Game 1: Lackey @ Verlander
Even with Halladay out, Torto seemingly held the advantage between the opening day aces. Verlander just couldn’t figure my offense out this season, however, evidenced by a series-opening Carl Crawford triple. Torto grabbed a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first before my offense exploded, scoring 5 in the 2nd (highlighted by a Russell “the muscle” Branyan HR - note the "playoff intensity" in the accompanying photo) to take an early 6-1 lead. Torto’s offense couldn’t produce any runs the rest of the day, as Lackey went the distance.
Keith wins 9-2
Game 2: Beckett @ Bergeson
Once again CC started the game right for Keith, this time with a top of the first leadoff homerun. Keith added runs in the 4th, 6th and 7th, highlighted by a Cliff Pennington 2 RBI double and Matt Wieters solo jack. Torto was only able to muster two runs against Beckett, who went 7 1/3 before turning a 7-2 lead over to the ‘pen.
Keith wins 7-2
Game 3: Garza @ Niemann
This one’s not worth spending much time on. Niemann gave up a run in the 2nd, but bested the combination of Garza and Lyons, who allowed Keith’s team to score in 5 of the 9 innings.
Game 4: Snell @ Gaudin
After ending up on the wrong side of three straight blowouts Torto showed some heart, battling hard in a crazy, back-and-forth game. Gaudin was chased after two inning after giving up five. After falling down 5-2 after two, Keith cranked out six runs in the bottom of the 3rd to take an 8-5 lead. Not rolling over, Torto came back with six of his own in the top of the 4th, led by a Morneau Grand Slam. The teams would exchange runs throughout the rest of the game, with Torto coming out at the end with a 14-11 victory.
Torto wins 14-11
Game 5: Lackey @ Verlander
Another amazing game, Torto scored 7 runs in the first behind the strength of an Adrian Beltre Grand Slam. Keith came back with a 2-run Youkilis HR. Torto added three more runs throughout the game but was hammered by 7 run 3rd inning by Keith and a second Youkilis homerun in the 5th. Keith wins a wild one to close out the series.
Keith wins 13-10
All and all, a great series in the midst of a crazy PTP Weekend (but, then again, I might be biased). I was blessed to have Torto’s number throughout the AL season, and certainly didn’t mind missing Halladay in the series. Good work Torto, see you in the NL….