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Lyrical Baseball Tournament, season (third quarter): Separating from the pack

One division race is nearly clinched while the other remains close.

Spring Training - St. Louis Cardinals
“Your soul is mine.” -Harry Brecheen
Photo by: Diamond Images/Getty Images

The season — the precursor to the tournament which is the main event — is nearly complete.

With 15 games remaining, the Filial Fungoes stand at 30-15, one win away from clinching their division. But their cross-league counterparts, the Filial Cashmen, hold only a three-game lead at 24-21.

Here are your third-quarter highlights:

Game 31: Paternal Fungoes 7, Filial Fungoes 6

One out away from extra innings, Hugh Mulcahy’s wild pitch brought home Barney McCosky with the game-winning run, giving Paternal a walk-off victory. Filial had tied the game in the top of the ninth when Augie Galan singled in Frankie Crosetti, but could not extend the contest.

Game 32: Filial Cashmen 7, Paternal Cashmen 6

The first of two games I played this quarter saw Paternal take a 4-0 lead in the first, aided by Mike Schmidt’s first dinger of the season, only for Filial to battle back and win. Filial grabbed the lead in the bottom of the seventh on Ted Kluszewski’s three-run homer, and Ken Johnson and Milo Candini closed it out.

Game 33: Paternal Cashmen 8, Filial Cashmen 7

After a quiet affair through seven and a half innings, Filial took the lead with five runs in the eighth, only for Paternal to score four half a frame later, holding on for an 8-7 win. With two out in the top of the ninth, Rod Carew walked in a run before Schmidt cleared the bases with what proved to be the game-winning double.

Game 37: Filial Cashmen 10, Paternal Cashmen 9

Despite a steady stream of hits from Paternal, Filial pulled out a win on the backs of two grand slams. In the bottom of the seventh, Duke Snider trimmed a 9-2 deficit to 9-6 with a four-run four-bagger; two innings later, Stan Musial clubbed one of his own to walk off the game.

Game 40: Filial Fungoes 1, Paternal Fungoes 0

Harry Brecheen outdueled Johnny Vander Meer, throwing 8.1 shutout innings as Filial won a pitcher’s battle. Bobby Estalella’s sixth-inning home run provided all the required support for Brecheen and handed Vander Meer his ninth loss.

Game 41: Paternal Cashmen 5, Filial Cashmen 4

At last, the AI manager (and not me) leaves a pitcher in too long. Sporting a 4-1 lead entering the bottom of the eighth, Gaylord Perry surrendered a double to Carew and an RBI single to Yogi Berra. He then walked Ted Williams, bringing up pinch hitter Reggie Jackson, who clocked a three-run home run that proved the final tallies of the game.

Game 44: Paternal Fungoes 4, Filial Fungoes 3 (11 inn.)

With Filial needing only a win to clinch their division, Paternal staved off a late Filial rally before claiming victory in extras. Jim Brideweser proved the hero this time, singling in Danny Gardella with the bases loaded and one out to finish the game.

Game 44: Filial Cashmen 11, Paternal Cashmen 3

After Paternal tied the score at 3-all in the eighth, Filial exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the frame, turning a close battle into a rout. Filial established their initial 3-0 lead on solo homers by Jackie Robinson, Kluszewski, and Grover Cleveland Alexander, but put up their 8-spot without benefit of a longball.

Game 45: Paternal Fungoes 3, Filial Fungoes 2

Hal Trosky’s pinch-hit, walk-off two-run homer spoiled Brecheen’s perfect season, as Paternal again kept their division chances alive with a 3-2 win. The first-pitch blast by Trosky dealt Brecheen his first loss of the year.

And your statistical stars:

Yogi Berra, #8, C, PCM:
Ted Williams, #9, LF, PCM:
Stan Musial, #6, RF, FCM:
This trio of hitters is currently at or near the top of the leaderboard in many statistical categories:

  • AVG: Berra .359 (1st), Williams .348 (2nd), Musial .318 (6th)
  • OBP: Williams .453 (1st), Berra .400 (3rd), Musial .388 (7th)
  • SLG: Musial .578 (1st), Berra .570 (3rd), Williams .503 (7th)
  • OPS: Berra .970 (1st), Musial .966 (2nd), Williams .956 (3rd)
  • WAR (hitters): Musial 2.5 (1st), Berra 2.1 (2nd), Williams 1.9 (5th)
  • WPA (hitters): Musial 2.10 (1st), Berra 1.88 (2nd), Williams 1.40 (4th)

Additionally, Musial and Berra are 1-2 in RBI with 40 and 31, respectively. (Williams has 14.)

Harry Brecheen, #31, SP, FFS: Brecheen is not only the new ERA leader among qualifiers (2.11), but is also atop statistical lists with 2.6 WAR, a 2.51 FIP, 9/2 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, and seven wins.

Grover Cleveland Alexander, #0, SP, FCM: Aside from his being the only pitcher not named Claude Passeau to have multiple complete games (he has two to Passeau’s four), Alexander is third in ERA (2.61), second in FIP (2.92), second in WAR among pitchers (2.2), and has hit three home runs.

We’re almost through the season. Then the games really matter.

Season (second quarter) | Season (third quarter) | Season (fourth quarter)