Tuesday, July 28, 2009

National League Playoff Recap

Here's a quick National League playoff recap:

In the first round, #5 Chicago outscored #4 Salem by a count of 32-21 and still lost the series 3-2. David Dunwoody outdueled Orber Marin in a tense 4-3 game 5 win. In the other series, #3 Houston's pitchers kept #6 Cheyenne's hitters off-balance and won fairly easily, 3-1.

In Round 2, Atlanta ran through Salem in three straight. They pounded co-ace Dwight Salmon for 10 runs in game 1 and never looked back. Houston pulled a mild upset, beating the defending champs in 4 games. Houston won both games that Fargo ace Javier Henriquez pitched- in game 1, his defense and bullpen let him down (story of his life) and in game 4, the Riverdogs got him for 6 runs.


So that left Houston against Atlanta in the NLCS. In game 1, Stephen Michaels pitched a 2-hit shutout over 7 innings, and Carlton MacDougal had 3 hits and drove in 2 to fuel a 4-1 Bandit win.

Game 2 saw some drama. Houston's Lonny Gates was spectacular, pitching a 2-hit shutout over 6 innings. It looked like a 3rd inning RBI single by Cy Hughes would hold up until the 9th, when the great Gregg Black stepped up against Houston closer Matt Skinner with one on and launched a 2-1 pitch into the rightfield bleachers to give Atlanta a 2-1 walk-off victory and a 2-0 lead in the series.

Game 3 saw the Houston bats energized in front of their home crowd. The Riverdogs jumped on Atlanta starter Fred Carter early, getting 7 runs in 5 2/3 innings. That was plenty for Jason Sprague, who pitched 7 strong innings in a 7-2 win.

Unfortunately for Houston, they used up all their hits in game 3 and had none left for the 4th game. Stephen Michaels had all his pitches going and held Houston to 2 hits again, this time going 7 1/3. A bases-loaded walk in the 6th proved to be the only run in a 1-0 Bandits win.

Game 5 saw the Riverdogs stave off elimination thanks to a 3-run first inning homer by Bob Koplove, which was more than enough for Jerome Oliver, who went 8 innings in a 3-1 win.

Game 6 was another low-scoring affair. A 4th ininng passed ball by Houston produced the only run of the game until the 9th, when Orlando Franco hit a home run off Atlanta (and former Houston) closer Tex Howell to keep the series alive. But in the bottom of the 13th, Lynn Abernathy singled home Vicente Romero to clinch the series for the Bandits, securing a 2-1 win in the game and a 4-2 series win.

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