA. Manny Fernandez singled hard to right. Tim Stalker singled softly to right, and Manny dashed to third base with nobody out! A decently sized fly would end the game! And he hit it! Fly to center, Pohl caught it, wincing, but he would never get a throw off in time – Manny Fernandez raced home and won us the game!! 6-5 Raccoons!! Ramos 3-5, BB; M. Fernandez 2-4, BB; Stalker 2-6, 2B, RBI; Reichardt 2-5, 4 RBI; Perkins 2-4, BB; Blair 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, W (4-1);

In other news

June 13 – Dallas’ INF Jon Ramos (.326, 2 HR, 28 RBI) has six RBI from the leadoff spot in the Stars’ 9-5 win over the Bayhawks, including the deciding walkoff grand slam off SFB MR Mike Simcoe (1-3, 4.00 ERA, 1 SV).
June 13 – PIT SP Matt Brost (2-2, 2.78 ERA) might miss a month with a back strain.
June 14 – VAN C Toby Ross (.281, 12 HR, 46 RBI) drives in five runs on three base hits in the Canadiens’ 17-9 shellacking of the Blue Sox. NAS OF Raul Sanchez (.262, 2 HR, 31 RBI) has four hits and three RBI himself.
June 18 – Capitals rookie SP Greg Fischer (1-0, 0.00 ERA) 2-hits the Blue Sox in his third career start, walking three and whiffing seven in a 6-0 Capitals win.
June 19 – It takes 13 innings for a run to be scored in the Blue Sox-Capitals game. Nashville takes the 1-0 win on an RBI single by OF/1B Carlos Montellano (.268, 1 HR, 10 RBI), who came off the bench.

Complaints and stuff

I liked the last two games against the damn Elks! I didn’t like the first one so much. Well, I also don’t like Bernie’s pitching recently. He’s had three clonkers in the last five games.

The walk that Manny Fernandez drew in the bottom of the first inning on Sunday was his first career walk – after merely 80 at-bats without drawing one. Oh, that can only get better… I hope…

The Critters are within 2 1/2 of the foundering Titans. I hate to entertain pointless excitement, but maybe the Titans can stink some more and keep the door open for an exciting summer?

We’re off to New York now and will return via Tijuana next week. We will alternate pair of home and road series until late July now.

Fun Fact: 11 years ago today, San Francisco’s Rafael Gomez hit for the cycle in an 8-6 win over the Thunder.

That was before he landed in Portland via Richmond. We acquired him in a deal for Felipe Delgado, Mike Grigsby, and Vince Devereaux in December of ’25. Rafael was a key part to our two titles that followed, hitting for .749+ OPS values in his first three seasons before falling into a deep hole in ’29. He hasn’t been above average since. He also has not been seen in the majors this year. The career .267/.321/.407 hitter with 136 homers and 694 RBI has been assigned to AAA Monmouth by the Aces.

*Yes, this game started with the way less effective alignment up the middle due to my gross incompetence, but I corrected it in the first inning. However, since I’m anal when it comes to these things, we’ll put it the way it was on the lineup card.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2019, 06:17 PM   #3014
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
2033 AMATEUR DRAFT

In between the series with the Wolves and damn Elks I hopped over to New York with our scout guy, whose name the lady at the airport check-in knew better than me, and went into the steaming, swirling, stomping cauldron that was the 2033 Amateur Draft, armed with our 89-strong shortlist and the following hotlist (*denotes HS player):

SP Mike Lang (13/12/7) *
SP Corey Booth (12/14/9) – BNN #9
SP Chris Lulay (13/13/10) – BNN #1
SP Kurt Crater (14/13/13)
SP Luis Torres (12/13/14) *
SP Jared Ottinger (12/12/10)
SP Oscar Valdes (12/12/10)

C Rick Urfer (9/15/11) – BNN #10

1B Bill Jenkins (10/10/15) – BNN #3
SS/2B Tony Aparicio (12/14/13) * - BNN #6
SS/3B Brad Critzer (10/7/12) *

OF/1B Scott Martin (14/9/14)
OF Steve Jorgenson (12/12/9)

I also carried Honeypaws, ready to direct him to interfere with any other GM picking ahead of us daring to lay paws on book-smart slugging shortstop Tony Aparicio. And if that wouldn’t work, I had also looked up some Kung Fu moves and had also found one that wouldn’t throw out my back!

But in all reality we expected from the start that among the first three picks would be Aparicio and Mike Lang, and that we’d pick from the remaining starting pitchers, either the ugly one, or the lazy one, or the plant-collecting weirdo.

…and of course the damn Falcons selected Tony Aparicio with their first-overall pick. Even a sharply hurled stuffed toy raccoon couldn’t keep them from stealing my dreams away! Damn Raccoons hadn’t lost enough games last year and were now paying the price! The Scorpions selected Kurt Crater, with Steve Jorgenson going to the Aces at #3. I let out a depressed groan and settled for Mike Lang at #4.

From there the Miners took Bill Jenkins to complete the top 5. Outfielder Jayden Lockwood went #6 to the Cyclones, the first player not from the hotlist to be drafted. As the first round progressed, the hotlist got progressively drained with the selections of Steve Martin (WAS, #7), Corey Booth (VAN, #9), Rick Urfer (OCT, #10), Brad Critzer (NAS, #13), Chris Lulay (ATL, #15), and then the pace slowed down with three hotlist pitchers still on the board. With Torres, Ottinger, and Valdes left over, we decided for the guy who had three well-working pitches that was also not a teenage troublemaker and thus settled for Ottinger with our supplemental round pick. Valdes, who was implicated in seven cases of arson in Illinois, was taken at #31 by the Knights.

Disturbingly, Luis Torres remained around until our regular second-round selection came around, which was never a good sign. Was it wise to draft pitchers with the first three selections? Did we have any other smart ideas with three minutes on the clock? There had to be something rotten we had missed about Torres! In a frenzy, we jumped ship to an adept centerfielder with multiple talents in Josh Bulzomi. Wait – why was he kicked out of the military academy?? Too late, time’s up!!

Torres fell all the way to #56 before the Knights took on that guy, too. Not sure they knew what they were doing, but neither were we.

+++

2033 PORTLAND RACCOONS DRAFT CLASS

Round 1 (#4) – SP Mike Lang, 18, from Indianapolis, IN – right-handed groundballer throwing about 92mph and with a well-rounded mix of four pitches. Stuff looks fantastic, while control could be an issue at least now.
Supp. Round (#25) – SP Jared Ottinger, 20, from Irving, TX – right-handed groundballer with 95mph fire and a devastating splitter, plus a slider. Also has considerable batting potential, hitting .325 in college, but his defense is nothing to write home about.
Round 2 (#45) – OF/1B/2B Josh Bulzomi, 19, from Chicago, IL – wide-ranged quirky centerfielder with sure hands and quick paws; at the plate might be a singles slapper, but could slap lots of singles and take extra bases on unsuspecting defenses.
Round 3 (#69) – 2B/SS/CF Jonathan Riser, 21, from The Colony, TX – Realistically speaking a second baseman with not enough range or arm power to be an above-average defender at his other two positions. Does have a high-contact, low-power bat, a sure eye, and very quick hindpaws.
Round 4 (#93) – SP Tyler Canfield, 19, from Waltham, MA – right-hander that throws only around 88mph but could be a very decent corner nibbler.
Round 5 (#117) – OF Travis Campbell, 20, from Columbus, OH – dropout from Stanford, where he failed every single class, and who’s work ethic is a serious issue; may not have much power, but could be a decent defensive infielder with a solid batting average, if we can get him to work … and if not, maybe we can trade him to the military academy for Bulzomi’s services…
Round 6 (#141) – 3B Jake Howell, 18, from San Antonio, TX – there is a lot of decent-to-meh in his ratings; with some effort he could become a poor man’s Matt Nunley, or at least trade bait.
Round 7 (#165) – C Chris Lancaster, 20, from Irving, TX – rather ordinary catcher with no notable features, except that he stands right next to Ottinger on their graduation picture and once lit Ottinger’s sweater on fire with a cigarette lighter… yes, while Ottinger was wearing it.
Round 8 (#189) – SS Travis Skiba, 18, from New Berlin, WI – fairly adept and quick shortstop with a noodle bat…
Round 9 (#213) – SP Shaun Wardwell, 18, from Steger, IL – right-hander with fastball, curveball and nothing else.
Round 10 (#237) – 3B/1B Andrew Milstead, 17, from Chicago, IL – a bit of a defensive black hole, he can nevertheless hit for a bit of power, and you never know how far that can get you.
Round 11 (#261) – SP Kaleb Dick, 18, from Mont Belvieu, TX – our 2033 Nick Brown Memorial Pick throws all sort of baseballs and claims them to be different pitches, in particular a 87mph heater, curve, slider, and changeup. Nothing arrives where it should, or looks as it ought, though.
Round 12 (#285) – SS Cole Wilbur, 21, from Amherst, MA – very good defensive shortstop that also runs fast… from the plate back to the dugout; is a switch-hitter, which only means he’s tried and bitterly failed from both sides of the plate.
Round 13 (#309) – INF Mason McCann, 18, from Conyers, GA – decent fielder, terrible batter; we will actually try to turn his cutter/slider combo into a relief pitcher…

+++

Of course there were also a few players who had their dream of wearing the brown shirt in the majors end. Among those players clipped were: 2029 third-rounder Chris Pothen, who just couldn’t hit a baseball if it was four feet wide and rolling slowly towards him; 2031 sixth-rounder Josh Ridenour, steadfastly walking a batter per inning in Aumsville; SS Ed Vidal, a $10,000 signing in the July 2028 IFA period, not hitting anything; and 2031 12th-rounder Eli Dunn, also for not hitting.
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
ayaghmour2 (11-04-2019), DD Martin (11-03-2019)
Old 11-03-2019, 10:48 PM   #3015
DD Martin
Minors (Double A)
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 166
Thanks: 179
Thanked 80x in 69 posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westheim View Post
2033 AMATEUR DRAFT

Disturbingly, Luis Torres remained around until our regular second-round selection came around, which was never a good sign. Was it wise to draft pitchers with the first three selections? Did we have any other smart ideas with three minutes on the clock? There had to be something rotten we had missed about Torres! In a frenzy, we jumped ship to an adept centerfielder with multiple talents in Josh Bulzomi. Wait – why was he kicked out of the military academy?? Too late, time’s up!!

Torres fell all the way to #56 before the Knights took on that guy, too. Not sure they knew what they were doing, but neither were we.
.
Hopefully passing this guy up will not come back to haunt the Critters. It will be interesting to see if he makes it compared to the quirky CF
DD Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-05-2019, 06:01 PM   #3016
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (37-32) @ Crusaders (30-37) – June 20-22, 2033

The Crusaders had lost five in a row and ranked ninth in both runs scored and runs allowed with a growing -44 run differential. Their pitching was particularly appalling; they had a bullpen with a 4.22 ERA, third-worst in the Continental League, and the rotation was outright the worst with a 4.60 ERA. The defense was also at the bottom end of the scale, and they had recently lost an admittedly aging and part-of-the-problem Mike Rutkowski to a partially torn labrum. Portland led the season series, 4-2.

Projected matchups:
Ignacio del Rio (5-5, 3.58 ERA) vs. Gilberto Rendon (8-4, 3.56 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (5-5, 3.22 ERA) vs. Jesse Wright (2-0, 4.68 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (3-6, 4.61 ERA) vs. Ramiro Benavides (1-6, 6.03 ERA)

Unless Benavides would be discarded by Wednesday, handedness would match for each pair of starters in this series. Both teams were also looking forward to an off day on Thursday on the way to the west coast; the Critters would go to Tijuana, the Crusaders would invade the Bay.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – RF M. Fernandez – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P del Rio
NYC: CF Tessmann – 1B Cambra – 2B M. Hurtado – RF Reardon – SS Schuler – C Leonard – LF Jamieson – 3B J. Zamora – P G. Rendon

Ramos singled and stole a base to start the Coons off in the first, but was then left on base by the next three batters. Berto then endeavored to be part of the problem in the third inning, which Perkins opened with a double to left. Del Rio popped out, Ramos whiffed, and Manny Fernandez flew to Tessmann – who flubbed the ball, allowing Perkins to score after all with a 2-out error. That was the first run of the game, with the Crusaders having stranded pairs of runners in the first two innings. Firmino Cambra and Mario Hurtado had singled in the bottom 1st, while Keith Leonard had drawn a 4-pitch walk to begin the second before trusty old Matt Jamieson was nicked with an 0-2 pitch. Both times del Rio mixed in a crucial strikeout to escape looming carnage, but had to watch helplessly as doubles by Cambra and Chris Reardon in the bottom 3rd tied the game right back up. Both hit their doubles to left and past Jimmy Wallace, which was the sort of extra-base hit that should come with an asterisk…

Jimmy Wallace would try his best to make it up to us, knocking in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning with a 2-out single. He plated Manny Fernandez, who had been walked intentionally after Ramos had singled and stolen second base again. The runners were in motion with Stalker at the plate, but the Crusaders were alert this time and Leonard struck down Ramos at third base on ball one. Fernandez moved up on Stalker’s groundout, then came around to score on the Wallace singled. Zitzner grounded out to short, keeping it at 2-1, which became 2-2 without an out being recorded in the bottom 6th. Reardon singled, Randy Schuler walked, and Leonard singled into right to plate Reardon from second base. The Crusaders then stranded another pair on two pop flies and Rendon going down on strikes. They reached the corners in the bottom 7th with Cambra doubling off Garavito and Hurtado landing a single with one out against Ed Blair, but then stalled again. PH Hirofumi Saito popped out, and Schuler went down on strikes. The Critters could not get the offense going in the late innings. The Crusaders were retired by Anaya in order in the eighth, but got the first two batters on in the ninth. Ryan Hurley singled out of the #9 hole, and Zachary Ryder walked. David Fernandez came on in relief of Anaya, had Cambra at 1-2, but then gave up a single past Stalker and into center. Reichardt fired to home plate as Hurley was sent around – but late. 3-2 Crusaders. Ramos 2-4;

Firmino Cambra had four hits in this game, or one fewer than the Raccoons pooled together in a pathetic performance.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – RF M. Fernandez – 1B Ferrero – C Thompson – CF Pinkerton – P Sabre
NYC: CF Tessmann – 1B Cambra – 2B M. Hurtado – RF Reardon – LF Saito – SS Schuler – C Leonard – 3B J. Zamora – P J. Wright

The sticks came out in the Tuesday game, soon eclipsing the paltry output from Monday. Jimmy Wallace hit a 2-piece to right in the first, Stalker added a solo bomb to left in the fourth, an inning that continued with Manny Fernandez reaching base, stealing second base, and coming around on Thompson’s 2-out single, and in the fifth Sabre himself, pitching a 1-hit shutout at that point, tried to instigate another riot with a leadoff single. Ramos also dropped one in, and Justin Marsingill hit a ball in the right-center gap for an RBI double to run the tally to 5-0. Stalker walked in a full count, giving Wallace three on and nobody out, who hit a sac fly to center. Fernandez hit a gapper for an RBI double, Ferrero hit a line-hugging ball for a 2-run double… but twisted his knee and had to come out of the game. Tom Hawkins replaced him in a 9-0 game that had just gone from a laugher to “yes, but”. Mark Holliday, who had replaced Wright’s beaten-in brains two doubles ago, struck out Thompson and got Pinkerton to ground out, ending a 5-run fifth.

Holliday allowed another RBI double in the seventh, that one being hit by Tom Hawkins with two outs, but mostly owed to a horrendous bad judgment by Chris Reardon, who jogged back before charging in, and then it was already too late. In between, Sabre had served up a dingerball to Randy Schuler, so the shutout was off the table, and Schuler brought in another run in the seventh, but then in double play fashion after Reardon and Saito had occupied the corners with leadoff hits. Stalker singled home Pinkerton in the top 8th to re-establish a 9-run lead, and Sabre completed eight innings on 99 pitches, most of them very good! Kyle Green meandered through a 23-pitch ninth with hardly anybody left watching to finish off the rout. 11-2 Coons! Ramos 2-5; Stalker 3-4, BB, HR, 2 RBI; M. Fernandez 2-4, BB, 2B, RBI; Hawkins 1-2, 2B, RBI; Sabre 8.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, W (6-5) and 1-4;

Noel Ferrero hit the DL with a knee sprain. He was expected to remain on the sidelines until about a week after the All Star Game, and the Raccoons needed to shop for a replacement. Billy Jennings’ return was on the horizon, but he was still about another week away, so the Coons went and left Ed Hooge alone to get regular at-bats in AAA and instead promoted Ryan Allan, the 31-year-old outfielder slash first baseman of dubious talent. He had not been in the majors since ’31, when he had batted .200 in 85 at-bats. For his career, he was swatting it for a .652 OPS in the majors.

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – CF Reichardt – 1B Zitzner – LF Wallace – 3B Perkins – C Garcia – RF Pinkerton – P Gutierrez
NYC: CF Tessmann – 1B Cambra – 2B M. Hurtado – LF D. Brown – SS Schuler – 3B J. Zamora – RF Ryder – C Hurley – P Benavides

Berto nearly got tossed from the game after striking out to end the top of the second inning, stranding Garcia (walk) and Pinkerton (RBI double cashing Perkins) in scoring position, bickering at the umpire until Garcia strolled by on the way to the dugout and threw him over his shoulder in one swooping motion to carry Ramos with him. The Pinkerton double brought in the first run of the game, but two more followed in the top 3rd on straight hits by the 3-4-5 batters, ending with a Wallace RBI double, and a Perkins sac fly. Now, caution was advised whenever you had a 3-0 lead in support of a flayed corpse pitching, but Rico Gutierrez was admirably tough on the Crusaders, pitching a 1-hitter through five and facing only one over the minimum despite two leadoff walks. He started 1-6-3 double plays on Mario Hurtado in the fourth and Jorge Zamora in the fifth to get out of potential trouble, so that was all dandy, too…!

Ramos ended the sixth with another two in scoring position, striking out again facing Benavides, but this time simply laughed on the way back. Starting in the bottom 6th, the Crusaders began to hit the ball harder, and Gutierrez walked Danny Tessmann, the former Elk, with two outs, but Firmino Cambra grounded out to second base. The bottom 7th began with a strikeout to Hurtado, but Dan Brown eeked out a walk. Schuler popped out, Zamora hit a bloop single, but even as the tying run at the plate we thought Zachary Ryder to be a good match for Gutierrez, even as a switch-hitter batting from his better side, because Ryder’s profile mostly read “impatient, no power threat”. He promptly grounded out to short on the 1-0 pitch, stranding two. Benavides pitched into the eighth without surrendering another thing of substance, and the inning ended with Mike Hugh K’ing Pinkerton, which brought up the tough question of whether to allow Gutierrez to face another guy or two. But with Reardon having entered in a double switch, the due-up 8-9 batters were a tough right-handed chew now, and we decided against it. Instead, Bates came out, walked one and whiffed the other, then yielded for Garavito, who got a double play grounder to Ramos on his second pitch to Tessmann. Instead, Chris Wise made it … “interesting”. Leadoff walk to Cambra, then a Hurtado single – that brought the tying run to the plate. Wise threw a wild pitch, then gave up a drive to center that Reichardt raced back to shag, although Cambra scored. After a full-count walk to Schuler, the pitching coach went out to inquire about Wise’s physical and mental well-being, and whether he was ****ing nuts. Zamora singled, loading the bags and putting the winning run on base with one out for PH Matt Jamieson. The ex-Coon failed to sink the Critters, hitting a bouncer back at Wise, who contained the ball on the second bounce to kill off Hurtado. When left-hander Keith Leonard pinch-hit for Hurley, the Critters opted for David Fernandez; something was off with Wise, and maybe he was just overeaten, but we liked nothing we were seeing. Nothing. This included the first pitch Fernandez threw and Leonard cracked for a game-tying 2-run single. Reardon grounded out on the second pitch, another sharp cracker at Perkins this time.

Extra innings still saw the Coons’ offense dead as it had been for many innings. Fernandez put runners on the corners with two outs in the bottom 10th before Anaya replaced him and rung up Schuler to allow us another chance at failing in the 11th. That was the only batter Anaya faced, but it wasn’t his fault. The Crusaders’ David Gerow nailed Garcia with one out in the 11th. Garcia winced, but soldiered on to stay in the game – and he had to; Elliott Thompson had pinch-hit for Marsingill in the #2 hole in the ninth and was no longer available, and the pitcher was now in that slot. Pinkerton lined out to Hurtado, but Manny Fernandez, who had also pinch-hit in the ninth and had stayed in the game as defensive replacement for Wallace, turned a 1-2 pitch into center for a single. That brought up Ramos, who was oh-fer with about 60 runners left on base on this day. Not one more, Berto declared, cracked a 2-out RBI single to right, and the Critters were ahead again! Ryan Allan batted for Anaya, struck out, and now the Coons picked Ed Blair for a second run at a save. Kyle Green was the only other reliever still available, which would possibly come into play given Blair serving up a leadoff jack to Zamora that tied the score at four, then retired the next three batters… Green’s time came after an uneventful 12th and another sad-sack 1-2-3 by the Coons in the top 13th while Erik David axed them in half. David hit a 2-out single off Green in the bottom 13th with the New York bench deserted, but Keith Leonard flew out to Reichardt.

Top 14th, Manny Fernandez reached on a Saito error in left, making it all the way to second base. He advanced on Ramos’ groundout, which was NOT good, since it brought the pitcher to the plate. The Coons still sighed and played their last remaining bench piece, Tom Hawkins, while Andy Palomares had been sent to the pen two innings ago to get loose. He was the only Coons hurler left now; unless they got Fernandez in, they’d win or lose with Palomares. Hawkins shoved David’s 0-1 pitch through the right side for an RBI single, breaking the tie again! Reichardt hit into a fielder’s choice, then was caught stealing, so Palomares had no cushion to a 5-4 lead as he’d make a bid for his second career save, the first having come with Oklahoma City ten years earlier. Chris Reardon hit a leadoff single to begin the bottom 14th, then advanced on grounders to Zitzner and Stalker, respectively, bringing up Hurtado with the tying run at third and two gone. Sharp bouncer to left, Perkins on it, throw to first – ballgame! 5-4 Coons. Hawkins (PH) 1-1, RBI; Wallace 2-4, 2B, RBI; Pinkerton 2-6, RBI; Gutierrez 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 4 K;

Look at Gutierrez, that bum! Again lasts only half a game!!

Although he only threw 15 pitches in getting the save, Palomares was voided from his scheduled start on Friday on the other side of the travel day. He would be given two additional days off and was reinstated for the Sunday finale in Tijuana.

Raccoons (39-33) @ Condors (44-28) – June 24-26, 2033

The Condors were chasing somebody for the first time in a few years. They were 2 1/2 behind the Bayhawks, the same distance that separated the Raccoons from the Titans. The Condors were also on a 6-game winning streak, so that was something to contend with. They were second in the CL in both runs scored and runs allowed, but the Critters had actually won the first series of the season, two games to one.

Projected matchups:
Bernie Chavez (7-3, 3.45 ERA) vs. Jeff Little (6-1, 3.26 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (5-5, 3.54 ERA) vs. Jimmy Driver (6-2, 2.21 ERA)
Andy Palomares (6-6, 4.59 ERA) vs. Josh Irwin (7-5, 3.11 ERA)

Little figured to be the sole southpaw up for offer here. Driver was a swingman I’d use more often in the Condors’ place.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – CF Reichardt – 1B Zitzner – LF Wallace – 2B Stalker – C Garcia – RF Pinkerton – P Chavez
TIJ: RF C. Murphy – SS C. Miller – 3B Sanks – 1B McGrath – CF B. Fernandez – LF Sung – C J. Flores – 2B Hughes – P Little

The Coons got off to a quick start against Little, with Ramos ramming a triple into the gap. Marsingill singled, scored on a Zitzner double, and the Raccoons led 2-0 before Marsingill was stranded at third base. Preston Pinkerton hit a leadoff triple of his own in the second inning. Bernie plated him with a sac fly to make it 3-0. Bernie didn’t allow a Condor on base in the first two innings, but they reached the corners on a leadoff walk drawn by Jose Flores and an Andy Hughes single in the bottom 3rd. Little bunted, Chris Murphy was rung up, Chris Miller bounced one back to Chavez, and the Condors remained off the board. The following frame, Bobby Fernandez and Yeong-ha Sung reached the corners with a pair of 2-out singles, but Flores popped out foul to Marsingill to strand two more. They did get a run across in the fifth though, on the third triple of the day, a 2-out liner into the corner smashed by Chris Miller, plating Murphy, who had walked. Sanks made the third out, but Kevin McGrath hit a huge leadoff jack in the bottom 6th. They were certainly zeroing in on Chavez, but at least Little – always short on stamina – was out of the game by now. Maybe the pen could allow the Coons, who had been held at bay in the middle innings, to tack on some insurance.

Not bloody quite. Ramos hit a leadoff single in the seventh, but could not get a jump on Robby Ciampa and was then doubled up by Reichardt to end the inning. Bernie completed, retiring PH Matt Hamilton and the Chris Brigade in order in the bottom 7th, but that also put him at 100 pitches, so that was the end of him. The pen took over in the bottom 8th and the 3-2 lead promptly went to hell. Sanks doubled off Anaya, who also walked McGrath, then was removed for Garavito. The Condors countered with a right-handed batter, John Hansen, in place of Fernandez. The move did not pay off – Travis Zitzner made a fabulous play on a sharp high bouncer and turned it for a 3-6-3 double play! That left only the persistent pest Sanks at third base with two outs and another righty pinch-hitter in Juan Camps at the plate. The count ran full, Camps tied the game with a sharp single to right, and then Garavito hung a 1-2 pitch that Flores hit for the go-ahead RBI double. Hughes grounded out, but everything had gone to hell. Not that the Condors would hold on to their lead – lefty Josh Heckman served up a leadoff jack to Fernando Garcia to start the ninth, and the score was even at four. Pinkerton singled to left, but was forced out on Manny Fernandez’ grounder, but at least Fernandez was fast enough to reach third base on Berto’s single to right. That was the go-ahead run, 90 feet away. Marsingill poked at a low 1-2 pitch, somehow shoveled it out of the dirt and hit a terrible blooper into shallow right out of everybody’s reach. Fernandez scored, Berto read it perfectly and reached third base on the RBI single…! That led to an insurance run on Reichardt’s sac fly to Camps in leftfield. Zitzner walked, btu Wallace was robbed by Camps to end the inning. Back was Wise – trying to paint over the lousy outing on Wednesday. Jimmy Wood flicked a leadoff single on a 1-2 pitch, bringing up the top of the order as the tying runs. Murphy struck out. Ken Hess ran a full count – and struck out. Shane Sanks, the disgusting skunk weasel, ran another full count … and struck out!! 6-4 Furballs! Ramos 3-5, 3B; Marsingill 2-5, 2 RBI; Garcia 2-4, HR, RBI; Pinkerton 3-4, 3B; Chavez 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K and 0-2, RBI;

I will have to admit, this team sure has grit.

Can we get another series win over a strong team?

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – CF Reichardt – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – P del Rio
TIJ: RF C. Murphy – SS C. Miller – 3B Sanks – 1B McGrath – CF B. Fernandez – C J. Wood – LF Sung – 2B Hughes – P Driver

Driver faced the minimum the first time through, with Stalker singling and being caught stealing, while Tijuana took an early 1-0 lead in the first. Miller doubled, Sanks singled, and a McGrath grounder could not be turn for two in time, allowing Miller to score from third base. Ramos walked to begin the fourth, but was doubled up by Marsingill’s 6-4-3 grounder before Wallace and Zitzner hit singles and were stranded when Murphy robbed Manny Fernandez at the fence, which caused me to grind my teeth so hard something in my jaw cracked.

Maybe a Ramos triple would help – Berto got one past Murphy with one out in the sixth, marking the first time in the contest any Critter had reached third base. There he remained when Marsingill whiffed and Wallace grounded out to Miller. The pitching duel still raged in the eighth inning. Driver retired Stalker and Thompson, but then allowed a slap single to del Rio himself. Berto came up and hit a drive to left-center, Sung couldn’t get it, and it was in the gap! Del Rio ran as hard as he could when the bench yelled that a banana split would be waiting for him at home plate, and Berto slid into third base with his third triple of the series, the game being tied! Pinkerton hit for the luckless Marsingill, grounded to Sanks, the throw to first – PAST the first baseman for an error, and the Coons have the lead!! Wallace legged out an infield single, moving Pinkerton to third base, and when Driver plated him with a wild pitch and the Coons led 3-1, my jaw slowly unclenched. Zitzner fouled out, ending the inning. del Rio failed to go eight, allowing a pinch-hit single to Ken Hess with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but David Fernandez came on and rung up Murphy instead! Wise retired the side in order in the ninth! 3-1 Furballs!! Ramos 2-3, BB, 2 3B, RBI; Wallace 2-4; del Rio 7.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, W (6-5) and 1-3;

I am starting to like this team!

When was the last time I liked a Raccoons team??

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – CF Reichardt – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Palomares
TIJ: RF C. Murphy – SS C. Miller – 3B Sanks – 1B McGrath – CF B. Fernandez – LF Sung – C J. Flores – 2B Hughes – P Irwin

Both teams stranded a pair without scoring in the first inning before Adrian Reichardt went deep to left, putting Portland up 1-0 to begin the second inning. Unfortunately, Yeong-ha Sung would accomplish the same feat for Tijuana, only hitting it to the other side of the park. Flores then hit a homer to left, putting them ahead, 2-1. The Raccoons would only have three hits through five innings, but Palomares would continue to put Condors on base. Through five, he struck out nobody, allowed eight hits, and one of those was a 2-run homer to McGrath in the bottom 5th, extending the gap further to 4-1. He would end up laden with five runs in 5.1 innings, allowing a double to Flores in the sixth before being lifted for David Fernandez, who threw a wild pitch and allowed a sac fly to ancient Matt Hamilton, hitting for Irwin after six innings of 4-hit ball. Murphy and Miller singled, but Bates struck out the skunk weasel Sanks to get out of the inning with the Critters down by four rather than a million. Unfortunately Ethan Jordan was not willing to take prisoners, retiring the Coons in order in the top of the seventh, and the bottom of the same inning saw Victor Anaya completely dismantled. He faced five batters – all five landed a base hit. McGrath singled, Bobby Fernandez hit an RBI triple, and Sung, Flores, and Hughes loaded the bags with a string of singles. By now the game was indeed out of all paws. Kyle Green replaced Anaya, as the Coons openly conceded defeat. He allowed one more run on a sac fly by PH John Hansen, which I considered mild damage at this point, with the score 8-1 after seven. The Critters scratched out a run on a Ramos Special in the eighth, but that was it. 8-2 Condors. Stalker 2-4, 3B;

In other news

June 26 – As the Pacifics pummel the Rebels, 18-4, LAP LF/RF/1B Danny Serrano (.800, 0 HR, 5 RBI) makes his season debut and promptly goes 4-for-5 with 5 RBI out of the #8 hole.
June 26 – LAP OF Tom Dunlap (.271, 2 HR, 23 RBI) is out for the season with a broken kneecap.
June 26 – Aces SP Natanael Abrao (2-6, 5.24 ERA) will also miss the rest of the 2033 season with a ruptured UCL.

Complaints and stuff

Just when I admitted I started to like the team, they deliver a clonker like Sunday’s… That’s what the game gives you when you admit your feelings… baseball is so cruel…

But we reached 40+ wins in June – who had that on his bingo card?? We will close out the first half against the Baybirds and Indians at home.

But I am fascinated by the pitching. Led by the three young starters and a tough-as-nails pen, the Critters are conceding the fewest runs in the league! We’re first in all major categories except ERA (2nd), starters’ ERA (5th), dingers surrendered (5th), and strikeouts (7th).

Raffaello Sabre reached 100 innings for the season with a very fine outing on Tuesday. He has been the most consistent of the three young ones. They have all three had their moments, good and bad, and they all have sorta low-ish 3.XX ERA’s, which compared to last year is just like heaven.

Billy Jennings started a rehab assignment on Sunday and should return to the team in a few days. That will get rid of Ryan Allan again, who could not be more useless if he had funnels for hands, doorstops for feet, and screws wedged in his knobbly black eyes. Hennessy might also return soon, reclaiming his rightful place from dismal Kyle Green.

Also, what are the odds of Nick Bates becoming an All Star?

Fun Fact: Nick Bates was the #130 pick in the 2026 draft, where he was described as a “California surfer boy that is right-handed and can't really locate the 94mph heater. Nasty slider, though.”

Maybe would have deserved some more credit. He’s a hard worker and he made that stuff work. It sure took a while (he’s going hard on 28 and unlikely to reach arbitration before next year), but he’s actually turned himself into a sharp reliever! I’m just worried the contrast between last year (5.8 BB/9) and this year (2.8 BB/9) is too stark for it to be true.

Then again, our head scout, who has a name, I’m sure, describes Bates’ personality as “tenacious” on his report card, so maybe he can actually will himself to a sub-1 ERA this year.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
ayaghmour2 (11-05-2019)
Old 11-08-2019, 08:41 PM   #3017
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (41-34) vs. Bayhawks (47-29) – June 27-29, 2033

Here were the surprise(?) leaders of the CL South, who were up by 1 1/2 games compared to the Condors despite having been swept on the weekend while Tijuana lost two of three to the Critters. They were all about the offense; while they were a decent fourth in runs allowed in the CL, they were pumping out just over five runs per game, which led the league quite easily. If there was a significant weakness to the Baybirds’ roster, it was the pen, which had been average to begin with and had been further reduced by a couple of injuries, foremost to Alex Ramos, who was out with rotator cuff inflammation. Nevertheless, the Raccoons had taken the first series of the year, two games to one.

Projected matchups:
Raffaello Sabre (6-5, 3.14 ERA) vs. Matt Huf (8-4, 3.03 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (3-6, 4.18 ERA) vs. Rodolfo Cervantes (7-3, 2.84 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (7-3, 3.39 ERA) vs. TBD

All hurlers in their rotation were right-handed; Wednesday’s starter would have been Joe Dishon (6-6, 4.87 ERA), who was suspended for the entire week, so we were looking at Ben Lipsky (8-2, 2.73 ERA) on short rest or a spot starter.

Game 1
SFB: LF Balado – 3B D. Myers – RF Suhay – 1B Levis – CF Cassell – SS J. Cruz – C M. Thompson – 2B I. Russell – P Huf
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – CF Reichardt – C E. Thompson – 3B Hawkins – P Sabre

San Francisco would score first on Sabre, who allowed a leadoff single to Isaiah Russell in the third, and then hard hit RBI knocks, a double by Jose Balado and a single by Ben Suhay to fall 2-0 behind, and it became 3-0 in the fourth after leadoff singles by Ryan Cassell and Jose Cruz that sent them to the corners, with Mike Thompson’s 6-4-3 grounder getting Cassell home. The Coons continued to simply not hit, finding only two singles the first time through, and ex-Coon Matt Huf, who had been a Critter well before their two most recent championships, which seemed like they had been a long, long time ago, seemed to have this one in the bag. I was eyeing the booze on the shelf, at least the one bottle that Slappy hadn’t drunken away while we had been gone. That was in the bottom 4th, just before Zitzner singled and with two outs Huf started to have a meltdown. He walked Reichardt, he walked Elliott Thompson, too, and then fell 3-1 behind Tom Hawkins, who was the third baseman du jour as that carrousel kept spinning wildly. Hawkins rammed a hanging curve over the centerfield fence, flipping the score at once – GRAAAAAAAAAAND SLAAAAAAAAAAAMMMM!!

Alright, maybe we could empty that booze later; both teams had their leadoff man on with a single in the fifth (Huf and Ramos, respectively) and both found a way to hit into a double play (Dave Myers, Zitzner, mind you). Sabre blew the lead in the sixth on a solo homer by the colossal annoyance Ben Suhay, the all-or-nothing swatter, who in this case rolled an “all” and knotted the tally at four. That also didn’t hold long; Manny Fernandez drew a 4-pitch walk to begin the bottom 6th, dashed to third base on Reichardt’s single, then scored narrowly on Thompson’s sac fly to the dismal Suhay, who to my great pleasure and most everybody else at the park would miss a Sabre liner with two outs in the inning that proceeded to fall for an RBI double and an extra Coons run. There was an intentional walk to Ramos, an unintentional walk issued to Tim Stalker by replacement pitcher Eric Fox, but Wallace grounded out with the bags stacked, stranding three in a 6-4 game.

Sabre lasted six and two thirds, leaving the game after a full-count walk to Micah Sears in the #9 hole. Bates got Balado to ground out on a single pitch to end the seventh. Bottom of the inning, Fox got zitzed as our first baseman socked a shot to right-center for his 10th homer of the season, which led the team. It was the final run for the Coons in the game, who would not reach base again, but also didn’t need to. Nick Bates did the eighth, and Chris Wise walked Mike Thompson in the ninth, but otherwise retired the Bayhawks on a soft fly and two strikeouts, including one to Russell to end the game. 7-4 Coons! Zitzner 2-4, HR, RBI; Thompson 0-1, 2 BB, RBI; Hawkins 2-4, HR, 4 RBI;

That was a nice comeback win here! I appreciated that very much!

I just wished I could find a productive resolution for the problem of three third basemen, all of which were doing some hitting sometimes, but usually never when asked to or really needed…

Oh, to have a Mark Dawson again …!

Game 2
SFB: CF Balado – C M. Thompson – RF Suhay – 1B Levis – 2B J. Cruz – 3B D. Myers – LF Hawthorne – SS Sears – P Cervantes
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – 3B Hawkins – C Garcia – RF Allan – P Gutierrez

This was 2003 Raccoons commemoration night, although in hindsight nobody could remember who had thought that this was a good idea considering the team lost 86 games and ended up in the middle of nowhere. Carl Bean (5-4, 2.72 ERA, traded to Loggers mid-season) and Bob Joly (2-10, 4.39 ERA) threw out the first pitches to Chris Beairsto (.241, 17 HR, 42 RBI in 78 games, a performance never repeated) and Gary Fifield (.145, 4 HR, 14 RBI, a performance that WOULD be repeated). Actually, Joly’s pitch was wild and took out a videographer for STREAM SCREAM – the all-caps branding is their idea, not mine – but how was that not up to anything we had seen from him? Maud, was Nick Brown busy or why couldn’t he… - So he only comes to commemorate winning seasons? – No, I also try to blend out all the losing.

All the losing…

Rico Gutierrez had enjoyed a few decent-to-fine starts recently, but faced a lineup stripped of left-handed bats for this game, but the wheels came off of this one pretty fast. The Bayhawks scored an unearned run in the first where a Garcia throwing error enabled Balado to take an extra base that led to their run, while in the third inning Cervantes hit a leadoff double (!) on a 1-2 pitch (!!!) before Gutierrez continued to give away gifts, like a Balado single, a Mike Thompson sac fly, and – after Balado was caught stealing – a homer to ****ing Ben Suhay. This miserable inning, which continued to feature a Doug Levis double before Jose Cruz grounded out, handed the game back to the Bayhawks, 3-2, after the Critters had taken the lead in the bottom 2nd on a string of singles by Allan (!), Ramos, Stalker, and Wallace, following a bottom 1st in which Hawkins had again come up with three aboard after Cervantes had dinked Wallace and walked Zitzner and Fernandez, but had struck out. Hawkins walked in the bottom 3rd after a leadoff single and stolen base by Manny Fernandez, but was thrown out in a double steal attempt with Garcia at the plate, but you know, whatever is necessary to keep the double play grounders down... in the event, Fernandez scored on a wild pitch, so I claimed a moral victory, but just to be sure in a 3-3 game in the third, put the booze from the shelf to the table.

Thompson homered to make it 4-3 in the fifth – that was *their* Thompson just to be clear, and the inning had begun with another long Cervantes fly that Ryan Allan had thankfully caught up with. Portland fought back to have Garcia plate Zitzner with a sac fly in the same inning, which knocked out Cervantes after 4 2/3 innings. Rico lasted four outs longer, somehow not giving up anything of substance on three long fly balls to the 4-5-6 hitters in the sixth… The Critters had the #9 spot up to begin the bottom 6th. Marsingill hit a double off Eric Fox in Gutierrez’ spot, with Berto being walked intentionally to set up a double play. Nobody hit the ball on the ground for a while though; two outs later, Zitzner dropped an RBI single to put Portland 5-4 ahead, Fernandez hit an infield single, but Hawkins, up yet again with the bags stacked, grounded out to Myers to end the frame. The Coons also blew the lead immediately; Anaya walked Sears with one out in the seventh, Sears stole second base on a tardy move by Garcia, and then Ramos and Wallace looked another off on ex-Coon Joe Vanatti’s blooper into shallow left that they let fall for an RBI single. Anaya hung around into the eighth, got two outs before Tim Stalker fudged a Cruz grounder, and then walked the bags full. With lefty hitter Ryan Cassell hitting for Sears, Garavito was brought on and secured a crucial K on three pitches, ending the inning just as I was about to unscrew the Capt’n Coma. The Critters had the leadoff man aboard in the seventh and eighth, never did anything with either one, but at least Ed Blair held on to the tie in the ninth, setting up a walkoff scenario against righty Jesus Blanco. Reichardt was the pinch-hitter to begin the bottom 9th, batting for Blair in the #6 spot. He drew a walk, so there was the leadoff man aboard yet again. Fernando Garcia grotesquely failed to bunt twice, then was told to, oh well, **** it, swing away, and doubled to left. The W was now 90 feet away with nobody out. Thompson (our) batted for Allan, which was lefty for lefty but also ALLAN, and was intentionally walk, getting forces all over the diamond. It didn’t help the Bayhawks. Marsingill slapped a bouncer over the second base bag to walk off the Critters! 6-5 Critters! Zitzner 2-4, BB, RBI; M. Fernandez 2-3, 2 BB; Garcia 2-4, 2B, RBI; Marsingill (PH) 2-3, 2B, RBI;

John Hennessy started a rehab assignment on Wednesday and was expected back in Portland sooner or later.

And hey, I still haven’t cracked the booze open! – What is it, Maud? – Nick Valdes will stop over tomorrow?

(cracks the booze open)

Game 3
SFB: LF Balado – 3B D. Myers – 1B Levis – CF Cassell – SS J. Cruz – RF Hawthorne – C Newport – 2B I. Russell – P Lipsky
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – CF Reichardt – C E. Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Chavez

Both Balado and Ramos opened their respective halves of the first inning with base hits – and were then caught stealing. They were also both in the huddle for the CL lead in stolen bases, so neither one was going well so far. At least the Coons lost runs on the Ramos play because they went on to fill the bags with the next three batters – two hits and Zitzner getting on base on a Myers error – had Fernandez strike out, but then Reichardt hit a ball into leftfield for an RBI single. Wallace had to be held, and the inning ended on Elliott Thompson’s roller back to the mound with only one run across. Four hits for one run – not great; in that, me, Nick Valdes, and his companion, a black leather-clad whip-equipped dominatrix named Zaza, agreed.

Bernie Chavez, who was grooming a bushy moustache when I would prefer him growing his strikeout total instead, kept the Baybirds at, well, bay through three before the Coons loaded them up with Wallace, Fernandez, and Reichardt singles in the bottom 3rd, bringing up Elliott Thompson with one out. His sac fly to Balado was the only marker in the inning, followed as it was by Perkins’ groundout to Russell. Valdes showed dismay at the resolution of the inning and Thompson’s failure to get a base knock, upon which Zaza laid her arm around his neck and rasped with a voice that suggested she had a pack of smokes before every breakfast that that player was naughty boy and needed a spanking. I found nothing to disagree with there.

Bottom 4th, Lipsky – who was starting on short rest – retired nobody before being removed after three-plus innings and ten base knocks, with another three singles dropped in by Bernie, Ramos (on a 12-game hitting streak!), and Marsingill, presenting the meat of the order and reliever Tim Colangelo with three on and no outs. Colangelo’s 7.25 ERA didn’t cry “shutdown guy” exactly, and he promptly allowed a sizzling liner up the rightfield line to Wallace for a 2-run double, then walked Zitzner to restock the on-base supply. He walked Fernandez with the bags full, allowed a 2-run single to Reichardt, and an RBI single to Thompson, which made it an 8-0 game, a 6-run inning, and there was still nobody retired. Ex-Coon Cory Dew took over while the fans were having festivities in the stands. Two more runs scored against Dew on Perkins and Ramos singles before Marsingill hit into a 5-4-3 double play, leading to more agreement about naughty boys in my office; Bernie had bunted for the first out of the inning, but now had a 10-0 lead and was basically in charge of how long his work day would last. Turns out he’d only make it through six before unravelling in the seventh, walking Cassell, Cruz, and Hawthorne in order, all in full counts, and with nobody out. Ed Blair replaced him, popped up Josh Newport, got a sac fly from Russell, and a grounder to second base from Vanatti, keeping the actual damage to one run, which was spare change compared to the five runs the Coons beat out of Mike Simcoe and Jesus Blanco in the bottom of the inning, batting through the lineup again. Kyle Green would get the ball with a 14-run lead and was bluntly told that he was expected to get six outs. He loaded the bases right away in the top 8th on a walk and two singles, upon which Zaza rubbed her leg on Valdes’ back, curiously eyed by Slappy and me, and begged him to let her spank the naughty boy, and beating the whip on my desk to reaffirm her demands. Then the Bayhawks choked and were retired on a pop, a K to Cruz, and Hawthorne’s fly to Fernandez. The bottom 8th saw Jimmy Wallace come to the plate with nobody on and one out. He was unretired in the game and had done so getting five hits in five attempts. Could he get one more? YES!! Wallace lined a 3-2 pitch into left, it fell for a single, and Jimmy Wallace had a 6-hit game for the Critters! He was left on base, the Bayhawks stranded another two batters against Green in the ninth, and this game had indeed been a spanking! 15-1 Furballs!! Ramos 3-4, 2 BB, RBI; Marsingill 3-6; Wallace 6-6, 2B, 3 RBI; Reichardt 4-5, 2B, 4 RBI; Thompson 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Perkins 2-5, 2 RBI; Chavez 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, W (8-3) and 1-3;

What more could we have wanted for this brief visit besides the inherent weirdness of the visit? It weirded out Slappy enough that he went to clean something right after Valdes and Zaza left for Canada to supervise the eviction of indigenous people from their ancestral lands to plow a freeway through a sacred forest.

Raccoons (44-34) vs. Indians (37-39) – June 30-July 3, 2033

Scoring was not the Indians’ thing; they ranked second from the bottom in runs plated, getting fewer than 3.8 markers across per game. Their pitching was decent, but nowhere near enough to sustain such a dead offense. They were all about power, ranking second in dingers in the CL, but could hardly steal a base, a category in which they were last. Dustin Acor had 13 steals, the rest of the team combined not nearly as many. We led the season series, 4-3.

Projected matchups:
Ignacio del Rio (6-5, 3.36 ERA) vs. John McInerney (5-6, 3.36 ERA)
Andy Palomares (6-7, 4.83 ERA) vs. David Saccoccio (2-6, 5.52 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (7-5, 3.28 ERA) vs. Andy Bressner (8-4, 3.03 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (3-6, 4.20 ERA) vs. Sal Bedoya (4-7, 3.66 ERA)

McInerney would be the only southpaw, and since we had to play another 11 games without an off day that was the perfect time to give the regular left-handers (Ramos, Wallace) the day off, whether they were coming off a combined 9-for-10 effort or not. Manny Fernandez was in the lineup because we only had two right-handed batters among our current outfield crop. He would get a day off later, with Billy Jennings due to be recalled any day now.

Game 1
IND: LF Acor – 2B Schneller – CF Baron – C J. Herrera – RF Plunkett – 1B J. Elliott – 3B Czachor – SS Ryu – P McInerney
POR: 2B Marsingill – SS Stalker – CF Reichardt – 1B Zitzner – LF M. Fernandez – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – RF Pinkerton – P del Rio

Del Rio was hit rather hard right from the first pitch, allowing two hard singles in the first inning, somehow got around Mike Plunkett’s drive to left, and then served up a leadoff jack to John Elliott in the second. That latter move would be countered by Manny Fernandez in the bottom of the same inning, tying the score at one. Dustin Acor began the third with an infield single and was caught stealing, but del Rio still managed to make a mess of the inning, walking John Baron with two outs, which was genuinely hard to do, then allowed two singles to Juan Herrera and Plunkett, the latter making it a 2-1 Indians game. del Rio threw a wild pitch, then somehow was bailed out by Perkins’ sure grab on an Elliott bouncer. Through three innings, the Arrowheads had stuck seven hits on del Rio, who got one himself, a leadoff single in the bottom 3rd that led entirely nowhere. The Indians showed as much disrespect as to not have McInerney bunt with a runner on first and less than two outs in the fourth inning. McInerney singled instead, increasing the H tally to nine for Indy.

Bottom 4th, Travis Zitzner opened with another bomb, tying the game once more. McInerney got two outs before both Perkins and Pinkerton hit soft singles, bringing up del Rio with two outs. That count ran full, and the entire park sprung to its hindpaws when del Rio emptied a 3-2 pitch into the right-center gap for a double – Perkins scored, Pinkerton scored, 4-2 Coons! Better yet, Justin Marsingill belted a 1-1 pitch over the fence, and it was 6-2 …! That one got rid of McInerney, who had exploded colossally for four 2-out runs. If only there wasn’t this feeling that there were still some fireworks left in del Rio’s arm rather than his bat… But the next few innings brought no more Indians hits, while the Coons tacked on a run against Mike Burris with two outs in the sixth as Marsingill singled home Perkins. Stalker hit a single, but Reichardt flew out to left. PH Pat Fowlkes doubled off the wall in rightfield with great noise to begin the seventh, but with a 5-run lead, del Rio had that one free; just get through the inning – and he did so, even without conceding the run! Acor grounded out, Schneller fanned, and John Baron flew out to center. That took care of the game through seven; both teams stranded a pair in the eighth, with Anaya allowing a hit and a walk to the Indians before being bailed out by a Reichardt catch. David Fernandez retired Indy in order in the ninth, though. 7-2 Furballs! Marsingill 3-5, HR, 3 RBI; Zitzner 2-4, HR, RBI; Wallace (PH) 1-1; del Rio 7.0 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, W (7-5) and 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI;

This was the first game all year in which Alberto Ramos did not appear. He entered with a 12-game hitting streak and I wasn’t going to waste that away in a pointless pinch-hitting appearance in the eighth inning.

Game 2
IND: LF Acor – 2B Schneller – CF Baron – C J. Herrera – RF Plunkett – 1B J. Elliott – 3B Czachor – SS Ryu – P Saccoccio
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF M. Fernandez – CF Reichardt – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – P Palomares

Right in the first inning, Adrian Reichardt hurt his foot and had to be replaced with Ryan Allen (who would play right, with Fernandez moving to center). The injury occurred on a leaping grab in deep center, spoiling a Plunkett drive before it could spell trouble for Palomares with two aboard. Instead, the Coons scored in the bottom of the inning. Marsingill landed a hit and just kept hitting and hitting, and then Zitzner flicked another pitch over the wall in left with a 2-out, 2-run dinger, his 12th this year. Manny Fernandez tripled after that, but Allan was a soft out in the #6 hole. The Indians scored their own 2-out run in stupid fashion in the top 2nd. Hiroaki Ryu was nailed with an 0-2 pitch with nobody on base, then scored on 2-out singles by Saccoccio and Acor, much to my annoyance. Schneller struck out, stranding two. Baron opened the third inning with a double and scored on productive outs, erasing the Zitzner bomb entirely…

Ramos would extend his streak to 13 games with a single leading off the third inning, but was stranded. With that, offense died for a long, long time; the middle innings were indeed quite dull. Palomares held on into the seventh where he left with one out and one aboard, but Nick Bates got a double play grounder on one pitch before being pinch-hit for by Tom Hawkins to begin the bottom 7th; Hawkins dropped a leadoff single, which was immediately the best Coons chance since the third to break the 2-2 tie. Berto hit into a fielder’s choice, was caught stealing, nobody scored, and everything was horrible. Garavito and Wise would throw scoreless innings to keep the game at least tied through regulation, and the Coons would send the 6-7-8 part of the order against reliever J.D. Hamm, a right-hander, in the bottom 9th. Now, that was Allan leading off, but we were hesitant to pinch-hit since it looked like extras anyway, the pitcher was due up fourth, and we had already had the early injury replacement to get Allan into the crucial spot in the first place. At least Hamm was a righty, so let him rip! He got on board with a leadoff walk, which was unfortunately as close as the Coons came to walking off. Stalker, Thompson, and Garcia all made rather useless outs, and we went to extras. We tried to steal mostly the bottom of the order in the 10th with Kyle Green, which didn’t work and led to Ed Blair facing Baron and his 12 homers with Acor on second, Schneller on first, and two outs. Baron flew out on a 2-0 pitch, dodging that bullet. Berto instead snapped a leadoff single against Lance Legleiter in the bottom 10th and was bunted to second by Marsingill. The Indians countered with a free pass to Wallace; Zitzner flew out to Plunkett, and Fernandez whiffed, further extending the game to the point where Juan Herrera homered off Blair in the 11th before Blair got clobbered for another three singles and a second run. Tim Thweatt retired the Coons in order in the bottom of the inning… 4-2 Indians. Ramos 2-5; Zitzner 2-5, HR, 2 RBI; Hawkins (PH) 1-1;

That game stunk; we also had Reichardt diagnosed as a sissy with a “day-to-day” injury, a bruised ankle (but it read “sissy” in the report). He was expected to labor on this for a week.

We also made two roster moves, sending away Ryan Allan (.167) and Kyle Green (3.21 ERA, 0.33 K/BB) for the recovered Billy Jennings and AAA swingman and constant disappointment Travis Coffee, who had a 3.23 ERA in St. Pete.

Game 3
IND: LF Acor – 2B Schneller – CF Baron – C J. Herrera – RF Plunkett – 1B J. Elliott – 3B Czachor – SS Ryu – P Bressner
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – RF Jennings – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – P Sabre

Sabre was perfect the first time through, whiffing a pair on a crisp 30 pitches, which excited me greatly; so greatly in fact that I sent Slappy to grab a pair of hot dogs for us – and I would pay! It took the promise of another tenner to get him moving. Meanwhile the Critters took another 2-0 lead in the first, putting on Ramos and Marsingill and moving them around on aggro baserunning and, well-placed groundouts, and a Manny Fernandez single. Fernandez stole second with two outs, but Jennings shot to first was spoiled by Elliott rather than escaping through the wickets. Following ten straight retirements by Sabre, Dan Schneller would knock a double to left – let’s just politely call it a Wallace double – but was stranded on groundouts to Ramos.

Bottom 4th, a chance transpired in unforeseen ways when Elliott Thompson hit a 1-out single for the second time in the game. Sabre had bunted nicely the first time around, but not so much the second time; Herrera pounced and fired to second base – but well high! No fielder could come up with it, and the runners reached scoring position. The Indians wanted no part of Ramos, preferring to bring the .333 hitter (but not qualifying) Marsingill up with the bags stacked and one down. He chucked the first pitch into a 6-4-3 double play… Instead, the top 5th brought horror. Sabre had spent all the time on the bases and was now thrown out of sync with himself. Leadoff walk to Plunkett, Elliott single, walk to Ryan Czachor – three on, nobody out. Doom. I soaked the second half of my hot dog in booze. Hiroaki Ryu’s grounder to left was of course not turned into outs and instead bumbled by Wallace for a 2-run single, blowing the lead instantly. The runners advanced; while Bressner whiffed, Acor hit a sac fly to put Indianapolis ahead. Sabre hopelessly walked Schneller and then somehow found mercy when Baron grounded out to Ramos. Once more, sadness engulfed me for the Coons not pouncing on their ****ing chances when so blatantly invited, and then instead falling apart with great calamity.

While Jennings singled home Fernandez in the bottom 5th to tie the game again, the writing was all over the ****ing outfield wall. Ryan Czachor hit a leadoff single in the seventh. Ryu grounded to short, and Ramos ****ed up the transfer, losing the ball for an error. The runners were bunted over by Bressner and Sabre was knocked out with Acor’s RBI single that put the Arrowheads ahead again. Anaya replaced him, and his very first pitch of the game was very wild and well past Thompson, allowing Ryu to score from third base, 5-3. That one buried the Raccoons for good. Jennings would reach base to begin the bottom 8th, but that was their only runner; he was also forced out by Stalker, who in turn was stranded on first base. 5-3 Indians. Marsingill 2-5; M. Fernandez 3-4, 2B; Thompson 2-4;

Oh good, another gut-wrenching ****fest of a game. The moment they came real close to the Titans, they started to blow out of all holes… and now it will be Rico Gutierrez against an array of right-handed deathbringers. Sunday was a loss before the sun even rose…

Ramos went 0-for-2 with that stupid error, having his hitting streak end.

Game 4
IND: 2B Schneller – 3B Czachor – RF Plunkett – CF Baron – LF Acor – 1B J. Elliott – C Paiz – SS Ryu – P Bedoya
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – RF Jennings – C Garcia – 3B Perkins – P Gutierrez

Gutierrez didn’t disappoint and couldn’t have more useless if he had displayed expressionist dance on the mound. In the top of the second he walked Elliott, nicked Edgar Paiz, and walked Ryu. Sal Bedoya hit an RBI single with one out and in a 1-2 count, Schneller hit a sac fly, and somehow Czachor hacked himself out, stranding two in a 2-0 game. More runners would follow; Gutierrez was just no bueno. He was also approaching 100 pitches by the FOURTH inning, running full count after full count. He allowed a single, two walks, and a run in the fourth, 3-0, and the Coons had nothing going; the first time through Manny Fernandez reached and stole a base, but that was about it.

The fourth was the final inning for Gutierrez, which had to do with a flicker of offense in the bottom 4th. Zitzner reached base with a single, but was forced out by Fernandez. However, Jennings singled, and Fernando Garcia hit a 2-out RBI double. The Indians walked Perkins – the go-ahead run – intentionally right away, which filled the bags with two outs. Adrian Reichardt grabbed a stick to pinch-hit, but flew out to Dustin Acor to strand everybody… The Coons smelled defeat, so proceeded to Travis Coffee to pitch as long as anybody could stomach it. He retired five in a row, which was a surprise, before allowing a 2-out single to Bedoya in the sixth, which wasn’t. In between the Coons had stranded the tying runs (Ramos, Wallace) with a pair of strikeouts by Zitzner and Fernandez. The tying run was up right away again in the bottom 6th after a leadoff walk to Billy Jennings. Fernando Garcia took 100mph for ball one, then got a hanging curve right in the bullseye of his red zone. That ball was never seen again, hit some 420 feet outta center, and tied the game.

With that, Hawkins batted for Coffee with one out and walked. Berto singled, sending the go-ahead run all the way to third base. Plunkett barely failed to reach a 3-2 clonker off Marsingill’s bat in shallow right-center that fell for an RBI single, and suddenly Coffee was in line for the W. Berto also scurried to third base on the play, from where he scored on Jimmy Wallace’s groundout, 5-3. Zitzner flew out to Plunkett, ending the inning. Bates came out for the seventh, walked Plunkett in front of all-or-nothing ripper John Baron, and somehow escaped the inning without strikeouts or runs surrendered. Both Baron and Acor hit deep fly outs though… The Critters tacked on a run in the bottom 7th when Perkins came up with a sac fly after back-to-back Jennings and Garcia singles. And while Garavito retired the bottom of the order in quick fashion in the eighth, Chris Wise stumbled through the bullpen gate, ate some dirt on the warning track, came with his shoelaces knotted to his right ear, and it only got worse from there. Schneller led off with a single up the middle. PH Alfred Quintana ripped an RBI double at 3-1, the same count that Plunkett ran after this, already as the tying run. He grounded out to Perkins though, and Quintana remained at second base. Baron got eviscerated on three strikes, but that still brought up Acor, who fell to 1-2 before spiking a bouncer to left – but Perkins was on that, lunged, knocked down, scrambled, twirled, and fired to first just in time …! 6-4 Coons! Ramos 2-4, BB; Wallace 2-5, RBI; Jennings 2-2, 2 BB; Garcia 3-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI; Coffee 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, W (1-0);

In other news

June 28 – Blue Sox sophomore right-hander Donovan Mason (1-0, 0.92 ERA) spins a no-hitter and faces the minimum in an 8-0 win over the Pacifics! Mason strikes out three and walks two in a result that had not happened in a long time; the Pacifics had not been no-hit since 1989 (PIT Wilson Cordova), while the Blue Sox had not celebrated a no-hitter since 1987 (Ray Shaw).
June 28 – Falcons and Indians tie at three after four innings, then take another 12 innings to resolve that tie with a walkoff double by CHA 1B Craig Mack (.353, 0 HR, 2 RBI) in the bottom of the 16th, giving them a 4-3 victory.
June 29 – The Wolves acquire SP Jong-hoo Cho (5-9, 5.95 ERA) from the Stars along with a pile of money in exchange for two prospects.
July 1 – The Bayhawks pick up reliever David Gerow (2-0, 2.10 ERA, 6 SV) from the Crusaders, along with a prospect (#63 SP Sal Chavez) in exchange for LF Jose Balado (.253, 6 HR, 38 RBI).
July 2 – ATL SP Mario Rosas (10-4, 1.98 ERA) 3-hits the Condors in a 1-0 Knights win.
July 2 – The Capitals acquire SP Josh D’Agostino (7-5, 3.92 ERA) from the Stars for 1B/C Danny Monge (.308, 5 HR, 23 RBI).
July 3 – Loggers giving up? They send SP Mike Hodge (5-3, 2.58 ERA) to the Gold Sox, along with cash, for two prospects.
July 3 – At the same time, MIL SP John Nelson (7-7, 3.44 ERA) 1-hits the Canadiens, fanning five, in a 6-0 win. VAN 2B/OF Eric Morrow (.288, 3 HR, 34 RBI) has a sixth-inning single for Vancouver’s only base knock.

Complaints and stuff

Ignacio del Rio was the CL Pitcher of the Month for June! He went 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA in six starts, striking out 23 batters in 38.1 innings. That one came as a bit of a surprise; seems like he’s been very good in silent fashion.

We went 18-8 in June, which was not exactly expected. The Titans merely went 14-14, have not won a game since, and are actually on a 5-game losing streak, which included getting swept in a 4-game set in New York on this weekend. False hopes are the worst hopes…

The All Star Game is almost upon us. We will do four-and-four with the Loggers this year, starting at their place on Monday. The final opponent before the break? The Titans in Boston. So far we’re an uninspired 4-9 combined against those two teams.

I wonder how Rico Gutierrez keeps pitching stinkers like on Sunday without winding up with the loss. Yet Sabre can do whatever the **** he wants and never gets a W, or always gets the L, depending on which sort of ****-outta-luck turns up on any given day.

The International Amateur Free Agent Signing Period … or short IFA period started; we are in the penalty box this year and can only sign one player to a bonus exceeding $81k this time around, which really rules out going bonkers for a catcher that can’t catch and a centerfielder with no range, both with extreme power potential. We might still dabble with one of them, but that would probably incur an even bigger penalty next year. There’s however probably something to be found in the budget aisle.

Fun Fact: Nick Brown went 10-13 with a 3.72 ERA and 223 K in 2003, his second full season in the majors.

He would not post a winning record of his own until the following year, and of course wouldn’t see the *team* post a winning record until much later in his career, which he ended with a 225-135 record, 2.89 ERA, and 3,166 strikeouts.

Well, we still got him into the Hall of Fame!
Attached Images
Image Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
ayaghmour2 (11-09-2019), DD Martin (11-08-2019)
Old 11-09-2019, 12:04 AM   #3018
DD Martin
Minors (Double A)
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 166
Thanks: 179
Thanked 80x in 69 posts
Wow some really close and interesting races going on in all 4 divisions this season. Nice to see the pitching return to the Rose City this season
DD Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Thank you for this post:
Westheim (11-09-2019)
Old 11-09-2019, 07:28 PM   #3019
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
Raccoons (46-36) @ Loggers (38-44) – July 4-7, 2033

While the Raccoons were reasonably warm going into this series, the Loggers were anything but. They had sunk to last place in the North, but then again last place was only 8 1/2 games out of first at this point. They were however not scoring, ranking in the bottom three in the league in that category with under 3.9 runs per game. They were however reasonably decent in preventing runs, at least as far as their starters were concerned. They had a top 3 rotation, mostly undone by the second-worst pen one could find. The season series was tied at two after it had ended up tied at nine last year. This was the first of two four-game sets we’d play with them in July, the traditional four-and-four around the All Star break.

Projected matchups:
Bernie Chavez (8-3, 3.28 ERA) vs. Joe West (4-5, 4.97 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (7-5, 3.31 ERA) vs. Cody Chamberlin (2-4, 5.13 ERA)
Andy Palomares (6-7, 4.70 ERA) vs. Josh Long (6-8, 2.49 ERA)
Raffaello Sabre (7-6, 3.41 ERA) vs. Francisco Colmenarez (6-9, 3.44 ERA)

Southpaw on Thursday; the Loggers had a significant number of assets on the DL with starter Alfredo Casique, outfielders Josh Stephenson and Gabe Creech, and infielder Matt Lockert.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – CF M. Fernandez – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Chavez
MIL: RF Valenzuela – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – 1B Sears – LF S. Wilson – 3B Meehan – CF Will Ojeda – SS R. Rios – P J. West

The Coons got off to a quick start, scoring two runs before Steve Wilson threw out Jennings at home on Thompson’s single to end an inning that saw five straight 2-out runners for Portland. Jennings had an RBI single, while the second runner, Travis Zitzner, scored on a wild pitch. Perkins and Ramos singles as well as a Tim Stalker sac fly added a third run in the second inning. The entire lead went bust in an on-again, off-again drizzle when Chavez nailed Andy Sears, allowed singles to Wilson and Jamie Meehan, and finally a slam to .189 batter Will Ojeda in the bottom of the same inning without retiring anybody, now trailing 4-3 instead. Robbie Rios added a double, but would be stranded before I could start to cry in public.

After the Stalker sac fly, Joe West retired 16 straight Coons, which was the sort of thing that could ruin seasons. Bernie was decent but not great, and could not get strike three past people especially. He struck out two through six innings, and arrived in the seventh – despite the early clubbing – having thrown just *51* pitches. That was another sign that he was not fooling anybody. After a brief rain delay in the inning, the Loggers tacked on an insurance run with a ****ing Ojeda double and Rios’ RBI single. Rios was caught stealing, West whiffed, and Berto led off the eighth with a jack to right, but that would not tie the game now… Stalker dropped in a single, but Wallace whiffed and Zitzner hit into a force at second. I sighed and looked out for a liquor stand while Billy Jennings sent a double down the leftfield line, but Zitzner had no chance to score on that sort of double; the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with two outs, Manny Fernandez ran a 3-1 count before hitting a ball to right-center. Danny Valenzuela couldn’t reach it, and the ball was only cut off in the gap by Will Ojeda; by then, both runners had scored and the Coons had grabbed the lead again, 6-5! Thompson struck out, putting the lead in the pen’s paws. David Fernandez and Ed Blair retired the top of the Loggers order in the eighth, and after that it was Wise, who had PH D.J. Mendez at 1-2 to begin the bottom 9th, then nailed him with the slide piece. Oh bother…! Wilson grounded to Zitzner, advancing the runner, and Meehan grounded to Stalker, also advancing the runner. Mike Wheeler poked a 2-2 pitch at Stalker, who had to hustle to beat the runner with his throw, but spiked it in the dirt. Zitzner shrieked, swiped – and somehow found the evil ball in his glove, ending the game…! 6-5 Coons. Ramos 2-5, HR, RBI; Jennings 2-4, 2B, RBI;

Geez…!

Chamberlin would not take the ball on Tuesday; Josh Long would start on regular rest, but I didn’t yet see how we wouldn’t get Chamberlin later in the series anyway.

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – CF M. Fernandez – 2B Stalker – C Garcia – P del Rio
MIL: RF Valenzuela – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – 1B Sears – LF S. Wilson – 3B Meehan – CF Will Ojeda – SS R. Rios – P Long

Jim Young’s shot to right-center that kept stretching and stretching until it was gone put the Loggers up 1-0 in the first, but the lead was not for long or Long, who walked Jennings to begin the second, then allowed a single to Fernandez and a double to Stalker to tie it back up. Unfortunately, both parts of the battery struck out, and after Ramos was half-heartedly walked onto the open base, Marsingill grounded out to short, stranding three. The rest of the early innings was uneventful, with del Rio fanning four after the Young dinger.

Top 4th, Stalker hit another double to center, then made to third base on Garcia’s roller near the third base line that would not be played by Meehan, nor turn left into foul ground. Del Rio had them at the corners, but popped out. Ramos hit a fly just deep enough in left to put Stalker’s dash to home plate outside of Steve Wilson’s effective range, and the Critters took the 2-1 lead in the inning which ended with a Marsingill bouncer to first. He would also end the sixth with two on base, but the Coons had already scored another gift run at that point. They had Stalker on first and two outs with del Rio up; Long fanned him, but Young lost the ball and chased it to the backstop while del Rio made for first base. All Coons were safe, and that allowed Ramos to bat and slip an RBI single through the left side, bringing in Stalker again to make it a 3-1 game. All of this went bust when del Rio turned into horse **** in the bottom of the inning. After not putting any runners on base on balls in the first five, he walked Young and Wayne Morris back-to-back with one out, then gave up a first-pitch double to Andy Sears that plated both of them. Wilson singled and Meehan popped out, but at this point it was obvious that we wanted a reliever. Nick Bates came on, allowed an RBI single to ****ing Will Ojeda, nailed Rios, and walked PH Mike Wheeler to force in another run. After his unceremonious yanking, Garavito got Valenzuela to ground out to Stalker, but a 2-run edge had turned into a 2-run deficit. But hey, at least we’re in their sodden pen, right?

Said pen gave up nothing in the seventh, while Garavito gave up an extra run by shoving the bags full of Loggers on a hit batter and two singles. D.J. Mendez hit a sac fly, and Meehan hit into a double play, but this was just a horrible experience. Alex Banderas and William Stockwell allowed nothing to the Coons, who then faced lefty Chris Myers in the ninth. Myers retired Marsingill and Hawkins, batting for an 0-for-4 Jimmy Wallace, before giving up singles to rightfield to Zitzner and Jennings. That brought up the tying run once more in Manny Fernandez. And Fernandez grounded out to Rios… 6-3 Loggers. Zitzner 2-5; Stalker 3-4, 2 2B, RBI; Reichardt (PH) 1-1;

The Titans matched our results the last two days, so it’s still half a game, and we could have been in first place tonight if the pitching hadn’t come apart.

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Reichardt – 1B Zitzner – CF M. Fernandez – 2B Stalker – C Garcia – RF Pinkerton – P Palomares
MIL: CF Will Ojeda – C J. Young – SS W. Morris – LF S. Wilson – 1B O. Huerta – RF Wheeler – 3B R. Rios – 2B Sessoms – P Colmenarez

Another day, another Loggers lead in the first, again 1-0. It could have been more – Young and Morris singled against a clumsy Palomares, while Steve Wilson ripped a ball over the fence… FOUL. He then resorted to an RBI single to right, Pinkerton threw away the ball for an error, but the Loggers could not tack on, with Omar Huerta whiffing and Wheeler flying out to Fernandez. They made it 2-0 on back-to-back doubles by Aaron Sessoms in his season debut and … well, the pitcher, both hitting a ball past Pinkerton, who had killed the top 2nd with a double play grounder. He also ended the fourth with a grounder to Rios, stranding Stalker and Garcia on the corners; Tim Stalker had put the Coons on the board with an RBI triple, cashing Manny Fernandez, but they were still a run short while Palomares was getting absolutely waffled with sharp liners everywhere. The Loggers pulled the run back in the bottom 4th; Sessoms hit another double, and while Colmenarez didn’t do the honors, goddamn ****ing Will Ojeda (.199!) did with an RBI single, 3-1. We needed a big bop to outscore them, and fast. Ramos hit a 1-out double in the fifth, but Marsingill grounded out. Reichardt was nicked, which at least put the tying run aboard for the team leader in dingers, however unimpressive 12 homers in July were. Zitzner shrugged, belched a 372-footer over the leftfield fence on an 0-2 breaking ball, and the Coons led 4-3.

Unfortunately, Palomares remained absolutely terrible. He served up another screaming double to Wilson right at the start of the bottom 5th, and while the next two Loggers popped out, moved the runner to third with a wild pitch, then cocked up a single to tie the game to Mike Wheeler, the tenth base knock beaten out of his rugged pelt in this game. With Pinkerton on first in the top 6th, Perkins hit for Palomares, right into a double play. It would be on Zitzner to put the team ahead again, hitting a 2-out RBI double off Banderas in the seventh, scoring Reichardt. The run was unearned, courtesy of a Rios error that had gotten Colmenarez removed. After Garavito handled the bottom 7th without major accidents this time, the Coons got a chance from the bottom of the order in the following frame. After Garcia grounded out, Banderas walked Pinkerton, then allowed a bloop single to Jimmy Wallace in the #9 hole. Berto smacked a 3-2 pitch right at the shortstop, and not even he could leg out the return throw on that 6-4-3 double play. In turn, Ed Blair blew the lead on a Rios triple and Sessoms single in the bottom 8th, and I rolled into a ball on the concourse. The Loggers stranded the go-ahead run on first in that inning, then the winning run on third in the next, which had Wayne Morris double off David Fernandez before bring left on by D.J. Mendez and Omar Huerta. Extra innings were thus upon us.

There the highlights included both Jennings and Ramos hitting a single and being caught stealing by Rodrigo Canas in the 11th, in the bottom of which Ojeda (…!!) and Mendez singled off Bates, but he struck out Huerta to strand them on the corners and extend the game. Top 12th, righty Max Nelson allowed a leadoff single to Reichardt, then walked Zitzner. Manny Fernandez finally faced a right-hander and rumpled right into a double play, 6-4-3. Reichardt was on third base for Stalker, who singled… but didn’t score the run. Reichardt had already scored at that point when Nelson was called out for a balk. Stalker remained on first before Chris Wise took over. He fanned Wheeler, got Rios to pop out, then faced a 4-for-5 nightmare in Sessoms… but Sessoms whiffed on the 3-2 pitch, ending this wringer of a game. 6-5 Furballs…! Ramos 2-6, 2B; Reichardt 3-4, RBI; Zitzner 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI; Stalker 2-5, 3B, RBI; Wallace (PH) 1-1; Jennings (PH) 1-1; D. Fernandez 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K;

That day also saw the damn Elks take apart the Titans’ staff for a 9-4 win, meaning there was a change of command in the North – the 48-37 Raccoons were now in first place!

Wheeee…!!

Game 4
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – RF Jennings – CF Reichardt – 2B Stalker – C Thompson – P Sabre
MIL: CF Will Ojeda – C J. Young – RF Valenzuela – 1B O. Huerta – 3B Meehan – SS R. Rios – LF D.J. Mendez – 2B Sessoms – P Chamberlin

When Elliott Thompson dug a hole in the batter’s box in the second inning he did so with one out, three Critters aboard, and still no hits on the board. Jennings had been nicked by Chamberlin, while Reichardt and Stalker had both reached on errors by Chamberlin and Sessoms, respectively. Thompson made the whole point moot, grounding to Sessoms for a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. It would be Sabre to get the first Critters hit, a leadoff single to right in the third inning. Ramos hit another one of those, Valenzuela overran it, and the Coons had a pair in scoring position with nobody out, while the Loggers had three errors and a steaming manager. Both runners scored on a Marsingill sac fly and a Zitzner single, respectively. Jennings also singled, but Reichardt grounded out to Rios, stranding two in a 2-0 game. Milwaukee pulled one run right back with a leadoff double by D.J. Mendez and two productive outs in the bottom 3rd.

The Coons stranded pairs in the fourth and fifth innings, then had another pair on base in the sixth; it was still 2-1 with Thompson (nailed) and Ramos (single) on the corners with one out. Berto went, Young threw the ball away, and the Loggers’ fourth error gave the Coons their third run of the game. They got three more in the inning after Marsingill K’ed with straight 2-out singles by the 3-4-5-6 batters, of which the 3 and the 5 and the 6 each drove in a run, before the inning ended when Tommy Iezzi, freshly relieving the fallen Chamberlin, rung up Stalker; the score was now 6-1, and we hoped for Sabre to provide as much length as possible to allow the pen to recover some before we’d hit Boston. The Loggers had a single in the sixth, another one in the seventh, and the pen didn’t get stretching until the eighth. Ojeda (…) singled, Young walked, and there was only one out. Valenzuela grounded to Stalker, who got an out at second, but Valenzuela was way too fast to be doubled up, and so there were runners on the corners for Omar Huerta, a right-handed .246 batter who buried a 2-2 pitch in the gap for a 2-out double. The Coons went to Anaya in the 6-3 game. Jamie Meehan ran a full count before popping out to Marsingill, defusing the immediate danger. And this would be Anaya’s game to finish – Wise had been out three of the last four days and would be kept out of the proceedings. No intervention was necessary – Anaya retired Rios, Mendez, and Morris in order in the ninth. 6-3 Furballs. Ramos 3-5; Zitzner 2-4, BB, RBI; Jennings 3-4, RBI; Sabre 7.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, W (8-6) and 1-2; Anaya 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, SV (3);

Raccoons (49-37) @ Titans (48-37) – July 8-10, 2033

There were no “ifs” or “ors” – winner of this series would be the division leader going into the break. Too bad we had won but two of the nine contests with Boston this year, scoring a grand total of 22 runs. While they were third in runs scored and runs allowed and near the top in most categories, but didn’t have much power or speed going for them (Edgar Gonzalez led them with 8 HR, and among not-injured players (more below) Mark Walker had the most steals, also with eight). But they had a full set of pitchers at least as good as the Coons’ top three in the rotation, even though their pen was brittle and ranked only sixth by ERA.

Projected matchups:
Rico Gutierrez (3-6, 4.32 ERA) vs. Mario Gonzalez (6-6, 3.66 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (9-3, 3.47 ERA) vs. Dustin Wingo (9-4, 3.15 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (7-6, 3.54 ERA) vs. Adam Potter (9-6, 3.53 ERA)

Two southpaws, then the right-hander Potter; while their pitchers were healthy, the Titans had a full set of outfielders down with aches and pains, including both Vegas (Ivan, Willie) and also Moises Avila. Avila and Willie Vega had been hurt in the Elks series; the former was on the DL with a high ankle sprain, the latter had a knee bruise and was day-to-day.

Game 1
POR: SS Ramos – 3B Marsingill – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – RF M. Fernandez – 2B Stalker – C Garcia – P Gutierrez
BOS: CF M. Walker – 2B R. West – LF W. Vega – 1B Uliasz – SS Spataro – 3B E. Gonzalez – C R. Avila – RF Bowman – P M. Gonzalez

Justin Uliasz’ dinger put the Titans up 1-0 in the second, and they were close to getting more with a Keith Spataro single and a walk drawn by Edgar Gonzalez. Fernandez defused two hard flies to right and Stalker got paws on Gonzalez’ hard grounder to somehow end the inning without Gutierrez’ striped tail being hung from the roof of the Titans’ dugout. Bottom 4th, the Titans loaded the bags without a base hit; Uliasz reached when Gutierrez fumbled Zitzner’s feed for an error, and Spataro (forced out on a Gonzalez grounder) and Roberto Avila walked. Sean Bowman lifted a fly to left with three aboard and one out. It was two outs when Wallace made the catch, and three outs when he threw out Uliasz at home. Unfortunately, the Coons had been through their own episode of bad baserunning already. Stalker had been caught stealing in the third, and Zitzner was thrown out at third base trying to stretch a double in the fourth…

Bottom 5th, a Stalker fumble and ball four to Rhett West put two Titans on again. Willie Vega ripped through ball four in a full count for the second out, and Uliasz hit a real drive to right, into the wind, and Manny Fernandez caught the ball right at the fence. It was still a 1-0 game. And it couldn’t have been further away from a pretty one. And YET… the Coons were out-hitting the Titans 5-2, they just couldn’t ****ing score. In the sixth and seventh, they didn’t reach at all, while the Titans didn’t get another base hit until Mark Walker went yard with two outs in the bottom 7th. The solo job put them up 2-0 and ended Gutierrez’ outing. Not terrible on the scoreboard (6.2 IP, 2 ER), but again horrendous to watch. Manny Fernandez zinged a leadoff double in the eighth and was left on second base. Jermaine Campbell and his 1.85 ERA came out for the ninth inning. Ramos struck out. Thompson hit for Marsingill and grounded out in a 3-1 count BEFORE Campbell threw eight straight balls to Wallace and Zitzner, bringing up the go-ahead run in … Ed Blair. A double switch had removed Reichardt earlier, and Tom Hawkins was the pinch-hitter. He grounded out to Zheng-ze Ts’ai at second base. 2-0 Titans. Ramos 2-4;

They had only three hits, but two of them went long, and that was that.

****ty loss.

I am sad.

Only a win can cheer the bossman up now, boys!

Game 2
POR: SS Ramos – 2B Stalker – RF Jennings – 1B Zitzner – LF Wallace – CF Reichardt – 3B Hawkins – C Garcia – P B. Chavez
BOS: 2B R. West – SS Spataro – LF W. Vega – 1B Uliasz – C Lessman – 3B E. Gonzalez – RF Jam. Richardson – CF Curro – P Wingo

Bernie rung up David Lessman to strand two in the bottom 1st, his 100th strikeout of the season. The Titans stranded another pair – both consisting of a leadoff single and a walk – in the bottom 2nd before the Coons actually made the first move. Tom Hawkins hit a leadoff single in the top 3rd, then was doubled in by Bernie himself. Ramos grounded out, but Stalker reached base on a single, putting them on the corner for Billy Jennings, who slugged a ball to deep right. High! GONE!! 3-run homer Jennings, and it was 4-0! And even better, Bernie got a shutdown inning right afterwards, something we hadn’t managed often recently. Spataro hit a single, but was stranded, and no Titan reached in the fourth. But Wingo was a long fly out tobegin the bottom 5th, which was not something we liked to see, and then Bernie leaked another pair of runners, West single, Vega walk, on the way to facing Uliasz with two outs – but he rung him up, maintaining slam distance through five innings.

The Coons had been silent in the fourth and fifth, but Hawkins hit a double off the fence with two outs in the sixth. Garcia was walked intentionally to bring up Chavez, who grounded out to Rhett West to end the inning. Bottom 6th, Gonzalez walked, Jamie Richardson singled, again two on with one out… Bernie, will you PLEASE…! Corey Curro was rung up in a full count, Wingo struck out, too, and somehow nothing stuck to Bernie Chavez in this game… but it certainly wasn’t easy on the old nerves again…!

Then it got worse. Top 7th, Berto opened with a single to center in a week in which he mostly struggled… Stalker doubled to left, barely, and did a belly flop into second base on which he hurt himself and had to leave the game. The Critters replaced him with Marsingill. Nobody scored – Jennings fouled out, Zitzner was put on intentionally, and Wallace reliably hit into a two-for-one with the bases loaded. Still 4-0. Chavez returned for the bottom 7th, rung up West, but then hit Spataro with a 2-2 pitch and was replaced with 109 pitches to his credit. Garavito replaced him, Vega hit a DEEP fly out to Reichardt, the former Titan, and while Garavito threw a wild pitch to advance Spataro, Uliasz would bounce out to Hawkins at third base. Top 8th, Wingo let Garcia on base with a 2-out single, then was replaced by Eric Williams, the former starter that had lost his stuff and command at the same time. Justin Perkins pinch-hit for Garavito, got a fat pitch and didn’t miss it – home run to left and we were up 6-0! There was temptation to send Travis Coffee into a 6-run game in the eighth, but that seemed foolish… instead we sent Bates, who gave up two hits but got through the inning unharmed (as usual), and reserved Coffee for the ninth. He retired West, Spataro, and Vega in order! 6-0 Furballs!! Stalker 3-4, 2 2B; Hawkins 2-4, 2B; Garcia 1-2, 2 BB; Perkins (PH) 1-1, HR, 2 RBI; Chavez 6.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 8 K, W (10-3) and 1-3, 2B, RBI;

…and just when we were back in first place, here came Dr. Chung with the damper. The wincing weakling (his words, not mine) Tim Stalker had a severe abdominal strain, could only eat mushed fruits for three weeks, and that would weaken him enough to render him out for six weeks.

Oh! Woe is us!

After hours of desperate clamoring and begging the baseball gods for mercy, I placed Stalker on the DL after all. With one day to go until the All Star break, we didn’t make much of a fuss and promoted the only AAA infielder currently on the 40-man roster, Rich Vickers. The 24-year-old second baseman was batting .216 with four homers in St. Pete. He would get the start on Sunday, too, because if you bring him up, you can also use him. We’d think of something smarter over the break.

Game 3
POR: SS Ramos – RF M. Fernandez – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Jennings – 3B Perkins – C Thompson – 2B Vickers – P del Rio
BOS: RF M. Walker – SS Spataro – LF W. Vega – 1B Uliasz – C Lessman – 3B E. Gonzalez – 2B R. West – CF Curro – P Potter

Adam Potter, to start the game, basically didn’t retire anybody. The Coons started the game with straight singles by the top 3 in the lineup, Wallace plating Berto Ramos for the first marker. Potter plated Fernandez with a wild pitch, then walked the bags full. Perkins struck out in a full count, Thompson well before that, which angered me because now we brought up the new kit and I would have loved more than two runs from having the first five batters on ba- HOLY ****, RICH VICKERS!! First pitch, liner to center, over Corey Curro, in for a double, and the bases were cleared!! THREE-RUN DOUBLE ON HIS FIRST PITCH IN THE MAJORS!! I’M GOING BONKERS!!!

Del Rio struck out, inheriting thus a 5-0 lead to start his main job. He walked Mark, well, Walker to begin the first inning, but retired the next three. Potter allowed two hits to Ramos and Fernandez to begin the top 2nd, but the Critters couldn’t get them across. However, 5-run lead, right? But control problems for del Rio became pretty obvious by the third inning; he basically ran a 3-ball count to every other batter and the catcher, pitching coach, and the meat-rich goulash cooking in the dugout all couldn’t bend him straight. He needed 49 pitches through three innings despite only one hit allowed, and then the Titans loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom 4th. Uliasz singled, Lessman was nicked, and Gonzalez also singled. Rhett West spanked a bouncer at Perkins, who did the smart thing; instead of killing Uliasz at home, Perkins went around the horn for a 5-4-3 double play. Lessman was on third with two outs, and while Adam Potter was still in the game, there was no reason to believe the Titans wouldn’t hit for him if we walked Curro. Del Rio recollected himself to wind up the centerfielder on three strikes, and maybe now we were rolling…!

Not bloody quite. Sean Bowman singled in place of Potter to begin the bottom 5th. Del Rio went through two long counts against Walker and Spataro, who both hit into fielder’s choices, then gave up a long, long drive to Willie Vega. It went to center, though, and Billy Jennings made it back to catch the damn ball, ending another tedious inning. The Coons failed to tack on in the sixth against Rich Willett, who allowed Fernandez and Wallace into scoring position with two outs, but rung up Zitzner to dispel the threat. Bottom 6th, Uliasz hit a leadoff single, Gonzalez hit a 1-out single, and there was the umpteenth mound conference, but that was quickly broken up by a home plate umpire angrily snarling that he wanted to go home before games would resume on Thursday. Del Rio walked West, then was yanked. The Coons went to David Fernandez, who allowed an RBI single to Curro, got a K against PH Manny Ramirez, then cocked up two more runs on a 2-run single by Mark Walker. It was now a 5-4 game and narrowly stayed that way when Spataro lined a ball right at Wallace that he caught rather than being knocked unconscious by it. We went to the seventh against right-hander Alex Contreras. Jennings dinked in a leadoff single and advanced on Perkins’ groundout. The Titans set up the double play with four wide ones to Thompson to go after the debutee. The debutee gave them the middle claw, ripped away at a first pitch again and belted it over the ****ing fence! THREE-RUN HOMER RICH VICKERS!! MADNESS!! PURE MADNESS!!

A perfect seventh by Garavito helped to keep me ecstatic. Anaya allowed a leadoff single to Gonzalez in the eighth, then got a double play grounder from West… and then allowed another single to Curro. Jamie Richardson pinch-hit in the #9 hole, but we were out of southpaws at this point. We went to Ed Blair instead. Richardson grounded out to Ramos on the 1-0, ending the inning. Instead in the ninth, lefty Eric Williams walked Perkins, then allowed back-to-back gappers to Thompson and, yes, Vickers. Both ended up with RBI triples, which also meant that Vickers would miss the cycle by the single in his debut. Hawkins batted for Blair, whiffed, but Ramos hit a 2-out RBI single to bring Vickers home. After the inning fizzled out, we were brave enough to bring on Coffee with a 7-run lead. He was bludgeoned. Walker singled. Spataro singled. Vega with an RBI single. Uliasz sac fly. Lessman RBI double. At this point Chris Wise got involved although this was not a save situation yet, and we didn’t want it to become one, really. He rung up Gonzalez for the second out, long-awaited, then also fanned Rhett West to end the series. 11-7 Furballs!! Ramos 3-5, BB, RBI; M. Fernandez 2-5, BB; Wallace 2-5, 2B, RBI; Vickers 3-5, HR, 3B, 2B, 7 RBI;

In other news

July 6 – LVA RF Ryan Mead (.571, 1 HR, 6 RBI), who has yet to be penciled into the starting lineup in his brief major league career, gives the Aces a 5-1, 11-inning victory over the Condors with a walkoff grand slam off Jim Heckman (1-3, 4.66 ERA).
July 7 – TIJ 3B Shane Sanks (.253, 20 HR, 68 RBI) drives in six runs in the Condors’ 14-3 drubbing of the Aces, including a grand slam off LVA SP Chris Guyett (6-12, 4.98 ERA).
July 7 – The Indians trade MR J.D. Hamm (1-1, 2.52 ERA, 1 SV) and cash to the Cyclones for a meager prospect.
July 8 – In the Miners’ 12-2 rout of the Capitals, Pittsburgh teammates 2B/SS Jim McKenzie (.302, 11 HR, 35 RBI) and LF/RF Yvon Bonaccorsi (.324, 5 HR, 24 RBI) both smash five base hits. McKenzie has a homer, four singles, and 3 RBI, while Bonaccorsi lands a grand slam and four singles and drives in six runs.
July 8 – PIT SP Julio Palomo (5-10, 5.67 ERA) is out for the season after breaking his elbow inline skating.
July 8 – ATL OF/1B/SS Luis Inoa (.255, 2 HR, 19 RBI) will miss a month with chronic back soreness.
July 10 – The Bayhawks destroy the Condors in a 16-0 blasting. Infielders Jose Cruz (.277, 4 HR, 51 RBI) and Dave Myers (.312, 5 HR, 44 RBI) both drive in four runs apiece.

Complaints and stuff

Port-land! Port-land! Port-land!

What is weirder though? That the Coons are in first place at the time of the All Star Game, or that the WOLVES have the best record in baseball?

We will field three All Stars this year. No young starter among them, but two relievers in Chris Wise and – ****ing hell! – Nick Bates! … Travis Zitzner is the only position player we put on the roster.

Nick ****ing Bates!

Rich Vickers, the newest Coon on the block, was a #62 pick by the Scorpions in the 2028 draft. We picked him up on waivers last February. I think he’s already been worth the trouble.

The Scorpions offered Eddie Krumm in a trade this week. They’re either stupid or stoned and I am not going to hold back my filthy words here…

We have signed our only allowed big-buck international kit, and it is 16-year-old Dominican infielder (probably a first baseman going forward) Jon Loyola. The word is good contact, very high power, no patience, and while he moves fast in a straight line, he does not move side-to-side well, so his advertised middle infield position is not in the books in he eyes of our scout guy Hernandez or Dominguez or whatever. Loyola signed for $150k. With that done, there is no risk that we blow through the soft cap this year, since we can only dig our paws in the bargain bin going forward. But nobody says you can’t get nice players for under $20k; ain’t that right, Ignacio?

Fun Fact: Nick Bates allowed two earned runs on Opening Day in a 7-1 loss to the Titans. He has not allowed an earned run since.

There were two unearned runs, one each on April 25 against Charlotte and May 3 against the Loggers. Since then he is flawless. That does not count inherited runners scoring on him, but his ERA is hardly visible to the naked eye. Not to put too much of a damper on it, but I am a negative Nancy and will say that his BABIP is .237 and this will probably not last forever.
Attached Images
Image Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
ayaghmour2 (11-09-2019), DD Martin (11-10-2019)
Old 11-10-2019, 06:39 PM   #3020
Westheim
Hall Of Famer
 
Westheim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,840
Thanks: 2,383
Thanked 4,933x in 2,807 posts
All Star Game

Nashville’s Jim “Mastodon” Allen earns MVP honors as the Federal League whoops the Continental League, 9-4, in the annual All Star Game. Allen lands two hits and drives in two runs, both coming on a home run off VAN Jeremy Truett. The game was never a contest, with the CL’s Andy Bressner, Truett, and Gilberto Rendon riddled with a total of seven runs in the first four innings.

For the Coons, Chris Wise surrendered the final two runs in the sixth inning. Nick Bates pitches two outs without allowing a run. Travis Zitzner pinch-hits for Wise in the seventh, but does not land a hit.

Raccoons (51-38) vs. Loggers (41-48) – July 14-17, 2033

The Loggers were still in last place, ten games back of … well… us! They were still not scoring runs, their pitching was still average, and we were still hoping to beat them often to gain some more ground. After taking three of four in Milwaukee the previous week, the Coons now led the season series, 5-3.

Projected matchups:
Raffaello Sabre (8-6, 3.42 ERA) vs. Francisco Colmenarez (6-9, 3.56 ERA)
Bernie Chavez (10-3, 3.29 ERA) vs. Josh Long (7-9, 2.98 ERA)
Ignacio del Rio (8-6, 3.69 ERA) vs. Joe West (5-6, 4.74 ERA)
Rico Gutierrez (3-7, 4.21 ERA) vs. John Nelson (8-7, 3.28 ERA)

You never knew how the other team would line up the rotation after the All Star break, but at least we knew a thing about handedness; Colmenarez was their only southpaw, and we’d get three right-handers after that. The Coons brought Sabre to the front, not because he was now the #1 (it was hard to pick one between the three youngsters), but because he had gotten one fewer start in the first “half”.

Since the last time we had seen the Loggers, they had put Aaron Sessoms and Andy Sears on the DL in addition to Gabe Creech and Alfredo Casique, while getting Matt Lockert back.

Game 1
MIL: CF Will Ojeda – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – RF Valenzuela – LF S. Wilson – 1B O. Huerta – 3B R. Rios – SS Lockert – P Colmenarez
POR: SS Ramos – CF Reichardt – RF Jennings – 1B Zitzner – 3B Marsingill – 2B Vickers – C Garcia – LF Pinkerton – P Sabre

The series began with Will Ojeda reaching on a Marsingill error, which was always such a great way to get a game underway. Jim Young immediately went deep, and I had despair creep up in me. There was little in the following innings to make me feel better. While Sabre allowed another two hits in the second inning, but somehow got out when Jim Young grounded out this time with runners left on the corners, he settled in a bit better afterwards. The Raccoons however had Ramos on base with a leadoff walk in the bottom 1st, but Jennings doubled him off. No other Critter reached base until Reichardt walked in the fourth, which also led nowhere pretty. The Raccoons didn’t get a base hit until the bottom 5th, then a solo shot to left by… Rich Vickers – the park immediately burst into party mode; instant folk hero here, but the Raccoons were still trailing, 2-1.

Bottom 6th, maybe an error by the Loggers’ third baseman, Robbie Rios, could invite the home team to rally. Rios fumbled Sabre’s grounder, and that put the pitcher on with the tying run and nobody out. Ramos immediately singled, and the pressure was on… at least until Reichardt hit into a double play and Jennings had a pathetic fly to left to leave Sabre at third base. The seventh was uneventful and Sabre’s last, with the relief corps of Garavito and Blair placing a pair of Loggers, Wayne Morris and Rodrigo Canas, on the corners with a pair of singles, but Omar Huerta’s fly to Jennings left them aboard. Justin Perkins hit a 2-out double in the bottom 8th, but was stranded when Ramos popped out to short. It was a terrible game to watch, made even more terrible in the ninth when Rios struck a leadoff single against Blair, advanced on a grounder and a stolen base, then scored on a squeeze play with Jamie Meehan dropping the ball into the infield version of no man’s land. Blair would get out of the inning, but the Coons now needed three runs to win when they so far had barely cobbled three hits together. Reichardt dropped a leadoff single against lefty Chris Myers. Jennings, who already had a double play to his name, shoved a ball past Wayne Morris for another single; Reichardt raced for third base, Mike Wheeler threw wildly from rightfield, Robbie Rios couldn’t come up with the ball, and the Coons got the extra base, Reichardt scoring and Jennings moving to second base! Zitzner walked in a full count, putting the winning run on, while Jimmy Wallace batted for Blair in the otherwise deserted #5 hole. The Loggers kept melting – a wild pitch at 0-1 advanced the runners into scoring position and took away the double play again. Wallace however popped out on the next pitch, which brought up folk hero Vickers with one out. 20,000 people were standing and chanting his name, which left the rookie unimpressed. He ripped away at the first pitch and buried the ball in the gap in right-center – IT’S A WALKOFF!! 4-3 Raccoons!! Vickers 2-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI; Perkins 1-1, 2B; Sabre 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K;

No, I can not explain what the deal with Rich Vickers is. Our scout is puzzled. Slappy is … okay, Slappy has passed out. Cristiano has a squeaking rear wheel on his wheelchair, but no valuable info as to what there is in Vickers’ diet that makes him get 10 RBI in two games.

Game 2
MIL: CF Will Ojeda – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – RF Valenzuela – 1B O. Huerta – 3B Meehan – LF D.J. Mendez – SS Lockert – P Long
POR: SS Ramos – RF M. Fernandez – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Jennings – 2B Vickers – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Chavez

The Loggers started the first with an Ojeda double and a walk drawn by Young, but would end it when Valenzuela lined out to Zitzner and Young was caught off the base on a 3-U double play. The Raccoons would get three hits in the first three innings, all for extra bases, and yet scored only one run on a 2-out sequence of Ramos double and Fernandez triple in the bottom 3rd. Jennings had tripled in the second, but had been stranded by Vickers (!!) and Thompson. In turn Bernie Chavez got exploded on straight 2-out hits in the fourth inning; after allowing precious little until then, he gave up singles to Valenzuela, Huerta, and Meehan to tie the game, then a 3-run homer to .175 threat D.J. Mendez to bury himself three runs deep. Even Matt Lockert hit a single before Long lined out to Vickers…

The Coons’ offense remained staggeringly absent in the middle innings. They dropped in two singles, far apart, and didn’t reach second base. If anything, Josh Long got better, allowing no base runners in the seventh or eighth inning. Chavez also lasted eight innings, albeit beaten and battered, and Nick Bates pitched a clean ninth to at least bring the meat of the order up against last night’s loser, Chris Myers. Wallace was retired on a comebacker, but Zitzner hit a homer to left, cutting the gap to 4-2. Tom Hawkins batted for Jennings for the platoon advantage and singled, and that brought people to the feet again with Rich Vickers, hitless in the game, coming up as the tying run. He didn’t tie the game, and he didn’t get on base either, but struck out. Garcia hit for Thompson, grounded to short, and that was the ballgame. 4-2 Loggers. Zitzner 2-4, HR, RBI; Hawkins (PH) 1-1;

Game 3
MIL: LF Will Ojeda – C J. Young – 2B W. Morris – RF Valenzuela – CF S. Wilson – 1B O. Huerta – 3B Meehan – SS Lockert – P J. West
POR: SS Ramos – RF M. Fernandez – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Jennings – 2B Vickers – C Thompson – 3B Hawkins – P del Rio

The forecast was icky, and the persistent pest Will Ojeda finally went over the .200 mark when he opened the game with a double. That was also icky. Three grounders stranded the runner, but that guy was seriously pulling my whiskers for great annoyance. Berto instead hit a leadoff jack in the bottom 1st, and the Coons had an early 1-0 lead. Fernandez followed up with a single, but was doubled off by Zitzner after Wallace flew out. The weather turned sour before del Rio could on his own, and we had an hourlong rain delay after only two innings, with both hurlers offering 26 balls each in the first two frames.

Both pitchers continued, with del Rio looking none the sharper. Wayne Morris opened the fourth with a double to left-center, then advanced on a passed ball with nobody out. Valenzuela struck himself out, and del Rio walked Steve Wilson. Omar Huerta hit a 1-1 pitch sharply to Ramos, and the 6-4-3 double play ended the inning. The Coons kept not getting base hits; but Elliott Thompson drew a leadoff walk in the bottom 5th, an inning that soon devolved into a mess. Hawkins hit into a fielder’s choice, while del Rio bunted. West tried to get the out at second base, and didn’t get any. Ramos then bounced to Morris, narrowly outrunning the return throw to break up the double play with Hawkins going to third. Manny Fernandez ran the count to 3-1 before West made an illegal twitch – and was called out for the balk, awarding Hawkins home plate and the Coons a second run. With Berto at second base, Fernandez popped out, ending the inning. Another chance ached into existence in the next frame: Wallace walked, Zitzner reached on a clumsy error by Meehan, and two were on with none retired. That was also when Billy Jennings ran a full count on West, who was just arriving at 80 pitches, but seemed to have lost it already – probably the effect of the long rain delay. West lost him, filling the bags, just as Cristiano showed me the cartoon in the Agitator, depicting Vickers swatting a homer with an old thing figure – me – with a yellow band with three black spots on the right arm standing on the sideline and asking a bystander “He any good!?” … speaking of Vickers, he came to the plate on an 0-for-6 run. He hit the first pitch, through the right side, for an RBI single, as well as major ecstasy in the stands and in my office where me, Cristiano, and Slappy screamed incoherently. And then the bottom of the order choked, Thompson, Hawkins and Reichardt making poor outs without getting another run across, and it remained a 3-0 game. Hennessy struck out the side in the seventh, but Anaya and Fernandez each gave up a hit in the eighth to concede a run on Young’s 2-out single. Tom Hawkins would counter with an RBI single of his own in the bottom 8th against Alex Banderas, scoring Jennings to restore the 3-run gap for Chris Wise, who fittingly put the first three Loggers on base. Valenzuela single, Wilson walk, Huerta RBI single. Meehan grounded out, but advanced the runners into scoring position. Lockert whiffed, bringing up the worst sort of pinch-hitter, right-hander John Pavel, who had a “who??” factor and was batting all of .190. Why not just walk him and let Ojeda hit a slam? The pitching coach hustled out to recalibrate Wise, who had already gotten whacked in the All Star Game, not that Pavel was on All Star… or would get a hit. Wise rung him up. 4-2 Coons! Ramos 2-4, BB, HR, RBI; Thompson 1-2, 2 BB, 2B; del Rio 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K, W (9-6);

I like that we’re winning.

I would like it a little more if not every game was a battle to the death on the edge of a volcano, with screeching dragons descending.

Game 4
MIL: RF Valenzuela – C Canas – 2B W. Morris – 1B O. Huerta – SS Lockert – CF Wheeler – 3B R. Rios – LF Will Ojeda – P J. Nelson
POR: SS Ramos – RF M. Fernandez – LF Wallace – 1B Zitzner – CF Reichardt – 2B Vickers – C Thompson – 3B Perkins – P Gutierrez

The Loggers made the third out on the base paths twice in the early innings. Robbie Rios was caught stealing to end the second, and Will Ojeda, coming from second base, was thrown out at home by Reichardt on a Rodrigo Canas single. While Rico Gutierrez kept making the utmost out of no stuff and little control and nursed a 4-hit shutout through five, the Raccoons were completely off the ropes against John Nelson, who allowed only one hit, a Thompson single, and retired everybody else through five…

Gutierrez came apart suddenly in the sixth then; Valenzuela hit a leadoff single to left, and they would keep hitting the ball there were the Coons had negative defense. Canas doubled, and while Morris lined out to Perkins, Huerta hit a 2-run double and Lockert singled and stole second base. The Loggers got a third run on a Wheeler sac fly, burying the Loggers in a pretty deep hole, especially given how they had absolutely nothing cooking against Nelson. But baseball was nothing if not weird. Perkins dropped a soft single to start the bottom 6th, and Jennings doubled to right in Gutierrez’ place. Out of the blue, the top of the order came up as the tying run… but they couldn’t get it done. Ramos flew out too softly, Fernandez scored Perkins with a groundout, and Wallace bounced out to second base, keeping Milwaukee 3-1 ahead. Zitzner opened the seventh with a deep fly out in right, but Reichardt and Vickers (roaring sounds) hit singles, bringing up the go-ahead run. Thompson struck out, Perkins grounded out, and I sent Cristiano to bring me the liquor, then reconsidered because of the squeaky wheel and got it myself.

The eighth was about trying to clean up a mess Victor Anaya had left on the rug – leadoff singles by Morris and Huerta – and while Blair got two outs, PH Steve Wilson hit an RBI single to center against Garavito, extending the score to 4-1. The tying run was at the plate AGAIN in the bottom 8th, still against Nelson, who allowed hits to Jennings and Fernandez. Hawkins hit for the pitcher in the #3 spot, and knocked out Nelson with a horrendous bloop single. The bags were full, and Nelson was replaced by Nelson – Max Nelson, another righty. There was no hitting for Zitzner – not after Jarod Howden and not while he had been here. Zitzner could do this by himself, with “this” I meant spanking a 2-1 pitch at Meehan for a 5-4-3 double play, ending that inning, too. Chris Myers was at it again in the ninth, and walked Reichardt to begin the inning. Vickers lined out. Thompson grounded out. Perkins flew out. 4-1 Loggers. Hawkins (PH) 1-1; Jennings (PH) 2-2, 2B;

In other news

July 16 – DEN 1B Komanosuke Henderson (.279, 5 HR, 34 RBI) lands four hits and plates seven runs in a 15-8 slugfest win for the Gold Sox over the Stars.

Complaints and stuff

The Titans swept the goddamn Elks to retake the top spot. I guess it was nice while it lasted…

Noel Ferrero started a rehab assignment after the All Star Game. To be honest, I don’t see where we would play him now.

The Coons are done with the IFA period. We signed for players for just under $200k, and were priced out of the fifth player we were after when the price of Bob Rios, another pitcher, went past what we were allowed to pay for more than one player due to being under soft cap violation restrictions. There will be no such thing next year for us; the cap this year was just over $500k.

2B Jon Loyola - $150k – SIGNED
SP Jordan Herrera - $16k - SIGNED
2B Jay de Wit - $16k - SIGNED
C Vinny Figueroa - $12k - SIGNED

TOTAL SIGNED: $194k

Fun Fact: 29 years ago today, Artie Barnes hit for the cycle as the Stars romped the Scorpions by 18 runs in a 23-5 smasher.

Barnes had an unremarkable 16-year career, batting .278 with 157 HR and 880 RBI, two All Star nods, and a noteworthy six Gold Gloves, but while somehow always ending up in the wrong spot. He won a single championship with the 2000 Thunder, but narrowly missed out on several more by only one year in stints with the Thunder, Stars, and Cyclones. In the latter case (cough) that would have been 2010.

No comment about 2010.
Attached Images
Image Image 
__________________
Portland Raccoons, 56 years of excell-.... of baseball: Furballs here!
1983 * 1989 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1995 * 1996 * 2010 * 2017 * 2018 * 2019 * 2026 * 2028
1 OSANAI
: 2 POWELL : 8 REECE : 10 BROWN : 15 HALL : 28 CASAS : 32 WEST : 39 TONER : 46 SAITO

Resident Mets Cynic



Westheim is offline   Reply With Quote
2 thanks for this post:
DD Martin (11-11-2019), UltimateAverageGuy (11-12-2019)
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:42 AM.

 

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Minor League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with the permission of Minor League Baseball. All rights reserved.

The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com ) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and the Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players. Follow: @MLB_Players; @MLBPAClubhouse; @MLBPlayersTrust

Out of the Park Baseball is a registered trademark of Out of the Park Developments GmbH & Co. KG

Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc.

Apple, iPhone, iPod touch and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

COPYRIGHT © 2017 OUT OF THE PARK DEVELOPMENTS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright © 2018 Out of the Park Developments