Round 1: #5 Shooting Stars 11 vs. #4 Lymebees
Tuesday, December 13, 2010
Lymebees home for first two games
Game 1; Oswalt vs J. Santana, Santana gives up a homer to Cuddyer to
lead off 5th. Final score 1-0 Stars
Game 2; Stauffer vs Bumgarner, Beltre doubles in Cano in first, Ellis
and Escobar single Thome and Jones in fourth after they both lead off
the inning with walks, Tulowitzki doubles in Drew to tie in eighth and
Tulowitzki single with two out in bottom of tenth to score Olivo with
Lymebees away for next two
Game 3; Danks vs Garcia, Tulowitzki doubles in first to score Beltran
and Upton sac flies Buck with two out in first, Braun takes some juice
and Homers to lead off ninth and Bees win 3-0 Danks goes 5 1/3 with
three relievers to complete the shutout
game 4; Gonzalez vs Wainwright, Stars Jones walks to lead off fourth
followed by single by Werth and another walk to Rolen to load basses
Cuddyer grounds into a run scoring double play and Stars win 1-0
Lymebees home for final game
Game 5; Oswalt vs J. Santana part II, Ellis leads off with error and
Werth hits a two out double to score unearned run, third inning Upton
lead off walk followed by Olivo home run put Bees up, fourth Braun
takes some more juice and hits a homer and Tulowitzki leads off sixth
with a homer, Santana leaves in eighth with two on Kimbrel gets second
out of inning before loading the bases by walking Rolen but records the
final out. 1-2-3 ninth to take game 4-1 and series as clock ticks past
#4 Lymebees vs. #1 Asian Tsunamis
Monday, December 26, 2011 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
When the Lyme Bees and the Asian Tsunamis finished an almost 8 hour/7 game series; one could not help but think of a similar semifinals series between the Asians and Speakers of almost 5 years ago. Whether it surpassed it in the hierarchy of league history will be debatable, but regardless the series was a spectacular display which included a no hitter and apexes in a 22 inning Game 4 battle.
Many of the Tsunami faithful had jumped for joy when the 4th seeded defending champions Shooting Stars II were upset in the first round by the Lyme Bees. However, manager Ted Williams and owner Craig Dolan were rightfully concerned as they were only 5-5 in the season series vs. the Lyme Bees. Things became even more challenging when Lyme Bees Owner John Ingiosi made one of the greatest strategic moves in league history and announced an all lefty rotation. This presented major matchup issues for the Tsunamis due to player game availability. It also gave the Lyme Bees the best possible chance to upset the number one seed and advance to the OOTL Championship. That is because while the division champion Tsunamis were 57-33 during the regular season, they were only 15-12 in games vs. lefty starters. It was the obvious to both Williams and Dolan that this series would be a long evenly matched battle. And it did not disappoint
Game 1: Bumgarner vs. Duensing
Three early Lyme Bees errors fueled a 7-2 Tsunami lead after four innings and Josh Hamilton followed with two HRs to give Duensing and the Tsunamis a 10-2 complete game win.
Game 2: Danks vs. Latos
A four HR/six run 2nd inning paved the way for a Matt Latos no-hitter and 11-0 Tsunamis win.
Game 3: Gonzalez vs. Myers
Beltre homers in first inning and Gonzalez does not look back on the way to a 5-0 Lyme Bees win.
Game 4: Santana vs. Mitre
This was to be the classic 22 inning masterpiece. Cabrera homered in the 4th to make it 1-0 Tsunamis. Bees bounced back with a 4 hit/3 run 5th to make it 3-1 Bees. It stayed that way until there were 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th and Choo was on 1st base. Josh Hamilton coming off 3 homers in the first 3 games then came up and doubled but Choo stopped at 3rd. Bautista then walked to load the bases. Williams then called on the limited availability of Valencia who rolled a magical two-run single to tie the game at 3. PH Zobrist then grounded out to end the inning. The game would then go scoreless for 12 innings but it was not without drama. A management mishap by Williams left the Tsunamis with Scott Downs as the last available pitcher who would be reduced and pitch 5 2/3 scoreless innings graded as a one before finally giving up a run in the 22nd. The Monsoons had lead off the 10th with a double but could not score. The Tsunamis got two base runners in the 14th but came up empty. In the 17th the Bees had two hits which began with a 35 changed to single hit vs. The Grade one pitcher. However when Drew grounded out it was on to the 18th. The same scenario occurred again in the 18th with a Grade One 35 changed to hit but once again Downs pitched out of it. Finally in the bottom the 18th it was the Tsunamis time to shine. Two singles gave the Tsunamis 1st and 2nd with no one out. However, a K and two grounders would end the inning. In the 19th, Valencia doubled and Zobrist walked. After a Furcal SAC, Cabrera was intentionally walked. Konerko then stepped up and hit into a (12 dice roll/rr25)DP to end the inning. There were no more rallies until Infante walked in the 22nd. After a pop out and K Tulowitzki doubled home Infante to take the 4-3 lead. Dolan needed a 52 to throw out Infante but rolled a 43. Konerko tried to redeem himself by a 22nd inning single but Choo hit into a DP to end the 4-3 Lyme Bees win. Series now tied 2-2.
Game 5: Duensing vs. Bumgarner
Asians explode with 4 hits and 2 walks in the first to take a 4-0 lead. However, Upton hits a 3R HR in the second to make it 4-3. Konerko gets redemption in the 5th with a HR to make it 5-3 Tsunamis. Ex-Lemonheads Lopez and Wilson then shut down the Bees to preserve the 5-3 victory.
Game 6: Latos vs. Danks
Latos gave up an early 2R HR to Drew and was pulled for Grade 30 Jansen. However, Jansen who only gave up one run all season would then be in for a complete 9 walk nightmare which would end with a 3-3 series tying 8-0 shutout win for Danks.
Game 7: Myers vs. Gonzalez
The fruit of the other key Tsunamis trade, ex-Eliminator Derek Jeter had been extraordinary on defense all series. However, when he singled in the first, scored on a Cabrera hit and had a key single in the 3rd it was his offense which put him in the history books. However, the Bees would not go easily but the Asians would also get some luck. Braun homered in the 2nd but it was turned back on an 11 roll by Myers. Gonzalez homered in the 4th but it was turned back on a 14 roll by Myers. Though, Gonzo would then score on a Upton single to make it 2-1 Tsunamis. In the 6th, Hamilton would double in two runs setup by a key Lyme Bees error. Wilson, Lopez and Benoit would then shut down the Bees the rest of the way for the 4-1 victory and 4-3 series win for the winner AND STILL #1 seeds, Asian Tsunamis.
The Asian Tsunamis are now 61-36 and will play the 2nd seeded Rakiraki Monsoons in the OOTL Championship! The Tsunamis won the regular season series 6-4.
Saturday, December 31, 2011 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
As I am typing this on New Years eve, I am reflecting on the long season and I am mentally exhausted from two 7 game playoff series in 5 days. The first thing that comes to mind is how special this league and our group of owners are. I truly hope that we can continue as one and possibly add more in the years to come. I also have realized the all-star element of our league only makes it better and not worse. It is now obvious to me that every team is competitive and has a chance for the title if they do enough things right before the draft and through the season. Last year I was the 9th place team. This year, I was 57-31 in the regular season but only 5-5 vs. The #1 pick waiting Eliminators. Also both the Lyme Bees and Monsoons came within one game of eliminating the Tsunamis. In fact, any of the playoff teams(and possibly one or two others) if things went only a little different could be here writing this Email. There are no easy wins or best team in this league. There is only the last team standing. That team is known as the OOTL Champions! And this year that is the Asian Tsunamis.
Special acknowledgments have to go out to both John and Barry H. They both did an incredible job building their teams and managing their way to the end. This was by far the hardest of my three championships to get despite having what I believe is the best Asian Tsunamis team I have ever had. And lastly, I would like to extend congratulations to Steve Gaiski. While, Barry is the superior game manager, Steves knowledge of baseball is unrivaled and his draft preparation built a Championship level team. I for one believe we are all very lucky to have the Steve/Barry combination of ownership in this league. While not traditional we are a much stronger league because of it. Moving forward my APBA New Years resolution (other than putting in an additional 80 plus hours of draft prep and winning a 4th Championship) is to enjoy playing more and getting to know the owners better. Up until now playing the games has been stressful to me and my true enjoyment has been the draft prep. I want the games to be a more fun experience in 2012 for me.
Tsunami bats are back to regular season form with a 14 hit effort. It was scoreless pitchers duel into 5th when three Tsunami hits Bautista 2B/Jeter2B/Choo 1B made it 2-0. Hamilton 3B/Cabrera 2B in 6th then made it 3-1 Asians. Asians then score 3 more on 4 hits in 7th to get the 6-1 win.
Tsunamis 37+ walk lineup vs. negative control Jimenez leads to early 2-0 lead. Latos gets in trouble in 6th but I decided to give him a chance to get out of it. He failed. Monsoon bats woke up with 10 hits over four innings and take the 7-2 victory.
2-1 pitchers duel with three solo Home runs. Holiday and Jeter early and then series MVP Josh Hamilton(9 hits) homered(66)with two out in the bottom of the 9th for the win and 2-1 series lead.
Holiday hits 2 run HR in first to give Monsoons 2-0 lead. A big second inning fueled by Cabrera and Konerko doubles ties it at 2. Holiday then homers again in the third to make it 4-2. Asians counter in 7th to tie game at four. However, Monsoons would retire the next 13 Tsunami batters to get the win. In the top of the 11th the Monsoons proved that they wont go down. Everything the Tsunamis throw at them they simply counter punch. The Lernaean Hydra was an ancient dragon creature which had dozens of heads. Each time one cut off a head two new heads grew back before Heracles finally killed the creature. As I was painfully finding out, my ass better call Heracles because I am playing the dragon. In the 11th the Monsoons exploded with 4 extra base hits to get the 7-4 win and deadlock the series 2-2. We now have a three game season.
Brian Duensing returned to mound and shuts down Monsoons until Ordonez doubled home Utley in the 6th to tie game 1- 1. It stayed 1-1 until top of 9th when back-to-back 66 roll HRs by Delmon Young (he may have just earned his 2012 job) and Josh Hamilton gave the Tsunamis a 3-1 victory.
The night before the championship series I performed 4 real full games of rolling simulations with projected lineups. Three times my graded 8 Catcher David Ross (5 BBs/Th +1) rolled a 66 and did not end up scoring as he did not have a 1 there. Therefore I made the choice to sub out Ross with Mike Napoli. Napoli was a hero in the 7-lefty starter Lyme Bees series but his +8/-5 low OBP and -1 Th card was not as statistically valuable as Ross vs. The Monsoons pitchers. However, Napoli has a 1 at 66 and would go on to bat .364/.462 OBP and become a series hero. In game 6, Napolis 66 roll tied the game at 1. However, the dragon breathed fire and made it 2-1 on a Holiday 2B in the 6th. Konerko then scored on a Cabrera sac fly in the 7th when the Monsoons failed to throw him out on a 43. The Tsunamis then went with RP ace 30 graded Kenley Jansen to start the 7th. Jansen, who had given up only 1 run all season, was trying to redeem himself after a 9 run meltdown in the Lyme Bees series. Billions of Asian fans began celebrating their upcoming championship in the 8th after 1st round pick Jose Bautista rolled a first column 11 one HR to make it 3-2. However, the dragon did not bow down, he got pissed. It was kind of like Barry had transitioned himself into the dragon after Jansen struck out his 5th batter Gardner to start his second inning of relief. He was furious that in his mind I was over using my grade 30 XB/J4 (one idea for the future may be to make a rule that of one inning limit inning per game on XB/J4 27+ reliever if people think this is a problem). The irony to come was that his next series of rolls would have won ME the championship had it been against any other pitcher but Jansen. Walker rolled a 35 walk. After Morales made the second out the Texas Rangers (Oops, I mean Asian Tsunamis) were now one out from the Championship with a grade 30 pitcher to Holiday. Could you ask for anything more? Yeah probably. Holiday rolled a 9 which became a single vs. The 30 then Stanton rolled a 6 double followed by a 12 roll Longoria single. Series tied 3-3 on the 5-3 win. One game season to come.
Literally the second game 7 in 5 days has exhausted me to the point where I have begun to load up on bloody marys. I am truly beginning to think that Barry is not beatable. He had beaten the feared Speakers team in the semis and now was in a one game season for the Championship. Up to this point the mighty Asian lineup had not performed up to standards since game one. Fortunately for me that would end here as my 37+ walk lineup would ride 10 walks and 8 hits to a 10 run effort. Holliday homered again in the 4th to make it 7-1 Tsunamis. After a 2 out 2B/1B/BB run in the 5th made it 7-2, I pulled the plug again on Myers. Barry, aka The Dragon, now known as the Cerebral Assassin once again tried to fire himself up by challenging the decision. However, I am not 7-1 all-time in playoff series by accident. Barry is truly the Cerebral Assassin but this time I was not losing focus. No 3rd starter who is getting cut after the series is going to cost me a championship. As I would say to any MLB starter if I was the manager, If you dont want to be taken out of the game then do not give up runs and base runners. Stanton would add another HR but the Asians bullpen would hold for the 10-3 victory for, THE NEW, THREE TIME OOTL WORLD CHAMPIONS: ASIAN TSUNAMIS!!!!
Championship vs. Monsoons
Runs 30-25, Hits 51-47, HR 7-3, BB 29-18, K 68-55, E 3-5
The Tsunamis dominated in most stat categories but batted only .222 vs. .243 in regular season. OOTL player of the year candidate Miguel Cabrera also was not a major factor batting only .207/.200 OBP in the series vs. .313/.371 OBP in the regular season. Six Tsunamis batted over .300 in the series and Josh Hamilton was named series and playoffs MVP on his 2 homer/9 hit performance after hitting 3 homers vs. The Lyme Bees. Tsunamis ERA was a respectable 3.37 for the series vs. 3.12 for the season. Duensing, a costly 3rd round pick addition, was key with a 0.77 ERA in two starts.
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