Friday, January 11, 2019


The New York Mets shocked the baseball world, or at least the KOD world, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3 straight and advance to play the winner of the Pittsburgh- Los Angeles series. The series featured an absolute CLASSIC in Game 1 as the Mets and Cubs played for TWENTY INNINGS, perhaps the longest game in KOD history - with the Cubs finally winning it. Down 2-0 and back home at Shea Stadium, the momentum in the Series changed on a terrific pitching performance by Tom Terrific himself to put the Mets back in the Series and on the road to victory.
Lots of fun and a great battle of managing wits with Cubs skipper Kurt Schaden

GAME 1 at Wrigley Field CUBS  6 METS  5  20 Innings


It was a game for the ages as the two teams played for 6 hours and 44 minutes in game time and well over an hour in real time! What looked like a laugher for the Cubs turned out to be anything but. Chicago jumped out to a 5-1 lead after 5 innings as they pummeled Mets starter Gary Gentry. Geovany Soto (9) and Aramis Ramirez (7) each hit 2 run HRs to put the Cubs ahead. With Cubs ace Ferguson Jenkins on the mound things looked pretty good for the Cubbies but the Mets spoiled the party as they scored 2 in the 7th and 2 in the 8th to tie the game. Kevin McReynolds, having a great season, singled in two in the 7th and in the 8th a solo HR by Howard Johnson (5) and a RBI grounder by Keith Hernandez tied the score. But the game had only begun!

The teams matched zeroes for the next ELEVEN INNINGS with the Mets escaping bases loaded jams twice. Finally, in the bottom of the 20th, Ryan Theriot's two out single scored Mark DeRosa with the winning run!

The Mets used seven pitchers and the Cubs six. Bill Hands (5-3), ordinarily a starter, pitched a perfect top of the 20th and got the win. After Jenkins left with one out in the 8th, Bill Bonham came on and despite blowing the save in that frame (2) he went on to pitch five shutout innings. Tom Phoebus and Jack Aker then each pitched 2/3 shutout innings before turning the ball over to Rick Reuschel who pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Jenkins walked EIGHT in his 7 1/3 but the relievers walked only four the rest of the way.

For the Mets, Gentry left after 6 and was followed by Ray Sadecki (1 IP), Ron Taylor (2), Tug McGraw (3 perfect innings with 3 Ks), Nolan Ryan (1) and Danny Frisella who pitched a brilliant 5 innings allowing only 1 hit and striking out 8. In the 19th, Jim McAndrew relieved Frisella and after pitching a scoreless 19th gave up the winning run in the 20th to take the loss (3-3)

Both teams exhausted their benches with moves and counter moves. The Mets had 20 hits in the game and left TWENTY FIVE men on base. The Cubs had only 14 hits and 16 LOB. Lenny Dysktra was 3-8 with 2 walks, 2 runs scored and THREE stolen bases. Wally Backman was 3-7 with 2 walks and Darryl Strawberry drew 3 of the 12 walks to Mets batters.  Mookie Wilson entered the game as a pinch hitter in the 7th inning and got up 8 times with 3 hits. The Cubs Mark DeRosa was 0-7 with 4 Ks. Derrek Lee was 1-6 with 3 Ks. No Cubs hitter had more than 2 hits.

As was the case during the regular season, the Mets ran wild against Soto and his defensive replacement Henry Blanco, with four stolen bases in six attempts. The Cubs stole four bases of their own with no CS. Soriano had 2 SBs. Chicago made 3 errors.

GAME 2 at Wrigley Field  CUBS  4 METS 3


The Cubs took a 4-0 lead into the 9th inning before a tiring Milt Pappas gave up three runs before finally closing the door for a complete game win (6-1). The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Derrek Lee it a 2 run HR (13) off Mest starter and loser (3-5) Jerry Koosman. Chicago made it 3-0 in the 7th on an RBI single by Alfonso Soriano and added an insurance run in the 8th when Mark DeRosa hit a solo HR (10) off Mets reliever Ron Herbel.

In the 9th, the Mets suddenly rallied s Dave Magadan hit a 2 run HR (1) and Gary Carter followed with a back to back solo shot (2) to make it 4-3. Pappas stayed in there and retired the side to get the win.  Carter and Magadan each had 2 hits for the Mets.

GAME 3 at Shea Stadium  METS 2 CUBS 0


Facing elimination, Tom Terrific was terrific indeed. The Mets ace pitched a complete game 2 hit shutout, with ZERO walks and THIRTEEEN strikeouts in what may have been his best performance of the season. Seaver got all the support he needed when Kevin McReynolds singled in a run in the 4th. Dave Magadan doubled in a run in the 6th for a big insurance run. The red hot McReynolds was 3-4 and is now batting .294 in the tournament season. Burt Hooton was the hard luck loser for Chicago (5-5) as he pitched a complete game scattering 9 hits.Seaver improved to 4-4 with the win.

GAME 4 at Shea Stadium  METS 6 CUBS 5


Facing elimination for the second day in a row, the Mets jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and held on for the victory to send the series back to Chicago. The New Yorkers jumped all over Cubs starter and loser Fergie Jenkins (3-6) scoring 3 in the second and 3 in the third. Dave Magadan, Howard Johnson and pitcher Jim McAndrew each had RBI doubles in the second. In the third, another double - this one by Strawberry- scored the fourth run and then McReynolds drove in yet another run (36 RBIs) with a single before Howard Johnson drew a bases loaded walk to make it 6-0.

McAndrew was starting after pitching in relief in the marathon 20 inning Game 1 and he began to struggle by the 5th inning,turning the ball over to Nolan Ryan at the start of the frame, leading by 6-2. Ryan gave up a run on a Theriot sac fly and it was 6-3 after 5. In the 8th the Cubs rallied and when Geovanny Soto doubled to score 2 it was suddenly 6-5. Then the cat and mouse games began. With the tying run in scoring position, Manager Schaden put the lefty swinging Hoffpauir up to pinch hit for reliever Jack Aker. Manager Raylesberg countered with lefty relief specialist Rich Folkers - who was on the playoff roster for spots like this. Schaden immediately countered with a RH pinch hitter, Reed Johnson, resulting in an intentional walk so that Ron Taylor, a RHP, could get warmed up and come in to face the next batter - righty hitting Ryan Theriot. The moves worked as Taylor retired Theriot to end the threat with the Mets still ahead 6-5.

Tug McGraw relieved Taylor in the 9th and pitched a hitless inning with one walk and two strikeouts as he picked up his 9th save in as many opportunities.

Dave Magadan was 3-3 with 2 doubles. McReynolds was 2-4 with 2 runs and 2 walks. For the Cubs, CF Jim Edmonds was 3-4 with a triple. McReynolds also stole 2 bases.

Ferguson Jenkins started for the Cubs and took the loss (3-6). He left in the 6th with an injury after giving up 10 hits and 6 runs. Nolan Ryan (1-1) got the win in relief with 3 1/3 strong innings with four strikeouts.

GAME 5 at Wrigley Field  METS 12 CUBS 3


With the series now tied, it is winner take all under the lights at Wrigley Field. The matchup is Gary Gentry against Milt Pappas. And the Mets jump out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning. In the 2d, Gary Carter hit a sac fly to make it 1-0 and then Howard Johnson hit his 6th dinger of the year with a man on to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. In the third, McReynolds came through yet again singling in Backman and then Magadan came through with an RBI single to make it 5-0!

Gary Gentry has been in many ways the Mets most consistent starter in KOD28 and he now had a 5 runs lead to work with but he quickly gave back a good portion of the lead in the bottom of the 3rd. The Cubs scored three on an RBI double by Aramis Ramirez, and RBI singles by Edmonds and Lee.

In the 6th the Mets added an insurance run when McReynolds - yes him again - hit a solo HR -his 10th HR of the year.

The Mets broke things wide open in the 7th, scoring 4 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks as Bill Hands, in relief of Pappas, did not have it today. Magadan walked to force in a run, Mackey Sasser pinch hit for Carter with the bases loaded and came though with an RBI single and Howard Johnson singled in two more. The game turned into a rout when the Mets added a run in the 8th on another RBI single by who else but McReynolds and tagged on one more in the 9th when Gentry excecuted a squeeze bunt to score Sasser. Squeezing in the 8th inning of an 11-3 game appeared to upset Cubs skipper Schaden but the Mets have blown a bunch of big leads this season and were doing their best not to do it this time, in their biggest game of the season.

Gentry pitched a complete game victory (6-1, 3.68) allowing only 5 hits and striking out 7. Pappas (6-2, 3.73) lasted only 3 innings and took the loss.  The Mets outhit the Cubs 12-5.

McReynolds, the MVP of the series, was 4-5 with 2 runs scored, a HR and 3 RBIs as he lifted his BA to a club best .314. Other Mets have been hot as well including Dykstra (.287), Backman (.295) and Magadan (.292). HoJo is batting only .166 but has been coming on in recent weeks. The Cubs best hitter this season was Jim Edmonds who batted .318.

The Cubs go home after a great run in KOD 28. Congratulations to Kurt Schaden on a fine season. The Mets now wait to play the winner of the Pirates-Dodgers series with a shot at advancing to the KOD28 Championship Series.