The 2009 NL World Series saw Fish and his #1 seed juggernaut squad versus my #3 seed band of plucky upstarts. As some of you may have heard at the Tort Fort - Team Torto pulled out the Series, 4 games to 1, and is your new NL champ. Some scoffed at my pick of Pablo Sandoval with the #7 overall pick or the 4th round drafting of Miguel Tejada and his iffy defense. Nobody's questioning it now.
Here are the details:
Game 1: J.Vasquez @ C.Carpenter
The World Series opener started out as a pitchers duel, and ended as a rout. Fish got on the board quickly by scoring his quietly efficient leadoff hitter, Michael Bourn, on a Ryan Braun sac fly in the bottom of the first. My squad countered with a Jayson Werth solo shot in the top of the 2nd. Fish then got a one-out triple from jack-of-all-tradesman, Omar Infante, but could not plate him, as Rafael Furcal laid down a terrible bunt that got him caught at the plate. Not to be denied anther run, Fish came back with Mr. Bourn again, getting him aboard with a lead off single in the bottom of the 3rd, stealing 2nd before being singled home by Luis Castillo. With Fish leading 2-1, all bats then went quiet until the top of the 7th. When Pedro Feliz cranked a ball into the seats at MinuteMaid Park for a 3-run shot, giving us the 4-2 lead. And as Javy Vasquez continued to cruise, Carpenter’s 8th inning replacement, Jeremy Affeldt got shelled. After letting 2 of the first 3 batters on base, Affeldt gave up an RBI-double to the Panda, followed by a Jayson Werth 3-run blast, making it an 8-2 game. Javy went retired 6 of the next 7 batters faced (3Ks) in the final 2 frames. My 3 home run rolls were the difference in Game 1.
Torto wins 8-2
WP – J.Vasquez (CG, 2ER, 7H, 4 BB, 9K)
LP – C.Carpenter (7IP, 4ER, 6H, 0 BB, 6K
POTG – Jayson Werth (2-4 with 2 HR and 4RBI)
Game 2: C.Billingsley @ T.Hanson
Eager to capitalize on my Game 1 victory, my squad start hot out of the gates in Game 2, with a top of the first 2-run Toddfather Helton home run. This was followed up by Angel Pagan leadoff double in the top of the 2nd, scored with one out by a Pedro Feliz double, and then followed in the top of the 3rd by a Toddfather RBI-single, pushing the lead to 4-0 Torto. Fish struck back in the bottom of the 3rd, getting 3 runs back on an RBI single from Bourn and a 2-out, 2-RBI double by Brad Hawpe. I finally managed to sneak out of the inning by intentionally walking Ryan Braun to get to Nick Johnson, who proceeded to strike out (and probably break a rib). Top of the fifth, and the HR train got rolling again , with back-to-back solo jacks for the Panda and Werth. Now down 3-6, Fish did his best to HR-roll his way back into the game, getting a solo shot from Brauny in the 6th, followed by another Braun HR (2-run) in the 7th, tying it up, and knocking Thunder Thigh Billingsley out of the game. Both team’s relievers locked it down for the next several innings, taking it into extras. The 6-6 tie was snapped in the top of the 11th, with Carlos Lee facing Trevor Hoffman. A Lee pinch hit a single, followed by a base-clearing triple by ‘The Ol Skippy Schu’maker. With 2-outs, the ‘Clutch’ Kung Fu Panda slapped a single to bring in Schumaker from 3rd to add 1 insurance run. 5th starter turned reliever, Rich Harden, who had pitched the 10th, was just getting warmed up and closed out the 11th on Fish to get the win, and deny a save opportunity.
The Astro fans filed out of MinuteMaid park in stunned silence, seeing their team go down 0-2 at home. Meanwhile the Rockies quietly packed their things and headed back home to Coors Field in the dead of night.
Torto wins 8-6 in 11 innings
WP – R.Harden
POTG – S.Schumaker (2-6 with GW RBI triple)
Torto wins 6-5
WP – H.Street
LP – T.Hoffman
POTG – Jayson Werth (3-5 with 2 2Bs and GW RBI)
Game 4: C.Zambrano @ H.Kuroda
With the Big Z on the mound for Game 4, the Rockies fans were looking for another dominant performance to end the series, much like the one displayed in the first round to close out the series vs. Spencer. It was not to be. Big Z lasted only 4 innings, after giving up 5 runs on a 2- RBI double by Brad Hawpe, and and RBI doubles from Castillo, and the now healthy Derrick Lee. However, my squad’s bats were not to be denied a chance to keep us in the game. Tejada scored Skippy Schu on an hard-hit grounder that was booted by Furcal in the 1st. Tejada slapped an RBI single in the 2nd to score Randy Winn. And in the 4th, RBI doubles by Pedro Feliz and Schumaker had the game all knotted up 5 – 5 in the 5th. Fish broke that tie, on a 2-out solo shot from Furcal. My squad hit back with a Miguel Tejada RBI single in the 6th, making it 6 – 6. Top of the 7th, and Brad Hawpe jacked a solo homer into the Colorado night to take the lead again, 7-6. The Torto counter punch in the bottom of the 8th was 2 RBI singles by Schumaker and Helton, to take back the lead 8 – 7. Fish was now thoroughly fed up with this back and forth nonsense came with his biggest bats in the top of the 9th. With closer Ryan Franklin in, Fish got lead off single by Brauny, that was followed by a 2-run blast by Derrick Lee to take the lead. Brad Hawpe, then decided to make sure this game wouldn’t be stolen in the bottom of the 9th, and immediately followed with another home run, his 2nd of the game. Nonetheless, my squad nearly came back to tie, urged on by the home crowd. In the bottom of the 9th, Fish’s bullpen was running low and Jason Marquis was being used, as all closers were unavailable. A 1-out double by Randy Win, was followed by a Pedro Feliz out. With 2 outs, pinch hitter Carlos Lee was inserted into the game, and delivered an RBI single, before Schumaker got the final out.
Fish wins 10-9
WP – J.Marquis
LP – R.Franklin
POTG – B.Hawpe (4-5 with 2 HRs, 4 RBI, and a triple short of the cycle)
Game 5: C.Carpenter @ J.Vasquez
High drama again in this one, and my Rockies were desperate to deliver the knockout blow in front of their home fans. Both aces battled in this one, going deep into the game. No runs until the 6th, when Fish got a 2-out single from Castillo, followed by a Ryan Braun 3-bagger, and then an RBI single from D-Lee to take a 2 – zip lead. Fish picked up another run in the top of the 8th, on a D-Lee solo homer, going up 3 – 0 going into the bottom of the 8th. Carpenter finally began to tire, giving up a single to the Panda, followed by an RBI double from Mr. Werth. The rally was killed though, when Werth tried to score from 2nd on a 2-out single by Randy Winn, getting gunned down at the plate by Bourn and so Fish still led 3-1 going into the final frame. After Vasquez went into the 9th, and kept the deficit at 2. For the bottom of the 9th, Fish again trusted in Trevor, only to be let down again. After Hoffman got Feliz and a pinch-hitting Sheffield out to start, he then walked Schumaker. With 2 down, and Tejada up at the plate, Hoffman gave up a moonball with the homer standing up (instead of going to deep drive) due to the Clutch/Jam cancel. With the score now 3-3, the game continued scoreless into the bottom of the 13th, (with Vasquez going 10 full innings) until Brian Wilson walked Randy Winn with 1 out. Winn proceeded to swipe 2nd, (only the 2nd base stolen all series by either team), and then was advanced over on Brian Wilson’s throwing error on a Feliz dribbler back to the mound. With runners on 1st and 3rd with 1-out, and with Juan Pierre chomping at the bit to get into the game for at least 1 at bat, I inserted Pierre as a pinch hitter. Fish pulled the infield in, correctly anticipating the bunt, but the A-bunter laid down a perfect tap and scored a sprinting Randy Winn to walk off the game, and the series. The Rockies fans rushed the field in the win, and partied long into the cool autumn alpine night, with only modest property damage done in the immediate vicinity of Coors Field.
Torto wins 4-3 in 13 innings
WP – R.Harden
LP – B.Wilson
BS – T.Hoffman
POTG – Juan Pierre (0-0 with walk off sacrifice hit and GW RBI)
Wow. It was exciting just recapping all that. Every single game was really hard fought, except maybe Game 1, and each game had late inning drama. In the end, the big difference maker in determing the winner of these games was timely home runs and defense. I had the edge in both these parameters, as evidenced by my 8 HRs and committed only one error all series. It was great playing with you Fish, especially since we were both very astute with using the jam/clutch/off/on/h&r, etc. I don’t feel anything was missed with regard to all the various situations we put each other in. Fish - if your play could be translated into song, it would be Bob Seeger's "Still the Same", and you play the way you always do, really smart/well. Trevor Hoffman just seemed to be a choker for you. Still, it was nice to come out on top with all the close games I’ve lost to you in the recent past. Great series, and I look forward to our next regular season series in the AL.
World Series MVP – Jayson Werth (10-26, 0.385 BA, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI)
Honorable Mention – Javy Vasquez (2 starts, 19 IP, 5 ER, 20 Ks)