Tribe Madness: The Final Four
Our IBI Tribe Madness tournament continues through the Final Four matchups to determine the two players who will face off against one another in the finals. For an overview of how the tournament works, go here.
Of the four finalists, all were either #1 or #2 seeds in their respective regions. Also three of the four are pitchers for a franchise rich in pitching history.
One of the interesting notes here is that two of the players were Cleveland Indians while the other two were Cleveland Naps. Three of the guys played either all or a significant portion of their Cleveland home games at League Park (most of Feller's tenure including 1946 Indians home games were played at both League Park and Cleveland Stadium).
#2 SP Luis Tiant (1968) vs. #1 SP Bob Feller (1946)
April: Tiant 63, Feller 30
Luis “El Tiante” Tiant went 8 innings on opening day while giving up 2 runs but his opponent Bob “Rapid Robert” Feller did him one better going 8.2 scoreless innings as Feller took an early lead. Both hurlers pitched to a draw in game two. Feller's defense betrayed him in game 3 as he gave up 3 earned runs but lost 8-1. In game four, El Tiante gave up two ninth inning runs and he dropped to 1-2. El Tiante responded to the disappointing ninth inning result to finish April with 17.2 scoreless innings and he finished 3-2 with a 1.44 ERA. Rapid Robert for his part finished 1-3 with a 2.47 ERA.
May: Tiant 117, Feller 45
El Tiante started out May getting shelled but picked up a no decision. His 7 runs in 5.1 innings were his worst performance of the season. He followed it up with a 2-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and followed that up with a 14-2 win. Luis then dropped his next two before splitting the final two starts to end May with a 3-3 mark and a 2.91 ERA. Bob Feller was matched up against Tiant and finished May with a 2-2 record and a 3.45 ERA. He capped off May with a 2-hitter in a 2-1 win.
June: Tiant 162, Feller 78
Twice in the first five June starts, Bob Feller gave up only one run but El Tiante pitched shutouts. Feller lost his first four decisions in June but rallied for wins in the last two starts. He dropped to 5-9 on the season with a 2-4 June and 2.35 ERA. Tiant started out 5-0 in June but then gave up 11 runs in his final 15 innings (2 losses) and finished June with a 2.73 ERA.
July: Tiant 231, Feller 126
Two 1-run losses in July hurt Feller's chance of using July as a month to make up some ground on El Tiante. Rapid Robert's second 1-run loss was especially painful as 2 unearned runs marred a solid performance in a 1-2 loss. Bob did dominate in a 3-hit shutout on the 17th. For the month, Bob went 3-3 with a 2.17 ERA while El Tiante matched his 3-3 record with a 2.40 ERA.
August: Tiant 294, Feller 162
Bob Feller was on the top of his game in two 1-0 shutouts. The first was a 2-hitter and the second a 6-hitter but again the two pitchers split their 6 decisions. Feller posted a 2.56 ERA while El Tiante had a 1.91 ERA. For Luis, he gave up only 1 earned run in 5 of his 7 starts and had 3 starts where he struck out 10 or more batters.
September: Tiant 345, Feller 228
Tiant finished the season with 33 quality starts in 40 starts with 22 complete games and 4 shutouts. While Rapid Robert had 35 quality starts in 41 starts with 6 complete games and 2 shutouts. El Tiante was able to take down Feller by going deeper into games and striking out about a quarter more batters.
Luis Tiant: 20-16, 2.23 ERA, 339.2 IP, 84 ER, 98 BB, 407 K, 0.97 WHIP, 11.5 WAR
Bob Feller: 14-17, 2.40 ERA, 307.2 IP, 82 ER, 135 BB, 299 K, 1.14 WHIP, 7.6 WAR
#2 SP Addie Joss (1908) vs. #1 OF Joe Jackson (1913)
April: Jackson 42, Joss 30
Addie “The Human Hairpin” dropped his first two decisions giving up 13 runs (10 earned). A four-hit shutout got the ace back on track and he evened his record after four starts. Joss then lost his final start and enters May with a 2-3 record and a 4.03 ERA. Shoeless Joe Jackson hit in his first 5 games while hitting his magical .400 but then saw his average slip to .308 after a 4-for-19 stretch. Joe then finished April on an 11-game hitting streak to hit .349 with 3 homers and 22 RBI.
May: Joss 96, Jackson 69
Shoeless Joe stretched his April 11-game hitting streak into a 15-gamer by going 7-for-21 through May 7th. Joe hit .313 with a homer in May scoring 17 times and driving in 10. May was Joss's month going 6-0 with a 1.86 ERA. His perfect month started out with wins of 5-3 and 4-3 before a 5-hit shutout. Joss followed it up with wins of 5-1 and 3-2 before a no decision temporarily halted his streak. Addie then added a complete game one-run performance to finish up the month.
June: Joss 153, Jackson 111
Addie Joss dropped his first two starts 3-7 and 1-3 which stopped his 6-game win streak. He righted his ship winning two of his final four starts while getting 2 no decisions. His 2-2 June mark was accompanied by a 3.38 ERA. Kicking off June with a .330 average, Jackson went on a 13-for-23 run to hit .370 in June. Joe added 5 doubles, 4 triples and 3 homers as he scored 23 times while driving in 15.
July: Joss 207, Jackson 150
For 9 games in July, Shoeless Joe Jackson rattled off at least one hit per game. He went 16-for-39 during his streak as he hit .322 in July with 2 homers, 7 doubles and 2 triples. Addie Joss gave up no earned runs in his first July start but 4 unearned runs left him without a decision. He dropped start number two (5-6) but came back to win start number four (7-5). One run was all that was needed in start five but that run went to the Shoeless Ones as Joss fell to 1-2 for July. Two no decisions were followed up what an 8-1 win but a 2-4 loss ended Joss' July.
August: Joss 273, Jackson 210
One unearned run was the only blemish on Addie's first August start as he went 9 giving up 5 hits in a 5-1 win. His second start was a 1-3 loss where all three runs were unearned. Addie then won his next 3 starts giving up only 6 runs. He went 9.2 innings giving up only 1 run but picked up a no decision then got blasted for 7 runs in 4.2 innings to close out the month. A 14-for-23 run highlighted Shoeless Joe's August as he hit a season best .383 average with 3 homers and 24 RBI.
September: Joss 297 Jackson 258
With a big lead, Addie Joss didn't finish strong going 3-3 with a 6.39 ERA to finish off the season. Trying to catch up, Shoeless Joe rattled off a .373 average with 10 doubles and a homer but fell short and Addie Joss goes into the championship.
Addie Joss: 19-13, 3.27 ERA, 322 IP, 117 ER, 40 BB, 125 K, 1.20 WHIP, 9.9 WAR
Joe Jackson: .351/.452/.532/.984, 39 2B, 15 3B, 13 HR, 134 R, 110 RBI, 20 SB, 8.6 WAR
Next Up: #2 SP Luis Tiant (1968) vs. #2 SP Addie Joss (1908)
Here is the updated bracket: