Saturday, May 14, 2016

It's Indians vs. Giants in Series

The Cleveland Indians eliminated the two-time defending champion Seattle Mariners with a convincing 4-1 series victory.  A summary of the games:

Game 1 - SEA 7 CLE 3 - Yadier Molina lofted one into the 'cheap seats' and had 2 RBI and Felix Hernandez went the distance as the Seattle Mariners topped the Cleveland Indians by a score of 7 to 2 at Rangers Ballpark. Hernandez(3-0) was very good in the win. He surrendered only 7 hits and no walks in 9 innings lowering his ERA from 3.14 to 2.70. Seattle managed 12 hits in their victory. Shelby Miller(0-2) suffered the loss. He got hit hard, allowing 12 hits and 3 walks in 9 innings.

Game 2 - CLE 5 SEA 4 - Pedro Alvarez ripped 2 homeruns and had 5 RBI and Ervin Santana pitched a complete game at Rangers Ballpark as the Cleveland Indians pulled off a dramatic comeback beating the Seattle Mariners by the count of 5 to 4.

Cleveland came up with the deciding runs in the bottom of the 9th inning plating 2 runs.  Daniel Nava started the inning off right when he drew a walk.  Domonic Brown followed, but he was set down on strikes.  Alvarez then clubbed a two-run home run giving Cleveland the win as 23,098 happy fans joyfully celebrated.  Cleveland had a total of 11 hits for the game.

Santana(2-0), allowing 4 runs for the game, picked up the victory. Francisco Rodriguez(0-1) was the losing pitcher in relief. 

Game 3 - CLE 9 SEA 7 - Jay Bruce rocketed 2 homeruns as the Cleveland Indians bested the Seattle Mariners 9 to 7 at Rogers Centre.

Ricky Nolasco(2-0) had a fairly solid outing.  He went 6 and 1/3 innings allowing 9 hits and 1 walk.  Despite losing, Seattle out-hit Cleveland 16 to 11. 

Jim Henderson recorded the save, his 4th.  Jon Lester(1-1) suffered the loss.  He gave up 4 runs and 4 hits in 1 and 2/3 innings.

Game 4 - CLE 4 SEA 1 - Jhoulys Chacin had a strong outing as the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners by a score of 4 to 1.

Cleveland scored the winning runs in the top of the 9th inning with 3 runs using 2 hits.  Matt Carpenter started the inning off right when he drew a walk.  Erick Aybar stepped up next and he drew a walk.  Denard Span then doubled scoring two baserunners.  One out later, Chris Carter was the next batter, but he struck out.  Domonic Brown came up to bat and ripped a single scoring the final run of the inning.  Seattle proved to be no trouble in the bottom of the 9th. 

Chacin(2-0), allowing 1 run for the game, picked up the victory. Paco Rodriguez(0-1) ended up with the loss in relief. 

Game 5 - CLE 10 SEA 4 - Shelby Miller completed the game without help from the bullpen at Rogers Centre as the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners by the count of 10 to 4.

Seattle was unable to climb back into it after Cleveland went ahead for good in the top of the 5th inning scoring 3 runners on 2 hits.  The key at-bat was by Jay Bruce who quieted the home crowd when he doubled plating three runs. Cleveland rapped out 12 hits for the night. 

Miller(1-2) lasted until the end allowing 4 runs for the win. Justin Verlander(1-1) ended up with the loss.  He got hammered, allowing 8 hits and 2 walks in 4 and 2/3 innings. 

Giants Advance to Fall Classic

Adam Wainwright led the San Francisco Giants to their first World Series berth with an exciting seven game series win over the Houston Astros.
Game 1 - Astros 6, Giants 5
The Giants took a 3 to 1 lead after 6 innings and Wainwright was cruising.  However in the bottom of the 8th things took a turn in favor of the Astros.  With 2 men on, Houston's 1st baseman, Mike Napoli, drove a pitch deep into the LF stands.  The Astros were feeling pretty good going into the top of the 9th sending Edward Mujica and his 51 regular season saves out to the mound with a 4 to 3 lead.  But the joy was short lived as Mujica gave up 4 hits that led to 2 runs and the Giants retook the lead with Craig Kimbrel and his 32 regular season saves and sub 1 WHIP taking the mound.  Omar Infante got on base due to an error by David Wright.  Jeff Miller then sent Khris Davis up to pinch hit for Matt Wieters.  This was the right move as Davis drove the Kimbrel offering into the seats for a walk off pinch hit 2 run homer.

Game 2 - Astros 3, Giants 0
The Astros scored runs in the 1st, 2nd and 6th innings but Mr. Clayton Kershaw would only need the run in the 1st as he dominated the Giants all night long.  Despite having a bit of a control problem (5 walks), Kershaw limited San Francisco to 3 hits while striking out 6 en route to his 3rd win of the playoffs.  Now the series shifts to the bay area.

Game 3 - Giants 3, Astros 1
Eric Stults (6 IP, 3 hits, 1 run) and Max Scherzer (7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 8 K) put on a heck of a pitching performance but neither factored into the decision.  With the game knotted at 1 going into the bottom of the 9th, Chris Withrow was called on to pitch.  He promptly walked Allen Craig before grooving one to Coco Crisp who clubbed into the right field seats for the walk off dinger and gave the Giants their 1st win of the series.

Game 4 - Giants 2, Astros 1
The Giants even the series on another walk off win.  In another great pitching match up, Adam Wainwright was dominant.  He threw a complete game giving up 6 hits and striking out 6 was giving up a single run.  His counterpart, Homer Bailey, pitched 5 innings giving up 8 hits, 1 run and striking out 5.  Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless 8th before loading the bases up with 1 out in the 9th before giving way to Tony Watson.  Watson must have watched the Coco Crisp home run from the night before as he sailed 4 straight pitches out of the strike zone to crisp to give him the walk off walk.

Game 5 - Astros 2, Giants 1
Clayton Kershaw once again dominated the Giants lineup.  Once again he gave up a measly 3 hits to San Francisco, one of them being a solo shot to Freddy Galvis in the 8th inning.  Jason Kipnis hit a 2 run long ball in the 6th to give Kershaw all the support he needed.  Astros are feeling good, just needing 1 at home to take the series.

Game 6 - Giants 4, Astros 3 11 innings
Allen Craig was the hero for game 6.  He took Eric Stults deep 2 times, including the go ahead dinger in the top of the 11th.  After watching his bullpen blow 2 of the games at San Fran, Jeff Miller let Stults go all 11 innings and that cost him as the pitch to Craig was a breaking ball that did not break.  Zack Greinke pitched 3 innings of scoreless relief and Kimbrel picked up the save.  On to game 7.

Game 7 - Giants 4, Astros 2
Wainwright/Bailey III - Wainwright went 6 innings giving up 11 hits and 2 runs while striking out 6 to out duel Homer Bailey who went 7 innings giving up 11 hits and 4 runs while striking out 9.  Pedro Florimon surprised everyone by sending a 2 run shot deep into the night in the 4th inning.  Houston tried to climb back into it with 2 runs in the 7th but then Tyler Roark and Craig Kimbrel shut them down in the 8th and 9th innings to give the game and the series to the San Francisco Giants.