In the final game of the season’s opening series, Jacob deGrom will start for us against South Bend’s Jason Bere. I’m going to shuffle my lineup a little bit. Eddie Mathews is getting the day off. Lindor will hit in the 3 spot, hitting .500 so far, Goldschmidt in the cleanup spot, Gehrig in the 5 hole and Arthur Irwin, our 25 year-old utility infielder will bat in the 6 spot. Here’s a look at today’s matchup, with career numbers against the opposing pitcher:
Here’s a look at deGrom’s profile. The 29 year-old has a +++ curveball and changeup, and a ++ fastball and slider. His fastball can max out at 98mph. He is a smart player, and always has a game plan for each hitter, in each inning.
Jason Bere is a 23 year-old right hander (who played in the real majors from 1998-2002). Bere has 5 pitches in his arsenal: a +++ fastball and forkball, a ++ curveball, and an average slider and cutter. He’s known to show his emotions on the mound.
To start the game, the Rumble Ponies have a 46% Win Probability.
Our left-handed hitting center fielder, Danny Arias leads off the game with a solid single to right on a fastball down and in. Batting second and playing left is Buster Hoover. I start the game with an aggressive mindset and send Arias on the second pitch of Hoover’s at-bat (a 1-0 count), and he makes it safely. With a 1-1 count, Hoover rips a line drive up the middle, and Arias scores without a throw from the center fielder Pete Hotaling. Just like that, we’re up 1-0. Batting third is hot-Francisco Lindor, batting left against the righty Bere. Lindor rolled over on an inside fastball that resulted in a 4-6-3 double play. With two outs, our cleanup hitter, Paul Goldschmidt stepped in, and grounded out to first. At the end of the top of the first, it’s 1-0 Boise.
King Kelly, the Cubs’ catcher, leads off the bottom of the first. After seeing 3 fastballs to start the at bat, Kelly roped a hanging curveball up the middle for a single. Batting second is the center fielder, Pete Hotaling. deGrom throws a much better curveball to Hotaling, and gets him to ground into a 4-6-3 double play. Right fielder Kiki Cuyler bats third, and draws a full count walk on a fastball that looked like it caught the corner, but was called a ball.
Willie Hernandez, the left-handed hitting first baseman, bats fourth. The umpire game him a makeup strike on the first pitch of the at bat (the curveball was sharp but looked inside – Lopez framed it well). deGrom eventually got Hernandez to miss an 0-2 curveball, in the same spot as the first pitch, to end the inning.
Rumble Ponies’ Win Probability: 59.8%
Lou Gehrig leads off the bottom of the second for us. He is 0-7 in his career against Bere. He works the count full, and pulls a 97mph fastball on the outer half over the wall in right. The 344ft HR puts us up 2-0. Arthur Irwin follows with a double down that reaches the wall down the line in left. Corey Seager steps in and, after fouling off a couple of two-strike pitches, strikes out on a fastball on the outside corner. Next up is Javy Lopez, who pops out to Kiki Cuyler in right field. With two outs, deGrom steps in and strikes out swinging to end the inning.
Leading off the bottom of the second for the Cubs is third baseman Guillermo Infante, a career 1-8 hitter against deGrom. He lifts a single into right field. The six hitter, first baseman Johnny Bates singles as well, and the Cubs have runners on first and second with no outs. Batting seventh is Ed McKean. He hits the Cubs’ third consecutive single, a line drive into center, and Infante scores without a throw from Arias. Next up is the pitcher, Jason Bere. Bere drops down a successful sacrifice bunt, moving Bates to third and McKean to second. The number nine hitter, shortstop Edgar Renteria comes to the plate. He too knocks a single, this one to right field, scoring both Bates and McKean. The Cubs now have a 3-2 lead. That brings the top of the order back around with King Kelly stepping in. Renteria steals second on the first pitch, a changeup called for a strike on the corner. Kelly works a walk to make it first and second and still one out. Pete Hotaling smokes a line drive, but it’s right at Corey Seager. With two outs, Kiki Cuyler strikes out on a nasty changeup from deGrom. The Cubs score three in the inning and take the lead 3-2.
Rumble Ponies’ Win Probability: 38%
We bring the top of the order to the plate in the third. Arias strikes out swinging to start us off. Hoover then makes solid contact, but lines it right to Bates in left. With two down, Lindor grounded the ball up the middle, but Edgar Renteria ranged all the way over to the second base side of the bag and made a strong throw to get the speedy Lindor at first, retiring the side.
deGrom didn’t get much of a rest after his long second inning thanks to our 1-2-3 top of the third, but strikes out William Hernandez to start the bottom half. Hernandez swung and missed a 98mph fastball up in the zone. deGrom missed badly on nine of the next ten pitches, walking Guillermo Infante and Johnny Bates. Lopez goes out to settle deGrom down, but the conversation didn’t work, as Ed Mckeon rips his second hit of the game, scoring Infante. The pitcher Bere is up now, and he drops another successful sacrifice bunt down, moving Bates to third and McKean to second. With two outs now, Renteria flies out to shallow right, and deGrom is able to escape the inning only having given up one run. On the way in he glares at me and says he has more to give.
Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 26.4%
Paul Goldschmidt starts the fourth inning off with a strike out, missing a 96mph fastball up in the zone. Gehrig steps in, but strikes out looking, seeing only three pitches. With two outs, Arthur Irwin grounds one to shortstop and Renteria throws it over to Hernandez for the third out.
deGrom faces the order for the third time already here in the bottom of the fourth. He gets King Kelley to fly out to Gehrig in right. Pete Hotaling sends the first pitch of his at bat into right for a single. Kiki Cuyler, the right fielder steps in, and deGrom gets him to tap a slider out to Lindor at second, and we turn a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Cubs still lead 4-2.
Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 24.3%
Seager starts off the top of the fifth with a strikeout. That’s Bere’s sixth strikeout. He’s now at 64 pitches. Lopez steps in and ends up as Bere’s seventh strikeout. deGrom steps in and hacks at the first pitch, grounding a curveball to the third baseman Infante. Inning over, 1-2-3 again.
In the bottom of the fifth, deGrom gets William Hernandez to strike out for the third time in the game, on a 95mph fastball. Infante then sends a 3-1 fastball to Goldschmidt at first, and deGrom covers the bag to get the second out. Next up is Johnny Bates, and he grounds the 2-2 pitch to Lindor for the final out of the inning. It looked as if deGrom might be losing a bit of velocity in that inning, but the last two pitches to Bates were 100mph and 96mph fastballs. I think he can go one more.
Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 21.5%
We start the top of the sixth with the top of the lineup. Arias fouls out to the right fielder Kiki Cuyler, chasing a fastball down and in. Hoover follows Arias and grounds out to Renteria at short. Lindor steps in and pops a 2-2 pitch in front of the plate, but Cubs’ catcher King Kelly dropped the ball, allowing Lindor to reach first. We can’t capitalize on the error though, as Paul Goldschmidt grounds out to short to end the inning.
deGrom comes out for the bottom of the sixth inning at 89 pitches, and get Ed McKean to fly out to Lou Gehrig in right. The pitcher, Jason Bere, bats again and also pops out to Gehrig. With two outs, deGrom gets Renteria to strike out swinging to retire the side. That’s deGrom’s fifth strikeout today.
Rumble Ponies Win Probability: 18%
Lou Gehrig gets us started in the top of the seventh with a single to left. I think about putting in a pinch runner, but I don’t want to miss out on a ninth inning at bat for Gehrig, who already has a home run today. Irwin is up next, and strikes out for the first out. Corey Seager steps in, and dribbles a ball to the first baseman Hernandez. Gehrig is able to move to second, but we have two outs. Next to hit is Javy Lopez. After taking the first three fastballs he sees, Lopez hits the fourth fastball 384ft over the wall in left! The game is tied! What a clutch hit by Lopez. deGrom has cruised over the last three innings, so I decide to leave him in for the seventh. So he steps in with two outs and grounds out to Hernandez at first.
With John Wetteland out of gas today (having thrown 3 innings over the past two days), I get Allyn Stout warming up in the bullpen. deGrom faces the Cubs lineup for the fourth time here in the seventh, a risk I am well aware of. King leads off and grounds out to Goldschmidt, who takes it to the bag himself for the first out. deGrom then lets up his fifth walk of the game to Pete Hotaling. I go out for a mound visit, and deGrom admits that he’s starting to tire. We waste enough time on the mound for Stout to be ready to enter the game, and I make the call to the bullpen. Facing Kiki Cuyler, Stout pounds the zone down and in, but Cuyler ropes the fifth pitch into the right center field gap. Arias makes a good play getting the ball in, holding Hotaling at third. I think about an intentional walk to load the bases, but Hernandez has three strikeouts already today, so I take my chances. Stout gets Hernandez to fly out to right, shallow enough for Hotaling not to challenge Gehrig’s strong arm. With two on and two outs, Stout gets Guillermo Infante to strike out swinging. None of the three pitches Guillermo saw were in the zone, swinging at a pitch way out of the zone that put him in an 0-2 hole. I get Ray Burris warming in the bullpen.
Rumble Ponies’ Win Probability: 49.5%
Jason Bere comes out for the top of the eighth inning at 101 pitches, facing our lineup for the fourth time. Arias starts us off with a ground out to Renteria at short, missing a fastball right down the middle. Buster Hoover is next to bat, and works a full count, but strikes out for the second out. Lindor strikes out as well to end the inning, and Bere now has 10 strikeouts.
I replace Stout with Burris to start the bottom of the eighth. Johnny Bates starts the inning by taking a 3-2 curveball down the line in right for a double. Burris doesn’t look too rattled though, as he gets McKean to strike out on three pitches for the first out. Pinch hitter Fred Beck, a lefty, then flies out to right, and Bates doesn’t tag. With two outs, Edgar Renteria fouls out to Gehrig in right to end the inning.
Rumble Ponies’ Win Probability: 50%
We’ve got the 4-5-6 hitters up in the top of the ninth, against a new pitcher, left-hander Ron Mrozinki. He throws 97-99 and has nasty stuff. Goldschmidt grounds out to McKean at second. He’s now 0-4 today in the cleanup spot. Gehrig follows with a strikeout. With two out, Arthur Irwin works a walk, but Corey Seager ends the inning with a flyout to center.
The Cubs have the top of the order up in the bottom of the ninth, and King Kelly strikes out on three pitches for the first out. Next up is Hotaling who also strikes out, Burris’ third. Kiki Cuyler steps in looking to be the hero, but pops up to Gehrig in right, taking us into extra innings.
Rumble Ponies’ Win Probability: 50%
The Cubs send a new pitcher out in the top of the tenth, right-hander Troy Percival. Javy Lopez leads it off with a flyout to the warning track in left center. He missed his second homer of the game by 5 or 6 feet. With the pitcher Burris up next, I look to my bench for a pinch hitter. Eddie Mathews has a bat in his hand, even though I told him he’d have the day off today. I like the confidence, so I call his number. Mathews is patient in his at bat and works a walk. Danny Arias steps in and grounds a ball back to Percival, who throws out Mathews at second, but McKean can’t complete the double play. Mathews went in with a hard slide, and McKean remained down for a minute, but got up and signaled that he was ok with a thumbs up. Mathews’ slide wasn’t dirty, but he did make solid contact. With two outs, Buster Hoover steps in. I call a hit and run with Arias’ speed at first and Hoover’s great contact ability. Hoover misses the pitch though, and Arias just beats the throw, stealing second. We’ve got that runner in scoring position, but Hoover strikes out looking to end the inning.
Greg W. Harris takes the mound for us in the bottom of the tenth, ready to face the 4-5-6 hitters of the Cubs. Hernandez flies out to Gehrig in right for the first out. Up next is Infante, but he dribbles one back to the mound for the second out. With two outs, Johnny Bates steps in. With a 1-1 count, Bates pulls a fastball down the line in right that just makes it over the wall. It’s a walk-off homerun for Bates, and the Cubs lock down their first win of the season.
Rumble Ponies lose 5-4 in the bottom of the tenth, but it was an exciting end to the opening series.
Categories: OOTP Simulation