by Matt Monitto
A pair of March 24 Strat-o-Matic games between Hall of Famer superteams ended the same way: in attempted ninth-inning comebacks that fell short. The Yankee Thunder team won both matches, defeating the HOF “Grays” 7-6 and the HOF “Expos” 9-6.
Greg Maddux starred for Yankee Thunder in the first game, allowing only one run on four hits through his first eight innings of work, while his offense took a 7-1 lead thanks to home runs by George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Dickey. However, the HOF Grays saw their first four batters in the ninth knock Maddux out of the game, as Eddie Mathews struck the first blow with a two-run home run. Dennis Eckersley entered in relief and gave up a bases-loaded double to Jackie Robinson, reducing the deficit to one, but with two on got Mickey Mantle to pop out and struck out Johnny Mize to end the game.
Yankee Thunder continued their streak of strong pitching and explosive offense in the second game, as Randy Johnson struck out 11 over eight innings while Ernie Banks clobbered two home runs. Again, Yankee Thunder took an early lead taking a 5-2 lead into the seventh. However, Rod Carew’s RBI double and Hank Aaron’s two-run home run brought home three runs for the HOF Expos to even the score. But in the bottom of the eighth, Yankee Thunder brought home four runs thanks to a Carlton Fisk two-run triple and Banks’ second home run of the game. The HOF Expos mounted a two-out rally in the top of the ninth, loading the bases and bringing the winning run to the plate, but Eckersley got Eddie Murray to ground out, completing the sweep.
Join us for our next chapter Strat game event on May 5. Details are at this link: http://www.smokyjoewood.com/events