Tribe Madness: Quicken Loans Region Round 1 results
Our IBI Tribe Madness tournament moves into the first round of the Quicken Loans Region where eight players move on and eight are eliminated.
Facing each other every start, Sherry Smith and Mike “Big Bear” Garcia battled it out with the Big Bear trouncing Smith by a score of 243-48. The Big Bear started off going 10-3 before Smith fired off his first winning streak (two games). Garcia fired a two-hit shutout on July 9th and a three-hit shutout on August 4th. Overall, Garcia held the Smithies to a .220 average and only eight homers. Garcia knew how to close out games holding the Smithies to a .204 average over the final three innings of games.
For Smith there wasn't much to celebrate as the Bears battered him around to the tune of a .310 average with 32 long balls. The .261 average Mike's boys had in July was the only month that Smith held them below a .300 average. Sherry did tighten up in late/close games as he held the opposition to a .253 average. The Bears even hit .286 off of Smith with two strikes.
Things couldn't have started any better as Tom Candiotti scattered five hits in a 14-1 win on opening day. The Candy Man used the opening day win as a catalyst to rolling to a 2-1 April with a 1.59 ERA. Unfortunately, a June swoon where he went 2-4 with a 5.22 ERA sunk him as he couldn't overcome it and he lost Jhonny Peralta, 231-174. It was a tale of two stadiums as the Candy Man held the Jhonny’s to a .225 average at Cleveland Stadium, but the Jhonny’s belted him to the tune of .274 at Jacobs Field.
Jhonny started out slowly hitting .233 in April but then broke through with a .378 May and he didn't look back. Jhonny posted OPS's of .872 or better every month after the woeful April. Jhonny hit two slams and drove in 20 runs in 23 bases loaded at bats (.304 average). Peralta also put up a 1.078 OPS with runners in scoring position. In head-to-head matchups, Peralta hit .303/.351/.525/.876 with 5 homers, 12 doubles, 17 runs and 19 RBI.
Johnny Hodapp's RBI single in the fourth inning broke a scoreless tie and the Hodappers scored four runs as they downed CC Sabathia on opening day (5-1). Hodapp was consistent all year banging out 56 extra base hits and hitting over .330. His downfall was run production as he fell to Sabathia 270-99. Hodapp collected 209 hits but only scored 73 runs and drove in only 80 runners while hitting in the three-hole.
Sabathia jumped out to a 14-4 record before a miss-step in July (1-3 with a 3.31 ERA). Sabathia refused to let July defeat him as he went 6-5 the rest of the way. CC finished out games shutting down the Hodappers to a .230 average in the final three innings of games. The same .230 average was what Johnny's boys were able to hit off of CC in late/close game situations. He held them to a .235 average with runners in scoring position by striking out a quarter of the batters he faced in those spots. In head-to-head matchups, Hodapp did get the best of Sabathia hitting .344/.378/.469/.847 with 2 homers, 19 runs and 16 RBI.
After the 1959 season, the Indians GM traded away a power hitter (Colavito) for a singles hitter (Kuenn) saying that he'd take all of Harvey's singles. Well I wish that “Trader” Frank Lane had seen this simulation. O'Neill out hit Flash Gordon .325 to .276, but Gordon's 33-2 advantage in homers were immense in the 192-114 thrashing of World Series champion Steve O'Neill. O'Neill hit out of the leadoff spot against right-handed pitchers (three-hole against southpaws) but only mustered 133 runs produced (runs + RBI – homers) while Flash produced 183 runs. That 50 run difference was enough to take down the backstop.
Steve did put up a .938 OPS with runners in scoring position including a .533 average with the bases juiced (one slam). On August 10th, O'Neill went 3-for-5 with three runs and an RBI in an 11-3 win. The day started a streak in which O'Neill hit safely for the next 26 games (the longest such streak in round 1 of this tournament). Flash on the other hand put up an .800 OPS for the first five months of the season before slowing down to a .716 OPS in September. Gordon actually hit better with the bases empty (.891 OPS) than with runners in scoring position (.832). With the bases loaded, Flash drove in 25 runs in 19 such at bats.
Gene Woodling had this competition in hand. It was close but he was up with a week to go but then hit the wall going 5-for-27 and his OPS dropped from 1.006 to .984. In the same time, Score threw a four-hitter with a single unearned run. That finish flipped the results and Score took the contest. The result wouldn't have been possible had Herb not went 5-1 with a 2.33 in August as he held the Woodsmen below the Mendoza-Line. Score also held Woodling's crew below .200 in September as well. On the season the Woodsmen hit .214 with 26 bombs. Herb did keep the score low by holding his opponents to a .202 average in late/close game situations.
Everything Woodling did was successful as he was poised for the win until the last week of the season. He hit .398 in both April and June and was above .300 in four of the six months. He hit .344 in late/close game situations, .352 with runners in scoring position and hit .328 off of Score. Woodling's Achilles Heel was his defense. He had a -9.4 zone rating and committed eight errors (.976 fielding percentage). In head-to-head matchups Woodling hit .328/.385/.573/.957 off Score with 7 homers, 22 runs and 23 RBI.
Next up: #5 2B Joe Gordon (1947) vs. #4 SP Herb Score (1956)
Crisp's speed advantage played a big role as he stole 30 bases which helped him score 93 runs. That and his .342 to .272 advantage with the batting average catapulted Crisp to a 225-192 win. Coco's .435 average in June more than made up for his poor May (.250) but it was his July which was his biggest factor. In July, Crisp hit .380 with 8 bombs, 23 runs and 26 RBI (1.115 OPS). Or it might have been his .397 average with runners in scoring position.
Nettles hit out of the five spot in the order. He out-homered Crisp as he hit 36 round trippers but he drove in only 98 runs. Graig was most successful in May when he put nine balls over the fence and had a 1.061 OPS which was better than the .197 average he put up in April. Nettles hit .311 in the first three innings but slipped to .254 (5-6), .263 (7-9) and a big fat 0-8 in extras.
Next up: #6 SP CC Sabathia (2007) vs. #14 OF Coco Crisp (2005)
Whenever Burks would have a poor month like May (.235 average) or August (.229), he would follow it up with an outstanding month (June .303 average, September .923 OPS). Unfortunately, it was the poor months which doomed the Indiand designated hitter as he fell to Joss, 345-72. Burks stung left handers for a .961 OPS but only 159 of his 614 at bats were against southpaws. He didn't necessarily struggle against righties but his .262 average wasn't overwhelming. Burks was dangerous in 23 bases loaded at bats (.391 with a slam).
Sometimes baseball is a funny game. Addie “The Human Hairpin” Joss was dominating Ellis Burks in the head-to-head matchup and had a 2.44 ERA overall but the Naps Hurler was only 14-10 at the end of July. Addie then won twelve of his final thirteen starts. The key to Addie's success was limiting base runners and he did it by throwing strikes (only 38 walks). On the head-to-head side, Joss held Burks to below the Mendoza-line with a .196/.218/.259/.476 slash line with 2 homers, 10 runs, 12 RBI, 4 BB's and 27 K's.
Next up: #10 SS Jhonny Peralta vs. #2 SP Addie Joss
There was no drama in this contest as Stan “Covey” Coveleski stomped all over Grover's team 216-78. Covey started out 9-0 and improved to 18-4 before his first prolonged losing streak. That first losing streak (four games) was followed by a seven-game winning streak. He didn't care if he was facing a lefty (.238 average) or a righty (.233 average). Covey did struggle in late game/close game situations, that is, if you consider a .288 average against struggling. Stan did shutdown the Grover’s when there were runners in scoring position (.199 average).
Grover did what he does best all season drawing 101 walks as he had a .410 OBP but his lack of power (only 7 homers) and lack of speed (85 runs) doomed him. Grover started out slow by hitting only .169 in April but he was raking in September (.378 average and .488 OBP). Grover hit .315 in close game/late game situations, but only one of those hits was a home run. He also raked with runners in scoring position (.959 OPS) but again only had two bombs and 64 RBI. In head-to-head matchups Hargrove hit .261/.326/.349/.675 with 2 homers, 12 runs, 15 RBI, 12 walks and no strikeouts.
Next up: #8 SP Mike Garcia vs. #1 SP Stan Coveleski