SL2014 Winter Meetings/Playoffs Review

by Greg, 12/8/2014

Chris and Gregg kicked off their series at 8am at Gregg's house, with Jim, Matt, and Ken in attendance. I wasn't there, so I can't give any details, but Gregg won a barn burner in his first playoff series 4 games to 3.

Most of the crew arrived at Tighthead around lunch. I arrived around 3pm. We moved over to Firkin by 430. It was a great dinner, and Steve didn't harass the waitress too much.

After moving cars all over, the Greg/Jim semi kicked off at 7pm. The laptop was connected to a ~50 inch TV, so the peanut gallery could catch all the details. I was playing all night so I may have the worst perspective on it, but having it on the big screen seemed like a big success.

Game One - Felix Hernandez throws a 1-0 shutout, with a 94 game score. Andrelton Simmons doubles for our only runner, while whiffing 9 times. Quentin doubles home Cano for the game's only run. Jim up 1-0.

Game Two - The Mountain Air plate two in the first inning for their first runs of the night. Latos pitches 5.2 solid, and Benoit and Cotts take things home in a 3-0 victory. Puig and Mauer with two hits to lead the offense. Series tied at 1-1.

Game Three - Both teams score two in the 3rd, then Jim gets two in the 6th before holding on to a 4-3 victory. Scherzer with 6.1 solid, then Thielbar/Chisek/Coleman close things out. 2-1 Jim, with the Victor Martinez game looming in game four. This is Jim's chance to take control.

Game Four - The game of the series, matching up 12x+0 Verlander against Jim's 14xy+0 Yu Darvish, a game time decision over PL12z Ryu. Darvish pitches solidly until Adam Jones comes up with a 3-run shot in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead. The 4 Baggers answer with a Stephen Drew 3-run blast of his own, making it 4-3. I manage to scratch out single runs in the 6th and 8th to take a 5-4 lead, before Quentin hits a gigantic pinch hit solo shot to tie things 5-5 after eight. Adam Jones leads off the 9th with a double, and Simmons and Victor follow with their own doubles to make it 7-5. Holliday sac flies Victor home for a 8-5 lead, and we tie things up 2-2 in a pivotal game. Jim's 8 stolen bases aren't enough to make the difference. Jones with 3 hits and 4 RBI to lead the Air. We are all tied up at 2-2.

Game Five - Felix Hernandez looks to continue his game one magic, but the Air tag him early and often in an 8-2 laugher. Adam Jones continues his hot play by going 3-3 with a HR, 2 2B, 2 R and 2 RBI. Holliday with 3 hitsand the pen goes 6.1 strong, as the Air take a 3-2 lead.

Game Six - The possible elimination game is a scoreless barn burner after 7 innings. Adam Jones once again comes through, leading off the 8th with a double. Simmons singles him home for a 1-0 lead. In the top of the 9th, Mauer doubles and Freeman doubles him home for a 2-0 lead that holds up. The bullpen brings things home, with 12y Andrew Casher making his first appearance of the series by getting the pinch hitting, and potential tying run, Carlos Quentin for the final out. The Mountain Air win the series 4 games to 2, breaking Jim's run of World Series berths at two.

Adam Jones is named series MVP by going 8 for 21 with 4 doubles, 2 HR, 5 R, and 6 RBI. Latos allows 4 baserunners in 8 IP. Jim's squad held to a 186/254/298 line, with no real offensive strength to note.

So the Finals are set, my #1 Mountain Air hosting Gregg's #3 Boston Green Dragons.

Game One - Gregg sends 15z Shigetoshi Hasegawa Hisashi Iwakuma to the hill in the World Series opener, and the Mountain Air hit him early and often. We score four in the 1st, two in the 2nd, and two in the 3rd to win going away, 10-3. Carpenter gets 4 H, 3 RBI, 3 2B, and 2 R. Puig with 2 H, 2 R, and 2 RBI, and Freeman with 2 H, 3 RBI, and 2 R. Price goes the distance as both teams avoid the pen. Greg 1-0.

Game Two - The rollz keep coming for the Air, who go up 4-1 after two innings before winning 9-2. Puig with 4 hits, Mauer and Holliday 3, as the Air pile up 19 hits off Wainwright, who goes the distance. Greg 2-0.

Game Three - The Air keep rolling, going up 5-2 after four inning. Gregg plates one to make it 5-3, but still trails as we enter the 8th. The Green Dragons come alive for 3 runs, all plated against Mountain Air bullpen ace 24H Neal Cotts. Ryan Zimmerman's pinch hit 2-run double is the huge hit, and Loney brings him home with a pinch hit single. Gregg holds on to win 6-5 and cut the series to 2-1. Cabrera drives in 3 on the strength of a 2-run HR.

Game Four - The Air once again score early, going up 3-1 after two innings. We get another to go up 4-1 after five innings, but disaster strikes as Freeman and Gomes collide on a foul popup, injuring both players. Freeman out 3 days, Gomes out 10, which ends the season for both of them. Even more alarming is that I have to have David Price finish the game at catcher. Gregg gets two in the bottom of the 7th, as Ellis doubles home a run and Pence singles him in, but the Air hold on to win 4-3. Zobrist continues his hot hitting with 3 hits and a homer, while Gomes adds a 2-run blast and Craig two hits. Pence hit another game-opening home run before finishing with two hits and a steal. Gonzalez adds two hits. We take a 3-1 series lead, and have a chance to finish things off in game five.

Game Five - The Air jump on Iwakuma early with four in the 1st and four in the 3rd, and we coast to a 8-1 victory. Adam Jones has 2 H and 3 RBI, while Mauer has 2 H, 2 R, and 2 RBI. The pen goes 6.1 and allows one hit and one walk.

I win my first cup since 2000. Series MVP goes to the Mountain Air offense, which put up a line of 354/394/562. We had 63 hits in 5 games: Mauer and Zobrist(!) had 8 each, Puig, Holliday and Carpenter with 7, and Craig and Adam Jones with 6.

Gregg has a rough World Series, but winning a semi-final in his first playoff berth is a great season. It was great having eight of nine SLers in attendance.

See you all in SL2015!