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Lyrical Baseball Tournament, Harmonic Series, Game 1: In which I leave starting pitchers in too long

And the game swings on a pendulum until the bullpens come in.

Don Newcombe Pitching for the Dodgers
They dropped a Newc on ‘em.

Before getting into the events of Game 1, I’d like to address an error.

In the introduction to this series, the graphic of all four teams’ rosters omits Milo Candini, closer for the Filial Cashmen and No. 13 in your program. As he plays a part in Game 1, I would like to apologize to Mr. Candini and all his descendants. (Especially as he was the closer for the 1948 Washington Senators, the second-worst Twins team of all time.)

As a brief preview, the results of the Round of Frishberg will make writing up the games slightly more difficult, as both teams’ locations are “Filial.” (This must be how sportswriters felt during the 2000 Subway Series.)

But that is unimportant.

It’s time for the main simu-baseball event. (Note that I’ll be manually managing every game from this point forward.)

Game 1 Lineups

42 - Jackie Robinson - 2B 14 - Frenchy Bordagaray - RF
6 - Stan Musial - RF 5 - Lou Boudreau - SS
5 - George Brett - 3B 23 - Augie Galan - LF
18 - Ted Kluszewski - 1B 10 - Johnny Mize - 1B
24 - Willie Mays - CF 4 - Bobby Estalella - CF
9 - Ralph Kiner - LF 6 - Stan Hack - 3B
10 - Phil Rizzuto - SS 8 - Rocky Bridges - 2B
39 - Roy Campanella - C 35 - Ernie Lombardi - C
36 - Don Newcombe - P 31 - Harry Brecheen - P


(New year of OOTP, new fonts on the scoreboard.)

What started out as a pitching duel turned into a back-and-forth bat battle as both pitchers reached their limit on the mound.

Although Don Newcombe left the game after seven innings trailing 3-2, he wound up the winner as the Cashmen scored two runs in the top of the eighth, their bullpen holding back the Fungoes’ offense to complete a 4-3 victory.

Harry Brecheen, pitching Triple Crown winner, threw eight innings but wound up the loser.

Through five innings, with both teams scoreless, Brecheen had outpitched Newcombe, facing the minimum while allowing just a hit and a walk. Newcombe had allowed runners to reach base in four of the five innings, but the Fungoes left a man on three times and the bases loaded once.

The sixth saw both starters begin to crack. In the top of the inning, Brecheen allowed his second hit (a Newcombe single) and second walk (to Jackie Robinson) of the game, but kept the Cashmen from scoring. Newcombe would not be so lucky, as Johnny Mize opened the bottom of the sixth with a single, moved to third on Bobby Estalella’s double, and (after an intentional walk to Stan Hack) scored on a wild pitch.

But the damage could have been far worse, as though Newcombe walked Rocky Bridges to fill the bags with no outs, the Fungoes did not score again in the inning. Ernie Lombardi and Brecheen grounded into fielder’s choices at home, and Frenchy Bordagaray’s liner to center landed in the glove of Willie Mays.

The lead proceeded to ping-pong over the next three half-innings. George Brett opened the seventh with a triple, Ted Kluszewski singled him home, and Willie Mays doubled Brett home. But Mays was thrown out trying for third and Brecheen sandwiched two outs around a walk to finish the inning.

In the bottom of the inning, Lou Boudreau reached on a Brett error and scored on Mize’s triple before another Newcombe wild pitch again allowed Mize to score, giving the Fungoes the lead.

But Brecheen’s luck finally ran out in the eighth. Pete Rose batted for Newcombe and legged out an infield single; after two quick outs, Brett doubled into the left-center gap to score Rose, and Kluszewski lined a single up the middle to bring Brett around.

That would be all for the Fungoes, as Ken Johnson pitched a perfect eighth for the hold and Milo Candini (I told you he’d play a part) faced just three men in the ninth to give the Cashmen first ground in the Harmonic Series.

Round of Frishberg, Final Game | Harmonic Series, Game 1 | Harmonic Series, Game 2