Thursday, May 20, 2010

First-round recap

You never know what 's going to happen in the playoffs...we had 3 sweeps and one nail-biter upset in the first round.

National League
Oakland pounded out 14 hits to take Game 1 (9-6) against Syracuse, then used a stingy bullpen (6 and 2/3's scoreless innings) to hold on for a 4-3 win in Game 2. The Warriors rebounded on the road to make Game 3 interesting. Trailing 7-4 in the 9th, they coaxed 3 walks and Alberto Pinzon tied the game with a 1-out bases-clearing double. The Surenos brought in lefty Mike Simpson to face Seo and Benitez, and he retired both on flyouts to send it to extras. Joe Rivera finally ended it with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th to seal the sweep.

Ottawa fired their 3 young aces (DeJesus, Arias and DeJean) at the Lake Monsters and came up empty in a mild surprise. Burlington's Nigel Bowen outdueled DeJesus, 2-1 in the opener. It looked like Arias was going to even the series in Game 2, staking the Ice to a 3-0 lead after 7 innings. The 'pen faltered, though, and Burlington scored 2 in the 8th and 2 more in the 9th to pull out Game 2. The tough Game 2 loss seemed to deflate the Ottawa 9 a bit...they appeared listless at the plate and committed 2 errors. The Lake Monsters piled on 3 in the 9th to turn another close game into a convincing 7-3 win.

American League
Salem followed the same pattern as Burlington, winning 2 close games and doinating the finale. Nashville outhit the Goonies in Game 1 (12-8) but came up just short with a 9th-inning rally...Salem prevailed 4-3. Game 2 was eerily similar, as the Ramblers outhit Salem again (10-8 this time) and came up short on a late-inning rally. Jon Spence shut down Nashville for the last inning and a third to get the save for the Goonies. Salem cranked 6 homers (2 from C Brad Anderson, who was the hitting star of the series with 7 RBI), enjoyed a strong start from Charles Matsumoto, and cruised to an 11-2 win in Game 3.

When Cincinnati took the first 2 games at home against Washington D.C. (the second a combined 3-hit shutout by Glenn Wulf and Edgar Perez), it looked like we might have 4 sweeps in Round 1. But the Revenge stormed back in Game 2 with homers from Pride and Morales and 7 shutout innings by Norm Barkley - D.C., wins 8-4. When Rob Workman and Larry Sutton returned the 1-0 shutout favor in Game 4, D.C. tied the series and set up the climatic Game 5.

D.C. struck first on a Miguel Mesa single, but Cincy came right back with 2 in their half of the first on an Ivan Maranon solo homer and Alex Diaz' RBI single. From there, Waste Manager starter Gerald Lackey was absolutely dominant, giving up just 1 more hit over the next 7 innings. Cincy added 1 in the 2nd and 2 in the 6th, and Hanley Lowry shut down the Revenge in the 9th to send Cincinnati to the Division ROund for the 2nd straight year.

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