- In the first series, number 1 seed Los Angeles never had a
lead the entire way as number 5 seed Augusta registers their second
straight series sweep. By taking care of business quickly in round 1,
Augusta is able to start ace Flip McCartney for the opener. He does not
dissapoint as he surrunders only 1 run on 6 hits and a walk in the
complete game 6-1 victory. .227 hitting Doug Corino gets the go-ahead 2
run double in the 4th to give da Bears a 3-1 lead they would never
Augusta's Victor Lawson got game 2's scoring started with a solo blast in the 2nd of of LA's Morris James. ROY-candidate Cleatus Alexander gets the big blast though, a 3-run shot off James the very next inning. That would be all they need as Calvin "Sweet as" Sugawara cedes 14 baserunners over 6 2/3 but escapes with the 4-2 win. LA leaves 12 men on base for the game and just couldn't seem to get the big hit they needed. Light-hitting gold-glover Rodney Muelens strands 7 all by himself.
Augusta jumps out to an early 3-0 lead in game 3, courtesy of another homerun by Alexander and RBI double by Corino. Eternal pitching prospect Nate Bell finally gets to give the commish what he's been waiting for in going 8 innings, giving up 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs in the series clinching 3-2 victory. Bell finally made it to the bigs this season after battling some major injuries during his development. LA's best chance came in the 7th when they got an Augusta error to go with 3 hits, but scored only once, due to a rally-killing DP by Tom Daniels. Closer Albert Jackson gets some help in the 9th with a great over-the-shoulder catch by 1B Alexander with the tying run on. Alexender gets series MVP honors in going 4 for 9, with 2 HR and 5 RBI (at least 1 in every game.)
LA's three big hitters, Molina, Bonilla and Tony "The Crooner" Bennett, went a combined 7-36 in the series.
Congratulations to LA for an incredible 112 win season! They just ran into a great offensive team and hot pitchers. I know everyone in A-Rod was concerned about getting this stellar franchise in responsible hands, and slash certainly did not disappoint. It's clear this team will be making another serious run for the title next season. Great job!
This marks the 3rd consecutive season that Charlotte and Jackson would have to duke it out with one another to make their run for the title, with the teams splitting the last two meetings. Charlotte got the ace it was looking for to start game 1 in Pat Combs in a midseason trade. He went 11-1 with a 1.96 ERA since his acquistion. He retired the first six men he faced, but he gives up 4 in the third, the big blow a Bryce Dupler 3-run blast. Jackson takes advantage of a Dennis Larson error to score 3 more in the 5th, and cruise to the 9-1 victory behind two-time Cy Young winner Reese "Smokin'" Hemphill. Reese goes 8, giving up 5 hits, 2 walks and 0 earned. Red-hot Ralph "Billy the Kidd" Kydd gets 2 hits, scores 2, steals 3, and knocks in 1.
Charlotte got down to business early in game 2 with 4 in the first off Roy "Purple" Hayes on 5 hits in the inning, including a 2-out, 2-run double by Enos Hoffman. Jackson answers right back with 3 in the next half-inning off vet Alex "The Professor" Gabriel on a Tony Pena 3-run blast. While Hayes settles down, Jackson gets to Gabriel again in the 5th on back-to-backers by Kydd and Dan Blair to take the 5-4 lead. Dennis Larson gets the big game-tying single in the 6th, but Charlotte cannot turn it into a big inning, as Yank Bryant flies out to deep right with the bags full to end the additional scoring threat. Wellington Saenz gives Jackson two huge scoreless innings of relief to get them through 8 all tied. Tony Pena blasts his second homer of the game, this one a two run blast, in the top of the ninth. Power hitter Tom Lewis comes to the plate as the tying run for Charlotte in the ninth, but pops out off Sal Jacobson to end the game.
Game 3 was even better as Jackson and Jason Matthews carried a 2-0 lead through 6 on RBI singles from Wes Dickerson and (who else?) Ralph Kydd. In the 7th, Charlotte's hopes for extending their season are kept alive on a lead-changing 3-run homer from journeyman Bob Becker. In the 8th, when Jackson gets runners on first-and-third with no outs, Charlotte elects to avoid the the big inning and play for the twin-killing instead of playing the infield in to cut down the tying run. They get the DP but give up the lead. Both clubs turn in a scorelless ninth, and they head to extras. Enos Hoffman gets a lead-off single for Charlotte in the 10th, but Richie Rupe grounds into a DP to squash the scoring chance. In the bottom of the 10th, first man to the plate Steve Scott ends the series in dramatic fashion with a HR off closer Charles "1000 Ways to" Dye. Wellingtom Saenz gets the win in this one too, as he goes a combined 5 2/3 scoreless in the last two games. Kydd takes MVP honors for the second staight series by going 5 for 13 with 3 runs, 4 steals and 3 RBI (one in each game.)
Congratulations to Charlotte for another great season. Jackson's team is built for the short-series with Hemphill available to throw almost anytime. This marks the the 5th consecutive time Charlotte's reached the post-season, and I'm sure next season wll be 6. They always find a way to better their club and keep it moving forward. Very nice job!
Looking forward to a great series between Augusta and Jackson. Congratulations and good luck.