Sunday, November 20, 2016

2016 NASOMA Playoffs - World Series

The Sidewinders are playing in their third consecutive World Series. They lost in 2014 to the Fungoes, and then dropped the 2015 Series in criminal fashion to the Warpigs. In fact, this is the third time the Snakes and Warpigs have met in the World Series, with the Pigs winning the first two. But with the familiar Pigs in the opposing dugout, 2016 was a chance at revenge, redemption, and a chance to prove that "third time's a charm" idiom.

Game 1 @ The BallPork - The Warpig "7 pitchers a game" strategy and the omnipresent Pig Luck were both on display in game 1. Garrett Richards and 6 relievers combined to hold the Snakes to 5 hits and 1 run. In the 8th inning, some of the luck came into play. Nick Hundley led off with a single, and pinch runner Slidin' Billy Hamilton stole 2nd, advancing to 3rd on the overthrow. With the tying run at 3rd, nobody out, and the heart of the Snake order coming up, the Warpigs called on luck to get them thru. Antonio Bastardo retired David Ortiz on a pop up before walking Mark Teixeira. Pedro Strop then came in to strike out Franklin Gutierrez and retire Starling Marte to strand the runner. But the Pig Luck REALLY appeared earlier in the game. Ian Kinsler hit a 2-run ballpark homer (1-2) for the only Pig runs of the game. Even the stoic Snakeman cursed. Warpigs win 2-1.

Game 2 @ The BallPork - I should really let the Snakeman tell you what happened from here on in. One, I don't remember a lot of it - I was pretty tired. And two, I don't want to remember it. It wasn't fun. I kept picturing that Pepsi commercial: "This must be what the Fungo man felt like when he was getting his ass kicked." Heroes from earlier in the day, Tyler Clippard and Pedro Strop, pitched batting practice, and the Snakes took advantage. According to my game sheet, the Snakes hit 4 homers in this game, but I'm not sure who hit them. Ortiz, Gutierrez, Teixeira, Hundley... it was all the fucking same anyway. I know Francisco Cervelli and Jarrett Parker both homered for the good guys. The game went back and forth until Adam Wainwright surrendered a homer in the 8th. Sidewinders win 8-6.

Game 3 @ The Snake Pit - Thanks to a bunch of Pig doubles off of Johnny Cueto and good pitching from Jaime Garcia, the Pigs had another lead in this game. But again, the Snake long ball brought them back. Two solo homers in the 8th inning sealed the win because one doesn't come back against the Sidewinder bullpen. Sidewinders win 4-3.

Game 4 @ The Snake Pit - No blown saves this game, as the score was 2-2 from the 2nd inning until the 7th when Nick Hundley hit a 2-run triple. Chris Young was the unlikely pitching star for the Sidewinders, bailing Hector Santiago out of a bases loaded situation in the 2nd inning and then pitching 4 innings of shutout ball. Sidewinders win 4-2, and the champagne bourbon is being put on ice.

Game 5 @ The Snake Pit - Chris Sale and the million dollar bullpen throw a shutout, Mark Teixeira (who resembles a dildo) swats 3 homers, yada yada yada... Sidewinders win 6-0. All hail the Sidewinders. Whatever.

Amazing how much this series resembled last year's. First, it was only the second time in NASOMA history that the same 2 teams squared off in back-to-back years. But last year, the Sidewinders dominated the Warpigs in the regular season only to fall to them in the Series in part because they had to play a first round series and were running short on bullpen innings. This year, the Pigs went 9-1 in the regular season against the Snakes (on the same table with the same dice!), but couldn't stay with them in the series. Rich Hill, who dominated the Sidewinders in the regular season, was already on the floor by the start of the World Series. Not that it would have mattered. What we needed was for those Sean Doolittle and Aaron Loup cards to find their way back onto the team. Wasn't going to happen because we use different rules for the playoffs than we do the regular season. Or something like that.

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