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Old 11-21-2018, 07:12 PM   #721
Paulie123
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8 September 2053

GM’s notebook - Series 48 and 49

Magpies 9-3 Sacramento
Magpies 2-6 Sacramento
Magpies 9-7 Sacramento
Carson City 1-9 Magpies
Carson City 5-1 Magpies
Carson City 12-9 Magpies

- Hartford’s Brian Coble became the first SCL batter to reach 3,500 hits with a double against Nashville.
- Game one in Sacramento featured Jimmy Jenkins’s major league debut, and he hit a tidy 1-3. Earl Becker’s grand slam in the top of the 9th gave the final scoreline a lopsided look.
- Luis Vélez endured his worst start of the year in the rubber game of the Stingrays series, coughing up 7 runs over 5 innings. But the offense bailed him out, with Tadamichi Hamada having another 2-HR game.
- Robert Terry carried on his scorching form in the opener at home to the Rattlesnakes, throwing 7.1 innings for a solitary run. Bob Ayers hit 2-3 with a HR, double and a walk.
- Lefty reliever David Gaines (2.60 FIP, 3.4 K/BB) is another guy playing exceptionally well right now. He seems to have finally cracked what it takes to be a big league pitcher.
- It was a bad day on the mound for Ronald Williams and the bullpen in the final game versus Carson City. Ray Parker’s grand slam (HR #37 of the year) gave the score some respectability.
- Two poor defeats to round off the week, but we are almost over the line with a magic number of 3.

This week: 3-3
Record: 91-56, 1st place, 13 game lead over Madison, St. Paul
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My dynasties:
Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:13 PM   #722
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15 September 2053

GM’s notebook - Series 50 and 51

Austin 3-4 Magpies
Austin 0-2 Magpies
Austin 1-3 Magpies
Magpies 10-5 St. Paul
Magpies 10-0 St. Paul
Magpies 1-4 St. Paul

- 8 IP for 3 ER in the 4-3 victory over Austin took Luis Vélez to 16-4, 2.06. He has been absolutely brilliant, and it’s easy to forget he’s still only 22. Ken James got his 35th save.
- It was totally fitting for the season that a fantastic performance from a starting pitcher should earn the win that retained our North Division title. Israel Padilla threw 8 scoreless innings to seal the 7th division win in franchise history.
- We only had 3 hits in the final Tycoons game, but that was enough thanks to Robert Terry’s 8 innings of 1-run ball.
- I’m not resting anyone yet. We haven’t quite yet secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs (8 game lead over Carson City with 12 to play), and I want to keep up the momentum and hit the postseason on good form.
- Tadamichi Hamada is just flying right now. In the opening fixture at St. Paul, he hit 4-5 with a triple, 2 doubles and a stolen base. His OPS of .925 is 6th in the SCL (Ray Parker is 2nd at .964 behind only - you’ve guessed it - Madison’s Julián Emery).
- Rob Crawford led the offensive onslaught in the 10-0 whitewash, hitting 5-5 with 2 HR, a double and 4 RBIs. Ricardo Vargas pitched 6 scoreless innings, striking out 11.
- Carson City have wrapped up the West Coast Division. In the Eastern League, all three division races remain wide open and will go down to the wire. The South West division is particularly exciting, with just 4 games separating all 5 teams.

This week: 5-1
Record: 96-57, 1st place, 15 game lead over Madison
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Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:15 PM   #723
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12 September 2053

The Des Moines Telegraph

Marvellous Magpies retain North Division title


Magpies owner’s Chris Rueda and George Sonos last night paid tribute to the club’s players and staff after their 2-0 win against Austin clinched the North Division crown for the second consecutive year. Starter Israel Padilla was dominant against the Tycoons lineup, to bring up 93 wins on the season and the seventh division title in the franchise’s history, and third in the last five seasons under general manager Billy DePodesta. It is only the second time that the Magpies have won back-to-back division pennants. The last time was 20 years ago.

Infielder Ray Parker’s arrival by trade was the spark which sent the team clear of Madison and St. Paul in the chase for the postseason. Just one game ahead of the Brown Bears when Parker was acquired, they have since gone 36-14, with the slugger from Oakland, California hitting .326 with a .970 OPS in a Magpies uniform.

“I’m delighted for everyone associated with the club”, said a champagne-soaked DePodesta after the game. “It’s been a tough season, but our form over the past six or seven weeks has been magnificent, and the players and coaching staff deserve all the plaudits coming their way. But the season isn’t over of course. We’re all looking forward to the division series and hope we can also retain the Cup Final Series trophy for these incredible fans.”
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:18 PM   #724
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12 September 2053

Tony Smashie
@DJTony

Grooooooovy performance from the #Magpies boys! Right on! Let’s hear your shoutouts to the 2053 North Division champs! #yeah #rockon
8:38AM - 12 Sep 2053

Hank Blunt
@isayitlikeitis

Great #Magpies
8:39AM - 12 Sep 2053

Charlie Chatterbox
@natternatter

Brilliant performance from the guys great season rotation has been totally amazing the bullpen too and dont get me started on parker what a legend great signing by depodesta now lets go on and win the cup final series again I know we can do it come on lads I will try and go to one of the division series games the atmosphere will be electric I can’t wait
8:43AM - 12 Sep 2053

Dietmar Uberfan
@magpiesobsessive

@natternatter I’ll be at the division series games too, home and on the road, where will you be sitting? Maybe I can swap with someone and sit next to you? #pleasebemyfriend #myfriendswereherfriends
8:45AM - 12 Sep 2053

Charlie Chatterbox
@natternatter

@magpiesobsessive not sure im definitely going to be honest lots of things I need to do very busy at work right now and of course got my evening classes also thinking about taking up the piano I also troll flat earthers on youtube which takes up a lot of my time its my dads birthday coming up and promised my sister id help organise a surprise party in fact now I think about it I probably wont have time at all to attend any of the games which is a shame but hope you enjoy them buddy we have a great chance of a repeat I reckon come on fellas
8:48AM - 12 Sep 2053
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:47 PM   #725
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21 September 2053

GM’s notebook - Series 52 and 53

Baton Rouge 0-6 Magpies
Baton Rouge 4-8 Magpies
Baton Rouge 5-13 Magpies
Magpies 7-0 Santa Fe
Magpies 5-2 Santa Fe
Magpies 3-0 Santa Fe

- Scotty Reese’s second start was even better than his first: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. He’s allowed just 2 runs, and no homers, in 27.1 big league innings so far.
- Israel Padilla (18-9, 3.19) was brilliant the next day, giving up a single run over 8 innings, in which he fanned 12 batters. Ken James made a pig’s ear of the 9th, and Kepler was forced to call on David Gaines to close it out.
- Star man Ray Parker dined out on the Deltas pitching in the thumping 13-5 win. He hit 4-5, HR, 2 DBL, 4 RBI on yet another great day at the plate for him.
- That win confirms us with home-field advantage for the playoffs.
- Win #100 came in typical style with a terrific SP display on day one in Santa Fe, as Tom Hart pitched a beautiful 3-hit shutout. His final line was 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. Parker smashed his 40th homer.
- First baseman Gonzalo Torralda has had a quiet season, but excelled in the 5-2 win over the Outlaws, hitting 2-3 with a HR, double and 2 walks.
- Luis Vélez’s final regular season start in his first Magpies season was awesome. He finished with 8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. He’ll be on the mound for game one of the division series.
- Rob Crawford won WL player of the week after hitting .464 with 2 home runs.
- Ángel Márquez has recovered from his elbow injury and will play all 3 games of our final series versus Phoenix.
- We’re 16-4 so far this month.

This week: 6-0
Record: 102-57, 1st place, 16 game lead over Madison
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:48 PM   #726
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25 September 2053

GM’s notebook - Series 54

Phoenix 5-11 Magpies
Phoenix 2-1 Magpies
Phoenix 7-4 Magpies

- The team paraded the North Division trophy round the park before the opening game against Phoenix. It was great to then give these loyal fans a win on the day.
- Israel Padilla cemented his spot as my third starting pitcher for the playoffs with 7.1 scoreless innings. He finishes the season with 19 wins, which will be tied for most in the league (current level with Phoenix’s Junji Tada).
- It’s a photo finish in the South East Division. With 1 game remaining, Tallahassee leads both Montgomery and Atlanta by just 1. And Tallahassee hosts Atlanta on the final day.
- Wouldn’t you know it? It finished with Tallahassee, Atlanta and Montgomery all tied on 83-79. I wonder how the league will sort this out.
- Madison have claimed a WL wildcard spot. Baton Rouge and St. Paul will have a one-game decider for the other spot.
- Parker finished the regular season 3rd in the SCL in batting average (.321), tied 2nd in RBIs (117), 2nd in OPS and tied 4th in HRs (40). However, Madison’s Julián Emery narrowly beat Parker in all four categories and is odds-on favourite to win a fifth straight Western League Outstanding Hitter award.
- We led the SCL in total team strikeouts by a huge margin. Our 1,339 was comfortably ahead of 2nd-placed Indianapolis (1,187). Ditto our 2.92 team ERA, which was significantly better than new North East Division champs Augusta’s 3.35.

This week: 1-2
Record: 103-59, 1st place, 16 game lead over Madison
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Part 1 - Oakland A's 2024 and Beyond Dynasty
Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:50 PM   #727
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30 September 2053

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Tallahassee take South East Division title after three-way playoff
Defending champions Magpies favourites to retain SCL trophy after post-all star surge

By Buster Oldknee, 9:21AM, 30 Sep 2053

The Tallahassee Islanders have belatedly claimed the South East Division pennant for 2053 after winning a three-team playoff against Atlanta and Montgomery. The three sides had finished the regular season level at 83-79. After the Islanders and Hurricanes beat the Cruisers in the opening two playoff games, the stage was set for last night’s winner-takes-all showdown. And it was the Islanders who triumphed 9-5 after a tense game in which they dominated Atlanta by 17 hits to 3, but allowed wayward pitching to nearly cost them dear.

Columbus won the Central Division, their fifth title in the last six seasons, while surprise package Augusta won only the fifth North East Division crown in their history.

Over in the Western League, the Magpies dominated proceedings after the all-star break, finishing 9 games clear of the pack at 103-59. With a strong rotation, deep lineup and energetic bullpen, they will take some stopping. Their biggest challengers are likely to be Carson City, who have been consistently good all season and will fancy their chances of beating anyone in a short postseason series. St. Paul beat Baton Rouge 3-2 in a playoff to claim the second wildcard spot, where they will face division rivals Madison. It will be the seventh all-North Division wildcard game in the last eight seasons.

Western League postseason qualifiers:
North Division: Des Moines Magpies (103-59)
West Coast Division: Carson City Rattlesnakes (94-68)
South Division: Austin Tycoons (86-76)
Wildcards: Madison Brown Bears (86-76), St. Paul Rockets (84-78)

Eastern League postseason qualifiers:
North East Division: Augusta Romans (92-70)
Central Division: Columbus Heatseekers (91-71)
South East Division: Tallahassee Islanders (83-79)
Wildcards: Concord Jackals (89-73), Albany Firefoxes (86-76)
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:52 PM   #728
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30 September 2053

onlytheboxscore.com/Magpies
Magpies 2053 pitching staff was one of the best the SCL has ever seen
Posted by R. A. Ballknuckler, @nospinzone

The Magpies dominated the league in pitching this season. As a team, they led the SCL in many pitching metrics, including ERA (2.92), strikeouts (1339), runs allowed (521), home runs allowed (105) and batting average against (.225). And in many of these categories, they didn’t just lead all 30 teams, but beat the next best by a distance. For instance, they allowed 85 runs fewer than second-placed Augusta. That’s more than half a run per game. But just how good were they? Well, historically good.

Let’s start with the rotation. Luis Vélez and Tom Hart were the best one-two punch in the business, combining for 443 innings and posting FIPs of 3.07 and 2.99 respectively. They were ably supported by Israel Padilla (3.39 FIP). When Robert Terry and Ricardo Vargas are your #4 and #5 starters, you know you have a terrific team.

If there was a weakness it was in the bullpen. Closer Ken James (1.39 WHIP) had an uncharacteristically poor season, and has been the subject of offseason trade rumours. Young lefty Jesús Zamora (6.90 FIP) regressed after a fine debut season and lost his roster spot to the much-improved David Gaines. But there were also outstanding performances from the relief corps, led by right handers Walt Davidson (1.61 ERA, 0.86 WHIP) and Ramón González (2.23 ERA). Youngster Scotty Reese was called up for the closing weeks of the season and excelled immediately, posting a 1.35 ERA from 16 games including 3 starts.

The really scary thing for other teams is the depth of young talent that have not yet made the active roster. The likes of Allen Clary, Cristo Gómez, Rubén Soto and Ronald French are pushing hard for spots on the 25-man next year and may mean the Magpies do indeed trade James, reloading the team with more young talent. The question right now, though, is whether this superb group of pitchers can continue their excellence to produce a deep postseason run.
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Old 11-22-2018, 06:53 PM   #729
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1 October 2053

GM’s notebook

- September call-ups 1B Jimmy Jenkins, MR Allen Clary, 2B Shosuke Tanaka and PR Mike Howard have not made the 25-man roster for the division series and have returned to the minor league team. But I do want to find roster spots next season for Jenkins and Clary, who are exciting young talents.
- The playoff rotation will be Luis Vélez, Tom Hart and Israel Padilla. Robert Terry will be the fourth starter and is likely to see action as I like to have fully-fit starters barring exceptional circumstances. Ricardo Vargas will pitch out of the bullpen.
- The lineup will remain as is, with Ray Parker at cleanup and Earl Becker at 5. If Becker is as good this postseason as he was last year, we will score a ton of runs.
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The State Capitals League - The Magpies
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:37 PM   #730
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2 October 2053

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Brown Bears and Jackals advance to division series
Madison beat St. Paul after 9th inning heroics from Ingram

By Tim Curtain, 8:27AM, 2 Oct 2053

The Madison Brown Bears last night won the Western League wildcard game against the St. Paul Rockets and have progressed to the division series, where they will face Carson City. After a strong performance from Rockets’ young superstar Kas Oskamp, the Brown Bears found themselves trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the 9th inning. But three-time Glove Wizard-winning catcher Bernard Ingram delivered a clutch walk-off 2-run home run to send them through.

It was plainer sailing for Concord in the Eastern League wildcard game, as they comfortably triumphed 5-1 over Albany. Shortstop John Slaughter’s 3-run homer in the 5th inning put the Jackals in command, and the Firefoxes failed to trouble them after that. The reward for their victory is a match-up against Central Division champions Columbus.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:39 PM   #731
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3 October 2053

FANGRAPHICS
Live: Bernard Bollard gives live updates from tonight’s opening rubber in the division series between the Magpies and the Tycoons.

Preview: Good evening, ladies and gents. The serious business starts here! The Magpies host the Tycoons in this eagerly-awaited opening game of the division series. The Magpies posted an SCL-best 103 wins and are hot favourites, having beaten the Tycoons 10-2 in head-to-head games during the regular season. But this is the playoffs, and anything can happen! It’s a quality pitching match-up this evening, with Luis Vélez facing former Outstanding Hitter winner Lee Cox.

3rd inning: Both pitchers are absolutely on their game here. The Tycoons have yet to register a hit, while Ernesto Solís has just registered the Magpies’ first.

7th inning: First blood to Austin! Jeffery Kirkendall gets on base with a single, and then Laurent Martin’s double brings him home for the opening run. The way Cox is pitching, it could be enough.

9th inning: What a performance from the Tycoons. The Magpies last failed to score in a game back on 12 August, but Cox and closer Howard Spencer have shut them out today. They win 1-0. It’s been a very low-key start to the division series but the Tycoons won’t be complaining!
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:40 PM   #732
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====================
SCLmagpiesnation.com
====================

Hart on top form as Magpies tie division series

By Maggie Pye | 4 Oct | 31,811 comments

Johannes Kepler turned to Tom Hart to get the win in tonight’s crucial game two at home to Austin, knowing a defeat would leave the Magpies with a mountain to climb to make the league championship series. And the night started poorly for Hart, as doubles from Wilson Román and Laurent Martin gave the Tycoons a 2-0 lead in the top of the 1st frame.

The Magpies needed to get something going, fast. And it was no surprise that the man to deliver it should be 2052 postseason MVP Earl Becker, who smacked a 447ft solo homer in the 2nd to cut the deficit to 2-1. Becker’s blast seem to send confidence surging through the Magpies’ veins. They took the lead in the 4th after Becker drew a bases-loaded walk and Ángel Márquez singled home Rob Crawford, and tacked on further runs in the 5th and 6th innings. Hart, meanwhile, settled down and was in imperious form, eventually finishing with a line of 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K. Márquez’s sac fly in the 8th completed the scoring and secured the 6-2 win for the Magpies.

The teams head to Austin with the series nicely poised at 1-1.
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Old 11-23-2018, 06:41 PM   #733
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6 October 2053

FANGRAPHICS
Live: Game three of the Magpies-Tycoons division series, with updates brought to you by Florentino Paella.

Preview: Welcome, one and all, to game three of the division series. It’s nicely poised at 1-1, so whichever team wins tonight will be in the box seat of this best-of-five matchup. The Magpies appear to have the upper hand on the mound, with Israel Padilla (19-9, 3.08) taking on Austin’s veteran Nathan Hanson (13-16, 3.98).

2nd inning: With men on first and second, Gonzalo Torralda hits a high flyball to deep right field. It initially looks to be staying in the park, but the wind is blowing out and the ball just carries over the outstretched glove of Wilson Román and into the front row of seats. The Magpies have an early 3-0 lead.

4th inning: It’s a messy innings from Padilla, who gives up 4 singles, a stolen base and throws a wild pitch. The Tycoons score 2 runs before he finally escapes the inning, and cut the deficit to 3-2. Game on here!

5th inning: Now we’re all square! José García sprints home from second on Doug Olson’s single. Padilla shows real character to get out of the jam without any further damage, but the Magpies’ early lead has been wiped out and it’s 3-3.

7th inning: The Magpies hadn’t had a baserunner since the 2nd inning, but you can never let up against this impressive lineup and the game seems to have slipped away from the Tycoons. Ernesto Solís’s double off Hanson scores Earl Becker to put the Magpies back in front, and then on the very next pitch, Dave Plummer drives in another run. Tadamichi Hamada drives in 2 more runs with a fiercely-hit double, and the Magpies have a commanding 7-3 advantage.

9th inning: Magpies win! The Tycoons’ run in the 8th proved to be nothing more than a consolation. Ken James needs just 8 pitches to wrap up the save. It finishes 7-4 and the Magpies lead 2-1.
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:32 PM   #734
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7 October 2053

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Terry’s gem sends Magpies back to the league championship series

By Maggie Pye | 7 Oct | 38,442 comments

Magpies manager Johannes Kepler opted to go with fully-rested fourth starter Robert Terry in this afternoon’s game four against Austin, and keep ace Luis Vélez available for the deciding division series game if needed. It proved to be an inspired decision. Austin star man Lee Cox had shut down the Magpies lineup in game one, and was in great form again today. But Terry was even better.

The Magpies opened the scoring in the 4th inning through Ray Parker’s solo home run, his first of the postseason. But the Tycoons struck back in the 6th through an unearned run after Ángel Márquez’s rare fielding error at third base. Both starters left after 8 innings with the score at 1-1. Terry’s final line was a hugely impressive 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K.

Earl Becker led off the top of the 9th with a solo homer to nudge the Magpies back in front, and things quickly unravelled for the Tycoons bullpen from there. The next four Magpies batters also recorded hits, and scored 3 more runs in the process, making it 5-1. Austin attempted to rally in the bottom of the inning and scored a run on Wilson Román’s RBI double, but Kepler put in closer Ken James to see his team home. The Magpies will now face Carson City, who ruthlessly despatched Madison in three straight games, outscoring them 17-2 overall. It promises to be quite a battle.
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:34 PM   #735
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10 October 2053

(Reproduced courtesy of SCL At-Bat, the number one app for all the latest SCL news and scores)

Magpies to face Rattlesnakes in bid to reclaim Western League pennant
WL’s top two seeds set for exciting league championship series

By Buster Oldknee, 11:04PM, 10 Oct 2053

The Western League’s top two teams, Des Moines and Carson City, will meet in the league championship series after both secured comfortable victories in their division series. The Rattlesnakes dismantled wildcard winners Madison in straight games, restricting the Brown Bears to just 2 runs. The Magpies lost their opener against Austin in a low-scoring affair, but won the next 3 to progress.

The Eastern League championship series will be contested by Tallahassee, victors over Augusta, and Columbus, who defeated Concord. Both teams won in deciding fifth games. The Heatseekers overturned a 2-0 deficit to beat the Jackals, while Tallahassee fought back from 2-1 down to win through.

Western League division series:
Carson City 3-0 Madison
Des Moines 3-1 Austin

Eastern League division series:
Tallahassee 3-2 Augusta
Columbus 3-2 Concord
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Part 2 - The Secret Diary of Paulie Beane, Aged 43 3/4
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:34 PM   #736
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Rattlesnakes take series opener on Ch’oe shutout

By Maggie Pye | 11 Oct | 24,111 comments

Having smashed Madison in their division series, Carson City’s players went into tonight’s league championship series opener against the Magpies full of confidence. The Magpies are the league’s top seed, but the Rattlesnakes drew 6-6 against them in head-to-head contests during the regular season and are in red hot form. The Magpies had ace Luis Vélez on the mound and were hoping to make a better start than they had in the division series. It didn’t work out that way.

Carson City gave the ball to their ace starter Hye-min Ch’oe, and he was sensational. He gave up just 4 hits and 2 walks on his way to a brilliant shutout. DH Landon Hall put the Rattlesnakes ahead with a stunning 2-run homer off Vélez in the top of the 1st. The Magpies put runners in scoring position in each of the first 3 innings, but Ch’oe snuffed out the threat each time. They were made to pay for those missed opportunities when the Rattlesnakes tacked on a further run in the 6th and 3 more in the 8th to earn the 6-0 win. The Magpies need their usually dominant lineup to get back to their best if they are to return to the Cup Final Series.
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Old 11-24-2018, 07:36 PM   #737
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Live: Sally Ticketcheck is on hand to bring you live coverage of game two of the eagle championship series between the Magpies and the Rattlesnakes.

Pre-match: The Magpies need the win tonight. They have Tom Hart on the mound, and he’ll face Carson City’s veteran former all-star Cedric Gompers, the crafty lefty. A win for the Rattlesnakes will put them in the box seat.

1st inning: Commeth the hour, commeth the man! Rob Crawford and Ángel Márquez both get base hits, and then star man Ray Parker clears them all off the bases with a monster blast. Gommers made a rare mistake with a changeup that stayed over the middle of the plate, and Parker didn’t miss out! 3-0.

2nd inning: Carson City get on the board in the top of the inning, but the Magpies hit straight back, Tadamichi Hamada’s triple bringing home Gonzalo Torralda to restore the 3-run advantage.

6th inning: Jacob Matthews leads off with a fine triple, and then scores on Gustavo Prieto’s single. It’s 4-2. Hart gets 2 crucial groundouts to prevent the Rattlesnakes cutting the lead further.

8th inning: The tension is high around the ballpark now! Landon Hall’s RBI double makes it 4-3 Magpies. Can they hang on for the crucial win?

9th inning: Magpies win! Ken James secures his most important save of the season so far with a fine 1-2-3 inning. The teams now head to Nevada tied at 1-1.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:14 PM   #738
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Lineup shows its class as Magpies establish 2-1 series lead

By Maggie Pye | 14 Oct | 40,814 comments

The Magpies’ batting lineup has been rather quiet so far this postseason, but they showed their class in tonight’s game to earn an important 9-5 win over the Rattlesnakes.

They needed to be on form, too, as the Rattlesnakes took advantage of a messy 3rd inning from Israel Padilla to take a 3-0 lead. But the Magpies struck back immediately. Ray Parker smoked a lovely 2-run homer over deep center field, before shortstop Bob Ayers, who is having a fine playoff campaign, hit a clutch 2-out single to score 2 more runs and put the Magpies 4-3 in front.

The game looked as good as over in the top of the 7th, as right fielder Pedro Soto smacked another 2-run homer. But Carson City showed that they too could retaliate immediately with 2 runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, and we had a 1-run ballgame again. Rob Crawford, however, finally settled Magpies nerves in the 9th. Rattlesnakes reliever John Smith gave up a single to Soto, then hit Tadamichi Hamada, before Crawford cleared the bases with a 394 footer.
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:16 PM   #739
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Live: Welcome, ladies and gentleman, to Magpies at Rattlesnakes game four, here in The Snakepit. Our man Donny Tangerine is your host tonight for this vital game. Can Carson City square the series? Or will Billy DePodesta’s boys give themselves a commanding 3-1 lead?

Preview: After his wonderful shutout in the series opener, the Rattlesnakes start with Hye-min Ch’oe on short rest. The Magpies unsurprisingly go with an in-form pitcher too, Robert Terry, who was quite brilliant in his start against the Tycoons in the division series.

1st inning: What a start for the Magpies! Rob Crawford gets things going with a 2-run home run, his second in as many games. Ch’oe can’t find his range in these early stages, and the Magpies take full advantage. Earl Becker’s RBI double makes it 3-0, and that becomes 4-0 when Ángel Márquez’s grounder scores Becker.

7th inning: What a pitcher this young man Robert Terry is. Even the home fans are applauding as the Oakland, California native leaves the game after 6.1 scoreless innings. Pedro Soto’s RBI single has put his team 5-0 ahead, and the Rattlesnakes are really staring down the barrel here.

8th inning: A lifeline for Carson City! David Gaines, who has had a rotten postseason to the tune of a 27.00 ERA, gives up 2 walks, a single and a double. Johannes Kepler turns to rookie lefty Scotty Reese to see out the inning, but not before the Rattlesnakes score 3 runs. So it’s 5-3. Game on!

9th inning: Oh my. Scotty Reese is clearly yet another wonderful young pitching talent on the Magpies books. Despite the narrow lead, Kepler decides against using closer Ken James and sticks with Reese for the 9th. He walks one batter but the Rattlesnakes never look like getting a hit off him. It finishes 5-3! The Magpies have one foot in the Cup Final Series. And they should have Luis Vélez and Tom Hart fresh for the next two games!
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:17 PM   #740
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Sensational comeback keeps Rattlesnakes alive

By Maggie Pye | 16 Oct | 27,409 comments

With scheduled starter Luis Vélez still not fully fit, the Magpies tossed the ball to their #5 starter, Ricardo Vargas, for this afternoon’s fifth game in the league championship series against Carson City. And the game started perfectly for the Magpies, as they took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, including a solo HR from Rob Crawford, his third deep shot in consecutive games. The Magpies added a further run off Rattlesnakes starter Cedric Gommers in the top of the 3rd, but an erratic Vargas gave the run back in the bottom of the inning.

At that point, the heavens opened. Both starters were forced from the game by the ensuing two and a half hour delay. When the teams resumed it was a bullpen game - and the Rattlesnakes‘ bullpen was better. The Magpies extended their lead to 5-1 in the 5th, but a poor 6th inning from Ronald Williams, which included 4 walks, allowed Carson City to cut the deficit to 5-3.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the 9th. Staring elimination in the face, the Rattlesnakes loaded the bases with no outs against Magpies closer Ken James, then tied the game at 5-5 on two sacrifice flies. The delayed game went on even longer, into extra innings.

The drama wasn’t over. The Magpies retook the lead in the top of the 10th on Pedro Soto’s RBI single. The Rattlesnakes were seemingly heading out once more, but again pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Jacob Matthews’ soaring 2-run home run off Walt Davidson clinched the game and had The Snakepit crowd on their feet. With the series now 3-2, the Rattlesnakes still have a mountain to climb - two games back in Des Moines against the Magpies’ top two starters - but now they have fresh hope.
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