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2020 AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES #2

Chicago Mobsters @ Dallas Cougars

ChicagoDallasSERIES PREVIEW – Could two teams be more evenly matched headed into the American League Division Series?    Check out these numbers & see what you think for yourself.

Dallas 103 – 59 – .636 Winning Percentage – Chicago 101 – 61 – .623 Winning Percentage

Team Fielding: Dallas .986 – Chicago .983
Team Pitching: Dallas 3.58 – Chicago 3.82
Team Batting: Dallas .250 – Chicago .272

They played 12 games vs. each other in the regular season and the series was split 6-6.

This one is going to be a nail bitter & should go the distance if the oddsmakers are correct.

GAME #1 – Rich Hill (6-3 2.75) vs. Lucas Giolito (19-7 2.86)

Chicago got off to a quick 1-0 lead on a Joey Votto Home Run in the top of the 1st.
Back-to-Back-to-Back solo shots in the 6th by Votto, Alex Bregman & Yordan Alvarez were the only runs Chicago managed to put on the board.
Dallas’s Ramon Laureano had an RBI Double & a solo Home Run.   Lucas Giolito gave up 4 Runs on 6 Hits, but 4 of those were Home Runs.
Rich Hill cruised through 6 innings allowing only 1 Run. Chicago’s bullpen went the last 3 Innings allowing only 1 Run.
Aroldis Chapman came on in the 9th, walked one, but struck out 2 & closed the door.

Chicago 4, Dallas 2

W – Rich Hill 1-0
L – Lucas Giolito 0-1

GAME #2 – Julio Urias (8-2 2.75) vs. Patrick Corbin (20-8 2.85)

Julio Urias went 5 solid for the Mobsters before Noah Syndergaard came out of the pen to go 3 more strong.  Both Urias & Syndergaard both allowed a single run each.   Chicago’s pen let up 2 late runs.  Ramon Laureano & Victor Robles both had Home Runs for the Cougars.  Patrick Corbin went 4.1 but was pulled early after a little twinge in his arm & some noticeable discomfort.  The call went to Dallas Keuchel who pitched well allowing only 2 Runs in his 4.2 Innings of work   Chicago had big games from both Nelson Cruz (3 for 4 with 2 Home Runs, 3 Runs Scored, & 4 RBI’s) along with Danny Santana (2 for 5 with a Home Run, & 3 RBI’s).  Hunter Pence chipped in with a solo Home Run for the Mobsters.   

Chicago 8, Dallas 4

W – Julio Urias 1-0
L – Patrick Corbin 0-1

GAME #3 – Zach Plesac (12-6 3.04) vs. Trevor Bauer (16-13 4.33)

Zach Plesac was masterful for the Cougars going 7.1 Innings allowing only a solo Home Run to Yandy Diaz.   Dallas’s bullpen went the final 1.2 Innings allowing nothing on the board, not even a blip in the box score.   They simply came in (Jose Alvarez, Chris Martin, & Casey Salder) & shut the door down on the Chicago squad.   Trevor Bauer pitched O.K. (6.2 Innings 4 Runs) for Chicago, but ultimately it was the lack of offense on the Mobsters side of the board that did them in.

Dallas 4, Chicago 1

W – Zach Plesac 1-0
L – Trevor Bauer 0-1

GAME #4 – Chase Anderson (13-4 3.01) vs. Rich Hill (6-3 2.75)

This was the turning point for the series.  Dallas jumped out to an early 2 to 1 lead after 1 Inning of play.  The Cougars then did the damage on the Mobsters. scoring 2 more in the 2nd, 1 in the 3rd.   Chicago chipped back with 1 in the 4th, but it wasn’t going well for the Mobsters even though they were keeping it close at 5-2 after 5 innings of play.  Then Dallas had the big inning.  4 Runs in the 6th gave the Cougars a 0-2 lead after 5 & a half innings.   Chicago was not done.   They had something left in the tank & picked up 3 of their own in the bottom of the 6th.   So after 6 full innings, it was Dallas 9 – Chicago 5.   The 7th was scoreless for both squads.  Top of the 8th Dallas was held off the board.  Chicago on the other hand had their big offensive inning. 4 Runs, putting the score even or knotted at 9 each after 8 Innings of play.  Top 9 Dallas scratches out a walk, but nothing more.   Chicago’s longtime catcher Buster Posey is pinch-hit for to lead off the bottom 9th, the crowd going wild, Yandy Diaz steps to the plate & takes Chris Martin deep to left for a Walk-Off solo Home Run to finish the comeback at 10-9.    

Jose Abreu was 3 for 5 with a Home Run & 3 RBI’s as was Victor Robles as well for Dallas. Will D. Smith had a solo Home Run for Dallas.

For Chicago besides the Walk-Off by Yandy Diaz, Danny Santana was the man with 2 Home Runs, 5 RBI’s.  Yordan Alvarez & Niko Goodrum both had Home Runs.

Chicago 10, Dallas 9

W – Felipe Vasquez 1-0
L – Chris Martin 0-1

GAME #5 – Lucas Giolito (19-7 2.86) vs. Julio Urias (8-2 2.75)

From all that offense, including a Walk-Off win to a pitchers duel is where the end of Game #4 & Game #5 came & went.   Lucas Giolito was dominant for the Cougars striking out 11 Mobsters in 7 Innings of work.   The Cougars triple threat bullpen Jose Alvarez, Chris Martin, & Casey Salder came in for the 8th & 9th & once again did the Mobsters dirty by allowing only a couple of Hits in 2 Innings of work.

Ramon Laureano had a Home Run & 3 RBI’s in the top of the 1st Inning.   It was all the Cougars needed.   Chicago couldn’t muster up anything more than a run in the 5th & 8th.  Marcus Stroman was spectacular in relief of Julio Urias who was pulled after 6 batters faced & 1 full inning of work.   

Dallas 3, Chicago 2

W – Lucas Giolito 1-1
L – Julio Urias 1-1

GAME #6 – Patrick Corbin (20-8 2.85) vs. Julio Urias (8-2 2.75)

As was mentioned above in the series preview how close could these two teams be?  Chicago holds a 3-2 lead in the series & we’re headed back to Dallas for Game #6.   No score after 5 full innings of play, Chicago chimes in with a single run in the 6th & Dallas roars back with a pair of runs in the bottom half.   An Alex Bregman Single scores Niko Goodrum in the 8th to knot this one up at 2 apiece after 8.   

Scoreless in the 9th this one heads to the 10th.   (Again how close are these two teams?)   

Nelson Cruz is the man in the 11th for Chicago with a solo Home Run giving the Mobsters a 3-2 lead.   Aroldis Chapman who was called upon for the 10th starts off the 11th getting the 1st out of the Inning before facing Cougars Pinch-Hitter Wil D. Smith.   Smith does exactly as Cruz did for Chicago, he takes Chapman over the fence to tie it up again.   3-3 after 11 innings of play. 

In the 12th a one-out walk to Andrew McCutchen followed by a textbook HIt-&-Run by Andrelton Simmons puts runners at the corners for the Mobsters.  Dallas Keuchel facing Francisco Mejia who lofts a lazy flyball to left.   Is Cutch going to go?  Yes, he’s headed for the plate.  Here comes the throw home … and he’s … just safe under the tag, McCutchen scores the go-ahead run.  Mejia picks up a sac fly and an RBI on what should not have been a run, but the hustle of long time Mobster veteran Andrew McCutchen gives the Mobsters a 4-3 lead.

Chapman climbs the hill for the bottom of 12th & quickly gets two outs before facing Dallas Cougars All-Star first baseman Jose Abreu.   After falling behind 3-0 & not wanting to groove one to the beast in Abreu, Chapman decides he won’t & he goes after Abreu with a fastball to the ribs.   Bamn, Abreu goes down.   Chapman gets tossed & barks over at Abreu about getting up & stop being a baby.    The bench clear & more words are exchanged, mostly in Spanish.  Chapman is hurried into the Chicago clubhouse before anything else happens & things settle down as Abreu is now the tying run on at first base with two outs.   A.J. Pollock is the batter & he will face freshly in from the Mobsters bullpen Carlos Matias Martinez.    Bottom 12, down 4-3, 1 one, 2 out, A.J. Pollock has the pressure on him, as well as does Martinez.    The Pitch, it’s hit, groundball to shortstop, Andrelton Simmons fields it, throws over to first & that does it.   Mobsters win in 12 Innings.

Chicago 10, Dallas 9 (12 Innings)

W – Aroldis Chapman 1-0
L – Dallas Keuchel 0-1
S – Carlos Matias Martinez #1

SERIES SUMMARY – Back to what was said in the Series Preview.   How close could these two teams be?  Dallas scored 40% of their runs early in the game in the 1st 3 Innings of play.  Chicago’s pen was solid for them allowing only 6 runs after the 6th Inning of play.   That was part of the difference in this one.  Chicago scored 41% of their runs in the middle innings and 38% of their runs in the 7th or later.  Both teams batted under .230  – Chicago .230 & Dallas .220.  The other major factor in Chicago taking the series was the power.   Chicago had 16 Home Runs in the 6 game series.   Dallas had 9.    Chicago’s team ERA was 3.47, Dallas was 4.18.   Two good teams, two close teams all around.   Chicago just came out on top with a 4-2 series victory.    

Chicago will head to Hollywood where they will take on the Werewolves for the American League Championship Series!

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