Category Archives: 2016 Playoffs

2016 Championship – #2 vs. #1

Although The Plague topped the OOTL much of the regular season, they got a formidable scare from the Lymebees, the perennial #2 or #3 team, in the playoffs. The Speakers squeaked by both teams late in the season to enjoy the #1 seed. The Speakers then had to tamp down the Arrogant Bastards in five games to reach the finals.

Game 1 – Jake Arrieta walks Lorenzo Cain with 1 out in the 2nd. Cain swipes 2nd base and trots home on AJ Pierzynski’s single, which Rajai Davis fumbles in center field.

After Jose Fernandez K’s Davis to start the Speakers’ 3rd, Ian Kinsler rips a double. Andrelton Simmons singles him home. Manny Machado follows with a 2-run home run for an early 3-1 lead.

Pierzynski doubles to start The Plague 5th. Mike Moustakas takes one in the ribs. Michael Brantley sacs the runners to 2nd and 3rd. That sets up Kevin Kiermaier’s perfectly placed RBI single (8). 3-2.

One out in the 7th when Moustakas walks. Brantley whiffs for the 2nd out, but Kiermaier comes through again — this time with an RBI double. Jason Kipnis singles him home as Davis boots another ball in center.

On the other side of the ball, Anthony Rizzo doubles immediately after Machado’s homer. The Speakers would muster only one more hit, a Kris Bryant single, the rest of the way.

The Plague 4 – 6 – 1
Speakers 3 – 5 – 2

W – Fernandez (1-0); L – Arrieta (0-1); S – Blaine Hardy (1)

Game 2 – Southpaws Jaime Garcia and David Price lock horns in an epic battle. Matt Wieters’ solo shot in the 3rd brings home the only run of the game.

Chris Young attempted the same trot in the 2nd, but Garcia (+41) denied him. The Speakers never got a runner to 3rd base.

The Plague 1 – 6 – 0
Speakers 0 – 4 – 0

W – Garcia (1-0); L – Price (0-1); S – Jeff Manship (1)

Game 3 – Through the first 18 innings, the Speakers have scored in only one. To make matters worse, Matt Harvey would fare much worse than his two predecessors to put the Speakers in a major predicament.

Kipnis walks in the 1st. DJ LeMahieu triples him home for a quick 1-0 lead.

Machado hits his 2nd homer of the series to lead off the 3rd, but The Plague come right back. With 2 away and no base runners, Denard Span singles (7) and steals 2nd. Kipnis singles him home (8).

Two additional candlesticks in the next two innings open a 4-1 lead. Cain’s fielder’s choice scores Paul Goldschmidt in the 4th. Francisco Lindor singles home Kipnis, who had doubled to lead off the 5th.

The Plague add two more on Cain and Brantley RBI doubles in the 8th. Meanwhile, the Speakers again muster just two hits after Machado’s 3rd inning home run.

Speakers 1 – 4 – 0
The Plague 6 – 11 – 0

W – Stephen Matz (1-0); L – Harvey (0-1); S – Blaine Boyer (1)

Game 4 – The Speakers hand the ball to young Luis Severino to prevent an embarrassing sweep. Machado continues to do his part by going deep twice more (both solos) in the 1st and 3rd innings.

On one swing, Yoenis Cespedes brings home 3, launching a 6th inning 3-run HR. The Speakers have now scored 5 in Game 4, equaling their series total runs.

On the hill, Severino steps up, surrendering two Kipnis singles until the 9th. LeMahieu homers to start the inning. Goldschmidt walks. After two infield outs, Moustakas ropes a 2-run shot.

At 5-3, a shaken Severino walks Kiermaier to bring the tying run to the plate. That also brings Darren O’Day to the mound.

With Brantley at the dish, Kiermaier breaks for 2nd. Buster Posey finally nails his first base runner to end the game, 5-3. O’Day earns a save without an official batter faced.

Speakers 5 – 7 – 1
The Plague 3 – 4 – 1

W – Severino (1-0); L – Aaron Sanchez (0-1)

Game 5 – After beating Arrieta in Game 1, The Plague were determined to win their first ever championship at home. Jake and Fernandez fire blanks through the first 3 innings.

Rizzo walks to begin the 4th. Posey singles him to 3rd and Carlos Gonzalez lifts a sac fly to RF to score the first run of the game.

Again, The Plague storm right back in the bottom half. Kipnis and LeMahieu each single (both 9’s) to put runners at the corners. Goldschmidt walks to load the bases.

Lindor grounds to Machado, who steps on 3rd for the first out scoring Kipnis. Then Pierzynski singles (7) in the go-ahead run, 2-1.

The Plague tack on another in the 5th. Span strokes a leadoff single (11) and steals 2nd. Kipnis bunts (9), but the Speakers can’t get an out. LeMahieu singles home Span (9) for a 3-1 advantage.

The Speakers manage a one-out triple, a two-out single (but the runner gets picked off down by 2), and a 9th inning one-out single (on a 0). So the Speakers are held to just 4 hits for the third time in the series.

That allows the 3-1 score to become The Plague’s very first OOTL Championship! Manager Ed, in the preseason predicted to finish 7th, brings home the hardware with a fast, aggressive offense, solid defense and a shutdown bullpen.

Speakers 1 – 4 – 0
The Plague 3 – 8 – 1

W – Fernandez (2-0); L – Arrieta (0-2); S – Manship (2)

Manager Brian saw the The Plague’s potential from the first four-game series between the two teams last spring. After two lopsided Speakers’ victories, The Plague carved themselves a pair of dramatic come-from-behind wins, getting clutch steals and hits at exactly the right times. “This Championship series presented more of the same. While most OOTL teams build with power, The Plague went in an excitingly different direction and proved it could work through an entire season and post-season,” said the losing manager. “Congratulations to the new champs!”

During the post-game celebration, Manager Ed, awash in a bath of iced tea, stated, “I knew that I could stay in games this season as long as opponents didn’t crush a ton of extra-base hits.” The strategy worked well enough to earn an OOTL Championship plaque. There will now be a new name on the trophy and a new defending champ.


2016 Playoffs – #3 vs. #2

Lymebees/Plague series played Monday (12/5).

Game 1; Gray vs Fernandez; Bees get 1 run in 1st, 1 run in 6th and 3 runs in 7th before Plague come back in bottom of 7th with 3 runs of there own, both teams would get single runs in 8th and Bees hold on to win 6-4

Game 2; Bumgarner vs Garcia; Plague get a solo HR by Goldschmidt in 1st, Bees tie score in 4th on a Beltre 2 out double, Bees take the lead in 6th on a 2 out single by Beltre and Bees hold on to win 2-1

Game 3; McCullers vs Matz; Bees get a unearned run in 2nd on no hits, Plague get a 3 run HR by Brantley in 3rd, Bees get a run in 4th, Plague get a run in 7th and in the 8th Goldschmidt hits a 2 out solo HR, Bees get a lead off HR by Franco in 9th and Tulowitzki scores in 9th to get things closer but that would be it as Plague win 5-4

Game 4; Syndergaard vs Sanchez; Cano hits a solo HR for Bees in 2nd, Plague get a run in 3rd, both teams score in 6th, Bees get a run in 7th in 9th they would add 3 more with Hosmer hitting a 2 run HR as Bees win 6-2

Plague at Lymebees

Game 5; Fernandez vs Gray; Plague get to Gray for 6 runs and Grimm would give up another 5 runs in top of 9th and Fernandez goes all 9 innings for a complete game shutout and a 11-0 Plague win

Game 6; Garcia vs Bumgarner; Bees would score first with a lead off HR by Hosmer in 4th, Plague tie game in 6th and get the lead in 8th as both teams use there bullpens and 5 relievers and Plague win 2-1

Game 7; Estrada vs McCullers; Lymebees score 2 runs in 3rd and 2 more runs in 9th and that should be enough for this team to win most games BUTT the Plague get 3 runs in 1st on 2 hits and 5 runs in 2nd on 3 hits, solo HR by Moustakis in 3rd, 2 runs in 5th-6th-7th innings as McCullers gives up 7 runs, Siegrist 4 runs, Givens 2 runs and Giles 2 runs as Plague win the game 15-4 and the series 4-3 to move on.

Home teams go 1-6.

Congrats to Ed and Merry Christmas to all.

John Ingiosi

2016 Playoffs – #4 vs. #1

Steve and I planned to play three games of this series Sunday evening (12/4/2016). In a way, we did.

Game 1 – These teams split their regular season, so both managers look for a tight series. Blake Swihart coaxes a walk against Jake Arrieta to begin the proceedings. Adrian Gonzalez singles (H&R 31) Swihart to 3rd. Immediately, Manager Steve mentions that in the #5 vs. #4 series, David Ortiz plated a run by grounding into a double play. That’s exactly what he does here to give the ABs an early 1-0 lead.

Kevin Pillar begins the ABs 3rd with a ringing single (7). Addison Russell lays down a successful sacrifice bunt (33-0!). However, the top of the order fails to increase the lead against Arrieta.

The Speakers surround a pair of singles with 3 Max Scherzer whiffs in the 4th. The line score at the 7th inning stretch: 1-2-1 to 0-3-0.

Carlos Gonzalez greets Scherzer with a single (8) to start the bottom of the 7th. The ABs turn to Mark Melancon, who gets Kris Bryant on a lazy fly to center. Manny Machado struck out twice against Scherzer. Melancon goes 2-0 to Machado before uncorking a wild pitch. With Gonzalez at 2nd, Machado gets a 3-0 green light and launches a 2-run home run.

Arrieta continues to deal. That 3rd-inning Pillar single was the last hit Jake surrendered. The only other base runner was Gerardo Parra’s lead off walk in the 5th. He was stranded at 2nd.

Joe Panik, Pillar and Russell go 1-2-3 in the 8th. Ian Kinsler strokes a lead off double in the bottom half, but the Speakers leave him at 2nd.

Arrieta begins the 9th having faced 27 batters. Russell Martin had replaced Swihart defensively and grounds to 2nd. AGon strikes out for the third time in the game. Ortiz keeps ABs hopes alive with a solid double. Brett Gardner pinch runs, representing the tying run with Mike Trout at the plate. Trout takes a quick swing … and lifts a pop up. Buster Posey tosses aside his mask, circles and squeezes it to preserve the 2-1 final.

Scherzer strikes out 9 and Arrieta 10.

ABs 1 -3 – 1
Speakers 2 – 6 – 0
W – Arrieta (1-0); L – Melancon (0-1)

Game 2 – Logan Forsythe doubles with 1 out in the top of the 1st. David Price had struck out Giancarlo Stanton before and Trout after, but Evan Longoria stings an RBI single that CarGo mishandles in right field. Again, the ABs take a 1-0 lead in the 1st.

This time, the Speakers don’t wait as long to come back. Bryant homers off Shelby Miller in the 2nd to knot the game at 1-1. Both pitchers stymie hitters over the next 3 innings. Forsythe breaks the streak with a harmless 2-out single (8) in the 6th. Price Ks Trout for the third time to snuff that minor threat.

Kinsler starts the bottom half with a single (9). Anthony Rizzo grounds to 2nd, where Forsythe flips to Russell for a force. Posey grounded out twice, but had a pair of singles in Game 1. A clean hit-and-run single (55-7) moves Rizzo to 3rd. Yoenis Cespedes (0-6 in the young series) grounds to short, but Russell can only get the out at 1st as Rizzo scores the go-ahead run, 2-1. The Speakers threaten again in both the 7th and 8th, but come up empty.

Meanwhile, the top of the 8th is a half-inning for the ages. Price strikes out AGon. Gardner lays down a beautiful bunt and legs out an infield hit. Price departs; Trevor Rosenthal enters. So Elvis Andrus departs and Parra enters. On the hit-and-run, Parra singles in the hole (34-31) as Gardner motors to 3rd. Stanton whiffs for the 2nd out. Forsythe (2-3, D, R) heads back to the dugout. As Justin Turner is announced, Roberto Osuna is summoned from the pen. Turner does an about face as Ortiz grabs a bat. The Speakers walk Ortiz intentionally to face Trout with the bases loaded! Osuna dodges a bullet by firing Ball 1 and Ball 2. But then Ball 3 and Ball 4 follow to force in Gardner with the tying run! The young closer gets Longoria on a fly to right to keep the game at 2-2.

Over the next few innings, both teams get runners into scoring position as the parade of relievers dwindles. With 2 outs in the 12th, the ABs call for southpaw Matt Thornton, who pitched to 3 batters yesterday.

He gets Rizzo to pop up to end the 12th and then wriggles out of a jam in the 13th. Rajai Davis had been 0-5, but singles (9) to start the bottom of the 14th. Andrelton Simmons converts an odd hit-and-run single (16). With runners on the corners, Kinsler lifts a fly ball to Gardner in CF. Davis outruns Gardner’s throw to score the winning run, 3-2.

ABs 2 – 10 – 0
Speakers 3 – 11 – 1 (14 innings)
W – Tony Sipp (1-0); L – Thornton (0-1)

Both Sipp and Thornton went 1.2 IP. The ABs struck out 20 times in 14 innings. Both teams will have pen issues to consider going to Game 3 (Matt Harvey vs. Chris Young).

On Thursday (12/8/2016) the venue changes. The ABs get to host the next three contests.

Game 3 – Cespedes is the first hitter to reach and score, leading off the top of the 2nd with a solo homer off Chris Young. After being acquired July 12th from the Lemonheads, Young has come up big and won his playoff start against the Shooting Stars II.

With 1 out in the bottom of the 3rd, Kinsler boots Parra’s grounder. Russell singles to set up Trout, who leads off today. After striking out in 7 of his first 11 PAs, the young star doubles in the gap to score a pair. Turner singles. Stephen Piscotty singles over short to plate a 3rd run.

With runners at 1st & 2nd and Ortiz at the dish, Posey throws behind Piscotty to pick him off. Matt Harvey whiffs Ortiz to end the inning, 3-1 ABs.

Swihart doubles to start the 4th. With 2 outs, Parra provides the clutch RBI single to extend the ABs lead to 4-1. Martin replaces Swihart defensively and walks to lead off the 6th. Gonzalez singles to 1st as Rizzo has no play (12). Forsythe (11-0!) bunts them both into scoring position. Then Parra comes through again. His second RBI single lifts the ABs to 5-1.

Meanwhile, Young completely shuts down the team in gray. He allows 2 walks and 2 singles since Cespedes’ long ball — all in separate innings. Only Rizzo makes it beyond 1st base, reaching 2nd with 1 out in the 9th following the Speakers’ final hit. Young’s brilliant outing brings the series to 2-1 Speakers with 2 more to be played at home.

Speakers 1 – 3 – 2
ABs 5 – 9 – 0
W – Young (1-0); L – Harvey (0-1)

Game 4 – The Speakers hope a 17 with double negatives comes up big for them the way Chris Young baffled the Speakers offense yesterday. Rookie 17s, Luis Severino and Jerad Eickhoff, attempt to make their mark on the series, but it won’t be easy.

Kinsler starts with a single (10). After Eickhoff strikes out Rizzo, Posey walks. Cespedes singles (44-0) home Kinsler for an early Speakers lead.

After Kinsler crosses the plate, with Bryant up, the skies open up, halting the proceedings for an hour and 20 minutes! Eickhoff loses 4 grades while Severino, who has yet to take the mound, loses 6! All of a sudden, we’re faced with 13 and 11 rookies battling in a pivotal game.

Although Eickhoff wriggles out of further 1st inning trouble and Severino retires the first 4 ABs, Stanton knots the game on a solo blast in the 2nd. Both young starters would continue to battle through scoreless frames (Eickhoff 5 IP and Severino 6 IP), allowing just 2 more singles each.

Rizzo breaks the 1-1 tie in the 7th with a long home run off Matt Thornton. Trout walks to begin the bottom half against Osuna. A wild pitch and ground ball get Trout to 3rd. Stanton Ks, Turner comes through (9) with a 2-out RBI single to tie at 2-2.

Thornton retires his 7th Speaker by striking out Cespedes to start the 8th. Bryant, who Eickhoff struck out 3 times, singles (11-0) to chase Thornton after 9 batters. Wade Davis returns to strike out Young, but then allows Machado to reach on a his own overthrow at 1st. Manny steals 2nd to put 2 in scoring position. Rajai Davis delivers the 2-run single (44-8), which would not have been a hit with runners at the corners. Simmons (2-2, BB) triples into the corner. Ryan Madson enters and Kinsler doubles home Simmons. The ABs go from a 2-2 tie with 2 outs, an innocent runner on 1st, and their dominant closer in the game, to a 6-2 deficit on 4 unearned runs.

Parra helps get one back with a single (22-0) against Tony Sipp with 1 away in the bottom of the 8th. Elvis Andrus pinch hits for Russell and executes a beautiful hit-and-run single (4!) to allow Forsythe to notch an RBI grounder to Rizzo.

6-3 Speakers to the 9th. One out when Cespedes triples. Bryant singles him home to regain a 4-run lead. Trout’s leadoff double and Longoria’s walk give the ABs something to work with against Rosenthal, but Jeremy Jeffress records the final out — a liner to Simmons to end the threat.

Speakers 7 – 14 – 0
ABs 3 – 7 – 2
W – Osuna (1-0); L – Thornton (0-2)

Game 5 – The ABs look to give the hometown crowd a thrill in their final home game of the series. Both Game 1 starters (Arrieta and Scherzer) look ready.

Machado assumes the leadoff role and singles (9). Rizzo doubles sending Manny to 3rd. Posey lifts a shallow fly to left. Scherzer then walks Cespedes to fill the bases. Trout catches Bryant’s fly ball, which is deep enough to score Machado for another early 1-0 lead.

Kinsler drops to the 8-hole and homers in the 2nd. 2-0 Speakers.

Rizzo walks to lead off the 3rd. Posey strikes out. Cespedes grounds to Gonzalez, who has to eat the ball for an infield single (12). That would prove costly to the ABs. After Scherzer whiffs Bryant, CarGo connects for a 3-run homer and a quick 5-0 advantage.

Rizzo doubles and Posey singles in the 5th. Cespedes grounds to 3rd scoring Rizzo with the 6th run.

Simmons singles (9) off of Melancon with 1 away in the 9th. Machado flies to center. Rizzo singles (9) with 2 outs. Davis takes over and grooves a pitch to Posey, who ropes a 2-run double (turned back) for a  commanding 8-0 lead.

Arrieta begins the 9th having allowed 2 doubles (one was a turned back Ortiz solo) and 2 walks, having faced just 28 batters. However, the ABs are determined to kick up another 9th inning fuss.

Gonzalez flies to left. Trout walks. Ortiz singles (9). Turner comes through yet again: a 3-run big fly. The home crowd appreciates the effort as Darren O’Day takes his warm up tosses.

O’Day strikes out Parra and gets Panik on a grounder to Simmons to send the Speakers to the championship series against The Plague.

Speakers 8 – 11 – 1
ABs 3 – 4 – 0
W – Arrieta (2-0); L – Scherzer (0-1)



2016 Playoffs – #4 vs. #5

On Wednesday afternoon the AB’s hosted the Shooting Stars to kick off the post season in a rematch from 2015. The series would go the distance once again. Below are some snippets:

Game 1 – deGrom v Young – A two-out error on Escobar leads to a 3-run homer two batters later as Addy Russell put the home team up 3-0. Pillar would single in Parra in the 4th for a 4-0 lead. Peralta singled in Granderson in the 7th, but the AB’s would counter in the bottom half on a Big Papi 2-run jack to go up 6-1. The Stars kicked up a fuss in the 9th but lost 6-2.

W – Young; L – deGrom

Game 2 – Wilson v Eickhoff – Carpenter opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd with a solo jack, but the AB’s answered right back as Panik’s double plated Trout to tie it a 1-1. Peralta hit a solo HR in the 3rd to give the Stars a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the 4th Pillar singled in Parra, who had doubled, to tie the game up at 2-2. In the 7th a 2-out error by Turner led to two runs on a single by Inciarte, which was all the Stars needed to even the series 1-1.

W – Chafin; L – Thornton; S – Smith

Game 3 – Keuchel v Scherzer – As the series shifted to the Stars turf, the Stars opened up the gates with a 3-run 3rd inning on a Pedroia 2-run jack followed by a Casali blast. The AB’s (who had gone hitless in 9 straight innings in the series) got an unearned run in the 6th after a Peralta error and RBI double by Forsythe to cut the lead to 3-1. But in the bottom of the 6th Carpenter countered with an RBI single scoring pinch runner Holt. The game moved along to the top of the 8th when Gonzalez led off with a double for the AB’s and then Gardner BB’d. Turner K’d for out number one and then Stanton BB’d to load the bases. Forsythe flew out to shallow CF for the 2nd out. Then Trout BB’d to force in a run to make it 4-2. Smith relieved Chapman so the AB’s countered with Big Papi, who proceeded to triple to clear the bases for a 5-4 AB’s lead. In comes Wade Davis and out goes Pedroia’s 2nd HR of the game to tie it back up at 5-5 in the 8th. An out later, still shaken, Davis BB’s Teixeira, who is pinch run for by Dyson who proceeds to steal 2nd and 3rd. Pence lays down a perfect 33-0 2nd column squeeze bunt for the go-ahead run to make it 6-5. The AB’s go quietly in the 9th to put the Stars up 2-1 in the series.

W – Smith; L – Davis; S – Chafin

Game 4 – Lackey v Miller – With the season on the line the AB’s turn to lame duck pitcher Shelby Miller. In the 1st Big Papi opens the scoring with a 2-run HR, then adds an RBI single in the 3rd to put the AB’s up 3-0. In the 4th Stanton jacks a 2-run HR for a 5-0 lead as Miller continues to cruise. Martin hits another 2-run bomb in the 8th and for good measure Papi hits yet another 2-run jack in the 9th to complete the 9-0 white wash. Miller goes the distance on 5 hits, 2 BB’s and 7 K’s.

W – Miller; L – Lackey

Game 5 – deGrom v Young – The series moves back home for the AB’s and the scoring is kicked off in the bottom of the 1st as Swihart scores on a double play ground ball off the bat of Big Papi. deGrom starts the 2nd, but just like the 1st, he gives up back-to-back singles to the first two batters and is yanked after just one inning. Chafin comes in and coaxes a pop out to SS for the first out. The AB’s (not even through the line up yet) decide to PH for a red hot Pillar with Stanton…and it paid off as Stanton singles in both Turner and Parra to give the AB’s a 3-0 lead. (Russell would follow with a single and the last hit of the series for the AB’s). Carpenter hit a solo HR in the 4th to trim the lead to 3-1; and at that point, Young was lifted as both teams were now in their bullpens. In the 7th a one out BB to Choo and another Dyson appearance helped to plate a run for the Stars on a 2-out single by Peralta. Then the pick off play was rolled, but Peralta is not eligible to be picked off so the play went to the RP board and the OF. Fielding One was rolled by the AB’s, but it was a single and the runner was thrown out attempting to score on a hit and run! Moving to the 8th the AB’s once again brought in their last pitcher who happened to be Wade Davis to once again face Pedroia. This time Pedroia only dropped a 44-7 for a lead off hit! Then Inciarte grounded into a 6-4-3 DP, but then Carpenter drops a 66-1 for a potential game tying HR…but Davis (+42) turns this one back to a double and Frazier flies to left for the 8th’s final out. A 2-out single by Escobar gave the Stars a hit-and-run chance in the 9th, but Davis would coax a routine ground ball to SS for the series final out and 3-2 game and series victory for the AB’s. Geesh.

W – Thornton; L – deGrom; S – Davis

So now the AB’s will square off against the Speakers in the playoffs, I believe for the first time since a World Series match up years and years ago!

Series Notes:

Each team hit 6 HR’s but the AB’s had 41 double numbers to the Stars 26 for the series.

RISP – Stars 9 for 26 .346 & AB’s 8 for 39 .205 – no clue if that means anything any longer.

Each team had 38 hits in the series. AB’s hit .224 so I assume the Stars hit around the same thing.

Stars turned back an impressive 9 BB’s but no HR’s while the AB’s turned back only 1 BB and well, 1 very important HR.

Series MVP went to Big Papi – 7 for 14, 2B, 3B, 3 HR’s, 3 RS and 10 RBI’s

Good luck to the Final 4 and it’s good to back in the final 4 after missing out last year.

Manager Steve