Tribe Madness: League Park Region semi-finals results
Our IBI Tribe Madness tournament moves into the semi-finals round of the League Park Region where two players move on and two are eliminated.
#7 DH Travis Hafner (2006) vs. #3 3B Jim Thome (1996)
April: Thome 42, Hafner 30
Pronk was sitting on high on April 25th. He was hitting .367 with 5 dingers and had an 8-game hitting streak. That's when the Thome-Hawk pitching staff solved the Pronk puzzle. From April 26th through the end of the month, Pronk slumped to 2-for-18 with no extra-base hits. For the month, Pronk hit .308 with 5 homers, 12 runs and 12 RBI for .940 OPS. The power surge known as Jim Thome lit up the skies over Jacobs Field. Jim homered in three straight games and 5 of 7 from the 19th through the 27 as he used his power to take 42 to 30 lead in the battle of Jacobs Field sluggers. Thome put up a 1.206 OPS thanks to 9 homers with 20 runs and 22 RBI in April.
May: Hafner 84, Thome 64
There was a power outage in Thome-land in May as Pronkject pitchers kept the third baseman in the park. To compound Thome's misery, he experienced a drought as he finished the month hitless in his final 16 at bats. Pronk's march to the top of the scoreboard started on May 1st with 4-for-5 day with a double, homer, 2 runs and 6 RBI. Pronk followed up his big day with back-to-back multi-hit games and in 3 days his average soared 44 points. Hafner captured the lead by hitting .317 with 8 homers and 24 RBI.
June: Thome 150, Hafner 114
Pronk beat the shift with 4 singles in 5 at bats on June 23rd while scoring a run and driving in two. The very next day Hafner hammered 2 homers and added a single as he drove in 5 runs. The two games were the back end of a four game streak where Travis went 10-for-18. Hafner used that hot stretch to lift his June average to .270 as he hit 9 homers. It's only been three months but the Jacobs Field slugger battle has gone back and forth as Thome used an outstanding month to retake the lead. On the 18th and 19th, Jim put on a fireworks display. On the 18th, he went 3-for-4 with 2 homers and 5 RBI and the following day he belted two more and drove in 3 while scoring four times. The two games were a part of Jimmy's 11-game hitting streak as Thome hit .402 in June with 12 bombs.
July: Thome 222, Hafner 129
The energy could be felt over Jacobs Field and Jim Thome was the power source. In a three game span, Thome went 7-for-12 with 6 homers and 14 RBI as the Thome-Hawks scored 10 runs in each game. On the 16th, Jimmy went 3-for-4 with 2 bombs and 5 ribbies. He followed that up with a 2-for-4 day with 2 homers and 5 RBI. Then he capped his amazing 3-game homer spree with two more bombs and four RBI. In an effort to stay close to the hot Thome, Pronk swatted 12 bombs and drove in 34 in July. He started the month with a 4-for-5 night with a double, homer, 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. He later had a 3-for-4 night with a double, homer, 5 RBI and a run.
August: Thome 303, Hafner 177
Pronk started out August with an 11-game hitting streak. Travis hit a grand slam on August 5th in a 12-8 win. On the day, Travis was 2-for-5 with 5 ribbies. On the season, Pronk joined the 40 home run club and has 122 RBI. As good of a season that Pronk is putting together, Jim Thome is doing it better. On the season he has 38 homers and 118 RBI but an amazing .484 OBP as he's drawn 102 walks. He started August with a 2 homer game and went 8-for-11 in his first three August contests.
September: Thome 351, Hafner 189
Hafner finished up his season with 6 homers and a .921 OPS in September, though his season ended on a downer as he was only 2 for his last 11. Jim Thome finished the season with his 5th month with an OPS over 1.000 (only month below was May). He triumphed in this contest by pummeling right-handed pitching as he hit .382 with 41 of his 47 homers coming off of righties.
Travis Hafner: .302/.416/.581/.997, 32 2B, 0 3B, 46 HR, 111 R, 141 RBI, 2 SB, 6.3 WAR
Jim Thome: .351/.487/.679/1.165, 32 HR, 1 3B, 47 HR, 126 R, 139 RBI, 0 SB, 11.7 WAR
April: Hargan 39, Lajoie 21
Hargan's first start was a barn burner as he pitched the Hargan’s Heroes to a 9-6 win. Steve went 6.1 innings and left the day with a 7.11 ERA but that would drop like a brick as he gave up only 1 earned runs the rest of the month. For his part, Steve went 4-0 and his ERA was on 1.38. Nap got things going early with a 4-for-4 day with 2 doubles, one run and a walk on opening day. With that big day, he charged to an 11-for-23 start. Later in the month he put together a 7-game hitting streak.
May: Hargan 78, Lajoie 69
Hargan's May did not start like his April ended as Steve dropped his first two starts but then threw a 1-hitter for a 3-0 win. Hargan lost his fourth May start but came back to win his final two as he went 3-3 in May with a 2.54 ERA. Larry Lajoie went on an 8-game hitting streak starting on May 3rd and he upped his batting average from .279 to .305. The streak was stopped by Hargan's gem but he then resumed his hitting as he enters June on a 5-game streak. Nap hit .349 in May with 9 doubles, 19 runs and 16 RBI.
June: Lajoie 126, Hargan 99
June 5th was Nap's only hitless game of the month and he enters July with a 22-game streak. At no point was the Frenchman more lethal than a six game span from the 8th through the 14th. In that span, Lajoie went 15-for-24 with 4 doubles, 6 runs and 3 RBI. A three game losing streak contributed to Hargan's loss of lead in this #12 vs. #1 match up. In two of his losses, Hargan only gave up 2 earned runs in each game. The first was a 3-5 loss then a 1-2 loss as offensive support was lacking. The month started out with a tough luck 2-3 loss.
July: Lajoie 204, Hargan 126
Steve Hargan lost his first two July starts as he got very little offensive support (3 runs in the two games) then went 7.1 innings in a 7-4 win. The wheels came off as he dropped 3 in a row. With Hargan struggling in July, Nap put the pedal to the metal to take a big lead in the matchup. He started the month turning his 22-game hitting streak into a 29 gamer. Then later in the month went on a 24-for-41 run as he raised his average from .351 to .373.
August: Lajoie 243, Hargan 180
Nap Lajoie used a 14-game hitting streak to climb to 243 Madness Points. He finished August with a 3-for-6 night with a double, 3 runs and an RBI. Hargan could only shake his head. He had just pitched 9 innings of 1 run ball but lost 1-0. If he wanted to advance, he could not suffer another hard luck month. He came back four days later with a 5-3 win. Then a 5-hitter was a 2-1 win and he followed that up with a 4-hit 3-2 win. His win streak reached 3 with a 4-2 win before an 0-2 loss finished his month.
September: Lajoie 288, Hargan 240
Despite getting pummeled on September 7th, Steve Hargan pitched very well in September. In that one game on the 7th, Steve gave up 7 of the 18 earned runs he gave up all month. It was a lack of offensive support which handed Hargan a frustrating 3-4 September. He lost games 0-2, 2-3 and 2-3. Nap wasn't going to let Hargan off the hook as he finished up with a.363 average with 11 doubles.
Steve Hargan: 17-19, 2.72 ERA, 317.1 IP, 96 ER, 114 BB, 233 K, 1.21 WHIP, 8.0 WAR
Nap Lajoie: .359/.385/.476/.861, 57 2B, 12 3B, 0 HR, 116 R, 69 RBI, 41 SB, 9.6 WAR
Next Up: #3 3B Jim Thome (1996) vs. #1 2B Nap Lajoie (1906)