Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Series 16: Obamas take two of three from Franklins

Franklins 24-15, Obamas 23-15

Pitcher use: Feller and Ryan need three games; Hubbell and Johnson need two; Covaleski, Pennock, Plank and Grove need one each. Walsh and Willis pitched two innings in finale, Gomez one.

Game One: Obamas 9, Franklins 6
WP: Gomez (2-2)
LP: Grove (4-5)
HR: Boudreau (3), Schmidt (11), Cronin (6), Gehrig (9), Mantle (12), Ott (7)

Game 2: Franklins 6, Obamas 5
WP: Covaleski (2-1)
LP: Johnson (4-4)
Save: Dean (5)
HR: Boudreau (4), Gehringer (3), Foxx (10)

Game 3: Obamas 16, Franklins 12
WP: Gomez (3-2)
LP: Covaleski (2-2)
Save: Walsh (4)
HR: Vaughn (3), Mantle (13), Foxx (11), Schmidt (12)


In a slugfest series filled with home runs, big innings, comebacks and short starts, the Obamas made the already-tight Division A race even tighter.

It was the Obama bullpen that made the difference; their relief corps limited the potent Franklins to one run in 10 innings.

Lou Boudreau's walk-off homer in the opener climaxed a dogged comeback for the Obamas, who fell behind 6-0 in the first three innings. The Franklins hit three homers in the second off Eddie Plank, but they could do nothing the rest of the way against Jack Chesbro (one inning), Vic Willis (three innings) and Lefty Gomez (two innings).

Meanwhile, the Obamas got a two-run homer from Mike Schmidt in the fourth, a two-run bomb from Mickey Mantle in the seventh, and stole the game with a four-run outburst against starter Lefty Grove and closer Dizzy Dean in the ninth, ended with Boudreau's three-run homer.

Jackie Robinson, who pinch-hit for Plank in the third and remained in the game at second base, was 3-for-4 with a double and and RBI triple. The Obamas used their entire bench and all but one relief pitcher in the comeback.

The Franklins won a back-and-forth second game despite another go-ahead homer from Boudreau, this one in the eighth inning. The Franklins led 4-2 after six innings behind Carl Hubbell, but Jimmy Foxx homered in the seventh to tighten the margin to one, then Boudreau's two-run bomb put the Obamas ahead.

But Walter Johnson came one out shy of locking down the win. With two out and Mel Ott on in the ninth, Babe Ruth tripled. Rogers Hornsby singled the Babe home, and this time Dean closed it out, despite Mantle's leadoff double.

Bob Feller and Nolan Ryan promised a finale of fastballs and strikeouts, but what transpired were walks and long balls. Ryan walked 10 men in four innings; the Franklins added eight hits, seven of then doubles, to the mix for 11 runs.

But Feller wasn't much better. He walked the first three Obamas he faced, then grooved one to Mantle. He gave up a three-run homer to Foxx in the second  and left for a pinch hitter after just three innings (Paul Waner had one of the doubles against Ryan).

Herb Pennock, who has pitched poorly all season, got the call with an 11-7 lead and held the Obamas scoreless for three innings. But the Franklins tried to get a fourth from him, and he didn't retire a man in the seventh. By the time Stan Covaleski finally got three outs, the Obamas had scored seven runs -- four charged to Pennock, three to Covaleski -- and a 14-12 lead.

The Obamas had Big Ed Walsh work two innings to close it down, and Mike Schmidt gave the spitballer some insurance with a two-run homer in the eighth.

Mantle was 6-for-13 in the series with seven RBIs and four runs. Boudreau had five RBIs. Rogers Hornsby was 7-for-13 with four runs. Ruth was just 2-for-11 for the series. Vic Willis had five shutout innings of relief for the Obamas.

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