So in 2014 the TCBA saw an exciting regular season produce 8 100-win teams that would make the playoffs (Bill Brunton’s Red Hill Rollers –
118, Hal Berkstresser’s Harrisburg Heroes – 118, Winfield Scott’s Scott Anacondas – 111, Bill Stamper’s Windy City Slickers – 101, Jason Parry’s Milwaukee Goiter – 114, Dave Ahrens’ Appleton Legends – 109, Ben Zuhl’s Belgrade Zips – 104, and Jim Stamper’s Second City Spartans – 100). In the first round, Red Hill topped Second City in 6 games, Harrisburg edged out Belgrade in 6, Scott swept Appleton, and Milwaukee upended Windy City in 6. In the second round, Milwaukee came back from a 2-1
games deficit to end Red Hill’s season in 6 while Scott prevailed over Harrisburg in 6 hard-fought games. Thus the defending 2013 World Series champion Scott Anacondas hosted the Milwaukee Goiter to decide the 2014 season. The fans at the SnakeDome were pumped and ready to party. Play ball!
G1 – MG’s Clayton Kershaw at SA’s Jorge de la Rosa. Scott would draw first blood in the bottom of the 2nd when David Wright singled, stole second, and scored on a Jason Heyward single. The score would remain 1-0 until the bottom of the 5th when, with 2 outs, SA pinch-hitter Daric Barton ran into a Kershaw fastball and drilled it out in right center…2-0, Scott. With 2 on and 1 out in the top of the 6th, MG’s Josh Donaldson bounced into a double play, while in the bottom of the frame SA’s Matt Carpenter was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple. MG left 2 runners on base in the 7th and another runner on base in the 8th as Tanner Roark completed 3 far-too-exciting shutout innings of relief. SA’s Joe Nathan came on in the 9th and immediately struck out Victor Martinez and Coco Crisp, then induced pinch-hitter Tony Abreu to fly out to CF as Scott held on for the 2-0 win and 1-0 series lead.
G2 – MG’s Anibal Sanchez at SA’s Andy Pettitte. Milwaukee started more quickly this game as lead-off hitter Craig Gentry walked, stole second, went to third on a grounder, and scored on Hanley Ramirez’ sac fly. However, Scott answered immediately when George Kottaras led off the bottom of the 1st with a big fly…1-1. The Goiter defense then got very loose as errors by Hanley Ramirez and Josh Donaldson allowed another run to score and Scott led 2-1 after 1. In the top of the 3rd with two runners on MG’s Daniel Nava drove a liner that split the gap in right center and plated 2, then in the top of the 4th Josh Donaldson ruined a Pettitte curve for a solo shot and MG had a 4-2 lead. Donaldson struck out with the bases loaded to end a threat in the 5th, and Scott responded with a 2-out George Kottaras double that plated Jason Heyward to make the score 4-3 MG after 5. In the bottom of the 7th with 1 out Jason Heyward blasted a solo shot off Tyler Clippard to tie the game at 4. Then Elvis Andrus walked and stole second and third. A. J. Pierzynski followed with a drive to deep left…Andrus beat the throw home and Scott led 5-4. MG’s Super-hot Hanley Ramirez doubled to lead off the 8th and, after Chris Davis struck out, Josh Donaldson launched a bomb to left…second homer of the game…MG led 6-5. Could SA come from behind a third time in the game? Koji Uehara said no, setting down the Anacondas 1-2-3 in the 9th. Milwaukee celebrated the 6-5 win and tied the series at 1-1.
G3 – SA’s Chris Tillman at MG’s Kris Medlen. Shifting to Milwaukee, the Goiter struck first in the bottom of the 2nd when Victor Martinez ripped a hanging slider over the RF wall…1-0 MG. In the bottom of the 4th, Martinez led off with a single then Josh Donaldson doubled him to third. Norichika Aoki then flew out to center, and miraculously Martinez (4 sp) beat Carlos Gomez’ throw (37 arm) home. Howie Kendrick grounded out but Donaldson crossed the plate and MG led 3-0 after 4. SA pinch-hitter Daric Barton led off the 6th with a single and Shane Robinson pinch-ran. Pinch-hitter A. J. Pierzynski swung through a hit-and-run attempt, but Robinson beat Martinez’ throw into second. Pierzynski then made it academic by belting the ball over the fence and cutting the lead to 3-2. Medlen was shaken and sent four wide ones to Jonny Gomes; Alexi Casilla pinch-ran and stole second followed by Matt Carpenter drawing another walk. Joaquin Benoit relieved Medlen, but immediately walked Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases. David Wright struck out for the first out, but Carlos Gomez smashed a fastball deep to left center to clear the bases; he would end up taking third on the throw. Jason Heyward grounded back to the pitcher and Gomez was caught in a rundown; there were now 2 outs and Heyward was on second. Elvis Andrus kept the party going by drilling a single to left that plated another run; Scott sent 10 batters to the plate in the 6th and left it with a 6-3 lead. In the 7th Pierzynski singled, Todd Helton’s bunt was dropped by Howie Kendrick, and Matt Carpenter singled in a run. Edwin Encarnacion doubled and Scott pushed the lead to 8-3. That would prove to be the final score and Scott took a 2 games to 1 lead.
G4 – SA’s Jorge de la Rosa at MG’s Clayton Kershaw. With 2 outs in the bottom of the first, Hanley Ramirez launched a big fly and MG led 1-0. SA’s David Wright immediately responded in the top of the second with his own solo shot with one out. Carlos Gomez followed with a single then stole second and third, but Kershaw struck out Jason Heyward for the second out. Elvis Andrus stepped in…Kershaw wound…and Gomez broke for the plate, beating Martinez’ desperation tag! Scott led 2-1 after 2. In the bottom of the 4th Hanley Ramirez came up again…and launched another blast to tie the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the 6th with 2 outs Ramirez…wrecked his 3rd homer of the game. Chris Davis then reached on an error and Victor Martinez doubled him home as the 6th inning ended with a 4-2 MG lead. In the bottom of the 8th Ramirez came up with 1 out and Daniel Nava on first…and Brandon Kintzler drilled him! Both teams rushed the mound, but there was just a lot of milling. Kintzler was invited to take an early shower and both benches were warned. Alex Torres got out of the jam and the game moved to the 9th. With one out Koji Uehara walked Matt Carpenter, then Edwin Encarnacion singled to LF…Nava booted the ball and runners ended up on 2nd and 3rd. David Wright then dropped a single into right…Carpenter scored…Encarnacion headed for home…Craig Gentry’s throw came in…out at the plate! MG cuts down the tying run!! Wright had taken second on the throw but Uehara struck out Carlos Gomez to end the game; MG won 4-3 and tied the series at 2 games to 2.
G5 – SA’s Andy Pettitte at MG’s Anibal Sanchez. Moment of silence for what will likely be the last appearance of a fine 18-year career from Andy Pettitte in which all 18 years produced a usable or better APBA card. Led MLB in games started 3 times and won double-digit victories 16 times. Went 15-10, 3.27 era for the Scott Anacondas in his final season. Got off to a fine start this game by matching zeroes with Sanchez for the first 3 innings. In the top of the 4th Jason Heyward got hold of a Sanchez slider and deposited it over the outfield wall…1-0 Scott. In the 5th a pair of 2-out doubles by Matt Carpenter and Edwin Encarnacion made it 2-0 Scott. In the 6th Scott seemed to put the game out of reach as Heyward ripped a 2-run homer and Encarnacion added a bases loaded 2-out single to make it 6-0 Scott. In the bottom of the 8th MG’s Chris Davis mashed a 2-out 2-run homer to cut it to 6-2. Coco Crisp led off the bottom of the 9th with a walk and on came Joe Nathan. Crisp stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Tony Abreu singled to cut the lead to 6-3. With 2 outs Norichika Aoki walked to bring the tying run to the plate, but Nathan got Daniel Nava to go fishing for strike three as Scott held on for the 6-3 victory and a 3 games to 2 series lead.
G6 – MG’s Kris Medlen at SA’s Chris Tillman. MG’s Norichika Aoki singled to lead off the game and took off, but Gerald Laird cut him down with a strike to second. In the bottom of the second SA’s David Wright walked and stole second…Carlos Gomez followed with a single to left to score Wright although Gomez was thrown out at second trying to advance on the play at the plate…1-0 Scott. The Anacondas loaded the bases in the bottom of the 3rd but David Wright struck out to end the rally. In the bottom of the 4th Carlos Gomez walked and stole second, then Jason Heyward ripped a hot grounder down the 3rd base line for a double; 2-0
Scott. Elvis Andrus grounded out but moved Heyward to 3rd, then Chris Tillman flew out to short RF…Heyward headed home and barely beat the throw! 3-0 SA. Tillman threw 5 shutout innings but when Howie Kendrick led off the 6th with a single Scott manager Dick Williams went straight to the bullpen and brought in Alex Torres who got out of the inning with no further difficulty. In the top of the 7th Williams brought in Joe Nathan to try to stop any rally before it started. The strategy would work to perfection as Nathan proceeded to set down the final 9 Goiter hitters in order; Scott won the game 3-0 and the series 4 games to 2.
A heartfelt congratulations to Jason Parry and the Milwaukee Goiter on a very fine season, and to all of my fellow TCBA owners who make this hobby so enjoyable. Great job in 2014…on to 2015! Winfield
TCBA Champions 2006, 2013, 2014