Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fish vs Matt - Why do I need to do this update - I fucking lost!

Game 1 - Fish wins 10 -4
Winning Pitcher - Feldman
Losing Pitcher - CJ Wilson (short reliver)

Game 2 - Matt wins 3-1
Winning Pitcher - Pettite
Losing Pitcher - Burnett

Game 3 - Matt Wins 11 -1
Win - Kazmir
Loss - Buehrle

Game 4 - Matt Wins 7 -2
Win - Lester
Loss - Floyd

Game 5 - Nick wins 3 - 2
Win - Price
Loss - Felix

Game 6 - Fish Wins 4 -1
Win - Feldman
Loss - RR Smith

Stats Update:


Figgons - .412 with 52 AB, still with 9 overall steals
Ichiro - .329 with 76 AB, 8 overall steals, 4 HR's
Granderson - drops off the BA pace

Nathan - 4 saves

This team is average like it's record

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Keith @ Matt Series Update

It's the dog days of summer as far as our PTP season goes boys, so this update will be heavy on the facts and light on the fun nicknames and unnecessary details. Nick was kind enough to stop by yesterday to play a series (as Matt). Here's whaaahappen...

Game 1: Lackey @ Kazmir

Keith got things rolling in the top of the 1st with a 2-run homerun by Youkilis in his first at bat returning from a 5-game injury. Youks struck again with an RBI double in the top of the third before Nick rallied in the bottom of the third to tie things up with a consecutive single, double, triple and single. That would be the last tie of the game, however, as Keith added runs in the 6th, 7th and 9th, highlighted by a two run "Hammer" Hamilton HR.

Keith wins 7-3

Game 2: Beckett @Pettite

Nick grabbed the lead on a Pena RBI double in the bottom of the 2nd before Keith tacked on 3 in the top of the 3rd with a Crawford single, Callaspo double and Youks homerun. Beckett would do the rest, locking things down before turning things over to a suddenly shaky Mariano Rivera, who preserved the win despite giving up a 2 run homer to Adam Kennedy in the bottom of the 9th.

Keith wins 5-3

Game 3: Masterson @ Lester

Nick led off the bottom of the 1st by driving in Ben Zobrist with a J-Bay RBI. Keith came back in the 3rd with 3 runs - one unearned. The back-and-forth continued in the bottom of the 4th with RBI's from V-Mart and Nelson Cruz, to tie things up at 3. He broke it open with three runs in the 6th on Pena, Kennedy and Beckham RBI's, respectively. A run in the 9th gave Keith some hope, but Lester was strong enough to complete the game and get the "W".

Matt wins 6-4

Keith wins series 2-1

Friday, December 17, 2010

Plunking Cano is a No-no. Team Torto Rolls In Cleveland

Nick and I again met up after work in our private booth at the Crown Plaza hotel bar. And Nick again took the helm of Matt's 'all-lefties-all-the-time' team for our second and final series of the season, with similar results.

Game 1: M.Garza @ D.Price
Solid starting pitching got this one rolling thru the first 3, with 12 K's between Price and Garza early.  My squad broke thru in the 4th though, on a leadoff single by Cano, followed by back-to-back doubles from Beltre and Godzilla.  Up 2-zip, Garza cruised for 7 and 2/3rds before tiring, giving the ball up to Octavio "No-Tell" Dotel to sidearm him out of the jam.  My boys picked up 2 more insurance runs along the way on a pair of Maggs Ordonez RBI-hits in the 7th and 9th. Matt's bats were ice cold in this one, and with Aardsma in for the 9th in a non-save situation, the shutout was preserved.  Garza's performance left some in the Cleveland crowd quite perturbed though, as he plunked Howie Kendrick, Carlos Pena, and Nelson Cruz during his innings.  Price retaliated once hitting G-Money Laird.  Hit batters would become a recurring theme this series...
Torto wins 4-0
WP - M.Garza (13 Ks in 7.2)
LP - D.Price
HR - None

Cano appeals to the ump after being plunked by Rowland-Smith.
When Yankees talk, umpires listen. Can you say ejection?
 Game 2: R.Halladay @ R.Rowland-Smith
After getting Game 1 with my #5 starter in convincing fashion, I felt real good with Halladay now toeing the rubber, coming off 18 straight scoreless innings.  Something had to give on that streak though, and so it did.  Halladay was rocky early, giving up 5 hits in the first (including 3 2Bs) that amounted in 3 runs.  Lucky to get out of the first, Halladay did then settle in for a few innings.  Ryan Rowland-Smith made it his business to carry retaliation into game 2.  He beaned Godzilla in the top of the 1st, and then in the 2nd (after issuing a leadoff walk to Jason Bartlett) he plunked the affable and always likeable Robbie Cano.  The ump had enough, and immediately tossed Rowland-Smith and his lame hyphenated name (later to be suspended for 7 games).  Cano shrugged off the pitch without injury, and both he and Bartlett were subsequently scored by back-to-back singles by Maggs and Beltre.  Now down only one, my squad tied it up in the next frame, on a Cano RBI-single.  Tempers cooled from there, as Halladay kept his composure and worked scoreless 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings.  Matt got a go-ahead run in the 5th (Billy Butler RBI single), and tacked another 3 on Halladay (gave up 7 ERs!) in the 7th.  My bats went cold the rest of the way, as Matt held it together with the Twins entire middle relief corps (Breslow, Gurrier, and Mijares).
Matt wins 7-3
WP - C.Breslow
LP - R.Halladay
HR - None
Game 3:  J.Verlander @ S.Kazmir
Verlander dominated this match in our last series, going the distance and fanning 16.  It appeared that Matt's hitters learned nothing from that outing.  The fireballer was on his game again, striking out the side in the bottom of the first.  Around the 4th, Nick made the observation that, "hey, there's been no home runs in this series yet".  As if on cue, Robbie Cano then belted a 2-run shot.  Things got a little chippy in this game again though, when Kazmir plunked Adrian Beltre in the 5th.    Not to be outdone at by Kazmir, Jose "He Ain't Heavy, He's" Mijares tried to double the damage by nailing Magglio Ordonez in the shin. By now, Verlander had seen enough, and retaliated the next inning by planting a 99 MPH fastball in Nelson Cruz's back.  Benches nearly cleared, but cooler heads prevailed, despite the home team being down 6-1 at this point.  Justin Morneau put an exclamation point on the game with a 7th inning 2-run blast. A fired up Verlander again went the distance, but this time only whiffing 13.  
Torto wins 8-1
WP - J.Verlander (CG, 13Ks)
LP - S.Kazmir
HR -  R.Cano, J.Morneau
Torto takes the series 2-1.
***Record Alert*** 9 hit batsment in this series, friends. 5 of my guys hit, and 4 of Matt's - and 1 ejection/suspension (R.Rowland-Smith for 7 games)
A fun, chippy series - with my squad left a little bewildered whenever Matt/Nick rolled out one of the rare RHPs in his 'pen.  Bewildered or no, they hit the lefties well enough to take 2 of 3.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Butts @ Keith: The Wheels Fall Off

I rolled down into dirty little Palmyra last night, where an otherwise pleasant visit with my friend Jason was ruined by a two-and-a-half-hour butt whoopin. Here's the skinny -
Game 1: Anderson @ Masterson
An exciting game one saw Butts grab a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st on a Mike Young RBI. Momentum swung the other direction in the bottom of the inning following a 2-run Josh Hamilton jobber. Butts added four runs in the 5th courtesy of a leadoff on-base-on-error, a double, a single and then four walks in a row - that's right, four in a row - from Masterson. However, a run by Keith in the 3rd and a Kendry Morales 2-run bombski in the 7th left the game tied a 5, where it stayed until the top of the 11th when Butts pushed two runs across the plate.
Butts wins 7-5 (11 innings)
Game 2: Weaver @ Niemann
Derrick Fucking Jeter opened up the scoring in the top of the 3rd with a solo jack, holding a 1-0 lead into the top of the 5th. Things got a bit nuts at this point, with Butts knocking in 4 runs highlighted by a blooper to short left that fell in for a double following a Carl Crawford/Cliff Pennington injury-inducing collision. Between Game 1's bullpen-eater and injuries to Youks, Crawford and Pennington, even Russell Branyan might have found some playing time. The real story of the game was Weaver though, perfect through 6 before letting off the gas a bit in the 7th.
Butts wins 7-3
Game 3: Danks @ Gaudin
Varitek drove Torii Hunter home in the top of the 2nd off consecutive doubles before Adam Jones home run in the bottom of the inning gave the lead back to Keith. Jones' 3rd RBI of the game off a double in the bottom of the 6th left Keith with a 3-1 lead and a false sense of security. Butts got a solo HR from Cabrera in the top of the 8th to crawl back to 3-2. Top of nine, Mariano is in to shut the door. Unfortunately (for me), it was not to be. Riemhold - and for the love of God I don't know who this guy is and I had berated him each of the 6 games I played against Butts - scored the 1st run of the season against Rivera with a leadoff homer in the top of the ninth. Veil of invincibility pierced, Rivera then allowed Jose Bautista to score on a Cabrera single later in the inning. That one hurt, ya'll.
Butts wins 4-3, sweeps series

Monday, December 13, 2010

Looking like a winner.

Eat your fucking heart out Tom Selleck.
Had to share this classic pic of one of the many seasons of 'Torto Facial Hair', since it was 'Moustache Friday' at my office 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, only about 5 of my co-workers (in an office of 200) had the balls to celebrate with a real soup-strainer of their own (aside from the dudes who already boldly rock moustaches on a daily basis). 

Is this what winning looks like?  Not my place to say, but I am the reigning NL champ, and currently sitting on a 6-game AL winning streak...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

More good pitching for Team Torto - Matt @ Torto Series Update

This gameball was very tired of being launched out of a howitzer in Game 1
-image by S.Pearlstein/Roar of the Tigers
Nick and I met again after work this week on Wednesday evening, but this time my squad was tangling with Matt's band of bombers and lefty tossers. Nick was, of course at the helm for Matt, deftly handling his roster for him.  Not deftly enough though, as my bats were alive and my pitching solid.

Game 1: S.Kazmir vs. J.Verlander
Verlander, while not untouchable this game, pitched exactly the kind of game I see on FSN-Detroit about 6-7 times a season.  He gives up a few dingers, but otherwise dominates his opponents.  Matt jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on a two-out Gordon Beckham HR, that should have been jammed to a deep drive, but I realized it a batsman too late.  Too bad for me - and down 2 in the 2nd.  My boys got it back though, on a 2-out, RBI doubles from Robbie Cano and Orlando Cabrera.  Matt snagged the lead back in the 3rd, on a Carlos Pena solo jack.  But the floodgates opened in the bottom of the 5th, when Kazmir loaded up the bases and then walked in 2 runs, before Cabrera struck again with a base clearing 2-RBI double.  That would be the lead Verlander would need to win the game, and in typical fashion - he got stronger as the game went on, striking out 8 in the final 3 innings (he finished with 16K), and probably throwing around 140 pitches to do it.  I felt like Old Man Leyland leaving him out there like that, but reality imitates PTP.
Torto wins 7-4
WP-J.Verlander (CG)
LP - S.Kazmir
HR - G.Beckham, Carlos Pena
**INJURY UPDATE** Matt's Brett Gardner is out for 6 games, hurt crashing into the wall chasing a Maggs 3B off the wall.

Game 2: A.Pettite @ I.Snell
Ian Snell got the call for his 2nd start of the season, filling in for Broken Bedard.  And much like his first start, he filled in admirably.  A cocky Jason Bartlett scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the 1st, by slapping a single, getting advanced by Cano, nabbing 3rd from a sleepy-eyed Pettite (who would later in the game pick off the cocky Bartlett at 1st), and coming home on a 2-out Raburn single.  Good baseball.  Nick rolled Matt back to the tie on a Billy Butler solo shot, and took the lead in the 3rd on a Jason Bay RBI-double.  Pettite was got to in the 4th though, when he gave up a solo HR to Raburn, and double to Beltre, and singles from Laird, Cano, and Maggs. 4 crossed the plate, and 5-2 was the score.  Things quieted down from there, with Snell getting to the 6th, and Lyon pitching the 7th and 8th.  Matt mustered one more run when J-Bay tripled and was scored on a Carlos Pena groundout.  Justin Morneau nullified that run though, but hitting a solo shot in the bottom of the 8th.  David Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrdsma closed it out.
Torto wins 6-3
WP- I.Snell
LP - A.Pettite
S - D.Aardsma
HR - B.Butler, R.Raburn, J.Morneau

Game 3: J.Lester @ B.Bergesen
Brittle Brad tossed another excellent start, giving up only 2-runs in 8 innings (on a Beckham 2-run HR).  Lester was molested by my lefty killers though, 'not having his good stuff' and getting roughed up for 5 runs in the 1st, including a 2-run shot to Ryan Sweeny (ouch- you just can't do that, especially on a lefty v. lefty matchup).  That pretty much made it the game, although I tacked on 3 more in the mid-innings.  Matt was plagued by 3 tough errors in this one that extended innings and scored runs.  Lefty Matt Thorton came in for the meaningless 9th.
Torto wins 8-2
WP - B.Bergesen
LP - J.Lester
HR - G.Beckham, R.Sweeny

One interesting tidbit from the series was that on three of the deep drives, Nick and I rolled 'double zeros' on the distance roll (me twice, Nick once).  That drew some laughs and disgusted sighs.

So that marks back-to-back sweeps of the Super Ewoldt Brothers for me, and a vault of my team into relevance.  A good showing in the APD this Sunday, and the playoffs seem very possible - something I definitely didn't think could happen after the first 12 games.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wow - the Lind/pooper incident is tough to top. Given we may be looking at some PTP this weekend, however, I thought I should post the results of a now weeks-old Keith vs. Torto series. Here we go...

Game 1: Halladay v. Gaudin

This one was as lopsided as the pitching matchup might lead you to believe. Gaudin actually pitched OK, giving up 3-runs over 7 innings - highlighted by a Ryan Rayburn 2-run HR in the 6th - but Halladay was immaculate, pitching a complete-game shutout. Torto got RBI's from Morneau and Cano to compliment the Rayburn homerun en route to a 4-0 no-doubter.

Win - Halladay

Loss - Gaudin

Game 2: Verlander v. Lacky

Pretty good pitching matchup here, right? Wrong. Verlander gave up 5 runs over 2 innings and Lackey 5 runs after 3, and both pitchers were chased early. The bullpens settled things down (a bit), and Keith came out of this shootout with a 8-6 victory. Torto got 4 RBI's from Morneau and 2 from Maggs, while Keith benefitted from a balanced offensive performance spoiled only be Youkilis taking a liner off the mush in the top of the 2nd inning, costing him 5 games.

Win - Masterson

Loss - Verlander

Save - Rivera

Game 3: Snell v. Beckett

Another tight game saw a balanced offense from Keith overcome a 4 RBI day (including a 3-run homerun) by Jason Bartlett. Key consecutive errors by Cano and Lowell in the 4th may have been the difference in the game. Halladay is probably our Cy Young winner this AL season but, I'm telling ya, Beckett's been a stud.

Win - Beckett

Loss - Snell

Save - Rivera

Hi, all. Above is the team owner, Nick, with mangled cards and pouting dog. The second photo shows the remains of the usable Shin Soo Chew card and the now-lost Adam Lind.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Spencer and I met up yesterday to play our second and final PTP series. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, what happened is truly unforgettable. As Spencer went out to smoke and I went to grab my dice, one of his overgrown black labs (specifically, Maddy) decided to have a snack….ON MY F#@%ing CARDS! As we reprimanded the dog and forced her to give up her “treats,” she coughed up the remains of Shin Soo Choo’s card and some of Adam Lind’s numbers vs LH. Choo (now spelled Shin Soo "Chew") was salvageable with some tape and some squinting, but Adam Lind and his 35 HRs are gone.

So…Spencer was left remorseful, Maddy was left pouting and I just wanted to play PTP, as I intended to do, minutes earlier. So…Spencer agreed to bench a starter and I had Lyle Overbay fill in (somewhat admirably, actually) for Lind. I am going to email the PTP Guy and see if he can email me or copy me another Lind card. If he can’t do that, I am not sure what my options are, but I guess it’s a lesson learned.

Wow…how’s that for a bizarre play? Anyway…on with the actual baseball…


Jason Kubel homered and drove in three runs, helping Nick win game one, 4-1. The starter, Scott Baker, cruised through a scoreless five+ innings before being drilled in the arm by a Scott Podsednik line drive. Nick’s solid bullpen helped secure the win, though, as Alfredo Aceves earned a hold and Michael Wuertz the save. Leadoff hitter Denard Span was all over the bases, stroking three hits and adding two steals and a run. Spencer’s lone run came on a Cesar Izturis base shot.

Nick 4, Spencer 1

WP – Baker LP – Blackburn SV – Wuertz


Touchdown Tommy Hunter blanked Spencer through eight scoreless innings, while yielding just three hits. Mark Texiera burned his former team with a three-run home run in the top of the fifth. On the day, Texiera had two doubles, a HR and three RBI. Darren O-Day Erry-Day closed the door, securing the shutout, in the scoreless ninth. Spencer’s ice-cold offense spoiled a solid effort by starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia, who pitched a complete game (yielding just three earned runs).

Nick 4, Spencer 0

WP – Hunter LP – Sabathia


Pinch hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. sac-bunted home Rajai Davis in the bottom of the eighth inning to help secure the win and avoid the home-sweep against Nick. An angry, half-eaten Shin Soo “Chew” bombed a three-run homer in the top of the eighth, just before being bested by Spencer’s crafty sac-bunt. Desperate to score runs, Spencer jostled his lineup around. It may have worked out. Evan Longoria embraced his leadoff role, hitting three singles, walking once, scoring a run and stealing a bag. Franklin Gutierrez hit a solo-homer for Spencer, while Nick Swisher and Pods each had two hits.

Spencer 4, Nick 3

WP – Phil Hughes LP – Frank Francisco SV – Papelbon

SERIES...Nick 2, Spencer 1

(Pictures of the damaged cards, to be posted soon...stay tuned)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bergy, Garza, Halladay - Dealin'. Nick - Reelin'.

Worth the 1st Round Draft Pick?  You bet.
Nick and I tangled for some early morning pre-Gravy Bowl PTP last Saturday.  This was our second matchup of this AL season (that series update has not been posted yet, but Nick won the first series 2-1, on the road with the strength of his bats).  This time around though, the bats would not be the story. 

Game 1:  'Brittle Brad' Bergesen @ Tommy Hunter
The first run of the game came on a Godzilla solo-shot in the top of the 4th, giving my squad a 1-0 lead. 2 more runs were brought across in the top of the 5th, on a Kurt (Not Asian) Suzuki RBI double, immediately followed by a Jason Bartlett RBI single.  Torto up, 3-naught.  Nick fought back in the bottom of the same frame, getting a run the hard way by advancing the 'Korean Delight', Shin Soo-Choo all the way around to home after a leadoff single thru a series of well placed ground ball outs and a Asdrubal Cabrera single, to close the gap to 3-1.  Nick was quick with the hook on Hunter, and yanked him after just 4+ innings of work. My squad added one more unearned run with 2-outs in the 6th, when Marco Scutaro made a wild throw to let Mike Lowell on base.  Ryan Sweeny then drove Old Man Lowell across home on a triple into the gap.  Bergesen was dealing all game, uncharacteristically striking out 7 in 8 innings, while only yielding 5 hits. Matt Thornton came in to close the 9th.

Torto wins 4-1
WP - B.Bergesen
LP- T.Hunter
S - M.Thornton
HR - H.Matsui
SB - J.Bartlett 2

Game 2:  Matt Garza @ James Shields
Solid pitching (or poor hitting) continued in Game 2.  I jumped out to a early 3-run lead, on 5 straight singles from the 3 thru 7 hitters.  Garza was pitching a gem until the 6th when he gave up a 3-run shot to Jason Kubel.  All knotted up 3-3 in the 8th, Jason Bartlett hit a solo jack to break the tie.  More drama in the bottom of the 8th, when Denard Span led off with a single, and then proceeded to break up a double play on an Adam Lind groundball, slamming into Bartlett and injuring him for 3 games. Garza then walked Texeiera and officially 'tired', came out of the game. David Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrdsma came in for the final inning and 2/3rds, retiring the final five batters, striking out 3 of them.

Torto wins 4-3
WP - Garza
LP - F.Francisco
S - D.Aardsma
HR - J.Kubel, J.Bartlett

Game 3:  Roy 'Doc' Halladay @ Jake Peavy
Lights out pitching in this one.  Halladay fresh off a complete game shutout vs. Keither, was ready to pitch another one.  Peavy didn't give an inch either, though, with a 0-0 tie going into the top of the 7th.  The tie was broken NL-style, with Orlando Cabrera (filling in for the injured Bartlett) successfully bunting over men on 2nd and 3rd.  The Light Hitting Gerry Laird then uncharacteristically hit a 2-out RBI single to score another run.  Two runs would be all that was needed for Halladay to get the win.  Peavy also went the distance in the loss.

Torto wins 2-0
WP - R.Halladay
LP - J.Peavy

Torto sweeps the series 3-0. 

It was nice to see my team do what I actually drafted it to do - win with good pitching and defense.  And even nicer to pull myself back into relevance with the sweep, putting my record at 10 - 11, and pushing Nick behind me in the standings.  Were Keith not able to completely dominate me this season, I might actually be looking at an over-500 record. 

***Record alert*** - Roy Halladay has now pitched 18 straight scoreless innings, and in his 5 starts this season, 4 have been complete games, and 3 of those shutouts.  Ridiculously impressive.  Now I've surely jinxed him for a 5-run 1st inning his next start.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Torto and I "diced-it-up" at the lobby of the Crown Plaza - Milwaukee for an A.L. series last Thursday night. My forever hoovering around .500 team went into the night a game under even and left at, you got it, .500. I beat Torto 2-1. So, through 24 games, I am 12-12. Yawn.

*** Game 1 ***
Spot starter, Alfredo Aceves, put the "ace" in "Aceves" in game one, earning his third victory of the year. Aceves, generally a long reliever, scattered six hits and an earned run through six solid innings. Torto received even worse news after the game when a MRI revealed that fragile starter Eric Bedard's arm actually came disconnected, turned blue and black and fell, lifeless, to the ground through just 2 and 2/3 innings. Bedard is out for the season.
Nick's offense helped Aceves' cause by scoring six runs through the first four innings. Aki Iwamura had two hits and two rbis, while Mike Napoli also had a mutli-hit performance. No-names like Marco Scutaro, Asdrubal Cabrera and Gabe Kapler added rbis. Torto's lone run came in the bottom of the sixth on a Robinson Cano single that scored Jason Bartlett.

WP - Aceves LP - Bedard
Nick wins 6-1

*** Game 2 ***
With Team Torto's Eric Bedard now having only one arm, it could be argued that he could have done a Jim Abbott impression and pitched a better game two than the two-armed Brad Bergesen. Nick's team relentlessly racked up 15 runs (eight of them on Bergey), in a 15-2 route of the downtrodden Tort, despite not hitting a HR.
Mark Texiera has been looking very comfortable in his new uni, going 2x4 with two doubles and 4 rbis. Since joining the Mariners, Tex has driven in 14 runs. Asdrubal notched three hits and three rbis, while Nappy had another multi-hit performance.
Scott Baker earned a complete game win, yielding just two runs.

WP - Baker LP - Bergesen
Nick wins 15-2

*** Game 3 ***
Torto had enough of the beatings in game one and two and gave one back in game three. In a one-run game through five innings, Torto broke things way open in the six-run sixth against the usually reliable Denys Baez (2 IP, 7 ER). Tort tacked on a couple more for the fans, ultimately winning 11-5. Matt Garza cruised to the win, going 8 1/3 and striking out seven.
Torto's 1-4 hitters scoreed eight of the runs and drove in all 11 runs. Matsui had two hits and four rbis, Maglio had two hits and three rbis, Cano had three hits and three rbis. Jason Bartlett had a fantasy manager's dream with three hits, four runs, three sbs and a rbi.

WP - Garza LP - Baez
Torto 11, Nick 5

Nick wins series 2-1 on the road.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rocky Mountain Rebullition - Torto Takes 2009 NL World Series in 5

The 2009 NL World Series saw Fish and his #1 seed juggernaut squad versus my #3 seed band of plucky upstarts.  As some of you may have heard at the Tort Fort - Team Torto pulled out the Series, 4 games to 1, and is your new NL champ.  Some scoffed at my pick of Pablo Sandoval with the #7 overall pick or the 4th round drafting of Miguel Tejada and his iffy defense.  Nobody's questioning it now.
 Here are the details:
Game 1:  J.Vasquez @ C.Carpenter
The World Series opener started out as a pitchers duel, and ended as a rout.  Fish got on the board quickly by scoring his quietly efficient leadoff hitter, Michael Bourn, on a Ryan Braun sac fly in the bottom of the first.  My squad countered with a Jayson Werth solo shot in the top of the 2nd.  Fish then got a one-out triple from jack-of-all-tradesman, Omar Infante, but could not plate him, as Rafael Furcal laid down a terrible bunt that got him caught at the plate. Not to be denied anther run, Fish came back with Mr. Bourn again, getting him aboard with a lead off single in the bottom of the 3rd, stealing 2nd before being singled home by Luis Castillo.  With Fish leading 2-1, all bats then went quiet until the top of the 7th.  When Pedro Feliz cranked a ball into the seats at MinuteMaid Park for a 3-run shot, giving us the 4-2 lead.  And as Javy Vasquez continued to cruise, Carpenter’s 8th inning replacement, Jeremy Affeldt got shelled.  After letting 2 of the first 3 batters on base, Affeldt gave up an RBI-double to the Panda, followed by a Jayson Werth 3-run blast, making it an 8-2 game.  Javy went retired 6 of the next 7 batters faced (3Ks) in the final 2 frames.  My 3 home run rolls were the difference in Game 1.
Torto wins 8-2
WP – J.Vasquez (CG, 2ER, 7H, 4 BB, 9K)
LP – C.Carpenter (7IP, 4ER, 6H, 0 BB, 6K
POTG – Jayson Werth (2-4 with 2 HR and 4RBI)

Game 2: C.Billingsley @ T.Hanson
Eager to capitalize on my Game 1 victory, my squad start hot out of the gates in Game 2, with a top of the first 2-run Toddfather Helton home run. This was followed up by Angel Pagan leadoff double in the top of the 2nd, scored with one out by a Pedro Feliz double, and then followed in the top of the 3rd by a Toddfather RBI-single, pushing the lead to 4-0 Torto.  Fish struck back in the bottom of the 3rd, getting 3 runs back on an RBI single from Bourn and a 2-out, 2-RBI double by Brad Hawpe.  I finally managed to sneak out of the inning by intentionally walking Ryan Braun to get to Nick Johnson, who proceeded to strike out (and probably break a rib).  Top of the fifth, and the HR train got rolling again , with back-to-back solo jacks for the Panda and Werth.  Now down 3-6, Fish did his best to HR-roll his way back into the game, getting a solo shot from Brauny in the 6th, followed by another Braun HR (2-run) in the 7th, tying it up, and knocking Thunder Thigh Billingsley out of the game.  Both team’s relievers locked it down for the next several innings, taking it into extras.  The 6-6 tie was snapped in the top of the 11th, with Carlos Lee facing Trevor Hoffman. A Lee pinch hit a single, followed by a base-clearing triple by ‘The Ol Skippy Schu’maker.  With 2-outs, the ‘Clutch’ Kung Fu Panda slapped a single to bring in Schumaker from 3rd to add 1 insurance run.  5th starter turned reliever, Rich Harden, who had pitched the 10th, was just getting warmed up and closed out the 11th on Fish to get the win, and deny a save opportunity. 
The Astro fans filed out of MinuteMaid park in stunned silence, seeing their team go down 0-2 at home.  Meanwhile the Rockies quietly packed their things and headed back home to Coors Field in the dead of night.
Torto wins 8-6 in 11 innings
WP – R.Harden
LP – T.Hoffman
POTG – S.Schumaker (2-6 with GW RBI triple)

Game 3: R.Oswalt @ R.Dempster
Another early pitchers duel that got away from both teams late.  I jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on the strength of a 2-run blast by the Panda in the bottom of the first.  Fish hit back in the 5th with a lead-off single by Furcal, sacrificed over by Oswalt. Furcal was then driven home by a Bourn RBI-single.  I stole that run back in the bottom of the 6th on a 2-out RBI single from Angel Pagan, making it 3-1 Torto.  Fish had a big 7th inning to take the lead though, with RBI hits from Castillo (RBI single) and Braun (2-RBI double).  With the game now 4-3 Fish, I mustered 2 runs in the 8th, this time with a 2-out inning extending single from Jayson Werth, followed by an RBI triple for Pagan.  Pagan was then scored on a Randy Winn ‘CLUTCH’ single off Brian Wilson, to steal the lead, and make it 5-4 Torto.  Fish, starting to become visably weary of his bullpen blowing leads, counterpunched with a 2-out Ryan Braun solo home run off Huston Street to tie the game.  Fish brought in Trevor Hoffman for the 9th, but after retiring Skippy Schu, he gave up a single to the ageless Miguel Tejada, followed by a Toddfather single.  With runners on 1st and 2nd, and 1out, Pablo Sandoval grounded out into a fielder choice (great hustle by the Panda), leaving runners on the corner for Jayson Werth – who walked off the game by doubling in Tejada.  The Rockies fans celebrated long into the crisp, cool, Colorado night that evening, feeling that a World Series was almost in hand.
Torto wins 6-5
WP – H.Street
LP – T.Hoffman
POTG – Jayson Werth (3-5 with 2 2Bs and GW RBI)

Game 4: C.Zambrano @ H.Kuroda
With the Big Z on the mound for Game 4, the Rockies fans were looking for another dominant performance to end the series, much like the one displayed in the first round to close out the series vs. Spencer.  It was not to be.  Big Z lasted only 4 innings,  after giving up 5 runs on a 2- RBI double by Brad Hawpe, and and RBI doubles from Castillo, and the now healthy Derrick Lee.  However, my squad’s bats were not to be denied a chance to keep us in the game.  Tejada scored Skippy Schu on an hard-hit grounder that was booted by Furcal in the 1st.  Tejada slapped an RBI single in the 2nd to score Randy Winn. And in the 4th, RBI doubles by Pedro Feliz and Schumaker had the game all knotted up 5 – 5 in the 5th.  Fish broke that tie, on a 2-out solo shot from Furcal.  My squad hit back with a Miguel Tejada RBI single in the 6th, making it 6 – 6.  Top of the 7th,  and Brad Hawpe jacked a solo homer into the Colorado night to take the lead again, 7-6.  The Torto counter punch in the bottom of the 8th was 2 RBI singles by Schumaker and Helton, to take back the lead 8 – 7.  Fish was now thoroughly fed up with this back and forth nonsense came with his biggest bats in the top of the 9th.  With closer Ryan Franklin in, Fish got lead off single by Brauny, that was followed by a 2-run blast by Derrick Lee to take the lead.  Brad Hawpe, then decided to make sure this game wouldn’t be stolen in the bottom of the 9th, and immediately followed with another home run, his 2nd of the game.  Nonetheless, my squad nearly came back to tie, urged on by the home crowd.  In the bottom of the 9th, Fish’s bullpen was running low and Jason Marquis was being used, as all closers were unavailable.  A 1-out double by Randy Win, was followed by a Pedro Feliz out.  With 2 outs, pinch hitter Carlos Lee was inserted into the game, and delivered an RBI single, before Schumaker got the final out.
Fish wins 10-9
WP – J.Marquis
LP – R.Franklin
POTG – B.Hawpe (4-5 with 2 HRs, 4 RBI, and a triple short of the cycle)

Game 5: C.Carpenter @ J.Vasquez
High drama again in this one, and my Rockies were desperate to deliver the knockout blow in front of their home fans.  Both aces battled in this one, going deep into the game.  No runs until the 6th, when Fish got a 2-out single from Castillo, followed by a Ryan Braun 3-bagger, and then an RBI single from D-Lee to take a 2 – zip lead.  Fish picked up another run in the top of the 8th, on a D-Lee solo homer, going up 3 – 0 going into the bottom of the 8th.  Carpenter finally began to tire, giving up a single to the Panda, followed by an RBI double from Mr. Werth.  The rally was killed though, when Werth tried to score from 2nd on a 2-out single by Randy Winn, getting gunned down at the plate by Bourn and so Fish still led 3-1 going into the final frame.  After Vasquez went into the 9th, and kept the deficit at 2.  For the bottom of the 9th, Fish again trusted in Trevor, only to be let down again.  After Hoffman got Feliz and a pinch-hitting Sheffield out to start, he then walked Schumaker.  With 2 down, and Tejada up at the plate, Hoffman gave up a moonball with the homer standing up (instead of going to deep drive) due to the Clutch/Jam cancel.  With the score now 3-3, the game continued scoreless into the bottom of the 13th, (with Vasquez going 10 full innings) until Brian Wilson walked Randy Winn with 1 out.  Winn proceeded to swipe 2nd, (only the 2nd base stolen all series by either team), and then was advanced over on Brian Wilson’s throwing error on a Feliz dribbler back to the mound.  With runners on 1st and 3rd with 1-out, and with Juan Pierre chomping at the bit to get into the game for at least 1 at bat, I inserted Pierre as a pinch hitter.  Fish pulled the infield in, correctly anticipating the bunt, but the A-bunter laid down a perfect tap and scored a sprinting Randy Winn to walk off the game, and the series.  The Rockies fans rushed the field in the win, and partied long into the cool autumn alpine night, with only modest property damage done in the immediate vicinity of Coors Field.
Torto wins 4-3 in 13 innings
WP – R.Harden
LP – B.Wilson
BS – T.Hoffman
POTG – Juan Pierre (0-0 with walk off sacrifice hit and GW RBI)
Wow. It was exciting just recapping all that.  Every single game was really hard fought, except maybe Game 1, and each game had late inning drama.  In the end, the big difference maker in determing the winner of these games was timely home runs and defense.  I had the edge in both these parameters, as evidenced by my 8 HRs and committed only one error all series.  It was great playing with you Fish, especially since we were both very astute with using the jam/clutch/off/on/h&r, etc.  I don’t feel anything was missed with regard to all the various situations we put each other in.  Fish - if your play could be translated into song, it would be Bob Seeger's "Still the Same", and you play the way you always do, really smart/well.  Trevor Hoffman just seemed to be a choker for you.  Still, it was nice to come out on top with all the close games I’ve lost to you in the recent past. Great series, and I look forward to our next regular season series in the AL.
World Series MVP – Jayson Werth (10-26, 0.385 BA, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)
Honorable Mention – Javy Vasquez (2 starts, 19 IP, 5 ER, 20 Ks)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Christening the Tort Fort

Hi Friends. Thanks again Torto for hosting us at the fort over the weekend, and for all the beer and delicious chili. I enjoyed passing liquor around the campfire and claiming the 2nd-most comfortable bed in the house. With all the games that went down I'm not sure I have the appetite to recap each one, but for standings purposes I will report that I lost 2 of 3 to Spencer and 2 of 3 to Matt in AL action. I dropped from 11-7 to 13-11.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stats Update

I updated my stats this evening. Here's what I've got through 18 games:

K. Morales .342 (38 AB's)
M. Weiters .314 (35 AB's)

Youkilis 22
V. Guerrero 10
Polanco 10

Youkilis 4

Crawford 11


Beckett 3-0, 2.09 ERA, 32 K's, 4 BB's (30.1 innings)
Lackey 2-0, 4.13 ERA, 25 K's, 5 BB's (25 innings)
J. Frasor 3-0, 3.38 ERA, 4 K's, 5 BB's, 1 save (8 innings)
M. Rivera 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6 K's, 4 BB's, 5 saves (6 innings)

Torto, note Spencer's last post - he's actually 10-5, not 13-5. That right there's the most important stat of all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spencer @ Butler: Bring your brooms

Game 1 -- James “The” Sheilds @ Kevin “Dead”Millwood

Ahhh, a classic rivalry resume last Saturday morning as Spencer hosted Butler for only his second series of the year. It was “Pooch Day” at the ballpark and three black lab puppies, Leela, Maddie, and Sheamus were excited to see some dice rolled. Sadly, before the game we were informed that Knuckles did not secure a ticket to the game and missed the festivities.
Things started off quick for Spencer in the top of the 1st, as The Swami Raji Davis singled, stole 2nd, was SAC’d to 3rd, then scored on America’s Next Top Model Winner: Evan Longoria SAC Fly. With two outs, Big Tex walked, the scored on a J.D. Drew RBI single. 2-0 Spencer.
Spencer went nuclear in the Top of the 4th off Kevin Deadwood. J.D. Drew led off with a double, Big Papi doubled, Kelly Shoppachaholic singled, Ceasar Izturis singled, The Swami RBI-ground out (1 out), Aaron Hill singled, Eva Longoria doubled, Big Tex walked, Ave Mexican Juan Rivera doubled. Seven runs were scored at the end of the outburst. Butler would get two runs back in the bottom of the 4th on Torii Hunter’s 2-RBI single. Spencer leads 9-2 after 4 innings. Butler added 1 run in the 5th and 6th innings. Spencer leads 9-4 after six innings. Spencer answered back in the 8th as, Aaron Hill donged a 2-run shot to make it 11-4 Spencer. Butler however, would not take my dice rolling insults or puppy distractions lying down. Enter Flamethrower Daniel Bard from the bullpen……
Average Joe Mauer smacked a Grand Salami w/ smoked provolone and pepper rings. Next batter Miguel Cabrera smacked a solo shot. Next batter Torii Hunter smacked a solo shot. BACK-TO-BACK-TO BACK JACKS FOR BUTLER!!!! Spencer now leads 11-10 after 8 innings. Spencer added a AAA insurance run in the 9th as Jon Papelbon closed the door. SPENCER WINS 12-10 in a slugfest

W – Shields 6.0, 9h, 4er, 5w, 2k, 1hr

L – Tony Pena 3.1, 4h, 3er, 2k, hr

S – Papelbon 1.2, 2w, 3k

GAME 2 “Slick” Rick Porcello @ “Brewers Announcer” Brian Anderson

Game 1 was a slugfest so of course Game 2 was a pitchers duel. Quick Synopsis:
Spencer scored three runs on a an Aaron Hill RBI-single in the 1st, Cesar Isturis RBI-double in the 2nd, and a Juan Rivera Solo HR in the 7th. Slick Rick Porcello made quick work of Butler’s squad as he was due to perform songs from his platinum album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick Porcello later in the night at the Apollo Theatre. Porcello scattered six hits and gave up one run on a Pedroia RBI-double. Spencer wins 3-1.

W - Porcello CG, 6h, er, 3w, 3k
L – Anderson 6.1, 9h, 2er, 3k, hr

Game 3 Nick Blackburn pitching in the dead of night @ Jered Coyle Weaver

…we move to extra innings as the game was tied at 2-2 after 9 innings. In the Top of the 11th, I-Rod lead off with a walk, Izturis singled amd the Swami walked to load the bases. Franklin Gutierrez, batting .197 on the year, smacked the game winning single. Papelbon gets another save. SPENCER WINS 4-2. SPENCER SWEEPS SERIES 3-0.

It was a close series.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Butler beats Nick in two of three at home

Butler and I hooked up on Sunday for a three-gamer, before the Packers dissected the hapless Buffalo Bills. The highlight of my day was clearly watching the Packers, as my ptp team's struggles continue.

John Danks pitched eight solid innings (four hits, six k's, one earned run), before the Mexicutioner closed the door. Butler's team got at Cy Young contender Zack Greinke in the first inning, as Joe Mauer hit a two run double and was later plated on a Torii Hunter triple. Greinke now falls to 1-2. Nick's lone run came in the first on a Mike Nappy double. Butler stretched his lead in the eighth thanks to a Dustin Pedroia triple.
Butler 3, Nick 1
WP - Danks LP - Greinke SV - Soria

Tied 5-5 in the 9th, Jason Kubel hit a bomb to give Nick's team the lead, 6-5. Asdrubal Cabrerrrrr then added two more insurance runs on a base-clearing double, before closer Mike Wuertz collected his fourth save of the year. Butler jumped on the struggling Jake Peavy, scoring four runs in the first three innings, before Nick took the lead back on a Nick Swisher base-clearing single. In the loss, Mauer had three hits, two runs and a RBI and Nolan Reimold added two hits and two rbis.
Nick 8, Butler 5
WP - O'Day LP - Carrasco SV - Wuertz

Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Michael Young hit a lead-off triple. A batter later, Nolan "Keith hates me" Reimold hit a walk-off sacrifice fly to win the game for the home team Royals, 3-2. Believe it or not, Young's triple was the second of the game for the hustling handsome hitter. Jason Kubel hit a solo homer and Lyle Overbay drove in the only other run for Nick's "squadron." Mike Wuertz blew his first save of the year.
Bulter 3, Nick 2
WP - Robertson LP - Wuertz

Butler wins 2 of 3...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Keith @ Nick: NL Baseball in the AL

Nick and I hooked up this past weekend for a three-game showdown. Here’s what transpired…

Game One: Lackey @ Baker

A surprisingly well-pitched game gave this one the feel of a National League game. Nick got things started in the bottom of the 3rd with a Mike “Who’s Got the Nappiest Balls of All?” Napoli solo jobber, followed up by a Choo RBI double. Youks cut the lead in half in the top of the 4th, answering Napoli with a leadoff solo jack. Things stayed quiet until the top of the 8th, when a Adam Jones leadoff double chased Baker from the game. Nick called in Darren “All Day, Errry Day” O’Day, who apparently earned his nickname by blowing games all day, every day. A Crawford triple, Youks single and Kendry Morales bomb before the inning ended gave Keith the 5-2 lead, and the win.

Keith Wins 5-2
W – J. Frazor
L – O’Day
S – M. Rivera

Game Two: Beckett @ Hunter

Nick once again grabbed an early lead courtesy of a Kubel RBI double driving in Choo in the bottom of the first. The lead would not last long, however, as RBIs by Polanco and Vladdy in the 3rd and provided Keith with a 2-1 lead. A big 6th inning for Keith, highlighted by a Matt Wieters three run home run, gave Keith some breathing room and a 6-1 lead. Nick would mount a comeback with a Cabrera RBI triple in the 7th and a two run bombski by Jason Kubel in the bottom of the 9th. Not enough though to overcome Beckett’s performance, who struck out eight in 8 strong innings.

Keith Wins 6-4
W – Beckett
L – Hunter
S – J. Bulger

Game Three: Washburn @ Pavano

Nick, getting a bit frustrated with his pitching at this point, pulled Pavano after only facing four batters – during which he managed to give up two runs on Markakis and Youkilis RBI’s. The strategy worked, as Aceves, Francisco and Wertz combined to hold Keith scoreless the rest of the game. A two run homer by Izturiz in the 3rd, a sac fly by Scutaro in the fourth, an RBI double by Adam Lind in the 7th and another RBI double by Cabrera in the 8th would allow Nick to eliminate any possibility of being on the wrong end of a sweep.

Nick Wins 5-2
W – Aceves
L – Washburn
S – Wertz
Keith wins series 2-1.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Keith vs Fish: Speed vs Speed

Keith and I also shook some dice while enjoying premium Busch Light in Spring Green. Pitching dominated the series.

Game 1 - Washburn vs King Felix
Both pitchers had their good stuff, with Washburn facing the minimum through 6 innings. In the top of the 6th, Keith got on the board with run scoring double from Morales. A run was scored in the bottom of the 7th when Ellsbury lead off the inning with a base shot, stole second, and scored on a double from Kinsler. In the bottom of the 8th, the new and improved power hitting Ichiro Suzuki hit a go ahead two run home run. Hernandez closed out the complete game, with an impressive stat line of 9 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and 6 strike outs.

Fish Wins 3 -1
Winning Pitcher - Hernandez
Losing Pitcher - Washburn
Home Runs - Ichiro

Game 2 Niemann vs Feldman
Slow start by both team until the bottom of the 3rd, when Abreu led the game off with a double, Niemann then walked the bases loaded (walking Figgons and Aybar), and Ichiro hit a two run base hit, plating two runners. Keith scored in the top of the 5th Crawford base shot/ stolen base combo, scoring on a Nick Markakis single. An insurance run was scored in the 8th on a Paul Konerko sacrifice fly - and Joe Nathan came in and closed the door in the 9th.

Fish Wins 3-1
Winning Pitcher - Feldman
Losing Pitcher - Neimann
Save - Nathan

Game 3 - Gaudin vs Buehrle
A wild one in Game 3 - Polanco scored AJ Pierenski on a two out triple. In the bottom of the second, the first ever steal of home was accomplished by none other than Jorge Posada. However, in doing so, injured himself for 8 games as well as injuring AJ Pierenski for 2 games as well. In the bottom of the 3rd, Paul Konerko hit a solo home run to make the lead 3-1. However, Keith came back in the top of the 8th, scoring 2 runs on Josh Hamilton 2-run homer, tying the game and sending it into extra's. Keith took the lead on singles from Youklis, Morales, and Wetters in the top of the 10th. The score was again tied in the top of the 10th on a solo home run from Bobby Abreu. Keith would take the lead for good with a solo home run from Youklis in the top of the 12th.

Keith Wins 5-4
Winning Pitcher - Camp
Losing Pitcher - Jenks
Home Runs - Konerko, Hamilton, Abreu, Youklis

Series MVP - Ichiro
Ichiro's line - 6 for 13, 5 RBI's, 1 home run

Fish vs Nick - Spring Green PTP

Games got played while we were celebrating the last days of Keith's life - I mean continued marital bliss. The first series Nick and I locked horns, and Chone Figgons showed why he is a legitimite MVP canidate:

Game 1 - Peavy at Burnett

In the battle of hard throwing righties, both offenses got started early. Nick took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with a Span base shot, stealing second, and was plated Adam Lind. My team rallied quickly in the bottom of the first with base shots by Figgons and Aybar, both scoring on a Ichiro all scoring double. In the bottom of the second, Hebrew National Hot Dogs Ian Kinsler hit a two run bomb over the Green Monster, making the score 4-1. Peavy, "not having his good stuff," surrendered three more runs in the bottom of the 4th, with Abreu scoring on a Figgon base hit, and Ichiro hitting another two run double. My guyz were not done with Peavy yet, as 4 more runs were scored in the bottom of the 5th, with usual suspects like Abreu, Posada, Kinsler and Figgons all scoring, mostly on a two out, two run triple from Erick Aybar. AJ Burnett didn't need all the support that he got, as he went the complete game - stat line as follows: 9 inning, 7 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 10 strike outs.

Fish wins 12-1

Winning Pitcher - Burnett

Losing Pitcher - Peavy

Home Runs: Kinsler, Posada

Game 2 - Duensing vs Baker

Brian Duensing had a spot start with Hernandez out for two more games, and he had a rough 1st and 2nd inning. 3 base hits in the top of the 1st, with Izturis scoring on a Choo base hit started things for Nick's squad. Izturis had a run scoring double in the top of the second to make the score 2-0 bad guys. In the bottom of the second, Kinsler and Figgons were on base when Erick Aybar scored both of them. The bottom of the 6th featured an Ichiro double and was score on an A-Rod single, which made the score 3-2 Fish. Nick tied the game in the top of the 8th Cabrera scored on an Izturis base hit; key point in the game, the third base coach sent Swisher home on the play as well and was gunned down by Bobby "I must" Abreu, proving costly for Nick's squadran. The game went into extra's and was put to rest when Ichiro had a base hit in the bottom of the 11th, then promptly stole second, and was scored on a double by Curtis Granderson.

Fish wins 4-3

Winning Pitcher - Wood

Loosing Pitcher - Wertz

Home Runs - None

Game 3 - Hunter vs Floyd

Nick's offense was again quick to get on the scoreboard, with thee consecutive singles from Span, Overbay and Choo. The run was quickly answered in the bottom of the 1st when Figgons lead off the game with a single and was scored on a Erick Aybar double. Nick literaly walked all over Floyd in the top of the 5th, when Floyd walked four consecutive batters and scored 3 runs in the frame. Olivo hit a two run job in the bottom of the 5th for the home team, however there was no more offense to speak of from my team. Gabe Kapler had a West Bend insurance run in the top of the 9th hitting a double to left.

Nick Wins 5-3

Winning Pitcher - Aceves

Losing Pitcher - Floyd

Home Runs - Olivo

Series MVP - Figgons

Figgons line - 6 for 13, 5 runs scored

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Carlo Sweeps Matt; Faces Fish in the NLDS

Joe Blanton worked eight scoreless innings, striking out ten, before K-Rod shut the door on Matty in game one. Cole Hamels pitched a beauty, until he ran out of gas in the eighth inning. After Hamels departure, Carlo's team rattled off two runs against veteran lefty Arthur Rhodes. Josh Willingham and and Carlos Gonzalez each drove in a run on back-to-back singles.

FINAL: Carlo 2, Matt 0

Martin Prado hit a game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th inning to win game two. Prado, fresh off a multi-hit game one, reached base four times in game two and was, generally speaking, a pain in Matt's arse the whole series. Mark DeRosa launched a two-run homer in the third inning, allowing starter Dan Haren to cruise with a lead until Garrett Jones put one in the stands, tying the game in the ninth inning. K-Rod picked up the win, working the 10th and the 11th inning. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley each hit solo homers for Matt.

FINAL: Carlo 4, Matt 3 (in 11 innings)

With his back against the wall, Matt and his team came out swinging in game three. After Matt Kemp singled, Prince Fielder bombed a two-run homer, giving Matt and starter Ted Lilly an early two-run lead. This lead would dissipate, however, as Josh Willingham hit a run-scoring double in the first and a two-run homer in the third inning. Carlos Gonzalez added a two-run triple in the 8th. Josh Johnson went eight strong innings, earning the win for Carlo. Princey was the MVP for Matt, collecting three hits in the loss.

FINAL: Carlo 6, Matt 3


Karate Kid Part VI: Spencer @ Matty (Jacobs Field)

Game 1 Nick Blackburn @ Jon Lester

This series had everything: Extra innings, late game heroics, dominant pitching, 10 hit-by-pitches, a huge injury, a suspension and a bizarre featuring the picture above. Here's what happened....
After taking an offensive dump vs Nick, Spencer's team looked to take out his frustrations on Nick's older, wiser and better softball hitting older brother and he came out rolling to start the game.

Top of the 1st: Raji Davis singled, he scored when #2 hitter, Average Mexi Juan Rivera, went Yardo Marx...... 2-0 Spencer

**2nd Inning: In response to Juan Rivera admiring his HR from home plate, Jon Lester decided to plunk Frank Gutierrez, and the benches cleared!!! While in the scuffle, Frank Gutierrez nailed Jon Lester with a spiked cresent kick to the chest. Gutierrez was suspended for an additional 3 games (1 left) and Jon Lester (pussy) will just miss his next start. Scotty Podz relpaced Gutz in the lineup.

Nick Blackburn retaliated in the bottom of the 2nd by plunking Gordan Bacon, then allowed just five baserunners until the 7th inning...
Bottom of 7: Vic Martinez sigled to lead off. Blackburn walked Carlos Pena and Gordan Bacon to load the bases. Elvis Andrus' SAC made it....2-1 Spencer

Bottom of 8: A Brett Gardner leadoff single was followed by Ben Zobrist looking smug, so new pitcher Phil Hughes plunked him. Nelson Cruz RBI single made it... 2-2 TIE

Top of 10: A Big Tex single led to a J.D. "Dr" Drew 2-run jack off Andrew Bailey Spencer leads 4-2

Bottom of 10: Matty answered right back as Billy Butler drove in a pair with a single off of Darren Oliver.....TIED 4-4

Top of 13: JD Drew led off with a single and scored the winning run, as Hall-of-Famer Pudge Rodriguez smacked a triple off of Craig Breslow. SPENCER WINS 5-4 in 13 innings.

W-Darren Oliver 3.1IP, 2h, w, k, er
L - Craig Breslow 1.0IP, 2h, er

GAME 2: C.G. Sabathia (get it CG?) @ Ryan Rowland-Smith

Before the game, CC Sabathia told the media he wants to pitch every inning he starts this inning. Manager Spencer Rockwell responded, " Fine with me."

Top of the 1st: Scotty Podz scored on an Evan Longoria single...1-0 SPencer
Bottom of 2: Brett Gardner's RBI double scored Gordan Bacon, who also doubled....2-1 Spencer

Top 5: Things broke open here as Eva Longoria plated two with a double, then scored on a Benny Hill RBI single....Spencer leads 4-1

Bottom of 7: Bill Butler led off with a walk and scored on Gordan Bacon's 2nd double...Spencer leads 4-2.

CC Sabathia, is getting his wish as he pitched his 3rd CG in 3 starts. SPENCER WINS 4-2

W-Sabathia CG, 6h, 2er, 4w, 11K
L - Rowland-Smith 6IP, 7h, 4r, 3er, 2w, 3k

Game 3: Edwin Jackson @ Scott Kazmir


Bottom of 2: Nelson Cruz hit a 2-run bomb, four batters later Kenji Johjima hit a 2-run sayonnara...4-0 Matty

Top of 3: Evan Longoria knocked in two on a double...4-2 Matty
Top of 7: Two HBP, a BB, and two RBI-singles from Scotty Pods and Evan Longoria made it......4-4 TIE

Things got ugly in Top of the 8th: kelly Shoppach led off with a solo bomb. Cesar Izturis hit a triple, Raji Davis hit a RBI-single, Scotty Pods singled, Longoria hit a bases clearing double, Tex de Grande with a RBI-single, Jerry Hairston walked.....9-4 Spencer

Tim Wakefield was fluttering and brilliant, as he replaced an ineffective Ed Jackson (3IP, 4er) to pick pick up the win. SPENCER WINS 9-4 SPENCER SWEEPS 3-

W- Wakefield 5.0IP, 3h, 3w, 2k
L- Mijares 2.0IP, 7h, 2w, 2 hbp, 7er
Evan Longoria 3-5, 2x2B, r, 5RBI

Very fun series featuring a total of 11 HBPs...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Keith @ Torto: The Role Players Step Up

Torto and I tangled for a series in West Bend last night. Delicious pizza, several beers and some quality baseball all went down. Here's the skinny....

Game One: Gaudin @ Verlander

The game started with a tone-setter; after Crawford singled in his first at-bat, the league leader was picked off trying to steal second. There would not be a steal the entire series (although Torto reciprocated by getting a pinch-runner picked off in Game 3). Verlander spent most of the game frusterating the Baltimore batters, holding them scoreless through five before Youks knocked in Crawford for Baltimore's first score. Meanwhile, Torto's Yankees were sporadically knocking in runs, thanks to RBI's from Robbie Cano in the 3rd, Ryan Sweeney in the 4th and a 2-run double by Jason Bartlett in the 6th. Still, despite the lead, the Yanks continued to leave ducks on the pond, leaving the game within reach at 4-1 heading into the top of the 7th. It was at this point Nick Markaris blasted a Grand Slam to give Baltimore the lead, with additional drama provided by his "clutch" rating neutralizing Verlander's "jam."

"That was the turning point in the series," Torto would later reflect.

Crawford and Markakis would add RBI's in the top of the 9th as Frasor and Rivera allowed Keith to gratefully escape with the win.

Keith wins 7-4
WP J. Frasor
LP J. Verlander
S M. Rivera (3)

Game Two: Lackey at Bedard

This game would prove to be a pitcher's duel, as Keith's ace faced the immensely talented and disturbingly frail Erik Bedard. Lackey would have his best performance of the season to date, scattering five hits over eight innings and registering 11 K's. Bedard and, later Lyon, would pitch well for Torto, giving up only 2 runs on Jack Wilson RBI's in the 2nd and the 4th, respectively. That would prove to be the difference in the game, however, as Mariano came in the finish Lackey's gem to earn his 4th save.

Keith wins 2-0
WP J. Lackey
LP E. Bedard
S M. Rivera (4)

Game Three: Beckett @ Bergeson

Whereas the offense in game two came from an extremely unlikely source - Jack Wilson - the offense in game three came from the large-headed Placido Polanco. Polanco knocked a two-run HR in the bottom of the third, and drove in Morales and Pennington in the bottom of the 4th with a two-out double. Beckett picked up where Lackey left off, limiting the impotent Yankees to eight hits over 7.1 and ringing up 9 K's. Ryan Raburn knocking in Maggs Ordonez in the bottom of the 9th was the only thing preventing Torto from being on the wrong end of a couple of shutouts to close out the series.

Keith wins 4-1
WP J. Beckett
LP B. Bergeson

Friday, July 30, 2010

NICK SWEEPS SPENCER. League braces for a dominant season.

Hey, dudes. Spencer and I hooked up for a mid-week PTP dice-off. Rock is going to be sending me the sheets, so I will share specifics later. Games one and three were pitcher duels and the second game was more of an extra inning slug-fest.

______ Here's the skinny ______

Game one: Touchdown Tommy Hunter pitched 8+ innings, before Mike Wuertz shut the door.

Game two: Shin Soo Choo wins it with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 14th inning. My stacked bullpen did wonders after Carl Pavano's early departure.

Game three: Spencer and I went extras again. Zack Greinke does it Jack Morris-gangster style, going a complete game 10 innings. This makes me much happier about drafting him in the first round.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday Night's All Right for Rolling - Mini-APD at Casa de Torto?

So Keith and I have made arrangements to roll out an AL series this Saturday evening at my place in West Bend.  We figured we should open it up to the rest of you fine gents in case you weren't busy, and had the itch to keep your season moving forward.  So at any rate, feel free to come on over on Saturday afternoon/evening.  Keith will be arriving around 6:30pm.  I'll provide beer/cocktails, snacks, and generally solid hospitality.  You provide your PTP cards.

Keith, you'll be getting my 2-3-4, righty-lefty-righty (Verlander, Bedard, Bergesen).  I'll admit I get a little extra excited everytime m'boy Verlander gets to climb the mound, due to my man-crush.  So enjoy another Samara Pearlstein original (love her Tigers artwork) showing off JV's triple digit heat.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fish vs Torto, Bug Central

Torto was nice enough swing by Milton Wisconsin on Saturday night for some dice rolling. I'm in the process of replacing the storm doors on the porch, so things got a little buggy as the night progressed, I think Torto got a couple of moths in the face - sorry Torto! The games were well played and close, with the details to follow:

Game 1: Floyd at Bergerson

Torto started the game out quickly with a 1st inning two run home run from Matsui Godzilla. However, not to be out done, his countryman Ichiro Suzuki hit a solo home run in top of the 3rd, stating after the game he found his new team and manager to much more comfortable and suited for his game, all in broken English. Granderson, Posada and Figgons all double in the top of the 4th to take the lead 3-2. However Torto stormed back with a two run home run from Jason "they'll give anybody a Clutch rating" Bartlett. In the top of the 6th, Ian "Gifilte Fish" Kinsler hit a base shot, later scoring on a base shot by Alex Rodriguez. With two walks to lead off the top of 9th, Mr. Sipp gave up those two runs on a bases clearing double by Michael Cuddyer. Joe Nathan closed the game out with his second save on the season.

Fish wins 7-4

Winning Pitcher - Floyd

Losing Pitcher - Bergerson

Save - Nathan

Home Runs




Game 2: Buerhle at Garza

Alex Rodriguez clubbed an early two run home run in the 1st inning, with Lady Gaga in attendance. Adrien Beltre hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 1st - then the bats on both sides went quite for awhile. In the top of the 7th, Paully Konerko scored after he got on base on a fielder's choice - scored on a bases loaded walk by Chone Figgons. The top of the 9th was agin problematic for Torto, Matt Thorton gave up a lead off single to Ellsbury, followed by an RBI double from Posada, triple from Kinsler, and a two run home run from slugger Ichrio. Torto scored two runs in the bottom of the 9th on a two run home run from Morneau. Buerhle went 8 innings, gave up 4 hits, 1 earned run, three walks and four strike outs.

Fish wins 7-3

Winning Pitcher - Buerhle

Losing Pitcher - Garza

Home Runs





Game 3: Feldman at Halladay

Halladay had really great stuff as he scattered 7 hits over his complete game shutout, including 11 strike outs. A lead off double from Jason Bartlett, plated by Matsui in the 1st in all Halladay needed. Torto score another run in the 6th on a solo home run from Sweeney.

Torto wins 2-0

Winning Pitcher - Halladay

Losing Pitcher - Feldman

Home Runs


No injuries to report

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Play Ball?

Anybody want to play this week? Monday night (7/26), Wednesday night (7/28) or Saturday night are all good for me. Let me know - happy to host, drive or meet you halfway...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five Thirds of a Ballpark?

Thought you guys might enjoy my write-up on my latest ballpark visit - Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Good times there, even if I was running O Solo Mio.  If nothing else, I've got a tip on a Brewers pitching prospect (Whitecaps played the Timber Rattlers)

Oh, and hey - it turns out I'm gonna be in the Janesville-Beloit area Saturday evening.  Any interest in rolling out a series that night?  Anyone?  Anyone...? 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

C.C.'ing you in the playoffs.

AL - TORTO @ SPENCER @ Morry's Bar, Beaver Dam

GAME 1 - Roy Halladay @ Slick Rick Porcello

Spencer kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the 2nd with a Pudge Rodriguez 2RBI-double. Spencer 2-0. Torto tied things at 2-2 in the 3rd on a 2RBI-triple. Spencer would take a 4-2 lead on a J.D. Drew 2RBI-double in the 4th. The Cover Girl, Evan Longoria added a solo shot in the 7th to make it 5-2 Spencer. Torto would tie in the 8th however, as Justin Morneau smacked a bases loaded double. Jerry Laird was hit by Darren Oliver to lead off the 9th. After a Oliver balk, Laird scired the winning run on a Magpipes Ordonez single. TORTO WINS 6-5
W - Brandon Lyon 2.2IP, 4K
L - Oliver 2.0, 2h, er, 2k
Halladay got roughed up 6.1, 13h, 5er, 5k, hr
GAME 2 Justin Verlander @ Nick Blackburn
This game was pitcher dominated. Spencer scored first on a RBI-double by Cesear Izturis. Spencer added one more on a Franklin "Do You have them, GUTS!" Gutierrez RBI-single. Torto made it 2-1 in the top of the 8th on a Jason "Pears" Bartlett RBI-single, but Torto's shoddy defense cost him in the bottom of the 8th. Big Tex reached on a Rob Cano error. Average Mexican Juan Rivera reached on a Morneau error, and Pudge Rodriguez delivered the KO blow with a RBI single to seal it. SPENCER WINS 3-1
W - Blackburn 7.0, 3H, 2BB, 4K
L - Verlander CG, 7H, 3R, 2ER, 2BB, 9k
S - Phil Hughes 2.0, H, ER, BB, K
GAME 3 Erik "Handicapped" Be-dard @ C.C. Sabathia
Spencer scored early in the first as "The Swami" Raji Davis and J.D. Drew scored on a Aaron "Benny" Hill 2RBI-single. Spencer would add one more in the 3rd as Longoria, Big Tex, and Benny Hill smacked consecutive singles. Torto cut the gap scoring one on a bases loaded walk, but Spencer scored right after in the bottom of the 5th on an Average Mexican RBI-single. "Pears" Bartlett jacked a meaningless solo bomb in the top of 8th. C.C. Sabathia dominated for the second straight start and picked up his second straight CG. SPENCER WINS 4-2. SPENCER WINS SERIES 2-1
*********INJURY UPDATE*********** Torto lost Ryan Raburn for 2 games on a diving attempt at a catch. It was a 2B.
W- Sabathia CG, 6H, 2ER, 9K, 2BB
L - Bedard 7.2, 10H, 4ER, 7K, 2BB

Monday, July 19, 2010

AL Games and a 4 Player Trade - WOW

On Monday evening, games were played at the Fisher household between Keith and Fish. The outcome is noted below:

Game 1 : Scott Feldman at Josh Beckett
It was a quick start for the visiting team, with a leadoff triple by Chone Figgons and a follow-up RBI double by Eric Aybar. However, the run was quickly answered in the bottom of the 1st with an Ichiro double and Youklis RBI single. Beckett had things on lock after the 1st, going 8 innings with 5 hits, 2 walks, and 10 strike outs. Keith won the game with a Cuddeyer RBI double in the 6th off of Duensing.
Keith wins 2-1
Win: Beckett
Loss: Duensing
Save: Rivera
HR – None
SB – None

Game 2 : AJ Burnett at Jarod Wahburn
Alex Rodriguez started things off in the top the first with a two run home run, plating Ellsbury. With a pitchers duel in progress, Bob Abreu plated A-Rod to take a 3-0 to this point. Vlad the Impaler hit a ball around his shoes for a 2 run home run in the bottom of the sixth, to narrow the lead to 3-2. Fuentes held down the lead, and Nathan struck out the side in the 9th for the save.
Fish wins 3-2
Win: Burnett
Loss: Washburn
Save: Nathan
HR – A. Rodriguez, V. Guerrero
SB – (1) Ellsbury, (2) C. Crawford, (1) Ichiro

Game 3 : Felix Hernandez at A. Niemann
Niemann quickly looked like a combination of Cory Newman and Corey Hart in the 1st inning of this game. He gave up a single to Figgons, double to Aybar, RBI single to A-Roid, and a single to Markakis, all to which plated three runs in the top of the 1st. Keither answered with a run in the bottom of the 1st with a Carl Crawford walk, stolen base, and a Youklis RBI single. Niemann did have his “good stuff” when three more runs scored in the top of the second inning, with a single from Kinsler, a walk from Abreu, double from A-Rod, and a double Granderson. AJ Piersinski hit a solo shot in the bottom of the second. A – Rod hit a solo home run in the top of the 4th, and that would be the end of scoring.
Fish wins 7-2
Win: Hernandez
Loss: Niemann
HR – A. Rodriguez, AJ Piersenski
SB – (2) C. Crawford, (2) Figgons

**TRADE – MAJOR TRADE Announcement

Fish Trades:
1B: Kenry Morales
RF: Nick Markakis

Keith Trades:
RF: Ichiro Suzuki
OF: Michael Cuddyer

Sunday, July 18, 2010

2009 NL Playoffs Round 1 - Torto v. Spencer: Rocky Mountain High (in Colorado)

I was under the impression that 'Rocky Mountain Oysters' were bull testicles, delicately breaded and fried to a crisp - a real delicacy. Apparently though, prior to slicing and breading they also resemble the oblong 'zero' shape of the numbers hung on the scoreboard at Coors Field each time Manager Rockwell sent his squad back on to the field.  Eating these during the series would have been apropos, as Spence had my balls in his mouth all series.  But enough with the crude taunting.

My squad persevered thru two tough, extra-inning road games in filthy, grimy Pittsburgh.  Then rode the wave of emotion back to the picturesque alpine beauty of Colorado, where they proceeded to complete the sweep, finishing off Spencer's team in impressive fashion, allowing only 3 runs in 18 innings at home.  Now, much like the 2006 Detroit Tigers, I have to wait (perhaps for weeks) to figure out who my opponent will be in the World Series.  My red-hot rolling can only cool off from here.  But for the meantime, here's the details from the 2-3 seed 1st round playoff matchup.

Game 1 - J.Vasquez @ A.Wainwright
With post-Mokeski stiffness starting set in, Spence and I sat down and rolled out the first two games at the VanLanduyt family estate.  Both squads chipped away at each other, a run here - a run there.  The Panda got things started with a solo shot in the top of the second (Torto 1, Spence 0), and a Miguel Tejada RBI-double in the top of the 3rd (Torto 2, Spence 0).  Rockwell struck back in the bottom of the 3rd with an Adrian Gonzalez bases loaded walk (ugh) and a Matt Holliday RBI-groundout (Torto 2, Spence 2).  Javy and Wainwright settled in after that, pitching a scoreless duel into the ninth, where Wainwright struck out Werth and Pagan before yielding back-to-back singles to 7-8 hitters Randy Winn and Pedro Feliz.  These last two baserunners finally wore down Wainwright to 'tired' status, and Spence went with his gut and let the kid keep rolling against 9-hole pinch hitter Gary Sheffield.  Sheff delivered a 2-out RBI single, scoring the speedy Winn (who was later ejected), and taking a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 9th (Torto 3, Spence 2).  I went to the pen, handing the ball to the usually solid Huston Street.  Maybe it was road jitters, maybe not - but Street got 2 quick outs, and then allowed a pinch-hit single to James Loney, followed by the Mexican (er, Peruvian?) Masher AKA Carlos Ruiz RBI-double to tie the game (Torto 3, Spence 3).  The ball was then handed over to Ryan Franklin, who went ahead and closed the 9th with a K, and had a perfect scoreless 10th.  Nothing doing for anybody until the top of the 12th, when Sean Burnett walked of Toddfather, allowed a single by the Panda, and then a RBI-single from Angel Pagan (Torto 4, Spence 3).  With no closers left, it was up to the dynamic tandem of Guillermo Mota and Mitch Setter to seal the deal. Mota dealt the first out, followed by Mitch "A-Gone Killa" Stetter sitting down the big lefty.  After a 2-out single yielded to Matt Holliday, Stetter closed out the game sitting down Scotty Rolen.
WP - G.Mota
BS - H.Street
S - M.Stetter
LP - S.Burnett
Ejection - R.Winn arguing strikezone in the 11th.
Player of the Game - Angel Pagan  3-6 with GW RBI-single
Torto wins Game 1 (4-3 in 12 innings)

Game 2 - C.Billingsley @ C.Lee
With both 'pens used heavily in Game 1, both teams were apprehensive of how the pitching would hold up in this match.  C-Bill and Lee both did what they could to keep their respective team bullpens from being decimated early in the series.  For part of the way my squad was handicapped in the field, due to an early Henry Blanco ejection (arguing strikes) in the 2nd - moving the Panda over to the backstop.  Then in the 6th, the hot tempers continued as Pedro Feliz was also ejected (arguing strikes again). Shorthanded now at the 3B position, old man Gary Sheffield was forced to grab his glove for the first time all season, and play third rocking the F-5 range/error.   Sheff picked up at 3rd like he was 20 again, going error free the remainder of the game.  After an ought-ought tie thru 8, the Rocks finally got off the schnide in the top of the 9th, getting a run on a Miguel Tejada 2-out RBI single (Torto 1, Spence 0).  Not to be denied and lose another in the late innings, Spence got a solo bomb from A-Gone off Billingsley to tie it up (Torto 1, Spence 1).  Top of the 10th, Manager Rockwell let Cliff Lee forge ahead.  And he got himself into a little trouble, after plunking Toddfather Helton with 2-outs.  Spence yanked Lee for Kiki Calero, who proceeded to give up a 2-run blast to the Kung Fu Panda (Torto 3, Spence 1).  Huston Street was again handed the ball to close it out, and it was a rough road.  Street gave up a lead off single to Yunel Escobar, then walked Jeff Keppinger before whiffing 'Killa Mike' Cameron, and getting Jimmy Loney to ground out into a game ending double play.
WP - C.Billingsley
S - H.Street
LP - K.Calero
Ejections - H.Blanco (2nd inn), P.Feliz (6th inn)
Player of the Game - Pablo Sandoval 1-5 with GW 2-R HR
Torto wins Game 2 (3-1 in 10 innings)

Game 3 - R.Ohlendorf @ R.Dempster
The series now headed out to Coors Field, with dice rollin' going down at Morry's Bar in Beaver Dam.  With the joint now smoke-free, the now-absent toxicological affects of 2nd-hand smoke allowed for my brain to function at a modestly higher level, allowing me to process perfectly when and how to use my bullpen and when to make defensive substitutions.  I got on the board first on an RBI-single from Pedro Feliz in the 2nd (Torto 1, Spence 0).  Spence struck back in the 3rd on an A-Gone base clearing 2B (Torto 1, Spence 1). In the bottom of the 5th, the meat of the order got to Ohlendorf.  With 2-outs, Toddfather Helton jacked a deep drive and the +40 carry pushed the ball into the cool, crisp Colorado night.  Sandoval then singled, and Woolly Jason Werth cranked another ball into the seats (Torto 4, Spence 1).  Spence got 1 back in the 6th on a Mike Cameron RBI-single (Torto 4, Spence 2). Kid Kenshin Kawakami came in for Spencer in the 6th and immediately got rocked around, giving up 3 hits and a walk, culminated in a Tejada RBI-single (Torto 5, Spence 2).  Spencer's bats went to sleep the rest of the way, as Stetter and Franklin held things down, and I picked up one more insurance run in the 8th on a Sandoval RBI-single (Torto 6 Spence 2).
WP - R.Dempster
LP - R.Ohlendorf
Player of the Game - R.Dempster 7IP, 8H, 0BB, 8K, 2ER
Torto wins Game 3 (6-2)

Game 4 - C.Zambrano @ R.Wolf

Usually when you see a pic like this accompanying one of my posts, it means something good happened for Big Z.  This occasion is no different.  From the moment Zambrano toed the rubber, he was dialed in and ready to sweep this thing out.  No fucking around here kids,  none whatsoever.
My guys jumped out to an early lead, getting Spence nervous about his lefty #4.  Wolf lasted 1 inning, but only gave up 2 runs, on a Panda RBI single and a El Caballo RBI-ground out (Torto 2, Spence 0).  Wolf then proceeded to give up a HR in his first batter faced in the 2nd, Phatty Freddy Sanchez (Torto 3, Spence 0). Fresh of the DL, Spencer inserted vet Pedro Martinez into the game.  Pedro got knocked for a run in the 3rd, this time after allowing a Werth 2B, then steal of 3rd, before Henry Blanco sac-flied him home (Torto 4, Spence 0).  Zambrano got a little wobbly in the 4th, walking A-Gone and Yunel back-to-back, before Blanco's calming presence centered the big guy.  Leading off the bottom of the 4th, a focused Big Z belted a deep drive off Martinez into the seats for the 3rd HR by a pitcher in league history (Torto 5, Spence 0).  Zambrano cruised up thru the 7th (striking out the side in both the 3rd and the 6th - fist pumping anyone?), before handing the ball to Mitch Stetter to sit down A-Gone, who then in turn let Huston Street close it out.  Street was again shaky, allowing Mike Cameron a solo shot in the top of the ninth, before slamming the door on the series (Torto 5, Spence 1)
WP - C.Zambrano
LP - R.Wolf
Player of the Game - C.Zambrano 7IP, 2H, 4 BB, 10K, 0 ER, 1-3 with solo HR.
Torto wins Game 4 (5-1) and wins Round 1 Series (4-0)

Hats off to Spence, who was class all the way thru this series - in spite of some brutal rolling that would frustrate the best of us.  The poor guy's bats went to sleep about 95% of the series, and I was 'on' for pretty much the entire series, and there was no way around it.  Will I be this ignited for the World Series?  Who knows, but I certainly won't count on it.  But for now, I'll briefly celebrate with the adding of chocolate to milk, and hitting the hay.  Good luck to Carlo/Matt/Fish.  Go Rocks.