June 28, 2008

The I-70 Series in Glorious 8-Bit Color Part 5: A New Beginning

First of all, to show you I'm a man of my word, here is another RBI Baseball rom for you fanatics. It's a 1985 version made by me. I tried to figure out how to get Springsteen's "Glory Days" to play instead of the regular music, but couldn't get it figured out. Be thankful, because that probably would have been pretty annoying, anyway.

The Royals lived up to my simulation last night, destroying the Cardinals 7-2 and it wasn't even as close as the score.

The Cardinals announcers are fond of saying that this is like our World Series. They say that, because they like to flatter themselves. They like to think that St. Louis is the center of the universe, as opposed to just another city in fly-over country like the rest of us.

You know what would be "like our World Series"?

If we were in the World Series.

This doesn't really compare in any way.

This is just another series against a team we don't like very much.

It's really not that different than when the Yankees come to town.

In fact, for this Royals fan, playing the Cardinals is not my World Series. The Royals playing the Cardinals is like RBI Baseball. So there.

Here's Game Two:

Zack Greinke will start against Braden "Burning Flies" Looper.

BBLL gets the Royals 1-2-3 in the first, including a strike out of Alex Gordon.

Conversely, Skippy Schumaker gets an infield single to start the game for St. Louis.

Greinke gets Miles to line out, but Albert Pujols, the *ahem* starting Albert Pujols, drives the first pitch over the right-field seats to quickly make it 2-0, Cards.

In the second, the Royals go three up, three down again. Not good, KC. Not good.
But Greinke matches that in the bottom half of the inning.

In the third, John Buck leads off with a single to break up Looper's no-no. Gload then hits a double-play ball, but beats it out for the fielder-s choice. Greinke is up next and we all know how much he likes to hit. He drills one right at first baseman Chris Duncan who makes the catch. Instead of stepping on first for the easy double play, he inexplicaply launches the ball into center field, where it gets all the way to the wall.

Luckily for the Cards, Gload has to tag up and only makes it to second. DeJesus lines out to first on the next pitch. Since it is the third out, it doesn't really matter than Duncan throws this one into centerfield, too.

In the bottom half of the inning, things are going well until Pujols comes up.

Yep, a solo shot to center. Pujols 3, Royals 0.

With one out in the fourth, Alex Gordon hits one up the middle and ends up on third.

It looks like the Royals finally have a chance to score.

And they do, when Guillen hits a triple himself. Pujols 3, Royals 1.

Grudzielanek comes up next and has a veteran at-bat, grounding out to the right side of the field, bringing Guillen home.

In the bottom half, Cesar Izturis gets a single and promptly steals second. With two outs, Glaus pinch hits for Looper. This move makes no sense, espcially in the fourth inning. Especially with Looper doing a pretty damn good job so far and owning the lead over a team that scored fifteen runs the night before. But hey, I guess Looper probably didn't want to get a win. He's inelegible now.

Of course, it turns out to be the right move. Glaus jacks one out to left.

If it doesn't make sense in real baseball, it must be perfect strategy in RBI Baseball.

But let's hope going to the bullpen early bites the Cards in the ass.

Kyle Lohse comes out to pitch the fifth. And my theory about the bullpen gets shot to hell when he gets KC 1-2-3.

Things are looking bleak, Royals fans.

Pujols leads off the sixth for St. Louis, and I'm pretty sure we're going to see Albert hit his third homer of the game.

But I'm wrong, yet again. Are you sensing a theme? Greinke has slowed down considerably, and his 60 mph fastballs are finally working against the Cards. Again, RBI strategy does not equal MLB strategy. But I'll take it. He strikes out Pujols on three straight slow-pitch balls.

It's the sixth, and it's a little early for the rally caps, but I suggest those Royals fans that are reading fashion some sort of crude head covering from your underwear or a bird's nest or something. Our 8-bit Royals need all the help they can get.

And DeJesus delivers with a leadoff double! Mike Aviles comes up and takes the first pitch through the left side of the infield, scoring DeJesus. Schumaker gets the ball in left and throws towards third where no one is covering.

The ball goes to the backstop and when it's all said and done, Aviles is on third and the Royals are within two.

Alex Gordon follows that up with a triple, and the Royals are only down by one run now.

Of course, on the next pitch, Guillen lines out to Lohse, who doubles Gordon off third. Rally killer?

Nope, Grudzielanek triples. Then Mark Teahen hits one to the pitcher, who throws home. Grudzielanek heads back to third and makes it. Meanwhile, Teahen has taken off for second and he makes it, too. Runners on second and third with two outs. And John Buck at the plate.

He rips one over Ankiel's head in center, and suddenly it's a tie ballgame! The Royals would be up if their basrunning was better. Teahen was two feet from home before turning around and running back to third for no reason.

Ross Gload keeps it going with a roller down the left-field line, bringing in two more and giving the Royals a 7-5 lead.

Thanks for putting bird's nests on your heads, people. You can take them off now.

Greinke is up next and suddenly he's in line to be the winning pitcher. As much as he'd like to bat, now's as good a time as any to take him out. Miguel Olivo will pinch hit.

And he lines one! But right at Schumaker.

In any case, Royals 7, Cards 5.

Bannister comes in to pitch in the bottom of the inning. After getting one of the cathing Molinas and Ludwick, up comes Lohse, who just gave up five runs and the lead. They don't pinch hit here, and maybe the Glaus-for-Looper move has come back to bite them in the ass. Lohse strikes out on three pitches.

Not much happens in the seventh, except for this beautiful grab against the screen by one of the Catching Molina Boys.


In the bottom half, Bannister keeps painting the corners and gets the Cards 1-2-3.

It's the eighth, and the Cards bring in yesterday's losing pitcher, Todd Wellemeyer. On his first pitch, Guillen shoots a double into right. On his second pitch, Mark Grudzielanek hits a single. Runners at the corners.

On the third pitch, Mark Teahen lines out to Aaron Miles, who throws to Glaus at third who throws to Duncan at first for the 4-5-3 TRIPLE PLAY.


That was embarrassing.

Okay, onto the bottom of the eighth.

Bannister is still dealing.

Desperate times call for desperate measurs, and that means Jason LaRue pinch hitting for Ryan Ludwick.

He lines out to Aviles and we're onto the ninth. Isringhausen comes in and easily takes down the bottom third of the Royals order.

Bannister stays in for the ninth, hoping for the long save. He strikes out Isringhausen and Schumaker, then gives up a single to Miles to make it interesting. That brings up Pujols with a chance to tie it. He has two homers and two strikeouts, and it's anyone's guess which Pujols will be at the plate for this at bat.

And the Royals win Game Two! Out-homered three to none, and they still pulled it out. Just a great, come-from-behind victory for our 8-bit boys in blue.

So that's Royals 2, Cards 0 in this completely fake series brought to you by a Nintendo game from the mid-1980's.

Let's hope they get their seventh straight win tonight.

Go Royals! You're The Best! 

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