GREAT MOMENTS IN STRAT
It Happens Every 45 years
I have been playing Strat since 1964. Never had a no-hitter come my way! It is on
Alan L. Dehn Schenectady, NY
More No-Hitter Drama
Playing the 1971 Orioles at home, hosting the 1971 Tigers. It was an amazing pitchers’ duel, featuring Jim Palmer against Mickey Lolich. (1971 was his career year.) After 8 innings, it’s still a scoreless game, but Lolich is pitching a perfect game. Palmer had allowed only 3 hits, but he walked several guys, and he’d hit a batter, too. My big fear at this point – counting my chickens before they hatched – is that
Editor’s Notes: This near-miss can be explained by your hour-long break. When watching a no-hitter in progress at the ballpark, you don’t change seats. You don’t take off your cap. You don’t talk about it. By taking your break, you broke the spell. OK, that’s all superstition and, truly, the dice odds did not change. Still!
As for the bunt strategy, if the pitcher is allowed to bat in that situation, always bunt, unless the pitcher is a good hitter – a 5, 7 or 8 hitter. Why? Because pitchers hit into so many double plays.
And the Winner Is …
After 127 series, 500+ games, and over a calendar year of play – I have a champion!
There were 128 teams involved, eight each from the years 1969 through 1984. Advanced rules, no super-advanced teams allowed. I used the original versions of 1971, 1975 and 1978, with advanced features like error ratings, pitcher’s hold, catcher arms, etc, added where necessary. All games were cards and dice. I also used the new pitcher-as-hitters feature, printed out from the computer game in most cases.
Teams were seeded (and re-seeded every round) by real-life winning percentage. So, ’69 Baltimore (.673), ’70 Baltimore (.667), ’75 Cinci (.667), ’84
The ’69 O’s held their top seed throughout, taking out ’77
Determining their opponent was a free-for all, after the ’70 O’s were upset in Round One by ’74
Both teams were rested coming in, so it would be Marichal vs. Cuellar in the opener at
Perry vs. McNally in game 2. It was a slugfest early, Powell and McNally homering off Perry,
With the Giants looking to end the series back home in Candlestick for Game 3, the O’s rallied, Powell and Blair hitting early homers off Reberger, Palmer cruising to a 6-2 win. Still home at Candlestick, the Giants again looked to end it in game 4. Phoebus went five good innings for the O’s, leaving with a 2-1 lead, and singling in one of the runs off Ron Bryant in the 2nd. Richert, Watt and Hall were near perfect in relief, Baltimore tacking on three against Stone in the eighth. We’ll go back to
And so, it would be Marichal vs Cuellar one more time, for all the marbles after 500+ games! Mays walked to lead off the game, Dietz doubled him to 3rd, Kingman singled them both in, and so it stayed, 2-0 Giants into the 3rd. A Marichal error and an RBI-single by Buford brought the O’s an unearned run in the 3rd, it was 2-1 Giants going to the 4th.
The Giants knocked out Cuellar in the 4th: Gallagher, Speier, Marichal with big hits, McCovey a sac fly. Gallagher tripled in another run in the 6th off Hall, things looking good for the Giants, 6-1 going to the 7th, Marichal cruising.
A homer by Dave Johnson in the 7th, a triple by Blair in the 8th brought in runs, making it . A McCovey homer in the Giants 9th tacked on an insurance run, Marichal closed it out. The ’71 Giants, at 21-5 are my tournament champions. Or, should I say … The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!
The Human Element Makes Strat Great
I think one of the things that sets Strat apart from other games is the balance between true-to-life player performance and the effect of human managerial decisions. This is most evident in the baseball game. When I have moments that my managing pays off, I fall in love with Strat all over again. I had one tonight in my 2006 Marlins Replay, although in favor of my opponent.
The Toronto Blue Jays visited the Florida Marlins on a typically muggy day that is a Sunday afternoon affair in mid-June ("bad" weather on the chart). The weather played a huge role in the game, as all triangle single chances for righties are automatic outs and homeruns are 5/3 for lefties and righties, respectively. That, combined with a Roy Halladay-Josh Johnson pitching match-up, made for a low-scoring contest.
Top of the 7th, 2-1 Marlins, 1 out, men on 1st and 2nd, pitcher’s spot at bat. Even though Halladay is pitching very well at this point, the obvious play is to pinch hit. I bring in Reed Johnson to hit against Logan Kensing (the previous batter’s single fatigued Johnson). He strikes out, but then Alex Rios hits a 2-RBI double to give the Blue Jays a 3-2 after 6.5 innings. Since the game is close and now in the Jays’ favor, I opted to keep Reed Johnson in at LF (he is a 2(-2)e1) and replace the defensively inferior (who am I kidding? The defensively awful) Frank Catalanotto (a 5(+1)e2 in LF). Entering the bottom of the 9th, the score is now 4-3
I know I lost the game, but it was great to see that my managerial decision basically allowed the Blue Jays to win a game they might not have won otherwise. That is an aspect of Strat that you just don’t really get with other baseball simulations, particularly video games, and part of what makes Strat so amazing.