Beefs take three from Devils; win 27-3 in Game Three

The Beefers and Taz Devils kicked off OAPBA’s 31st season Sunday, Feb. 12, with the Beefers winning three of five from the lefty-laden Tazzies, including a record-setting 27-3 win in Game Three, highlighted by an explosion by Beef 3b Justin Turner, who slammed four home runs in the lopsided win. The Beefs get the season underway with a 3-2 record while the Devils start at 2-3.

Beefer 3b Justin Turner tied a longstanding OAPBA record with four home runs in Game Three. Previous players with four homers are Rondell White of the Crusaders and league great Barry Bonds of the Highlanders.

Game 1  Taz Devils 5, Beefers 3

Game 1            Taz Devils 5, Beefers 3

Kyle Hendricks v.  Clayton Kershaw.

The Devils kicked off the 2018 season with a victory, scoring two runs in the seventh off Beefer reliever Nick Goody for a 5-3 triumph. The Tazzies grabbed an early 3-1 lead on an RBI single by Nelson Cruz and solo HRs by Josh Donaldson and Buster Posey. The Beefs tied the game at three apiece in the seventh on RBI singles by Justin Turner and Willson Contreras. In the bottom of the frame, with Beefer newcomer Nick Goody on in relief,  Donaldson singled and Devils SS Zack Cozart hit an RBI triple and went on to score on a sac fly by Posey. Raisel Iglesias closed to earn the save for the Devils.

Beefers 3-8-1  L-Nick Goody 0-1. HR Willson Contreras (1).

Devils 5-8-0  W-Clayton Kershaw 1-0. Save Rasiel Iglesias 1.

Game 2             Beefers  9, Taz Devils 5

Rich Hill v Chris Sale.

The Beefs poured over five runs in the first off Chris Sale and scored two more in the second for a 7-0 lead after two innings. The Devils Jose Altuve and Zack Cozart both homered to cut the lead to 7-4 after five innings, and an RBI double by Nelson Crus narrowed the lead to 7-5 in the eighth. Beef RF J.D. Martinez, however, hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot off Taz workhorse reliever Brandon Workman in the ninth to put the game away 9-5.

Beefers  9-11-0   W-Rich Hill 1-0. HR J.D. Martinez 2 (1 and 2), Jose Ramirez (1)

Devils     5-8-2     L-Chris Sale 0-1. HR Jose Altuve (1), Zack Cozart (1)

Game 3            Beefers  27, Taz Devils 3   Justin Turner hits four home runs

Corey Kluber v. Drew Pomeranz.

In a game that shattered numerous OAPBArecords, the Beefs overwhelmed the Devils 27-3, led by 3b Justin Turner, who slammed four home runs and drove in seven runs to lead a 30-hit attack that included a league-record 10 HRs. Jose Ramirez and J.D. Martinez both hit a pair of homers, including a grand slam by Ramirez, who hit two homers in a nine-run fourth inning for the Beefers.  Eric Hosmer and Carlos Correa also hit HRs. Beefer starter Corey Kluber even got into the act, going 4-6 with an RBI and a run scored.

Devils starter Drew Pomeranz suffered through four innings, giving up 15 hits and 16 earned runs. Brandon Workman worked three innings for the Devils, giving up three runs and infielder Scooter Gennett finished off the game going two innings, allowing eight runs.

Beefers  27-30-1 W- Corey Kluber 1-0. HR Justin Turner 4 (1, 2, 3,4), J.D. Martinez 2 (3,4), Jose Ramirez 2 (1, 2), Carlos Correa (1), Eric Hosmer (1)

Devils      3-4-0   L-.Drew Pomeranz 0-1.

Game 4            Taz Devils 5, Beefers 3

Max Scherzer v Charlie Morton

The Tazzies rebounded from their Game 3 thrashing with a hard-fought 5-3 win. With the game tied at three in the seventh inning, Taz 1b Paul Goldschmidt belted a two-run HR off the beleaguered Nick Goody to put the game away. Morton fanned seven in five innings, giving up three runs, while the Devils bullpen did the rest of the work with newcomer Heath Hembree earning the win and Addison Reed closing out the game to earn the save for the Devils.

Beefers   3-4-2    L-Max Scherer 0-1. HR Eric Hosmer (2).

Devils     5-6-2   W-.Heath Hembree 1-0. Sv Addison Reed.  

Game 5             Beefers 9, Taz Devils 5

Trevor Bauer v. Madison Bumgarner

Justin Turner hit his fifth homer of the series and Carlos Correa and Jose Ramirez both chimed with with solo shots to give the Beefs a 4-0 after four innings in what looked like it might be another runaway win for the Beefers. Taz CF Dexter Fowler, however, put the Devils back into the game with a three-run blast in the fifth. After the Beefs scored  twice in the seventh,  Mookie Betts and Scooter Gennet homered (Gennet’s a pinch-hit HR) to pull the Devils to within one run of the lead at 6-5, but Beefer SS Javier Baez hit a three- run pinch-hit homer off Raisel Iglesias in the ninth to make it 9-5 and put the game away.

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Devils infielder Scooter Gennett hit a pinch-hit HR in Game Five. The erstwhile newcomer to the Devils also pitched two innings in Game Three.

Beefers  9-11-0  W- Trevor Bauer. HR Jose Ramirez (3), Javier Baez (1, pinch hit 3R HR).

Devils     5-8-2    L-.Madison Bumgarner 0-1. HR Dexter Fowler (1), Mookie Betts (1), Scooter Gennet (1, pinch-hit HR).

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Waiver Draft is done. ’18 campaign set to begin.

The 2018 Waiver Draft wrapped up on Feb. 9 with two of the league’s veteran standouts moving to new teams and two former OAPBA players, Daniel Nava and Nelson Cruz, returning to the league.
The two biggest names picked up in the Waiver Draft were lefty Madison Bumgarner, who was cut by the Road Warriors and picked up by the Taz Devils and longtime catching standout Yadier Molina, who was drafted by the Whatevers. CF Lorenzo Cain, another Road Warrior cut, was selected by the Beefers and will take over the starting CF slot for the Beefs.
Yadier Molina was drafted by the Whatevers to bolster their catching.
Bumgarner, who was tied for the most losses in OAPBA in 2017 (7-10, 4.71) had spent his entire six-year career with the Road Warriors and has a 22-30, 4.06 lifetime record. Molina has been in the league 12 seasons, 2006-2013 (eight seasons) with the Platoon, 2014 with the Turfbeaters, and the past three seasons with the Road Warriors. Molina has a lifetime .228 batting average with 35 HR, 202 RBIs.
Cruz spent four seasons (2010, 2012-2015) with the Road Warriors and played for the Taz Devils in 2011, where he experienced his best season in the league, hitting .250 with 9 HR, 30 RBI.
Slugger Nelson Cruz was swept up by the Taz Devils. Cruz enjoyed his best season in OAPBA in 2011 with the Devils, hitting nine HR and driving in 30 runs.
Nava returns to  OAPBA after a two-year absence. He spent 2014 with the Otters, hitting .267 with 8 HR and played in only 23 games with the Beefers in 2015, hitting .200 in 20 at bats.
 First round
Road Warriors: pass, draft complete
Whatevers: Cut C Roberto Perez. Select C Yadier Molina.
Beefers: Cut SP Johnny Cueto. Select CF Lorenzo Cain.
Otters: Cut RP David Phelps. Select RP Pedro Strop.
Devils: Cut SP Eduardo Rodriguez. Select SP Madison Bumgarner.
 Second round
Whatevers: Cut RP Fernando Abad. Draft RP Daniel Coulombe
Beefers: Cut SP Cole Hamels. Draft SP Eduardo Rodriguez.
Otters: pass: draft complete
Devils: Cut RP Wandy Peralta. Select OF Nelson Cruz.
Third round
Whatevers passdraft complete
Beefers: Cut RP Aroldis Chapman. Select RF Yasiel Puig. draft complete
Taz Devils: cut Jackie Bradley Jr.  Select Daniel Nava draft complete

2018 trade market in high gear

With the 2018 OAPBA season (the league’s 31st year) just around the corner, the trade market has heated up.  Five transactions have been completed and there are rumors galore that other deals are in the works.

Here’s a recap of the five deals completed through February 2:

Going to the Devils: veteran southpaw Jon Lester has a lifetime 35-38, .391 record in OAPBA. With the Whatevers over the past three seasons, Lester was 17-7 with a 2.84 ERA. Manager Dave Larson has not indicated if Lester will be a part of the 2018 Devils rotation.

1/16 Beefers trade 3b Adrian Beltre and CF Austin Jackson (drafted from Cleveland) to Taz Devils for P Rich Hill and LF Yoenis Cespedes

1/25 Beefers trade RF Lonnie Chisenhall (drafted from Cleveland) to Otters for RF Nick Williams (drafted from Philadelphia)

1/27 Beefers trade CF Dexter Fowler to Taz Devils for reliever Mike Montgomery

2/2  Taz Devils trade LF Ryan Braun, RP Dellin Betances, reliever Fernando Abad (drafted from Boston) and C Christian Vazquez (drafted from Boston to the Whatevers for starting pitcher Jon Lester, 2b Rougned Odor, OF Jake Marisnick (drafted from Houston) and starting pitcher Charlie Morton (drafted from Houston.

2/2  Taz Devils trade starting pitcher Luis Castillo (drafted from Cincinnati) to the Otters in exchange for CF Odubel Herrera. The Devils have already started beating the drums for the 2019 season, when Herrera is expected to contend for a starting CF job under the batter “Baseball as it Odubel.”

Headed to the Whatevers: LF Ryan Braun, the Hebrew Hammer, spent nine seasons with the Devils, hitting .263 with 148 doubles and 1117 HR. Braun will take over in LF for the Whats in the upcoming campaign.