Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2nd Round Recap

Before we get into the 2nd round recap, let it be known that my sources have said the Trenton front office was disappointed to hear about the Pierce re-signing, as he would have been at or near the top of their free-agent shopping list for season 10.

With that out of the way, the LCS matchups have been set. Here's a recap of Round 2:

National League

The #1 seeded Austin City Limits have taken out the defending champion #4 Salt Lake City Shakers in 4 games to move on to the NLCS. Salt Lake City took game 1 in Austin, but a Keith Buckley 10th innings homer in game 2 gave Austin a split. Austin won games 3 and 4 behind strong starting pitching performances (Miguel Castilla in Game 3 and Vladimir Bibby in Game 4 combined to give up 2 runs in 15 innings) to take the series 3 games to 1.

Their opponent in the NLCS will be the #2 Atlanta Bandits out of the NL East. Atlanta took down an always tough Fargo team. Sammy Pierce outdueled Kazuhiro Whang in Game 1 to stake the Dirtbags to a 1-0 lead, but Atlanta took the next 3, holding the Dirtbags to a total of 5 runs. After Javier Henriquez was a hard luck loser in game 2 and the bullpen wasted a good start by Orber Marin in game 3, Fargo seemed to be completely disheartened in game 4 and was blown out 11-2.

American League

#1 Louisville seems determined to shake the "Best team never to have won a title" moniker; their quest continues after knocking off the 2-time AL champion #5 Seattle Killer Whales. The turning point may have come in Game 1, as Seattle closer Quilvio Sanchez was brought in the 8th inning to get Marty Lane out of a 2-out jam, but Albert Martin and Orlando Franco both singled, Franco's single driving in 2 to turn a 5-4 deficit into a 6-5 lead that Buddy Titan didn't blow. That moment loomed larger after Seattle's well-earned Game 2 victory; Louisville could have been down 0-2. After Seattle was held to 2 runs on a combined 6 hits in games 3 and 4 (Lance Stevens and Hipolito Maradona were dominant), Louisville marched on to the ALCS for the first time in 5 seasons with a 3-1 series victory.

#2 Monterrey and #3 St. Louis was the only series to go the distance, and it came with many twists and turns. St. Louis appeared to be cruising to a Game 1 victory, as they were up 7-4 in the 8th innings before Monterrey struck for 5 runs, highlighted by a Nate Cox 3-run homer, to win 9-7. In game 2, Monterrey had a one run lead in the 8th before St. Louis turned the tables with 2 runs to win 6-5 and split in Monterrey. After Monterrey won Game 3 with little drama, they had a chance to close out Game 4 and the series, but Wilton Cornelius and Tony Corey had 2-out singles to win and go back to Monterrey. In Game 5, Monterrey scored the first 2 runs, but St. Louis scored the last 7 to win the series. They will move on to face Louisville in the ALCS.

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