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.