- In the AL, Cincinnati took a 3-1 series lead over LA as the
teams got right back to it after each of their dramatic 5 game Division
Series victories. In game 1, Cincy takes advantage of a rare error by
Tony "The Crooner" Bennet ( who is usually as cool a cat as Bobby Darin
was during his "Beyond the Sea" years) in the 8th of a 1-1 tie. Brant
Ducey's 2 run double and Cam Weston's 2-run HR were the damage-doers
once the floodgates were opened by the miscue. Paul Merrick pitched 8
strong in the 7-1 win.
The Sextons got 6 key innings out of the pen from Al Lopez in their game 2 come-from-behind win. Davey Diaz tied the game at three with his solo shot off closer and former Cy Young winner Travis Jones. Ducey once again delivered the big hit, a 2-run double in the 10th in the 5-4 win.
Merrick pitched another beauty (8 shut-out iniings) in game 4's 8-1 win that staked Cincy to the 3-1 lead.
LA comback began with big homeruns by Colorado castoff Alberto Puente in both games 5 and 6. He had a 2-run shot in 5's 9-7 victory and a granny in game 6's 10-3 thrashing that forced the rubber match.
LA worked its formula for victory to a tee in game 7, as they got 6 workable innings from starter Charlie Rushford, who then turned it over to ace reliever Carlos "Exxon" Valdes for 2 scoreless. The LA big bats did their part by banging out 17 hits in the 8-3 win that decided the series. Clay Stanley belted 2 homers and Jamie "Fire" Byrne hit one as well. Paul Merrick just didn't have enough in the tank in his third start of the series.
Another great season by the Sextons. The foundation of the team is sound and in its prime, and ownership knows how to add the extra pieces as needed. Great job, sir Sexton!
In the NL, Helena took 2 out of the first three in a series of dramatic nailbiters. The run differentail in those first 3 was Helena +2. In game 1, Helena saw their 6-1 lead disappear in the 8th on a big hit by Sam Cochrane, only to win it in the 9th on a couple RBI hits by Leon Justice and Barolo Posado (4 RBI for the game.)
In game 2, Iowas scored single runs in the 7th, & 8th to tie it, and then again in the 10th in their walk-off 3-2 win. Chris Cust hit the game-winning solo blast. Iowa's lock-down bullpen pitched 4 scoreless in support of starter Elrod "Rum and" Coke.
In game 3, it was touche for Helena as they spoil Bruce Mullens's return from the DL. He obviously wasn't affected by the layoff, as he throws 7 innings of 1-hit shutout ball. But Cristobal Chavez is the walk-off hero as he erases a 2-o defecit with a 3-run blast in the bottom of the 9th.
From this point, the series belonged to Iowa, as they again get 7 shutout innings from their starters in each of the next 2 games. Clinton Puffer in game 4 and Elrod "Rum and" Coke in 5.
Helena got out of the gate quickly with their backs against the wall in game 6, as they score 3 in the first on homers by Gerald Hull and Hersh Glynn, only to see Iowa answer right back with 4 in the bottom half. Gary Girardi's 3 run homer was the crushing blow, sending Paul Cintron to the early shower. But Ronald "Third Degree" Byrne pitched brilliantly out of pen for Helena (4 2/3, 1 hit, 0 runs) to allow his teammate, Cristobal Chavez to tie it up with another dramatic PH homer in the 8th. But the game and series ends in a way nobody could have expeced. Curtis Lewis gets into scoring position with a key steal in the 11th inning, and with all of Iowa's position players burned, reliever Carlton Magee is forced to bat for himself in the key situation. He delivers the walk-off single, advancing Iowa to their second consecutive World Series.
Helena came out the the bowels of rebuild to shock the World and win two playoff series against tough opponents, and gave the champs a run for their money. Without a couple of key injuries during the playoffs, who knows what may have been?! By the way mtg, I considered your wish to have tmantom see your team now and sitemailed your team link to him. Whether he got it or not, we shall probably never know! Great job, sir!