The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The MNLCS is over!

It took them six games, but the 2008 Brewers proved themselves to be the best NL team in Milwaukee baseball history.

For those of you just tuning in, I had completed previously a "Selig Series" between the 1982 AL champion Brewers and the '08 squad, where the '08 Crew came one game away from a sweep (due to, as I later learned, a transcription error on the part of me in regards to Moose Haas' ERA rating).

When that series was over, my natural instinct was to have the '08 squad take on the other great NL team in Milwaukee history, the 1957 Braves. This series I dubbed the Milwaukee National League Championship Series - and it turned out to be a (relatively) close series.

The Brewers and Braves split the first four games, but it was CC Sabathia's solid performance in game five (scattering 10 hits and striking out six) that turned the tide towards the Crew. The Brewers clinched the series in game six, with a masterful performance by Ben Sheets - and despite a major scare from Salomon Torres.

There are a few things that I learned from this series:
  1. "Spahn and Burdette, One Day Wet, and maybe Buhl yet" wasn't just a saying - it was the truth. The two big guns of the '57 Braves starting rotation were 2-2 in the series;
  2. Bob Hazle was amazing for the Braves, but Rickie Weeks and JJ Hardy both had a better series. Hazle went 9-15 with a HR and 3 RBI (and he didn't even play in game four), but Weeks went 10-26 with a homer, 4 RBI and a 1.044 OPS. Hardy went 7-25 with 9 RBI and a HR.
  3. Jeff Suppan sucks rocks. He was so incredibly bad that I actually changed the roster and activated a semi-healthy Ben Sheets to pitch game six. This turned out to be a good move, since Sheets struck out six in 7.2 innings.
  4. LONGBALL, as a game, tends to favor the hitter over the pitcher by a wide margin. I was getting consecutive rolls of walks and hits, and I was openly wondering if the pitcher on the mound could actually get ANYONE out.
Anyways, as a final act to this theoretical championship post-season, I've decided to have the other 95-win team in Brewers history - the 1979 AL team - to take on the '08 Brewers. Game one has Mike Caldwell going up against Sabathia.

Friday, September 03, 2010

LONGBALL and the NEXT question...

As I'm dissatisfied with the performance of the current Brewers squad, I've decided to continue playing my "greatest Milwaukee team" series - except the 2008 squad is now facing what could be its toughest opponent yet: the 1957 Milwaukee Braves.

Yes, there are four, count 'em, 4 hall of famers in the starting lineup for game one for the Braves (Aaron, Mathews, Schoendienst and Spahn). And it may be a shock for the Crew's players when they step out for games three and four and see a relatively brand-new ballpark in Milwaukee - and it's not Miller Park.

I'll post some updates about the series as it goes along. My eventual goal is to play out another series between the winner of this one and the 1979 Brewers - arguably the best Brewers team in AL history (that, unfortunately, ended up eight games behind the Orioles juggernaut of Earl Weaver and company).

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Selig Series Goes To....

The Bud Selig Series is over. The 2008 squad won in five games - it wasn't really close at all, in truth - but there were some moments that brought out a couple of issues I have with LONGBALL.

First of all, in game four, Moose Haas threw a no-hitter.

I'll let that sink in for a moment. It wasn't until after the fact that I realized I had transcribed his Pitcher Rating (the I-II-III-IV rating based on ERA) incorrectly. Because of the Type Adjustments that affect the first 13 spots on the playing board - which are pretty much all the hits on the board - he got break after break. The game ended with Mike Cameron grounding out to Jim Gantner for the final out.

I made a change afterward to the game board - the type adjustments for spots 8-13 on the board are now only good if the result came from the pitcher's rating card, and not the hitter's.

Sanity was restored in game five when CC Sabathia shut out the '82 squad - but that game had its own drama. First of all, Sabathia homered off of Vukovich in the bottom of the fourth. In the fifth, I had to give a "warning" to both benches as Vukovich hit Fielder for the second time in the game - and his fifth on the night. (I think it was more that I was getting tired of rolling HBP calls by that point, but still).

In the top of the ninth, CC got two quick outs from Simmons and Thomas, but then Ben Oglivie drew a walk. Marshall Edwards (who has an F-9 rating) went in to pinch-run for Benji (an S-3), and advanced to second on a Charlie Moore infield hit. Gantner hit a little bloop into left that loaded the bases - and once again a pinch-hitter was called on by Harvey Kuenn. Since he'd already used Rob Picciolo, Mark Brouhard and Edwards, the only one he had left on the bench was backup catcher Ned Yost.

On a 1-0 pitch, Yost hit a line drive that caught everyone by surprise - especially Charlie Moore, who was on the run between second and third. The ball hit him squarely in the posterior region and caromed towards second, where Weeks scooped the ball up and tagged second. The umpire at second immediately threw his hands up in the air and called Moore out to end the game and the series.

I actually had to do a double-check of the rule for that result; if a batter is hit by a line drive when they are not standing on the bag, they are considered out and the ball is dead.

Anyways... I think I've finally put the finishing touches on the game to where I can use it on a regular basis - including updated rating cards, scorecards and count sheets.