Wrigley at Mississippi
Jacob Degrom cruises as the Big Orange get to John Lackey early.
Jackie Bradley's early HR is all Mississippi would need holding the Raiders to 2 hits.
Wrigley jumps out early thanks to a Corey Dickerson Home Run, but the Big Orange battles back to scratch across 3 runs against Kyle Hendricks.
Sonny Gray goes 8 strong innings and David Robertson closes it out for a 2-0 series lead.
Headed to the land of champions for the next 3. The Raiders will try to channel a little bit of that Maddon Magic
10/ 1 WRR 0 3 0 MBO 5 7 0 J.Degrom (1-0) J.Lackey (0-1)
10/ 2 WRR 2 2 0 MBO 3 5 0 S.Gray (1-0) K.Hendricks (0-1)
Game 3: An exciting back and forth game. Mississippi knocks out Marco Estrada in the 3rd inning and clings to a 5-3 lead. That changes in the 7th when Wellington Castillo bangs a 3-run HR off Will Smith to give Albany a 6-5 lead. Mississippi comes right back to tie it on a Troy Tulowitzki HR in the 7th. The game stays tied into the 9th when Starling Marte comes through with a 2-out single to give Mississippi a 7-6 win and 3-0 series lead
Game 4: Mississippi jumps out to the lead, but the Internationals jump on Jered Weaver, knocking him out and then knocking the bullpen around. Albany rolls to a 13-4 win and keeps the series alive.
Game 5: Jacob Degrom back on the hill trying to close the series out and he is dominant allowing 1 run and striking out 12 in 7 IP. Mississippi strikes early with a Lucas Duda HR and then Dioner Navarro delivers the knockout blow with a 3-run PH HR. Mississippi cruises 8-1 to win the series 4 games to 1
KONA COAST vs. NAL HUTTA
Kona Coast opens the Round 2 series with Nal Hutta with two wins, with Game 2 going 14 innings!
Game 1 – Kona Coast 6, Nal Hutta 2. Nal Hutta struck first with two runs in the top of the third. With two on and two out, Nelson Cruz doubled to score 1 and Jarrod Dyson had a rare error (on the throw home) for the second but unearned run. Coffee Grower MadBum settled down thereafter, going 8 innings.
Adeiny Hechavarria got a triple off Johnny Cueto and scored on a Miguel Sano ground out to halve the lead in the bottom of the third. Three total doubles and an intentional walk in the fifth scored three for the Coffee Growers to take the lead for good. Two insurance runs were added in the sixth, one on a leadoff HR by Jonathan Lucroy.
Game 2 – Kona Coast 4, Nal Hutta 3 (14 innings). The Coffee Growers got to Cole Hamels early, chasing the Bounty Hunter pitcher in the second inning. Miguel Sano singled, followed by a K, then station-to-station singles by Chris Colabello and Rougned Odor. Hamels struck out Jarrod Dyson but Roberto Perez knocked in the first two runs of the game with a single. Adeiny Hechavarria walked and that was it for Hamels. Brandon Maurer came in and Brandon Guyer lined a single to make it 3-0. After that, the Bounty Hunter bullpen did an absolutely masterful job, as 7 different pitchers shut out the Coffee Growers. Even eventual loser (and 8th reliever) Kendall Graveman pitched wonderfully.
Nal Hutta mounted their comeback with a SOLO HOMERUNS in the sixth, seventh, and ninth. The tying run came in the top of the ninth by Nelson Cruz as the Coffee Growers did not opt for Craig Kimbrel. Starter Chris Sale ultimately pitched 10-1/3 innings and struck out 10 but, of course, gave up the three bombs.
The bottom of the tenth had its own excitement as a Mark Teixeira HR 1-2 chance with a “3” card played into the jumping ability of Chris Young who pulled it back from HR territory. The crowd groaned as the walk-off HR was missed by inches.
Coffee Growers Andrew Chafin and Joe Ross pitched well in extra innings relief. Darren O’Day got the last out of the 13th and worked around a Brian Dozier single in the 14th by striking out the last two batters.
“We go to the bottom of the 14th!” With Kendall Gravemen working his third inning and with one out, Jarrod Dyson singles but can’t get a lead. Roberto Perez then strikes out for out #2 and the home crowd senses another missed opportunity. PH Francisco Lindor works a walk and hope rises. Brandon Guyer hits a hot shot “GB(2B)-X” to Brian Dozier (2b-2e8) that goes through for a single and speedy Jarrod Dyson easily scores from second to send the Kona Coast crowd into delirium.
In the first two games, Nal Hutta’s Nelson Cruz was a one man wrecking crew, going 7-for-10 and 2 HRS. The Nal Hutta relief corps were fantastic, allowing only one (albeit a walk-off) run in 14.0 innings of work.
For the home team, Brandon Guyer went 5-for-10 and the always stellar pitching staff limited the opponents to a 1.57 ERA and a .233 BA.
SEATTLE vs. WASHINGTON
All games were played using Team Viewer, an alternative to Strat's net play.
Game1: Chris Archer (16-11, 4.78) vs. Matt Harvey (15 - 8, 3.28)
The Mob draws first blood in the first inning. Jose Altuve gets a 1 out single and Domingo Santana sends him and himself home with a home run to make it 2 - 0. Bad "D" hurts Indy in the 3rd. David Peralta leads off with a single. Archer gets Altuve and Santana but Clown 3rd baseman Cesar Hernandez boots an Adam Lind grounder and Carlos Sanchez can't handle Mark Canha's grounder, ruled a hit. Curt Casali makes them pay by blasting a grand slam home run to make it 6 - 0 and Indy is reeling. Archer settles down after that but Harvey has brought his A game, shutting out Indy through 7 innings.
Fred Turtle decides to go to the pen in the 8th and immediately regrets it. The Clowns get 3 quick runs off Jake Petricka, keyed by Andres Blanco's triple to cut the lead in half. Unfazed, however, Adam Lind leads off the 8th with a home run that ices it for Chicago. Not taking any chances in the 9th despite a 4 run lead, Mark Melancon is called in and closes it out.
FINAL: Chicago 7 - 9 - 1 Indianapolis 3 - 7 - 1
GAME 2: Hisashi Iwakuma (9 - 6, 4.21) vs. Jaime Garcia (11 - 4, 1.59)
Chicago and Indy are held scoreless until the 3rd inning. Domingo Santana leads off the bottom of the inning with a double and Jhonny Peralta promptly singles him home. Indianapolis get men on, but can't get the clutch hit to bring them in.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 5th, Iwakuma plunks Salty and Jacoby Ellsbury gets a hold of one that barely clears the right field wall for a BP HR (1 - 7, split 6). Ringmaster Bob can only sigh.
Indy finally gets to Garcia when with 2 outs in the 7th, Asdrubel Cabrera and Cesar Hernandez get back to back doubles to make the game 3 - 1. Tanner Roark comes in to get Andres Blanco, then tosses a 1,2,3 8th. Top of the 9th and in comes Melancon. Leading off, Josh Reddick greets him with a solid single. Melancon recovers to strike out Joe Mauer. Ringmaster Bob decides to pinch hit with Kyle Schwarber. The roll is a 2 - 5, the cruelest of rolls. Single 1 - 8, groundball (a) 9 - 20. The split is 14 for a game ending double play! It's a good thing that we were not using Skype to communicate.
FINAL: Chicago 3 - 6 - 1 Indianapolis 1 - 7 -
On to The Big Top
GAME 3: James Shields (18 - 13, 4.53) vs. Mike Fiers (11-12, 3.50)
Looking to keep the pressure on, Chicago's Josh Harrison leads off the game with a double. It looks like Fiers will get out of it, but Mark Canha slaps a 2 out single to left to make it 1 - 0 Mob. Shields has an uneventful first 2 innings, but Indy starts a rally in the 3rd. Carlos Sanchez leads off with a double. Jose Bautista lines out and A.J. Pollock taps one back to Shields but he can't handle it! Unnerved, a wild pitch scores Sanchez and then Schwarber is plunked. Josh Reddick puts Shields out of his misery with a long home run and it is 5 - 1 Clowns. Fiers is on cruise until the 6th when Kyle Seager and Jhonny Peralta hit back to back doubles to make it 5 - 2. Bottom of the 8th. A one out Salty single chases Fiers. Ringmaster Bob goes to Andrew Miller, who incredibly walks Seager to bring up the tying run with only one out. Jhonny Peralta takes a mighty swing but misses for strike three, and Paulo Orlando hits a 2 hopper to short to end the threat. Jose Altuve gets a 1 out single in the 9th but Miller strikes out Denard Span and Dixon Machado and there is life in Indianapolis.
FINAL: Indianapolis 5 - 7 - 0 Chicago 2 - 10 - 1.
GAME 4: Yovani Gallardo (14 - 9, 3.87) vs. Chris Archer (see above)
Archer gets off to a better start, getting the side out in the 1st but he is touched, rather rudely by a 1 out blast by Mark Canha to make it 1 - 0 Mob. Gallardo is a stud through 5 innings in shutting out The Clowns. In the top of the 6th, Jhonny Peralta draws a lead off walk and Josh Harrison sacrifices him to 2nd. Denard Span singles with Peralta holding at 3rd. Span steals 2nd with no throw and Jose Altuve is intentionally walked, regrettably by Ringmaster Bob as David Peralta clears the CF wall for a grand slam home run, the second of the series. Adam Lind follows with a base hit and one out later scores on Curt Casali's double to make it 6 - 1 Mob.
The Clowns refuse to go down easy. Jose Bautista singles and A.J. Pollock homers to make it 6 - 2. Wasting no time, Fred Turtle goes to Carlos Rodon who squelches the rally and throws 2 innings of perfect relief. Bautista hits a solo home run in the 8th off Petricka to make it 6 - 3. Melancon comes in to pitch the 9th and gives up a 1 out single to Reddick. Wilson Ramos comes in to pinch hit a nd rolls one to Altuve who turns the DP and Chicago takes a commanding 3 - 1 lead. Second loss in a row for Indy to end in a DP, although not as dramatic as game 2.
FINAL: Chicago 6 - 7 - 0 Indianapolis 3 - 7 - 1
GAME 5: Matt Harvey vs. Jose Quintana (14 - 8, 3.88)
Putting the pedal down, Chicago plates 2 runs in the top of the 1st. Altuve leads off with single and scampers home on Santana's double. Chris Iannetta singles for the 2 - 0 lead. Indy rallies in the bottom of the frame quite dramatically. Jose Bautista leads off with a home run. Pollock walks, steals 2nd and goes to 3rd on a ground out. Kyle Schwarber then hits a fly to left and Pollock scores to tie the game. Indy takes the lead in the 2nd on Carlos Sanchez' home run and adds solo home runs by Reddick in the 4th and Asdrubel Cabrera in the 5th. Clearly, Harvey is being wild "over the plate". It is looking pretty good for The Clowns with their 5 - 2 lead but Fred Turtle finally lights a fire under his team. In the top half of the 7th, Jose Altuve legs a lead off triple. Ringmaster Bob goes to Jeff Manship but Ellsbury's singles scoring Altuve. Carlos Villanueva enters and Adam Lind pinch hits for Mark Trumbo who promptly doubles scoring Ellsbury and it's 5 - 4. Chicago can do no more as Villanueva gets Santana, Seager and Iannetta to strand the tying run on 2nd.
Mob relievers are perfect and we enter the top of the 9th. Andrew Miller, who struck out the 2 batters he faced in the 8th stays in the game to face Ellsbury, who strikes out. Curt Casali and all those home runs comes in to pinch. Miller needs only 3 pitches to strike him out. Domingo Santana is The Mobs last hope but Miller strikes him out, too for the dramatic win.
FINAL: Indianapolis 5 - 6 - 1 Chicago 4 - 12 - 0
A common theme. Winning team is outhit again.
The series returns to Chicago and Terrapin Station with The Mob leading the series 3 games to 2. which will be played tomorrow. All files will be attached then
GAME 6: Hisashi Iwakuma (tough luck loser in game 2) vs. Jaime Garcia (winner of game 2)
Indianapolis gets a AJ Pollock single in the first but can't do anything with it. Denard Span leads off Chicago's 1st with a ringing double. Iwakuma retires the next 2 batters. Ringmaster Bob considers walking Adam Lind but decides against it. Lind makes him pay with a 3 - 4 roll for a monster 2 run home run sending the Mob faithful into a frenzy. Both teams go down meekly in the 2nd. In the Clown 3rd, Carlos Sanchez gets a 1 out single. Andres Blanco then blasts a double to left field. 3rd base coach Emmett Kelly decides to send Sanchez who beats the throw to cut the Mob lead in half. The Mob defense then makes 2 nice plays that keeps the tying run from scoring.
That lead is short lived when after 2 outs in the 4th, Joe Mauer, Asdrubel Cabrera and Alexi Ramirez all single, with Mauer scoring the tying run. In the top of the 6th, with 1 on and no out, Scott Van Slyke rolls a 6 - 2, single 1 - 19. Guess what the roll is. Yes! It's a 20 for the 2nd out. Pollock then hits a shot to Kyle Seager at third who turns a nifty 5-4-3 DP to end the inning. Ringmaster Bob is seen mouthing some fine words that need a 7 second delay, but regains his composure and the game continues. Stepping up to the plate is Seager who just started that DP. He proceeds to send Iwakuma's first pitch far into the night for a home run and a 3 - 2 Mob lead. Before the riotous noise can quiet down, Jhonny Peralta launches his own blast and it is 4 - 2 Chicago. Iwakuma manages to keep the score there, but it is looking bad for Indy.
In the top of the 6th, with one out, Wilson Ramos rolls that 6 - 2 number on Garcia. The split is a 20 again!! Ringmaster Bob just stares up into the sky, speechless, but again manages to keep it together. Fred Turtle made it known that Garcia could go only 6 innings and as Jaime leaves the mound, Mob fans give him a much earned standing ovation. Chicago batters respond by scoring a 5th run in the bottom of the inning on a Lind double and Seager single. Top of the 7th and this is where Chicago misses Geroge Kontos. Zach Duke gives up a 1 out double to Alexi Ramirez but manages to retire the last 2 batters. In the bottom of the 7th, Saltal... Salty gets a lead off walk and Jacoby Ellsbury pinch runs but can't get the lead. Josh Harrison singles him to 2nd. Mob fans are expecting to put Indy out of their misery but reliever Carlos Villanueva induces Denard Span to hit into a double play and Jose Altuve rolls a clutch out number that keeps the score at 5 - 2. Top of 8 and Tanner Roark comes in for Chicago. Kyle Schwarber is sent to the plate and then sends one into the right field bleachers to bring Indy a little bit closer. AJ Pollack singles and steals 2nd. Jose Bautista grounds out for the first out and Ringmaster Bob pinch hits with Josh Reddick. Fred Turtle wastes no time in going to super backwards righty Mark Melancon. Backwards or not, Reddick singles and all of a sudden it is a 5 - 4 game and the only sounds are the few Indy Clown fans that made the trip. Unfazed, Melancon gets Mauer and Cabrera to end the threat. Chicago gets a great chance to open up the lead again vs. nemesis Andrew Miller, getting men on 1st and 3rd with one out but Miller strikes out Seager and defensive replacement Dixon Machado to keep it at 5 - 4.
Top of the 9th and the nervous energy is palpable. Alexi Ramirez leads off the inning and hits a sharp grounder to Machado at short who throws him out. AJ Pierzynski enters to pinch hit. Melancon gets him on 3 pitches. Andres Blanco is The Clowns last hope. Melancon has an 0 - 2 count on Blanco, who takes a mighty cut at the next pitch but misses. Game over. Chicago advances to face The Seattle Pilots in round 3 !
FINAL Chicago 5 - 10 - 0 Indianapolis 4 - 11 - 0 (Once again, winning team is out hit).
Besides game 1, all the other games were close and fun to play. Bob Fidler had a fine team that ran into some tough luck (two 1 - 19 outs. I mean, really?) and Chicago got more key split and X-chart rolls than Indy. Gracious in defeat, Bob wishes Fred Turtle good luck vs. Seattle and Fred honors Bob for a fine season and wishes The Clowns a good 2017.
Series MVP. There are several choices. Mark Canha hit .313 with a HR and double and actually made two outstanding X-chart plays in left field in game 4 to help preserve the win. Jacoby Ellsbury hit .364 with 2 doubles and a HR. Jaime Garcia went 2 - 0 with a 2.13 ERA, no walks and 6 strikeouts. The consensus, however, is co-MVPS.
Mark Melancon pitched in all 4 games that The Mob won, earning 3 saves. 4.2 innings, 3 hits, no walks, no runs and 3 strikeouts. He was ice water in game 6.
Adam Lind hit .500 (8 for 16) with 3 doubles, 2 HR's a walk and 4 RBI. He was a one man wrecking crew in game 6.
Congrats to both.
To be fair, in their losing effort, Josh Reddick hit .333 with 2 HR's and 5 RBI.
A.J. Pollack hit .318 with a HR and Asdrubel Cabrera hit .316 with a HR. Andrew Miller struck out 13, I say 13 Mob batters in 5.1 scoreless relief innings.
MISSISSIPPI at KONA COAST
GAME 1: HR's accounted for all of the Orange's runs. Cuddyer's solo shot (his card) in the 7th tied the game.
The ball bounced the Coffee Grower's way in the 1st game. Lindor's 2 run HR was a 1-11 chance on the Pitcher's card. Revere thrown out at home on a 1-10 chance in the 5th.
Hands on managing may have won the game for the Coffee Growers- nothing magical, but taking out Baumgarner and matching up with J Ross first, and then Kimbrel proved to be good calls.
The game was won in the 10th on a passed ball, following a successful sacrifice bunt by Lindor to put men at 2B-3B with 1 out.
FINAL: Kona Coast 4 Mississippi 3 (10 Innings) [Kona Coast leads series 1-0]
GAME 2: The lucky tradewinds shifted to Mississippi's back in game 2. In Mississippi's half of the 2nd, Tulo leads off with a 2-12 HBP, and Cervelli follows with a 6-9 (HR13/2B) split, rolling a lucky "7" for a 2-0 Miss lead. Kona ties the score in the bottom of the 3rd (possibly with some help from HAL?). Frazier leads off with a 2B and Dyson hits a 3B (both off of the hitter cards). With 1 out (Guyer-K), Sano hits a GB. HAL is playing the infield back allowing Dyson to score.
Neither team advanced a runner past 2B through the 7th. The only Miss baserunner after the 2nd was the result of a rare Texeira error.
Sale has the innings to spare, and as the game was tied (possible extras), he started the 8th to face the bottom half of the Mississippi lineup. First up - Navarro followed by Cuddyer, then the dangerous Marte and Ben Revere (batting 9th). Navarro leads off with a 2-12 BB. HAL looks up from his coffee and makes the correct decision this time, pinch running Granderson. Decision time for the substitute Kona bench manager..... I allow Sale (no fatigue) to pitch to Cuddyer with Duda lurking around the bat rack in the Mississippi dugout, and then Marte and Revere, both much better hitters against RHP's, to follow. Sale does his job and K's Cuddyer. So we have the best possible match-up- Sale vs Marte. That's when lightening strikes in the same spot for the 2nd time in the game. Marte rolls the same 6-9, although this time misses the HR with a high split card. It's a 2B, there is a play at the plate, and it comes down to a safe call as the catcher attempts to block the plate- with Marte advancing to 3rd on the play. we play the INF in, and it pays off as Revere grounds into a FC. He does manage to steal 2B, but O'Day is brought in to retire Kinsler, keeping the game in reach.
We mix and match relievers in the 9th to keep it to a 1 run game heading into the Home team's last half inning. Schoop leads off with a 1B, and Robbie Ray comes off the bench to successfully sacrifice Schoop to 2B, with the best 2 players to win the game (Tex and Frazier) up next. RHP- Robertson is in the game for Mississippi, so Tex and Frazier are the two best options at the plate---- let the dice roll! Both roll on the pitcher's card- Tex hits a BP HR number- but this is where the cavernous coffee Grounds cuts both ways.
FINAL: Mississippi 3 Kona Coast 2 [Series Tied 1-1]
GAME 3: Brentwood, TN's Robbie Ray on the mound for the Coffee Growers pitching 15 miles from his old High School. With hundreds of supporters likely in the stands, Ray appears nervous early on. Ian Kinsler doubles to start the first. 2 walks load the bases for Francisco Cervelli who raps a single scoring one run. A force out scores a second run for a 2-0 Big Orange lead. The offenses go quiet after that as Justin Verlander is just dominant on the mound, allowing only one hit into the 8th. Kevin Jepsen comes on to relieve Verlander and he gets Chris Colabello to end a Coffee Grower chance in the 8th. Mississippi adds a run in the bottom of the 8th with a Navarro Sac Fly scoring Evan Longoria.
Mississippi calls on closer David Robertson to start the 9th and he's promptly greeted by a Jonathan Lucroy BIG FLY! Robertson settles down and gets the next 3 batters. Mississippi hangs on to win another low-scoring pitcher's duel, 3-1.
FINAL: Mississippi 3 Kona Coast 1 [Mississippi leads series 2-1]
GAME 4: A game that defines what playoff baseball is all about. An absolute dynamite pitchers duel between Jacob Degrom and Madison Bumgarner. Mississippi strikes first in the bottom of the 2nd without a hit. Troy Tulowitzki reaches on an error by Francisco Lindor. Francisco Cervelli is next and attempts the hit and run. Bumgarner fires one to the backstop advancing Tulo to 2nd. Cervelli then advances him to third with a groundout and Navarro's groundout scores him. The 1-0 score holds into the 6th when Lindor singles with 1 out. Degrom intentionally walks Teixeira with 2 outs and then gets Colabello. On to the bottom of the 7th. Mississippi puts 2 runners on with 2 outs. Joe Ross relieves Bumgarner and Curtis Granderson lines a PH single to left. But, Longoria is CUT DOWN on a 1-17 safe chance at the plate. Score stays 1-0 until the Top of the 9th. Jonathan Lucroy leads off with a triple against David Robertson. But, Robertson gets Teixeira on a shallow flyout and strikes out Colabello. Schoop is intentionally walked to get to Jarrod Dyson who is lifted for Alex Rios. Robertson bears down and strikes out Rios to end the game. Mississippi hangs on to take Game 4, 1-0.
FINAL: Mississippi 1 Kona Coast 0 [Mississippi leads series 3-1]
GAME 5: Chris Sale trying to stave off elimination facing Sonny Gray. Kona has a good chance early. Sano leads off with a single but is picked off. It's costly because Kona gets 2 more singles off Gray in the inning but doesn't score.
To the bottom of the 4th. Troy Tulowitzki leads off with a BP HR chance against Sale and connects for a 1-0 lead. With 1 out, Michael Cuddyer and Lucas Duda deliver back-to-back doubles for a 2-0 lead. To the top of the 6th.
Gray hits Colabello to lead off the inning. Lindor then singles him to second but Gray coaxes a DP from Schoop. Lucroy then delivers an RBI double to make it 2-1. John Polumbo has seen enough and summons Will Smith from the bullpen who gets Teixeira to groundout. Mississippi loads the bases in the 7th but can't score. To the 8th Colabello singles with 1 out. Arodys Vizcaino is called on to pitch and Lindor singles but Colabello is cut down going to 3rd. (1-12 chance). Schoop strikes out to end the threat. To the 9th, Kona down to its final 3 outs, but Teixeira delivers a BIG FLY off David Robertson to tie it at 2-2. With 2 outs, Dyson walks and steals and the ball is thrown away but Robertson retires Guyer to preserve the tie. Sale comes out for the 9th and delivers a first pitch that will be remembered around these parts for some time. Marte smacks it out of the park to give the Big Orange a walk-off trip to the World Series. Every game of this series was a white-knuckler. I swept very few home series this year and was very fortunate to get some lucky rolls against a great team!
FINAL: Mississippi 3 Kona Coast 2 [Mississippi wins series 4-1]