|Fish and Torto give a hearty Sullivan Saloon 'Cinco de Mayo Welcome' to every goddamn fucking Harley Davidson motorcycle in Waukesha, Walworth, and Jefferson Counties.|
PTP living legend Scott Fisher and I met up on Cinco De Mayo to roll out our highly anticipated Marlins/Padres 2011 NL Playoff series. The charming Sullivan Saloon, located in (yup, you guessed, Sullivan, WI) was the venue for a mid-morning start, serving breakfast and elk burgers. After my standard perpetually 15-minute late arrival and the ordering of a bloody mary, we were ready to roll. Here’s the details:
Game 1 – C.Kershaw @ R.Halladay
This pitchers’ duel was as-advertised, with both Kid Kershaw and Doc Halladay allowing a sprinkling of base runners in the first 5 innings, but always working their way out of jams. Scoring started up in the 6th inning, with Fish scoring 3-runs, on a Han-Ram error, plunked ‘Black Logan Morrison’, followed by a Chase Headly and Clint Barmes RBI-hits. Tort struck back with a single run of his own on a pinch hit Rod Barajas RBI-single. Kershaw cruised to the 8th, and Fish picked up an insurance run off LaTroy Hawkins in the top of the 9th. Salas closed the door for Fish on game 1.
Fish wins 4-1 (Fish up 1-0); Player of the Game – Clayton Kershaw (8 IP, 8H, 11K, 3BB, 1 ER)
Game 2 – M.Cain @ I.Kennedy
Another solid pitching matchup, but again Fish had the edge (that Kershaw-Cain combo is fearsome). Fish got on the board first with a 3-run 4th, all on a base-clearing 2B by Nick Hundley. Bottom of the 6th saw the game tied up, on RBI hits from The Heisman and the HGH pumping 39-year old Miguel Cairo (B-power, B+ range??). All tied up and with Kennedy tiring, Torto brought in Matt Belisle for the 8th, only to have him yield the game-winning run on a leadoff triple to O-Dog Hudson, followed by a wild pitch. The Marlins got 2 baserunners in the 8th, but could not score off the Mojito (Mujica) and went quietly in the 9th against Salas again. All 4,800 Marlins fans in attendance were in shock, quietly sauntering out of Joe Robbie/SunLife/LandShark Stadium, dejectedly dragging their walkers, life alert bracelets, and oxygen tanks behind them.
Fish wins 4-3 (Fish up 2-0); Player of the Game – Nick Hundley (3 RBI)
Game 3 – J.Collmenter @ T.Stauffer
The series shifted from Florida to the comfortable climes of San Diego, and the salty breezes of the Pacific Ocean seemed to have an effect on the Marlin’s bats. After scoring just 4 runs in 2 games with only 3 XBH (3 x 2Bs), the Billed Fishes went on a tear, getting 2 runs in the opening frame, and another pair in the 2nd. Fish countered with 4 runs of his own and it was 4-4 in the top of the 3rd. Power was finally displayed by Torto’s usually homer-happy squad, with back-2-back solo jacks by Fielder and Stanton in the top of the 4th followed by a Josh Collmenter ‘helping his own cause’ RBI single. Fish push 2 across in the bottom of the frame, but Torto would not yield the lead from here on out, picking up another solo shot and 2RBI double from Stanton down the stretch. Giancarlo (Mike) would not be denied this game.
Torto wins 10-7 (Fish up 2-1); Player of the Game – Mike Giancarlo Stanton (4-5, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI)
Game 4 – H.Kuroda @ E.Jackson
Following the much needed confidence boost that game 3 provided the Marlins, Hiroki Kuroda made his own momentum with a stellar start over journeyman innings eater Eddie Jackson. Kuroda allowed a single unearned run in the 2nd, on a Cairo error, and pitched 7 and 2/3rds of 4 hit ball. Torto plated 2-runs in the 1st (2-RBI 2B by McCann) and got a late insurance run in the 7th on a solo job by The Heisman (brought to you by Nissan). A situational relief pitching combo of Belisle and Affeldt got the Marlins thru the remainder of 7th and 8th, while Sergio Romo closed the door after allowing the first two batters to reach on singles.
Torto wins 3-1 (series tied 2-2); Player of the Game – Hiroki Kuroda (7.2 IP, 4 H, 3BB, 7K, 0 ER)
Game 5 – R.Halladay @ C.Kershaw
The last game in Petco would be Kershaws final start of the series, and the guy was nearly as unhittable as Game 1. While Halladay struggled, giving up 3 first inning runs (almost a 4th if not being able to jam out a Black Logan Morrison HR to a deep drive out – last minute catch by Torto), then gave up another run in the 2nd. Spotted a 4-run lead, Kershaw cruised the rest of the way, pitching a complete game, and only giving up 2 runs (2 RBI double to El Caballo) in the 5th). Meanwhile the Padres picked up 3 more insurance runs along the way to seal the win for Fish’s squad. This was the first game of the series won by the home team.
Fish wins 7-2 (Fish leads series 3-2); Player of the Game – Clayton Kershaw (CG, 6H, 8K, 5BB, 2 ER)
Game 6 – M.Cain @ I.Kennedy
Determined to not let the Marlins lose this must-win game, and improve upon his dismal Game 2 start, Ian Kennedy took the ball and pitched a gem. After giving up 1st inning run to the Padres (Votto RBI-single), Kennedy bore down and didn’t yield a single hit further, frustrating the Fish’s hitters in a 3 hit, 13K complete game performance. The Marlins got all the runs they needed from Princey’s bat, who went 3-4 with 2 HRs and 3 RBI. The Heisman (brought to you by Nissan) also added on a solo jack in the 7th to put a cap on things.
Torto wins 7-1 (series tied 3-3); Player of the Game – Ian Kennedy (CG, 3H, 13K, 3BB, 1 ER)
Game 7 – T.Stauffer @ J.Collmenter
Like so many playoff series Fish and I have had, after playing 6, it all came down to a single game with our tertiary starters. Sometimes I wonder why we even bother playing games 1 thru 6. Frustrated by his team’s inability to hit Kennedy in Game 6, Fish got off to a quick start against Collmenter, using a 3-run HR from Joseph Daniel Votto to jump out to an early lead. The Marlins got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd, on a 2-out, 2-RBI triple by Omar Infante. Undaunted by Votto’s HR, Collmenter settled into a groove, pitching thru the 6th, and yielding only 3 hits. Meanwhile, on the bottom side of the frame, the Marlin’s offense kicked it in gear with a Jimmy Rollins RBI groundout in the 5th, followed by a door-kicking down 6th inning lead by fellow beard-afficianado Brian McCann. After walking Prince, and yielding a Giancarlo 2B, Fish took out the gassed Stauffer in favor of his lock down reliever, The Mojito. Undaunted by the Mojito’s impressive past performances of the series, McCann belted a long drive over the fence for a 3-run shot off the righty. To make things worse, The Mojito walked Cairo, allowed another Infante double, and with 2 outs, gave up an 2-RBI single to Jimmy Rollins. With a 5-run lead, Torto turned the 7th and 8th over to Tyler Clippard, and Sergio Romo handled a 1-2-3 ninth. Marlins win! Marlins win!
Torto wins 8-3 (Torto wins series 4-3); Player of the Game – Brian McCann (2-4, HR, 3 RBI)
|Fellow beard-afficianado Brian McCann carries the day for Marlins in Game 7|
Another outstanding hard-fought series between Fish and I, and after losing the last two playoff appearances in 7 to Fish, this seemed about fitting. I also looked up our all-time playoff record vs. each other, and this Game 7 win put me at 17-16 vs. Fish all-time in the playoffs. Obviously, I expect to lose the next time we face in the playoffs. Throughout all 7 games, there were jams, clutches, ons/offs, H&R A-1Bs, and all the charting nuances you’d expect from us in a highly contested series. The only downers for me on the afternoon was the fact that the Sullivan Saloon was out of elk burgers and the parade of Harley’s on Hwy 18 that increased my permanent hearing loss.
Spencer - let's get this World Series ON!
|Billy sez - "Hey Spencer, suck on this!"|