Pitching. Every win in this series, by either team, was won by the guys on the mound. Brian’s staff did it to me in game 4, and my staff did it to him in game 5. Game 4 was close, 3-1 I think, and Brad Ausmus had a lot to do with that, throwing out 3 of 3 would-be Hog base stealers. Hensley came in early in relief and did much of the dirty work early,and Billy Wagner pitched strong late in the game to make sure Smithfield couldn’t mount a run. Game 5 was fully of chatty conversation between the managers in an attempt to allay the inevitable tension. What couldn’t be allayed, though, was Maholm’s and the Hogs relief corps’ clutch pitching. The Hogs got some offense started with an early Tony Clark 2-run job off Clemens, and kept adding runs one at a time through the game. The score ended up 7-0 or 7-1 or 7-2 or something like that. I’m still not sure, because all I really know is that it was a W. Utley’s consolation prize is a trip to Mexico on Friday morning for a week. I’d ALMOST trade him places. Instead I’ll spend my week trying to figure out the Grand Junction Fox secret playoff success formula. Again, condolences to the 2 best teams in the league this year. You guys outdrafted me like mothers and outplayed me during the regular season like apaches.
If Brian would post the game results for this thing, I could get more specific, but Cain and staff pitched CRAZY good. Cain pitched half this game and was lifted without allowing a hit. I’m sure Brian’s busy duking his pants because he’s now got his back against the wall. But, history IS on Brian’s side. This is the 5th best-of-5 postseason series between these two grizzled veterans of PTP, and so far each have won 2. But in both of Brian’s series wins, he was down 2 games to 1.Â In one of those series’, he erased a 2-0 deficit for the series win. Another time, Brian was down 2-1 and forced a 5th game before folding behind Jaret Wright in the deciding game. The only time the two teams had a playoff series that did not go the distance, Ted swept, years ago, during hisÂ nearly-forgotten dynasty.Â Here’s where Ted’s history gets ugly, though. All in all, in elimination games against Ted, Brian is 6-2. Tonight our 5th seriesÂ will be settled. With each franchise sitting on 4 world championships in 11 years, one of these two teams will play for the right to an unprecedented 5th world title, against those sneaky defending world champion Foxes. I love it.
This was so eerily similar to the World Series of last year that I hate it.Â The Foxes jumped all over the Hairys for a 2-0 lead, Hairys fight back to tie the series, then blow the clincher.Â Game 1 was close – Hairys get a quick run on a Griffey RBI single, Pettite has a no-hitter into the 5th when he melts down and gives up 2 runs.Â Hairys fight back to tie it on an Oswalt wild pitch then take the lead on a Francoeur sac fly.Â Foxes tie it right back up thanks to Miguel Cabrera flat out DROPPING a routine fly ball to start the inning.Â Roy Oswalt also bunted for a hit in that inning.Â At that point, Ockey knew there was not much he could do against this rat-cheater of a computer.Â Sure enough, the Foxes win it off piece of crap Medders as Dunn legs out an infield hit (of course he does) and eventually scores on a Nick sac fly.
Game 2 was UGLY.Â Hairys get slaughtered as Dunn hits 2 bombs, Andruw and Guillen each hit one, too.Â Carpenter goes 8.2 allowing one crappy unearned run and makes the Hairys feel like crap.
Game 3 the Hairys turn the tide as they send their boy Sheets to the hill for a must-have win.Â He gives up 2 solo blasts to Giles, but that was all as he K’d 10 in 6 innings.Â Hairys get a 7 run inning en route to an 11-4 pasting that felt good.Â Seo came up huge in Game 4, allowing only 2 hits and a run through 6 innings.Â It’s 2-1 Hairys for most of the game and they get some insurance to win it 4-2.Â Chipper and Cabrera go yard.
The Hairys had momentum going into Game 5 at home.Â Unfortunately, they also had Zach Duke who gave up a 3-spot in the 1st inning and the Foxes never looked back.Â Oswalt pitches for the computer onÂ 3 days rest, but who cares – he pitches likeÂ Bob Gibson anyway.Â Utley tried valiantly to keep it close with 2 bombs, but the Foxes scored in 5 of the 9 innigs for an 8-4 win to send the Hairys packing for the 2nd straight season.Â Ockey kind of knew this was coming – his team was so good during the regular season that he felt it had to crack sooner or later and sure enough, the law of averages came a calling and that was that.Â So to my fellow human managers, best of luck the rest of the way.Â And whichever of you two ends up facing the computer will fare better than me because you can actually manage games effectively.Â Thanks to both of you for another fun and fantastic season.Â I thought the no-DH season was a lot of fun.Â I’m pretty sure it’s my turn to buy the new season disk.Â Maybe you can let me know how I go about doing that when the time arrives.Â Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night (except you, computer, you can just go screw a garbage disposal).
Game 1 – Clemens is unstoppable. Allows only 3 hits, no walks, no runs, gets 11 k’s, including striking out the side in the 9th. Knights chase Maholm early with 5 quick runs.
Game 2 – Karren’s staff takes its turn pitching like Satchel Paige. Knights get only 4 hits off Reyes and a host of relievers. Tony Clark and company make Beckett look silly early, getting 2 jacks for 4 runs in the 1st, and make the lead hold off all the way, tying the series.
Now we’ve got a best of 3 series, and Ted’s got home field. Don’t cry, Brian.
With the division title on the line Monday night, the Hairys of Gary put together another superb series marked by superb starting pitching, adequate relief and clutch bombs.Â Peavy was up first for the Hairys against the D-Train who absolutely OWNED the Hairys in their last meeting.Â Peavy has been terrible for the last few games, so with so much on the line, it was nice to see him return to form. The Train was good again as well, but fell victim to some costly defensive errors.Â The Hairys got it going in the 1st as Cirillo doubled to lead off and Chipper walked.Â Cabrera advanced both on a grounder and that’s when things got ugly.Â Willis did not help himself as Francoeur hit a grounder his way.Â If we were a hockey goalie, it would have been a kick-save and a beauty, as a pitcher it was a boot, and a run-scoring one at that, 1-0 Hairys.Â Chipper then scored on a Jacobs ground-out to make it 2-0.Â Navarro was walked intentionally to set up the force at any base, but Ryan Church foiled that plan like with an RBI single to make it 3-0.Â Peavy cruised into the 4th, but got touched up by a Felipe Lopez 2-run 2-out single to make it a 1-run game.Â The Hairys came right back as Cirillo and Jones walked then Cabrera singled to bring in Cirillo and Ockey sent Chipper to 3rd – the throw to 3rd was bad so Chipper scored as well to make it 5-2 on the 2nd costly error of the game.Â That is all Peavy would need as he cruised into the 8th allowing no more runs and K’ing 8 on the night.Â Fultz and Gagne finished with no-hit relief to preserve the Hairy win.
Game 2 was Seo vs. Lieber.Â Both pitchers cruised through the first 3 innings, but then Seo gave up a sick 3-run blast to Bay to break it open for the Crows.Â Lieber, unlike Seo, kept right on cruising as he went 7 STRONG innings, allowing only 5 hits and striking out TEN Hairys.Â Filthy.Â Abreu added an RBI single to make it 4-0 then Wuertz and Jones came in and laughed at Hairy batters to preserve the shut-out.
Needing to win badly, who else would Hairy Nation want on the mound at this point but Ben Sheets?Â Nobody, that’s who.Â Sheets had obviously watched his squad get shut-out in Game 2 so what does he do?Â Simply go out and do the same thing, that’s all.Â Namely, completely and utterly dominate the opponent and not let them score once.Â Sheets went 7 innings and allowed 2 freaking hits and 3 walks – 5 baserunners over 7 innings while striking out 8.Â If Ben Sheets were an ice cream, he would be New York Super Fudge Chunk because that crap has NUTS and they are huge.Â Sheets goes to 8-0 on the year.Â EIGHT AND FREAKING ZERO.Â He won every single start this year.Â Show me another starter in PTP history who made every scheduled start and WON THEM ALL.Â That is the equivalent of going 32-0 over the course of a season.Â Ridiculous.Â Oh yeah and his ERA drops to 1.76 and he moves over 50 strike-outs.Â Not that it mattered, but he got lots of offensive support.Â Francoeur went grand salami on his way to 6 RBI and Valentin homered too.
With the amazing performance by Sheets giving the Hairys serious momentum, Zach Duke got fired up and decided he’d like a shut-out too.Â Lowe was pitching for the Crows and both guys were filthy through the first 3, but the Hairys got it going in the 4th.Â Jacobs doubled and scored on a Francoeur RBI single to make it 1-0.Â Valentin homered for the 2nd game in a row to make it 2-0 and Duke was still going strong.Â He would go 8 shut-out innings allowing only 5 hits, no walks and striking out 6.Â Francoeur homered again in the 9th and Chipper added an RBI single to make it 4-0 and Reyes came in and pitched a perfect 9th for the game, the series win and the division title.Â GO HAIRYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!