Cardinals take down Dodgers to earn spot in Over-40 Baseball title game
This season of the Eastern Baltimore County Over-40 Baseball League, abbreviated as it was by the COVID-19 pandemic, also went on without its defending champion.
The Cubs didn’t enter the league this season, with several of its players opting to play in other league while Eastern Baltimore County decided if it would try to get a portion of the season played.
Three of those Cubs ended up on the Cardinals, which defeated the Dodgers on Sunday 6-3 at St. Helena Park to reach the league’s tournament championship game for the first time.
There used to be a “Cub’s Curse” in Major League Baseball, saying that any team with a former Cub in its lineup was doomed to postseason failure.
Call this the “Cub’s Influence.”
Dale Hunter, Chris Mirabile and Scott Rudolph are the three Cubs on the Cardinals roster, although Rudolph hasn’t played since injuring his knee in the seasonopener.
Hunter pitched five innings against the Dodgers (fourth through eighth) and after a rough start in the fourth inning he gave up only two baserunners the next four innings (and one of them was erased on a double play).
The Cardinals lost to the Dodgers 7-3 during the regular season, but held the Dodgers to four hits during Sunday’s win.
The Dodgers scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning after the Cardinals had built a 4-0 lead.
It remained 4-3 until the top of the ninth, when the Cardinals took advantage of three Dodger errors to pad their lead with two more runs.
The Dodgers had a leadoff single in the first inning, two singles in the fourth and a leadoff single in the seventh.
They went three-up, threedown six times in the game, as Cardinals pitchers Chris Buckhold (first three innings) Hunter (next five innings) and Angel Clark (ninth) held the Dodgers in check.
The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead in the second inning as Brian Marvin and Buckhold led off with singles, were moved up by a sacrifice and scored on two infield errors by the Dodgers. Bryan Paz and Marvin reached base with two outs in the fourth and scored on a single by Buckhold.
The Dodgers were betrayed by their defense again in the ninth inning, with two errors bringing in a run on Mirabile’s bloop single to right and leaving runners at first and third.
A double play by Dodgers second baseman Mike Miller, who tagged out one baserunner and threw out the batter at first, helped limit the damage but the runner on third still scored.
The Dodgers got a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth, but two straight runners were forced at second to end the game.
The best opportunity for the Dodgers over the last five innings was in the seventh, and it wasn’t even a good one.
A single by Mike Miller and a walk to Stu Anthony put runners on first and second with two outs. A forceout at second ended the inning.
The Dodgers almost opened the inning with two hits, but Cardinals second baseman Angel Clark went into right field and made an over-the-shoulder catch of a blooper that looked like it might drop in.
Dodgers shortstop Tony Ranocchia holds up his glove to show he made the tag, while Cardinals baserunner Brian Marvin signals he was safe. The umpire disagreed.
Chris Mirabile swings into a pitch he blooped into right field for a crucial RBI in the ninth inning of the Cardinals semifinal win over the Dodgers.
Cardinals second baseman Angel Clark goes into shallow right field to make a key catch against the Dodgers.
Dodgers right fielder Mark Killingstad attempts to make a lunging catch during the semifinal