After just missing a SWEEP win with a 5-1 win the the home game over the Cardinals, the Braves were hit with an unbelievable string of Z-plays and shorthanded eventually lost to the Cardinals 3-2 for a series split. We track our Statis-Pro baseball games at this link.
We still usually play with the original Z-plays invented in the Statis-Pro game when it was released in the 1970s. This one read like a Bad News Bears episode with the most unusual string of three Z-plays we ever recall. The Z-plays keep the game realistic because it takes players out of games to make you play other players sometimes - even if they way the exited the game is not realistic.
There are rarely three Z-plays in a total game - so this was ridiculous.
In the bottom of the first game, Tyler O'Neill led off for the Cardinals after having three of the Cardinals six hits in the opener. On the very first batter, the Braves' catcher Sean Murphy argued balls and strikes and was ejected. Pretty hilarious envisioning the two or three calls in a row that would be so bad that a catcher would be tossed. (z-play 11 below)
The umps calls must have continued to be bad, because three batters later when cleanup hitter Juan Yepez at the plate, the real life mild mannered Charlie Morton was also fed up, argued and as z-play 12 says, "pitcher sent to showers" also ejected.
Already having to come up with 8 innings of relief pitching, things got even worse in the third inning. After Paul Goldsmith and Nolan Arenado singled, Juan Yepez stepped up with one out. Unbelievably a 3rd z-play came up - and many are just a tough fielding player or something - but not today as an 84 came up to require the injury chart, then a 67 led to a line drive hitting and injuring 1st baseman Matt Olson and he had to leave the game.
A 3-run homer by Tommy Edman in the 6th gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead. The Braves rallied to 3-2, then the speedy Michael Harris got on 2nd base with one out in the 8th and the Cardinals had to go to their closer Ryan Helsley who recorded a five out save for the 3-2 win. The game left both teams 7-5 in the young season.
Our first 23 games have been so close that no team has yet received credit for a "sweep" by leading by 5 runs after 8 innings in a win. I went ahead and pulled all the scores form this season in NL games to see if they are seeing more close games, and they are not. A total of one in three games are won by five or more runs - that 33% is slightly higher than the typical 28% we have seen in past years.
|Run difference||NL % of games 2023|
|Series 2 games to 1||67%|
|Sweep 5+ Runs||33%|
Reminder Note: To play our own Statis-Pro Baseball games, click and print the batters cards here, then these pitchers' cards and finally the Statis-Pro rules which will have everything you need to play. Also note that we had one error in earlier notes - the adjustments listed at the bottom of some pitcher cards to the batters they face (changing a HR to Out or vice versa) must be used every time they pitch, not just in road games as previously listed. You may notice this season that our blogs are picked up by https://www.baseball-reference.com/ so when a player is mentioned you can link for their stats by clicking.
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