Thursday, January 28, 2010

Salt Lake City wins first title

Salt Lake City made it four straight wins and 6 out of 8 for the National League over the American League in the World Series. They took down the 2-time defending AL champion Seattle Killer Whales in 6 games.

Salt Lake City Shakers vs. Seattle Killer Whales

Game 1 opened in Seattle and the Killer Whales were not ready. Seattle starter Kane Grahe never made it out of the second inning, giving up eight runs before leaving. The bullpen was slightly better, but they gave up 6 runs. Solo shots by Osvaldo Johnson, Kris Olson, and Jacque Puffer weren't nearly enough as Salt Lake City took game 1 14-3. Arthur Matthews drove in 4 and Che Bong added 3 RBI.

Game 2 showed the depth of Salt Lake City's lineup. Tied 3-3 going into the 8th, Jordan Newfield's RBI single followed by Chris Barrett's RBI groundout made it 5-3 Shakers. Denny Moss homered in the bottom of the inning to cut the lead to 5-4, but Ruben Hernandez hit a 2-run bomb in the top of the ninth to extend the lead to 7-4, which was the final. Rene Alexander kept the Killer Whales off balance for his four innings of work and 5 different Shakers drove in at least one run.

Down 2-0 and going to Utah, Seattle needed a strong performance in game 3, and got just that from starter Junior Bennett. Yielding only a solo homer to Vic James in the 4th, Bennett pitched 8 innings and got a lot of help from Hector Lee, who drove in 3 runs on a solo homer in the second and a two-run triple in the fifth. Seattle took game 3 5-1 to climb back to a 2-1 deficit in the series.

Game 4 was the game that Seattle had to have but didn't win. Up 10-8 going into the bottom of the 8th, Salt Lake City got a two out RBI triple from pinch-hitter Lawrence Black, then got two runs off closer Quilvio Sanchez (helped in large part by two passed balls and an error by Sanchez) to win an 11-10 slugfest to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.

Game 5 was a must-win for Seattle, and the offense came out desperate. They scored in each of the first four innings, scoring a total of 6 runs. By the time it was all said and done, three Killer Whales (Pete Duvall, Denny Moss, and Osvaldo Johnson) each had a pair of RBIs- that combined with a good effort from starter Kane Grahe (7 innings, 2 runs) gave Seattle an 8-2 win to stay alive.

Game 6 saw Salt Lake City jump on Seattle early. George Lowe had an RBI double and Vic James added an RBI single before a single out had been recorded, then Che Bong added a solo shot later in the first to pace the Shakers to a 3-0 lead before Seattle ever came to bat. That would be enough for the Shakers pitching staff, who threw five pitchers at Seattle (none pitching more than 3 2/3 innings). A 4-1 win gave Salt Lake City its first ever title.

Congratulations to Seattle on another World Series appearance and, of course, to the new champions from Salt Lake City.

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