Opening Day: 4/6/2031 | Boise Rumble Ponies @ South Bend Cubs

Opening Day Matchup: Boise Rumble Ponies @ South Bend Cubs
Starting Lineups (with overall rating of each player out of 80 in parenthesis):

Boise Rumble Ponies

CF Danny Arias (69)
LF Buster Hoover (57)
RF Lou Gehrig (72)
3B Eddie Mathews (76)
1B Paul Goldschmidt (78)
2B Francisco Lindor (69)
C   Javy Lopez (51)
SS Corey Seager (77)
P   Huyler Westervelt (70)

South Bend Cubs

C   King Kelly (80)
CF Pete Hotaling (76)
RF Kiki Cuyler (71)
1B William Hernandez (80)
3B Guillermo Infante (75)
LF Johnny Bates (49)
2B Ed McKean (42)
P   Tom Seaver (58)
SS Edgar Renteria (57)

My starting lineup has not performed well against Seaver, going a combined 22-96, a .229 average. Danny Arias, Buster Hoover, Lou Gehrig and Javy Lopez are all hitting at least .300 against Seaver in their careers.

The Cubs have gone 27-139, a .192 average, against Westervelt. Kiki Cuyler has had the most success, going 13-45, a .289 average, with 1 career home run against Westervelt.

Cubs’ Ballpark dimensions:

  • 327 down the line in left
  • 378 in left center
  • 416 to dead center
  • 380 in right center
  • 317 down the line in right

To start the game, the South Bend Cubs have a 54% Win Probability.

In the top of the first, Arias grounded out to short, Hoover hit an infield single between short and third, and advanced to second on a passed ball. Hoover moved to third on Gehrig’s ground out to the third baseman, and Mathews struck out looking to end the inning. Seaver threw 19 pitches, a small win in my book – get him out as early as possible.

In the bottom half of the first, Westervelt got King Kelly and Pete Hotaling to ground out. Cuyler walked as Westervelt was clearly pitching around him. Cuyler then stole second on the first pitch – Westervelt didn’t even look at him at first base. William Hernandez followed with a ground out to end the inning. Huyler needed 20 pitches to get out of the inning.

After 1, the Cubs Win Probability dropped .5% to 53.5%

In the top of the second, Seaver got Goldschmidt, Lindor and Lopez in order, though Lindor hit a ball to deep left.  Seaver’s pitch count after two innings is at 31.

In the bottom half of the second, Westervelt struck out Infante, gave up a single to Bates, but got McKean to ground into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. Westervelt’s pitch count is now at 30 after needing only 10 pitches to get out of the inning.

Cubs Win Probability down to 53%

Seager led off the top half of the third inning with a solo home run on a 1-0 count. He hit is 378ft to right, putting the Rumble Ponies up 1-0.  Westervelt followed with a strikeout, bringing Arias up at the top of the order. He singled down the third base line and stole second. Hoover ripped a single to center, but actually hit it too hard, as Arias had to hold at third. With runners at first and third and only 1 out,  Gehrig struck out swinging , bringing Eddie Mathews to the plate. On an 0-1 count, Mathews grounded a single up the first base line, scoring Arias. Hoover went first to third without a throw. With the score now 2-0 Boise and a runner on first, Goldschmidt stepped in and ended the inning on a groundout to second. Seaver’s pitch count is now at 53.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability up to 67.3%

After giving up 2 runs in the top half of the inning, Seaver led off the bottom half of the third with a double to deep center, missing a home run by a few feet. He was definitely fired up from his frustration for giving up 2. Edgar Renteria followed with a ground out to third that moved Seaver over to third. Westervelt buckled down though, and got Kelly to strikeout swinging and Hotaling to tap one back to the mound. Seaver was left stranded at third.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability up to 73.2%

Lindor led off the top of the fourth with a line drive single into left. I called a hit and run on the first pitch and Lopez grounded out to second, but Lindor made it safely to second.  Seager followed with a ground out to second, moving Lindor to third. With two outs Westervelt struck out for the second time in the game.

Entering the bottom of the fourth at 50 pitches, Westervelt worked himself into a full count against Kiki Cuyler and gave up a double to right center field. Hernandez followed with a walk. Infante then smacked a single to right, loading the bases. At that point I got the bullpen going, warming up right-hander Amos Rusie, my 24 year old 6th starter/innings-eater. His current rating is 51 out of 80, but shows tremendous potential, with a projected max rating of 77 out of 80. My pitching coach made a mound visit, and Westervelt assured he had more in the tank. With the bases loaded and nobody out, the left fielder Johnny Bates stepped to the plate, and popped out to Seager at short. Westervelt then got the second baseman McKeon to fly out to shallow left. Despite Cuyler’s speed at third, and Hoover’s average arm in left, there was no tag – too shallow a fly out. That brought Seaver back to the plate with the bases still loaded and 2 outs. He did not find the same success he mustered in his last at bat though, and grounded out to Goldschmidt at first to end the inning. Westervelt’s pitch count is up to 72, but he worked himself out of the jam. I sat Rusie back down in the bullpen at that point.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability up to 75.5%

The top of the order led off the 5th inning. Arias grounded out to the shortstop Renteria and Hoover lined out to the third baseman Infante for the first 2 outs. Gehrig then ripped a single up the middle, but Seaver got Mathews to strike out looking on three straight pitches.  Seaver is up to 86 pitches.

Westervelt’s inning in the bottom of the fifth inning was much cleaner, as he induced three groundballs. Renteria grounded out to Seager at short, King Kelly grounded out to Lindor at second, and Pete Hotaling grounded out to Mathews at third. 78 pitches now for Westervelt. If I can get one more out of him, I can flip it over to the bullpen.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 77%

Goldschmidt struck out to lead off the top of the sixth for Seaver’s sixth strikeout. Lindor then smacked a 1-0 pitched up the middle for a single into centerfield. I tried the hit and run with Javy Lopez up and Lindor at first again, but Lopez hit a deep fly ball to left and Lindor retreated. With two out, Seager hit a grounder to first, but first baseman Hernandez’s flip to Seaver beat him to the bag. I get Allyn Stout, my 7th inning specialist going in the bullpen. He has nasty stuff and movement. His ERA last year was 1.95 in 22 games after being called up from the minors.

Kiki Cuyler led off the bottom of the sixth for the Cubs with a flyout to the center field Danny Arias. The cleanup hitter Hernandez followed with a flyout to Arias as well. Westervelt then gave up a two out walk to Infante and a single to Johnny Bates. I want to pinch hit the pitcher spot in the 7th, so I keep Stout in the pen and try to squeeze another out from Westervelt, but he gives up another walk to Ed McKean and loads the bases. With Tom Seaver coming up, the Cubs elected not to pinch hit, so I like my chances with Westervelt against the pitcher. The gamble paid off and Westervelt struck Seaver out swinging on three pitches, ending the threat. That’ll be the end of the night at 106 pitches.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 82%

I pinch hit Giancarlo Stanton for Westervelt in the top of the seventh, but he struck out swinging. Arias worked a walk, and I tried the hit and run for a third time in the game with Hoovers high contact ability and Arias’ speed. Hoover tapped one to first, moving Arias to second with 2 outs. The Cubs called to the bullpen and replaced Seaver with left hander Ted Gray. Gray throws 97-100 MPH, but has below average movement on his fastball. Brought it to face Gehrig, Gray struck Lou out in an 8 pitch at bat, 7 of them being fastballs 96 MPH +.

Stout comes out to pitch for the bottom of the 7th, replacing Buster Hoover in the #2 spot in the lineup. Stanton remains in the game playing left. Stout gets Renteria to strikeout, King Kelly to fly out to right and Pete Hotaling to ground out to Lindor at second. Stout’s pitch count is at 10, but I will bring out Wetteland for the 8th.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 85.2%

Eddie Mathews led off for us in the top of the eighth, and struck out for the third time. He struck out swinging at a curveball up and out of the zone, and hasn’t seemed to find his timing yet.  Goldschmidt followed with another strikeout, and Gray completed the inning with a strikeout of Lindor as well. Entering the bottom of the eighth, we are still up 2-0.

In the bottom half of the inning, Wetteland pitched a 1-2-3 inning, getting Cuyler to flyout to right, Hernandez to ground out to short, and Infante to fly out to center.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 92.8%

Javy Lopez leads off the top of the ninth against the Cubs new reliever, Troy Percival, and works a 12 pitch walk. Percival then settled in and got Seager, Stanton and Arias swinging to strike out the side and take the game to the bottom of the ninth.

Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 91%

I bring in my closer Hub Pruett to lock down the game in the ninth. He gets Bates and McKeon to fly out to center for the first two outs of the inning, but then gives up a walk to the pinch hitter Bill Hallman. Edgar Renteria steps into the box as the tying run, but lines out to Stanton in left to end the game.

Boise Rumble Ponies beat the South Bend Cubs 2-0

game 1 recap 1game 1 recap 2



Categories: OOTP Simulation

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