Friday, May 15, 2015

BoS'14: LCS Action (Games 1 & 2)

FAIRGROVE TIGERS (107-55, A.L. West Champs) vs

Bumgarner lives for the post-season; dominates in four-hit complete game performance.
The Fairgrove Tigers who suffered an early exit from the playoffs last year to the hands of Boston, advance to the American League Championship Series, as the A.L.'s top seed. The Tigers will host Games 1 & 2 (6 & 7, if necessary) against the defending World Champs, the South Shore Fighting Imps -- in what promises to be a tough series between two evenly balanced teams. 

GAME 1 (at Fairgrove)

Games 1 matched the Tigers' Madison "Mad Bum" Bumgarner against the Imps' Hyun-Jin Ryu, in a battle of southpaws. Tigers strike early in the first after a error by the Imps -- Kendrick scores on a hit-and-run double. Paul Goldschmidt and David Freese each added two-run homers as Tigers build a 5-0 lead through the first 4 innings. Bumgarner tosses a four-hitter, losing the shut out bid in the 9th, allowing an unearned run.
Final score: Fairgrove 5, South Shore 1

GAME 2 (at Fairgrove)

Fairgrove have Jarred Cosart taking the mound against South Shore's Mike Leake
Game remains scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. Jed Lowrie breaks the tie with a home run, with Elvis Andrus on base. Cosart battles control with 6 walks over his 7.1 innings. Louis Coleman and Joe Nathan close the game out for a 2-0 win, as the Fairgrove Tigers take a commanding 2-0 series lead. They will now have to travel to South Shore for Games 3-4 & possibly Game 5.

Final score: Fairgrove 5, South Shore 1

PORTLAND MICROBREWERS (108-54, N.L. West Champs) vs.
TRAVERSE CITY PANTHERS (90-72, Wild Card, N.L. East)

An NLCS featuring the Traverse City Panthers and the Portland Microbrewers. Will the bye, spell bye-bye for the Microbrewers? or will last year's defending National League Champions head on to their second BoS World Series?
The Microbrewers come in with a 108-54 record, missing the South Shore Fighting Imps' all-time regular season record of 110-52. Portland comes in with a .259/.328/.452 slash line, and a 2.67 team ERA.
The Panthers finished the regular season at 90-72 with a .249/.317/.417 slash line and a 3.42 team ERA. The Panthers are the only wild card team remaining, while the other three teams are division winners.

GAME 1 (at Portland)

For Portland the timeless one, Bartolo Colon steps to the mound with a 17-7 record and a 2.07 ERA to face Matt Harvey for the Panthers at 9-8 with a 3.26 ERA.

Matt Harvey is absolutely dominating early recording the first 7 outs against the Microbrewers... all on strikeouts! Harvey records strikeouts on 8 of the first 9 MB outs!

Top of the 4th - With Brandon Belt on first, Colon hits Josh Donaldson, who is removed from the game (due to injury). Jason Castro walks to load the bases with NO outs. FC RBI from Hunter Pence scores the first run of the game, but Colon gets out of the game with only one run.

Bottom of the 4th - Juan Uribe doubles in Freddie Freeman to tie it up. Colby Rasmus then doubles in Uribe for 2-1 Portland lead. Russell Martin makes it 3 doubles in a row to score Rasmus and give Portland a 3-1 lead.

Top of the 5th - Jordy Mercer doubles with one out but Panthers can't score

Bottom of the 6th - Alfonso Soriano double knocks Harvey out of the game, but Cody Allen comes in an settles things down.

Top of the 8th - Yasiel Puig singles, moves to 2nd on Brandon Belt ground out, and then Jordy Mercer singles the speedy Puig... to 3rd. Panthers can't bring Puig home.

Top of the 9th - The Microbrews with a 3-1 lead and Nick Vincent on the mound. Vincent fans Alejandro De Aza, and Mark Melancon steps to the mound. Melencon K's Brian Dozier, but Jean Segura singles to bring the tying run to the plate in Matt Carpenter. Carpenter grounds out to give the

Final score: Portland 3, Traverse City 1

Iwakuma kept the Panthers from biting.

GAME 2 (at Portland)

The game featured Hisashi Iwakuma (13-10, 3.06 ERA) for the Microbrewers, against Yu Darvish (15-10, 3.44 ERA) for the Panthers.

Top of the 1st - With Matt Carpenter on after a walk, Josh Donaldson gets plunked by a pitch again, but this time he shakes it off. Panthers fail to score however.

Bottom of the 2nd - Alfonso Soriano doubles with 1 out. Juan Uribe draws a walk. Colby Rasmus reaches on FC and then Russell Martin hits a two-out double to score in two.

Bottom of the 3rd - Jason Kipnis doubles to lead of for Portland, and then Mike Trout singles Kipnis... to third. With one out Freeman singles in Kipnis before Soriano hits into a inning-ending douple play. Portland leads, 3-0.

Top of the 4th - Ryan Raburn singles Josh Donaldson over to second base with one out, but once again T.C. fails to score in any runs.

Top of the 7th - Hisashi Iwakuma is cruising at this point, but Hunter Pence triples to lead off the inning. Alejandro De Aza lines out to Iwakuma, while Iwakuma then strikes out Jean Segura. Matt Carpenter walks for the 3rd time in the game, before Yasiel Puig swings for the fence, but hits nothing but air. 

Traverse City fails to threaten thereafter and Iwakuma gets a three-hit shutout to give Portland a 3-0 win and a 2-0 series lead.

Final score: Portland 3, Traverse City 0

The Panthers will get to go back to their friendly confines of Panther Park, but is it too late? Has Cinderella bowed out for Traverse City, with reality finally sitting in? The press and experts out there say this is Portland's time.

*** Most of the action is from the wonderful write-ups by Fairgrove manager Robert Mosher & Portland manager Brad Stark. ***

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