The Seattle Mariners won their third Millennium League World Series over the Oakland Athletics. A recap of the series:
Game 1: Chris Carpenter of OAK vs. Justin Verlander of SEA.
Albert Pujols started the scoring with a 2 run HR in the first inning. In the fourth inning, Verlander walks Matt Kemp, Aramis Ramirez, and Gaby Sanchez to load the bases before giving up his first hit to Nolan Reimold who doubles in all three for the A's first lead. In the bottom of the 8th, Wil Venable hits a 2 run blast of Carpenter to chase him and pull out a 4-3 Seattle victory as K-Rod pitches the 9th for the save.
Game 2: Tim Hudson of OAK vs. Felix Hernandez of SEA.
Jimmy Rollins leads off the game with a single and Todd Helton singles him in three batters later. Helton would add a home run later in the game as Tony Gwynn Jr contributed 2 hits and 2 runs as well while Tim Hudson cruises to a 5-0 victory by only allows 3 hits without walking a batter.
Game 3: Jon Lester of SEA vs. Brandon Beachy of OAK.
This was quite the pitchers duel as both teams traded zeros for the first 7 innings. Lester lasted 6 1/3 IP with 2 hits, 3 walks and 6 k's while Beachy went 7 IP allowing 1 hit with 3 walks and 7 k's. In the 8th inning, Carlos Quentin delivers a PH single of Cassey Janssen and Jose Reyes doubled him home for the 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the 9th, George Kottaras doubles of K-Rod, Bryan Petersen strikes out, Nick Punto delivers a PH triple to tie the game, Todd Helton PH and is intentionally walked to face Austin Jackson who chokes in the clutch. Jackson hits a slow roller to A-Rod at 3rd base but he dropped the ball on the exchange for the error to end the inning and Punto scored from third to end the game. Oakland steals one 2-1 and goes up in the series 2-1 as each team only manages 4 hits.
Game 4: Justin Verlander vs. Chris Carpenter
Gaby Sanchez starts the 2nd innings with a double and Reimold knocks him in with a single to give the A's a quick 1-0 lead. Albert Pujols hits a 2 run homer in the 4th to give Seattle the lead. Seattle adds another run in the 5th with a A-Rod single, stolen base and K. Fukodome single for a 3-1 Mariner lead. John Buck tries to keep it close for the A's by saving a run in the 7th by blocking the plate but Verlander remained untouchable in the postseason by scattering 3 hits through 8 innings before giving way to K-Rod in the 9th who add two strikeouts in an uneventful save opportunity to tie the series at 2 and secure the 3-1 Mariner victory.
Game 5: Felix Hernandez vs. Tim Hudson
Tim Hudson carried over his groove from game 2 but King Felix was there to match him each inning as each team exchanged goose eggs early. In the 6th, Austin Jackson reached on a Jose Reyes error and sped around to score on a Jimmy Rollins single for the first score of the game. In the bottom of the 7th, Oakland threatened to add to their one run lead. With runners in scoring position they decided to let Hudson bat and trust his arm the rest of the game. He didn't come through with a RBI in the 7th and he was stuck to protect a one run lead. Leading off the 8th inning, Jose Reyes doubled, Wil Venable singled in Reyes to tie the game, stole second, scored on a Pujols single for the Mariner 2-1 lead. Yadier Molina silenced the crowd with a 2 run blast off Hisanori Takahashi to open up the game 4-1. Seattle steals one late and head to Seattle up 3 games to 2.
Game 6: Erik Bedard of OAK vs. Roy Oswalt of SEA
Both teams went with their weakest starters in this game as it was clear both teams were prepared to use their bullpens in this one. Each team put one on the board in the first inning and A's added a second run in the second inning. A's add two in the fourth while the Mariners answer with one in the fourth and one in the fifth. After six innings, Oakland clung to a 4-3 lead as Casey Janssen was on the mound relieving Bedard and Alfredo Aceves was keeping it close for Seattle in relief of Oswalt. Oakland added another run in the seventh to chase Aceves. Seattle finds an answer in the 8th with a hit of Sean Marshall and three consecutive hits off Joel Hanrahan to tie the score at 5 Marco Estrada came in mitigate the damage and get out of the inning. Oakland posed a threat in the 9th with two walks of Al Alburquerque but was unable to score. In the bottom of the 9th Estrada allowed a Pujols single and got Yadier Molina to line out. Takahashi came in to relieve Estrada and face a cold Brandon Phillips who was 3-18 in the series against Oakland. Phillips took his series frustrations out on Takahashi's pitch and put in the bleachers for a season walk-off victory. Clinching the pennant and the Mariner's first title since 2008.
World Series MVP goes to Albert Pujols who had 2 big HR and some other big hits.
Justin Verlander collects the trophy for outstanding playoff MVP (if it exists) as he collects half of the team's 12 playoff victories. No wonder Kate Upton likes the guy.
Congratulations to Jack Mudd and the stellar season his A's had. It was a fun series. On to 2012!