Devils continue to roll: take three of four from Beefs

Frank Fumai’s Devils continued to have the Beefers number, winning three of four on Friday morning, March 24, to improve to 7-1 while the Beefers slipped to 7-13 to settle into the cellar. All seven Devils wins have been against the Beefers. 

Leading the way for the Devils was 3b Rafael Devers, who was 7-14 and homered in all four games, driving in a total eight runs. 

The Beefs actually outhit the Devis (.241-.224) for the series, but it was primarily as a result of a 12-hit attack to win a bruising 11-inning extra-inning game in the series opener. The Devils pitching corps held the Beefers to only five runs while winning the final three games in a row. The Devils out-homered the Beefers 8-7 while the Beefs had 17 extra-base hits, nine of them in Game One. 

Game 1   Beefers 10, Devils 9 (11 innings)

Beef LF Brandon Nimmo hit a walk-off HR off Joe Mantiply to lift the Beefers to a hard-fought 10-9 in the opener. The Beefs pounded out five HRs, including a grand-slam by Marcus Semien ,off Clayton Kershaw, who started for the Devils, and added four doubles in the game. 

The Devils Kyle Schwarber, pinch-hitting in the eighth inning, greeted Evan Phillips with a grand slam to give the Horned Ones a 9-8 lead, but the Beefs got a pinch-hit homer of their own in the bottom of the ninth when C.J. Cron quieted the trumpets with a solo shot of Edwin Diaz, who was in to try and close with a save. 

J.T. Realmuto was 3-4 with a HBP for the Devils.

Devils   9-7-1      L- Joe Mantiply 0-1. HR Rafael Devers #1, Schwarber #1 GS

Beef    10-12-2    W- A.J. Minter 1-0.  HR Semien #4 GS, Brandon Nimmo #1, Dansby Swanson #4, Bryan Reynolds #4, C.J. Crown #1, PH. 

Game 2   Devils 10, Beefers 2

The Devils offense didn’t lose a step in Game Two, pounding out four homers for a 10-2 win, while the Beefers offense relapsed, leaving 10 men on base. 

The Beefs took an early 2-1 lead off Tony Gonsolin on a two-run HR by Bo Bichette in the second, but the Devils scored two in the fourth and added two more in sixth, on a 2R HR by Pete Alonso to take a 5-1 lead. After that, the hits just kept coming for the Devis as they added five more runs in the final three frames, highlighted by Aaron Judge’s second HR of the season and a three-run blast by the red-hot Devers. Alonso was 3-4 for the Devils in the lopsided win. 

Devils   10-12-0  W- Tony Gonsolin 1-0. HR Arozarena #1, Alonso #3, Aaron Judge #3, Rafael Devers #2.

Beef      2-8-1      L- Shane Bieber 0-3. HR Bo Bichette #2

Game 3     Devils 3, Beefers 1

The Devils posted two early runs on RBI singles by Starling Marte and an RBI single by Jose Altuve, building a 2-1 lead that held for the entire game, as Gerritt Cole won his second straight start over the Beefers, going six innings, allowing only five hits and one run. The combo of Hunter Harvey, Devin Williams, and Edwin Diaz, held the Beefs to only one hit in the final three innings. 

Rafael Devers homered in the seventh, his third homer in three games in the series. Max Scherzer fanned 11 batters for the Beefs, but gave up all three Devils runs

Devils   3-6-0      W- Gerritt Cole 2-0. SV Edwin Diaz #2. HR Rafael Devers #3.

Beef      2-8-1      L- Max Scherzer 0-2. 

Game 4     Devils 5, Beefers 2

Newcomer Tyler Anderson held the Beefs to seven hits and one run over seven innings while the Devils quickly gained the measure of Dylan Cease, pushing over five runs in the first five innings. Rafael Devils opened the scoring for the Devils with his fourth homer in four games in the second. Starling Marte doubled home two runs in the third and Aaron Judge singled home Altuve in the fifth. 

The Beefers offense notched nine hits, but only two were for extra-base hits, scoring on a groundout in the fourth and an RBI single by Bo Bichette, who went 3-4, in the eighth. Liam Hendriks shut the Beefs down in the ninth to record his first save of the 2023 campaign.

Devils   5-8-1      W- Tyler Andeson 1-0. SV Liam Hendrik #1. HR Rafael Devers #4.

Beef      2-9-2      L- Max Scherzer 0-2. 


Defending champion Otters open ’23 campaign with split against Beefers

Jonathan Stilwell’s defending champion Otters got the 2023 season underway Monday evening, March 20, with a split against Rod Caborn’s Beefers. Otters Zac Gallen and Logan Webb combined with the Furries bullpen to shut out the Beefers in Games Two and Three while the Beefs won the opener and the finale. The Otters stand at 2-2 after their inaugural series of the season while the Beefs, struggling to get into the first half race, are 6-10, four games under .500, after a 1-7 start.

Pitching dominated the series with the Beefs hitting .232 and the Otters .189. Both teams scored 12 runs apiece while the Beefs hit five homers and the Otters only one home run in the series. 

Game 1   Beefers 4, Otters 2

Beefer Joe Musgrove combined with relievers Evan Phillips and Ryan Helsley to tamp down the Otter offense for a 4-2 win in the season opener for the Otters. After both teams scored early in the game, the Beefers got to Otters starter Jacob deGrom for two runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Jeff McNeil and Dansby Swanson to take a 3-1 lead. The Otters closed the gap to 3-2 in the seventh on an RBI single by Sean Murphy, but the Beefs answered with a home run by Bryan Reynolds in the 8th inning to make it 4-2 with Helsley closing down the Otters in the ninth for the save.

The win was the fourth straight win for the Beefers.

Beefers   6-9-0    W- Joe Musgrove 2-0. Sv Ryan Helsley #1. HR Marcus Semien #3, Bryan Reynolds #3.

Otters     2-7-0    L- Jacob deGrom 0-1.

Game 2   Otters 2, Beefers 0

Otter righty Zac Gallen was almost untouchable, throwing six no-hit innings before Dansby Swanson burst the bubble in the seventh with a double, followed by a single by Bryan Reynolds. Gallen recovered to leave both runners stranded and ended going eight innings, allowing only the two hits while fanning eight batters.

The Otters got to Beefer starter Shane Bieber in the second with an RBI single by Kyle Tucker, followed by an RBI double by Lourdes Gurriel. Bieber, who went eight innings, did not give up another run, but it was for naught as Gallen and closer Daniel Bard complete shut down the Beefers offense.

Beefers   0-2-0    L- Shane Bieber 0-2.

Otters    2-4-0    W- Zac Gallen 1-0. Sv Daniel Bard #1. 

Game 3   Otters 5, Beefers 0

Otters first round draft pick Logan Webb paid immediate dividends for the Furries in Game Three, going seven innings while scattering five singles to blank the Beefs 2-0. Relievers Andrew Chafin and Adam Ottavino completed the shutout with a scoreless inning apiece in the eighth and ninth.

Ketel Marte drove in the Otters first run in the fifth with a run-scoring double off reliever Erasmo Ramirez, who gave up two more runs on a Freddie Freeman two-run blast in the sixth. The final two Otter runs came off reliever Raisel Iglesias in the seventh on an RBI double by Trea Turner, who was followed by an RBI single by Cedric Mullins.

Beefers   0-2-0    L- Trevor Williams 0-1. 

Otters    2-4-0    W- Zac Gallen 1-0. Sv Daniel Bard #1. HR Freddie Freeman #1.

Game 4     Beefers 8, Whatevers 3

The Beefs offense finally got untracked in the finale, scoring seven runs late in the game to post an 8-3 win. The Beefs had 15 hits, far and away their most productive offensive performance to date. 

Dansby Swanson homered in the first off Otters starter Aaron Nola and the score remained 1-0 until the seventh when Jeff McNeil and Jose Ramirez reeled off back-to-back doubles to make it 2-0, followed by a two-run shot by Swanson, his second homer of the game, to make it 4-0. 

The Otters responded with a run when Lourdes Gurrield tripled and scored on a sac fly, but the Beefs put the game away in the eighth with four more runs, including a two-run double by McNeil and a two-run HR by Jose Ramirez. The Otters got a two-run double by Kyle Tucker in the ninth, but it was too little, too late as the Beefs won going away 8-3.

Beefers   8-15-1  W- Dylan Cease 1-2. HR Dansby Swanson 2 HR #2-3, Jose Ramirez #2.

Otters     3-5-1    L- Aaron Nola 0-1. 

Whats Ohtani opens season with no-hitter over Beefs; Bovines rebound to take three of four

Whatever dual threat Shoei Ohtani no-hit the Beefers for the the first complete game no-hitter in OAPBA since 2016, but the Beefers came away winners, taking three of four from the Whats. The Beefs improve to 4-8 after a horrendous 1-7 start while the Whatevers get off to a slow 1-3 start. 

Ohtani came within one batter of throwing a perfect game, hitting Beef CF Bryan Reynolds to lead off the third inning. Ohtani went on to retire the final 21 Beefers in a row. 

Ohtani’s no-hitter was the 18th in league history and the first no-hitter in the league since a combined no-hitter by four Tsunami pitchers against the Otters in 2021. The last complete game no-hitter in OAPBA was in 2016, when the Road Warriors Shelby Miller no-hit the Taz Devils 7-0. It was the second no-hitter in Whatevers history. Whatever righty Brandon Webb no-hit the Titans 1-0 in 2005 to beat Brad Radke, who only allowed one hit, a HR by Whatever Brian Giles. 

For the series, offense was limited with the Whats only hitting .183 while the Beefers offense, including the hitter, hit only .152. The Beefs outscored the Whats 12-11 while the power numbers were almost identical with the Whats with 12 XBH and Beefs with 11 XBH and both teans with five HRs.

Game 1   Whatevers 6, Beefers 0

Shohei Ohtani got the Whats off to a memorable start to the season with his no-hitter, striking out eight and walking none. 

The Whats put two on the scoreboard in the fourth on an RBI double by Christian Walker, who then scored on a single by Will Smith. The Whats added another run in the eighth when Austin Slater homered and put up three more in the ninth on a three-run HR by Gio Urshela off Lucas Luetge.

What      6-9-0    W- Shoei Ohtani 1-0. HR Austin Slater #1, Gio Urshela #1.

Beefers   0-0-2    L- Julio Urias 0-1. 

Game 2   Beefers 2, Whatevers 1

Beef CF Bryan Reynolds hit a third inning two-run HR off What newcomer Kyle Wright to lift the Beefs to a tight 2-1 win over the Whats. The Whats scored in the top of the third via an error by Reynolds, who botched a fly ball that allowed Gio Urshela to score. From the fourth inning onward, both bullpens were outstanding, allowing no runs and a combined three hits. 

Beefer starter Carlos Rodon fanned 10 batters in 5+ innings before giving way to the bullpen.

What      1-6-0    L- Kyle Wright 0-1.

Beefers   2-6-2    W- Carlos Rodon 1-0. Sv Yency Almonte #1. HR Bryan Reynolds #1. 

Game 3     Beefers 5, Whatevers 3

The Beefs pushed over a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to break up a 3-3 deadlock and come away with a 5-3 win. Marcus Semien gave the Beefs an early 3-0 led with a 3R HR off What starter Shane McClanahan, but the Whats rebounded with a Brendan Donovan solo HR in the fifth and a Shohei Ohtani 2R HR in the fifth. The game remained deadlocked until the eighth, when the Beefs scored twice. The Beefer bullpen gave up only one hit, a single by Donovan, over the final 3.3 innnings. 

What      3-7-0    L- Adam Cimber 0-1. HR Brendan Donavon #1, Ohtani #1. 

Beefers   2-6-2    W- Evan Phillips 1-0 Sv Ryan Helsley #1. HR Semien #2.

Game 3     Beefers 5, Whatevers 1

The Whats got off to a quick start in the first on a Yordan Alvarez solo HR, but the Beefs quickly answered with an RBI double by Bryce Harper in the bottom of the first. From that point on, it was all Beefers with Bovine righty Joe Musgrove going eight innings, allowing only one more hit, striking out nine and walking one while Alex Verdugo, Bryan Reynolds, and Matt Olson all hit home runs.

What    1-2-2     L- Brandon Woodruff 0-1. HR Yordan Alvarez#1. 

Beefers 5-7-2     W- Joe Musgrove 1-0. HR Verdugo #1, M. Olson #3, B. Reynolds #2. 

2023 OAPBA First Half standings (March 24)

2023 first halfWLPctGB
Taz Devils71.875

Frank Fumai’s Taz Devils (7-1) are threatening to run off with the first half title as a result of taking seven of their first eight games, all against the Beefers. The Beefs, meanwhile, are in a big hole at 7-13 and will need to turn things around to avoid a finish in the cellar in the first half. All three other teams are now underway …..and there is a long way to go before the Devils can feel secure about their early lead.