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1996 N.L. DIVISION SERIES #1

Michigan Maraurders @ Winnipeg Goldeyes

MichiganWinnipeg GoldeyesWinnipeg was the best team in the N L this year with 112 wins, Michigan was the 85 wins wild card that knocked off one giant already in the wild card series. Winnipeg was third in era 3.52, Michigan 4.50 at 7th in ERA. Michigan was first in fielding Winnipeg 3rd, Winnipeg was first in batting and scored 6.2 a game and Michigan was 7th at 5.4 runs a game. Vegas-like Winnipeg in 5. Its been a weird playoff weak as the last two series I played the underdog won.

GAME #1 – Mark Gardner 8-11 (4.76) vs. Tom Glavine 19-7 (2.35)

Winnipeg had their ace Glavine (18-7 2.35)and Michigan send their 4th starter Gardner(8-11 4.71).  Gardner was solid 2 in 6 innings as Frye homered and Mcgwire drove in 3 runs. Glavine was very good allowing just 1 run in 6.1 innings a Bernie Willaims 3 hit 1 run day. Winnipeg pwn held the 3-1 win.

GAME #2 – Shawn Estes 4-5 (3.68) vs. Curt Schilling 17-3 (3.05)

One of the best games ever. Schilling(17-3) for Winnipeg Estes(4-5) for Michigan. Winnipeg jumped on Estes for 6 runs in 5 innings as McGwire, Ventura, and Buhner homer. Michigan managed 3 runs in 7 off Schilling as Boone homered. But int he 8th Shaw fell apart and Bernie Williams tied the game with 3 runs 6-6. Then Michigan used all their best pitchers and was forced to pitch Morgan a D in the 9th. Could Winnipeg hit no? He went 7 innings of 2 hit ball until Anderson homers int he 16th of Naulty for the amazing 7-6 win in 16 innings. This destroyed the Winnipeg team.

Series tied 1-1 and Michigan were flying high as Winnipeg lost their mojo. Played using team viewer that game 2 was amazing!  The momentum is with the underdog Marauders from Michigan.
GAME #3 – Andy Benes 14-9 (3.36) vs. Charles Nagy 17-8 (2.48)

Michigan got their ace Nagy(16-8 2.42) going vs A Benes (14-9 3.36). Nagy was solid 3 runs in 7 plus one mistake to Buhner. Benes was great 1 run in 6 as the Winnipeg Manager went to his normally solid pen. BUT SHAW was awful as the “G” game up 4 runs in the 8th to blow the save and lose the game as Palmiero and Castilla hit 2 run homers. Then they Castillo homered again int he same inning off Groom for a 6 run nightmare. Michigan wins 7-3. Up 2 games to one and Winnipeg manager is sulking.

GAME #4 – Tom Glavine 19-7 (2.35) vs. Brad Radke 16-12 (3.43)

Winnipeg brings back Glavine on short rest so he can pitch a game 7 if needed.  He was great 1 run a Palmiero homer and just 3 hits in 7 innings, But Radke(15-11) was just as good allowing 1 in 7. in the 8th in a 1 run game Shaw gives up an Anderson homer and Becker the 3 graded defensive Center Fielder makes an error and Michigan was up 3-1. Borland gets the 2 inning win 3-1. Shaw falls to 0-2 and 2 blown saves.

GAME #5 – Huck Flener 7-1 (3.23) vs. Mark Gardner 8-11 (4.76)

Michigan up 3 to 1 Manager Kuryliw is devastated and now he was forced to pitch Huck Flener(7-1 as a spot starter) vs Gardner. But the baseball gods are weird manager Kuryliw hid in the walkway not bare to see the nightmare continue. But McGwire drives in 5 homers and Flener throws a 5 hit shutout out! ina 8-0 Winnipeg win.

Series Michigan 3 Winnipeg 2 going to Winnipeg for games 6 and maybe 7. The one good thing Kuryliw did was Glavine pitched game 4 not game 5 so he can pitch a game 7 if Schilling can win game 6. Of course Michigan feels good as Nagy is the game 7 start for them.    Winnipeg down 3 games to 2 to Michigan but are at least alive.
GAME #6 – Shawn Estes 4-5 (3.68) vs. Curt Schilling 17-3 (3.05)

Schilling was excellent 8 shutout innings and Estes went 7 shut out innings. But in the 8th Winnipeg got a 2 run McGwire homer. But in the 9th Michigan scores a run off Bottenfield as he allows shillings base runner (pinch-runner Tucker) to score. But Bottenfield held on with a runner in scoring position to the 2-1 win. series tied 3-3

GAME #7 – Charles Nagy 17-8 (2.48) vs. Tom Glavine 19-7 (2.35)

Nagy vs Glavine in a battle of two of the best NL hurlers this year. coin flip for the ticket to the NL Championship. Michigan and Castilla homer in the 4th and it 1-0 Michigan. But Winnipeg game singles in the 4th and 5th to make it a 2-1 game. Then in the 7th a bad error by Edmonds scores two Winnipeg runs! Winnipeg up 4-1 and Glavine was cruising until the 8th when he allowed a runner and OMG fans go not the goat of games 2,3 and 4 Shaw comes into close out the series. Shaw gives up a rbi double to the first batter Hoiles he faces scoring a run but then pitched out of the inning. 4-2 Winnipeg, Shaw gets a 1-2-3, 9th for the save. Winnipeg wins 4-2

Winnipeg won 25 more games than Michigan, plus Michigan was not rested because of the Wildcard series. But baseball is a crazy game and they were up 3 games to 1 and facing Flener in game 5. But somehow Winnipeg wins 3 in a row to move on. It’s pretty clear though Winnipeg will need to play better if they have any chance in the LCS.
Congrats to Mike Cal Ripken and crew were great, and they nearly knocked off another giant.

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