Whats continue to dominate Beefs; take three of four

Walt Taylor’s Whatevers (9-11) maintained their 2020 mastery of the Beefers (14-22) Wednesday afternoon June 3, winning three of four to pull to within two games of .500. The Whats muscled their way to a pair of lopsided wins and won the fourth game in bizarre fashion, with Beefer reliever Adam Ottavino allowing the winning run without throwing a single pitch.

In the opening game, an unusual fielding result occurred that may never again be duplicated in OAPBA play.

The Whats outhit the Beefs .258 to .216 and both teams hit seven home runs. The star of the series was Whatever RF Charle Blackmon, who has become a Beefer nemesis. In the Wednesday series, Blackmon was 8-18 with six doubles. In their first two series vs. the Beefs, Blackmon is 15-39, .385 with eight doubles, three HRs and eight RBIs.

In their two first-half series, the Whats won seven of eight from the Beefs, including a sweep in their first series at the Beefer Bowl in their first matchup.   

Game 1  Whatevers 11, Beefers 2

After a scoreless pair of innings to start the games, the Whatevers reeled off 10 runs in the next four innings off hapless Beefer starter Mike Fiers, who wound up surrendering 11 runs in seven innings, including a two-run HR to George Springer, a solo shot by Yadier Molina and back-to-back HRs by pitcher Zack Grienke and Yuli Gurriel. 

The Whats totaled 10 extra base hits. In a strange fielding result, the first 18 Whatever outs were recorded via ground outs. Eddie Rosario stopped the string in the seventh inning, when he struck out. 

Beefers   L-Mike Fiers 2-7. HR Tommy Pham #2, Christian Vazquez #3.

Whats    W-Zack Grienke. HR George Springer, Y. Molina, Z. Greinke, Yuli Gurriel.

Game 2  Beefers 7, Whatevers 4

After five straight defeats at the hands of the Whatevers, the Beefer finally found their way to the winner’s circle with a 7-4 win. The Beefs overcame a 4-2 deficit to tie the game in the sixth and took the lead in the next inning on a 2R HR by Danny Santana to go ahead 6-4. Ramon Laureano hit a solo shot in the ninth, his second homer of the game, to increase the lead to 7-4. 

Beefers   W-Adam Ottavino 1-0. HR Ramon Laureano 2 HR # 5-#6, Danny Santana #4.

Whats            L-Brandon Workman. HR Travis d’Arnaud, Eddie Rosario.

Game 3  Whatevers 9, Beefers 1

Whatevers SS Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam HR in the first inning off Beefer starter Kyle Hendrick and the Whats added three more runs in the first, including a two-run 2b by Charlie Blackmon. After the dust settled, the Whats had a 7-0 lead after one inning and went on to cruise to an easy 9-1 victory. Blackmon was 3-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs

Beefers   L-Kyle Hendricks 2-3. HR Matt Olson #4.

Whats           W-Jose Berrios. HR Francisco Lindor (grand slam).

Game 4  Whatevers 2, Beefers 1

The Whatevers won a tight 2-1 victory in Game Four in a finish that no one could have anticipated. The Beefs Max Scherzer and Whats Justin Verlander both pitched well in the early going, both leaving with the game tied 1-1.

In the bottom of the ninth with two out and the score still tied at one apiece, What 2b David Fletcher walked and sent to second on a wild pitch by Beef reliever Sergio Romo. After advancing to third on a grounder by Yadier Molina, the Beefs brought in reliever Adam Ottavino to face pinch-hitter Travis d’Arnaud. Before Ottavino could throw a pitch, he balked, allowing Fletcher to score the winning run without Ottavino having thrown a single pitch. 

Beefers   L-Sergio Romo 0-1. HR Matt Olson #5.

Whats           W-Hansel Robles.

Otters slow surging Tazzies; take three in Memorial Day clash

In their inaugural meeting of the 2020 season, Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters (9-7) slowed down Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (18-10), winning three of four. The series win pulled the Otters to within five games of the top spot with 24 games left while the Devils, who had won eight of they last 10 going into the Otters series, fell two games behind Craig Dolan’s league-leading Tsunamis. The series was competitive, with close games that could have gone either way. 

Game 1 Taz Devils 4, Otters 2
The Devils jumped out in front in the first on an RBI single by Bogaerts. Yelich singled in a run in the bottom of the inning. A two run HR from Mookie Betts, and a run scoring double from R Devers put the visitors out front 4-1. the Otters could not muster enough offense against a stingy Taz’ pitching staff.

Devils    4-8-1 W – Charlie Morton.SV – Steve Cishek HR Mookie Betts.
Otters 2-5-0 L – Stephen Strasburg.

Game 2 Otters 7, Devils 5
Two lefties toed the rubber – Kershaw vs Corbin. Jose Altuve jumped on an offering in the first to put the Devils out front, but the Otters answered with two in the bottom of the inning. The Otters put the pressure on Kershaw in the third and fourth inning with RBI hits from Abreu, Acuna and Cruz, giving them a 7-1 lead. But the Devils were not done. In the sixth, Matt Chapman tripled home two and came home on an infield fielder’s choice to bring the visitors within two. But the Otter bullpen recorded the final 12 outs to put our the fire.

Taz       5-8-1 L – Clayton Kershaw HR- Jose Altuve.

Otters   7-9-0 W Patrick Corbin. SV Aaron Bummer. HR Ronald Acuña.

Game 3 Otters 6, Devils 3
Jack Flaherty vs Lance Lynn. The Otters put runs on the board in the 2nd inning when Moncada homered and Grandal singled home the third run of the inning. Taz threatened again and again, loading the bases in the 2nd and the fifth innings, but failing to bring anyone home. The Otters tenuous lead was boosted the in the 6th by lead off homers from Moncada and Freeman. Again the Devils added runs late with a pinch hit HR from Goldschmidt and a double from Bogaerts. After Will smith faltered in the 8th, Kirby Yates locked down the save in the 9th. The Devils felt the frustration – leaving 13 runners on base.

Devils   3-12-0 L Jack Flaherty. HR Paul Goldschmidt.

Otters   6- 8-0 W Lance Lynn. SV Kirby Yates. HR Yoan Moncada 2 HR, Freddie Freeman.

Game 4 Otters 5, Devils 4
Glasnow vs deGrom. The Devils  took the lead in the 2nd with a two run HR from Gardner. They also added runs against the Otter ace in the 3rd and 4th innings. Freddie Freeman launched his third HR of the series in the 2nd. Down 4-1 in the bottom of the 4th, Jorge Polanco jumped on a Glasnow offering to make it 4-3. Rendon tied the game in the 6th with a solo HR. In the top of the 8th Jeff McNeil doubled, but was thrown out at home trying to score on single from Kepler. Yelich doubled to lead of the bottom of the inning, and then scored on a single from Machado. Yates held on to preserve the win for the home team.

Taz       4-8-0 L Trevor May. HR Brett Gardner.

Otters   5-8-1   W Aaron Bummer. SV Kirby Yates. HR Freddie Freeman, Jorge Polanco, Anthony Rendon.

Horde engineers split with Beefs in Rocket Launch series

Marc Bostrom’s Horde and Rod Caborn’s Beefers split Saturday in a series that was paused during Game Two to watch the Spacex rocket launch. Fans at the Beefer Bowl were disappointed, however, when thick, white clouds blocked the view of the launch and were further disappointed when the Horde (8-20) refused to play like a last-place team, toughing out a split with the struggling Beefs (13-19). 
Eugenio Suarez and Gleyber Torres led the Horde. Suarez clubbed three homers and drove in five runs and Torres, in two games, hit a pair of homers and drove in five. Corey Seager was 5-12, .416 for the Horde. The Horde clubbed nine homers, five of them coming with one man on base. In contrast the Beefs also hit nine homers, but seven of them came with the bases empty. The Beefs hit .252 for the series while the Horde hit .248.

Game 1: Beefers 3, Horde 2

Beefer C Willson Contreras hit two solo homers and CF Ramon Laureano hit a solo shot to account for all of the Beefers runs as Mike Fiers won his second game of the season. Fiers served up a two-run HR to Eugenio Suarez, but that was all that the Horde could manage in what turned out to be a tight battle.

Horde   2-3-0  L-Mike Soroka. HR Eugenio Suarez.

Beef     3-4-0   W-Mike Fiers (2-6). Sv Emilio Pagan (3). HR Willson Contreras 2 HR (1, 2), Ramon Laureano (5)

Game 2: Horde 7, Beefers 4

Beefers Kris Bryant and D.J. LeMahieu hit back-to-back HRs to start the game for the Beefers, but the Horde pitching staff only allowed two more runs the rest of the way enroute to a come-from-behind 7-4 win. Gleyber Torres tied the game for the Horde in the second with a two-run single and Trey Mancini gave the Horde the lead in the next inning with a solo HR. Torres struck again in the sixth with a two-run HR and the combo of Anthony Bass, Ryan Harper and Shane Green held the Beefs to only one run in the final three innings, a solo shot by C Christian Vazquez, for a 7-4 Horde victory.

Horde  7-13-1  W-Eduardo Rodriguez. HR Gleyber Torres.

Beef     4-7-1   L- Julio Teheran (3-5). HR Kris Bryant (10), D.J. LeMahieu (5) (note…back-to-back in the first), Christian Vazquez (2).

Game 3: Beefers 11, Horde 6

The Beefs poured over five runs in the bottom of the eighth to break open a 6-6 deadlock and go on to win 11-6. Horde reliever Alex Colome was the victim of the Beefer outburst, giving up a two-run double by Kris Bryant, an RBI single by D.J. LeMahieu, and a two-run HR by Danny Santana in the eighth.  Earlier in the game, the Horde jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first, sparked by a two-run HR by Eugeno Suarez. The lead went back and forth for the next five inning and both teams were tied at six apiece until the Beefs exploded in the bottom of the eighth. 

Horde  6-10-2   L-Alex Colome. HR Alex Verdugo, Eugenio Suarez. 

Beef   11-14-3  W-Tim Hill (3-0). HR Danny Santana (3), Marcus Semien (6), Bryce Harper (4).

Game 4: Horde 6, Beefers 5

Both teams battled tooth-and-nail through six innings with the Horde bullpen taking over to shut down the Beefs with only one hit over the final three innings to preserve a one-run, 6-5 Horde victory. 
Will Smith got the Horde started with a two-run HR in the first, but Marcus Semien hit a two-run HR in the bottom of the first to tie the game at two. The Horde took a 3-2 lead in the secon on a solo shot by Corey Seager, but the Beefs took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second on RBI singles by Christian Vazquez and D.J. LeMahieu. In the sixth, Eugenio Suarez blasted a two-run HR and Corey Seager singled home a run to put the Horde in front 6-4, but Christian Vazquez singled in another run for the Beefs in the sixth to make it 6-5 Horde. 
From that point on, the Horde trio of Hector Rondon, Alex Colome, and Shane Green was terrific, only allowing one hit over the final three innings to give the Horde a 6-5 win.

Horde  6-9-2  W-John Means. HR Will Smith, Eugenio Suarez, Corey Seager.

Beef     5-9-1   L- Shane Bieber (3-2). HR Marcus Semien (7).

Devils take three in raucous series against Horde, May 26

The Devils celebrated Memorial Day in winning fashion, winning three of four in a series that featured two extra-inning games loads of offense. It wasn’t easy for the Devils, as they had to battle throughout the entire series to hold off the Horde, who seem to be gaining strength as interim manager Marc Bostrom becomes more familiar with the lineup. The series win pulled the Devils (17-7) to within a game of Craig Dolan’s Asian Tsunamis (18-6) for the league lead. The Horde dropped to 6-18 on the season.

Game 1: Devils 6  Horde 5
The Devils pushed a pair across in the first but Pete Alonso tied the game in the bottom of the frame with a two run homer. Each team got solo homers in the third to keep the game tied. Alonso put the homies up by two with another long one in the 6th. But Jose Altuve tied the game with a two run homer of his own the next inning. Tied at 5-5 in the top of the 9th, Mookie Betts hit a solo homer to give the Devils the lead. Liam Hendricks pitched a perfect inning for the save. 

Devils  6-11-0 W- May (1-0)  SV- Hendricks (3)  HR- Betts (4), Altuve (4), Goldschmidt (1).

Horde  5-8-0  L- Colome  HR- Alonso 2 HR, Rosario 1.

Game 2: Horde 4, Devils 2 (12 innings)
Gleyber Torres hit a solo homer in the first for an early Horde lead. The game was tied in the second when Max Kepler went deep with his own solo shot. The two teams would push single runs across as the tie game went into extra innings. The game went into the bottom of the 12th when Torres hit a double and Eugenio Suarez ended it with a two run homer. 

Devils  2-6-1 L- Stammen (1-1)  HR- Kepler (4).

Horde 4-9-1  W- Wilson  HR- Suarez, Torres.

Game 3: Devils 3 Horde 2
Torres again put his mates up by one in the bottom of the first with a homer. The visitors tied the game in the third and took a one run lead in the fourth. Kepler would put his squad up by two with a solo homer in the6th. Alex Verdugo keep the solo homer theme going with a homer in the 7th. Ups 3-2, the Devils pen retired the next eight batters to  get the win. 

Devils 3-11-1  W- Civale (2-1)  Sv- Hendricks (4)  HR- Kepler (5).

Horde 2-3-0  L- Stroman HR- Torres, Verdugo.

Game 4: Devils 9  Horde 8 (10 innings)
Goldschmidt hit a two run dinger in the first for an early lead but his first base counter part hit a solo jack of his own in the bottom of the inning, right after Will Smith hit his own solo homer. Alonso hit a two run homer in the third after the Tazzies pushed one across in the top of the inning. The sixth inning saw the Horde crank up for three runs and a 8-3 lead. The Devils got one back in the 7th and two more on a Bogaerts homer in the 8th. Up 8-6, Horde closer Shane Green served up a two run round tripper to Jeff McNeil, game tied 8-8. A lead off walk, a stolen base, and a wild pitch put the winning run on third with no out in the tenth. After a pop out, Betts hit a ball far enough for a sac fly. Hendricks was once again called on pitch a perfect 9th for the save.

Devils 9-14-2  W- Hader (2-0)  Sv Hendricks (5)  HR- Bogaerts (7), McNeil (4, Goldschmidt (2).

Horde 8-14-0  L- Newcomb  HR- Alonso 2 HR, Smith 1.

2020 OAPBA standings thru June 4

OAPBA Standings, First  Half 2020
Tsunamis 186.750
Taz Devils1810.6432.0
Horde 8200.25012.0

Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters (9-7) series win over Dave Larson’s Taz Devils on Memorial Day increased the Asian Tsunami’s lead in the OAPBA first half race to two full games. The Otters, with six series (24 games) remaining are still in the pennant chase, but need to make up some ground to threaten for the lead.

The Tsunamis have an away series remaining at the Taz Devils and home series remaining against the Otters, Whatevers, and Horde.

The Devils have three series left: the Tsunamis at home and two away series at the Otters and Whatevers.

The Otters are on the road against the Devils and Otters, which will be critical in their battle for the first half title. The Furry Ones also have a pair of home series remaining against the Beefers and Whatevers and an away series at the Horde.

Behind the three leaders, Walt Taylor’s offensive-minded Whatevers (9-11) have taken control of fourth place while Rod Caborn’s Beefers (14-22) have slipped into fifth place and have only one more series left in what has been a disappointing first half. The expansion Horde (8-20) have been showing considerable improvement as interim manager Marc Bostrom has grown more familiar with the lineup he inherited when the franchise change management shortly after after the season got underway.