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)