For Immediate Release
October 24th, 2011

Severn vs. Sacramento – MWBL World Series – (Played live via join.me on 09/26/11)


Sacramento Capitals and Severn Express met face to face (join.me) in what was Sacramento’s first World Series appearance and Severn’s fifth—with two World Series championships to boot.

Overall, Sacramento won the best-of-seven series 4-2, outscoring Severn 28-17. The two teams matched up well offensively, with Sacramento batting .228 with a.280 OBP, and Severn batting .183 and a .266 OBP; the difference: Sacramento’s 8 HR and .425 SLG compared to Severn’s 3 HR and .288 SLG. Both teams pitched well, with Sacramento’s 2.64 ERA and Severn’s 3.43 ERA; again, the difference, Sacramento committed only 1 error and gave up 0 unearned runs, while Severn committed 6 errors and Sacramento took advantage of these errors by scoring 6 unearned runs.

The Series started and ended with three high-intensity, 1-run games that made the difference in the series.

Game 1 – Gallardo v. Arroyo

Sacramento started off the series with a bang, jumping to a 6-0 lead over the course of the first 5 innings, knocking Gallardo out in early fashion. With such a lead, Sacramento began bringing in defensive replacements and relief pitching. The strategy worked for one inning, but then in the 8th inning, in stunning fashion, Severn exploded for 5 runs—Gee struck out Burrell to start the inning, gives up a single to Pagan, and lures Holliday to fly out to left-center. With one on, two out, Werth knocks an infield single, and Cabrera strokes a single to left, scoring Pagan. Gee’s out, F. Rodriguez is in to face ARod. Rodriguez walks Rodriguez to load the bases, and Ramon Hernandez strokes a two-run single to right, and Scutaro ropes a bases-clearing double to deep center—making it a 1-run game at 6-5. Out comes Rodriguez, in comes Rivera who promptly gets out number 3. Up 6-5, Mariano Rivera on the mound, Sacramento is right where it wants to be … but so is Severn. Konerko up, Konerko out—one out. Pagan up, base hit—dammit. Pagan steals 2nd, and Holliday scores Pagan on a single to right to tie it up 6-6 by the end of the 9th inning. It would stay that way until the 15th inning, at which point Sacramento’s bench had been so depleted that short-reliever was working on his 6th IP of the game. Running on fumes, no one on, no outs, Pujols up … solo shot walk-off home run. Phew! Sacramento takes Game 1 7-6. Rivera gets the blown save while Oliver picked up the win, and Broxton the loss.

Game 2 – Garland v. Lee

Game 2 was all Cliff Lee and Sacramento bats. Sacramento pitched a combined no-hitter into the 9th until giving up a double to Konerko. Sacramento bats woke up early, however, scoring 8 runs in the first 6 innings, including home runs by Manny Ramirez, Jack Cust, and Jim Edmonds. Sacramento wins 8-0. Lee gets the win and Garland the loss.

Game 3 – Verlander v. Halladay

In what could have been a beautiful pitcher’s duel, Severn wouldn’t have any of it. Seeking revenge for Game 2, the Express knock Verlander out of the game by the 3rd inning, blasting him for 5 early runs on strong offensive showing by Pagan, Konerko, and Cabrera. Halladay, meanwhile, kept rolling, despite giving up three runs between the 4th and 6th innings, making it a 5-3 game. Within reach, right? Nope. Severn answers back in the 6th with a solo shot from none other than Angel Pagan. That’s all Severn would need, winning 6-3. Halladay gets the win, Benoit the save, and Verlander the loss.

Game 4 – Arroyo v. Hudson

Sacramento got off to a quick start in Game 4, with a 2-out solo shot by Youkilis, taking a 1-0 lead. Sacramento doubles down in the 2nd, with a walk to Cano, double to Edmonds, and a sacrifice fly by Marcus Thames—giving Sacramento a 2-0 lead. Severn, again, wasn’t having any of it: bottom of the 3rd, with two outs and no one on, Pagan reaches on an infield single, promptly steals 2nd, and scores on a Holliday single. Sacramento’s 2-1 lead, was promptly erased when Konerko launched a shot over the left field wall. Severn up 3-2. Sacramento responds in the 6th with a single by Cano and a 2-run home run by Jim Edmonds to give Sacramento the lead 4-3. Sacramento wasn’t done, however; in the top of the 7th, Cust singles, Severn attempts to injure Ramirez by HBP; and Pujols reaches on an infield single—with bases loaded and one out, Willingham rips a pinch-hit single scoring two. Sacramento up 6-3. Finally, top of the 9th, Cano rips a 1-out single, Brignac slugs a 2-out double, and Uribe ropes a double to right-center, scoring Brignac and bringing Sacramento’s lead to 8-3, officially out of reach for Severn. Arroyo gets the win and Hudson the loss.

Game 5 – Lee v. Gallardo

The first true pitchers’ duel in a series that could have been dominated by pitching. Severn took the upper hand immediately, scoring 1 in the first: with Holliday on first and two outs, Cabrera drives the pitch to deep left, falling just inside the line and scoring Holliday. The score would remain 1-0 until the 5th, when Scutaro doubles with no outs, Raburn delivers a sac bunt moving Scutaro to 3rd, and Pagan picks up the sac fly to give Severn the 2-0 lead. That would be all until the 9th, when Pujols singles in Chris Nelson—but 2-1 was all Sacramento could muster. Gallardo gets the win, Benoit the save, and Lee the loss.

Game 6 – Halladay v. Verlander

The second pitching duel of the series, and this one was one to remember. With few hits scattered between the first 8 innings, no runs and only one extra base hit. Verlander was pulled after 6 strong innings to make room for small-ball (for not), and Roy Halladay stayed in to finish the 9th. Tied 0-0, two out, bottom of the 9th, Youkilis up. To quote the announcers: “Halladay deals … its hit deep to Pagan … over his head … it’s all over! Say good-bye to this one…it’s gone! … Home run for Youkilis … Kevin trots around the bases he loves a trip downtown … he claps his hands”. Sacramento wins 1-0. Mariano Rivera gets the win and Halladay gets the complete game loss.

Kevin Youkilis

Severn’s pitcher of the series was Gallardo, who kept Severn alive by besting Cliff Lee in Game 5 by a score of 2-1; overall, he went 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA over 13.2 IP in two starts. Severn’s MVP was obvious: Paul Konerko, with a .417, .563, .917. He put the fear of Tempe in me every time he stepped up to the plate.

Sacramento’s pitcher of the series was once again Cliff Lee, going 1-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 13.2 innings; in his first start, he pitched 7 innings of no-hit ball for the win, and in his second start he lost 2-1 as a result of a great outing by Gallardo. Sacramento’s World Series MVP was Kevin Youkilis; if his .364, .391, .864 batting line—including 5R, 3 RBI, 3 2B, 1 3B, and 2 HR—weren’t enough, he was the epitome of clutch.

This was truly an exciting series between two veteran MWBL managers. I must say, I’ve never experienced the AL-managerial styles of the invariably successful Severn Express, and I was quite impressed. Congrats to Mike on a fantastic and well-managed series. Best of luck next year.


WEDNESDAY 07/31/2024
AT 11:59 PM - ET!