The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Selig Series Update


I finished Game Three of my mythical Bud Selig Series (82 Crew vs. 08 Wild Card) last night, the first game at Miller Park - and it was a barn-burner.

The AL squad actually took its first lead of the series in the first as the famed Harvey's Wallbangers played little-ball with a dink single by Ben Oglivie, and a walk by, of all people, Gorman Thomas. Dave Bush settled down, however, and did not give up another hit in the next six innings before giving way to Seth McClung.

The NL squad seemed to put the game away after a dropped fly ball by Oglivie (he lost it in the sun angle of the first-base "arch" windows, apparently) let in the first run by the '08 Crew. Corey Hart doubled to right center to give the National Brewers the 3-2 lead.

The way Bush was cruising (and a solo homer by Prince Fielder in the bottom of the 7th off Pete Ladd), it looked like the latter-day Crew were going to take their third straight win of the series - especially as Salomon Torres took the mound in the top of the ninth.

That was when Ted Simmons laced a single to left. Kuenn took the lumbering catcher out for a pinch runner - Ned Yost. After Oglivie lined out to J.J. Hardy (who would be key in the coming drama), Gorman Thomas rapped a single to left that put runners on first and second with one out. Charlie Moore popped up to Craig Counsell (who had taken over for an injured Billy Hall in the 7th), and it looked like all Torres had to do was get Jim Gantner out.

On a 1-1 pitch, Gantner laced a single to right. Yost and Thomas were off with the pitch, so Yost scored and Thomas beat the throw in to third. Torres was rattled, and it took everything backup catcher Mike Rivera had to keep his first pitch to pinch-hitter Mark Brouhard from skittering to the backstop. Meanwhile, Gantner took second on the play.

Brouhard lanced a line drive up the middle to bring both Thomas and Gantner in, tying the score, 5-5. Torres ended up walking Molitor. Cecil Cooper, who had been switched to 2nd in the order by Kuenn after two horrendous outings in the first two games (including four K's against Sabathia in game 1), looked like he was about to clear the bases on a 2-0 line drive.

Hardy, however, managed to snag the ball before it headed into the outfield, ending the threat. Though Hardy drew a walk off AL Crew reliever Jerry Augustine, the NL squad couldn't muster any more runs in their half of the ninth, and the game headed into extra innings.

The latter-day Brewers were having issues on the injury front besides Hall, who looks to be out for the rest of the series. Catcher Jason Kendall was hurt on a freak play at first in the bottom of the eighth, when Pete Ladd made an error trying to field a comebacker. Kendall apparently twinged his ankle as he crossed first. Rivera was already announced as the pinch-hitter for McClung, so Dale Sveum sent out game one starter CC Sabathia to pinch run for Kendall. Rivera singled and Cameron and Counsell drew walks to score CC.

Mitch Stetter went out there for the top of the 10th, and Robin Yount greeted him with a hot smash to shortstop. Hardy couldn't get a good grip on the ball and it went flying out of his hands as Yount made it to first on the error. Yost struck out, but then Oglivie sent what looked like a tailor-made double-play ball to Hardy. He promptly tossed it over the head of Rickie Weeks, giving the AL Crew two runners on. Thomas loaded the bases on a little dribbler to left.

And that was when Mitch Stetter made a play he'd probably rather forget. Moore hit a chopper that hit Stetter's glove, bounced off the mound and over to an onrushing Prince Fielder. Prince tagged out Moore, but was late on his toss back to Rivera to get Yount.

Augustine went back out for the bottom of the ninth for the 82 Crew, hoping to protect the lead. Despite a single and stolen base by Mike Cameron, Ryan Braun came up with two outs, staring down defeat and a three-two count. Braun laced a single to shallow left, but Oglivie fielded the ball and kept Cameron from scoring. Braun actually stole second on the next pitch, but Yost didn't even bother a throw, not wanting to let Cameron tie the game.

Fielder took two big swings and misses on Augustine's curveballs, but managed to work the count full. And that was when Augustine hung one. The lefty knew it as soon as it crossed the plate - and as soon as he saw Fielder's eyes light up like a Christmas tree.

Fielder's drive hit the clock above the Dew Deck in right field, and Uecker was insistent that the ball was still going up as it did so. As Cameron and Braun rounded the bases, Fielder was almost joyously ripping his jersey off in celebration.

Game four is set for "tonight" (by the way, a big thanks to Cassie Wells for her help with the series), with Manny Parra facing Moose Haas.