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John Tatley and Kevin Burns Share the 2004 MVP Award


John Tatley

Kevin Burns


John Tatley and Kevin Burns shared the MVP award for the tournament in close voting by the team.  John picked up his first MVP award as he played his usual stellar defense, blocking everything in the dirt and throwing out two would-be base stealers.  He was also an offensive force batting .320, scoring eight runs and driving in four.  Kevin pitched great, as always, while picking up all four of the team's wins, posted a 1.20 ERA and struck out 24 batters in 30 innings of work.  This was Burnsy's second MVP award.  Mike Staller came in third in voting after batting .435.

2004 Roy Hobbs World Series Schedule

The Millers have drawn a good schedule this year.  The Suds are a perennial high AAAA team and they beat us 8-4 last year, UTEK is a good team but beatable and we've beaten both the Redskins and the Russians in the past.  The only bad part about the 2004 draw is that we've played all four of these teams in the past.  It would really be nice to play some different teams.  We have a better team than last year, however, so we feel we have a good chance to win every game we play.  Keep checking back for more updates.

Game 1
Sunday 10-31 1:45pm vs. the Cincinnati Suds  (5 Plex 1)  16-0 loss

Game Recap:
The game started on a positive note with Dave Germar getting a "Lueder Bleeder" base hit to start the game and then promptly stealing second.  Unfortunately, he was then caught too far off-base on a one-hopper to the pitcher.  After a brief run-down, he was tagged out at second just ahead of Freddy also being tagged out at second as he tried to move up a base.  To add insult to injury (or vice versa) Dave had to leave the game after possibly fracturing a bone in his right hand on his headfirst slide back to second.  It appeared that his hand hit the shin of the fielder and his pinky finger was bent severely backwards.  It is unknown at this point if he will be able to play again this week.  From there things just went downhill.  Our pitching was not what it normally is and our defense was very poor.  We threw the ball to the wrong base, missed cut-offs, made one or two poor throws and let a couple of balls drop that shouldn't have.  On a positive note, Orlando had two doubles and Matt Germar, batting for his little brother, had one but we still couldn't manage to push a run across the plate.  The Suds are a good team and they played like it.  They hit the ball well and didn't make too many mistakes on defense.  The lefty pitcher they threw had a plus fastball, a good change and a nasty little forkball.  Burnsy took the hard-luck loss after going only 2 2/3 innings.  I have every confidence that the team will do much better in tonight's game against UTEK.

Game 2
Monday 11-1 6:00pm vs. UTEK  (Terry Park 4)  7-3 Loss

Game Recap:
As I had predicted, this game was close until the very end.  UTEK threw a very good lefty against us and he struck out 12 while keeping us off balance all night.  He also hit a two-run dinger in the first and a bases loaded shot off the wall in the ninth and he stole two bases for good measure.  He was definitely their star of the game.  Matt Germar pitched seven strong innings for us except for giving up a few two-strike hits.  Bill Ferris pitched well the other two innings even though he did give up three runs.  Unfortunately, our bats just didn't get the job done.  We managed only eight hits and very few of those came with runners on base.  Twice Scott Lawrence sacrificed a runner into scoring position with one out but we couldn't plate either one of them.  On the bright side, our pitching and defense were much better than the previous game.  We struck out 7, turned one DP, and just missed another.  Eddy had a pretty good game going two for four with a pair of stolen bases.  Mike Staller had a single and a double. 

Game 3
Tuesday 11-2 10:00am vs. Akron Redskins  (City of Palms Practice Field)  19-12 Win

Game Recap:
This game was a little strange as the score might indicate.  We scored three times in the top of the first to get off to a good start.  Tim Lueder, however, gave up a lead-off walk in the bottom of the inning and he eventually scored.  He then gave up three straight hits to start the bottom of the second and five overall in the inning to allow three more runs to score.  We then had Burnsy pitch the third, fourth and fifth innings to shut them down while we proceeded to score 11 runs in those innings.  We had a comfortable lead as John Noonan came in to pitch the sixth but the defense really let John down.  We had four errors leading to eight runs over the next three innings to allow Akron to stay in the game.  We should have 10-runned these guys in the seventh but we kept them in it and forced ourselves to play all nine innings.  Bill Ferris had a great game going four for five with a triple and stealing two bases.  Freddy also broke out of his slump by going one for two with a triple and a pair of walks.  Angel Ricardo had a pair of hits including a double as well.  John Noonan pitched very well giving up only one walk but was really hurt by poor defense.

Game 4
Tuesday 11-2 1:45pm vs. RusStar  (The Russians) (City of Palms Stadium)  15-0 Win

Game Recap:
This was our best game yet.  We were playing on the best field in the tournament and I think the ghosts of Red Sox past reached down to help us.  Burnsy pitched six strong innings allowing only three hits, one of which was erased on a DP and he picked another off of first base to end the second inning.  Eicher, Freddy and Lueder all went two for three and Gaspipe was two for four.  The defense played flawlessly and Lucky came on to pitch a solid seventh inning to end the game.  The team is really starting to come together and we're very confident going into Thursday's game against the Kenmore Orioles.

Game 5
Thursday 11-4 1:45pm vs. Kenmore Orioles (Terry Park 2)  9-8 Loss

Game Recap:
We started out great, scoring three times in the first inning, but then we had two errors in the bottom of the inning and gave up three runs.  We continued to play poor defense as we had a total of eight errors during the game.  Burnsy and John Noonan pitched well but our offense could not overcome our defensive lapses. 

Game 6 (First round of AA playoffs)
Friday 11-5 10:00am vs. Utah Mets (City of Palms Practice Field)  9-5 Win

Game Recap:
This game was close through the first six innings.  They scored one in the first but we got two in the third to take the lead for good and one more in the sixth.  We broke it open in the seventh, however, with a six spot and that was pretty much it.  Utah came back with one in the eighth and three in the top of the ninth but, by that time, they were pretty much out of it.  Mike Staller overheard two of their players talking in the bathroom before the game about what an easy opponent they thought we would be.  A lot of guys kept talking about that during the game and I think it made everyone want to stick it to these guys all the more.  Germar (3 for 3 single, double & a triple), Mike Staller (three singles) and John Tatley (2 for 3) really carried the team offensively.

Game 7 (Second round of AA playoffs)
Friday 11-5 1:45pm vs. Pig's Heaven (The Herd) (City of Palms Practice Field)  15-1 Win

Game Recap:
This game was never even close.  Kevin threw a four-hit, seven inning complete game while striking out five and walking none.  Eddy and Freddy each hit laser shot homeruns.  Eddy's cleared the 366' sign in the right field corner and Freddy's hit a big steel pole in left-center while apparently still on the rise.  The pole pulled itself up, out of the ground, and ran screaming to its mommy.  It was a SHOT!  Perjo Duro!  Tats added two more hits and every player, other than Matty G, that we put in had at least one hit.  This game was over long before the final out was recorded.

Game 8 (Third round of AA playoffs Semi-Final)
Saturday 11-6 10:00am vs. Kodak Reds (Terry Park 3)  8-6 Loss

Game Recap:
We had our chances in this game and we were the better team but we just never got it done.  They scored two in the second  and one in the fourth.  We scored one in the third and five in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead.  Unfortunately, Matt just didn't seem to have it and he gave up three more in the bottom of the fifth on four hits and a walk before Corny pulled him with two outs.  Burnsy took over and pitched great.  We got the first batter of the eighth on a tough popup to Eicher against the right field fence and Burnsy had the second batter struck out on a sweet curveball right down the heart of the plate but the ump just plain missed the call.  (He admitted it to me as I lead off the top of the ninth.)  So we had one out and a runner at first and the batter hits a SLOW roller to me at short and I lifted my head at the last second in my attempt to hurry the throw to second and I let the ball go right through my legs for an error.  Both runners moved up an extra base on the play and subsequently scored on a base hit.  We managed to get runners at first and third with two outs in the ninth but then Eddy got picked off of first base to end the game.  It was a tough loss for the whole team as we felt we really had a better squad.  As it turned out, Kodak lost the final to the New Jersey Mariners who are not a very good team.  The Reds told us later that the Mariners pitcher couldn't throw more than about 50 MPH and their shortstop could barely throw the ball across the infield.  They were just unable to hit the slow pitching and they made a few errors.  We would have easily beaten the Mariners had we made it to the finals.  Gatzke (3 for 3) Eddy, Billy, Orlando and Freddy (all 2 for 4) led the Millers offense.