The 2011 Transcontinental Baseball League season has really come down to the wire. The drama included everything from brother rivalry and a tie series. It looks like a one-game playoff may be in order, says Steve Stein.
The Williams Division has ended in an 87-75 tie between Glenn Taylor’s Wakefield Wizards and his brother Bruce Taylor’s Richmond Rebels.
The head-to-head series ended 7-7.
The division title will be decided by a one game playoff, the home team will be decided by a coin flip, as I read the TBL rules.
Here are the current standings in the TBL. Steve also included the play-by-play for the Williams division’s Wakefield Wizards and the Richmond Rebels last series of the season. The series wrap-up below was written by Bruce Taylor.
After 162 games, the Wakefield Wizards and the Richmond Rebels conclude their seasons with identical 87-75 records.
The Rebels used an 18-4 October to eat up a 5 game lead from Wakefield and push the advantage in their favor to a one game lead.
Glenn and I saved our 3 game, mid-November match-up, until the end of the schedule. With 8 games remaining for the Rebels and just the final 3 on tap for the Wizards, the records showed both teams with 85 wins, but the Wizards had 5 more losses: RIC 85-69 vs WAK 85-74.
The Rebels traveled to POR for a 5 game series. They lost the first 3 games (2 in extra innings!), won game #4, and lost the finale to Joey Votto’s bat!
That set the stage for the 3 game series at Richmond. The Rebels had a one game lead, with 3 to go. In our opening game of the series, Albert Pujols hit a 3 run HR in the bottom of the 12th to give the Rebels a 6-3 win and a two game lead with two games to go!
In the 2nd game, the Wizards pound Rebel pitching with four HRs and cruised to an easy 8-2 win! Now with one game to play, the Wizards were one game back
The 3rd and final game of the series matched the team Aces: Vincente Padilla vs Brett Myers. The Wizards scored single runs in the 1st and 2nd inning to forge a 2-0 lead. The Rebels answered back in the home half of the third. Kouzmanoff led off the inning with a solo shot to halve the lead to 2-1. Victorino sandwiched a single and an SB between outs, Hamilton walked, and Pujols smacked a 3 run shot to LF to make it 4-2 Rebels after 3
Rasmus picked up the gauntlet for the Wizards in the 4th. Morales led off with a single and two batters later it was 4-4 when Rasmus deposited a Myers offering deep in the RF bleachers.
Into the 6th inning now….both starters still on the mound…..Myers retires the first two he faces, before Wells launches a solo shot over Victorino and the CF wall for a 5-4 Wizards lead!……Brian McCann led off the Rebels 6th and drew things “all square” when he hit a solo shot of his own to RCF to make it 5-5!
On to the 7th….Myers retires Peralta on a fly ball to CF, and induces Milledge to bounce out 3-1. Lead-off batter Andrus drops a single to LF….The Rebels bring on Ondrusek to face Ruiz. Ruiz works a BB to push the speedy Andrus over to scoring position. Cano steps in and bounces a grounder through the SS hole into LF as Andrus streaks home to make the score 6-5 Wizards. Gregg replaces Ondrusek on the mound and gets Lee to bounce out Kendrick to Pujols to end the threat.
The Rebels in the 7th got Victorino to first on a Cano error with one out, but he died there on a line-out and a Hamilton K vs Salas who had come on to replace Padilla after the error.
In the 8th, the Wizards tried to pad the lead with an insurance run, but Wells was left at 3rd base when Bray struck out Peralta. Following that, Salas put the Rebels down 1-2-3 in the Home half of the 8th.
In the 9th, Mitre came in to pitch for Richmond. Milledge was left in to face him and the gamble worked as he led off with a single. However that was all….Andrus forced him at 2nd on a FC 5-4, Ruiz popped out to third, and Cano struck out to end the visitors scoring chances. In the bottom of the 9th Sean Burnett came in and disposed of the Rebels in order to earn the Save and to put the Williams division in a flat-footed tie! The Wizards pitching of Salas and Burnett retired the last 8 Rebel batters to get the coveted 87th win!
We are in the process of checking out the Play-Off rules and will play the 163rd game of the regular season, as soon as we can.
Wow! MLB could only dream of having this happen to them. I can only imagine the news sub-plots and the media attention.