#3 Lymebees 4, #2 Speakers 1
[Disclaimer: these snarky lowlights are in no way meant to diminish the Lymebees' strength and performance this weekend. Throughout the series, the Bees clearly prove to be the better team in every facet of the game. Please laugh along with me through the descriptions. At one time or another, we've all been here, so I believe you'll be able to relate quite well.]
Game 1 - Felix Hernandez vs. Madison Bumgarner. The Speakers get two on in the 1st (naturally, with two outs) before Albert Pujols (who won't reach base until half way through Game 4) pops to 2nd to end the inning.
Shane Victorino, one of the final considerations for the post-season roster, solo homers in the 2nd. (This would represent the Speakers only HR of the series.) Howie Kendrick follows with a double. Justin Ruggiano rips a clutch 2-out RBI single for an early 2-0 lead.
The Lymebees first hitter to reach circles the bases as Adrian Beltre cuts the lead in half to start the 5th.
Felix retires six additional consecutive Lymebees (18 of 19) before Robinson Cano singles to start the 7th. Ryan Braun reaches on an infield hit to chase Hernandez, who allows just three base runners through 6+ IP.
Eric O'Flaherty plunks Beltre to load the bases. Carlos Ruiz lines a screamer to Pujols for out #2. However, Aramis Ramirez singles home a pair (44-0) to put the Lymebees on top, 3-2.
Meanwhile, the Speakers go 1-2-3 in 5 of the final 7 innings, a common theme throughout the 2013 season. Two additional Lymebees extra-base hits in the 8th push across a pair of unearned runs for a 5-2 final.
W - Luke Gregerson, L - Hernandez, S - Craig Kimbrel
Game 2 - The theme continues as the Lymebees post 2 in the 1st. That's all they'll need for a 4-1 victory. Braun's two RBI doubles and Carlos Beltran's solo shot lead the way.
The Speakers offense manages 5 singles. Their final 13 batters go quietly.
W - Mitchell Boggs, L - Matt Cain, S - Sergio Romo
Game 3 - Carlos Gonzalez singles to lead off the game. Ruiz and Adrian Gonzalez converge on a foul pop, collide, and both would leave the game. Ruiz would also miss Game 4. Buster Posey doubles to score CarGo for an early lead.
Biggest loser Justin Verlander coughs up a 3-run HR to Braun before ever retiring a batter for a 3-1 Lymebees advantage. The Speakers scrap for 3 over the next 2 innings to retake the lead, 4-3.
Cano's 5th inning 2-run HR off Biggest Loser launches the Lymebees back on top, 5-4. A Speakers unearned run (without a hit) knots the game in the top of the 6th.
That's when both injury replacements innocently assist in plating the winning run. Eric Hosmer (new 1B) leads off the bottom of the 6th by reaching on an error. Ramirez collects an infield single.
After Jed Lowrie lines to 2nd, Rafael Soriano takes over to face Miguel Olivo (new Catcher). A passed ball by (PB1) Posey moves the winning run to 3rd with 1 out. Olivo coaxes a walk, setting up Justin Upton for a game-winning sac fly.
We write "game-winning" in the 6th, because the Speakers do not register a hit after the 3rd inning. In fact, they only roll two singles thereafter, both of which are erased by the Lymebees pen. It was just a matter of time for the Bees to cross the plate only one additional time to complete the 6-5 final and put the champagne on ice.
W - Gregerson (2-0), L - Biggest Loser, S - Kimbrel
Game 4 - The venue switches to Riegle Park, where the playoff giveaway is a souvenir logo barf bag, which opens automatically whenever the Speakers come to bat. Even a Birds of Pray advance scout nearly loses his cookies upon witnessing a bat rack with more termites than ash and maple.
The Lymebees throw the team of biggest losers a bone, however, totaling just 3 hits in a 4-1 defeat. Braun's solo HR is the only blemish on Wade Miley's line.
But it isn't as easy as it may sound. Losing 1-0, the Speakers are shut out through 5 more innings before bunching one hit together. Remember Pujols? His first series hit is a 6th inning triple following two Chris Tillman walks. (The Bees can afford to rest their pen since they have up to three more tomorrows.)
W - Miley, L - Tillman, S - Rodney
Game 5 - Bumgarner allows the Speakers 5 more singles for a complete game shutout. A fitting end to possibly the most impotent 50-win season in OOTL history.
A 1st inning unearned run is all the Lymebees need, but a Ruiz 2-run HR and Ramirez 3-run blast provide at least some highlights in the 6-0 clincher. Speakers management refunds all one ticketholder upon exiting, especially considering his face's green complexion.
W - Bumgarner, L - Hernandez (0-2)
12 runs in 5 games usually doesn't get it done. Allowing 4 unearned runs doesn't help.
The Speaker pen is atrocious, but not because of getting strafed. An untimely passed ball, a HBP or BB against a 23* or higher to load the bases, or an innocent juggle in the field with two outs only asks for trouble against the Lymebees.
Looking ahead isn't any better. Perhaps four Speakers (of a 36-player roster) improved from 2012 to 2013. The rest declined, many dramatically. That doesn't bode well for 2014 OOTL contention.
This could have been the year to return to respectability. But finding too many ways to lose, mostly due to the disappearing offense trick, became the season-long headline.
The Lymebees is where the focus should be today. As they have been for the past few seasons, the Bees are solid (and even scary) in many ways. This could finally be their year to hoist the trophy. However, three other remaining teams have other ideas.
Best of luck through the rest of the playoffs!
#4 Arrogant Bastards 3, #5 Birds of Pray 1
So the Series starts at Wilson Park on one of the coldest days of the
Game 1 - The AB's open up the scoring in the top of the 1st with a pair of solo HR's by Utley and LaRoche to take a 2-0 lead. That lead is pushed to 4-0 in the 4th on another solo HR by LaRoche and an RBI single by Scutaro. In the 6th the AB's increase their lead to 6-0 on a n RBI double by Ichiro and an RBI triple by Andrus. Cliff Lee (-14) gifts a 2nd column 6 into a solo HR to lose his shutout in the bottom of the 6th. But the AB's plate another run in the 7th on a Wieters 2 out double to score Longoria. The Birds get an RBI groundout from Crush Davis in the 9th but end up falling 7-2 in Game 1 as Cliff Lee goes the distance allowing 4 hits, 1 BB, while fanning 8.
Winner - Lee Loser - Dickey Mike Trout 0 for 5 with 2 K's
Game 2 - The AB's open up the scoring in the top of the 1st with a pair of back to back solo HR's by Stanton and Rosario to take a 2-0 lead. They add another run in the top of the 2nd on an RBI single by Ichiro but the Birds strike back in the bottom half on a solo HR by Prado and an RBI groundout by Headley as it stays 3-2 until the 9th inning. In the 6th , Choate (+54) turns back a potential HR by Cabrera to keep the game at 3-2. Wieters leads off the AB's 9th with a solo HR to give them a 4-2 cushion. And now the series kicks into gear!!! The Birds start dropping 33's in the bottom half of the 9th like it's their job as Castro doubles with one out and Cabrera (just like in the 6th) finds a 2nd column 1 to tie the game at 2. Headley then doubles to put the winning run on 2nd but Hanrahan comes in to get the final two batters out in the 9th and the game heads to extra frames. The AB's seem stymied headed into the 10th due to their defensive replacements now coming to the plate. Andrus leads off with a BB and Bourjos then gets a hit and run 9 single to put runners on 1st and 3rd. Bourjos then steals 2nd base. Ichiro (in the game at DH now) then gets a single to plate 2 runs. Ichiro steals 2nd and is plated on an RBI single by Longoria. After a LaRoche single and a Revere double Longoria completes the scoring as the AB's go up 8-4 playing small ball the entire inning. The Birds manage a single in the bottom of the 10th by Dirks but the game ends as Crush Davis grounds into a DP.
Winner - Hanrahan Loser - McGee Mike Trout 0 for 5 with another K
And the AB's say is it déjà vu time?
Game 3 - Mike Trout doubles to lead off the game, steals 3rd with 1 out and is left stranded. Hmmm. Then the Birds say, well, it's time to play. Crush Davis hits a 3 run HR to Severence Field in the bottom of the 1st. Wieters hits a 2 run HR in the top of the 2nd to cut the lead to 3-2 but the Birds answer in the bottom of the 2nd w/ 3 more runs on an RBI single by Gordon, SAC fly by Cabrera and an RBI groundout by Crush Davis. The AB's get a gift non DP by 10 SS Hardy in the top of the 3rd but they would be done scoring for the game. And in the bottom of the 4th all hell would break lose again as the Birds plate 4 more runs on a Castro bases loaded BB followed by a Headley 66-1 which hits off the old Weis Markets on 29th Street, bounces back into play, and is turned back by Marmol (+31) saving the AB's that huge 11-3 deficit. Which would come to be in the bottom of the 8th when Motte (-15) would gift a Prado 6 into a solo HR. Final 11-3 Birds.
Winner - Gonzalez Loser - Vogelsong Mike Trout goes 2 for 3 with 2 BB's a run scored, a steal and another K ..Hmmmmm
Also, the AB's walked 9 times in the game with only one of them scoring while in contrast the Birds walked 7 times plating 3 runs from the BB's.
And so the series shifts to Linglestown Can the Birds complete another playoff comeback down 2 games in elimination games to the Bastards?
Game 4 - The game begins with a 1 out double by Altuve, who proceeds to get picked off by Wieters on a RP 41 roll. Then, ala Dodger fans, advanced scouts for the Speakers show up and take their "lucky" seat in the front row. In the bottom of the 1st Utley singles and scores on a Stanton HR to make it 2-0 AB's. In the top of the 3rd Hardy, who doubled, scores on a 2 out double as the Melk Man delivers again. Birds starter Bartolo Colon proceeds to give up no more hits until he is lifted after a lead off error by AJ Ellis. In comes McGee to face Scutaro who SAC's Wieters to 2nd. Ellis than commits his 2nd PB of the series moving Wieters to 3rd with 1 out. Ichiro is walked and steals 2nd, so Trout now hits with runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out and he is given a free pass to load the bases. The AB's counter with Rosario to PH which forces the Birds to counter with Nathan. So Revere then pinch hits for Rosario with the sacks juiced and proceeds to roll a 12-25 for a potential inning ending DP. Altuve drops a 50something fielding 3 and Revere beats the throw to first to get the AB's a much needed insurance run to make it 3-1. Up steps Stanton who jacks a 3 run HR which is not turned back by a +12 to make it 6-1 AB's. They add a run in the 8th on a 2 out double by Scutaro which scores Longoria. The Birds get a double in the 9th but the combo of Burton and Blevins shut the door for a 7-1 win and a 3-1 series win.
Winner - Hamels Loser - Colon Mike Trout goes 0 for 2 with 2 BB's and no runs scored .Hmmmmm
Next up for the Bastards are the Tsunami's in a 5 v 1 matchup, as the winner gets the Lymebees.
#3 Lymebees 2, #1 Asian Tsunamis 1
Game 1; Santiago vs Gonzalez; Asian Tsunamis score 1 run in first, 1
run in third, 1 run in fourth, 1 run HR by Grandal in eighth and 1 run
HR by Hamilton in ninth (both HR off of Romo); Lyme Bees score 2 run in
first with HR by Braun, 1 run in seventh to tie score but Romo would give
up 2 solo HR to lose game 5-3.
Game 2; Medlen vs Bumgarner; Asian Tsunamis score 1 run in third on solo HR by Kratz, 2 runs in 5th to tie score; Lyme Bees score 1 run in first, 2 run in second, 1 run in sixth and 1 run in eighth to win 5-3. (Notable injury collision in bottom on second gets Hamilton for this game and Young out for 9 games).
Game 3; Beachy vs Burnett; Asian Tsunamis score 1 run in first, 1 run in fourth, 2 runs in seventh; Lyme Bees score 1 run in second on solo HR by Ruiz, 1 run in fourth on solo HR by Braun, 1 run in sixth, tie score with 1 run in eighth.
With one out in the bottom of the tenth, Cano on second and Braun on first, Lyme Bees bring in Forsythe to bat for Tulowitzki vs Furbush. Tsunamis bring in Strop and Lyme Bees swallow hard but let Forsythe bat. He gets a 0 turned into 8 and Cano scores on 50-50 call at the plate. Lyme Bees win 5-4 and lead series 2-1.
Game 4: Lynn vs. Paulino: This was one of greatest games in Tsunami history
and was back and forth the whole way. Future Asian Tsunami (see below)
Jed Lowrie homered in the 2nd to give the Lyme Bess a 1-0 lead. The Tsunamis
tied it in the 4th when David Ortiz rolled a 22-0 second column 7 to score
Shin Soo Choo and went up 2-1 when Choo 66-0/55-1 homered in the 6th.
The Lyme Bees then added three runs in the 7-8th from a combination of
BB's, SB's HP's, 7's at 55 etc.to go up 4-2 but the Tsunamis struck back
with two runs in the 8th on 2B, BB, 1B and pass ball results. The Lyme
Bees then scored the go ahead run in the top of the 11th on singles and
BB's to take a 5-4 lead. Ortiz then flew out and Allen Craig struck out
to take it down to the Asians final batter. Ryan Doumit then pinch hit
and rolled a 66-1 to tie the game. Hoover stopped a Bee rally in the 12th
and then the Tsunamis loaded the bases with no one out in the 12th. Miguel
Cabrera then rolled a 9 result vs. 14 pitcher to find the hole and get
the Tsunamis a 6-5 walk off win.
Game 5: Gonzales vs. Cueto: With their bullpen depleted Gio Gonzales pitched a complete game for the Bees. Lowrie struck again with a 3 run homer while Cabrera and Castillo homered to take a 3-3 game into the bottom of the 9th. After Choo and Cabrera walked, Josh Hamilton who lead the Asians with 20 regular season HR's rolled a 66-1 HR which Gonzales could not turn back to give the Asians a 6-3 walk off win and 3-2 series lead.
Game 6: Bumgardner vs. Medlen: This game would put closure on a great three year run and represent the end of an era for several Tsunamis. Future Asian Tsunami Hall of Famers Paul Konerko and Derek Jeter played their last games but it was another retiring Tsunami John McDonald who stole the show. McDonald had three 66-1 rolls and finished with four runs, 2 HRs and 2 1B's as for the second time in team history the Asians lost a 66-HR on a Bunt for a Hit call. Jeter went 3-3 with two doubles and should be a strong candidate for BOY after hit team record setting 111 hit regular season. Konerko also went out in style with two doubles as Medlen and the Tsunamis cruised to a 12-3 win and 4-2 World Series Championship becoming the first OOTL 4-time Champions!