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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

It’s Game 4 of the Simulated 1936 Semifinal Playoff Series – Pittsburgh at New York

We’re back at Municipal Stadium today for Game 4 of our latest Strat-o-Matic computer simulated playoff game. With the New York Black Yankees up two games to one, Bob Clarke is taking the risky step of bringing back Game 1 starter Barney Brown to try and take a commanding lead in the series. The Crawfords are answering with pitcher Bill Harvey.

The Crawfords struck immediately, putting up four runs in the top of the first. Jimmie Crutchfield led things off with a base hit up the middle. Sammy Bankhead singled Crutchfield to third one hitter later, and Crutchfield raced home with Josh Gibson at the plate on a passed ball charged to Black Yankees’ catcher Clarence Palm. After Gibson singled Bankhead over to third, Crawfords’ manager Oscar Charleston capped the eruption by putting a Barney Brown breaking pitch well over the right field fence for a three-run homer.

The Black Yankees managed to scratch one back in the bottom of the first. Harvey started off by hitting leadoff Ameal Brooks – never a good sign. After Rev Cannady doubled to right, putting men on second and third, George Scales lofted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Brooks.

But the Crawfords’ manager (and first baseman), Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston, wasted no time erasing that run. Sammy Bankhead hit a one-out gapper in the top of the second, racing all the way around to third with a standup triple. After Brown got Josh Gibson on a ground ball, Oscar Charleston brought the run in with a single up the middle.

The Crawfords then made it 6-1 in the top of the third, with the Black Yankees giving up the run in just about the worst way possible. Judy Johnson drew a one-out walk. After pitcher Harvey singled him to second and Jimmie Crutchfield legged out an infield hit to load the bases, the Crawfords’ sixth run came home on a wild pitch by Brown with Dickie Seay at the plate. To make matters worse (from New York’s perspective), Seay then struck out.

As the game wore on, Harvey was sharp for the Crawfords, keeping the Black Yankees largely off the basepaths. The Black Yankees pitching staff finally found the groove, as Paul Carter pitched a scoreless inning in the fourth, followed by three scoreless innings by Roosevelt Davis.

Josh Gibson led off the top of the ninth by reaching first when first baseman George Giles mishandled Gibson’s bouncing grounder for a one-base error. Hitting star Oscar Charleston sent Gibson to second with a base hit to left. After Bill Perkins forced Charleston at second and Ralph Burgin was out on a fly ball, Judy Johnson brought in the Crawfords’ seventh run with a solid single to right.

As the bottom of the ninth began, Crawfords’ skipper Oscar Charleston was taking no chances – Bill Harvey was back on the mound, but Tin Can Kincannon was ready to go if he got in trouble. Clarence Palm led off the Black Yankees’ bottom of the ninth with a base hit. Harvey struck out Marvin Barker, but George Giles then stroked a base hit to left, with Palm taking no chances and stopping at second. After pinch hitter Jake Stephens loaded the bases by drawing a walk, Oscar Charleston waved in Tin Can. Manager Bob Clarke brought in the Black Yankees’ second and third runs with a base hit to right, as Stephens stopped at second. But then the Crawfords forced Clarke at second on Rev Cannady’s bouncing ground ball and got Fats Jenkins on a pop up to Charleston just left of first to end the game – Crawfords win, 7-3.

So now we’re four games in, and we’re right back where we started – two games to two, and it’s best of three to decide it.

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