Double Headers are back on Sunday
A Typical July Day in Memphis – What did you expect?
The schedule juggling this past week was likely a factor in the outcome of games but it was not the only factor. The Cardinals might want to blame it on the All-Star Break. The A’s might want to claim their results was impacted by unexpected work schedules or a random burglar. Whatever hurt the A’s and Cardinals didn’t seem to phase the Orioles and the Dodgers as they had enough depth to deal with first string players unable to participate.
First game (9:00 AM) had the Orioles hosting the A’s.
With Jake Hatchett making his 2nd straight start on the mound it was the A’s who scored first as Wes Hill and Terry Terrell scored on back-to-back RBI’s from Terry and Jeff Allen.
With Terry Terrell filling in for Kevin Latham who had to secure his company business after their building being broken into. Terrell worked the count deep to about every batter he faced. Only problem, Terry could not get the Orioles first 3 batters, Hunsucker-McPherson- Harris (Tim), to swing at strike 3. This set up Jodie Wolfe, Jake Hatchett and John McPhail to blast away when Terry found the plate. Jerry Tatum’s RBI Sac Fly was the first out of the inning. By the time the 3rd out was recorded, the O’s had put a 6 spot on the board.
Both teams traded runs in the 2nd inning. When Wes Hill relieved Terry in the 3rd inning, the remainder of the game was dominated by clutch pitching and short innings. Even though the Athletics only had 9 players that included borrowed player, Carlos Varela from the Cards, the A’s played good defense. After the A’s batted in top of 7th inning, game was called due to Time Limit with final score 9-3.
Game 2 – Dodgers 19 – Cardinals 4
It was hot but that was expected. With a steady breeze and some occasional clouds, the weather conditions were bearable for mid-July. The same time the HDL was playing at Tobey, the MSBL was playing across town, so we were not the only fools making baseball a priority over an air-conditioned living room.
So just how did the Dodgers score 14 runs in the 4th inning after the score going into the 4th inning was 4-1 in favor of Dodgers.
From the start of the game, the Cards were digging deep into their roster to find a player to pitch since James Skinner was experiencing some discomfort in his pitching arm and was barely able to play the field. So Robert Miller selected veteran Dave Neely to give it a shot. Dave is still trying to get into HDL shape and has not had many chances to throw on sidelines less well in a game against a tough lineup like the Dodgers.
David Neely lasted 1-2/3 inning before he walked Ray Reinhart on 4 pitches. So Paul Baioni took over and had better success finding the strike zone. Paul’s best inning was the 3rd inning where he faced the”meat” of Dodger batting order and did not give up a run. The Cardinals were in need of some base runners and some offense if they were going to challenge the Dodgers. But facing Andrew Waddell was a tall order. Andrew gave up one run in 2nd inning after Johnny Gonzalez walked, Schak bunted Gonzalez to 2nd & Johny stole 3rd and came home on a great AB from Tim Wallenstrom.
Back to the 4th inning by the Dodgers:
The Dodgers loaded the bases in bottom of 4th and Paul Baioni made a great pitch to get Jesse Arrambide who slapped a “bouncer” to the shortstop side of 2nd base. Cardinals Shortstop, Johny Gonzalez, was in perfect position to field the ball, step on 2nd and an easy relay throw to 1st base would end the inning.
Instead, Johnny took his eye off the ball for an micro-second to get lined up for his step on the bag at 2nd and that is when a high hop eluded his glove and before the ball could be corralled, all runners were safe and the flood gates were opened. To throw “salt on the wound“, the Dodgers gave Ray Reinhart the “Squeeze” sign with bases loaded. Ray’s bunt had backspin in front of the plate and rolled to Cards catcher, James Moroschak, who thought he had a chance of picking up the ball and tagging the runner. But the bunt was so perfectly executed that the runner from 3rd was safe and Ray strolled safely to 1st base that was uncovered.
With the Cards optimism to win the game deflated, and pitches missing the strike zone, the Cards brought in Carlos Varela for a couple of batters and then had to bring in Otis Edwards to get the final 2 outs on a 5-3 and 1-3 putout. By far this was the most runs scored in one-half inning since Wood bats were re-introduced. It was ugly and consumed almost 35 minutes of the time-limit game.
After the big inning, the Dodgers made a pitching change. Kevin Nilsen gave up 2 runs but overall, he was consistently making Cards batters swing the bat. A great running catch of Oscar Zamudio’s fly to right field by Jason Nilsen was a highlight play.
With this lopsided score, everyone was ready to get this game over and head to the shade for some much needed liquid refreshments.
9:00 AM – A’s vs Cardinals
11:30 AM – Dodgers vs Orioles