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2015 – NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES #2

TempeNational League Division Series
Long Beach Dirt Bags vs. Tempe Tempers

Series Preview:   The Division Series between the Long Beach Dirt Bags and the Tempe Tempers matched the top two NL MVP candidates Robinson Cano and Victor Martinez against each other and the National League’s only 20 game winners Yordano Ventura and Wei-Yin Chen. Tempe entered the series well rested while Long Beach was missing their second best hitter J.D. Martinez for the first two games.

Game #1: Bud Norris (14-8 2.82) vs. Corey Rasmus (7-2 1.88)

HollandNLDS21Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. Rasmus escaped with runners on 3rd and 2nd with only one out in the 1st and also again in the 2nd. He then got out of jams with runners on 2nd and 1st with only one out in the 3rd and a runner on 2nd in the 4th with only one out. Norris on the other hand had a no hitter going until two outs in the bottom of the 4th. Norris walked Tulo on a questionable call and then allowed him to move to 3rd on a wild pitch. Tulo then scored on a bloop single for Tempe’s first hit of the game and only run. Crockett, Smith and Holland then closed out the next five innings for Tempe.

Final Score: Tempe 1 – Long Beach 0
W – Crockett
L – Norris
S – Holland
LOB Stat – LB 10 and TEM 2

 

MolinaNLDS22Game #2: John Lester (17-8 2.36) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (13-7 2.21)

Long Beach jumped out an early 1-0 lead in the 1st on a Span leadoff double and a Ruggiano double. Tempe responded in the 2nd when Molina took Lester deep for a two run homerun. In the 3rd, a second Ruggiano double and V. Martinez single tied it up. A Cano double and then a misplayed throw at 1B by Martinez (20 errors on the season) allowed Tempe to go back up. A pinch hit single by Gattis gave Tempe a 4-2 lead in the 4th. In the 5th, Holt tripled and then scored on a Span RBI single. In the bottom of the 9th, Long Beach threatened as Holland ran out of gas. Otero came on with a runner on 1st and two outs. He allowed a single, but popped up Hardy for the final out of the game.

Final Score: Tempe 4 – Long Beach 3
W – Smith
L – Lester
S – Otero

 

Game #3: Corey Rasmus (7-2 1.88) vs. Yordano Ventura (20-5 2.23)

TulowitzkiNLDS23In the top of the 2nd, a Cabrera single and a stolen base turned into a run on a Molina double. Ventura intentionally walked Cargo to face the pitcher with two outs. Tempe rolled the dice and sent up Chris Davis who singled in another run. A Tulo solo shot in the 3rd gave Tempe a 3-0 lead. Long Beach rallied back on a two run homerun by Ozuna in the 5th. Tempe responded with runs in the top of the 7th and 8th. The Dirt Bags scored two more in the bottom of the 8th on a Gennett RBI double and a JD Martinez single. Smith came on and IW walked V. Martinez and then popped up Donaldson to preserve the one run lead. Tempe added another run in the 9th and Joe Smith came back out and finished off the save.

Final Score: Tempe 6 – Long Beach 4
W – Otero
L – Ventura
S – Smith

Scooter Gennett is injured & will miss the remainder of the Series

 

Game #4: Hisashi Iwakuma (13-7 2.21) vs. John Lester (17-8 2.36)

SmithNLDS24Lester and Iwakuma both pitched well for the first three innings. In the top of the 4th, a Cuddyer double, Beltre single, Braun single, and Molina single gave Tempe a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the 4th, Long Beach loaded the bases with only one out and Donaldson coming to the plate. Tempe called on Joe Smith early this time with a double switch and Smith was able to get Donaldson to ground into an inning ending double play. New nasty boys Smith, Holland, and Crocket didn’t surrender a hit over the final 5.2 innings and Long Beach finished the game with only two hits.

Final Score: Tempe 3 – Long Beach 0
W-Smith
L-Lester
S-Crockett

Series Summary:

Tempe sweeps the series, but it could have easily been a 2-2 series after the first four games. Long Beach left 15 runners on base compared to Tempe’s 5 during the first two one run losses.
The Series MVPs were shared by Tempe’s two closers:
Greg Holland 1 SV, 0.00 ERA, 5.2 IP, 9 SO
Joe Smith 2-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA 7IP.

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