Monday, December 29, 2008

2089 BRASS All-Star Game

Silver League All-Stars Pound the Gold League All-Stars 16-1 with Relentless Offensive Attack and Stingy Pitching

BRASS All-Star Rosters

Silver League Starters
Brian Roberts (2B)
Grady Sizemore (CF)
Chipper Jones (DH)
Carlos Pena (1B)
Alex Rodriguez (3B)
Adam Dunn (LF)
Vladimir Guerrero (RF)
Victor Martinez (C)
Carlos Guillen (SS)

Rich Hill (SP)

Silver Reserves
Russell Martin (C)
Paul LoDuca (C)
Albert Pujols (1B)
Orlando Hudson (2B)
Brendan Harris (3B)
Derek Jeter (SS)
Kenny Lofton (OF)
Derek Lowe (SP)
Johan Santana (SP)
Barry Zito (SP)
A J Burnett (SP)
Justin Verlander (SP)
Eric Bedard (SP)
Brandon Webb (SP)
Matt Capps (RP)
Luis Vizcaino (RP)
Huston Street (RP)

Gold League Starters
Hanley Ramirez (SS)
David Wright (3B)
Chase Utley (2B)
Magglio Ordonez (RF)
David Ortiz (DH)
Matt Holliday (LF)
Joe Mauer (C)
James Loney (1B)
Curtis Granderson (CF)

Fausto Carmona (SP)

Gold Reserves
Jorge Posada (C)
Carlos Delgado (1B)
Brandon Phillips (2B)
Orlando Cabrera (SS)
Miguel Cabrera (3B)
Barry Bonds (A,Y) (OF)
Ichiro Suzuki (OF)
Jake Peavy (SP)
Dan Haren (SP)
Sean Marshall (SP)
Jason Marquis (SP)
Bobby Jenks (RP)
Pat Neshek (RP)
Manny Corpas (RP)
Derek Turnbow (RP)
Joe Borowski (RP)
Jason Isringhausen (RP)

Game Recap

Before the seats were warm for this mid-summer classic at Great American Ballpark, the Silver League All-Stars had scored the eventual winning runs and they would never look back as they piled up 23 hits on the night. The unraveling for the Gold League began immediately as Fausto Carmona mishandled a Brian Roberts comebacker to lead off the game. After a Grady Sizemore single, Chipper Jones began his big night by delivering two RBI’s with his double before an out could be recorded. Before the 1st inning was over, Jones crossed the plate on a single from hometown slugger Adam Dunn and the Silver League was off to a fast 3-0 lead after ½ an inning.

Carmona came out of the home dugout to pitch the 2nd, but was greeted rudely once again with singles from shortstop Carlos Guillen & Brian Roberts, a walk to Sizemore and a 2-RBI single to Chipper Jones. That was all she wrote from Carmona as he was replaced by Dan Haren with nobody out. For the 2nd consecutive inning, Adam Dunn finished off the scoring by singling in a run.

The Silver League lefty starter, Rich Hill, held up his end nicely by retiring the side in order in the 1st while giving up only 1 earned run, 2 hits, 1 walk, while striking out 4 Gold batters in 3 innings of work. Rich Hill left after 3 innings with a 6-1 lead in a game that was never close.

After Hill left the game, the rest of the Silver League staff handled the Gold top vote getters with little more than a whimper as Derek Lowe, Johan Santana, Barry Zito, A.J. Burnett, Justin Verlander, Eric Bedard, Houston Street, Matt Capps, & Joakim Soria all combined for 6 Innings of shutout pitching while giving up only 5 hits and striking out 6.

The story of the game though was the Silver offense. Alex Rodriguez hit the first of his 2 homeruns in the 4th with a solo blast and the fireworks really hit their peak in the top of the 5th. With 2-out and Victor Martinez at 2nd base, Brendan Harris came in to pinch run. Grady Sizemore doubled him in off Gold pitcher Sean Marshall and next, Chipper Jones connected with a 2-run bomb giving him his 6th RBI of the game! Then, Carlos Pena homered and after Bobby Jenks came in from the pen, A-Rod crushed a solo blast completing back-to-back-to-back HR’s for the Silver League squad giving them a 12-1 lead.

Albert Pujols would also connect with a pinch-hit HR in the 6th & Adam Dunn would satisfy the hometown crowd with a homerun of his own in the top of the 9th.

In total, the Silver League out homered the Gold League all-stars 6-0, out hit them 23-7, and hit for 47 total bases with 11 extra-base hits compared to the Gold’s 9 total bases!

The top of the Silver order got the job done as Roberts, Sizemore, & Orlando Hudson combined for 7 Runs, 6 Hits, 4 Extra Base Hits, & 2 Walks in the #1 & #2 holes. Chipper Jones feasted on all the base runners by going 3 for 4 with a single, a double, & a home run with 6 RBI’s while earning player of the game honors.

Alex Rodriguez was the only player to hit multiple home runs with 2 solo shots going 2 for 5 with a walk.

Adam Dunn finished up going 3 for 5 with a walk and had 3 RBI’s.

Coming off the bench, Orlando Hudson made the most of his plate appearances going 2 for 3 with a triple and a double after entering the game for Brian Roberts in the 6th inning.

Every Silver League All-Star with a plate appearance managed at least 1-hit except for Brendan Harris who was 0-1 with 1-run, Kenny Lofton who was 0-1, & Russell Martin who was 0-2 with 2 K’s.

No Gold League All-Stars gathered more than 1-hit and David Wright mustered up the only RBI in the 3rd with a 2-out double off Silver League starter Rich Hill. Brandon Phillips had the only other extra base hit for the Gold team when he pinch hit for unanimous vote getter, Chase Utley in the 8th.

Manager Comments

I would first like to thank all of the BRASS League owners for giving a newbie like me a chance to host the 2089 BRASS All-Star Game. I really had a great time with it as I spent some time mulling over how to manage the rosters and get everyone into the game. As I began setting the lineups, I had a strong feeling that this game was going to fall the Silver League’s way.

My first observation was that the Gold League starting lineup was loaded with five lefty bats against the Silver League’s southpaw starter, Rich Hill. In contrast, Gold’s starter, Fausto Carmona, was sent to the mound to face a lineup stacked with four switch hitters and would only face two righties, A-Rod and Vladimir Guerrero, on his first trip through the lineup. This opening matchup could not have turned up much better for the Silver squad as they capitalized. Rich Hill cruised through the starting lineup over the opening three innings as Carmona got shelled giving up six runs in 1+ innings and couldn’t record an out in the 2nd before giving the ball to the pen.

The bullpen also seemed to tilt the Silver team’s way. The Gold team was equipped with only one left handed pitcher on the whole roster, Sean Marshall. Unfortunately for him, he had an infinite ERA after pitching in this game. He surrendered a double to Grady Sizemore, a two-run homerun to Chipper Jones, and a homerun to Carlos Pena in the 5th without recording a single out. Conversely, the Silver team had a great mix of lefty / righty & reverse righties to throw at the Gold lineup as the situation dictated, giving the Silver team advantages all game long.

From a managing standpoint, I really tried to give guys more or less playing time based on the voting. I think my biggest decision came in the 6th inning when Albert Pujols pinched hit for Chipper Jones who had already gone 3 for 4 with a single, double, a homerun, and 6 RBI’s! As it turned out, Pujols got his pitch off Pat Neshek and clubbed it into the pavilion for a 2-run homer. Looking back based on the dice roll, Chipper would have also crushed a homerun and would have ended the day 4 for 5 with two 2-run homers and 8 RBI’s. I feel a little bad that I pulled him, but based on the votes I felt I should get Pujols in the game. I debated on leaving Jones in the game and pulling Carlos Pena for Pujols, but again I decided I should leave in Pena as he was the top vote getter at his position. Unfortunately, Pena was disappointing going 1 for 6 with a solo HR and 2 K’s.

Being that this game was being played at power-hitter friendly, Great American Ballpark, I expected to see some home runs. We were not disappointed as the Silver team hit 6 homeruns on 23 hits. What was surprising was that none of the homeruns were cheapened by the ballparks favorable weather settings as these homeruns would have cleared the fence on even a bad day at this ballpark. The split deck was not required on three of the bombs and the split deck came up 7, 2, & 4 on the other 3 deep blasts. What was surprising was the total hits piled up since singles are usually tough to come by at Great American.

In closing, I think it should be noted that the Strat-O-Matic game gave Joakim Soria the win. As an official scorer, I don’t believe that is the right judgment as he entered the game with a 16-1 lead. I believe that Rich Hill’s 3-inning performance of rolling thru the starting lineup warrants him the win. If official baseball rules don’t allow for a starter to earn a win without 5 Innings under his belt, then I think Derek Lowe or Johan Santana should get the credit. Lowe pitched a quick 4th inning with a 7-1 lead giving up a single but earned a strikeout and a double play groundout. Santana came into the game in the 5th with a 12-1 lead and gave up a single while striking out two batters.

I hope you all enjoy the box score & recap as much as I did playing the game. The matchup produced exciting moments like the 3 consecutive HR’s in the 5th inning, Chipper’s 6-RBI MVP performance, Grady Sizemore rounding the bases and scoring 4 times on the day, Adam Dunn treating the home town crowd with 3 hits & 3 RBI’s including a home run, and also Rich Hill’s stellar start striking out 4 Gold All-Stars in 3 innings.

Congrats to the Silver League All-Stars, a very balanced and powerful team.