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Post Info TOPIC: Pitcher's Duel at Swift Road Park.


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Pitcher's Duel at Swift Road Park.


Wednesday night at Swift Road Park in New Scotland, the Damn Yankees and Cubs got together for the final regular season meeting
between these two title contenders. The matchup showcased two big game pitchers: Ron Massaroni for the Cubs, and Lex Herlett for
the Yanks. Neither pitcher disappointed. Both pitchers had some traffic on the bases, but worked their way out of the trouble like
a couple of Houdini's.

The Cubs got Paul Miles on second base in the first, with no outs, when he singled and stole second to lead off the game.
Herlett retired the next 3 Cubs in order without the ball leaving the infield.

In the top of the second, the Yanks loaded the bases, with one out, on consecutive singles by Darryl Duncan and Dave Smitherman,
and an error by the Cubs' third baseman. Massaroni escaped the jam when he struck out the next hitter and got a comebacker for
the final out.

In the bottom of the second, the Cubs got a lead off single from Andy Hoyle and Dave Mitchell followed with a single of his own.
The next Cub hitter whiffed on a bunt attempt and Mitchell was caught too far off of first. Two consecutive Yankee errors loaded the bases
with one out. Herlett got a huge strike out for out number 2 and escaped unscathed by inducing a fly ball to center field for the final out.

The Cubs would re-load the bases in the 3rd, with no outs. The lead off hitter struck out on a ball in the dirt and the Yankees catcher lobbed
the ball to first, but the ball got up into the blinding sun and the first baseman could not see it, man on first.
Mike Girard followed with a single and Jerry Rosen worked a walk.
Lex got a pop up and a line out to the infield and induced a fly ball to left to end the threat, with the score still tied at zero.

The Cubs were at it again, in the 4th, getting runners to second and third with one out. Jim Bonaparte led off with a walk and Ron Massaroni singled.
Ron Lochner followed with a line drive right at the Yankees center fielder. Lex then uncorked a wild pitch and both runners were in scoring position with
just one out. Surely this time, the Cubs would push a run across. NOT! Lex struck out the next two batters, and again the Cubs were left with nothing to show for their efforts.

The 5th inning was uneventful and we were on to the 6th, in a 0-0 tie. Joe Careccia singled with one out. Jack Griffin hit a sharp grounder right at the Cubs' shortstop (yours truly)
for what looked like an inning ending double play. But the big dope tried to make the feed to the second baseman waiting at the bag before securing the grounder, and and the ball
went through the wickets into left field. In stead of the inning being over, there were runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Darryl Duncan immediately singled sharply to left.
Careccia ran through Lex Herlett's stop sign at third. Chris Mason's throw was a stong one and was on target, but landed in one of the piles of sand in the NS infield and killed
the momentum, allowing Careccia to reach the plate with the first run of the contest. Massaroni then induced the same grounder to the SS that he booted just minutes ago, but
this time he caught the ball first and then started the 6-4-3 double play. I wish that there were mulligans in baseball!

Lex got the Cubs out in order in the 6th inning and Massaroni got through the top of the 7th with only a harmless one out single.
On to the bottom of the 7th we went. After Lex got the first hitter on strikes, Lochner singled and courtesy runner Massaroni stole second. Paul Miles worked a walk.
Chris Mason was up next and tried to go to the right side but grounded into a force at first, moving the tying and winning runs into scoring position.
The Yanks decided to intentionally walked Girard to load the bases. It was now up to Lex to wriggle off the hook one more time, facing Jerry Rosen (Cubs' clean up hitter)
with the game hanging in the balance. A tip of the cap to him as he got Jerry to ground out to first, unassisted.

The Yanks walked off with an exhilarating 1-0 win, and the Cubs were left feeling empty.
The forensics on this game showed that the Cubs stranded 13 base runners in 7 innings -- OUCH!
That fact left their starter, Ron Massaroni, hung out to dry, wasting another stellar effort.
Ron went 7 innings, scattering 7 singles and no walks, while striking out 5. The only run he gave up was not his fault.
Lex Herlett pitched 7 complete innings, scattering 7 singles and 5 walks, while striking out 6, and pitching around 3 early Yankee errors.
Masterful job by both guys!

Both teams come out of this game with 8-4 records. The next time we meet it will be in the playoffs. Good luck to the Yankees until we meet again.







__________________
Michael J. Girard
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