N.L. DIVISION SERIES – TEM @ WCS G#3

GAME 3 – Tempe at West Coast – Series tied at 1 game each.

(10.1.12) West Coast is home, this is their sixth game of the playoffs this year, but the first 5 have all been on the road. However, in those five road games they amassed a 3-2 record and have been slinging flat stones at the giants of the league.  Can they keep this up? Well, if game 2 was an indication, a 10-1 drubbing and clubbing by the Tempers, it looks doubtful.  We shall see.  West Coast is once again sending Matt Cain to the hill – he left early with no decision in game 1 (although he did give up 2 runs in 3 ip and sports a mountain high 6.00 era). Tempe fans are not concerned, Cain seldom did anything wrong during the year – and certainly not in consecutive outings.  Schindel is countering with Scott Baker who started game 2. Baker if you remember was pounded in the 1st inning for 4 runs (and a lofty 36.00 era) and he was pulled early.  Can he rebound?

The excitement of the West Coast fans was quickly quashed (as well as any confidence Baker might have had in his abilities – he might never pitch a first inning of any game again). Granderson leads off the 1st with a single to RF. He takes off and Cabrera singles to LF moving Grandy to 3rd. Pence follows with an rbi single moving Cabrera to 3rd.  Baker faces 3 batters – 3 hits – that was too much for Schindel. He pulls him in favor of Josh Johnson.  West Coast is seeking to limit the damage to a little as possible, that 10-1 game is heavy in their minds.  Johnson, in limited action has been a horse – including a couple of starts against Tempe (including a win) at the end of the regular season.  So, can the youngster hold it together in the playoffs? He better because the first three batters are the Nemesis Trio! AGon steps in – Johnson seeking a K or DP fires it in a AGon singles scoring Cabrera, 2-0. OK, Cabrera up with runners at 1st and 2nd, grounds out, but the runners advance, there is finally an out. Adrian Beltre – what does he do to Johsnon, just launches one to RF, the last time anyone saw it it was an astronaut on the international space station – a Baltimore Special – Beltre’s 3rd HR and a 5-0 TEMPE lead.  Johnson is done in favor of Josh Tomlin. Tomlin settles things down …. for awhile.

Top of the 5th Tomlin still out there and the Nemesis Trio leads off the inning.  AGon goes yard to make it 6-0. Tulo flies out, but Beltre follows with a solo shot (and 2nd homer for him this game – two games in a ROW!!), 7-0.  Pedroia fans and then Drew Butera goes over the wall for the 3rd Tempe solo homer of the inning and an 8-0 lead. Schindel is really going strange in the West Coast dugout wondering if he can afford to go for this one or just find some arms to finish the game and move on to game 4.  These blowouts can really eat up a staff.  Tomlin stays out there. Which works until the next inning ….

Top 6th, with one out Cabrera singles (again). Pence follows with a single and then AGon homers again (3 run job, 2nd HR for him this game), 11-0.  After a lot of defensive subbing, including bringing in Soria, Guerrero double and Beltre come up – but Manager Douglas sends in Duda to give Beltre a rest (or maybe he’s feeling like West Coast needs a rest). He fans but Pedroia didn’t get the message and he doubles home Guerrero for a 12-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Matt Cain has been Matt Cain.  He goes deep into this game, 7 ip giving up 2 hits and 2 walks and NO runs.  Colon will come in and mop up innings 8 and 9 with no runs.

And the scoring wasn’t done, Pedroia blasts a 2 run homer of his own in the 8th to make the final 14-0 Tempe.  Second straight slaughter (24-1 scoring advantage in games 2 and 3).

FINAL LINE
TEM  14 19 0
WCS    0   4 1
WP Cain (1-0)
LP Baker (0-2)
HRs  A. Gonzalez 2 (2), Beltre 2 (4), Pedroia (1), Butera (1)

Tempe now stands up 2 games to 1 and showing the muscle (and dominating pitching) that carried them to 132 victories in the regular season.  Can West Coast rebound, can they at least show some respectability, or was game one their only flash?

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WEDNESDAY 07/31/2024
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