Season 11 wraps the season up with the Iowa City Independence taking on the Tacoma Sasquatches. This matchup features two owners (carlspenard and mjmage) who are no strangers to post-season play, but neither has been able to hoist the trophy. If you are a fan of high-powered offenses, then this matchup is NOT for you.
Iowa City finished as a Wild Card (again!), but that is just fine for carlspenard. As long as you have a ticket to the dance, then that's all you need. Their trip to the WS started against the New York Mutuals, who was the hottest team to finish the season, winning their last 11 games in a row to capture their first division crown. The series was stretched to the limit, but in the end Iowa City's pitching was too much for New York and were able to advance to the 2nd round. Things didn't get any easier for GM carlspenard's bunch, as they next faced the juggernaut of the AL Las Vegas Dealers. While most of us celebrated the New Year's in style, these two teams battled in classic baseball style to set up one of the best series I have witnessed in a while. Only 1 of the five games saw more than 6 runs scored, and again the pitching prevailed for Iowa City in the end. The NLCS was rather anti-climatic, as the Independence swept the Syracuse Comics to advance. The only note on the NLCS was that the Comics scored a combined 4 runs throughout the 4 games, getting shut out twice.
Similar to Iowa City, Tacoma came into the playoffs as the 1st Wild Card team, though they finished with the 3rd best record in the NL. After sweeping the Santa Fe Lobos, they too had a rematch with their division rival Tucson Hohokams in the NLDS. They fought off a 2-1 deficit to win the series in 5 games, thanks in large part to good starting pitching and the hitting of Troy Powell, who batted .529 in the series with a double, triple, HR, drove in 8 runs and scored 5 times. This brought them to the NLCS against the reigning WS champs, Helena Vigilantes. Tacoma's pitching was too much, as the Helena bats never really got going in the series.
This series will present the two best pitching staffs throughout the season. I believe this game will come down to late inning play-calling, as 4 of the potential 7 games are at Tacoma, which means the pitcher will be batting. If I had to call it, I would pick Tacoma in 6. This could very easily go the full tilt, but I do believe that Tacoma will build enough momentum to close it out in 6. Either way, it should be a fun, competitive series between 2 coaches who deserve the chance to hoist the trophy at season's end. Playing in the same division as jceffali and plague the last few seasons has definitely hidden these guys' talents. Good luck to both teams.