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GAME # 1 –  Cliff Lee vs. Matt Cain

After an uneventful first inning.  Sacramento took its first shot at Cain in the top of the 2nd with a double by Yadier Molina with two outs in the 2nd, which Tempe quickly shut down with an intentional walk to Torii Hunter and a quick and predictable strikeout of Cliff Lee to escape the inning.  In return, Tempe wasted no time getting it started in the bottom of the 2nd.

With no outs, Adrian Beltre belted a line drive toward the gap in right, but Josh Willingham’s defensive prowess held Beltre to first. Believing Willingham’s defense to be a bit overrated, Adrian Gonzalez chose to test him again, roping a line drive over Albert Pujols, who watched as Willingham cut it off in the corner, holding Gonzalez to a double and Beltre at third.  Lee is doing some landscaping and, it appears, swearing.  A lot.  The Family Research Council is going to have a field day with this one.  We can’t quite make out what Lee is saying, but, yes, it has something to do with somebody’s mother.  We have Buster Olney on the ground looking into it right now and we’ll get back to you as soon as we find out what he said, and whether it was truly a mother-related incident.  Kevin Youkilis is walking to the mound–known as the calming influence on the team–and seems to be talking Lee down.  It seems to have worked … Lee back on the mound, with no outs, stares down Dustin Pedroia, and walks him in four pitches.  Bases loaded with Carlos Ruiz at the plate.  No outs.  Tied 0-0.  Infield back at double play depth … the pitch … line drive base hit, scoring Beltre.  Gonzalez holds at third and bases remain loaded with no outs for Matt Cain, who could really help his cause here.  Lee’s pitch, and it’s a hard liner to CANO for out number 1. Bases still loaded, Granderson at the plate, and one out.  Granderson grounds to Pujols who fires to Cano for one out, and back to first for the force, but too late.  Granderson is safe.  Tempers ahead 2-0, two outs, runners at the corners, and Melky CABRERA at the plate.  Granderson is off with the pitch … lined past JJ Hardy with Daniel Murphy taking it on the bounce. PEDROIA scores and GRANDERSON holds at second, playing it conservative.  With runners at first and second, Pence takes his turn at the plate … Lee can take breath; Pence lofts a routine fly to center and Torii HUNTER hauls it in … side retired; CAPITALS 0, TEMPERS 3.

Capitals strike back, sorta, entering the 3rd.  Murphy hits a drive off CAIN, right at CABRERA; one down.  Kevin YOUKILIS promptly strikes out caught looking … two gone.  Robinson CANO, however, has had enough of the League’s Matt Cain-worship.  With 2 outs, bases empty, down 0-3, let’s listen to the call: “And now the pitch … CANO hits it nine miles … deep to right field … fair ball!

and it’s long gone! … home run for CANO”.  CAPITALS 1, TEMPERS 3. Pujols up, no one on, two outs … a woops swing sends a slow dribbler to TULOWITZKI closes out the inning.  CAPITALS 1, TEMPERS 3; but it wouldn’t last.  TULOWITZKI facing C. LEE, and walks with none out; Beltre flies out to deep center for one out.  AGONE  is back … and pulls it hard to Willingham, again.  Playing conservatively, Tulo holds with runners at 2nd and 3rd.  With one out, PEDROIA hits it hard to HARDY, who comes home with it  to stop the run–bad throw! E6!  TULOWITZKI scores; PEDROIA attempts to take second on the error, but MOLINA guns him down … Don’t test the MoMan.  CAPITALS 1, TEMPERS 4.  Lee strikes our Ruiz to end the 3rd inning.  The Capitals can’t get anything going in the top of the 4th.  Tempe pulls CAIN for Vladimir GUERRERO will pinch hit to start the bottom of the 4th; the pitch … slowly rolled toward HARDY … and it slips out of his glove

GUERRERO reaches on the miscue … that’s his 2nd error in the game.  Jimmy Rollins is itchin’ to get into the game.  The TEMPERS send Franklin GUTIERREZ to run for GUERRERO with GRANDERSON facing C. LEE and no outs. LEE deals, and GUTIERREZ takes off; Molina didn’t have a chance this time.  GUTIERREZ is safe on second.   GRANDERSON blooped to short, but HARDY actually hauls this one in for out number one. CABRERA up, hot smash to CANO, who takes it on one hop and flips to first for out number two;  GUTIERREZ moves up to third.  That’s it, CAPITALS manager has decided to pull a double switch: Roberts is in right field and Guerra is in to pitch.  LEE goes only three and two thirds … his line

4 runs … 3 earned … on 6 hits … walked 2 … he fans 2 … he’s responsible for the runner he can only lose it.  Hunter PENCE, facing GUERRA, grounds it into the hole … to HARDY … high throw!!! PENCE is safe and GUTIERREZ scores easily.  That’s Hardy’s 3rd error in the game–no, in 4 innings.  Unbelievable.  TULOWITZKI facing J. GUERRA, … PENCE breaks for second and Molina won’t catch him this time.  TULOWITZKI pops it high to the right side, CANO’s racing over, and makes the running catch. CAPITALS 1, TEMPERS 5.  TEMPE calls on PERALTA to start the 5th, who starts with a whiff of Roberts for the first out.  Looking to get things started, Daniel Murphy doubles to right center, followed by a Youkilis double to left center.  CAPITALS 2, TEMPERS 5, one out, Tempers manager asks PERALTA for the ball; Ryan MADSON will take the mound. CANO facing MADSON; poked to left center, scoring YOUKILIS.  CANO’s on second, PUJOLS is the tying run at the plate … he pops it up for the second out, followed by Hardy’s pop up for the third out … leaving CANO stranded at second.  CAPITALS 3, TEMPERS 5.  BELTRE starts off the bottom of the 5th facing GUERRA; let’s listen to the announcers: GUERRA brings it … cut on … hit deep to left field … way back … MURPHY is racing back it’s long gone! … he got all of that one CAPITALS 3, TEMPERS 6.  And here comes CAPITALS manager … again …” While the Capitals would score one more in the 7th, Tempe’s 6 runs would prove quite enough for this one.

The difference in this one, 3 errors from a grade-9 SS in 4 innings of play, resulting in 2 unearned runs.

WP: Clippard (1-0)
LP: Lee (0-1)
S: Holland (1)

2020 MWBL
SATURDAY 02/22/2020
AT 10:30 AM - ET!