The powerful California team took a disappointing split for the second straight series, winning 6-0 behind a Grand Slam by Ted Williams in the second game, but not until Mariano Rivera wrapped up an upset by Central America in the first game.
California heads in the their final series of pool play against 1st place Texas with a 2-2 mark and in danger of finishing 3rd place and needing to win a play-in game against the 3rd place team in the South to make the playoffs.
California 6, Central America 0 (2nd game)
Williams Grand Slam was not hit until the 8th inning of the nightcap against Teddy Higuera. Joe DiMaggio hit a solo homer in the second inning, but at the end of 7 innings it was still just a 1-0 lead and California was in the danger of falling to 1-3. Williams has no strikeouts on his card and his only outs are 66-88. His .482 lifetime on-base percentage is the highest in MLB history.
However, Dan Quisenberry and Trevor Hoffman added scoreless innings to combine with Don Drysdale's 7 innings for the shutout.
Central America 5, California 3 (1st game)
Central America, which we noted in the previous blog has only two Hall of Famer players to 20 for California, pulled the shocking upset in the first game by scoring four runs in the second inning and then holding on for the win.
Vinny Castillo started the third inning with a home run against Garrit Cole, and Rod Carew singled, Roberto Kelly had one of his five hits in the 2-game series, and Bobby Avila had a 2-run double to make it 4-0 after three innings.
Alan Trammell tripled to start the top of the 8th for California and scored to make it 4-2. Central America scored one in the bottom of the 8th to make it 5-2, and it was almost more with 1st and 3rd and two outs, but Carlos Lee's drive down the line was grabbed by Graig Nettles who tagged third base for a double play based on hid CD-5 (clutch defense).
However, in the 9th Central America brought Mariano Rivera came in to wrap up the win. However, it was not easy. Gary Carter had one of his team-high three hits in the series, and with two outs Tony Gwynn pitch hit and drove an RBI clutch batting double to bring California within 5-3. However Rivera induced a shallow fly by Trammell to end that first game.
Since it seemed a lefty never was able to get a hit against Rivera but Gwynn had a doubled I tried to reverse if they'd ever faced winc ethe y played before interleague play. I googled and in fact in the 1998, against possibly the greatest team in MLB history in the New York Yankees, Gwynn did single off Rivera in his last at bat of the series to finish with a .500 batting average for the series as recounted in this great post on a Yankees site.
The four teams will start their 5th and 6th best starting pitchers in the upcoming third series.
Here is the combined box score for both games combined.
|Pos||California Box Score||AB||R||H||RBI||Other||Pos||Central America||AB||R||H||RBI||Other|
|SS||Alan Trammell||10||1||2||0||3B||1B||Rod Carew||8||1||1||0||SB|
|2B||Joe Gordon||9||1||1||1||OF||Roberto Kelly||8||1||5||1|
|OF||Barry Bonds||7||1||2||0||SB||SS||Frankie Austin||7||1||1||0||W|
|OF||Ted Williams||7||1||2||4||GS-HR||2B||Bobby Avila||8||0||3||2||2B|
|OF||Joe DiMaggio||8||1||2||1||HR,2B||C||Manny Sanguillen||8||0||1||1|
|1B||Eddie Murray||8||0||1||0||OF||Carlos Lee||7||0||0||0|
|C||Gary Carter||7||2||3||1||HR||OF||Ben Oglivie||7||0||1||0|
|3B||Graig Nettles||7||1||0||0||Glove||3B||Vinny Castilla||6||1||4||1||HR|
|P||Gerrit Cole||1||0||0||0||P||Jesse Flores||1||1||0||0||W|
|P||Don Drysdale||1||0||0||0||W||P||Dennis Martinez||2||0||0||0|
|PH||Duke Snider||1||0||0||0||W||PH||Everth Cabrera||1||0||0||0|
|PH||Harry Heilmann||1||0||0||0||PH||Alejandro Kirk||0||0||0||0||W|
|California Total||68||9||14||8||Central Am Total||63||5||16||5|
Here are the pitchers' stats.
|California Pitchers 2 games||IP||H||R||ER||W||K||Dec|
|Central America Pitchers||IP||H||R||ER||W||K||Dec|
Here are the standings. The first tiebreaker after head-to-head is lowest Runs Allowed.
Click for the free Statis-Pro Master Baseball Game. Click here for 60 of the all-time great MLB teams, or on teams of many of the all-time great players on teams by nation or state with one sheet for each team. Or click on the 2023 pitchers and 2023 batters in card form. You simply print two teams and then either print the master link above and fast action cards in master link or buy the dice to start playing.
Because the all-time players come in sheet form, the set-up looks a little different. I put the visiting lineup sheet and the home pitching sheet on top, and then reverse on the bottom as I play the game.
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