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2/16/2007 5:16 AM
Game 4: Al Ferrara's bases-loaded double in the fourth finally snaps the Riders' scoreless streak, but the Flames get a grand slam from Rusty Staub in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead. Milwaukee scores three in the sixth, but Cleveland answers with another run to make it 7-5. Richie Hebner and Larry Hisle hit doubles in the seventh, making it 7-6. Milwaukee starts the ninth with three straight singles off Jim Britton, tying the score. Larry Hisle greets Dave Giusti with a two-run double, and Josef Clutch drives him home with a single. Ken Johnson and Bill Lee combine to pitch a scoreless ninth and the Riders have a thrilling 10-7 win.
Game 5: Jim Maloney throws six shutout innings in his first start, but tires in the seventh, allowing two walks and a hit to load the bases. Don Pavletich follows with a double, which scores two and brings in Bob Humphreys. Humphreys retires pinch hitter Ty Cline, but Manny Mota sends a hanging curve into the bleachers for a three-run homer. That ties the score at 5. Milwaukee strands two runners in the eighth, and Cleveland's Ken Boswell hits a two-run double in the ninth to give Cleveland a lead. The Riders go meekly in the ninth, losing 7-5. The Riders do hit their first ever home run, an honor which goes to Ray Oyler, who hit a solo shot in the sixth.
Game 6: Larry Hisle's error leads to three unearned runs in the Cleveland third, and the Riders can't make up the difference, getting only seven singles in a 7-3 loss. Tommy John suffers his first loss.
Two series, two lost series. Our next chance is at home against the similary situated (2-4) New York Mammoths.
2/17/2007 6:10 AM
Game 7: Another disastrous outing by reliever Ted Abernathy, who allows four baserunners out of five batters faced, and the Mammoths rally for four runs in the eighth to beat the Riders 4-2. Nate Colbert hits his first homer for the Riders. Don Cardwell's 5.2 shutout innings are wasted.
Game 8: Milwaukee turns the tables on New York, winning Game 2 by the identical 4-2 score of Game 1. Ron Reed throws seven shutout innings and Wayne Comer has a key, pinch hit bases loaded single in the seventh. Ken Johnson pitches the ninth for his first save. Ray Oyler starts at first to give Nate Colbert a day off and has two hits, including a double.
Game 9: The Riders suffer what may prove to be the worst loss of their existence in their ninth game ever.. 22-4 as the Mammoths pound out 25 hits, 10 for extra bases. Mopup man Bill Lee throws 106 pitches and allows 10 runs in 4.1 innings. Jim Maloney looks bad as well and takes a loss in his first decision of the season.
At 3-6, we are last in the division. We head to Minnesota to face the 2-7 Muskies.
2/18/2007 5:41 AM
Game 10: Denny Sharritts' second start is worse than his first, as he allows four runs in 4.2 innings. The Riders make the most of their five hits, entering the ninth inning tied at five, but Ted Abernathy loses his third game, allowing the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Milwaukee threatens in the ninth, putting men at the corners, but AAA third baseman Logan Nadermann lines out to end it.
Game 11: Milwaukee takes a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and then stops hitting. The Muskies eventually tie the game in the sixth, then feast on an increasingly unreliable Rider bullpen for three runs in the eighth to win, 5-2.
Game 12: Wayne Comer's first home run of the year helps the Riders to an early 3-0 lead, but the Muskies score two unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth to tie (courtesy of a Terry Harmon error). Gary Waslewski throws two scoreless innings and the Riders finally score in the 12th on a single by Ted Sizemore. Bill Lee pitches the bottom half and retires the side in order to earn his second save.
So, we've played four series and have won one game in each.
Divisional play starts next at Kansas City. The Sith are 5-7, third place.
2/19/2007 8:01 AM
Game 13: The Riders win their first ever divsional matchupm, defeating Kansas City 3-1 despite being outhit 12-6. Don Cardwell scatters eight hits over five innings to earn his first win, and Bill Lee gets his third save with a scoreless ninth. Richie Hebner has three hits, including a triple.
Game 14: Larry Hisle homers off Tom Burgmeier to lead off the ninth inning, lifting the Riders to a second straight win in Kansas City. Jim Maloney allows only one unearned run, and the bullpen contributes 2.2 scoreless innings as Milwaukee moves into third place with a 2-1 win.
Game 15: Game three is a back-and-forth affair. Milwaukee takes a 5-3 lead in the eighth on Ted Sizemore's single, but Bill Sudakis blasts a two run homer in the bottom half off our old favorite, Ted Abernathy, to tie the score. Jake Gibbs singles to lead off the ninth. With one out, Mike Lum grounds into a fielder's choice. Larry Hisle, who had earlier homered for the second straight game, is walked to bring up Nate Colbert. Colbert singles! scoring Lum. Al Ferrara is walked to load the bases, but Sizemore flies out to end the inning. Still, that run is enough for Bill Lee, who earns his fourth save when he works out of a bases-loaded, one out situation in the bottom half.
Game 16: The Riders fail to complete the sweep. Tommy John pitches poorly, but Milwaukee ties the game at five on a two-run double from Bob Aspromonte in the sixth. It is "Aspro", though, who ultimately costs them the game. With Pete Rose on first in the ninth, Danny Cater hits a fly ball to right field. Aspromonte drops it, then boots it. Rose scores all the way from first to win the game for Kansas City, 6-5.
Milwaukee heads home to host Los Angeles.
2/20/2007 1:50 PM
Game 17: Ron Reed continues his strong start, throwing a complete game at the Hells Angels, as the Riders win their first home divisional contest, 5-1. Catcher Jerry May hits a two-run homer and Richie Hebner has two RBI as well. Big effort for Reed as the bullpen was in poor shape and needed a day of rest.
Game 18: Jim Maloney is finally rewarded for a good performance, picking up his first win with 6.2 four-hit innings. Terry Harmon reaches base four times and Larry Hisle drives home two runs, one on his sixth double of the season. Ted Abernathy allows only one run in his inning and a third of work, dropping his ERA below 10.00 for the first time this season.
Game 19: The offense rolls, as Ted Sizemore and Richie Hebner pace a 14-hit attack with three hits each, and Nate Colbert hits his second home run and drives home four as the Riders take another division series with an 11-9 win over Anaheim. Don Cardwell throws 6.1 scoreless innings. The Hells Angels rally late against the Riders' mopup men, but Duane Josephson and Curt Blefary pop out with the bases loaded in the ninth to end it.
Game 20: The finale is a thriller. Anaheim takes a 2-0 lead in the first. Milwaukee gets one back in the first, then ties it on Larry Hisle's homer in the fourth. Despite an unsuccessful steal attempt in the eigth, Milwaukee takes the lead after two walks are followed by Al Ferrara's single. Bob Humphreys, however, cannot hold the lead. Anaheim gets a two-run double from Andy Kosco in the ninth and takes a 4-3 lead. Nate Colbert's pinch hit single in the bottom half ties the score and puts runners at the corners with no outs. Ted Sizemore is intentionally walked to load the bases, bringing up Wayne Comer. Comer works a walk! and the Riders win, 5-4. It's their first sweep in club history. Ted Abernathy, who got the last two outs in the ninth, picks up his first win.
At 11-9, the Riders would appear to be in the wild card race, as none of the second place teams in the PL have a better record. However, the pitching staff has already started to show some signs of fatigue and most of their productive hitters (Colbert, Hisle, Hebner) will need substantial rest as the season goes on.
We have two interleague series next before completing this round of divisional play. Montreal is up first.
2/21/2007 10:17 PM
Game 21: Milwaukee does not enjoy its trip to Montreal. Ron Reed is shelled, allowing six runs in 2.2 innings. The Loria Lynchers romp to a 7-2 win. AAA 1B Tyron Carrigan has two hits in his debut, and AAA OF Kenneth Jansen hits a triple.
Game 22: AAA starter Denny Sharritts wins his first game, throwing five shutout innings, as the Riders even things up with Montreal, 5-0. Josef Clutch has two doubles and two RBI. Tryon Carrigan has another 2-4 day. The bullpen throws four scoreless innings to finish the Riders' first ever shutout!
Game 23: Kenneth Jansen's two-run single in the seventh breaks a scoreless tie, and the Rider bullpen holds on for a 2-0 win.. a second straight shutout! Jim Maloney gets the win with seven scoreless innings.
Game 24: Mike Lum's two-run single highlights a four-run fifth for Milwaukee, and the bullpen comes through with 3.2 scoreless innings as the Riders sweep Atlanta with a 5-3 decision. Don Cardwell has two hits and scores twice while improving his record to 3-1.
We will resume divisional play with a series at Oakland. The Invaders are running away with the division at the moment, at 17-7 (best record in the PL).
2/23/2007 5:26 AM
Game 25: Tommy John allows consecutive homers to Jim Fregosi and Frank Robinson to lead off the sixth inning, and that costs him victory as the Riders manage only three hits off Denny Lemaster and two Invader relievers. Oakland wins, 2-1.
Game 26: An instant classic in game 2. Oakland takes an early 3-1 lead, but Milwaukee scores two in the sixth to tie it. Nobody even advances past first after that until Josef Clutch doubles in the ninth for Milwaukee, but Clutch is stranded. Bob Humphreys throws a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half and we head to extras. Ted Sizemore triples with one down in the 10th and scores on Richie Hebner's single. Oakland's Chico Salmon hits a pinch hit homer off Humprheys in the bottom half to tie it back up. Milwaukee puts two men on in the 11th but can't score. Ted Sizemore's homer in the 12th, his first of the year, puts Milwaukee up again, but Oakland rallies to tie it again on an RBI single by Joe Foy. In the 14th, Milwaukee puts men at the corners with no outs, but the next three batters strike out, line out to third, and ground out to end the inning. Oakland breaks through in the bottom half, using a walk, HBP and fly ball to put a man on third. Scott Northey singles him home and the Invaders win, 6-5.
Game 27: The Riders were hoping to gain at least a split with Oakland, but the Invaders injected some reality into Milwaukee's world with a 12-4 blowout in game 3. Wayne Comer has four hits for the Riders, and Nate Colbert has three hits, including two homers. The rest of the lineup contributes only two hits, however. Jim Maloney gets blasted and drops to 2-2.
Game 28: Milwaukee manages to salvage a win out of this series, getting 4.1 shutout innings from the bullpen and a key two-run double by Larry Hisle to win a 3-2 squeaker. Ted Abernathy closes for his second save and has his ERA down to 6.46.
So, after the first round of divisional play, Milwaukee is 15-13 and trailing Chicago by two games for the wild card position. We are five games behind Oakland in the division. Are we legitimate playoff contenders? I'm not sure. If the young kids can continue to produce at the plate, we might be able to get by in the games that Hisle/Colbert/Hebner get rest.
Our next test is an interleague matchup with Philadelphia, who is 20-8.
2/23/2007 10:29 PM
Quote: Originally Posted By bagchucker on 2/23/2007

I grow weary of your facile commentary
I will admit to not flexing my literary muscles overly much.
2/23/2007 10:30 PM
There is not really enough narrative tension in this preordained second divison finish to make for a compelling tale.
2/23/2007 11:23 PM
the frog has lost his mind
2/24/2007 12:34 PM
better change the date, too, crazy man
2/24/2007 1:01 PM
I'm not sure how much power you think I have, but the calendar is kind of "set in stone".
2/24/2007 1:11 PM
Game 29: A rookie-laden lineup gets only four hits and strikes out 11 times as the Phillies shut out the Riders, 2-0. A nice performance by Denny Sharritts is wasted.
Game 30: Tommy John and Bill Butler lock horns in an old-fashioned pitcher's duel.. the game is scoreless after eight. John is lifted for a pinch hitter in that inning, however, bringing in Bob Humphreys. An error by CF Kenneth Jansen, a double, and a Texas Leaguer by Norm Miller gives Philly a 2-0 lead. Ron Herbel enters to pitch the ninth for the Phillies. Two walks sandwich a single by Jansen to load the bases with no outs. Bob Aspromonte doubles to tie the score, and Marcus Shady, hitting under .100 for the season, hits a grounder to the right side that finds its way through for a game-winning hit.
Game 31: For the second time in three games, the "B" squad for Milwaukee is shut out by an NL team. This time it's Clay Kirby of the Chicago Spire that does the job, limiting the Riders to four hits. Ron Reed throws a complete game for Milwaukee but loses, 4-0.
Game 32: Milwaukee evens the score with Chicago, getting three hits from Tyron Carrigan and 2.2 scoreless innings from the bullpen in a 3-2 win. Darold Knowles retires Boog Powell for the final out to earn his third save.
We return to PL competition with a visit from the East-leading Baltimore IronBirds (20-12).
2/25/2007 9:14 PM
Game 33: The IronBirds give Pee Wee Musick a nightmarish eighth inning, scoring eight runs, as Baltimore turns a tight game into a blowout, winning 13-7. The Riders get 12 hits but can't match the onslaught of the IronBird offense.
Game 34: Bob Gibson has no trouble handling the Riders' "preferred" lineup, allowing only three hits in eight-plus innings as the IronBirds get a shutout win, 5-0. The Riders draw no walks.
Game 35: Milwaukee drops its third straight, getting swept by the IronBirds. Tommy John allows three runs in the first, the final two on a homer by Ken McMullen, and the Riders never recover, despite getting a two-run shot from Jerry May AND an extra base hit by Marcus Shady. May strikes out with the bases loaded to end the eighth, and the team goes 1-2-3 in the ninth, losing 5-3.
Back to interleague play as we face St. Louis and Cincinnati over the next four games.
2/26/2007 9:19 PM
Game 36: Milwaukee finds its bats and gets back to .500, defeating the Pi, 7-2, at Busch Stadium. Richie Hebner hits his first homer, and Wayne Comer hits his second, a three-run pinch hit job. Ron Reed improves to 3-2 with six solid innings.
Game 37: The Riders punish St. Louis pitching once again, getting 14 hits and 13 runs in an 11-run victory. Tyron Carrigan, Ted Sizemore, and Jerry May each drives in three runs. Jim Maloney has a double in four at bats and improves to 4-2.
Game 38: Milwaukee continues hitting the ball well, getting 13 hits against Cincinnati, but Don Cardwell has a poor outing and the Steamboats win, 8-6. Nate Colbert hits his fifth homer for the Riders, and AAA outfielder Kenneth Jansen hits two doubles.
Game 39: Cincy hits three home runs, including one by starting pitcher Jerry Koosman, and Riders' #1 pick Tommy John falls to 1-4 as the Steamboats double up the Riders, 8-4.
As PL competition returns, we head to Boston to face the 18-21 Stranglers.
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