Regardless who wins, they will play the New York Yankees in the 1950 replay World Series. The Yankees wrapped the American League title up long ago and with two games remaining against Boston, they lead the Red Sox by 11 games.
So, the focus is on the National League and the two days remaining — Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
Here are the upper tier standings for the N.L. as of Sept. 29:
Brooklyn 86 66 -
New York 85 67 1
Boston 84 68 2
St. Louis 83 69 3
The Cardinals would have been in the mix as well, but losing three of their last four games put them out of the race.
Here are the remaining games with the contenders: and a breakdown of them.
Boston (Spahn 19-9) at New York Giants (Maglie 19-7)
Philadelphia (Miller 14-13) at Brooklyn (Roe 13-14)
Boston (Bickford 16-12) at New York Giants (S. Jones 8-15 or Hearn 11-4)
Philadelphia (Church 8-10) at Brooklyn (Palica 12-12)
The first game between the Braves and Giants features two pitchers vying for their 20th wins. In a season where walks seem extremely high, Spahn has done well with the strikeouts. Maglie, nicknamed the “Barber” because of his penchant for throwing 'close shaves' at batters, has had his share of the Ks this season, too.
In the second game, I've not decided who to put on the mound for the Giants. I guess it depends on how the games go the day before. If Brooklyn wins and New York loses on Sept. 30. the Dodgers will win the pennant. If Brooklyn loses that first game, I'll probably use Hearn for the Giants since he's a better rated pitcher.
Philadelphia, which has had a very disappointing season at 75-77, could be the spoiler. In the real baseball season, the Phillies won the pennant and faced the Yankees in the Series. In the APBA replay, despite having Del Ennis and his 34 home runs and Jim Konstanty's 26 saves, the Phillies seemed destined to lose close games. They've lost 21 one-run games in the replay and 35 two-run or less games. And check this out. The Phillies have scored 771 runs in the replay. They gave up 773 runs. They are 11 games out of first place, but had they scored, say, two dozen more runs, they may have been challenging Brooklyn now.
Obviously, Brooklyn is the favorite. Duke Snider has 37 home runs this year, and after starting out slowly, Gil Hodges has stepped up with 24 home runs. The downside to them is a weak bullpen. Their relievers, which include John Banta, Ralph Branca, Dan Bankhead, Bud Podbielan and Carl Erskine, are all “D-rated” pitchers, which is the lowest rating APBA gives pitchers in the basic game.
If Brooklyn builds up a big lead, they don't seem to be in much trouble. But rely on that bullpen to hold a one- or two-run lead late in the game and it's a whole different ballgame, as they say.
All that to say this is one of many reasons we play APBA. I've been rolling the dice for this 1950 replay since March 7, 2014. Now, 17 months and 1,217 games later, it comes down to four games. And a neat thing about those of us who play APBA — We know the games are not real, but we revel in them as if they are. I keep one of my Facebook friends advised of the games' outcomes. Scott Schihl of near Toronto asks via the chat option on the social media how the teams are doing and offers his take on the proceedings. We act like the games are real, two guys just talkin' about sports. But, since he plays the game like I, he gets it and sees how these games are addictive and fun to ponder over.
Again, the recap: If Brooklyn wins on Sept. 30 and New York loses to Boston, it's over. We'll have a Subway Series. If Brooklyn loses both games against Philadelphia and New York beats Boston twice, the Giants are National League champs. If the Dodgers lose two and Boston sweeps the Giants, Brooklyn and the Braves will be tied for first at the end of the season.
It's time to roll the dice and see what happens.