Tribe Madness: Stadium Region semi-finals results
Our IBI Tribe Madness tournament moves into the semi-finals round of the Stadium Region where two players move on and two are eliminated.
#14 OF Charlie Hickman (1902) vs. #2 SP Luis Tiant (1968)
April: Tiant 54, Hickman 45
Piano Legs Hickman jumped out to a tremendous start going 11-for-15 with a double, 2 triples and a homer as he knocked in 8 and scored 7 times. The fast start propelled Hickman to a .382 April average with 3 homers, 19 runs and 19 RBI. El Tiante dropped his opening day start then won twice in his next four starts before dropping his April finale for a 2.56 ERA. One of Tiant's no-decisions was an extra inning game in which El Tiante went 10 innings of scoreless ball.
May: Tiant 129, Hickman 72
Piano Legs finished April on a 6-game streak and he kept on collecting hits as he stretched the streak to 14 games. He followed the streak with a 9-for-18 run as his season average ballooned to .396 but Hickman then saw his average dip to .338 by month's end. His April average was .304 with 4 bombs and 23 runs scored. El Tiante was El Dominante in May going 7-0 with a 2.15 ERA. He pitched two shutouts and needed that as he won both games 1-0. In six of his seven starts, Luis went the distance and in the other game he went 8.2 with a season best 17 strikeouts. He also had 16 strikeouts in a five-hit shutout and in only one start did he fail to reach double digits in strikeouts (9 strikeouts in a 4-2 win on the 13th).
June: Tiant 189, Hickman 75
In just the second game of the month, Piano Legs put together a 3-for-5 night with a double and a triple. The game was part of a four game run where Charlie went 7-for-17. Those four games were followed by a 1-for-22 slump and Piano Legs saw his average slip. He started June hitting .338 but found himself barely over .300 on the season. Six more games in a row and by the end of June, El Tiante's winning streak had reached 13-straight games. At this point, Tiant looks unstoppable. In only one of the starts did Luis give up more than 2 runs (3 runs on the 26th) and only once did he fail to go 9 innings (6 innings on the 30th after a 47-minute rain delay).
July: Tiant 273, Hickman 132
El Tiante's 13-game winning streak came to a sudden end when he gave up 7 runs in 6.2 innings, but Luis quickly returned to his winning ways as he scattered six hits in a 2-1 victory. Twice in the month of July, Luis returned to the mound after regulation. The first was in a 10-inning 7-4 win and the other was an 11-inning affair in which Tiant won 6-5. Piano Legs finished the month on an 11-game hitting streak to post a .356 average. Hickman hit in 25 of the months 28 games. On the 28th, Piano Legs put together a 4-for-4 day with his 10th homer while he scored 2 runs and drove in 2.
August: Tiant 318, Hickman 114
Piano Legs had a game that would mark his season going 6-for-6 with 3 doubles, 4 runs and 3 RBI. On the month Hickman hit .356 with 3 homers and 22 runs scored. News break: Luis Tiant is human. Okay this is a simulation so he's just a simulation but a simulation of a real human Tiant. Tiant suffered his poorest month of the season losing 4 of 5 decisions. He gave up 9 hits twice and 10 hits once in his seven starts. In spite of his generous mood, El Tiante did limit the damage giving up only 21 earned runs off of 47 hits (7 of which were homers). He did it by whiffing 10 or more hitters in 5 of his 7 games.
September: Tiant 387, Hickman 177
In a strange twist, Piano Legs sent Luis home a loser in a September 16th contest. With the game knotted at 3-3, the two teams went into extra innings. Two errors put runners on first and second with no outs but El Tiante struck out the next two batters but he was gassed and with Piano Legs ready to stride up to the plate, the manager made the call to the bullpen. On the first pitch, Charlie launched the ball into over the wall at old League Park for a dramatic walk-off victory. Unfortunately, Hickman's .333 September average and 5 homers were just too-little, too-late. El Tiante capped his victorious campaign with a 5-2 win with 10 strikeouts. Luis' 443 strikeouts flirted with his own record (448) but came up just shy.
Hickman: .323/.356/.503/.859, 42 2B, 12 3B, 18 HR, 107 R, 108 RBI, 19 SB, 5.9 WAR
Luis Tiant: 24-10, 2.43 ERA, 348.2 IP, 94 ER, 110 BB, 443 K, 1.04 WHIP, 12.9 WAR
#4 SP Mel Harder (1934) vs. #1 SS Terry Turner (1906)
April: Harder 15, Turner 12
Chief Harder lost his first two decisions while giving up 5.72 earned runs per nine innings, but on April 27th Chief put it all together holding Cotton Top Turner and his buddies to only 5 hits in a 2-1 victory. It would be Mel's only triumph in April as struggled to a 4.58 ERA. Turner registered an infield hit in his first at bat of the season and scored the Toppers first run two batters later. When the dust cleared on opening day Cotton Top enjoyed a 4-for-6 day. Turner was rolling along until the final three games of the month as an 0-for-11 slump dropped his April average to .289.
May: Harder 42, Turner 39
Harder won his first three games of the month before his only loss. Chief rebounded winning his final two for a 5-1 record in May with a 2.36 ERA. A 7-for-14 burst triggered Cotton Top's .278 month. The burst started with a 3-for-5 day as he scored a run and drove in a run on the 15th.
June: Turner 84, Harder 72
On June 16th, Cotton Top enjoyed a 5-for-6 day with a double, homer, 3 runs, and 5 ribbies, and that outburst was instrumental in Turner's .325 June as he scored 19 runs. Chief was battered and beaten as he failed to escape the third inning in a 6-10 loss in his first June start. From the depths of that start, Chief rose like a phoenix tossing 16.2 innings with no earned runs but suffered no decisions (1-0 win and a 1-2 loss). Mel then gave up one earned run in each of his final four starts but could only split those games. That's how you can have a 1.94 ERA and a 2-3 record.
July: Turner 123, Harder 108
Chief's first start in July was a no decision as he went 8.2 innings and only gave up one run. He then dropped a 2-5 decision before a 2-game winning streak (3-2 and 8-3). He then split his final two decisions to finish the month 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA. Cotton Top put together a 9-game hitting streak, but he ended the month mired in a 3-for-23 slump. That slump dropped Cotton Top's average from .301 to .292.
August: Turner 153, Harder 138
Cotton Top started out the month continuing his end of July slump going 1-for-12 (4-for-35 overall). He then went on a 9-game run which raised his average to .293. Overall, he put together a .252 August average. A 2-game losing streak for Harder was bookended by two 3-game winning streaks. The first one started in July but ended with two wins in August. Chief ended the month with an 11-2 win (one earned run) as Harder enters September on a positive note.
September: Turner 171, Harder 165
Cotton Top almost coasted too much as he finished 1-for-12 while Chief finished on a two game winning streak. In the end, it was a narrow victory by the number one seed. Turner did put together a fine season in the head-to-head matchup with Harder by hitting .296 with 19 runs scored.
Mel Harder: 20-11, 2.97 ERA, 318.2 IP, 105 ER, 116 BB, 127 K, 1.36 WHIP, 5.5 WAR
Terry Turner: .277/.319/.372/.691, 35 2B, 11 3B, 2 HR, 84 R, 44 RBI, 26 SB, 5.7 WAR
Next Up: #2 SP Luis Tiant (1968) vs. #1 SS Terry Turner (1906)
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