Welcome back to the Tribecards Scratchoff Tournament, folks! We've come a long way from 12 teams! We're down to the last three teams left, and these three teams will play each other in order to see who moves on to the championship! The playoffs feature a one-inning game, so things could get fast, furious, and frustrating very quickly! We've got Dayf, Joey, and Erin ready to play some scratchoff baseball, so let's get to the action!
Playoff Game 1 - Joey vs Dayf - Joey has a group of players that he likes to use, and has placed them in the path of the scratchcard dust many times during this tournament. Dayf's team (and for the sake of keeping things lively, I'm calling his team the Braves) takes the field. Up first for the Rangers is #5 Ian Kinsler. He's had mixed luck in this tournament, so let's see how he fares here. The pitcher winds up and throws out the first pitch. Kinsler takes a whack at it and sends it bouncing over the wall for a double to start the inning. #10 Michael Young comes up to the plate, batting second here today. The Braves pitcher makes short work of this batter, sending him out almost as quickly as he came into the game with a 1-2-3 strikeout. One away here in the playoff inning and #32 Josh Hamilton wants to keep things that way. The pitcher throws but he's a bit off the mark for a ball. Hamilton gets ready. The pitcher winds up, and throws. The ball is fouled off behind the catcher. The 1-1 count is hit to deep right, but the Braves defense is there to make the grab for out number two. The quick throw back into play keeps the runner on second.
Will the Rangers leave a runner stranded with nothing to show for it? #19 Chris Davis is hoping the dust will blow in his favor. Here's the pitch... Davis hits the ball toward center, but there's not enough card dust to carry it. The Braves retire the side on a routine fly out.
The Braves escape the at-bat, only allowing one runner to get on base.
Dayf gets to select his TEN BATTERS to see if he can take the game in the bottom of the first. Dayf, you've got all 32 spots except for 05, 10, 19, and 32.
Playoff Game 2 - Erin vs Joey - Erin's Orioles have shown that the girls can certainly keep up with the boys in scratchcard action! She's taking on Joey's Rangers, who couldn't quite get things started against Dayf's Braves. Will Erin continue to show these boys who's boss, or will the Rangers shoot down these birds?
Erin looks over the field of players she has, and sends Number 04 into the game to serve in the lead-off position. The pitcher takes the sign, winds up, and tosses down the first pitch. Number Four lets it go by. The umpire calls a strike, and the batter nods. She knows where she wants the pitch, and is apparently willing to wait for it. The next pitch comes right down the middle and the batter swings. She gets a part of it, but it's not enough to do anything but pop the ball into the air. The catcher stands, flips off his mask, and is under the ball for out number one.
Number 19 makes her way into the batter's box. The Rangers make a slight defensive shift and get ready for the throw. Here's the pitch and the batter swings and misses. The pitcher sets. Here's the wind up and the delivery. Strike Two! The pitcher is up in the count, 0-and-2 and he's already helped generate one out. The next pitch comes in low for ball one. The batter is standing her ground, ready to take whatever the pitcher sends her way. The next pitch is inside, and the batter has to back away from it to avoid getting pegged! The count's all evened up as the next pitch gets fouled off. The pitcher tilts his head in a quick little move that suggests, "okay, let's try something else..." He looks to the catcher, but refuses the first sign. He gets a sign he likes and takes his position. He winds up and throws a hard fastball that misses the corner by a few ticks at the most! I don't know how the umpire kept himself from calling that one a strike! But, as it is, the batter is still up and now faces a full count. The pitcher throws and Nineteen takes a swing at it, but barely misses the ball for strike three...
That's two up and two down. Things are not looking good for the Orioles here, folks. On the other hand, things are looking VERY well for the Rangers. Erin gives a little pep talk to Number 23 and sends her in to change the direction of this game. The pitcher throws and Twenty-Three puts the pine to the leather! This one is GONE! A two-out home run to put the Orioles on the board! They are the first to score in the playoff games!
The girls in the dugout go crazy! Things settle down long enough for Number the 12 get her bat and take to home plate. The pitcher shakes his head at himself, but looks pretty unshaken. He wipes his brow, sets, and throws. The batter swings and misses the first pitch. Looking satisfied, the pitcher sets, winds, and throws in his next pitch. The batter fouls it off down the first base line. Two strikes and the batter is way behind with two outs. Here's the next pitch and the batter swings, sending the ball into the right field corner! She rounds first, trucking for second as the fielder throws. The batter slides as the ball reaches the short stop on second.... The throw is.... NOT in time!! She is SAFE at second. It looks like these girls have turned up the heat. Number 31 comes in, hoping to add to the sizzle. Here's the pitch... It's a hit to left field back to the wall and it bounces off. The batter steps at second for a run-scoring stand-up two-bagger!
The Orioles take a 2-0 lead. The Rangers are going to try to turn off the lights at this party. Can they knock Number 11 out of this rhythm? The pitcher nods, sets, and throws a curve ball toward the plate. The batter swings and connects! Unfortunately for her, it's a direct flight to the first baseman for the third out.
The Orioles leave a runner on second, but not before driving in two runs, making life hard for the Rangers as the come into bat in the bottom of the inning.
Joey, you're up with your work cut out for you. Which TEN PLAYERS are you going to send into the game? 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32
Playoff Game 3 - Dayf vs Erin - Dayf's Braves come up to bat to start off the third game of the playoffs against Erin's Orioles. The Orioles are coming into this match after scoring two runs against Joey. The Braves kept the Rangers from scoring anything in Playoff Game 1 and they are hoping to put these Orioles in line.
To start things off, Dayf motions for Number 10 to leave the dugout and take his place at the plate. The Orioles pitcher winds up. She throws and the batter hits the ball into the air above the second baseman (basegirl?) for the first out. Next to the plate is Number 13. This player has not proven to be all that lucky in this tournament so far.
Let's see if he can turn that around here. The pitcher takes the sign, winds up and throws. The batter fouls it off into the crowd on the third base side. That's a souvenir for someone. The catcher tosses out another ball and the pitcher sets. She stares at her mark, and here's the throw. It's high and outside for a ball. The count is 1-and-1 to Number Thirteen. The next pitch falls away from the strike zone for another ball. On the next pitch, the batter knocks the ball on the ground to third. The fielder picks up the ball and gets the batter out before he can reach first.
That's two down with no one on base. The Braves find themselves in the same position the Orioles were in just a moment ago against the Rangers. Will the Braves be able to pull off a couple runs here? Dayf sends in Number 18 to find out. The pitcher adjusts her cap, winds up and throws. The batter comes around, and in a move we haven't seen in while, he lays down a bunt! The defense is caught totally off balance and the batter reaches first! Dayf has a man on! He calls Number 8 up from the depths of the boys on bench next.
The batter fouls off the first pitch. The next pitch misses low and inside for a ball. Neither the pitcher nor the batter seems willing to give in. The next pitch also drifts inside for another ball. Here's the next pitch... A huge swing sends the ball deep to right field. If it stays fair, it'll be a two-run homer! It's drifting... And just squeaks by the foul side of the pole. A long strike, and that shores up the count here in the first inning. The Orioles got a lucky break there, but will their luck run out? The follow-up pitch is high and away, and now the pitcher looks at a full count. The batter takes a couple practice moves and the pitcher sets. The batter sets his bat back. There's the wind up, the throw and the batter brings his bat around. The ball dips ever so slightly and the batter swings above the ball by a hair as the ump calls "STRIKE THREE!"
The Braves leave a runner on base. They leave scoreless as they head for the field.
The Orioles come up to bat in the bottom of the inning. Erin will choose TEN PLAYERS. She can choose from all 32 spots except 8, 10, 13, 18