Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ringo bracket: Giants (87) defeat Cardinals (87) in six games

Game One: 87 Giants 4, 87 Cardinals 2
WP: Reuschel (5-0)
LP: Mathews (3-1)
Save: Lefferts (1)
HR: Leonard (2), Uribe (1)

Game Two: 87 Cardinals 9, 87 Giants 7
WP: D Cox (3-1)
LP: Hammaker (0-1)
Save: Worrell (3)
HR: McGee (2), Thompson (2), J Clark (2)

Game Three: 87 Cardinals 5, 87 Giants 3
WP: Magrane (3-0)
LP: Dravecky (2-1)
Save: Worrell (4)
HR: C Davis (4), W Clark (4),Magrane (1)

Game Four: 87 Giants 8, 87 Cardinals 0
WP: Downs (1-0)
LP: Tudor (0-2)
HR: W Clark (5), Leonard (3), Ma Williams (2), Mitchell (1)

Game Five: 87 Giants 9, 87 Cardinals 4
WP: Reuschel (6-0)
LP: Mathews (3-2)
Save: Garrelts (2)
HR: C Davis (5), Brenley (1)

Game Six: 87 Giants 6, 87 Cardinals 3
WP: Price (1-0)
LP: Cox (3-2)
Save: Lefferts (2)
HR: C Davis (6), W Clark (6), Leonard (4)

The real-life 1987 Cardinals beat the Giants in seven games in the NLCS to advance to the World Series. In the 40-Year Tourney, the outcome was reversed, with the Giants ousting the Cardinals to advance to the round of eight.

Rich Rueschel, winner of his four previous starts in the tournament, made it five in a row in the opener at Busch Stadium. The portly right-hander held the Cardinals to two runs and six hits in eight innings, with opposing pitcher Greg Mathews driving home both runs with a second inning single. The Giants took the lead in the fourth on a pair of homers, the first by Jeffery Leonard and the second from Jose Uribe. They added another in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Leonard and Candy Maldonado.

The Giants broke out big in the first inning of Game Two, gathering five runs (one unearned) against Danny Cox. Robby Thompson and Eddie Milner each had two-run doubles. But the Redbirds sruck back for four runs off Atlee Hammaker, and took the lead in the third inning. The Giants never caught up again. Cox allowed one more run in five innings before turning the lead over to the bullpen, and Ricky Horton, Ken Dayley and Todd Worrell combined for three innings of one-run relief. Jack Clark was 4-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs for the victors; Thompson had three RBIs for the Giants. Uribe was lost for the remainder of the series.

The series moved to Candlestick Park for the next three games, and the Cards got a strong start from Joe Magrane in Game Three -- eight innings of four hit ball, two of them solo homers. Magrane homered himself in the third inning. The game was tied at 2 going into the eighth, when Ozzie Smith singled, Tom Herr walked and Clark doubled them both in. Craig Lefferts relieved Dave Dravecky and allowed a two-out RBI single to Terry Pendleton. The Giants got one back in the ninth off Worrell, but it wasn't enough.

Kelly Downs evened the series with an eight-hit shutout in Game Four. The Cardinals had plenty of chances, starting with the first inning, when Maldonado threw Vince Coleman out at the plate. St. Louis left six men in scoring position. The Giants scored three runs in the fourth off John Tudor and two more in the fifth before tattooing Lee Tunnell for three solo homers in the eight and ninth.

Reuschel advanced his record to 6-0 in Game Five, allowed three earned runs in 7.3 innings. The score was 2-2 going into the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Kevin Mitchell doubled. Chili Davis walked, and Maldonado singled to load the bases. Bill Dawley relieved Mathews, and Bob Brenly greeted him with a grand slam. Reuschel later doubled home a run, and Brenley added two more RBIs in the bottom of the eighth. Scott Garrelts escaped a two-on, one-out mess inherited from Rueschel in the eighth, then pitched around his three walks in the ninth for the save.

The series returned to Busch, and the Giants wrapped it up. Will Clark gave the visitors a quick lead with a first-inning homer, but Coleman singled home Jose Oquendo in the third to tie it. Willie McGee tripled and scored in the fourth for a 2-1 lead. The Giants pinch-hit for Hammaker after that, and Joe Price threw two hitless innings while his mates got him the lead on a two-run single by Thompson. Leonard homered in the top of the eight to make it 4-2, and David hit a two-run shot in the ninth to make it 6-2. Lefferts entered to get the final two outs after Don Robinson, in his third inning of relief, allowed three straight singles.

Player of the series: Several Giants hitters had productive series, but none were truly outstanding throughout. We'll go with Downs for his complete-game shutout, which started the Giants's three-game win streak.

Player availability: Uribe's injury will be healed for Game One. Hammaker cannot pitch until Game Three.

Projected rotation: Reuschel-Dravecky-Downs-Mike LaCoss-(Reuschel)-(Dravecky)-(Downs)

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