Monday, May 21, 2012

NL Round 1 Recap by cebola

In game 1 of the series between Scranton and Tampa, 23-year old Japanese sensation Richard Nomo delivers in a big way by piching 6 innings, giving up 1 run and striking out 6. Nomo had his breakthrough year this season for Scranton, piching 207 innnings and going 13-4 with a 3.13 ERA. Mark Webster got the big 2-run homer in the 7th, turning a tight 2-1 game into a more comfortable 4-1 game. Dan Lane and Enrique Mercado lock down the final 3 innings to preserve the Scranton victory. Game 2 was all Tampa, as they bang out 22 hits in the 15-4 win. Blake Leary (HR/3 RBI) and Emil Cortez (4 RBI) each go 4 for 5. The big news of game 2 however, was the injury to reigning MVP Pat Dougherty of Scranton, who pulled a hammy and would miss the rest of the series. After losing their big gun, Scranton gets a huge lift from game 3 starter, veteran Raul Cora, as he pitches 8 innings giving up just a single unearned run. Tampa slugger Derrick Grissom comes to the plate with the tying runs on with 2 outs in the 9th, but fails to deliver off closer Mercado, and Scranton takes the 2-1 series lead with the 3-1 win. In game 4, Rich "Say it Ain't" Sobolewski rebounds from his shaky game 1 outing and pitches 8 innings, giving up only 1 run in the Tampa 4-1 victory. Jamie "Fire" Byrne drives in 2, including a homer.

Most experts predicted a pitchers duel in game 5 and figured veteran Cy Young candidate and former Squirrel Harry Lee would get the better of young gun Richard Nomo. Nomo pitches an even better game than his game 1 gem, and he one ups Lee and earns the series clinching win by throwing 7 shutout innings in the 2-0 win. Mercado earns his 3rd save of the series. Nomo earns series MVP honors for his two masterpieces.

Hopefully my Dons will be back to compete again next season. We're hoping Jamie Byrnes picks up his half of the mutual option for next season, thereby keeping the nucleus together to make another run at the title. We shall see!

The Milwaukee-Colorado series got the Fox primetime 8:40 start for each game that they would play, as Milwaukee's much-ballyhooed three-headed ace in Heiserman-McCurry-Bennett would face off against the contemporary Murderer's Row of the Shock. In game 1, the Shock's relentless attack got to Heiserman for runs in each of the first three innings to take a 4-0 lead. They explode for 4 more in the 6th to go on to the 10-1 win. No stranger to the playoffs, Benito Rijo drives in 5 in his first post-season game for his new club. Rafael Beltre goes 8 and 1/3 for the win, giving up the lone run.

Colorado jumped on ace #2 and got 3 runs in the first inning of game 2 off of "Don" Juan Bennett. Rijo hits a 2-run jack in the frame. The Shock tack on 2 more, including a homer by Marc Clark, and Milwaukee's offense continued to sputter in the 5-0 shut-out. 23 year-old Miguel Carasco spun a beauty, 7 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits.

Game 3 was a classic thin-air free-for-all as Milwaukee's offense wakes up from their slumber in a big mother-freakin'-way, as they build an 18-0 after 4! Juan Alarcon, Geraldo Valdes, Edge Edwards, and rookie Sam "We've Got" Bush all go yard. Pablo Diaz and Bush each drive in 5. Ace Threely, Stu McCurry pitches a gem, as far as Rocky Mountain gems go, going 8, giving up 5 in the 21-10 win. $130 million-dollar man, Gio Hernandez, can't get out of the 2nd and gives up 8 runs. Game 4 saw Milwaukee take a 2-0 lead through their half of the 3rd, but Colorado scores 3 in the bottom to take the lead. RBI-singles by Denny Tazawa, Rijo, and Jason Swann account for the runs. 'Rado tacks on another to take a 4-2 lead, but Milwaukee explodes for 6 in the 5th, including the go-ahead RBI single by pitcher Paul Heiserman and a 3-run blast by Valdes. Heiserman and Miguel Martinez hold off the Shock through the final 4 innings to seal the series tying 8-4 win. We head back to Milwaukee for the big game 5 and both magers decide to go with their starters from the game 3 slugfest, and both on only 2 days rest. Big money man Gio H was the odds-on favorite to start the big game for the Shock, but in a somewhat surpising move, Milwaukee skips Juan Bennet on regular rest to go with McCurry, who did have a better season. The decision proves to be the right one, as McCurry pitches 8 scoreless, surrendering only 1 hit. The problem was that Hernadez matched him frame for frame. When Milwaukee got a leadoff single from Benji Ramos in the bottom of the 8th, they had no choice but to pinch-hit for McCurry, but they failed to capitalize. New pitcher Miguel Martinez got he first 2 men in the 9th, but Rijo singled and Marc Clark hit the huge 2-run homer to give Colorado the lead with three outs to go. The $130 million man proves his worth and gets the final 3 himself in the 2-0 complete game shutout. Benito Rijo gets MVP with 3 HR and 10 (yes, 10) RBI.

It was another great season for Milwaukee, as they no-doubt will be back in the tournament next season to make a serious run at the title. Great job!

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