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Motor City Muscle @ Southbend Lynx

SERIES PREVIEW – American League East Division Champ Motor City faces off against American League West Division Champ Southbend in the Division Series. Southbend held a slight 7-5 advantage in the regular season series match-up between the teams. Motor City was tops in the American League in pitching with a 2.99 team ERA and Southbend at #2 with a 3.24 ERA. However, a key stat of note is that Motor City pitching gave up 173 HR’s whereas Southbend only gave up 149 Hrs. Southbend had the top hitting club at with a line of .271/.340/.462. Motor City came in at #4 with a line of 258/.323/.430.
GAME #1 – Jacob deGrom 19-9 (2,23) – Michael Foltynewicz 22-5 (3.06)

MCM opens up quickly off Folty when Granderson leads off with a 2b and Castellanos doubles him home with 2 outs. MCM deGrom is perfect through 3 innings before Altuve draws a walk in the 4th, steals 2nd, but is stranded. In the MCM T5 Ahmed hits a solo-HR for a 2-0 MCM lead. In the B5 SBL Cave 2bs for the Lynx 1st hit, followed by a Meadows rbi-2b to cut the MCM lead in half. deGrom settles down and retires the nex t 3 Lynx to strand Meadows. In the SBL B6 Hicks misplays a Altuve pop up to put him on 1st, Altuve steals 2nd, Lowrie groundout moves Altuve, Muncy walks, and Escobar comes through with a sac fly to CF to tie the game at 2-2. Both deGrom and Folty go 7 innings before giving way to the bullpens. Both pens are up to the task as we’re scoreless through the 11th. In the MCM T12 Freese leads off with a 1b off Osuna, Hamilton comes on to PR, Hicks executes a textbook H&R to put runners on the corners. Garcia Ks, Kinsler draws a walk, bringing Ahmed to the plate. MCM Mgr Craddock calls for the squeeze and Ahmed can’t get the ball down and Hamilton is tagged out at the plate. SBL J.Miller comes on and fans Ahmed to end the inning. The game remains scoreless until the B16 when SBL Meadows 2bs with 2 out, Joyce (who came on in the 14th as a PR) then 1bs down the third baseline to plate Meadows and give the SBL a tough 3-2 win! Southbend up 1-0 in the series.

WP- S.Gilmartin (1-0) LP- W.Peralta (0-1)

GAME #2Justin Verlander 20-9 (2.29) – Edwin Jackson 8-10 (3.56) 

Both starters keep things scoreless through 3 innings. In the SBL B4 Muncy 2bs w/1 out and after Escobar F8, Cave hits a 2-run HR to RF for a early Lynx lead. In the MCM T6 Hamilton hits a solo-HR to make it 2-1 Lynx. But Verlander gives the run back when Muncy
clubs a solo-HR in the B6. In the T8 MCM Kinsler 2bs, Hamilton grounds out to move Kinsler
to 3rd, Gilmartin then walks PH Garcia and Trout to load the bases. But Gilmartin will make
the perfect pitch and get Alonso to hit into a 3-6-3 DP to end the inning and the threat.
SBL E.Jackson would go 6IP giving up 1 run w/3 Ks. The SBL would end up using 5 relievers
in the game and Osuna would get his 1st save of the series. MCM Verlander goes the distance and fans 11 in a losing cause only giving up 4 hits, but 2 of them were HRs.
MCM get 9 hits but strands 9 baserunners in the game. Southbend moves to 2-0 in the series.

WP- E.Jackson (1-0) Sv- Osuna (1) LP- J.Verlander (0-1)

GAME #3Freddy Peralta 11-2 (3.72) – Kyle Hendricks 12-7 (3.21)

The series shifts to Motor City. The SBL jump out quick in the T1 when Altuve walks, Lowrie
with a H&R 1b, and Muncy with a sac fly to CF. In the MCM B3 Ahmed reaches on Muncy’s error, Granderson bbs, Trout Ks, Alonso bbs, Castellanos sac fly to RF to tie the game 1-1. Hicks then rips an rbi-2b to give MCM a 2-1 lead. But, as has been the case in the series thus far, the SBL would come right back in the T4 against Hendricks. Cave 2bs, Meadows with an rbi-1b to CF, and then with 2 out Maxwell doubles Meadows home for a 3-2 SBL lead. In the T5 the Lynx add to their lead with a 2 out rally as Escobar 1bs, Cave with an rbi-2b, moving to 3rd on the throw home, and then scoring on a Meadows rbi-1b off J.Wilson (brought in for the Lefty-lefty match-up). Motor City isn’t going away tho, as they keep the pressure on in the B5 when Granderson 1bs, Trout bbs, Gilmartin is brought in for the SBL, after Alonso F9, Castellanos rips an rbi-1b, followed by a Hicks groundout that scores Trout to make it 5-4 SBL. MCM calls on W.Peralta to hold the SBL and he’s not up to the task as Cozart swats a lead-off solo-HR in the T6, Maxwell 2bs with 1 out, M.Williams on to PR, Altuve bbs, Lowrie GIDP 4-6-3. But Kinsler then throws away a Muncy grounder
allowing Williams to score giving the SBL a 7-4 lead. MCM never really gets anything else going as SBL would use 4 more relievers to close out the game. SBL Gilmartin picks up the win and Osuna adds another save. Southbend now leads the series 3-0.

WP- S.Gilmartin (2-0) Sv- Osuna (2) LP- K.Hendricks (0-1)

GAME #4Michael Foltynewicz 22-5 (3.06)Jacob deGrom 19-9 (2,23)

Its do or die for MCM and they send out one of their aces to extend the series. deGrom is up to the task as he tosses a CG, 5 hit, Shutout, fanning 10 Lynx and walking only 2 hitters. SBL M.Folty is almost as good as he only gives up 1 run on 4 hits in 7IP of work with 7 Ks. The lone run of the game comes in the B1 when with 2 out Alonso hits a deep solo-HR to RF. Its was a classic pitchers duel as the SBL get a runner to 2nd on three occasions but deGrom strands them each time to preserve his shutout. SBL Muncy adds 2 hits and a walk for SBL in the losing cause. Southbend now holds a 3-1 lead in the series.

WP- J.deGrom (1-0) LP- M.Foltynewicz (0-1)

GAME #5Edwin Jackson 8-10 (3.56) Rich Hill 13-5 (2.71)

(MCM Mgr Craddock would later state that he went with lefty Hill rather than Verlander due to Muncy)

The SBL would jump on Hill right away in the T1 when Altuve 1bs, steals 2nd, and after Lowrie FL6, Muncy rockets a 2-run HR to RF. MCM go down 1-2-3 in the B1. In the SBL T2 Trumbo leads off with a 1b, A.Jackson Ks, Hill then hits Cozart to put runners at 1st and 2nd, and R.Martin follows with a 3-run HR to LF and a 5-0 SBL lead. But there is no quit in MCM as they start their comeback in the B4 when with 1 out Castellanos reaches 1st on Cozart’s error, Freese walks, Hicks rips an rbi-1b, and Ahmed follows with another rbi-1b. But SBL E.Jackson would bear down and get Kinsler to hit into an 4-6-3 DP to end the inning. There is no more scoring until the B7 when MCM Kinsler draws a 1 out walk, Hamilton then reaches on an Altuve error, moving Kinsler to 3rd, and Granderson walks to load the bases. Trout comes to the plate with a chance to atone for his poor playoff series thus far. But he is unable to come up with the big hit as he pops out to R.Martin behind the plate. Alonso then follows with a 2-rbi single to pull MCM within 1 run at 5-4. Familia ends the threat getting Castellanos to F8. SBL Moronta would come on the B8 and give up a lead off 1b to Freese, but Hicks would hit into a 6-4-3 DP, and Ahmed would ground out 6-3 to end the inning. SBL Osuna would come on to pitch a perfect 9th getting Granderson to ground out 4-3 to end the game and the MCM season. The MCM bullpen was stellar after the
2nd inning pitching 7.2IP giving up only 2 hits and 2 walks. SBL E.Jackson goes 5.1IP and earns the win and Osuna picks up his 3rd save of the series. Southbend wins the series 4-1!

WP- E.Jackson (2-0) Sv- Osuna (3) LP- R.Hill (0-1)

The series was closer than the 4-1 results would indicate with 3 1-run games, a 2-run game, and a 3-run game. The Lynx won 2 of the 3 1-run games, a clutch hit here or there from MCM and the series turns out much differently. The SBL homeruns were the difference in the series along with the poor series from MCM Trout. The loss of both Perez and Kendrick for MCM for the series was also a key factor. If MCM had those 2 players for the series I believe the series would have gone 7 games. Muncy by Mgr. Craddock’s call was the MVP of the series. The SBL bullpen also shined in the series. Congratulations to Jim on a fine season!

WEDNESDAY 08/05/2020
AT 11:59 PM - ET!