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Old 10-20-2019, 06:06 PM   #581
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WPK mourns tragic death of former player Moises Castro

July 29, 1974- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

News today out of Santo Domingo has shocked the WPK world. Moises Castro, the 39-year old former catcher for the Boston Berserkers, Brooklyn Aces, and El Paso Dawgs, has been shot to death in a dispute over property rights. Castro, who was strictly a back-up catcher during his five year WPK career, was extremely well liked among his teammates. He was known for his strong work ethic, keen intelligence, and humility. Many considered him a candidate for a coaching position someday.
Details of his death are still sketchy and the Dominican authorities are currently engaged in an intense investigation, but word is that Castro, who retired from baseball in 1970 and returned home to Santo Domingo shortly thereafter, was touring the small avocado farm he recently purchased and an angry neighbor, who believed that Mr. Castro's employees had encroached upon his property, shot him to death.
Everyone who knew Castro seem convinced that he would have done everything in his power to reach peace with his neighbor and that he in no way instigated or escalated the conflict.

Words of condolence are coming from all over the WPK universe and the El Paso Dawgs, the team he played the most games for and the team he last wore the uniform of, will be wearing black armbands with his initials for the rest of the 1974 season. Former El Paso player and current single A third baseman Orlando Hernandez, who played with Castro during both of his stints with El Paso and is a fellow Santo Domingo native, said, "Moises was like a brother to me. He was one of the most real people I ever met, never said a bad word about anyone, never put himself above anyone else. I can't believe he's gone so soon. I can't believe how senseless this is."

Moises Castro's murder is the first reported death of a former WPK player and the premature and violent nature of it has rocked the league to its foundations.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:11 PM   #582
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Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
July 29, 1974- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.



News today out of Santo Domingo has shocked the WPK world. Moises Castro, the 39-year old former catcher for the Boston Berserkers, Brooklyn Aces, and El Paso Dawgs, has been shot to death in a dispute over property rights. Castro, who was strictly a back-up catcher during his five year WPK career, was extremely well liked among his teammates. He was known for his strong work ethic, keen intelligence, and humility. Many considered him a candidate for a coaching position someday.

Details of his death are still sketchy and the Dominican authorities are currently engaged in an intense investigation, but word is that Castro, who retired from baseball in 1970 and returned home to Santo Domingo shortly thereafter, was touring the small avocado farm he recently purchased and an angry neighbor, who believed that Mr. Castro's employees had encroached upon his property, shot him to death.

Everyone who knew Castro seem convinced that he would have done everything in his power to reach peace with his neighbor and that he in no way instigated or escalated the conflict.



Words of condolence are coming from all over the WPK universe and the El Paso Dawgs, the team he played the most games for and the team he last wore the uniform of, will be wearing black armbands with his initials for the rest of the 1974 season. Former El Paso player and current single A third baseman Orlando Hernandez, who played with Castro during both of his stints with El Paso and is a fellow Santo Domingo native, said, "Moises was like a brother to me. He was one of the most real people I ever met, never said a bad word about anyone, never put himself above anyone else. I can't believe he's gone so soon. I can't believe how senseless this is."



Moises Castro's murder is the first reported death of a former WPK player and the premature and violent nature of it has rocked the league to its foundations.

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Wow this is hardcore!

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Old 10-20-2019, 06:23 PM   #583
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Brewers acquire left-handed starting pitcher Hector Hard!

In just the first step in a bit of trading flurry by the Denver Brewers, the team traded away AAA starting pitcher Steve LaCoste, 27-year old catcher Jeff Darden, and 21-year old catcher Jonathan Bennett to the Phoenix Speed Devils for 30-year old left-handed starting pitcher Hector Hard and 19-year old catcher Tommy Hollars.
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In a clear sign that the team is thinking ahead to the possibility of a post-season berth, the acquisition of the first year pitcher who was signed by Phoenix as a free agent out of Cuba this past off-season gives the Brewers another quality left-handed starter and insurance in case the often injured Matt Helm is unavailable at any point the rest of this season. Hard is considered a great clubhouse presence, has great control, and is a ground-ball pitcher. Although he is a sidearmer, he is not considered particularly vulnerable to right handed hitters. He does have below average stamina and might tax the bullpen a bit in his starts, but he gives the team great flexibility in the post-season, should they make it.
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Steve LaCoste is a great team leader (a captain, in fact) with decent skills who deserved a shot at the big leagues before this but was blocked in the Brewers organization. He may now get the chance he has been itching for. (Rumors are that he was unhappy to the point of anger pitching for AAA Chester.) Jeff Darden is a former Brewers back-up catcher who has been bypassed by younger players and had no future in Brewers purple.
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Tommy Hollars is a young catcher with some potential to eventually have a big league role, though probably not a large one.
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Old 10-20-2019, 06:37 PM   #584
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Brewers deal away Eric Johnson for prospects

(Editor note: Okay, that should read prospect, not prospects. Then again, I guess Flynn sort of qualifies as prospects.)

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Having earlier in the day acquired starting pitcher Hector Hard the Brewers needed to make space for him on the big league roster and this led to them trading away Eric Johnson, who has been pitching in long relief out of the Brewers 'pen this year but is normally a starting pitcher. The 27-year old control artist had done a decent job in limited opportunities for the Brewers the past three seasons but it was felt that he was the most expendable member of the staff and deserves a shot at earning a rotation spot elsewhere. (He was also out of options.) Along with Johnson the Brewers also shipped out 26-year old middle infielder Ian Dube, who had recently been on the Brewers roster and is a fine ballplayer but simply the victim of too much competition in the Brewers organization.
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Johnson and Dube were sent to the Pittsburgh Roadrunners of the SJL in exchange for 23-year old two-way player Ben Flynn. Flynn, in addition to being a pretty solid first base prospect with good power potential also profiles as a potentially dominant reliever. He also helps to fill the leadership gap at AAA Chester created by the trade of captain Steve LaCoste. Flynn, a Longmont, Colorado native, has long been held in high regard by the Brewers scouting staff and the front office is glad to be able to bring him into the fold.
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(EDIT: I just noticed that the game had reverted to OSA ratings rather than Brewers scouts ratings. But in fact, the Brewers scouts mostly like Flynn even more than the OSA, especially as a hitter. The Brewers head scout doesn't see his pitching stuff rating as having quite as much potential but actually thinks his control will be better than the OSA believes. So basically it's a wash.)

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Old 10-20-2019, 06:44 PM   #585
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkn20 View Post
Wow this is hardcore!

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Yeah, I'm not sure if everyone who follows along here is aware of my former player deaths process because although I have described it a bit in the past here this is the first time it has actually been used. Or rather I should say the first time it has been used and a player death was actually identified.

I would never go so far as to kill off current players but I think having former players die eventually adds to the immersion of the league and also provides opportunities to look back on WPK careers that might otherwise have passed by unnoticed (or even to celebrate former great players.)
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Old 10-20-2019, 07:04 PM   #586
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Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
Yeah, I'm not sure if everyone who follows along here is aware of my former player deaths process because although I have described it a bit in the past here this is the first time it has actually been used. Or rather I should say the first time it has been used and a player death was actually identified.



I would never go so far as to kill off current players but I think having former players die eventually adds to the immersion of the league and also provides opportunities to look back on WPK careers that might otherwise have passed by unnoticed (or even to celebrate former great players.)
Love it!

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Old 10-20-2019, 08:02 PM   #587
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Player Death

Bird,

I wondered when the first retired player death would occur but did not think it would happen so soon but thinking about it there is no rhyme or reason that there should be a special delay. Death waits for no one. When it's your time it's your time.

I never did tell you, guttsy move in doing this. KUDOS! There are some on this board that are really against this idea for a myriad of reasons. I say it is your dynasty not a forum up for debate (although I am sure you being the person you are would listen to all sides) and can do as you wish.

Keep up the great work my friend!
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:18 PM   #588
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaaemon View Post
Bird,

I wondered when the first retired player death would occur but did not think it would happen so soon but thinking about it there is no rhyme or reason that there should be a special delay. Death waits for no one. When it's your time it's your time.

I never did tell you, guttsy move in doing this. KUDOS! There are some on this board that are really against this idea for a myriad of reasons. I say it is your dynasty not a forum up for debate (although I am sure you being the person you are would listen to all sides) and can do as you wish.

Keep up the great work my friend!
Well, I will reveal that this is the only former player death that will occur during this (WPK) calendar year. Certainly as more former players start to get up there in age there will be more deaths every year. And the deaths will be much less likely to be so dramatic and violent. I used demographic information I found online to create the causes of death for various age ranges and the simple reality is that when younger men die the causes are more likely to be something dramatic- suicide, accident, homicide- than when older men die.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:30 PM   #589
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Originally Posted by BirdWatcher View Post
Well, I will reveal that this is the only former player death that will occur during this (WPK) calendar year. Certainly as more former players start to get up there in age there will be more deaths every year. And the deaths will be much less likely to be so dramatic and violent. I used demographic information I found online to create the causes of death for various age ranges and the simple reality is that when younger men die the causes are more likely to be something dramatic- suicide, accident, homicide- than when older men die.
It was really cool! Keep up!

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Old 10-21-2019, 11:56 PM   #590
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Charlotte's Lienhart Brown out for rest of 1974 season

There are few starting pitchers in the WPK with knuckle-baller Lienhart Brown's sheer talent and baseball smarts. But also few as plagued with injury proneness either.

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The 24-year old native of Germany has once again suffered a season-ending injury after having missed most of the 1973 season due to elbow surgery. The surgery was to remove bone chips but now, in his 24th start of the 1974 season he is gone with a fracture in that same fragile elbow.
After having been the overall first pick of the 1969 draft, Brown looked like he was well on his way to super-stardom and possibly a Hall of Fame career.

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But there are already indications that his prodigious talent might never be fully realized and fears that this second serious elbow injury in two seasons might presage the beginning of the end of his career.

While the Sting have a talented and still fairly deep rotation the loss of their ace can't help but..well, sting a bit as they try to keep pace with the first place Brewers.
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Old 10-23-2019, 01:25 PM   #591
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Some Brewers musings approaching the trading deadline

I apologize in advance if this gets a bit wordy (I mean, you are probably used to that by now, right?) But hopefully at least a few of you who follow the WPK pretty closely will find this interesting.

On the eve of the 1974 trading deadline I found myself thinking about how things have gone so far this year, what I might be able to project for the future, and what changes might be coming before too long.

First, I was looking back at the 1973 year-end wrap-up I posted a few months ago. In it I broke down player performances into 5 categories:
1- The Predictably Excellent
2- The Surprise Performers
3- The Disappointments
4- The Role Players/The Modestly Valuable
5- The Up-and-Coming.

I thought it might be interesting to quickly look at the players who fell into those categories in 1973 and see how they might fit into this structure for 1974.
Among the predictably excellent, of course, were Cheol-han Lee, Ryan Rodgers, and Bobby Erbakan. In 1974, more of the same from these three. In fact, Erbakan is probably having his career year and Rodgers, at age 35, is having one of his best season since he was in his mid-20's. Lee, in a year that is a bit more offensive minded in general, remains one of the best pitchers in the MGL (and the WPK, for that matter.)
Andrew Kennedy was in this category for 1973 and he's having another fine season in 1974 but more good than excellent. He remains one of the better contact hitters in the league but overall his WAR will likely be down a bit from last season.
Harry Lyerly was the last one in this category in 1973. This season has been a test for the flame-throwing righty starter. He got off to a horrible start and while he has been better for the past few months, overall his numbers are pretty pedestrian (though he continues to lead the league in K/9.)

The Surprise performers of 1973 included two players who are no longer Brewers: Pat Rondeau and Greg Tietz. Rondeau left the team in free agency and is having a solid season with his new club. Tietz spent much of the season at AAA Chester, unhappy and not performing well. He was recently traded and hopefully will be refreshed by a change of scenery.
Other surprise performers of 1973: Jonathan Koch, Josh Schaeffer, and Joe Willemse, have more of less continued to play well, though Koch has missed quite a bit of the season on the IL. Schaeffer has been so solid that he has a chance to move up to the predictably excellent category on this list. Willemse is becoming a solid role player.
Three relievers also made this category last season: Jaden Francis, Sam Pruiett, and Jordan Stephens.
Francis is having a great 1974 and may be heading towards predictably excellent status. Sam Pruiett started strong but has been a bit less effective of late while Jordan Stephens has gone the opposite direction. And his hitting this year has been better than ever.

The disappointments of 1973 included shortstop Chad Brown, starting pitchers Steve Green and Erik Sloan, catcher Kevin Curtis, third baseman Mike Foster, and two relievers, Jose de los Santos and Liann-wei Hua.
Brown got off to a great start in 1973 and then tailed off. So far 1974 has been the opposite: horrible start, much better of late. Green and Sloan have both been fairly inconsistent in 1974 but I wouldn't consider them disappointments at this point. In fact, for Sloan it probably can be considered a bounce-back year thus far. Jose de los Santos is no longer a Brewer, having been allowed to leave in free agency in the off-season. Liann-wei Hua is having a mostly solid year in 1974.
Kevin Curtis still has a role on the team as a good defensive back-up catcher and team leader. But he is no longer the starter and likely won't win back that role.
Then there is Mike Foster. Disappointment in 1973, but at this point surprise performer of 1974. It's been a break-out season for Foster not only at the plate, but he has also gone from being a bit of a defensive liability at third to a quite solid defender this season.

The 1973 role-players/modestly valuable list included starting pitchers Matt Helm, Eric Johnson, and Justin Peacock, reliever Justin Bismark, back-up catcher Spencer Wilson, utility infielder Oscar Vargas, and outfielder John Flores.
Wilson was traded in the off-season, Bismark and Johnson were traded this season. Peacock has been inconsistent but mostly still fits in this category.
Matt Helm though has thus far been a surprise performer in 1974. And though he doesn't get much playing time, the same would probably have to be said of John Flores, who provides great value as a power-hitting and good fielding 5th outfielder.
Oscar Vargas is Oscar Vargas. The most consistently modestly valuable guy on the team for years.

And finally, there were the up-and-coming. This included Joe McPhillips and Zacarias Martell. Both were All-Stars this year and McPhillips is earning a reputation as one of the best in the game. He has up and come and likely now moves to the predictably excellent category. Martell is having a fantastic rookie season, better than could have been predicted. It remains to be seen whether he can keep it up, but he has fully earned the starting catcher job.
Last year this category also included lefty reliever Eric Marino. Marino struggled early this season and was demoted to AAA Chester for some seasoning. He still profiles a premier reliever in the WPK and will likely be back on the big league squad soon.


So what does this all seem to indicate for the future?

Let's quickly break it down by position:
Starting pitching: Cheol-han Lee is 33 years old but still an ace and under contract through 1976. (He has option for 1975 season, team has option for 1976.) He's not going anywhere for now. Erik Sloan is signed through next season. Steve Green has signed a contract through the 1979 season. He is still young and talented if a bit under-achieving. But he should remain a useful mid-rotation starter. Harry Lyerly has a few more years of arbitration eligibility. We will hope for a bounce-back soon. The Brewers have control of Matt Helm for just 1 more season. He is the captain and having a good 1974 but also fragile. The future is unclear. The recently acquired Hector Hard is around for at least one more season. Possibly more.
There isn't a lot of talent coming up at this position. Maybe Justin Peacock takes a step forward and becomes more than an emergency starter/long reliever. Probably not, though. There are a few minor leaguers who might have a future at the back end of the rotation. But if Lee starts showing his age and Sloan leaves at the end of 1975 as a free agent and Lyerly continues to slide, the rotation could be in shambles.
This is the most likely area where the Brewers might make a big free agent acquisition in the next few seasons.

The bullpen: An area of relative strength for the Brewers. Most of the members of the current 'pen are young and performing well. (Haven't mentioned him here, but young lefty Jeremy Walker, having been called up earlier in the summer, is finally looking like he belongs in the bigs.) And there are a number of really high quality arms waiting in the wings: Marino, Mike Lizarraga, the recently acquired Ben Flynn, Adrian Darby, and honestly a few others whose names I can't recall right now. If anything, we will be trading more of these talented bullpen arms to strengthen minor league depth at other positions.

Catchers: Martell is the starter. He has earned that. Curtis is a leader and a fan favorite. And a 3-time gold glover. But we also have 25-year old Kirk Patnode waiting down at AAA Chester. And he looks like he would instantly be the best defensive catcher in the game if called up. He doesn't hit enough to start, but as a back-up to Martell, could be very strong. Are Curtis' days numbered in Brewers purple? Time will tell. (Several other strong prospects at all levels of the system. No superstars in the making, but this position is pretty well covered.)

First basemen: Throughout most of Brewers history this has been a weak position, which is why Bobby Erbakan, a natural outfielder (and potentially great second-baseman) was turned into a first baseman instead. And now he's considered the best in the biz. And he's young and signed through 1979. So now, of course, the minor system is full of talented first basemen playing great. Even after trading a few quality first basemen this season, we are stacked at this position.

Second basemen: Jonathan Koch holds the job for now, when he returns from the IL. But plenty of competition should he fail. Particularly from glove first candidates, who might not hit as well as Koch. But also the recently promoted David Bennett, who is showing signs of being able to hit at the WPK level, particularly for power.

Third basemen: Mike Foster has solidified his hold on this position with his terrific 1974 numbers, both offensively and defensively. He's still pretty young and under team control for several more years. But like Koch, I don't anticipate Foster being the kind of player who will give great quality past his prime. The good news is, some of the best talent in the minors is at this position, including the last two top draft picks for the team- Jose Figueroa and Andy Oleson. Oleson in particular is tearing up the minors at the plate this season. But ultimately Figueroa, who is currently getting experience playing shortstop as he and Oleson are on the same team, profiles as the better all-around player. And then there is RodRod (Rodrigo Rodriguez), currently on the Brewers bench, who is a premium hitter in the mold of Andrew Kennedy, but with a little more pop.

Shortstop: Chad Brown started his WPK career at a very young age, so even though he is in some ways a grizzled veteran, he's not even 28 years old yet, and he's signed through 1979. Can he hold onto his starting job? If he keeps playing like he has for the past month or so, maybe. Not a great deal of competition coming up through the minors, though AAA shortstop Kevin Flieder is a tremendous fielder.

Left field: Andrew Kennedy is a great contact hitter and decent fielder. He's still relatively young and signed through 1978. If he continues on the path he's on we are pretty good here. Plus we have the great contributions of John Flores, who could probably start on another team. And our top hitting prospect, Jorge Gonzalez, is having a good season a AA Nashville and isn't far away from being WPK ready.

Center field: Joe McPhillips. Young, talented, a sparkplug, a star. If we can keep him healthy he owns this position for many, many years to come. The rock upon which we build our future.

Right field: Ryan Rodgers, at age 35, shows no signs of slowing down. And with McPhillips playing almost every day in centerfield, Rodgers is no longer asked to field a position that he earned gold gloves at in his younger days but which is a bit of a reach, in terms of range, at his age now. As a right fielder, he remains premium. Then there is the much younger Josh Schaeffer. He isn't the superstar Rodgers is and likely never will be. But in spite of a reputation for laziness, he's been nothing but valuable since joining the big league club. He's a fine fielder with a strong arm. He's a good contact hitter with a bit of pop. He's one of the best OBP guys on the club and is pretty good on the base-paths once he gets there, including the ability to pick up a handful of steals a year, at least. Will his poor work habits catch up with him eventually? Perhaps. But for now he's a keeper.

Okay, enough (too much) for now.
Thanks for your patience and for following along. Back to the action soon!

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Old 10-23-2019, 11:09 PM   #592
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Moises Castro had Brewers connection

In researching something else, I just realized that the recently deceased Moises Castro was briefly a member of the Denver Brewers organization. We signed him to a minor league contract prior to the 1966 season and his lone minor league All-Star game appearance came as a member of our AAA affiliate, the Chester Big Stick. He was then part of a multi-player trade we made with Brooklyn on July 25th of 1966 which also sent the Aces our veteran closer, Ron Poblano, and veteran outfielder Justin Schumann. In return the Brewers got a few players who briefly wore Brewers purple, one of whom, Billy Tanner, was a pretty significant member of the bullpen in 1967.
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Somehow I missed this Brewer connection earlier and wanted to pass this information along now.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:51 PM   #593
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July 29-30, 1974, at Phoenix

The Brewers conclude the last road trip of July with 3 games in 2 days at Phoenix against the slugging Speed Devils.

In the opener of the Monday double header the Brewers plated 6 runs in the 3rd inning and no other runs in the game as they lost to Phoenix 8-6. Really rough start for Justin Peacock who lasts just 3 2/3rds, giving up 6 runs on 10 hits, including 2 HR's, back-to-back jacks by Ju-ao Ju (21) and Devin Schwisow (21) in the 3rd inning. It was pay back of sorts for Phoenix as the Brewers had also hit back-to-back bombs in the 3rd- by Mike Foster, his 9th, and David Bennett, his 2nd. They actually hit 3 in the inning as Bobby Erbakan had earlier hit his 11th of 1974. Sam Pruiett continued his recent struggles in the 'pen, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in his 2 1/3rd innings pitched.
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The Brewers drop both ends of the twin billing, as they lose game 2 by a score of 3-1. Harry Lyerly wasn't great but with a little run support he would have pitched well enough for a victory. He allowed 3 runs on 8 hits in 5 2/3rds innings pitched. Most tellingly he walked 4 while striking out nary a batter. With the loss Harry drops to 6-8 with a 4.27 ERA on the season. Rodrigo (RodRod) Rodriguez (.208/.269/.333), who seems to finally be finding himself at the plate at the big league level, was 2 for 4 in the loss.
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In the final game of the series, the Brewers found a way to avoid the sweep as they held on for an 8-5 win in spite of a bottom of the 9th rally by the home club. It was a pitching match-up of two players who were just traded for each other days ago as Hector Hard was on the mound for Denver against his old teammates and former Brewer farmhand Steve LaCoste took the mound as the starter- the first big league start of his career, for the Speed Devils. Hard gave up just 1 run on 6 hits in his 6 innings pitched and earned the win to go 1-0 for his new team and 12-7 on the season with a 3.60 ERA. Joe McPhillips (.289/.373/.512) was the star for the Brewers in this one, going 3 for 5, hitting his team-leading 18th HR, driving in 4 runs, and stealing his 14th base of the season. The Brewers, who earlier in the season were near the top of the league in batting HR's but had been heading downward in that category for some time now. This series reversed that trend. In addition to McPhillips boomer, David Bennett (.290/.303/.581) hit his 3rd HR of the season as a Brewer, his 2nd in 2 games. (He had hit 9 at AAA Chester.) And RodRod (.276/.323/.483) hit his 1st big league HR. Rodriguez was 3 for 5 in the game and drove in 2 runs.
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In spite of the series loss, the Brewers still maintain a 4 game lead over Charlotte and have a 7 1/2 game edge on Brooklyn and 8 1/2 on L.A. And they are 4th in HR's again in the MGL.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:52 PM   #594
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July 31-August 1, 1974, versus Detroit

The Brewers swing through their home-town for a brief 2-game set against Detroit before heading out on the road again to start the month of August.

In the first game against Detroit, they get a very nice start from lefty Erik Sloan. Unfortunately, not only do they not give him the run support to get a victory, the Brewers don't even manage to collect their first hit in the game until Mike Foster doubles to lead off the bottom of the 8th inning. They end up stranding Foster and don't score until the bottom of the 9th, when they manage to tie the game up, 2-2. Fast forward to the 14th inning. An exhausted Brewers bullpen has managed to keep things even but the Falcons bullpen has been their equal. And then Sam Pruiett, who has been scuffling and isn't fully rested coming into this one, is forced into action to start the 14th. That doesn't go well. Pruiett gives up 3 runs on 4 hits and although the Brewers rally a bit and score 1 run in the bottom of the frame, they fall short and lose 5-3. Pruiett falls to 6-4 with a 4.03 ERA. Jaden Francis pitched 4 strong innings to keep the Brewers in this one in extras and sees his ERA fall to 0.99. Mike Foster (.338/.383/.482) is the lone Brewer hitter with more than one hit as he goes 2 for 6 with his 21st double of the season.
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The Brewers get off to a 3-1 lead by the end of the 3rd inning in game 2 and get a good performance from starter Steve Green. When the home club erupts for 5 runs in the 6th inning they effectively put the game away and end up winning 9-1. Green works 7 2/3rds, giving up the 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 8 and walking 3. He improves to a fine 11-6 with a 4.03 ERA. Bobby Erbakan (.319/.384/.501) has a big day at the plate, going 3 for 5, hitting his 6th triple and 12 HR of the 1974 season, and driving in 5 runs. Ryan Rodgers (.376/.487/.461) also continues to have a great season and he collects 4 hits in 5 at-bats in this one, scoring 3 times and hitting his 19th double.
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Prior to the game the Brewers made a few moves to shore up their tired bullpen. They demoted (temporarily- he's been doing great) lefty Jeremy Walker and Rodrigo (RodRod) Rodriguez (also likely only temporarily) to AAA Chester and brought up lefty reliever Eric Marino- who worked the final 1 1/3 in game 2- and righty reliever Mike Lizarraga, added to the 40-man roster and up in the bigs for the first time. The Brewers don't have another break in their schedule until August 15th and so will go with an extra pitcher on the active roster and might need to shuttle relievers up and down between Chester and Denver a bit in the next few weeks.

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After the 2-game series split the Brewers still have a 4 game lead over Charlotte, 7 1/2 ahead of Brooklyn, 8 1/2 over L.A.
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Old 10-25-2019, 12:29 AM   #595
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August 1st Player Development Report

As they do every August 1st, the Brewers scouting staff, led by head scout Nick Meskill, deliver an update to the front office about how they see things developing for Brewers players up and down the system.
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When it comes to current members of the Brewers active roster, there was some optimism, particularly about veteran starting pitcher Erik Sloan, shortstop Chad Brown, and young second baseman David Bennett. They seem to think that Sloan's improvement over last year's performance is not illusory. They are now more bullish on Chad Brown's batting contact skills then they were earlier in the season, and certainly Chad has been hitting better. They do see his raw foot speed as diminishing a bit, but he remains a top of the line base-stealer and base-runner. And they see Bennett as a better contact hitter than they thought right now and project him to have a bit more power potential than earlier believed. At this point they believe him to be an above average WPK second baseman. No bad news at the big league level really. They believe that Cheol-han Lee's movement is just getting better with age and that Andrew Kennedy's contact skills likewise also do.
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The big winners among minor league prospects: third baseman/shortstop Jose Figueroa, starting pitcher John Weaver, and 19-year old reliever Tim Reinecke.
The 19-year old Figueroa is having a decent but unspectacular season at short season A Jersey City, but he seems to be developing nicely and our scouts now see his HR power potential as being plus while he remains an elite contact hitting prospect. At this point they are projecting him as a future star third baseman in the WPK.
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The Brewers don't have many starting pitching prospects worth talking about, but 21-year old John Weaver may still turn into a valuable member of the rotation before too long. Our scouting staff sees his control potential as increasing and believes his stuff is better now than when the season started. He needs to develop his third pitch- a knuckle curve- quite a bit more and his change-up a bit as well to complement his already excellent 95-97 mph fastball. But he's a hard worker and projects as durable and the scouting staff now sees him as future mid-rotation piece. We can only hope.
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And 19-year old Tim Reinecke, a sidearmer groundballer with impeccable make-up is projected at this point to mature into a valuable high-leverage bullpen arm. His cutter should be elite and his slider may develop into a top level pitch and if both things come true his stuff will likely be among the best in the league. Control may be an issue, but the kid has potentially a very bright future in the Brewers 'pen.
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Heading in the wrong direction: AAA first baseman Sepi Koller, AAA second baseman Garrett Farrar (in spite of the fact that he just continues to rake in the minors), AA reliever Mike Blackstone, and A third baseman Andy Oleson (though still considered a very good contact hitter, he is downgraded in that skill, is thought to have less power potential and less eye potential than earlier thought.)
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:10 PM   #596
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August 2-4, 1974, at Baltimore

The Brewers then head over to Baltimore to play three games against the 5th place Lords.

In the first game of the series, the Lords over-come an early deficit and get a walk-off win when veteran (40 year old) left fielder Chad Jones hits a 9th inning 1-out homer off Jaden Francis to give his team the 5-4 victory. It was Jones 5th HR of the season and 212th in his career, 15th on the all-time WPK long ball list. Matt Helm got the start for the Brewers and was pretty sharp again, lasting 6 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits (3 K, 0 BB.) Francis takes the loss and drops to 2-2 with a 1.23 ERA. Zacarias Martell (.299/.392/.368) went 2 for 4 in the loss and hit his 13th double of the season.
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Game 2, with two very good veteran starters on the bump- Cheol-han Lee for Denver and Pablo Bernal for Baltimore- is tightly contested until the 9th inning when the Brewers break out for 3 runs and hold on for a 6-2 victory. Cheol-han allows 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 2/3rds innings pitched and sees his record improve to 11-5 with a 2.76 ERA. Josh Schaeffer and Bobby Erbakan are the offensive stars for the Brewers in this one. Schaeffer (.297/.411/.441) went 2 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI from the lead-off slot, hitting his 7th HR of the season. Erbakan (.320/.386/.504) was 2 for 4 with 3 runs scored and a walk, hit his 23rd double of the season and stole his 12th base.
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The Brewers combined a solid start by Harry Lyerly, some very good bullpen work, and just enough offense to take the rubber match, 3-2. Harry worked 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 7 hits (including a HR to his opposite number), striking out 6 and walking 1. The team gave him 2 runs in the top of the 8th to give him his 7th win (along with 8 losses and a 4.17 ERA.) Jordan Stephens pitched the last 1 1/3rd innings for his 9th save (2.35 ERA.) The Brewers first got on the board in the 3rd inning when Zacarias Martell (.295/.386/.373) hit his 2nd HR of the season. Andrew Kennedy (.328/.363/.420) provided a big pinch-hit single in the 8th to drive in the tying run and soon thereafter Ryan Rodgers (.378/.491/.462) singled in what would prove to be the winning run.
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With the series victory and with second place Charlotte now having lost 5 games in a row, the Brewers lead in the MGL stretches to 6 1/2 games. Charlotte is in danger of losing their second place standing as third place L.A. is just 1/2 game behind them and Brooklyn is just 1 game behind Charlotte (7 1/2 behind Denver.)
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Old 10-26-2019, 05:48 PM   #597
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August 5-8, 1974, at Oklahoma City

The Brewers head down to Oklahoma City to play 4 against the Diamond Kings. The Brewers have inexplicably struggled this year against the 6th place Diamond Kings, having lost 7 of their 11 match-ups.

Perhaps taking out some of their frustration with that record, and their recent uneven play, the Brewers open the series by beating up on the Diamond Kings, winning 10-2. Hector Hard, in his second start in Brewer purple, was very good, lasting 8 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 6 and walking none. He improves to 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA as a Brewer and to 13-7 with a 3.54 ERA overall. The resurgent Chad Brown (.303/.323/.419) was one of the hitting stars for the visitors, going 3 for 6, scoring 2 times and driving in a run.
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Game 2 was a much tighter affair but the Brewers, behind lefty Erik Sloan, held on to win 4-2. Sloan worked 6 1/3rd, giving up just 1 run on 6 hits and with the win improves to 10-6 with a 3.57 ERA. Jaden Francis got the last out of the game, coming in with the potential tying run at the plate, to earn his 15th save (1.18 ERA.) Mike Foster (.332/.376/.475), after a great first half has been slumping a bit at the plate, and while he only had one hit in this game it was a big one- a two-out, two-run double that put the Brewers up 4-0. It was Foster's 24th double of the season.
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More of the same in the third game of the series, as the Brewers prevailed 3-2. Fine start by Steve Green, who gave up the 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 1/3rd innings pitched. The bullpen was solid and preserved the narrow lead for him and Green improves to 12-6 with a 4.24 ERA. Jaden Francis gets save #16 with 1 flawless inning and sees his ERA drop to 1.15. Bobby Erbakan (.326/.392/.505) went 4 for 4 in the game and hit his 24th double. Mike Foster hit his 25th double in the game.
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Having won the series one might have thought that the Brewers would feel content that they had made a statement regarding their superiority to the Diamond Kings. But it appears they weren't quite done yet in that regard. In the final game of the series things got really crazy. In spite of losing starting pitcher Matt Helm to a sore elbow in the first inning, the Brewers pitching was very good, with Justin Peacock coming in to take over from the injured Helm and giving his team 4 1/3rd scoreless innings. Thing is, they really didn't need much pitching at all. The offense once again exploded, including plating 6 runs in the 9th inning to win 16-2. Joe McPhillips (.287/.374/.512), who tends to be a bit streaky and hasn't been hitting that well of late, went off in this one. He 3 for 4 with 4 runs scored, 6 RBI, hitting his 16th double and 2 home runs to get to 20 on the season. Those numbers could have been even crazier as he struck out with the bases loaded in the 7th inning and walked with 2 runners in scoring position in his final at-bat. Andrew Kennedy (.332/.366/.421) went 3 for 5 in the game and drove in 4 runs. Justin Peacock got the win to improve to 5-1 with a 4.65 ERA.
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With the 4-game sweep the Brewers now find themselves leading the MGL by 8 games over the Brooklyn Aces, and 10 games over the L.A. Spinners and the Charlotte Sting, who have now lost 8 games in a row.
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Old 10-26-2019, 11:40 PM   #598
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Felix Lopez collects hit #2000!

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The Brooklyn Ace's great veteran center fielder Felix Lopez today became the first player in WPK history to collect 2,000 career hits. Lopez is 45 hits ahead of his nearest competitor, Jacksonville's Josh Jenkins, who is about 6 months younger than Lopez.

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At 31 years of age Felix should have plenty to time to get to 2,500 or beyond. He is showing some signs of slowing down but is still a premium contact hitter. Of the WPK leaders in this category most are in their 30's and it isn't until you get down to #13 on the list- Lazaro Lowndes of the Washington Night Train- you find someone under 30. Lowndes, at age 27
is one of the best pure hitters hitters in the league and should pretty easily get to 2,000 by age 30. The two players below him on the list- Jesse Cibula of S.F. and the Brewers Chad Brown- are also just 27 years of age but both have been showing signs of decreasing ability the past year or so.
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Old 10-27-2019, 01:13 AM   #599
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August 9-11, 1974, versus San Francisco

So the Brewers return home, where they have been dominant this year (38-16 coming into this series), having just swept Oklahoma City in a 4-game series and having won 7 of 8 in the month of August, to face the last place San Francisco Velocity. The Brewers have won 8 of 11 against the Velocity this season. The Velocity have lost 4 games in a row coming into this series.

So.
Good time for the Brewers right? Shouldn't have any problem staying hot, right?
Wrong!

Ouch, this one hurt.

Game 1- S.F.-12, Denver-10. The Brewers led 6-3 going into the 7th inning with Cheol-han Lee on the mound. So far, so good. Cheol didn't get a single out in the 7th and with a little help from the bullpen, the Brewers lose their lead as they allow 4 runs in the inning. Cheol-han gave up 5 runs on 10 hits in just 6 innings pitched. Not one of his better starts. The game goes into extras tied at 9-9. And then the normally steady Jaden Francis gets torched in the 11th inning, giving up 3 runs (he gave up 4 runs on 6 hits over 2 1/3rd innings pitched.) The Brewers plate one in the bottom of the inning but fall short. Francis takes the loss, falling to 2-3 with 1.96 ERA. Can't blame the very hot Joe McPhillips for this one though. McPhillips (.293/.382/.533) went 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored, 3 RBI, hit 3 triples to double his season total, and walked twice. (McPhillips sets the MGL record for triples in a single game.) Bobby Erbakan (.328/.392/.509) was 3 for 7 and also hit a triple, his 7th.
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Game 2- S.F.-5, Denver-3. Not a good start for Harry Lyerly. Harry gave up 5 runs on 10 hits in 7 2/3rds innings pitched. He falls to 7-9 with a 4.27 ERA. The Brewers get a pair of homers- Kevin Curtis (.209/.345/.299) hits his 2nd of the season and Bobby Erbakan (.327/.391/.513) hits his 13th. Chad Brown (.302/.320/.414) was 2 for 4 and hit his 19th double.
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Game 3- S.F.-7, Denver-5. Hector Hard, in his first start at Centennial Stadium as a member of the Brewers, was hit hard. He gave up 7 runs (3 earned) on 11 hits in just 4 1/3rd innings. Now the 5 errors by the team didn't help. Granted, one of them was courtesy of Hard, on a bad pick-off attempt. He also threw a wild pitch that allowed a run. Here are the players who committed the other 4 errors: Bobby Erbakan, Joe McPhillips, and Oscar Vargas (twice.) Now these are not just premium defenders, these are guys who rarely make defensive miscues. That's the kind of game this was, the kind of series this was. On the plus side, the Brewers got another pair of homers- this time by young second baseman David Bennett- his 4th- and veteran utility infielder Oscar Vargas- his 3rd. And Andrew Kennedy (.333/.366/.423) went 2 for 4, hitting his 20th double. (Vargas also hit his 8th double.) The Brewers scored 3 runs in the 8th and another in the bottom of the 9th- before Joe McPhillips hit into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded. Which made this one look closer than it actually was. We sucked in this game.
We sucked in this series.
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And having lost 3 in a row to the lowly Velocity, the Brewers lead in the MGL is at 6 games over Brooklyn, 8 over L.A., and 9 over Charlotte.
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Old 10-27-2019, 12:22 PM   #600
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A few roster move notes

Second baseman Jonathan Koch, having spent about a week and a half rehabbing down at AAA Chester after coming off the IL from his earlier tibia injury, returns to the Brewers active roster. To make room David Bennett is sent back down to AAA. Bennett acquitted himself well in his first big league stint. After having consistently hit very well in the minors the past several years he put up a slash line of .257/.329/.457 in 20 games played, 18 of which he started. Most impressively he hit 4 HR's, drove in 13 runs, and walked 8 times while striking out just 4 times. He's also a fine defensive second baseman with top of the line skill at turning the double play. He will surely be back on the squad once rosters expand in a few weeks, if not before.
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With a packed schedule at this point of the season, the Brewers also continue to shuttle relief pitchers back and forth between Denver and AAA Chester. The most recent call-up includes Brian Murray getting his first taste of the big leagues. He was wonderful in his first appearance, working 2 innings against the Velocity, giving up just 1 hit, striking out 4 batters, and walking none. Mike Lizarraga was sent back down to AAA but not due to any lack of performance in a Brewer uniform, but just to cycle fresh arms into a pretty exhausted 'pen. Lizarraga, in his first big league stint, struggled a bit with his control but mostly did not look over-matched and will surely be back soon. Recent acquisition Ben Flynn also returned to AAA after having pitched just a single inning for the Brewers. It was a rough inning as he walked 3 batters, but the scouting staff remains confident that he will be a solid contributor in the future. He also has the benefit of being a supremely gifted hitter with some of the best power potential in the organization.
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