Sunday, December 27, 2009

Division Play-In Round Recaps

Nothing you could call an upset in the Division Round, although the upstart White Sox pressed Detroit and had a chance in Game 5:


(3) Detroit vs (6) Chicago: Defense, or lack of it, was the name of the game for Chicago, as the Sox allowed 11 unearned runs in Game 3 and Game 5 losses.

The teams split in Detroit, with starting pitchers - Carson Graves for Detroit in Game 1, and Randall Pearson for Chicago in Game 2 - dominating the action. The Tigers got 4 unearned runs to win Game 3, but Chicago bounced back to beat Graves in Game 4.

Game 5 started out smelling like an upset, with Chicago taking a 5-1 lead through 3. But 4 errors led to 7 unearned Detroit runs, and the Tigers cruised 10-5 in the decisive game.

Detroit now moves on the face the #2 Yankees; Chicago celebrates a fine season by a very young team, and sends a number of said youngsters to Winter Ball for extra fielding practice.

(4) Oakland vs. (5) Texas: The Rangers' pitching was just too much for the A's, allowing just 8 runs in the series.

Still, the A's had a chance in Game 4 to tie the series. With the game tied at 2 after 8, Oakland's Tony Rivera took one off the leg and stole second with 1 out. He got to third on a flyball to CF, but Texas reliever Ajax Patel got Douglas Cummings to ground to short, ending the threat. Then in the 10th, the Rangers got a single, a HBP and 2 walks to plate the winner.

Texas moves on to division rival Tampa Bay; Oakland heads home but looks forward to the promotion of another serious rookie crop in Season 10.


(4) Atlanta vs. (5) Washington, D.C.: The first 2 games were the crucial ones in this series, as the Braves took 2 squeakers for what turned out to be an insurnountable lead.

Freddie Long's single decide Game 1 in the bottom of the 10th. Game 2 saw the Braves rally from 2 down with a Hutton solo shot in the 8th and an Eric Roosevelt 2-run single in the 9th to take a 2-0 lead. D.C. broke out for 10 runs in Game 3 (HR's from Shuey and Jackson) to get back into the series, but Alejandro Vazquez tossed a complete game for Atlanta in Game 4; Roosevelt knocked in 3 for a 6-1 win and a trip to the second round.

The Braves take on Montreal in Round 2.

(3) San Francisco vs. (6) Philadelphia: Santiago Molina smacked a 3-run HR in the 4th, and Banjo Shafer and Virgil Manning shut down the Phillies over the last 3 as the Giants won Game 5, 3-2.

The teams split the first two before Philly gained the advantage, blowing out San Fran 9-2 in Game 3 (2 HR's for Jorgenson). The Giants countered with a 16-5 blowout of their own in Game 4 (Chang and Figureoa HR's) to even up the series and set up Molina's Game 5 heroics.

The Giants now advance to a Round 2 date with the Mets.

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