I think it's safe to say that most of the matches here are very likely to end tonight. It's been very crazy around here with the scoreboard in some games doing so many flip-flops we may need Dramamine! I hope the rest of the rounds are as exciting as the first has been! Let's get ready to scratchoff!! - er, uh, PLAY BALL! I've moved previously completed games to the bottom of post to make it easier to follow along with the matches in progress.
Match 2 - Both defenses have been strong in this match, not allowing the other team to score at all. Joey's Rangers have kept WhiteSoxCards' Mariners at bay so far, but can they keep their end of the shutout alive? The Mariners don't think so. Number 28 grabs a bat and gets ready for some action. The pitcher hurls the first pitch. Twenty-Eight hits the ball and it bounces to the second baseman, whose throw to first gets there in plenty of time. That's one away here in the third. WhiteSoxCards hasn't figured out a viable strategy yet for getting some runs on the board. All he can do right now is wait and see what Number 19 can do. As the ball crosses the plate, he hits it deep, but the fielder is there as the ball bounces to limit things to a single. One on, One out. And up next, Number One-One. Someone in the crowd yells out, "won-won-won-Wonder Wheels!" I think he's a few too many. The pitcher shakes it off, sets, and rips one toward the plate. The batter swings and misses. Two more pitches and two more misses. Number 11 goes down on strikes.
Two outs, a runner on, and still no score here in the top of third for WhiteSoxCards.
Okay, WhiteSoxCards, pick three more players who you think will get the job done for you. Remember, we're taking a break on Saturday, so take your time... 06, 09, 10, 14, 16, 18, 25, 26, 27, 32
Match 3 - TasteLikeDirt leads 4-2 as he prepares his fielders for what may prove to be the Blue Jays' last bat. ChrisB is hoping to put on a great show for the hometown crowd. He's got plenty of batters to choose from. His first choice is Number 17. We've not seen this player bat yet, so let's see what he's got. The pitcher goes into motion and sends the pitch. It's just off the plate for a ball. I don't know if it's last-inning nerves or what, but he manages to WALK the first batter. Up next, Number 24 is hoping to capitalize on the situation. Unfortunately for the Jays, the batter grounds out to the second baseman. We still have a runner on first as Number 19 eases up to the plate. Is the two-run difference too much to overcome? We won't know for sure, and we won't find out now. The pitcher loses control of the pitch and Nineteen hits it into deep left, where it takes a Braves bounce to limit the hit to a single. That's two runners on for Number 18. The game-winning run stands at the plate. The Braves have a long way to go with only one out chalked up for their defense. Here's the pitch.... The batter takes a swing and he sends it deep. The crowd roars as the place comes to its feet. This ball is going, going, and it is..... GONE! The Jays manage to pull of a last-minute victory!!
ChrisB leads his team to a first-round win. Not only does he advance to the next round, but he gets a 2008 Tristar Projections Auto'd Grant Desme card (#18/50). According to the card, he was a 74th pick in 2007 for the A's. And, what appears to be an "Oakland A's" night, TasteLikeDirt pulls a 2001 Best of Fan Club 2002 Master Artists Marquee Pitch (Master Curveball) Barry Zito game-used card (#037/150, card number is A-1) (and what a mouthful THAT card is! Yeesh!).
Congratulations on an AMAZING COMEBACK, ChrisB! Good luck in the next round! TasteLikeDirt, you put up a great fight.
Match 5 - Erin has rallied her girls into tying the game at four runs with Voltaire's Brewers. She's got two outs and the bases are empty after the last home run. She calls up Number 28 to see if she can add more runs to the scoreboard here in the top of the third. The pitcher throws and the batter sends it off foul into the stands. The second pitch comes in fast and low for a called strike. The pitcher shakes off the first sign. He takes the next one and throws a slider that the batter just can't get hold of, and she strikes out to end the inning. But, Erin's Orioles managed to tie the game, forcing Voltaire to keep on batting.
Going into the bottom of the third, we're tied at four apiece. If the Orioles can hold off the Brewers, we'll see extra innings. The Brewers will try to use all the batters they can to win the game.
Voltaire, as with the other matches, since you have last bats, you get to choose which order you'd like all of the remaining batters to bat. Remember, we're off on Saturday, so take your time choosing your batting order: 06, 09, 18, 19, 22, 32
Match 6 - There is no smack talk from Kevin as his Marlins come into the final inning, losing 6-3 to Dayf's Rockies. I can't help but make an allusion to fish swimming upstream in the mountains here.... This will either be one incredible showing, or it will be quick and painless. Well, maybe not painless... Kevin sends Number 29 to the plate. The batter knocks the ball in there for a lead-off double to get things started! The pitcher shrugs it off as Number 26 comes to the batter's box. Here's the pitch... Twenty-Six makes it easy for Dayf's infield as he hits the ball straight to the first baseman for an easy ground out. One man on base, One out. Four batters remain in the dugout. Number 12 steps out and approaches the plate. He fidgets with the bat as he waits for the pitch. Will he settle down enough to hit? Holy cow! Not only does he settle down, he sends the ball into the far corner, where it bounces off the wall. The fielder can't match the runner's speed and he reaches third on the play. A run scores, bringing the score to 6-4 with one out. Dayf gets the news of the outcome from the ChrisB-TasteLikeDirt game. He's hoping the same thing doesn't happen to his Rockies. Kevin looks down the list and tells Number 14 to get up there and bring the runner home. The pitcher throws, and when the batter connects with the ball, he sends it high and deep. It runs out of gas, though, and falls into the waiting glove of the center fielder. Two outs, two batters left. If Kevin can tie the game, we'll see extra innings. It all comes down to these last two guys. Number 17 comes to the plate, knowing the future of his team is riding on his at-bat. The pitcher sets, glances at the runner on third, turns to the plate and throws. Seventeen takes one look at the ball and in what can only be described as some bizarre aligning of the planets, he hits a triple to bring the runner in for a score! The Marlins are now within one run of tying the game and the possible game-winner is walking up to the plate. The final batter of the scratchcard, Number 30, takes his place. Will the Rockies end things here and take their team to the next round? Will the Marlins bring in the runner on third to tie? Can the Marlins knock the ball out of the park and overtake the Rockies to win? There's only one way to find out... The pitcher throws. The hometown crowd jumps to their feet. The batter hits the ball! It's a high fly ball. Is it far enough? NO! It falls into the waiting glove of the right fielder for a pop out to end the game!
The Rockies manage to keep their lead and win the game! Congratulations to Dayf and his team for hanging on until the very last batter of the game to grab the victory and move forward in tournament play. Dayf also receives a 2001 Upper Deck Game-used base from SAFECO field that is embedded into an Andruw Jones card. (Really, totally random!) Kevin may be out of the tournament after a great last inning effort, but he gets to keep a 2000 Fleer Autographics Ryan Minor Auto'd card. Both players drew cards from the teams they collect - very cool! Actually, several players have managed to pull cards of teams they collect! Sweet!
Match 1 - Madding advances to round two after winning his match.
Match 4 - Chris(M) advances to round two after winning his match.