May 18, 2006

1-70 Series in Glorious 8-Bit Color: Game One

So the Royals are coming back from another SPECTACULARLY AWFUL road trip, 0-6 and brimming with diffidence. They are now 2-20 on the road. 2-20! That means they've won 2 out of 22 games! The Royals are setting records for losing, and we're six weeks into the season. Beautiful.

But the best is yet to come. This weekend, the Cardinals take the 45 minute flight across Missouri to play our lovable losers at Kauffman Stadium.

You know how ESPN will sometimes have a couple of jackasses play the latest X-Box or Playstation sports game to speculate on how a big matchup will go? Well, I wanted to do that with this series. But, I don't have an X-Box. Nor do I have a Playstation. But, I do have a Nintendo.... emulator.

And lucky for me, some guy has updated the greatest baseball video game of all time, RBI Baseball. He has created a rom with the 2006 MLB rosters on it. If you want, you can download it here:
http://league.rbicentral.com/2k6roms.htm

He also updated the game back in the 2003 season, which you might actually enjoy playing. That was the season we had a decent team:
http://league.rbicentral.com/2k3.htm

Anyway, I am going to play the 2K6 version with the Royals vs. the Cardinals in a three game series posted in a three part series on this blog. Here goes:


GAME ONE



As you can see, I was quite limited when it came to pitching matchups. But that's RBI Baseball for you. I decided to start Elarton vs. Carpenter in game one and three and Hernandez vs. Mulder in the second game. None of these matchups will occur this weekend (Fat Elvys and Moldy won't even play), but what the hell. You'll notice players like DeJesus and Sweeney in the game because I'm not going to start Chip Ambres (who isn't on the team now anyway). Just go with the flow.

Game One started off well for the Royals. The second batter of the game, Mark Grudzielanek, took Carpenter down the line for a barely fair solo homer to put KC up 1-0.



 
In the bottom of the first, Scott Elarton baffled leadoff hitter David Eckstein. David completely disappeared when he swung on and missed a 71-mph changeup for Scott's first strikeout of the game.


 
All seemed well, until a pop fly by Juan Encarnacion was misplayed by Angel Berroa into an inside the park home run. Albert Pujols followed with a no-doubter to right-center to make it 2-1 Cards. My centerfielder didn't even move.



 
Elarton bounced back to strike out Rolen on three straight pitches, but then served up a meatball to Jim Edmonds, who knocked it over the right field fence to make it 3-1. At this point, I began to question if I'd lost all of my RBI Baseball skills from college. Or perhaps I should've started Hernandez over Elarton. As you can see from the image below, things just snowballed from there.


 
Pujols' line so far: 2-2, 1 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBI

Cardinals 9, Royals 1.

Ouch.

After a 1-2-3 second, I decide to leave Elarton out there on the mound. Surely the Cards were on the verge of ten-run ruling the Royals' asses. Might as well get it over with.

But Elarton surprised me with a 1-2-3 inning. (Probably because he didn't have to face Pujols.)

The next inning, John Buck stepped up and hit a solo shot on an 0-2 pitch.


 
Notice all the red in the stands? Damn Cardinals fans take over Kauffman Stadium even in the video game.

In the next inning, with two outs, Eckstein tripled and Encarnacion followed it with an RBI single. The score was Cards 10, Royals 2 and guess who was at the plate.

 
 
AND HE STRUCK HIM OUT ON A 37 MPH CURVEBALL. BOOYAH.

Ahem. It's still 10-2 Cards.

Ouch.

But not for long, because leading off the next inning, Emil Brown jacked one out to center to cut the lead to 7. Let the rally begin. An Edmonds error on a Sanders flyball and an RBI double by Buck made it 10-5.

In the bottom of the 4th, Burgos relieved Elarton and had a 1-2-3 inning.

DeJesus led off the fifth with a homer to make it 10-6. The Cards immediately brought in Mulder, which would never happen in real life. But anyway. He retired the next three batters.

And suddenly, the game became a pitchers' duel. Burgos was unhittable. Mulder gave up doubles in two consecutive innings, but got out of the jams. The defense behind both pitchers was great, with a particularly nice play by Teahen pictured below.



 
Web Gem, right?

And then, of course, the bottom fell out. Junior Freakin' Spivey hit a solo bomb to left. Cards 11, Royals 6. Pujols hit a two run double. Cards 13, Royals 6. Edmonds hit it clear out of the park for a two run homer. Cards 15, Royals 6.

Why did I leave Burgos in?


 
Of course, the Royals went down without a fight in the ninth.


 
And that's Game One.

Pretty impressive, no?

No.

No it wasn't.

So, this brings us to a couple of conclusions.

1) The Cardinals are good.

2) The Royals are not.

3) I am extremely rusty at RBI Baseball. Maybe I should've played a tune-up game first. How embarrassing.

4) I VOW TO WIN THE NEXT TWO GAMES.

NOT JUST FOR THE ROYALS, BUT ALSO FOR MY DIGNITY.

Tune in tomorrow, when I play Game Two of the RBI Baseball 1-70 Series. And tune into the real Game One tomorrow night at Kauffman Stadium. Let's hope the outcome is a little more favorable than my simulation.

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