GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
Have you experienced a game of Strat-O-Matic so thrilling, unique or bizarre that you just HAVE to share it with someone? That would be us. Send your Great Moments in Strat to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Readers like to see that and you deserve the credit.
CALL THIS LIFE IMITATING ART
I was playing a game in the AATSOML (Andy’s All Time Strat O Matic League) between the Reds and Mets. Seeing that the Mets were due to start Jerry Koosman and noticing the Reds hammer lefties with the likes of Bench, Foster, Davis, Perez, Larkin, Rose and Morgan, I decided to demote Koosman and bring up Jacob DeGrom. It worked – sort of. DeGrom went 6 plus innings allowing 4 runs, but the Mets won 6-5 in 11 innings when Strawberry and Wright’s doubles plated the winning run. Jeruys Familia was the winning pitcher.
A few hours later, my wife and I got in the car and went off to Citi Field to watch the Mets battle the Brewers.
Starting pitcher? DeGrom.
Game ending hit? Wright.
Winning pitcher? Familia.
I didn’t even notice it until the next day when one of the fans on the Facebook page for my league pointed it out to me. Wowsers.
TO THIS DAY, I CURSE THE NAME OF JIMMY KEY
Back in 2011, a friend and I had just gotten our feet wet with Strat-O-Matic Baseball and wanted to sim the 1994 Postseason that might have been. On the American League side, The Yankees dispatched the Indians in 4 games and the White Sox eliminated the hapless Rangers in 4, setting up a Chicago/New York ALCS.
Jimmy Key (the focal point of this story) got lit up under the lights of New York in Game 1, surrendering 6 runs in 2 innings of work as the Pale Hose went on to a 15-2 drubbing of the Bombers. Chicago squeaked by with a 2-1 win in Game 2, and took a commanding 3-games-to-none lead after crushing the Yanks one more time in Game 3, 11-6. I gave some honest thought to forfeiting Game 4, lest I prolong the agony on an already long day, but I pressed on.
Game 4. Comiskey Park goes wild as the White Sox send 8 men to the plate against Sterling Hitchcock in the 1st inning and plate 5 runs. Across the table from me, my friend mocks me with laughter after every roll of the dice. With Chicago seemingly poised to clinch the pennant in a sweep and nothing left to lose for New York, I send out Game 1 whipping boy Key to mop up for a few innings. To the surprise of everyone involved, he stops the White Sox locomotive, pitching 4 shutout innings and keeping the score at 5-0. After Key exits, the Yanks score 8 unanswered runs to stun the Second City faithful and put the American League Trophy presentation on hold.
Our day of Strat gets longer as the Yanks emerge victorious in Games 5 and 6 to amazingly force a Game 7. I’m now faced with a dilemma: do I start Sterling Hitchcock, who gave up 5 runs in one inning of work in Game 4? Or do I send out Jimmy Key, who got shelled in Game 1, but provided clutch relief in the turning Game 4, BUT was giving me lots of anxiety as every instinct in my body told me to keep him in the bullpen? Ultimately I figured, “the cards don’t lie”, and started Key against my gut. It should be a no-brainer, right? Key was the ace of that staff, I should’ve been thrilled to have him on the hill for the deciding game, right?
Game 7. Jimmy Key can’t get out of the first inning, giving up 5 runs after recording only one out. Jim Abbott hurries in for relief but cannot provide it, giving up another 4 before the inning comes to an end.
After being left for dead, down 3-0 in the Series and 5-0 in the 6th inning of Game 4, I somehow pilot my team to a stunning comeback, forcing a Game 7 – only to be down by NINE RUNS before I’d even come to bat and forced to listen to my friend laughing his head off.
I knew I shouldn’t have started Key. I just knew it. Five years later and I’m still mad.
Kevin Connell, New York
Founded in 1974, the Fly-By-Night Baseball Association is a 24-team, FTF and Netplay league. The Taxachusetts Chiefs joined the FBNBA in 1989. I have never seen a player put together back-to-back games like this.
Chiefs right fielder Carlos Gonzalez was slumping, hitting only .218 after 79 games. In the final game of a four-game series at the Maine Yaks, Cargo went 5 for 5, belting four homers and knocking in eight runs. In his next game at home against the U.S. Jarheads, Cargo went 4 for 6 with three homers, two of them grand slams, and knocked in ten runs. For the two games, Cargo went 9 for 11 with 7 HRs and 18 RBIs! Both games were nine-inning games.
Bud Drapeau, Manchester, CT
18 RUNS: NO HOME RUN.
Playing a league combining the HOFers, Baseball Heroes, and Negro Leaguers. A classic game: The Maulers scored 18 runs without the benefit of a home run. How did they do it? Perhaps their 30 baserunners in 8 innings (they were at home so did not bat in the 9th) that reached base via 24 hits (19 singles, 4 doubles, 1 triple), 5 walks, and 1 man reaching base on an error explains the offensive explosion. Once the Maulers grabbed an insurmountable lead midway through the game, they pulled most of their starters, and allowed backups to finish out the game. Most batters reached base at least once in the game.
Dan Champagne, Springfield, MA
I manage the Detroit Tigers and we were playing the Yankees yesterday afternoon in the final game of a three-game series. Each team had won a game, so this was the “rubber game” of the series. We did just about everything right to win the game. Our defense turned five double plays – FIVE! We extended our errorless streak to 64 innings. We scored nine runs on 19 hits … AND LOST THE GAME!
Leading 9-7 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Francisco Rodriguez could not hold the lead and we lost, 10-9. We almost turned our 6th double play, but the card read: “Groundball (SS) B … not Groundball (SS) A. Had we turned that double play, we would have won! It was our second walk-off loss in the three-game series and the fifth of the season.
David Serbin, Claremont, CA
NOT SEAVER, NOT KOOSMAN, BUT …
Playing Strat since the ‘80s, primarily baseball. Still play C&D on occasion, but mostly play the computer version. For the first time in all the years playing, I got a PERFECT Game. I am replaying the 69 Mets and have a 71-52 record (their actual record at that point: 71 – 52). Don Cardwell with the surprising gem. A great moment for me in Strat History.
Bob Greco, New Port Richey, FL
THE BRYCE-MAN COMETH
In our 2015 C&D short-season replay, Bryce Harper homered in 8 consecutive games, tying the Real MLB record held by three players. Here are his stats through 15 games:
AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB K SB CS AVE OBP
54 19 26 18 9 0 10 10 8 0 0 .481 .569
We would fault him for the lack of stolen bases, but when 19 of your 26 hits are for extra bases we can let it slide.
Curtis, Phoenix, AZ
STARTING YOUNG: SOME KIDS JUST HAVE IT
Introduced my 9-year-old son Brandon to Strat Baseball this weekend, He has watched me play throughout the years on my 1956 Cards and Dice basic replay. He began showing interest this year, asking questions about baseball, the players, and now the Strat game. He follows the Dodgers along with me, (yes, I brain-washed him early) and knows their basic lineup and roster.
I received the 2015 cards a couple of weeks ago with the idea of seeing if it would pique his desire. It did. He began playing some generic baseball game on his iPad with real MLB Players but the skill level was based on when to swing. Basically, any guy could hit a home run and I finally told him there’s a better game that represented the players’ skill level as in real life (Strat).
We decided to play a three game series with the Dodgers vs the Giants, with me being SF. I figured a good rivalry would be a good start. This way he can also get to learn the players for all the different teams. I explained the Basic, cards-and-dice, fielding ratings and other stuff and he understood from the beginning. I also told him the pitcher would roll the single white die and the hitter would roll the two red dice to keep him engaged at all times.
My son put together his line up for Game 1 with Cory Seager at SS because that’s who he’s familiar with and away we went. Kershaw vs Baumgarner and it went as advertised. 2-1 Dodgers until the 5th and then the Dodgers scored two more and got into the Giants’ bullpen. Justin Turner ended up with 5 RBI’s and the final was 7-2 Dodgers. Kershaw allowed 4 hits (allowed 2 solo home runs) with 12 strikeouts. He was happy he won and was starting to understand the difference between the Strat game and his iPad game.
Game 2 was played this afternoon, with Greinke vs Tim Hudson. I mentioned to him that we were playing last year’s team and maybe it would be more realistic if Jimmy Rollins played SS because that’s the way the season started. Also, with last year’s cards Rollins’ fielding rating (2) was much better than Seager’s (4) and Cory was still unproven and only played the last month. He said sure.
The game starts and the first 6 rolls were on Hudson’s card and it wasn’t pretty. Peterson singles, Kendrick rolls the 4-8 on Hudson’s card; Triple 1, Single 2-20. My son rolls the 1 on the 20-sided die. I knew then it wouldn’t be my day. It went on and on that inning. His Dodgers scored 5 runs. It was 7-0 after 3 innings with Greinke on the mound. Zach struck out 5 out of the first 6 Giants. After 6 innings, my son was aware of the no-no Greinke was throwing. After the 8th inning he started to talk smack: “Gee Dad, Greinke is probably throwing while sitting on a chair.” The 9th inning was 1-2-3, very routine. Zach was never close to giving up a hit. Final: Dodgers 8, Giants 0. Greinke finished with 13 strikeouts, and 2 walks.
My son’s 2nd game ever was a no-hitter. It took me over 45 years of Strat gaming to get my only no-hitter and it came from Early Wynn (Cleveland) vs the White Sox in my 1956 Basic, cards and dice. I’m 60 years old this year and the surprises never stop. I tried to change my luck and had my 4-year-old son roll a couple of times to get that one hit I needed but it went to no avail.
Here’s a photo of my son holding up the Zach Greinke card
James (leftcoastjames on the stratfanforum)