Sunday, November 20, 2016

2016 NASOMA Playoffs - Round Two

The #2 seed Fungoes faced the Warpigs in the 2nd round for the right to advance to the World Series. The 2014 Champion Fungoes and the 2015 Champion Warpigs had an interesting year, starting back in February with a joint trip to Railroad Head, NY, and Strat-O-Matic's Opening Day. During the season, the Pigs won the first 3 match-ups before the Fungoes destroyed the Warpigs by winning the final 7. The head-to-head playoff match-up was a great way to finish up the year.

Game 1 @ WTF Field - Because the Wahoo series went 7 games, the Warpigs were "forced" to start Adam Wainwright in game 1 instead of using him out of the pen. Waino, in a blast from the past, responded with 6 no-hit innings. But this is the playoffs, and the Pigs went to the Pigpen despite the no-hitter, and although the Fungoes did finally get 2 hits, they did not score. On the other hand, Clayton Kershaw was tossing up goose eggs himself. After 9, the game was still scoreless. In the top of the 10th, with Kershaw still on the mound, Francisco Cervelli blooped a 2-out single. The Warpigs then turned to Jarrett Parker to pinch hit, but he was intentionally walked, putting a runner in scoring position. Kershaw finally made way for Carter Capps, but the reliever was greeted by an A.J. Pollock single to load the bases. Lorenzo Cain was up next, and he launched a grand slam into the seats in left field to quiet the crowd and send Capps to the showers. Tyler Clippard pitched the final 2.1 innings for the Pigs and earned the win. Each team struck out 13 times. Warpigs win 4-0 in 10 innings.

Game 2 @ WTF Field - David Price continued the shutdown pitching for the Fungi with 6.2 innings of scoreless ball. Eric Hosmer went 4-4, all singles. Ender Inciarte's solo homer in the 8th was the only Pig run. Fungoes win 5-1 to even the series.

Game 3 @ The BallPork - The Fungo offense sputtered against Josh Tomlin and the Pigpen, getting only 5 hits. The Pig offense got a homer from Martin Prado and a 3-run double from Ender Inciarte and cruised to victory. Warpigs win 6-2.

Game 4 @ The BallPork - Another great Kershaw game goes to waste because the Fungoes can't score. Both teams scored a run in the 1st. The Pigs plated their run when Francisco Cervelli tripled and Darin Ruf singled him home. The Fungoes scored an unearned run. Both teams had chances to add to the run column - the Fungi left the bases loaded in the 3rd and 4th innings - but the game stayed locked 1-1 until the 13th inning. Jarrett Parker led off the bottom of the 13th for the Pigs, and for the third time in three appearances, he was walked intentionally - this time to lead off the inning. Andrelton Simmons bunted him over, and A.J. Pollock ended the game with an RBI single. Clayton Kershaw threw 10 innings, striking out 13 and allowing only the 1st inning run. The Pigs used a team record 9 pitchers in the game, and the standouts were Tyler Clippard and Pedro Strop. Clippard went 3 innings of 2-hit, shutout relief; and Strop bested that by going 4 innings of 1-hit shutout ball, striking out 7. Antonio Bastardo pitched the top of the 13th and got the win. Warpigs win 2-1 in 13 innings to take a surprising 3-1 lead in the series.

Game 5 @ The BallPork - With their season on the line, the Fungoes turned to David Price, who had pitched so well in game 2. This time, however, he ended up with Pig shit all over him. Price gave up 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in only 2.1 innings. The Fungo bullpen kept the game close, though, and when Rougned Odor homered off of Brandon Maurer in the 9th, it was suddenly a 1-run game. The Fungoes even got 2 more base runners after the homer, but couldn't score them. Rich Hill got the final out - his last out of the postseason - without retiring a batter when Jarrod Dyson pulled a Babe Ruth and tried to steal 3rd with 2 outs. Yadier Molina gunned him down, and the game - as well as the series - was over. Warpigs win 5-4 and move on to the World Series for the 16th time in their history.

Clayton Kershaw's stats: 2 starts, 19.2 innings (he went beyond the 9th in both games), 3 runs (1.37 ERA), 11 hits allowed, and 25 strikeouts. Oh, and he was 0-1 with a no decision.

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