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Lyrical Baseball Tournament, season (first quarter): Nine-man pitching staffs are a pain

Keep your games close, and your standings closer.

Yogi Berra Spring St. Pete
The games may be close, but teams just have to Berra it.
Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

It’s hard to sum up a sixty-game season in one post, so I’ll split it into four.

Through fifteen games, I have learned the following lessons:

  • When you’ve got a five-man bullpen, guys get tired quickly.

That’s about it.

Still, the teams have both managed to survive their bullpen fatigue (though recall that I turned off injuries) to the point where both Filials team bear an 8-7 mark, one ahead of the Paternal squads.

It wasn’t always that close, though.

Instead of going through game-by-game (30 games is too many for a post), I’ll drop some highlights.

Game 3: Paternal Fungoes (PFS) 5, Filial Fungoes (FFS) 4 (16 inn.)

A dominant pitching performance between Van Lingle Mungo and Thornton Lee turned into a ninth-inning shootout, then an extra-inning marathon, before Whitey Kurowski walked it off in the 16th with a sacrifice fly. With the score tied at 1 entering the ninth, both teams put three runs on the board, then stayed quiet for six and a half frames before Paternal closed it out.

Game 5: Filial Fungoes 8, Paternal Fungoes 7 (13 inn.)

Trailing 7-0 entering the bottom of the eighth, Filial scored seven runs in their final six outs to extend the game to extras before Frenchy Bordagaray’s walkoff single four frames later. Bordagaray, Ernie Lombardi, Phil Cavarretta, and Augie Bergamo each tallied three hits for their respective squads.

Game 5: Paternal Cashmen (PCM) 1, Filial Cashmen (FCM) 0

Yogi Berra hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give Paternal a walkoff victory. Filial outhit Paternal 7-4, but all of their hits were singles and all of their runners were stranded or erased on the basepaths.

Game 6: Filial Fungoes 9, Paternal Fungoes 6

In one of the four games I actually played over this stretch rather than simulating, Paternal took a 5-0 lead after five batters, keyed by a Danny Gardella grand slam, and led 6-0 after two innings. But Filial clawed back over the succeeding frames, and with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Stan Hack concluded their comeback with a walkoff grand slam.

Game 8: Filial Cashmen 8, Paternal Cashmen 7

1-6 Filial stormed back in the seventh and eighth innings against 6-1 Paternal, scoring five in the eighth without benefit of an extra-base hit to top Paternal. This game started a seven-game winning streak for Filial.

Game 14: Filial Cashmen 7, Paternal Cashmen 6 (10 inn.)

Although Paternal scored two in the top of the 10th on Henry Aaron’s two-run homer, Filial put up a three-spot in the bottom, Willie Mays providing the final tallies with a two-run home run of his own. Filial scored a single run in each of the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to tie the score before Mays’ walkoff in the 10th.

While 15 games is a small sample size, it serves as a quarter of the season, and thus far a few stars have shown constant dominance.

Yogi Berra, #8, C, PCM: Berra has been the star of the season so far, leading the league with a .500 batting average, .538 on-base percentage, .875 slugging percentage (225 percentage points ahead of second place!!), 1.413 OPS, 24 hits, and 15 runs batted in.

Ted Kluszewski, #18, 1B, FCM: Keyed by a stretch of six homers in four games, Kluszewski leads the league with seven longballs and is currently slashing a respectable .267/.312/.650.

Ted Williams, #9, LF, PCM: While having hit only two home runs on the season, Willias is slashing .407/.508/.630 as a fixture in the third spot of the lineup.

Van Lingle Mungo, #16, SP, PFS: Through his first three starts, Mungo is pacing the league with an 0.86 ERA, having won two games and picked up a no-decision in the third, while sporting a .176 average against.

Harry Brecheen, #31, SP, FFS: Brecheen is the only pitcher to pick up three wins in three starts, and bears a 2.18 ERA with 22 strikeouts through those starts.

Howie Pollet, #11, RP, FFS: Pollet has been the top reliever through 15 games, with a 1.15 ERA over nine appearances and a league-best .154 average against. (Though he is aided by a .190 BABIP.)

Sal Maglie, #26, SP, PCM: While not leading the league in any category and not having recorded a decision, Maglie is worth mentioning with a 1.06 ERA and .175 average against.

In-league, All-Star voting has begun. I’ll have an update on that front in the next part. Until then, here’s to baseball.

Introduction | Season (first quarter) | Season (second quarter)