Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Season 7 World Series

Atlanta Bandits (NL) vs. Seattle Killer Whales (AL)

The last two teams left were Atlanta, the plucky defending champions who had to stave off 5 elimination games in the first two rounds, and Seattle, the relative newcomer to The Bigs elite.

- In game 1, home team Seattle used the longball to fuel a series opening win. The Killer Whales used 6 homers (3 by former NL MVP Osvaldo Johnson) to account for all their runs in a 7-3 win. Quilvio Sanchez did his best Mariano Rivera imitation, recording a 2-inning save and striking out 5 in the process.

- Game 2 saw a reversal, as Atlanta used its power to jump on Seattle this time. Lynn Abernathy and Paul Turnbow each hit a 2-run homer to help fuel a 6-0 lead, then the Bandits hung on to win 6-4. Steven Michaels pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball for the win.

- Game 3 in Atlanta saw a dramatic comeback in the 9th inning. A Jay Walker solo homer in the 7th snapped a 4-4 tie and gave Atlanta the lead, but Seattle staged a 2-out rally and struck for 4 runs, the big hit being a Pete Duvall single to tie the game- Duvall had already homered twice. A bases-loaded walk to Jacque Puffer provided the winning margin, then Tony Burnitz provided insurance with a 2-run single to cap the scoring in an 8-5 Seattle win. It was also a costly loss for Atlanta as slugger Stan Starr injured himself striking out in the 5th and would not play again in the series.

- Game 4 was a game of missed opportunities for Seattle. Atlanta starter Fred Carter wasn't dominating, but he was good at getting out of trouble- he pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings and Seattle ended up leaving 10 men on base. Albie Torres and Eric Baker both drove in 2 and Atlanta tied the series at two with a 5-0 victory.

- Game 5 was a terrible time for Seattle's Kane Grahe to have his worst start of the playoffs. He gave up 6 runs in 6 innings, 3 of them on a pair of homers to Bret Kingman, who was replacing the injured Stan Starr. Meanwhile, Steven Michaels was very good yet again for Atlanta, yielding only 2 runs in 6 innings as Atlanta won 6-2. Atlanta would need only one victory in Seattle to clinch its second straight World Series title.

- Most Seattle fans were not feeling confident about needing a big game from Miguel Benitez, the former Cy Young winner who had struggled all postseason. Benitez's undoing was his last offering, a 2-1 pitch in the 7th inning to Gregg Black which ended up in the seats for a 3-run homer to turn a 3-2 Atlanta lead into a 6-2 game. After a Denny Moss solo homer in the 8th to cut the lead to 6-3, Atlanta tacked on 5 runs in the ninth to make the lead 11-3. After Matty Eusebio got Pete Duvall to pop up to shortstop to end the game, the Bandits started celebrating on the mound.

Congratulations to Atlanta on their second straight championship and to Seattle for a fine season.

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