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2008 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES HIGHLIGHTS

For Immediate Release
October 22, 2008

Chicago vs. Severn – MWBL American League Championship Series

Written by Chicago Mobsters – John “Stray” Corrado
Games played Head 2 Head using Logmein.com on (09/20/08)

The American League Central Champion Chicago Mobsters headed into Severn for the 1st of two American League Championship Games.
Chicago trying to loosen the guys up some, did things the old fashion way. They took the train into Severn.

Game #1 – C.C. Sabathia (21-5  3.13) vs. Brandon Webb (27-5 2.38)
Severn jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the end of four innings of play on a Jeff Kent Solo shot.  Chicago pecked back in the top of the 5th with a Chipper Jones single that scored Bonds.   Brendan Harris put Severn back up 2-1 at the end of the 5th.
Chicago’s bats came alive in the 6th – with the sacks full of Mobsters Derek Jeter singled home Todd Helton and Gary Sheffield to give the Mobsters a 1 run margin.
Polonco added a Sac Fly and that put the Mobsters up 4-2 at the end of 4 and a 1/2 innings of play.   Chicago scored 4 more in the 8th inning and let the bullpen took over after 5 innings.   Little know Yorman Bazardo came on with runners at second and third with no-outs and faced Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera & Matt Holiday and got out of the inning with 2 pop ups and a ground ball that was handled by Chipper Jones.
Jose Valverde was knocked around by the Mobsters for 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned in 2/3 of an inning.

Final Score – Chicago 8 – Severn 2
W – C. C. Sabathia 1-0 3.60 ERA
L – Brandon Webb (0-1 6.00)
HR – Kent (1) Bonds (1)

Game #2 – Fausto Carmona (17-7 2.57) vs. Tim Hudson (23-3 3.06)
Fausto Carmona was masterful through 5 innings and didn’t allow a hit.  Tim Hudson scattered four hits, but hadn’t allowed a run through 5 innings as well Yorman Bazaro – pitched to two batters and retired them both on ground balls.  Alex Rodriguez hit a solo Home Run in the 6th and Hudson held the Mobsters at-bay.  Scott Downs came on for the 9th and earned a save.

Final Score – Severn 1 – Chicago 0
W – Tim Hudson 1-0 0.00
L – Fausto Carmona – 0-1 1.29
S – Scott Downs (1)
HR – Rodriguez (1)

The series headed back to Chicago for games 3, 4, and maybe 5.

Game #3 – Carlos Zambrano (17-9  3.21) vs. Josh Beckett (16-6 3.57)
Barry Bonds had a leadoff walk in the bottom of the 1st and Placido Polonco doubled to drive Bonds in.  In the second Sheffield doubled and after a Granderson Strikeout Josh Phelps tripled in Sheffield to make it 2-0 Chicago.  Jeter surprised everyone with a suicide squeeze with Phelps lumbering down the line after the triple.  The Suicide was so successful and surprising that Alex Rodriguez tried to roll it foul, but it stayed on the white line to give Jeter a single and RBI.  Jeter then stole 2nd, scored two batters later when Polonco singled up the middle to make the score 4-0 Chicago.  Chipper Jones, Curtis Granderson and Todd Helton all homered later in the game, and Josh Beckett went 8 strong innings, holding the Express to just 3 hits and two runs in the six, one off of the Bat of Alex Rodriguez his second of the series.

Final Score – Chicago 11 – Severn 2
W – Josh Beckett 1-0 2.25
L – Carlos Zambrano 0-1 18.00
HR – Rodriguez (2) Granderson (1) C. Jones (1) Helton (1)

Game #4 Brandon Webb (27-5 2.38) vs. C.C. Sabathia (21-5 3.13)
This was the Brandon Webb show. Webb showcased himself for the American league Cy-Young Award voters with a masterful 1 hit shutout over the Mobsters.  Brendan Harris’s ground out in the 4th scored Jeff Kent, and Pat Burrel’s single scored Brendan Harris in the 7th.  That was all that Brandon Webb needed. He held the Mobsters to a single lonely one hit off the bat of Chipper Jones, who was immediately doubled off.  Webb faced the minimum batters in a game (27) and looked dominating and un-hittable at times.  Chicago reliever and phenom Yorman Bazardo took the hill in the 7th with a runner on faced Alex Rodriguez induced a ground ball out, then faced Miguel Cabrera and got him looking.

Final Score : – Severn 1 – Chicago 0
W- Brandon Webb 1-1 2.40
L – C.C. Sabathia 3.18

Game #5 – Jessie Litsch (8-8  4.15) vs. Fausto Carmona (17-7 2.57)
After Josh Phelps got plowed into by Alex Rodriguez giving the Express a 1-0 lead – Chicago’s Barry Bonds led off the bottom of the 1st with a solo shot way back in right field.  With the scored tied at one in the 3rd Justin Morneau drove a homer down the line in right and put the Express up 2-1.  Chicago tied it a 2 in the 6th off a David Ortiz solo homer. Jeff Kent undid the knot with a solo Homer, and put the Express up for good.  A Miguel Cabrera single scored Spilborghs for a 4-2 Express win.
Final Score : – Severn 4 – Chicago 2

W- Matt Guerrier 1-0 3.18
L – Fausto Carmona 0-2 2.57
HR – Bonds (2) Ortiz (1) Morneau (1) Kent (2)

The Series shifted back to Severn and the Chicago Mobsters trying to keep things light took the Express into town.

Game #6 – Cole Hamels (17-6 2.74) vs. Tim Hudson (23-3 3.06)
Chicago was gambling that Cole Hamels could get the job done. If not – They were done.  Chicago scored 5 in the 1st all with 2 outs – as the Express looked beaten before they got out of the 1st.  However the Express mighty-mighty bats loomed large in the bottom of the 1st, when with two on, Miguel Cabrea blasted a 425 foot drive deep to center to put the score within reach at 5-3.  Solo homers by Bonds, Phelps and Jeter helped along the way, as the Mobsters took a 10-3 lead into the bottom of the 7th.
Brendan Harris hit a 2 run Home Run to out the score at 10-5 after 7 innings of play.  The Chicago Bullpen lead my Yorman Bazardo held the Express scoreless and game 6 went to Chicago – setting up a game 7 between the two power house American League contenders.

W-Cole Hamels 1-0 6.43
L – Tim Hudson 1-1 3.65
HR – Cabrera (1) Harris (1) Bonds (3) Jeter (1) Phelps (1)

Game #7 – Josh Beckett (16-6 3.57) vs. Carlos Zambrano (17-9  3.21)
A leadoff double in the top of the 2nd, and a stolen base later had Gary Sheffield at third with two outs. Derek Jeter singled home Sheffield and the Mobsters had a 1-0 lead.  A Polonco solo shot in the top of 3 put the visiting team up 2-0. In the 4th, after a Helton single, followed by a Granderson double – I van Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly that scored Helton and put the Mobsters up 3-0.  That was enough for Carlos Zambrano as the Express Manager Mike Roberts didn’t want to get further behind.
With Granderson now at third thanks to the Sacrifice, and a Bonds 2 out walk – Polonco who had missed 3 games after being hit by a pitch in game 3, singled home Granderson to put the Mobsters up 4-0 and looking like they had this game in control.
Matt Holiday singled home Miguel Cabrera in the bottom of the 4th for Severn and the score was 4-1 at the end of four innings of play.  A Sheffield solo shot made it 5-1 Chicago. A couple hits and a ground ball out later in the bottom of the 5th for Severn put another single run on the board, so the score was 5-2 at the end of five.  Chicago scored two in the top of the 6th, on 2 run Home Run by Placido Polonco, and that looked like a substantial led for the Mobsters at 7-2.  A Spilborghs single and a 2 run Home Run by Brian McCann in the bottom of the 6th netted 3 runs for the Express as they steam rolled there way back into the game. The score now stood at 7-5 Chicago.  In the 8th an Ivan Rodriguez solo shot put the Mobsters up 8-5, and the excitement was building.  Could the home town team Express make one more comeback, and this time take the lead?  Matt Holiday singled in the 8th to start the inning, Jeff Kent hit his 3rd home run of the series, putting the core back to within one for the Express.
Brian Fuentes and Manny Delcarmen came in to try and close out yet another Express comeback, to which they did.
The Mobsters put runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out in the 9th, but failed to score.  Chicago went to “The Closer” who had only appeared in two previous games and each of those only for 1/3 of an inning.  Billy Wagner climbed the Hill in the bottom of the 9th, up by one – to face the top of the Express line up.  One bad pitch and the game could be tied. Ryan Ludwick started the inning off by swinging and missing on a Wagner fastball.  Lefty Justin Morneau stood in to face Wagner who promptly blew another fastball by Morneau for two up and two K’s.  The Mighty Alex Rodriguez stood in to face Wagner, with the Mighty Miguel Cabrera on deck. One pitch away from victory and one pitch away from giving up a game tying solo home run.
Wagner kicked and deals, Rodriguez swings and misses, and the Chicago Mobsters storm the field and are headed to the 2008 MWBL World Series.

W-Josh Beckett 2-0  4.61
L – Carlos Zambrano 0-2  13.50
S – Billy Wagner 1
HR – Polonco 2 (2) I. Rodriguez (1) Sheffield (1) Brian McCann (1) Kent (3)

 

Tempe vs. Northridge – MWBL National League Championship Series – (Played via logmein.com on (09/21/08)

This may have been the worst offensive series in Tempe history as the Quakes held the Tempers to .191 avg. and only two homeruns. Northridge hit .256 and had a 2.04 era vs. Tempe’s 3.17.

Game #1. Escobar vs. Smoltz
Smoltz was a little too amped in the 1st. He walked the first batter and hit the second allowing Tempe to score three runs on only two hits. The Quakes chipped away at the lead with a run in the 3rd and 4th. Tempe responded with some defensive replacements and a call to the pen. In the top of the 9th with the score still 3-2, Pierzynski made a big two out error that kept the inning alive and gave Konerko the opportunity to hit 2 run pinch hit homerun. 5-2 TEM. Accardo gave up a run in the 9th but picked up the save. TEM 5 – NOR 3.

Game #2. Meche vs. Penny
Escobar singled in Dunn in the bottom of the 1st to give Northridge the early lead. Tempe responded with two in the top of the 4th with a walk and SB by Renteria, an RBI single by Rowand who took 2B on the throw home, and a RBI single by Martinez. 2-1. Northridge tied it up in the bottom of the 4th on a single and SB by McLouth and an RBI single by Young. In the top of the 6th, Manny hit a pinch hit RBI double off Percival to give Tempe the lead 3-2. Tempe added an unearned run in the top of the 7th when Dunn dropped and then kicked Renteria’s deep fly ball allowing him to come all the way around to score. Moylan pitched 2 scoreless innings for the save. TEM 4 – NOR 2

Game #3. Clemens vs. Escobar
A walk and SB by Ellis and then a single by Martinez put Tempe up one in the 1st. In the 2nd, Y. Escobar miss fired a throw to 1B that allowed Alou to reach 1B and Griffey to later hit a 2 run homerun. Tempe again made Northridge pay for poor defense. Dejavu… Escobar made another error that allowed Ellis to reach 1B. Ellis then stole 2B and took 3B on a bad throw by Pierzynski. Ellis then scored on an infield ground out. Tempe brought in the defensive with the 4-0 lead. Northridge came up with a run in the 5th when pinch hitter Floyd doubled and Clemens singled him in. 4-1 Northridge added one more in the 8th but Accardo preserved the victory for Escobar. TEM 4 – NOR 2

Game #4. Smoltz vs. Meche
In the bottom of the 1st, Renteria walked, stole 2nd, moved to 3rd on a bunt, and then comes home when Mclouth dropped a pop up. TEM made it 2-0 in the bottom of the 5th when Lewis caught Smoltz napping and came home. In the top of the 7th NOR put a runner on 1st and 3rd with no outs. The next hitter, Young grounded into a double play that scored a run but stopped the rally. 2-1 TEM. In the top of the 8th Manager Jeff James started screaming at his players. He told them that the Quakes wouldn’t be embarrassed by a sweep. He was heard to be mumbling something about “smacking the Tempers around so at least they couldn’t win their next series”. The move inspired the Quakes. With runners on 1st and 3rd, Dunn launched a double off the wall to give Northridge the 3-2 lead. Then the Quakes played dirty. In the span of one full inning they put three Tempers on the DL for the next series. Rodriguez, intentionally beamed Bannister in the head (10 days), and in the bottom of the inning ex-Temper Michael Young started calling for a fly ball as he rounded 2B causing LF Lewis and SS Gonzalez to crash into each other (23 days and 11 days).
Adam Dunn then punished the tired Tempe pen in the top of the 9th with a grand slam. NOR 8 – TEM 2.

Game #5. Penny vs. Wang
Northridge took advantage of an itchy Wang in the top of the 2nd with a single, walk, RBI double and sac fly by Escobar, Young, Mclouth and Gonzalez. The shaken Tempers, who were playing the rest of the series with 11% of the roster injured, were only able to respond with one run the rest of the game. The Quakes added one more run in the 5th as the Tempers decided to rest their worn-out pen. NOR 3 – TEM 1

Game #6. Escobar vs. Smoltz
This game was another low scoring game dominated by pitching and defense. Tempe scored first in the 2nd on a double by Martinez and an RBI single by Alou. Northridge tied it up with their 3rd homerun of the series, a solo homerun by Cano in the bottom of the 3rd. Tempe responded in the 4th with only their second homerun of the series. A solo shot by Rowland. The score remained 2-1 over the next couple innings. In the top of the 9th, Pierzynksi led off with a single off Moylan. Teahen was brought into run for Pierzynski and Ward came in to pinch hit. Ward missed a hit and run attempt, but Teahen somehow outran Johjima’s throw. Ward then attempted to bunt Teahen to 3B and popped up. Dunn then came to the plate representing the winning run. With one out, Dunn lined up the middle, but Ellis made a diving catch and then tagged 2B for the series ending double play. Accardo pitched a scoreless 6th and 7th and Moylan pitched a scoreless 8th and 9th for the save and the series. TEM 2 – NOR 1.

Unfortunately for Northridge, this was also the luckiest series in Tempe history. Jeff played a great series but he just couldn’t catch a break.

Crazy stats – 6 of the 18 runs that Tempe scored were unearned. Tempe’s 1st and 2nd hitter for the series were a combined 1-40, but they were 1st and 2nd in runs scored with 4 and 3 because they scored almost every time they reached on a BB, HBP, or E.

The MVP award goes to Kelvim Escobar. Escobar, who was almost traded a couple times during the season to other contenders, but ended up going 2-0 with a 2.40 ERA in 15 inn with 19 SO. Accordo and Moylan could have also been nominated as Co-MVPs.

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