Whats overpower Beefs with sweep to open 2020 campaign

Walt Taylor’s Whatevers (4-0) kicked off their season with a stunning sweep of Rod Caborn’s Beefers (11-17), Wednesday  afternoon, April 8, showing plenty of firepower and solid pitching in their 2020 debut. 

The sweep was the second four-game sweep suffered by the Beefers in the first half and effectively knocked the Bovines out any chance for the first-half pennant. For the Whatevers, the sweep served notice that the What hitters have taken advantage of their extended spring training to groove their home run swings. 

The Whats totaled 13 home runs in the four-game sweep and belted 26 extra base hits while hitting .213. The Beefer bats, in true coronavirus spirit, showed plenty of social distance from the baseball, hitting only .183 in the series with only five home runs. The series was played via Skype.

Game 1 Whatevers 3, Beefers 1

The opener was a tight pitching battle between What righty Jake Odorizzi and Beefer righty Mike Fiers. The Beefs took a 1-0 lead on an Oscar Mercado RBI 2b in the fifth. RF Charlie Blackmon, however, tied the game in the seventh with a solo HR off Mike Fiers and, three batters later, Yuli Gurriel’s sac fly scored Francisco Lindor, who had doubled after Blackmon’s HR. What LF Eddie Rosario pounded a homer off Fiers in the eighth to wrap up the scoring with Hansel Robles closing things out for the Whatevers in the ninth. The Whats only generated four hits, but all four were for extra bases.

Whats  3-4-1    W-Jake Odorizzi 1-0. Sv Hansel Robels #1. HR Eddie Rosario #1, Charlie Blackmon #1.

Beefers 1-5-0    L-Mike Fiers 1-6. 

Game 2 Whatevers 9, Beefers 3

The Whats pounded Beefer starter Julio Teheran for four homers and nine runs in five innings to waltz to an easy 9-3 runaway in Game Two. Bregman hit a two-run shot in the first to get the scoring parade underway. In the second, Ozzie Albies hammered a solo HR and, later in the inning, George Springer hit a two-run shot to make it 6-1. Two innings later, Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run HR, his second round-tripper in two games, to make it 9-1. Jose Berrios went seven innings for the Whats, giving up only one run to earn the win.

Whats  9-11-1   W-Jose Berrios 1-0. HR George Springer #1, Charlie Blackmon #2, Alex Bregman #1, Ozzie Albies #1.

Beefers    3-10-0L- Julio Teheran 3-4. HR Bryce Harper #3.

Game 3 Whatevers 8, Beefers 3

For the second straight game, the Whats came out firing, with Alex Bregman hitting a two-run HR in the first off Beef starter Kyle Hendricks and Eddie Rosario plinking a HR off Hendricks in the second. Ramon Laureano homered for the Beefs in the third to make it 3-1, but it was all Whatevers the rest of the way with Joe Lindor putting the lid on the game with a three-run HR in the seventh, off Beef reliever Seth Lugo. What starter Walker Buehler went eight innings, allowing only four this and two runs, both solo homers by Laureano and Matt Olson, surprised his Whatever teammates by getting into the HR derby with a shot of his own in the fifth inning, off Hendricks. Bregman had two homers in the win, driving in five runs.Whats    5-10-2  W-Walker Buehler 1-0. HR Alex Bregman 2, #2 and #3, Eddie Rosario #1 Walker Buehler #1.

Beefers  8-8-0    L-Kyle Hendricks 2-2. HR Ramon Laureano #4, Danny Santana #1, Matt Olson #3.

Game 4  Whatevers 3, Beefers 2 (15 innings)

What starter Justin Verlander and Beefer righty Mike Clevinger, making his first start of the season, were both outstanding in a game that saw the Whatevers pound out 10 extra-base hits, but score only three runs. Verlander allowed a second inning solo HR by Beef LF Danny Santana in the second, and nothing after that, going seven innings, allowing only two hits and the lone run. Clevinger was even better, going eight innings, giving up three hits and no runs. The ubiquitous Charlie Blackmon, however, tied the game for the Whatevers with one out in the ninth with a solo HR off Beef closer Emilio Pagan, tying the game at 1-1.Both teams scored in the 12th inning with Yuli Gurriel homering for the Whats and Beef 1b Matt Olson keeping the Beef hopes alive with a game-tying RBI double to make it 2-2. In the top of the 15th, What replacement 2b Whit Merrifield homered off Seth Lugo to give the Whats a 3-2 lead. Matt Barnes, the seventh pitcher for the Whats, closed the Beefs down in the bottom of the 15th for the save.

Whats   3-11-2   W Tommy Kahnle 1-0. Sv Matt Barnes #1. HR Charlie Blackmon #3, Yuli Gurriel #1, Whit Merrifield #1.  

Beefers  2-8-0    L-Seth Lugo 0-1. HR Danny Santana #2.

Devils take three from struggling Horde

Over the years, OAPBA managers have played games in parking lots, press boxes. hotel lobbies, in cars traveling on the interstate, and now electronically. On Sat., April 4, two managers took a step back in time as the Horde, managed by interim manager Marc Bostrom, utilized Western Union and Morse Code for a series at Dave Larson’s Taz Devils.

The Devils took three of four in the series to improve to 10-6, to move into second place in the league, two games behind Craig Dolan’s surging Tsunamis (14-6), while the Horde, saddled with an offense that has failed to generate much, fell to 3-13. 

Each team hit four homers on the series, with the Horde getting one in each game while the Devils got three solo shots in one game. The Tazzies hit .257, scoring 18 runs with 9 doubles and four homers. The visiting Horde hit .204 with 12 runs scored with five doubles, a triple, and four homers. The Horde drew 14 free passes to the Tazzies 15. The strikeouts were another story as 47 Horders fanned to just 28 on the home side.

Game 1 Devils 5, Horde 1

A pair of lefties faced off, Mike Siroka for the Horde and Clayton Kershaw for the Devils. Sir Mike was wild, walking five batters and fanning none. The Horder took an early lead on a Alex Verdugo solo homer in the second. But Sir Mike caused his own downfall in the next two innings. Four walks led to four runs with four different Tazzies getting an RBI. Kershaw was in top form, fanning eight with a pair of walks in seven plus innings.  

Horde 1-6-1  L- Siroka  HR- Verdugo

Devils 5-11-0  W- Kershaw (1-0) 

Game 2 Devils 8, Horde 2   

Horde lefty Eduardo Rodriquez was overmatched by Jack “Hammer” Flaherty. The hammer went seven shutout innings, fanning 11. Rodriquez wasn’t helped by his defense as the first three runs scored by the Devils were unearned. Up 3-0, the Devils got three solo homers in the 6th and added two more runs on the game. The Horde did tag reliever Josh “Darth” Hader for a pair, on a Pete Alonso homer in the 8th.  

Horde  2-7-2  L- Eduardo Rodriquez  HR Pete Alonso.

Devils  8-12-1  W- Flaherty (2-1)  HR- Betts (2), Benetendi (1), Altuve (2).

Game 3 Devils 5, Horde 3  

Marcus Stroman and Aaron Civale matched up with the Devils batting around the visitor hurler for three in the first. Squirrelly Jeff McNeil would double home a pair on the inning. A Zander Bogaerts two run homer put the Tazmen up 5-0 in the 4rd. The Horder started to climb back. Jorge Soler hit a two run blast in the fourth and Gary Sanchez singled home a run in the 6th. But a pair of Devil relievers would toss three shutout innings to finish off the visitors. 

Horde  3-6-1 L- Marcus Stroman  HR- Jorge Soler.

Devils  5-6-0  W-Aaron Civale (1-1)  SV- Liam Hendricks (1)  HR- Xander Bogaerts (5).

Game 4  Horde 6,  Devils 0 

John “Man of” Means and the Golden Ones took out their frustrations in the finale against Devils ace King Cole.  Means threw eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits. Shane Greene finished off the game, allowing a 9th inning double. The Horde hurlers allowed just three hits and no walks while fanning 11. C Will Smith’s two-run triple in the 3rd started the scoring. Eugenio Suarez added a two run dinger the 5th. 

Horde 6-7-1  W- John Means  HR- Eugenio Suarez.

Devils  0-3-0  L-Gerritt Cole (2-1).

Tsu’s win streak hits 10 before dropping two to Beefs

In a series played via Skype on Tuesday afternoon, March 31, Craig Dolan’s red-hot Tsunamis (14-6) extended their winning streak to 10 games before dropping the final two games of a four-game home series to Rod Caborn’s Beefers (11-13). The hard-charting Tsunamis won a 2-1 squeaker in the opener and then hammered five HRs in a 12-6 runaway in Game Two before the Beefs came from behind to win 7-5 in Game Three, ending the Tsunamis remarkable winning streak.For the series, the Tsunamis hit .215, with seven homers. The Beefers hit a respectable .255, hitting four homers.

Game 1 Tsunamis 2, Beefers 1

The Tsunamis Michael Pineda beat the Beefs for the second time this half, outdueling beleaguered Mike Fiers, who pitched his best outing of the 2020 campaign. The Asians Mark Canha hit a two-run single in the fourth and Pinea, combined with three relievers, make it hold up, allowing only a single unearned run in the eighth, with Will Harris closing the door over the final two innings to earn the save.

Beefers       1-6-1    L-Mike Fiers 1-5.

Tsunamis   2-7-1 W-Michael Pineda 4-0 Sv Will Harris #1. 

Game 2 Tsunamis 12, Beefers 6

Both teams came out of the gate with hot bats, with the score tied at 5-5 after two innings. The Tsu’s output included a solo HR by Corey Dickerson and a three-run blast by Nolan Arenado while all five Beefer runs resulted from a two-run HR by Jose Ramirez and a three-run shot by Kris Bryant, his ninth of the season. Things calmed down until the fifth when the Tsunamis offense once again swung into high gear with a three-run HR by Trevor Story and, in the sixth with Diego Castillo on in relief, a two-run homer by Anthony Rizzo, followed two batters later by a solo HR by Mark Canha. The win extended the Tsunami win streak to 10 games.

Beefers       6-10-1    L-Julio Teheran 3-3. HR Jose Ramirez #3, Kris Bryant #9.

Tsunamis  12-9-3 W-Evan Marshall 3-0. HR Nolan Arenado #6, Corey Dickerson #4, Anthony Rizzo #3, Mark Canha #3.

Game 3 Beefers 7, Tsunamis 5

The Beefers came from behind to end the Tsunami win streak at 10 games, scoring three runs in the final two innings to win 7-5. The Tsu’s built up a 5-4 lead through the seventh inning, including homers by Arenado and Dickerson, the same combo that homered in Game Two. The Beefs, meanwhile, scored on a two-run HR by Jose Ramirez and Tommy Pham’s first HR of the season, a two-run blast. Down 5-4 in the top of the 8th, the Beefs squeezed a run home to tie the game at five apiece. In the ninth, Brandon Lowe singled home pinch-runner Orlando Mercado and added a second run when reliever Will Harris made an error that scored Lowe.

Beefers 7-11-0   W-Tim Hill 2-0. Sv Emilio Pagan #2. HR Tommy Pham #1, Jose Ramirez #4.

Tsunamis   5-8-2    L-Will Harris 0-1. HR Corey Dickerson #5., Nolan Arenado #7.

Game 4 Beefers 4, Tsunamis 0

Beefer righty Shane Bieber struggled with his control, walking seven in seven-plus innings, but only allowed three hits, combining with closer Sergio Romo to give the Beefs a 4-0 shutout win over the Asians. The Beefs pecked away at Domingo German for three runs in the first five innings, while Beiber escaped trouble in the second and fourth innings when Tsu batters grounded into double plays. Romo entered the game in the eighth and put the Tsunamis away with only one hit in the final two frames.

Beefers  4-8-0    W-Shane Bieber 3-1.

Tsunamis  0-4-2    L-Domingo German 2-1.

2020 OAPBA standings thru April 8

OAPBA Standings, First  Half 2020
Tsunamis 146.700
Taz Devils106.6252.0
Otters 660.5004.0
Horde 3130.1889.0

Craig Dolan’s Tsunamis continue occupy first place in OAPBA with Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (10-6) and Jonathan Stilwell’s Otters (6-6) in second and third place respectively. Rod Caborn’s Beefers (11-13) are still suffering from the effects of a four-game sweep at the hands of the Tsunamis while the Horde (3-13), now under the interim direction of Marc Bostrom, have had to battle to generate much offense and have struggled in their inaugural season in OAPBA.

Walt Taylor’s Whatevers have yet to take the field in the 2020 season, but the league front office is hopeful they’ll get underway soon.