Sunday, October 25, 2009

American League Championship Series Season 7

Seattle had been the top dog in the AL all season, but St. Louis looked very good as they went 6-0 in the first two rounds. How would this ALCS turn out?

St. Louis vs. Seattle

- In game 1 St. Louis's Antonio Perez pitched a complete game, giving up 3 runs (two earned) but was done in by the home run ball; Denny Moss hit a solo shot in the 1st followed by recently named MVP Jacque Puffer's solo homer in the 8th. That coupled with Kane Grahe's great outing (7 innings, 1 run) followed by 2 innings of Quilvio Sanchez equaled a 3-1 win for Seattle.

- Game 2 saw St. Louis leave 5 runners on in the first two innings alone while Seattle scored 3 in the first, two on a Puffer triple. Junior Bennett pitched 7 shutout innings and Jack Hunt added a solo shot in the 5th to give Seattle a 4-0 victory.

- In game 3, the St. Louis bats woke up just in time. Seattle built a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the 7th, but St. Louis got a Placido Sanchez 2-run shot in the 7th and then a 3-run homer by Nick Hernandez to give Carlos Carrasco a 5-4 lead, which he held for the save. St. Louis jumped back in the series, trailing only 2-1.

- St. Louis's hot hitting from the last 2 innings of game 3 carried right over to the beginning of game 4. Seattle starter Marty Lane didn't make it out of the first inning, giving up 7 runs in 2/3 of an inning. St. Louis led 9-0 after two innings and cruised to a 10-5 victory to tie the series up at two games apiece.

- In game 5, Seattle tried to take the momentum back with 2 runs in the top of the first- a Denny Moss homer and a King Winn single got Seattle on top. But that was all they would get off Antonio Perez, who again threw a complete game. St. Louis got 7 runs off Junior Bennett, 6 of them via the homerun (4 homers, 2 by Pepe Martin) to win game 5 by a 7-2 score and needing to win just one game in Seattle to make its first ever World Series appearance.

- Game 6 saw St. Louis on the brink of winning the series, but its bullpen imploded. St. Louis held a tenative 1-0 lead until the 5th, where Pete Duvall's two-out RBI single off St. Louis starter Lloyd Freel got Seattle on the board. Reliever Vic Macias came out for the sixth and the floodgates opened right up; Seattle started the inning with 5 straight hitters reaching base safely (4 hits and a walk). After a Footsie post strikeout, Jack Hunt drove in 2 with a double and Pete Duvall followed with a 2-run homer; 7 runs were scored in the inning. Kane Grahe gave up 2 runs (only one earned) in eight innings to help lead Seattle to an 8-2 victory and setting up a deciding game 7.

- Game 7 saw the biggest crowd ever in Safeco. Miguel Benitez (Seattle) and Russell Newson (St. Louis) were tabbed to start the biggest game for both teams in their history by far. Seattle jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a Footsie Post RBI single in the 2nd and then a Candy Krueter 2-run homer in the 4th, but St. Louis came right back with 3 in the 5th to tie the game. Benitez walked Pepe Sanchez and Nick Hernandez to start the inning, then Rico Guevara followed with a 3-run homer to tie the game; this was Benitez's last batter. Larry Canasone came in to stop the bleeding, then Seattle struck the decisive blow in the bottom of the 5th, as Kris Olson drove in Osvaldo Johnson with an RBI single and then a 1-out grand slam by defensive replacement Henry Canizaro gave Seattle an 8-3 lead, and St. Louis never got close again. They got an RBI groundout in the 7th, but couldn't put a rally together and fell 8-4. Seattle advanced to their first ever World Series and will play Atlanta.

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