Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tacoma Takes Thrilling Series

Talk about well-deserved! After 13 seasons of falling short, mjmage has taken the Jersey League title in Season 14. mjmage is an original Jersey League owner and has long been one of the league's best: through season 13 he had 12 winning records, 3 NL West titles, and 2 NL pennants, and he's had to battle every year with plague's always-strong Tuscon Hohakams in the tough NL West.

In Season 14, Tacoma won 97 games to take the NL West and the #2 seed, before sweeping arch-rival Tuscon in 3 games and knocking off Minnesota in a 6-game NLCS. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals, a franchise that has been very successful over the years for 4 different owners but had never won a World Series, crushed all competition in the AL. St. Louis, behind Jersey League all-time Wins leader Blaine Prince and free agent signing Robb Yarnall. St. Louis won 101 games, swept Norfolk, and beat the Las Vegas Dealers in a 5 game ALCS.

In the series, St. Louis pressed the aging Price, starting him twice on less than 100% rest. St. Louis took game 1 by a 2-1 score, but Tacoma's offense erupted for a 10-2 win behind Glenallen Wakefield's 3 RBI. Game 3 went to Tacoma 2-1 behind an 8th inning pinch hit by Sherm Karnuth but then St. Louis evened with a 1-0 game 4 victory. Game 5 again went to Tacoma by a 2-1 score. With 1st & 3rd and one out in a tie game in the bottom of the 8th, the Cardinals were at double play depth but couldn't turn it, allowing the go-ahead run to score. St Louis came back to take game 6 by an 8-6 score and it was all set for the deciding game 7.

In Game 7, the Tacoma manager oddly went with Jorge Renteria as the starter, even though he was shelled as the game 6 starter But after two batters, Renteria was mercifully pulled, and it was left to the bullpen. Tacoma was down 2-1 in the top of the 9th and it appeared bleak when St. Louis CF Don Wells made a spectacular play for the first out, but then the mighty Harry Suarez drilled a HR to tie the game. In the top of the 10th, Tacoma led with a base hit and stole second, then the crucial hit from Glenn Benson drove home the go-ahead run. The big question for St. Louis' manager: where was Yarnell in Game 7? He had only thrown to 5 batters the previous day.

Congrats to mjmage!!!

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