After writing that ridiculous write-up of Game #6 of the NLCS game between the Portland Microbrewers and the Traverse City Panthers, an epic game that ended up going 20 innings with a few bizarre moments. I had to skip writing the end of Game #7 -- just like the Game 7 of the 1975 World Series, the game was just an afterthought, footnote, compared to the previous game; Much in the same way as the 2004 World Series was anti-climatic compared to the amazing comeback that the 2004 Red Sox against the Yankees in the ALCS, coming back from a 3-0 deficit.
The Traverse City Panthers, down 2-0 & 3-2 at points in the 2015 BoS NLCS, could not pull off the series victory, even if they pulled off the 20-inning, instant league classic in Portland. The Panthers lost Game 7 to Portland, Mike Trout took his frustration out with a two-run blast in the bottom of the first that would set the tone (Trout struck out 6 times in the 20-inning game). Matt Harvey (the slated Game 7 starter) was not good to go, so the Panthers went with Alex Cobb. Cobb did not have his best stuff allowing 4 ER's on 5 hits & 5 BB's in 5 innings. Matt Carpenter added 2 hits for the Panthers, but the rest of the team seemed to suffer a hangover from the night before.
I always felt Portland was the more deserving team in the NLCS, it was simply not my (Traverse City's) time for the Panthers to move on. Portland was the kings of the National League, and owned that league throughout the season; Owner/Manager Brad Stark has them returning to the World Series for a second year in a row -- They lost last year's BoS World Series to the South Shore Fighting Imps.
The Fairgrove Tigers won the 2014 American League Series over the defending World Champs - South Shore; 4-1. This is Fairgrove's second post-season as well, last season they got knocked off by the wildcard Boston Bravos. Home-field goes to the N.L. this year, so Games 1&2 will be in Portland, 3-5 in Fairgrove, and back to Portland (if necessary) for Game 6 & 7.
The two teams that are similar in many ways.
- Wins: Portland 108 wins, Fairgrove 107
- Fielding Pct: Portland .985, Fairgrove .984
- Batting Average: Fairgrove .261, Portland .259
Portland has more power with 230-165 HR's, likely giving that OPS the .780-.741 edge. Portland's ERA is 2.67 to Fairgrove's 2.85; Portland's rotation may be better, but Fairgrove has an X-Factor in Madison Bumgarner, who is the best pitcher among both staffs.
As commissioner I won't make a prediction on who will win it, but I believe it will go at least 6 games, probably 7 -- these two teams are pretty even.
It should be a good series.