Sorry I’m a little late with the news, everyone, but I was gone last night checking out my favorite new band Fleet Foxes. Think My Morning Jacket + The Shins with 3 and 4 part harmonies that would make Crosby, Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young) proud.
Anyway, Monday night was an epic night in Gary Hairys history. Having split the first two games of the World Series, the series shifted to Shea and the Hairys inconceivably swept all three games to becomes the most unlikely World Champs in ptp history. Here’s how it all went down:
Game 3 – Scorp Meche vs Hairy Young. Young finally acts like the ace he was supposed to be all season long as he holds the Scorps to one run on three hits in 5 innings while striking out 8. The Hairys build a 3 run lead on a 2-run Youk bomb down the line and an RBI double by Escobar. The Scorps are freaking fast, though, and they manufactured a run off Young via Roberts single, stolen base and RBI single by Johnson. With a 3-1 lead and Young’s pitch count real high, Ockey is taking no chances as he goes to his pen with Perez, who has been solid as an effing rock all season. Naturally, he picks this as the time to implode. He gives up 3 straight hits to start the 6th and just like that the lead is gone. It stays tied at 3 as Ockey makes boner move after boner move, apparantly trying to sabotage his team’s chances. I get picked off TWICE in the 7th inning, and caught stealing AGAIN in the 9th. Meanwhile, Huston Street has been locking it DOWN, going 2 shut-out innings giving up only one hit. In the 10th, I’m at the bottom of my order and wondering how long this thing will go when Jacque Jones of all people (no homers in the regular season) hits a walk-off solo shot off of Guerrier and Shea goes NUTS.
Game 4 – Oswalt vs El Duque. The much-maligned El Duque is an absolute STUD in this one, going 6.1 innings allowing only 3 hits and a run. Meanwhile, the Hairys chip away at Oswalt. Game 3’s hero Jones leads off the 3rd and eventually scores with 2 out on a passed ball. Little Buddy Pedroia comes up huge with another clutch 2-out hit that scores Markakis and it’s 2-0. The Scorps finally touch El Duque in the 7th with a run on a sac fly. Jones leads off the 9th with another hit on his way to a 3/4 day at the plate and scores on a Markakis double. Wagner and Street go 2.1 shut out innings with Street getting the save in this one after getting the win in Game 3
At this point, I though I had a day off (which is why I’d used Street so much -figuring I’d have a day to rest him). Imagine my surprise when I remembered it’s 2-3-2 in the World Series and I had another game with no rest. And I had to face effing Webb again. Crap.
Game 5 – Webb vs. Maine. Webb is simply amazing AGAIN, going 7 innings allowing one measley run on 5 hits…..and losing. On this night, John Maine was Webb’s equal, throwing 6 innings of 1-hit ball. He started REAL shaky, walking speed-demons Roberts and Reyes, but at this point, I know what’s gonna go down, so I cut down Roberts with a pitchout and Maine works around the rest. The scoreboard is all zeroes until the bottom of the 6th when, with 2 out, Captain Clutch Russell Martin goes deep into the pen right to make it 1-0. And that’s how this game would end as Marte and Betancourt combine with Maine on a 2-hit shutout that has to go down as one of the greatest World Series pitching performances ever.
So, in the end, the Hairys win it with a total team effort – every guy in the lineup except one had an RBI at some point, and with the exception of Perez, every pitching performance was brilliant. The Hairys’ staff, once easily the worst in the league, allowed a TOTAL of FIVE EARNED RUNS in the entire Series. Giving up one run a game is a great way to win. Everyone was deserving of post-season MVP honors, but in the end it has to be Russell Martin with his 2-run 9th inning miracle bomb to save the season and then his solo shot off Webb to win the whole thing. That is really clutch. And how fitting is it that this year of the pitcher ends in a 1-0 ballgame. Fantastic.