Tribe Madness: Progressive Field Region Round 1 results
Our IBI Tribe Madness tournament moves into the first round of the Progressive Field Region where eight players move on and eight are eliminated.
Five catchers proceeded Ray “The Marion Mule” Fosse in this competition and five went down in flames. It was up to Ray to save face for the men who don the tools of ignorance. With a former Rookie of the Year and future Cy Young winner sitting in his way, it would take an extraordinary effort for backstops of the world to rejoice. Ray played well belting 30 balls into the seats at Cleveland Stadium but it wasn't enough as The Red Baron cruised to a 141-108 win leaving Indians backstops winless. In truth, none of the Indian receivers were favored as the two highest seeds were nines (Victor Martinez and Ray Fosse). Ray fought hard actually winning the head-to-head matchup (6 homers and .989 OPS) but Sutcliffe was able to post wins in 17 games which helped his cause greatly.
The Red Baron started out the season with an impressive 8.1 inning, three-hit performance in a 10-1 win but it was his next to last start that was the true gem. On September 21st, Sutcliffe shut the Mule Team down for 8 2/3 innings. As he was closing in on the no-no his catcher interfered with the hitter which made him face Richie Ashburn. Ashburn singled through the first-second hole and Rick's chance at history went by the wayside. The Red Baron shot down the Mule Team batters when there were runners in scoring position (.201 average) and was very effective on first pitches (.199 average). In head-to-head matchups, Fosse hit well with a .351/.422/.567/.989 slash line with 6 homers, 10 runs, 21 RBI, 24 strikeouts and 12 walks.
In setting up this tournament, I chose the woeful 1962 Mets because I wanted the Indians players of this tournament to be the stars. In this contest, I wasn't disappointed as both Cuckoo Jamieson and El Presidente both brought their A-game. Hitting in the three-hole, Cuckoo did just enough to overcome Martinez's pitching quality as Charlie pulled a 210-153 upset. Cuckoo hit .365 on the year in a balanced effort as he hit .365 against righties and .365 against southpaws. He had a higher average at League Park (.369) but a higher OPS at the Jake (.950).
Things started out rocky for El Presidente as he lost his first three starts but he actually pitched well. Martinez erased his deficit by winning the next eight. Martinez continued to pile up the wins finishing up with 7.1 innings of two-hit ball in a 7-0 victory on September 26th. In the end, El Presidente lost the contest because Team Cuckoo hit .293 off him in late game/close game situations. Not only that, but he gave up 12 gopher balls in those situations.
Jake Miller was the tough luck pitcher on opening day going 8.0 innings and dropped a 1-0 decision to The Flickers. Jake twice suffered through five game losing streaks as he fell to Elmer Flick 183-162. Miller just couldn't get traction as opposing righties hit .282 against him and lefties hit the southpaw to the tune of .283. Miller did keep the ball in the park as he only gave up eight dingers (five of which came with the bases empty).
The 5-foot-9 Flick used speed and extra-base power to down the lefty from Ohio State. He started out hitting .341 in April but his best month was August where he hit .343 with a .905 OPS. Flick was especially effective hitting .467 with the bases loaded and he put up an .887 OPS with runners in scoring position. Flick's play went with the percentages as the lefty hit .398 against righties but southpaws limited him to a .268 average. In head to head matchups, Flick hit .254/.312/.377/.689 with 20 runs, 18 RBI, 7 triples, 11 walks and 6 strikeouts.
#12 SP Bartolo Colon (2000) vs. #5 Bobby Avilla (1954)
Bartolo Colon had one problem, he couldn't keep the ball in the park as Beto Avilla and his teammates crushed Colon fastballs. Bart gave up 35 gopher balls and saw his chance to advance evaporate as Beto romped to a 98-48 victory. Nothing represents Bart's issues more than the month of June. He held the opposition to a .213 batting average but gave up 8 long balls and his ERA was 4.71 (2-1 in 7 starts). For the most part, Colon pitched well as with the bases loaded hitters hit .192 but he gave up two slams and 23 runs in 26 at bats.
It wasn't all Bartolo's fault because Beto was on fire all year. He pounded Bartolo to the tune of a .977 OPS, 5 homers, 19 runs and 26 RBI. Avilla was especially dangerous when there were runners in scoring position (1.052 OPS with 7 homers and 28 RBI). Surprisingly, Beto was more effective at Cleveland Stadium (.397 average with 13 homers) than at Jacobs Field (.320 average).
Bill Steen jumped out to a 12-5 record and 3.08 ERA as he built a 10-games lead. In fact, heading into September he held a narrow 57-55 lead. Despite going 3-2 in September his team couldn't hold off the hard charging outfielder as Manny won Bill Steen's money 252-216. The contest favored Steen through June as he was 9-3 with a 2.78 ERA but as Manny heated up, Steen wilted. Steen's July and August saw him go 4-7 with a 4.74 ERA.
Manny Ramirez really turned things on starting in July and all the way through September. In those three months he hit 23 of his bombs while putting up OPS's of 1.046, 1.006, and 1.027. On September 21st, Manny went 4-for-6 and started the game with a three-run homer in the first, tripled to lead off the third, singled in the fourth then hit an RBI double in the seventh to complete the cycle. In head-to-head matchups Ramirez hit .264/.313/.424/.737 with 4 homers, 9 walks and 34 strikeouts in 125 at bats.
Next up: #5 2B Bobby Avilla (1954) vs. #4 Manny Ramirez (1999)
Spillner just didn't play enough to make as big of an impact as Chapman did, and in the end the Indians reliever fell 198-39. In spite of a slow start where the Chappies hit .340 off of him in April, Dan got better as the season progressed holding the Chappies to a .167 average in September. As a reliever, Spillner needed to perform late in games and he did surrendering only 63 hits in 302 late game/close game at bats (.209 average).
Chapman did what a leadoff batter needs to do. He got on base, stole bases, and scored runs. Ray got off to a hot start hitting .349 in April but he saved his best for August when he hit .353 and had a .911 OPS. Ray only hit .270 with runners in scoring position but turned it on with the bases loaded with an .800 OPS. Ray nailed first pitches to the tune of an .828 OPS which is all hits because there are no walks on the first pitch.
Next up: #6 OF Elmer Flick (1906) vs. #3 SS Ray Chapman (1917)
It was a good half season, it was a bad half season. The good half for Woodie was the first half as he started out with a .301 average in April. He kept it up in May by hitting .290. He started to taper off in June (.279) then the calendar turned and so did Woodie's fortunes. Held slumped to a .212 average in July then improved only slightly in August (.219). In the end, the bad half doomed Woodie as he fell 195-132 to the southpaw. Held personally dominated the lefty early in the season collecting 15 hits in his first 35 at bats against the lefty but then McDowell dominated the shortstop the rest of the way (8 for 74).
McDowell got off to a slow start and on June 9th he had dipped to 5-8 with a 4.86 ERA. Sudden Sam then went on an 8-2 run and his ERA dropped below the four-mark. He improved to 16-12 before dropping his final four decisions with five no-decisions. In spite of a 3-3 April with a 3.20 ERA, Sudden Sam held the Woodies below the Mendoza-Line (.194 average). Part of McDowell's April woes was losing game 0-2 and 0-1. In head-to-head matchups Held hit .211/.348/.321/.670 with 2 homers, 14 RBI and 12 runs scored.
Next up: #10 OF Charlie Jamieson (1923) vs. #2 Sam McDowell (1970)
Shoeless Joe put together two .400 months en route to a 306-147 thrashing of Julio Franco. Joe hit .436 in May and .432 in September. Jackson hit over .300 in all months except one as he rode a .977 OPS to victory. Jackson hit .390 at Cleveland Stadium which was better than the .350 he hit at home (League Park). Jackson got better as the game went hitting .323 in the first three innings, .380 in the middle innings and .416 in the final three. Jackson was even better playing free baseball (.444 in extra innings).
Julio was unfazed to start the season as he ended June with a .353 average and an .848 OPS. That's when things started to spiral out of control for the Dominican shortstop. His .239/.300/.370/.670 line in July put him in a deep hole that he just couldn't fight out of. He did rebound and finish with a .315 average. In truth with the exception of July, Julio represented himself well but he just ran into a superior effort.
Next up: #8 SP Rick Sutcliffe (1982) vs. #1 OF Joe Jackson (1912)
Here are the updated results for the west and east brackets: