Sunday, July 19, 2015

Seattle Mariners are Champs Again!!

Click here for box scores.

Game 1:  Los Angeles 2-0
David Phelps vs Justin Verlander
Gregor Blanco leads off the game with a double and John Jaso singles him in the next pitch for quick strike lead against Verlander.  Matt Joyce doubles in the second and is knocked in by a Jordan Pacheco single in the second for another Dodger run. 

Phelps goes 5 strong innings allowing 3 hits and striking out 6 before leaving handing it off to the bullpen.  Five Dodger relievers keep the Mariners off the board and 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position as Verlander loses for the first time in the post season. 

Game 2:  Seattle 5-2
Matt Garza vs. Felix Hernandez
Albert Pujols put the Mariners out front early with a 3 run blast in the first.  Brandon Phillips adds a couple of solo home runs in the 4th and 8th to stretch the lead to 5.  King Felix tries to go the distance but tires in the 9th.  Dodgers add 2 runs and put a man on first to make it exciting.  K-Rod comes and strikes out Justin Ruggiano to end the game.
Game 3:  Seattle 6-4
Matt Moore vs AJ Burnett
Yadier Molina opened the scoring with a 2nd inning HR.  Mariners add another run in the 4th and 5th to extend the lead to 3.  The Mariner hit parade continued against Burnett as every Mariner registered a hit.  The 8th inning was especially damaging as the Mariners added three more runs helped by three singles and two walks in the inning to increase the score to 6-0 Seattle.  The Dodgers did not give up as they chip away with 2 runs helped by Matt Moore and Jose Reyes miscues.  In the 9th, Dodgers show they have more fight.  Dodgers manufacture a run and Chase Utley hits a bomb to close within 2.  K-Rod comes on and gets Gregor Blanco to ground out to end the game with Miguel Cabrera on deck.  Mariners squeak by with a 6-4 victory as they go 5-11 with RISP.
Game 4:  Los Angeles 4-1
Justin Verlander vs Mark Buehrle
Dodgers jump on Verlander early again.  Matt Joyce hits a 2 run blast in the 2nd inning.  Dodgers add 2 more in the 7th with help from a Evan Longoria error, which ends Verlander's day.  Albert Pujols answers in the 8th with a solo blast to make it 4-1.  Mark continues to utilize his bullpen matchups with five relievers over 3.3 innings to close out the 3 hitter and hold on to the 4-1 Dodger victory.   

Game 5:  Seattle 5-4
Felix Hernandez vs David Phelps
Jose Reyes leads off the game by clearing the fence against Phelps.  After the HR, Phelps settles down by only allowing one more hit over five innings and leaves with the lead, thanks to Chris Nelson.  Nelson hits a 2 out, 2 run single in the 5th.  Mariners tie it up in the 6th off Sergio Casilla and George Kontos.  In the 7th, Mariners try for the lead but Evan Longoria is gunned at the plate by Gregor Blanco.  Mariner bats stay hot as they plate 3 in the 8th of Jamey Wright and Jordan Norberto, keyed by a 2 out Jose Reyes double.  King Felix starts the 9th but runs into trouble.  Gee, did we hear that in game 2?  After allowing a hit, he leaves with 10 strikeouts and hands the ball to K-Rod.  K-Rod allows a hit to make the game more exciting.  The Mariner defense is back which allows the Dodger runners to advance as the next to batters hit ground balls which the batters advance and score 2 runs.  Matt Joyce strikes out to end the game as the Mariners win the nail biter 5-4 and the lead series 3-2 going back to Seattle.
Game 6:  Los Angeles 7-1
Matt Garza vs Jeff Samardzija
Matt Joyce starts the scoring with a 2 run HR in the second then singled in 2 more in the third inning.  Miguel Cabrera hit a 2 run HR in the fifth to make it 6-0 Dodgers.  Garza pitches 5 shutout innings and Mark uses bullpen matchups with 4 relievers to finish up the game as the teams trade a run in the 8th.  Dodgers coast 7-1.  Matt Joyce is the hero 3-3 with 4 RBI to force game 7. 

Game 7:  Seattle 5-4
AJ Burnett vs Justin Verlander
Dodgers previous two series went 7 games in which they obvious were victorious. 
Match up preview: Burnett got hammered in game 3 while the previously unbeatable Verlander has been beat twice by the Dodgers.  One of these pitchers has to win!
Dodgers strike early against Verlander again!  For the 3rd time!  In the 3rd inning, Gregor Blanco walks, Chris Nelson singles, John Jaso singles and knocks in Blanco.  Miguel Cabrera doubles which scores Nelson and Jaso.  Will Venable misses the cut off man to get Cabrera at third and throw it into the stands as Cabrera circles the bases and gives the Dodgers a early 4 run lead.  Mariners answer with one in the bottom half to make it 4-1 after 3.
In the 4th, Venable tries to make up for his miscue and hits a 2 run blast to close the gap 4-3 Dodgers.  In the 5th, a Jose Reyes double, Brandon Belt single, set up a 2 run Albert Pujols single to put the Mariners up 5-4.  Burnett left after 5 innings allowing the 5 runs and striking out 8.  Mark went back to his bullpen match up strategy to keep the game close.  George Kontos and Jon Rauch finish up the 6th inning.  Mariners continue to ride their SP late into games as Verlander continued to throw heat but did show some control issues with some walks.  7th inning was harmless for the Mariners as Rauch and Jamey Wright shut them down.  Verlander allows a walk but no hits in the 7th.  Sergio Romo comes in for the Dodgers in the 8th and allows a Brandon Belt single and a Pacecho error but no damage is done.  Verlander allows a Justin Ruggiano single in the 8th but finishes the inning with 10 strikeouts and not allowing another run.  K-Rod comes in with a 5-4 lead to close out the season...
K-Rod walks Andrelton Simmons.  Tony Campana pinch runs for Simmons.  Has a good chance for lead but can't get it.  Gregor Blanco sacrifices him to second.  Chris Nelson wiffs on the high heat for the second out.  John Jaso then grounds it to Evan Longoria to end the game and a great series as the Mariners hold on to the 5-4 victory and 4-3 series victory.
Fantastic series between these two teams.  Dodgers fought to the last out in each game while the Mariners took game 6 off.  Bullpen management was the key for the Dodgers which kept them close in the series as their line up did not have the same fire power.  In a couple of the games, Miggy was either on deck or in the hole as the game ended.  With a game changer like in a close game,  it added to the excitement.  A fun series in a fun league.
Congrats to the Los Angeles Dodgers on coming within 1 win of their second championship. 
Seattle is proud to hoist their 4th championship in the MSL.

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