WheelDan, WheelMatt Series Begins

Vintage legends lead Modern Squads into Battle, Dans take Opener 13-11

Bernardston, February 5, 2007
by Charlie Einstein

The newest planets in the TNB Universe were in ascendence Monday Night, as Dan Genovese and Matt Avery applied their Vintage skills to the modern game, in game 1 of the Wheel Series. Danny and Matt have had 5 weeks or so to get to know the participants, and their various identities. So, time to do battle.

Ouch, Fluff. We'll rush you to the Burn center

  After 4 scoreless appearances, Fluff brought his heady stuff to the mound, and was awesome....pause....NOT!
Surviving on the Slutter for the past 5 months, Fluff had decided his fastball was now so awesome as to be unhittable to the mere mortal. This turned out to be not exactly true. After falling behind 3-1 the Joe LeB, Joe ripped a 'fastball' into left for a hit. Ice and X-Man drew walks on a pot pourrie of sloppy junk to load the bases. After getting ahead of the plate crowding Dentello, Fluff struck him out on a great inside slutter.....pause ....NOT!..... as it was called a ball by Pesci 'The Bat'. Pesci was having too much fun watching Fluffy suffer with his hideous stuff. Why Pesc misses pitches to Dentello all the time is a mystery to me. Perhaps Dentello knows someting about Pesci's past that he has not shared with us!?
Anyway, Dentello hit a 1-2 'fastball' into left for a hit, and the Party began.
Nightman, who hasn't seen a bat (unless you count the hundreds that he lives with in the Nightman cave) in 4 months, drilled a double to RC. The en Fuego Danny G singled in 2, Chap hit into a neat DP... Matt, to Termie, to Hammer, but Marty roofed one to the right side of the infield, that Hammer eventually fielded, but the comatose idiot on the mound failed to cover first. Marty thanked Fluff for the Ribbi.
Lich mercifully grounded out. 5-0 Wheeldans. Ugh.

Nightman has Returned Home

Where have you gone NightAmaggio
TNB Nation turns it's lonely eyes to you..

What's that you say NightAmaggio
Joe Pesci won't call your slider for a strike
No No No Nooooooooooo

Koo Koo Cachoo NightAmaggio
The creatures love you more than you can know
No.. No.. Noooooooooo..

So if you please NightAmaggio
Heaven holds a place for those who stay
hey  hey  hey
hey  hey heyyyyyyyyyyy

Fluff led off the Wheelmatt 1st, facing Nightman. It's good to see Nighter working his...uh...ahh...magic again. Fluff skied a drive to left center that hugged the inner dome parabola and came to rest just to the left of the Tater wedge. It could have been a double, except Fluff thought he had gone yard and loped and watched it. Geezus.
Matt followed with a single, but Nighter buckled down and retired the next 3 batters.

The Titanium Sombrero

Other than the fact that this was a fun, hard fought, if not very clean, game; the true Drama of the Evening was about to reveal itself to us. The Quest for the Plutonium Sombrero.
Fluff came out in the 2nd looking a bit better. He got ahead of JoeLe and K'd him. Fluff then K'd Ice on a good high heater.
But, K'd Ice, is the operative phrase...cha ching, number 1
With 2 outs and nobody on, Fluff then threw a succession of hittable cookies to, X-Man, Dentello, Nightman, Danny and Chap, for 3 more Earnies; before K'ing the next hitter, striking out the side.
Nightman would complete his stellar pitching in the botton of the 2nd, and leave with an 8-Zip lead after 2.

WheelMats Fight Back

The Wheeldan's tacked on 2 more runs off Duse in the 3rd. X-Man scoring one of his 6 runs in the process. Down 10-0, the WheelMats grabbed the bats in the 3rd.

With 1 out and Fluff and Matt on 1st and 2nd, the Lads pulled off a double steal. Fluff was able to scamper home on an infield error and MonCapitan drove in Matt with a clutch single off the Dentist. Dentist pitched out of further trouble, but after 3, the WheelMatts were on the board, down 10-2.

Duse, Matt and Hammer kept the WheelDans at bay thru the middle innings, giving the WheelMatts a chance to fight back. With a big 6th, the WheelMatts found themselves down by 1, 11-10. Amazingly enough. The W'Matts, needed 3 clean innings.

X-Man Feels the Peen

X-Man is going to the Domeball Hall of Fame. His .615 career BA over 4 seasons attests to that. But he was peened in the 7th, and should have been erased. Somebody screwed up. Let's see....could it be Fluffy?
X, who scored 6 runs in 5 official at-bats , reached off Hammer to lead off the 7th. We knew that X would have to challenge the 'peen', it was only a matter of when. Just before Hammer's 2nd or 3rd pitch, while Fluff (playing 2nd) was warning X not to try to steal, steal he did. He was cleanly and completely peened. Duse had the ball at first and X was 3 steps toward 2nd and the waiting Fluff. Fluff, beside himself with glee at the peening and the expected put out, was talking smack to X while Duse delivered the ball to him for the kill. Only one problem, Fluff dropped the ball, and X scampered back to 1st. Bad Fluffy!

X-Man would eventually score on Danny G's single. Damn!

Meanwhile, Back at the Sombrero

Ice had been putting on a clinic of his own. After K'ing against Fluff, Ice faces, in succession, Duse, Matt, and Hammer.............. K, K, K.
Silver, Golden, Platinum. Ice would now face Terminator in the 8th. Could he go Titanium? Swish, swish, swish...Strike Three!!, says Pesci. Titanium , Ice did it. As an afterthought, Dentello drove in the WheelDan's final run, upping the lead to 13-10. Dentello rubbed himself out at 3rd, on a Tony Curdesque baserunning fiasco, ending the inning.

Did Lich Get Screwed?

We arrive at the bottom of the 9th, WheelMatts down by 3 and the un-scored-upon Danny Lich on the platform. Fluff lined one off the wall in left, and stole 2nd. Good thing, because Matt hit a seed to Dentello at short for a 6-3. Would have been a sure DP. Fluff stole 3rd and scored on a G-Spot base hit to 3rd. Or was it? It says so in the book, but you could argue the point, for sure. Fluff scored and that is the only run Lich has allowed this year. 13 innings, 20 K's and now, 1 run.
Lich stranded the tying runs by striking out MM and Terminator to end the game.
(Cool cartoonizations provided by Mike Olkin. Thanks MikeO)

The End

Box Score Game 1 February 5, 2007