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Old 06-03-2007, 05:14 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Looking forward to the Big Z's first start!! Against sammy and the cubs!

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Originally Posted by AZTarHeel View Post
"Sammy of course is hitting the cover off the ball. He's got an on-base percentage of something like 1.020. Not sure what he did tonight, but the last I saw he was at 59 home runs, needing two to catch Marris and three to catch the new home run champ, Juan Gonzales, who bashed 63 last season."

OPS of 1.020 I'd assume? Certainly not OBP. If Gonzo had 63, then Sosa would need four to catch him, not three.

Just a couple little miscues.
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:23 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Looking forward to the Big Z's first start!! Against sammy and the cubs!




OPS of 1.020 I'd assume? Certainly not OBP. If Gonzo had 63, then Sosa would need four to catch him, not three.

Just a couple little miscues.
Hey, he's 18 -- what do you expect?

Corrections made ... that's what I get for getting too excited and writing so fast...
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:27 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Andrew Zarzour slept like a baby on the eve of his first Major League start, but he woke up with jolt in the morning, his adrenalin already pumping.

He called his old high school coach after breakfast only to discover that news had long reached the Bunn community. Signs were already up in front of the school: "Good luck Andrew Zarzour" and Wildcat players were making plans to watch the game on TV at their coach's house that night (the coach had one of those satellite packages that allows you to watch every game all season long).

Yes, the first pitch wasn't scheduled to be thrown until 10:05 EST -- on a school night. But no one in Bunn seemed to mind.

Andrew's mom of course was in LA being the faithful mother/groupie. But it didn't look like Andrew's dad was going to be able to make it. Hurricane Floyd had torn through North Carolina a week earlier, dumping upwards of a foot of rain (or more) in and around Franklin County. The Zarzour's farm wasn't devastated or anything, but there were some serious losses and concerns.

The elder Zarzour just had too much on his plate trying to clean up and assess the damage. Andrew was disappointed but he understood — and admired his dad for how hard over the years he had worked to run a good business and treat his workers well.

Zarzour was just glad to get to the ballpark that afternoon. He felt great during warm-ups, his pitches gliding out of his hands with seeming ease to the bullpen catcher. He was hitting all his spots well. His slider had plenty of bite. The few weeks off from game action had done him a world of good, enabling his arm to heal up from the long summer. He had been faithful to keep throwing on the side on prescribed days and kept up his running and conditioning routines.

"Now remember what we agreed on," catcher Mike Piazza said. "We're going to go right at these guys, alright? They haven't seen you before and they're expecting you to be a nervous kid. But from the first pitch on, we mean business.

"I'd like you to throw a couple crazy pitches during warm-ups, maybe even send one or two to the backstop, just to throw off these guys and get your nerves out. But then on your first pitch to Gonzo, we're coming right down the middle with your fastball. Hit 100 mph if you can. Got it?"

Zarzour nodded, excited. He felt great. His arm felt great. He trusted his catcher. If he got knocked around, then he got knocked around. It wasn't from a lack of confidence or preparation.

"Let's do it," he said.

Sure enough, on his fourth warm-up pitch, Zarzour rared back and sent one about three feet over Piazza's head. On purpose. He pretended to look disillusioned about the throw getting away. Piazza feigned worry. A few pitches later, Zarzour bounced one about four feet short of the plate that careened way off to the right. Again on purpose.

"Oh boy, this could be a long night," Piazza said, knowing that Cubs' lead-off man Andrew Gonzalez was within ear shot. Then he winked at Zarzour.

The next pitch would be for real. It was show time from 18-year-old Andrew Zarzour.

Batter up.

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Old 06-04-2007, 01:43 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Andrew Zarzour didn't hear the 50,000-plus people cheering and didn't see anything but Mike Piazza's glove as he got ready to throw his first Major League pitch.

The 18-year-old had developed an ability through the years to focus and shut the world out whenever he got on the mound. No thoughts got into his head except the next pitch and the scenarios that may unfold after that pitch was thrown (i.e. whether he had to cover first, which bases to throw to, which base-runners he had to be concerned with, etc.).

Zarzour wiped his brow, went into his familiar wind-up and gave his first pitch everything he had in him.

Whoosh ... pop! It came right down the pipe. Alex Gonzalez didn't move.

"Striiiiikkke one!" the umpire yelled in a high pitched tone.

Had Zarzour been privy to a radar gun he would have seen his first pitch hit 96 miles per hour. Smokin'! Piazza quickly popped up and threw the ball back to Zarzour as nearly as hard. Everyone was pumped for this one.

Gonzalez got a piece of the next pitch but fouled it off behind him. Zarzour threw his next two pitches out of the strike zone, but Gonzo was disciplined and didn't bite.

It startled Zarzour when Gonzalez finally did make good contact with his 2-2 slider, and the tall pitcher jerked around to see where the ball was going. His shortstop, Edgar Renteria, scooped the ball up calmly, fired to first baseman Eric Karros and beat Gonzalez by three steps.

Andrew Zarzour had recorded his first out as a Major Leaguer. It was just another day at the office for everyone else, but Zarzour's heart was racing...
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:51 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Fans in Dodgers Stadium cheered again when Zarzour lured the Cubs' second hitter of the game, Wilton Veras, into another harmless groundout. This time, second baseman Eric Young handled the routine play. Things were going well.

Of course, that brought Slammin' Sammy to the plate. Sammy Sosa, the Cubs' all-powerful right-fielder, came into town needing one more homer to reach 60 for the season, two more to catch Roger Marris' magical 61 and four more to tie Juan Gonzales for the all-time record.

Andrew Zarzour, an 18-year-old kid seemed like the perfect candidate to give up such an historic long ball — maybe two or three. Just a few months ago, Zarzour had been throwing to 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds, striking fear in their hearts just by his 7-foot-2 size. Now even the giant on the pitcher's mound was in awe of the gun-barrells-for-arms that Sosa brought to the plate.

Piazza and Sosa shared a few words as Sosa dug in. The Cubs' batter had a sly grin on his face, trying to stare down the teen-ager in front of him. Zarzour was truly nervous now and hoped he wouldn't be seeing Sosa do his familiar kiss to the sky routine after a homer. He focused on what his catcher had said. Just bring it full force, and if Sosa hits one 750 feet, then so be it.

Piazza called for the fastball, just a bit inside. Zarzour complied and Sammy missed everything with a hard swing that would have sent the ball to San Francisco had he made contact.

Piazza told Zarzour to come inside again, but this time Sosa checked out of the swing. Ball one.

On the third pitch, Zarzour threw a breaking ball off the other side of the plate. It was a little high, and Sosa poked at it. The ball rolled right to a charging Todd Zeile at third. Zeile delivered a long, perfect throw to first, and Sosa was out. Just like that, inning over.

Wow, a 1-2-3 start for Andrew Zarzour! He trotted off the field, getting plenty of pats on the head and back by teammates.

"Hey, only 24 more like that, and you've got yourself a perfect game," Piazza quipped. "Seriously, keep it up. You look great out there."

Zarzour made sure to thank Piazza for calling a great first inning and gave each of his infielders a high-five for a clean opening frame...

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Old 06-04-2007, 02:06 PM   #66 (permalink)
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If Andrew Zarzour liked his teammates after the top of the first, he loved them following the bottom of the inning.

Second baseman Eric Young singled to lead off, sending a Steve Trachsel pitch sharply to right field. The Cubs' Wilton Veras then booted a ball hit his way by shortstop Edgar Renteria. That put two on for veteran Mike Piazza.

The 30-year-old catcher, knowing he had to be on top of his game today, then smashed a 428-foot home run into the cheap seats in deep centerfield as a response. The Dodgers had staked their young pitcher out to a 3-0 lead. Zarzour let out a howl as he watched the ball fly way over the head of Preston Wilson.

The second inning had a different feel altogether for Zarzour. The nerves were virtually gone. He was just playing baseball just like Little League, just like at Bunn High School, just like in Great Falls. His catcher might as well have been one of his best friends from childhood, Robbie Maine. The ballpark might as well have been the humble "stadium" the Wildcats use for their high school games each spring, with a few rows of metal bleacher seating being the only real place for fans to sit.

Zarzour got the next two Cubs' hitters, Preston Wilson and Mark Grace, out with more ground balls. Catch Kirt Manwaring finally ended the no-hit and perfect game bid with a seeing-eye single that snuck over the head of shortstop Edgar Renteria. But Zarzour was able to work out of the inning by getting Henry Rodriguez to hit into a ground-ball out on the first pitch.

Going into the bottom of the second inning, it was still 3-0 Dodgers. The night owls in Bunn, N.C. were going crazy...
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:14 PM   #67 (permalink)
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The Dodgers kept up their strong batting in the bottom of the second inning. Trenidad Hubbard led off with a single down the first-base line. While he got himself picked off at first, centerfielder Devon White singled to center.

That brought Andrew Zarzour to the plate! During high school, coaches usually used a DH for Zarzour, as they did during his minor league stints. Hitting just wasn't his thing, though he made contact every now and again. But this would be the first real time he'd faced Major League pitching from this end of things.

Zarzour had looked ridiculous during his BP time since getting called up, so much so that teammates ribbed him about being the only person ever to strike out against the BP pitcher. Fortunately, coaches weren't asking him to swing away this time. He was told to take try and lay down a bunt to move White to second.

He looked pretty silly on his first attempt, completely missing the ball and nearly twisting himself into the ground. But after taking a ball, Zarzour managed to make contact on the next pitch. It hopped a few steps toward the third-base line, then died in the dirt. Cubs' catcher Kirt Manwaring only had one play throwing Zarzour out at first. Big Z had recorded his first-ever sac bunt!

Of course, Eric Young lined out on the next at-bat to end the inning, but Zarzour felt good about doing his job.

Going into the third inning, still 3-0 Dodgers...
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Old 06-04-2007, 02:20 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Andrew Zarzour wasn't as fortunate in his second go-around against Sammy Sosa. With one out in the fourth inning, the smooth Cubs swinger stroked a ball to left-center for a base hit. Preston Wilson followed with a single, and Zarzour felt pressure on the base paths for the first time.

Mark Grace took a Zarzour pitch to the gap in right-center, and Sosa headed for home. Raul Mondesi tried to throw him out at the plate but was way too late. Everybody moved up, and the score was now 3-1 Dodgers. Zarzour's first earned run.

But Chicago would squander a golden opportunity to climb back into the game. Zarzour fanned Manwaring (his first Major League "K"!). While he walked Henry Rodriguez to load the bases, he got Mickey Morandini to strike out as well. The "out" pitch was a nasty slider that made Morandini look like an amateur. Zarzour thought at the time that was the best pitch he had thrown in his life. And at a good time as well.

Whew. Zarzour knew he had made mistakes that inning and felt lucky to still be ahead by two runs...

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Old 06-04-2007, 02:31 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Andrew Zarzour surprised even himself. He thought he closed his eyes right before swinging but felt the hard vibration of contact anyway. He opened his eyes up to see a high pop up hanging in the air toward right field. Sammy Sosa settled under it, and Zarzour was out to end the fourth inning.

But he had made contact with a Major League pitch! Nice...

The game seemed to hum along from there. Zarzour gave up a single to Cubs pitcher Steve Trachsel in the top of the fifth, but struck out Alex Gonzalez. His teammates then engineered a beautiful 5-4-3 double play that was sure to be on SportsCenter later in the evening. Trachsel tried to take out Eric Young with a slide, but Young soared over him and delivered a nice strike for the second out at first.

Sammy Sosa led off the sixth inning for the Cubs, but Zarzour struck him out! Whoa Nelly! Preston Wilson and Mark Grace then hit into ground-ball outs, and the score stayed 3-1.

Dodgers manager Davey Johnson kept Zarzour in the game through the top of the seventh, and the youngster worked another 1-2-3 inning. Kirt Manwaring struck out. Henry Rodriguez flied out to right-center, and Mickey Morandini hit into a ground out to second. Wow...

Zarzour knew his night was done when Johnson told back-up catcher Paul LoDuca to step into the on-deck circle in the bottom of the seventh inning. But Zarzour couldn't complain.

His line for the night: 7 innings pitched, five hits allowed, one earned run, one walk, five strikeouts. Of the 80 pitches he threw, 50 were for strikes. His ERA would be 1.29 after the evening. But would his record be 1-0? That would be up to the bullpen...
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:48 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Congrats to Big Z on a helluva first ML start!!
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:08 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Slammin' Sammy Sosa did record his 60th home run of the season against the Dodgers. But it came in the ninth inning, after Andrew Zarzour had departed. The solo shot against Scott Sauerbeck was the only other run the Cubs managed, and the Dodgers hung on for a 4-2 win (getting a solo home run by Eric Young in the seventh inning to pad its lead). Dodgers win! Dodgers win!

So, Zarzour gets a big "W" in his Major League pitching debut! He, of course, was the talk of the town that night. The media throng flocked his way, and he found that more overwhelming than pitching to Sammy Sosa or Preston Wilson. The lights from the cameras were so bright, the questions so probing (or sometimes so dumb "how does it feel?")

"Enjoy your moment. You've earned it. And you never know what may happen next," catcher Mike Piazza told Zarzour as he headed into the media room. Zarzour spent most of his interview time lavishing praise on his catcher for calling such a great game and hitting the big three-run homer early that set the tone. He also played up his teammates who were flawless in the field. Still, the spotlight rested mainly on the 7-foot-2 frame of one Andrew Zarzour.

After the reporters fled to file their stories, Zarzour ambled back to the lounge area where players' friends and families hung out to wait for their loved ones. Zarzour knew his mom would be there and envisioned a nice steak dinner somewhere. Better yet, he had the crazy notion to go to a Waffle House somewhere and eat a huge stack of pancakes. Does LA even have a Waffle House?

As he rounded the corner to get to the lounge, a lump immediately formed in his throat. His proud mom was standing there, but she wasn't alone.

There stood Andrew's dad, his older sister Mary Katherine and his younger brother Timmy. The whole family was together, for the first time in what felt like forever for Andrew.

They immediately formed a hug huddle around Andrew, and all of the emotions that he had worked so hard to keep in check all day came flooding out. "We wouldn't have missed this for the world," a tearful Mr. Zarzour said to his son. "We're so proud of you."

It was a special time for sure, maybe the best part of this special day...
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:09 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Congrats to Big Z on a helluva first ML start!!
Thanks hayesb, I was pretty shocked when i saw the result... I didn't play out the game, just prayed and hit "sim day" ... now I've got to wonder, if LA makes the playoffs, do I keep Big Z on the 25-man roster? LA has no other lefty starters ...
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:44 PM   #73 (permalink)
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Dodgers set playoff roster, rookie left-hander included

Tuesday, Oct. 7, 1999

While Los Angeles wobbled to the finish line, none of that matters now. The playoffs begin later this week, and the Dodgers will be among the four National League contenders.

They'll be the heaviest underdog after finishing with a modest 87-75 record. Their opponent, the Atlanta Braves, will be the heavy favorite after whipping through the NL East at a 103-59 clip.

Game One comes Thursday night in Atlanta. It will be LA's Ramon Martinez (16-6) getting the ball against the Braves' Greg Maddux (17-7). Atlanta won six of the 10 meetings with the Dodgers this season.

"We realize that we're the long shot in this deal," LA manager Davey Johnson said during yesterday's press conference. "But we're here and we're surely going to battle. I think we're playing some pretty good baseball but then again so are the Braves. They've been hot all season."

There were no real surprises as the Dodgers trimmed its roster back down to 25 players, except for maybe the inclusion of 18-year-old rookie pitcher Andrew Zarzour. Johnson picked the 7-foot-2 tower, who won his only Major League start late last month against the Cubs, over veteran Butch Henry (3-2, 6.75 ERA). Zarzour will essentially be an emergency starter behind Martinez, Darren Dreifort, Chan Ho Park and Ismael Valdes, or possibly a situational or mop-up reliever.

Johnson said the decision to include Zarzour came down to match-ups.

"We don't have a single left-handed starter in our bullpen without Andrew," he said. "Plus, I think he could be a wildcard for us in a pinch. We obviously want to give the ball to guys like Dreifort and Martinez as much as possible. But they haven't seen Z yet, and he's got pretty wicked stuff. He showed he could stand in against the pressure when he faced the Cubs."

Eric Karros (31 HRs, 92 RBIs), Mike Piazza (.326, average, 21 HRs, 90 RBIs) and Edgar Renteria (.306, 65 RBIs) form the backbone of LA's offense that will try to challenge stalwart pitchers like Maddux. Atlanta will counter with an array of hard-hitters, including Chipper Jones (.312, 33 HRs, 101 RBIs), Javy Lopez (28 HRs, 85 RBIs), Erubiel Durazo (.301, 31 HRs, 94 RBIs) and Gerald Williams (.294, 21 HRs, 98 RBIs).

If an Atlanta lead gets to Kerry Lightenwood in the late innings, he's pretty much going to close the deal. He has 45 saves on the year, with only three blown opportunities.

"Their whole lineup makes me sweat," Johnson said. "But I think ours is pretty good, too."

In other playoff match-ups:

• Cincinnati Reds (89-73) at Houston Astros (95-67)
• Anaheim Angels (93-69) at New York Yankees (106-56)
• Chicago White Sox (93-69) at Boston Red Sox (100-62)

Here are complete standings from the 1999 season for those interested. The AL East was a barn-burner for sure, whew...

Code:
American League Standings
Eastern Division
Team	         W	L	PCT	GB	 Pyt.Rec	Diff	 	Home	Away	XInn	1Run	M#	Streak	Last10
New York (A)	106	56	.654	-	105-57	1	 	55-26	51-30	7-5	27-23	*	L1	4-6
Boston   	100	62	.617	6.0	98-64	2	 	42-39	58-23	7-3	29-13	-	L1	7-3
Toronto 	82	80	.506	24.0	90-72	-8	 	44-37	38-43	6-7	17-29	-	W1	6-4
Baltimore	81	81	.500	25.0	81-81	0	 	35-46	46-35	8-5	29-19	-	L2	3-7
Tampa Bay	62	100	.383	44.0	65-97	-3	 	22-59	40-41	5-3	13-30	-	L3	4-6

Central Division
Team	         W	L	PCT	GB	 Pyt.Rec	Diff	 	Home	Away	XInn	1Run	M#	Streak	Last10
Chicago (A)  	93	69	.574	-	93-69	0	 	48-33	45-36	9-4	23-24	*	W3	7-3
Cleveland    	78	84	.481	15.0	82-80	-4	 	43-38	35-46	7-11	20-32	-	W2	5-5
Minnesota    	75	87	.463	18.0	77-85	-2	 	39-42	36-45	6-6	25-23	-	L5	2-8
Kansas City  	64	98	.395	29.0	56-106	8	 	30-51	34-47	7-10	25-23	-	W1	3-7
Detroit  	62	100	.383	31.0	59-103	3	 	30-51	32-49	9-9	25-28	-	L3	4-6

Western Division
Team	         W	L	PCT	GB	 Pyt.Rec	Diff	 	Home	Away	XInn	1Run	M#	Streak	Last10
Anaheim	        93	70	.571	-	94-69	-1	 	44-37	49-33	4-7	17-17	*	W2	7-3
Seattle	        92	71	.564	1.0	91-72	1	 	42-40	50-31	7-9	22-19	-	L1	5-5
Texas	        75	87	.463	17.5	68-94	7	 	32-49	43-38	9-7	27-17	-	L1	7-3
Oakland	        72	90	.444	20.5	76-86	-4	 	40-41	32-49	7-12	21-23	-	W2	5-5

National League Standings
Eastern Division
Team	         W	L	PCT	GB	 Pyt.Rec	Diff	 	Home	Away	XInn	1Run	M#	Streak	Last10
Atlanta  	103	59	.636	-	97-65	6	 	50-31	53-28	11-7	30-16	*	L1	7-3
Montreal	87	75	.537	16.0	84-78	3	 	43-38	44-37	9-9	23-15	-	L1	6-4
Philadelphia	81	81	.500	22.0	86-76	-5	 	44-37	37-44	5-7	17-23	-	W1	4-6
Florida   	77	85	.475	26.0	80-82	-3	 	43-38	34-47	10-10	24-27	-	L1	1-9
New York (N)	73	89	.451	30.0	73-89	0	 	38-43	35-46	9-10	21-27	-	L1	4-6

Central Division
Team	         W	L	PCT	GB	 Pyt.Rec	Diff	 	Home	Away	XInn	1Run	M#	Streak	Last10
Houston	        95	67	.586	-	95-67	0	 	44-37	51-30	8-9	26-18	*	W6	8-2
Cincinnati	89	73	.549	6.0	91-71	-2	 	41-40	48-33	12-4	20-18	-	W1	5-5
Chicago (N) 	83	79	.512	12.0	84-78	-1	 	44-37	39-42	10-9	22-27	-	L2	5-5
St. Louis      	82	80	.506	13.0	81-81	1	 	44-37	38-43	5-9	27-23	-	W1	5-5
Milwaukee   	76	86	.469	19.0	73-89	3	 	38-43	38-43	6-11	24-22	-	W2	7-3
Pittsburgh    	65	97	.401	30.0	64-98	1	 	33-48	32-49	8-8	20-26	-	L2	5-5

Western Division
Team	         W	L	PCT	GB	 Pyt.Rec	Diff	 	Home	Away	XInn	1Run	M#	Streak	Last10
Los Angeles 	87	75	.537	-	95-67	-8	 	48-33	39-42	9-9	23-33	*	W1	4-6
Colorado     	83	79	.512	4.0	81-81	2	 	47-34	36-45	9-4	26-23	-	L1	5-5
Arizona  	74	88	.457	13.0	72-90	2	 	37-44	37-44	5-9	20-25	-	W1	4-6
San Diego    	72	90	.444	15.0	72-90	0	 	35-46	37-44	7-7	22-25	-	W2	5-5
San Francisco	69	93	.426	18.0	67-95	2	 	31-50	38-43	4-5	24-21	-	L2	5-5

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Old 06-07-2007, 01:21 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Fantastic dynasty! You have me hooked and I will be following!
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Go White Sox!
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:26 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Fantastic dynasty! You have me hooked and I will be following!

Thanks Goodsox, hopefully his career will be as memorable as his first start ...
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:53 PM   #76 (permalink)
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NLDS all tied 2-2!



Braves' explode in the 11th, force a Game Five

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1999

NLDS Game Scores
Atlanta 6, Los Angeles 5 -- WP: Brian Edmondson
Los Angeles 3, Atlanta 1 -- WP: Darren Dreifort, SV: Scott Radinsky
Los Angeles 6, Atlanta 5 -- WP: Chan Ho Park, SV: Scott Radinsky
Atlanta 4, Los Angeles 1 (11) -- WP: Kerry Ligtenberg, SV: John Rocker (!!)



LOS ANGELES -- Right fielder Curtis Pride hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning, and the Atlanta Braves staved off elimination in Game Four of the National League divisional playoffs against the Dodgers on Monday night, winning 4-1.

The Braves, facing elimination against an upstart LA team, now will get a chance to play the decisive Game Five in front of its home fans on Wednesday. The winner of that one will face either Cincinnati or Houston, which are also locked in a 2-2 series struggle.

Chipper Jones began the Braves' 11th inning rally, singling with one out off reliever Frank Lankford. Javy Lopez struck out but Eurbiel Durazo lured a walk off Lankford to put two men aboard. Thunderstorms had threatened the area all night, and Pride finally brought the lightning, slamming a 417-foot smash into the right-centerfield seats.

Los Angeles went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 11th against Atlanta closer Kerry Lightenberg.

After falling behind in the series 1-0, the Dodgers won the next two games and could have closed out the best of five series at Chavez Ravine. LA scored a run in the second inning and kept Atlanta scoreless until the seventh. The Braves finally tied it after a Keith Lockhart RBI single. The game remained 1-1 until Atlanta's super-charged Pride-filled 11th inning.

"We just let this get away from us," Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza said. "We could be getting ready for the NLCS, but now we'll have to go back to Atlanta and try to swipe a win there."

Dodgers' ace pitcher Ramon Martinez is expected to get the ball against Atlanta's Eric Milton for Game Five


Some Series Notes:
- Andrew Zarzour has not pitched and probably won't unless the Dodgers are ahead or behing by 20 or something in Game Five...

- The Braves trailed 5-4 going into the bottom of the ninth of Game One before pushing two runs across. Curtis Pride struck again, singling and then later scoring the game-winner...

- Erubiel Durazo hit a two-out, solo home run for the Braves in the top of the ninth in game three, but Scott Radinsky struck out the next batter for a Dodgers' victory...

- The New York Yankees beat the Angels in four games, while the ChiSox and Red Sox must play a Game Five over in the American League. Wouldn't that be something to have Zarour and the Dodgers playing the Red Sox or Yanks in the World Series. Whew, goose bumps...
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:13 PM   #77 (permalink)
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My two cents:

START ZARZOUR IN GAME 5!!!

Seriously though, this is a great read, probably my favorite dynasty on the boards right now.

GO DODGERS!
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:15 AM   #78 (permalink)
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Dodgers destroy Braves in Game Five, score 20 runs

Thursday, Oct. 15, 1999

ATLANTA The Dodgers gave the ball to their ace, Ramon Martinez, in Game Five of the NLDS against the Braves.

But Martinez hurt Atlanta more with the bat than with his pitching prowess last night. In a game that will go down as one of the wildest in playoff history, Martinez went 3-for-5 from the plate including a home run and a double in the same inning and finished with five RBIs, helping Los Angeles throttle the Braves 20-6 in the decisive game of the series.

Los Angeles will move on to face Cincinnati in the National League Championship Series, while the Braves are still wondering what mack truck hit them in the third and fourth innings.

After a scoreless first two frames, the Dodgers scored eight runs in the third inning (all with two outs) and six more in the fourth to jump to a 14-0 lead. While the Braves pounced on Martinez in the bottom of the third with three scores, by then it was way too little too late.

Martinez began the Dodgers' offensive explosion in the third with a leadoff double down the right-field line against Eric Milton. The Braves got the next two batters out, but Mike Piazza batted Martinez home with a liner to left.

Then, the rout was on. Todd Zeile singled to shallow left. Trenidad Hubbard walked. Raul Mondesi singled to left to score Piazza and Zeile. Edgar Renteria walked. Steve Finley bounced a ball over the fence in deep left center, a ground-rule double that brought Hubbard and Mondesi home.

That brought Martinez back up to the plate, and the brother of Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez socked a three-run bomb over the left-field wall. Coming into the game, Martinez had a career .145 average with his lone home run coming back in 1991. His season average was .080 before last night.

Amazingly, the Dodgers went on its six-run binge in the fourth inning with two outs. Martinez had a hand in that as well, stroking a two-run single to put LA up 12-0 at the time. He would later come home on an Eric Karros double for a 14-0 lead.

"I don't know what to say," Martinez told reporters after the game. "It was just our night, my night. That homer sure felt sweet."

The big margin allowed the Dodgers to give their 18-year-old pitching prospect from North Carolina, 7-foot-2 Andrew Zarzour, an inning of mop-up duty in a playoff setting. Zarzour came into the game with no outs in the bottom of the eighth and LA up 20-4.

Zarzour lured Tony Graffanino into a ground out. Pinch hitter Ray Holbert singled off the left-hander, then Chipper Jones struck out. After giving up a walk to Javy Lopez, Zarzour surrendered a hard-hit double to deep centerfield to Erubiel Durazo his only really bad pitch of the evening. That shot scored Holbert and Lopez for a 20-6 game.

John Vander wal hit one to the wall in left, but it came up just short of a homer, allowing Zarzour to get out of the inning. John Franco pitched the ninth for the Dodgers, and the Braves' very promising season ended quietly (just like the real-life Braves, eh?)...

_________________________

Zarzour's playoff line doesn't look so good, obviously 1 IP, 2 HA, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 18.00 ERA ... He learned the hard way that walks will come back to bite you, as well as a bad pitch to a good hitter like Durazo. But hey, he's 18 and pitched in a playoff game! And he'll get to be part of the Dodgers' playing in the NLCS against the Reds...

In the American League, the Yanks will play the ChiSox, who beat the Red Sox (rats) in Game Five ...
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:14 AM   #79 (permalink)
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A real life Andrew Zarzour story, sort of, can be found here. I used to cover NC State, and he was one of the inspirations for my character, among other influences...

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Old 06-08-2007, 04:59 PM   #80 (permalink)
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To: "Andrew Zarzour" (AZarzour72@earthlink.net)
From: "Jeff N." (sports@franklintimes.com)
Sent: Saturday, Oct. 25, 1999 12:04 PM
Subject: Interview Request

Hi Andrew, Jeff here from The Franklin Times newspaper. Just wanted to wish you congratulations on a fine first season as a professional ballplayer. I knew you were good, after watching you play the past few years. But never in my wildest dreams of covering sports would I have imagined that an 18-year-old would make the active roster of a Major League team. You did it, and I'm still marveling.

Sorry to see that Los Angeles couldn't get past the Reds in the NLCS. It would have been something to see you on a World Series roster in your rookie season.

I tried to get credentials for your series with the Braves, since we're not that far away from Atlanta here in Louisburg. But they weren't interesting in credentialing a little ol' sports editor from a small town paper in North Carolina. Imagine that. Oh well.

Anyways, now that your first season is completed, I was wondering if you would be willing to sit down with me at some point and reflect on how that first season went. Or if you're going to be playing winter ball, maybe we could just do an interview by phone or something. I just know our local readers crave the latest news on you, and I'd love to be able to provide it for them.

Again, nice job this season. Look forward to hearing from you...

Jeff

PS: I know I've told you this a million times, but I really appreciate how much your mom helped me and helped the paper all those times by calling in scores from Bunn High baseball and basketball games, emailing boxscores, taking pictures for us, etc. She got quite good with the camera, I must admit. Not seeing your mom sitting behind home plate, with scorebook in hand and pencil behind her ear, will be one of the things I'll miss about covering Bunn baseball next season...

____________________

Indeed, the Dodgers magical run ended in the NLCS. They lost to the Reds 4 games to 2 ... Zarzour never saw any mound action ... Cincinnati set the tone by winning Game One 9-0, putting the hurt on Darren Dreifort. LA bounced back with an 11-inning win over the Reds in Game Two. Cincy turned around and won Game Three in 13 innings, 3-2. Ouch.

The Dodgers tied the series 2-2 but got shut out the next two games. Brett Tomko threw a three-hitter in Game Five. David Weathers held the Dodgers to four hits in 7.2 innings in Game Six. Sigh ... So close...

Cincy went on to win the World Series, 4-3, over the Chicago White Sox, who knocked the Yanks out in the ALCS.

Seattle's Jamie Moyer and Houston's Jose Lima won the Cy Young for 1999 ... MVPs went to Juan Gonzalez (Texas) and Sammy Sosa (Chicago). Imagine that: Andrew Zarzour struck out the NL's MVP. Nice ... Sosa finished with 62 HRs, 151 RBIs and a .311 ERA ... Boston's Paul Konerko and St. Louis' Geoff Blum were Rookies of the Year ...

Anything else folks want to know about Big Z, the 1999 season, etc.? Feel free to ask ... Not sure yet what Zarzour is doing this off-season ...

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