Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mitchell, Leading Way for Small Dogs

Game 2

Greg Maddux goes up to the mound for the Tigers, we'll see if we are in for another great pitching outing like the first game of this series (with David Cone). Maddux enters with an 8-6 record & 3.41 ERA, he will face Bill Swift, who is not doing so well with a 4-5 record & ERA slightly above five.

Bottom of the 1st
Raines gets it started by hitting a gapper to left-center that goes over Phil Bradley's head, Raines trucks around second & decides to test Bradley's arm, in safely at 3rd with a triple. Molitor hits a single that drops in between 2B-Reynolds and right fielder Lenny Dykstra, as Raines scores easily. Winfield fails to make contact in what appears to be a hit & run attempt, Molitor is caught stealing second on John Marzano's quick peg from the plate. Swift gives a free pass to Winfield. Carter hits one to short, Mex City shortstop Fernandez gets the force at second, but the Chihuahuas couldn't get Carter at first for the double play.
Traverse City 1, Mexico City 0

Bottom of the 5th
One-out single for Felix Fermin (in for the injured Rafael Ramirez). Mookie Wilson gets a hold of this one & sends the ball into the stands just over the center field wall. Traverse City 3, Mexico City 0

Top of the 6th
Harold Reynolds leads off with a double, which is followed up by a Tony Fernandez single to put runners on the corners for Barry Bonds. Bonds grounds to short, Fermin makes the throw to first to get Bonds, Reynolds will score for the small dogs, as Fernandez approaches second. Kevin Mitchell gets a base hit to left, Fernandez will advance to third, but will have to stay as the throw comes in to Molitor. Kelly Gruber hits one to Molitor, Molitor has no play at second & gets the runner at first, Fernandez has to stay put. Runners on 2nd & 3rd with two outs for Cecil Fielder. Which Maddux hands him a hat trick, Fielder has struck out all three times. Traverse City 3, Mexico City 1

Bottom of the 6th
One-out double for Joe Carter. The Chihuahuas go to the pen & call on Jose Alvarez (2-2, 1.13 ERA) in relief of Bill Swift, to face Johnny Ray. Alvarez does his job by striking out Ray & getting O'Brien to fly to center.

Top of the 8th
Tigers take Greg Maddux after 7 solid innings of work, southpaw Dave Leiper works 2/3 of an inning, and the Tigers call on righty Brian Holton to try to finish off the Chihuahuas, who have a runner on first in Barry Bonds. Holton strikes out Kevin Mitchell.

Top of the 9th
Tigers keep with Brian Holton on the mound, and he locks down a 1-2-3 inning for his first save of the season.

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 3, Mexico City 1

Game 3

Bob Knepper (8-3, 2.58 ERA) vs Wes Gardner (1-5, 4.24 ERA)

Top of the 1st
Barry Bonds reaches first on a walk, steals second, and scores on a two-out single to right by Kevin Mitchell. Mexico City 1, Traverse City 0

Bottom of the 2nd
Molitor leads off the inning with a single to right. Joe Carter flies to center. Lefty Ron Hassey jams a single to right just behind first base and now rolls into foul ground, Molitor races around third and is coming home, the throw to the plate by Phil Bradley, and Molitor's out! The aggressive baserunning by the Tigers does not pay off. Esasky would end up flying to left for final out.

Top of the 3rd
With runners on the corners for Barry Bonds, one out. Bonds pops up for second out. Kevin Mitchell hits one into the deep left corner that gave Winfield a hard time getting to, Mitchell makes it to third on a triple, mark him down for 2 RBI as well! The next batter Kelly Gruber slams this one to center, a two-run blast, breaking the game open to a early 5-0 lead for the Chihuahuas. Knepper allows a single to Bergman, and then delivers walk #5 to Phil Bradley, as the Tigers decide to go to the pen. Knepper was completely out of rhythm out there, as they go with righty Luis Aquino. 2 2/3 of work for Knepper allowing 5 runs & 5 walks!
Aquino gets them out of the inning. Mexico City 5, Traverse City 0

Bottom of the 5th
Tim Raines gets a hold of a two-strike, two-out pitch and sends it over the wall in right, breaks the shutout up for Mexico City's Wes Gardner. Mexico City 5, Traverse City 1

Mitchell in full-gear against T.C.

Top of the 6th
Two-out single by Harold Reynolds, which Tony Fernandez follows up with a free pass -- which now brings up the dangerous lefty Barry Bonds. Tigers will try and counter that with southpaw Ken Dayley (3.12 ERA in 26 innings of work). Dayley does his job, and rings up Bonds with a K. 

Bottom of the 6th
Pete O'Brien swings at the first pitch, and kisses this one goodbye! Tigers keep trying to chip away, they certainly have their work cut out for them. Dave Winfield sneaks one through to right, 2nd hit in the game for Winfield. Molitor strikes out for the first out. Carter & Hassey each fly out to end a possible threat. Score remains: Mexico City 5, Traverse City 2

Top of the 7th
Lead-off double for Kevin Mitchell, his 3rd hit of the game, he is now a HR short of a possible cycle. Dave Bergman gets his 2nd hit of the game, as Mitchell advances to third with one out. Dayley strikes out Phil Bradley for the second out, now it's up to Henry Cotto to see if he will add to M.C.'s lead. He ends up grounding out to the mound.

Bottom of the 8th
With 2 outs, Wes Gardner walks Dave Winfield, for his first walk allowed in the game, which cues the Mexico City manager to make a switch to Duane Ward. A solid performance by Gardner. Bergman knocks down the hit by Molitor, no play at second or first, both are safe! Two on, two outs for Tigers. Hassey strikes out for final out, ending the threat.

Top of the 9th
Tigers go to the pen, after 2 2/3 innings by Ken Dayley. Dayley didn't allow a walk, unlike the other two Tiger pitchers who allowed 8 walks. Brian Holton allows a lead-off triple by Kevin Mitchell, Mitchell's fourth hit of the game, and 2nd triple of the game -- making it 6 triples for the season. Bergman draws a one-out walk. The Chihuahuas will elect to go with pinch-runner Howard Johnson for Bergman. Howard Johnson gets caught stealing on Ron Hassey's arm, for the second out, Mitchell stays at third, 2 outs. 

Bottom of the 9th
Paul Mirabella comes in for the save, relieving Duane Ward, he will try for his 13th save of the season -- which he locks it down 1-2-3.

FINAL SCORE: Mexico City 5, Traverse City 2

Game 4

Jose Rijo takes the mound for T.C. with an 8-3 record & 3.14 ERA, facing Mexico City's Danny Darwin (4-3, 2.61 ERA).

Top of the 1st
The Chihuahuas' Tony Fernandez is safe at first on a throwing error by Johnny Ray, Barry Bonds collects a base hit, by beating Rafael Ramirez's throw to first. First & Second, one out for yesterday's hero Kevin Mitchell -- he adds to the Tigers' torture by hitting a single to shallow left, making Barfield run in for it, Fernandez rounds third, the throw home, and Fernandez scores; Bonds advances to third, while Mitchell collects a single & moves up to second. Kelly Gruber hits a deep fly to left, Bonds decides to test Barfield's arm, the play at the plate & he's OUT on a close play! Double play, end of the inning, but not before Mexico City strikes first, 1-0.

Rijo pitched fine in a losing effort.
Top of the 5th
One-out triple for Lenny Dykstra. Phil Bradley follows by getting plunked by a pitch for the 11th time already this season, runners on first & second. Bradley is off & trying to steal second, the throw from Hassey towards second, Dykstra is going for home, Ramirez cuts off the throw & throws it to home, the tag, and Dykstra is safe! Bradley steals second.

Bottom of the 6th
Johnny Ray draws a walk. Rafael Ramirez is up, he squares to bunt, the bunt goes straight to the mound, Darwin is up with it fires to second for one, Fernandez throws it to second, double play -- or WAIT! Fernandez's foot was off the bag, this will go down as a sacrifice for Ramirez. Mookie lines out to Tony Fernandez. With 2 outs, Molitor draws a walk, runners on first & second. Winfield ends up flying out for the 3rd out, the Tigers have yet to score & have only raked together 3 hits so far.
Score remains: Mexico City 2, Traverse City 0

Top of the 7th
Tigers take out Jose Rijo who pitched 6 2/3 innings of fine ball, allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 4 hits & 3 K's. Juan Agosto, the lefty comes in to face Lenny Dykstra.

Bottom of the 9th
Mookie Wilson leads the inning off with a single. Paul Molitor comes up, the hit & run is on, Molitor connects this one is going to right, Dykstra is after it, Mookie scores, Molitor is going for third, as the throw from Dykstra comes in, Reynolds collects the relay, as Molitor is being waved for home, Reynolds relay comes in, and Molitor is OUT on a close play! The Tigers are finally on the score board, with one out. But that's all she wrote as Winfield & Carter ground out for a complete game performance by Danny Darwin.

FINAL SCORE: Mexico City 2, Traverse City 1

Mexico City leads series 3-1, can the Tigers try to make this a series?

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