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1997 – AMERICAN LEAGUE WILD CARD ROUND

Harper Woods Expos #1 @ Chicago Demolition

HarperWoodsExposPreview Chicago Demolition– Two division rivals that battled all year are now doing battle in the American League Wild Card Round. The Harper Woods Expos finished in 3rd place in the American League Central, 5 games behind the Chicago Demolition who fell 1 game short of the Detroit Crime. Chicago gets to host the Expos whom they went 14-8 against in the regular season. Both teams have aces going in games 1 & 2, but it’s game 3 that could (If Necessary) become a problem with starters. The winner of this series will face the daunting task of taking on the mighty-mighty Quakes of California in the Division Series. 

GAME #1 – Mike Mussina 19-10 (3.40) vs. Pedro Martinez 21-7 (1.70)

The two aces, Pedro Martinez & Mike Mussina both were solid if not spectacular for the first 6 innings of the game. Mussina let up an early run in the 1st but then cruised through 6.2 innings allowing only 1 Unearned Run the rest of the way. Martinez allowed 1 Run in the 3rd, & 2 in the 7th. Chicago had 7 hits, all singles & only 1 of those came off the Expos bullpen who went 2.2 Innings allowing just that 1 hit, with no walks. Luis Sojo was 2 for 4 with a Double & 2 RBI’s for Harper Woods.

Final Score: Harper Woods 3 – Chicago 2
Series 1-0 Harper Woods holds the edge.

Win: Mike Mussina 1-0 (1.42)
Loss: Pedro Martinez 0-1 (3.86)
Save: Dennis Eckersley #1

GAME #2 –Scott Erickson 16-10 (3.67) vs. Roger Clemens 21-10 (1.80)

Harper Woods scores early in this one with a run in the top of the 2nd. & Scott Erickson is cruising along mowing them down with 1-2-3 innings and not allowing many hits. Erickson’s 3 hitter through 6 is looking strong, but Roger Clemens for Chicago is even more dominant. Clemens goes 8 Stong, allowing 5 Hits, 1 Run, an RBI single by Javier Valentin who drove in Wally Joyner. In the 7th a lead-off solo Home Run by Tony Clark knotted the score at 1 Run apiece. Carlos Delgado followed with a walk, as Erickson was visibly upset. Phil Nevin noticed this & said to on-deck batter Jeff Cirillo “If this guy starts me off with a breaking ball, I’m going downtown”. Surer than $hit, he did start him off with the deuce & Nevin took it downtown, for a 2-Run Home Run. Chicago had the lead 3-1. Tony Clark later (in the 8th) added an RBI Single & Carlos Delgado then drive in Clark with an RBI Double. That was all for the scoring. Arthur Rhodes closed the 9th & Chicago & Harper Woods live to play a do-or-die game #3 to move on & face California, or head to the golf course for the off-season.

Final Score: Chicago 5 – Harper Woods 1
Series tied at 1-1

Win: Scott Erickson 0-1 (4.70)
Loss: Roger Clemens 1-0 (1.13)

GAME #3 –Scott Kameniecki 6-12 (5.05) vs. Todd Stottlemyre 16-9 (3.42)

It wasn’t the Expos or Scott Kamieniecki’s day. Tony Womack’s it was. An early exit after 3.2 Innings 6 Hits, 3 of those Doubles, 4 walks & 5 Earned Runs later Kamieniecki was done. Chicago had a 5-1 lead. For Chicago Tony Phillips was 2 for 3 with 3 Runs Scored, 2 Doubles, 2 RBI’s. Carlos Delgado had 2 RBI’s without a hit, while also Striking out once & hitting into a Double Play. But the big bt for the Demolition was Tony Womack who was 3 for 4 with a Run Scored, 1 Walk, 4 RBI’s & 3 Stolen Bases. Chicago ran wild with 5 Steals off Javier Valentin. Todd Stottlemyre went 5 Innings before Chicago’s middle relievers held it close until the 9th. Chicago held an 8-2 lead when the Expos rallied for 3 Runs & had 2 men on & the tying run at the plate when the bullpen doors swung open & Billy Wagner came busting out to close it down.

Final Score: Chicago 8 – Harper Woods 5
Chicago wins the Series 2 Games to 1

Win: Todd Stottlemyre 1-0 (1.80)
Loss: Scott Kamieniecki 0-1 (12.27)
Save: Billy Wagner #1

Summary – Chicago takes the series 2 games to 1, but they are tired & beat up from a very good series with the Expos. They will board the plane, head to California to take on the mighty-mighty Quakes in the Division Series. The Expos who had a wonderful season will head to the links, get in many 18 & 36 hole days & try again next year.

 

 

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