2023 N.L. DIVISION SERIES #2

Baltimore_Comets

 

Baltimore

Comets

 

vs.

 

Selkirk

Steelers

SERIES PREVIEW – The Selkirk Steelers and Baltimore Comets square off in the N.L. Division Series. Selkirk took the season series 8 games to 4.

Baltimore won the N.L. East with a 99-63 record. The Comets edged Columbus in the Wild Card Series.

Selkirk won 109 games during the regular season, but finished in second place in the N.L. Central, 17 games behind Tempe. The Steelers disposed of Triple Creek in the Wild Card Round.

GAME #1 – Sonny Gray 11-7 (3.18) vs. Dylan Cease 23-8 (2.18)

Selkirk’s ace, Dylan Cease, struggles, yielding 6 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks over 4 and 2/3 innings. Baltimore jumps to a 7-1 lead after 6, and cruises to an 11-4 win in the series opener.

Matt Olson had 4 hits, including a double and homerun, and knocked in 3; Josh Bell had 2 hits and 3 RBIs to lead the Comets’ offense. Jurickson Profar had 3 hits and Pete Alonso hit a 3-run home run for the Steelers.

Baltimore 11 – Selkirk 4

Win: Sonny Gray 1-0 (6.00)
Loss: Dylan Cease 0-1 (11.57)

GAME #2 – Miles Mikolas 19-5 (2.23) vs. Max Fried 21-3 (1.93)

Selkirk builds a 4-2 lead behind a Mookie Betts 2-run home run and RBIs by Marcus Semien and Mauricio Dubon. Baltimore’s runs came courtesy of a 2-run home run by Matt Olson.

Raisel Iglesias is charged with nailing down the 9th inning. Baltimore put 2 on with 1 out. Alex Call is brought in to bat for Christian Vazquez and he smacks one over the fence for a 3-run, go ahead homer. Evan Phillips shuts down the Steelers in the bottom of the 9th, and the Comets take a 2-0 series lead. For the second straight game the Baltimore pitching staff is able to limit Selkirk to 5 hits.

Baltimore 5 – Selkirk 4

Win: Alex Young 1-0 (0.00)
Loss: Raisel Iglesias 0-1 (16.20)
Save: Evan Phillips #1

GAME #3 – Cal Quantrill 12-10 (3.34) vs. Tyler Anderson 14-8 (2.84)

The scene shifts to Baltimore, with the Comets up 2 games to none, and Matt Olson stays hot. After Joey Gallo goes deep in the 2nd, Olson hits his 3rd home run in as many games, this time a 2-run shot. Tyler Anderson makes the 3 runs hold up, as he pitches 7 innings of 6-hit shutout ball. Jake Woodford gets roughed up a little, yielding a Mookie Betts RBI single, but David Robertson and Evan Phillips quiet the Steeler bats to put Baltimore within a game of moving on.

Baltimore 3 – Selkirk 1

Win: Tyler Anderson 1-0 (0.00)
Loss: Cal Quantrill 0-1 (4.50)
Save: Evan Phillips #2

GAME #4 – Dylan Cease 23-8 (2.18) vs. Jose Quintana 13-9 (3.22)

Facing elimination, Selkirk turns to their ace in game 4. Baltimore counters with Jose Quintana. The Steelers get to Quintana for 5 runs over 3 innings pitched to take a 5-2 lead after 4. The Comets would get a couple runs back in the 6th but fall 6-4. Jurickson Profar and Pete Alonso homer for Selkirk, and David Fletcher singles twice, doubles, and knocks in 2. Liam Hendricks and Raisel Iglesias shut things down late for the Steelers. Henry Ramirez homers and hits 2 doubles for Baltimore.

Selkirk 6 – Baltimore 4

Win: Dylan Cease 1-1 (8.44)
Loss: Jose Quintana 1-0 (9.00)
Save: Raisel Iglesias #1

GAME #5 – Max Fried 21-3 (1.93) vs. Sonny Gray 11-7 (3.18)

Needing a win, Max Fried tosses a gem, pitching a 3-hit, complete game, shutout, striking out 8, to send the series back to Selkirk. Pete Alonso and Adolis Garcia homer for the Steelers.

Selkirk 4 – Baltimore 0

Win: Max Fried 1-0 (1.29)
Loss: Sonny Gray 1-1 (5.11)

GAME #6 – Miles Mikolas 19-5 (2.23) vs. Cal Quantrill 12-10

Back to Selkirk and the Comets scored 2 unearned runs, thanks to a David Fletcher error, to take a 2-0 lead in the 5th. Meanwhile, Miles Mikolas pitches well, shutting out the Steelers on 5 hits, over 6 2/3 innings. Hunter Renfroe, having a woeful series, redeems himself, hitting a 2-run home run in the 8th inning, to give Baltimore a 4-0 lead. Kenley Jansen and Evan Phillips don’t yield a hit and Baltimore survives to advance to the N.L. Championship Series.

Baltimore 4 – Selkirk 0

Win: Miles Mikolas 1-0 (3.00)
Loss: Cal Quantrill 0-2 (2.25)

SERIES SUMMARY – Max Fried pitched well for Selkirk, tossing 14 innings, allowing only 2 runs on 9 hits. Cal Quantrill had 2 quality starts but lost both. Dylan Cease had a rough series, yielding 10 runs on 12 hits, over 10 2/3 innings. Adolis Garcia led the Steelers’ offense, with 7 hits, and Pete Alonso had 3 home runs and 6 RBIs.

Tyler Anderson and Miles Mikolas had solid starting performances, and the Baltimore bullpen arms of Kenley Jansen, Hector Neris, David Robertson, and Evan Phillips combined to pitch 11 innings, giving up only 4 hits and not allowing a run. Josh Bell and Christian Vazquez each had 8 hits, and Matt Olson had 7 hits, including 3 homeruns and 7 RBIs, to lead the Baltimore offense. Alex Call’s improbable, 9th inning pinch-hit, 3-run homerun to win game 2 was the key hit of the series. Without it, the teams would have split the 1st two games, and it could have been an entirely different series.

Congratulations to Ken and his Selkirk Steelers for an excellent 109-win season! For Baltimore, the season continues, with a date against either Tempe or Sacramento looming.

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