- Scranton goes up 3-2 through their half of the 7th in game 1
of their series against Iowa. Marc Webster continues his hot hitting
and drives in 2 on a pair of RBI singles. In the bottom of the 7th, Sam
Cochrane gets a big two out hit to tie it up, and Iowa gets 2 in the
8th to take the lead. Former Squirrel PJ O'Shea gets the save. Game 2
was tied 4-4 through 7. Iowa took a 3-0 lead in the 3rd on the rare
feat of back-to-back-to-back triples, one of them by pitcher Clinton
Puffer. Scranton answered with 3 to tie in their bottom half, which
included a 2-run blast by RA Tucker. After exchanging runs to get us to
4-4, Iowa scratches out the lead run in the 8th, and O'Shea pitches a
1-2-3 ninth to preserve the one-run win. In game 3, Elrod "Rum and"
Coke pitches 8 scoreless (4 hits, 0 walks, 5 K's) and Iowa clinches the
series with a 4-0 win. Vinny Okajima provided all the offense they
would need with a couple RBI's. Iowa advaces to the league championship
round to face the winner of St. Louis and Colorado.
Scranton got a tough break when they lost reigning MVP Pat Dougherty to injury in their first round win. It's tough enough to score on Iowa's pitching staff. The Squirrels had an outstanding season, and have a great mix of young talent and guys in their primes. I'm betting they're in the running for the whole enchilada next season. Great job!
Game 1 of the St.Louis-Colorado series was tied 3-3 through 6. Colorado's Diory Silva hits a 2-run shot, and Gill Ashby drives in 2 with a single for St. Louis. John Ueno goes yard in top 9 to give Colorad the lead and Ronn Aumont protects the lead for the save. St. Louis frustrates Colorado starter Miguel Carrasco by scoring single runs in each of the first four innings to a 4-0 lead. SS Omar Estella hits a solo shot. St. Louis starter Benito Guerrero gives up 10 baserunners through 6, but allows only a single run in earning the series-evening 4-1 win. In game 3, Gio Hernandez strikes out 9 in 7 strong innings to earn the 4-2 win that puts Colorado on the brink of winning the series. Alvin "The Run" Logan and Ray Brock go back-to-back in the 3rd to put the Shock ahead 2-1. Ueno hits a 2-run HR to provide insurance, and Aumont gets a 1-2-3 ninth for the save. In game 4, St. Louis build a 7-0 lead through their half of the 5th behind a strong start by Pedro Borges (who also drove in 4 in the game.) Wil Pote got a 2-run double in the 1st to get the Redbird off to a fast start with their backs against the wall. Estrella goes deep for the 2nd time in the series, this time a 3-run blast and the series is tied after the 17-4 St' Louis win. Estrella gets hurt, however, and is forced to miss the deciding game. Game 5 was a nail-biting 2-2 tie through 6 and 1/2. Carrasco and 2 time Cy Young winner Alex Torres match each other frame for frame. Ray Brock got Colorado on the board with a soloshot in the 1st, and Louie Santiago answered for the Redbirds with a 2-run shot in the bottom half. Santiago got to the plate after a Wil Pote bloop single that many felt could have been caught by LF Jason Swann. In the 7th inning of the tie game, Gill Ashby comes through for St. Louis with the go-ahead single. Gio come in in relief, but can't limit the damage as he allows 2 inherited runners to score, and then allows 3 of his own the next inning. St. Louis advances to the next round to face Iowa qith the 8-2 game 5 victory. Santiago hits .350 with 2 HR and 8 RBI to take MVP honors.
Colorado put togther an unbelievable team with a short but effective rebuild and a tremendous off-season, and almost got themselves to the league championship series. Their long time division rivals were the only thing standing in their way. I'm sure the Shock will continue to add the pieces necessary next season to make this team into an even more dangerous one. Excellent job!
In game 1 of the League Champioship Series, St. Louis keeps the momentum of their big game 5 win going by scoring 3 in the first off of Iowa starter Bruce Mullens. Santiago remains hot with an RBI single and Rip Anderson gets a big 2-out RBI double. Iowa answers in their half of the 1st off Benito Guerrero, courtesy of a 2-run blast by #2 hitter Hank Roberts. Guerrero settles down in a huge way and gives up only a single hit during the rest of his outing in going 7 innings for the 5-2 win. Stump Matheson allows the tying run to get the plate in the 9th, but JD Shunick gets Gary Girardi to end it. A CG gem by Iowa starter Clinto Puffer evens the series at 1-1. Puff Daddy gives up only 4 hits in the 5-0 shutout. St. Louis jumps out to a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning of game 3 on a 2-out, 2-run single by Ted Anderson. But Iowa goes ahead 3-2 with single runsin the 3rd, 4th and 5th off St. Louis starter ruben Calderon. Bob Newson gets a pair of RBI singles and Sammy Cochranes hits a solo homerun. Iowas then explodes for 6 in the 6th off reliever Orlando Hernandez. Hank Roberts geta a 2-run triple and Cochrane adds an RBI single. Iowa goes on to the 11-3 win to take the series lead. Bob Newson gets 4 hits, scores 2 and drives in 2. In game 4, Iowa gets back-to-back RBI doubles from Jaret Walters and Cochrane in the 5th and take a 4-0 lead to the 8th. The Rouders could have had more, but they had 2 runners thrown out at the plate in the early innings, limiting the damage and keeping St. Louis within reach. Mullens tosses 5 shutout innings giving up 2 hits and striking out 8. St. Louis scores 2 in the 8th on an Ashby solo HR and a 2-out single by Pedro Juarez. Nick Woods hit a 2-out solo shot in the 9th off closer PJ O'Shea to cut the lead to 4-3. Ted Anderson gets on base as the tying run, but Ashby grounds out to end the threat and the game. In game 5, the Redbirds finally muster something off of Clinton Puffer and score 3 to talke a 3 run lead into the 7th. Starter Benito Guerrero helps himself with a 2-run single and Rip Anderson adds a solo-shot. Gary Girardo hits a huge 3-run bomb off Guerrero in the 7th to tie the game. St. Louis squanders a chance to take the lead in the 8th, as they get Santiago to the plate with runners on 2nd and 3rd with only 1 out, but fail to score. Cochrane gets his 4th hit of the game in the next half inning, a huge 2-run HR, and O'Shea pitches a perfect 9th to seal the victory and the series for Iowa. Cochrane gets series MVP for going 10 for 17 with 2 HR and 6 RBI. Iowa advances to play in the World Series.
Congratulations to St. Louis for another fantastic season. Year after year they continue to be a legitimate contender. Great job once again; I'm sure you'll be a-knockin' next season!