Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Charleston Takes Thrilling NLCS

Since all the games in the NLCS had been won rather convincingly, I guess it makes sense that Game 7 would be a 1-run nail-biter.

When Oakland's Burns and Maduro lead off the 2nd with back-to-back solos, it looked like the Surenos might pull of the miracle. But Charleston manager zackaryl had the quick hook ready, lifting starter Wilson and trotting in Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez and Kaz Lim may have saved the series for Charleston - while they gave up 4 hits and 5 walks, they held Oakland scoreless for 6 innings and gave the offense a chance to scratch their way back into the game. They got back a run in the 4th on a walk, a single and a fielder's choice, and tied in the 6th on a walk and 3 straight singles. This set up a classic late-inning battle of Charleston's closer Simpson vs. Oakland's committee...the results may well have the Surenos offering megabucks for free agent closer next year.

Oakland threatened in the 8th when Maximo Cota botched a Burns flyball, and veteran Tim Shields pinch-ran for Burns. Maduro then launched a fly to CF that looked like it would advance Shields, but converted SS Cookie Martin threw a rocket to third to nip Shields and end the threat.

Chalreston finally pulled it out...well, Charleston-style. Martin led of the 9th with a walk and promptly stole second. After pinch-hitter Walker (what else) walked, Cota grounded into a fielder's choice to move Martin to third. Reserve infielder Quilvio Diaz then rolled a single up the middle to score Martin and send the Apologists to the World Series for the 5th time in 6 years.

Congrats to both rlahann and zackaryl on great seasons and playoff runs.

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