It's been an interesting playoff season thus far. Here's a quick rundown on the 1st round and on the league division series (both LCS and World Series will be in separate posts and in greater detail):
-New Orleans wasn't given much of a shot by oddsmakers against Houston; the Riverdogs did indeed prevail in 4, but all four games were decided by two runs or less.
-Atlanta took down Trenton in the most entertaining series in the 1st round. Trenton went up 2-0 on the road behind Dunwoody and Salmon, but couldn't close the deal. Atlanta took both games in Trenton and then won game 5 in a 14-inning classic.
- Atlanta proved that it is a team that is hard to knock out, as top-seeded Salt Lake City had two shots to take out the champs and failed. The Shakers won games 2 and 3 by one run to push the Bandits to the limit, but Atlanta won games 4 and 5 by the same 8-4 score to move on improbably to the NLCS.
- Fargo made its 4th NLCS appearance in 6 seasons by taking out Houston in a tough-fought five game set. Houston went up 2-1 by beating Cy Young Award winner Javier Henriquez twice (games 1 and 3), but couldn't solve Sammy Pierce in games 2 and 4 and in game 5 (much to the surprise of experts) Manny Christians badly outpitched Houston ace Lonny Gates for a 6-0 victory and a date with Atlanta in the NLCS.
- St. Louis won its first ever playoff series in three straight games over Monterrey. The Sultans were shut out in both games in St. Louis and then dropped an 8-7 decision south of the border.
- Oklahoma City should have petitioned the league to play its entire 1st round series on the road. They split the first two games with Louisville, losing 5-4 and then winning game 2 10-5, but gave up 14 runs in two games at their home park to lose in four games to the Legends.
- Louisville's series with Seattle mirrored their series with OKC, with this time Louisville splitting on the road before getting waxed at home. Seattle scored 31 runs in the 4 game set to win 3-1 and move on to the ALCS.
- Jackson's first ever division title became a little bittersweet as they failed to win a playoff game off of it. The Vipers gave up 7 straight runs to lose game 1, then the St. Louis bullpen beat them in two 1-run decisions in games 2 and 3. St. Louis marched on to face the mighty Killer Whales in the ALCS.