Thursday, October 1, 2009

One for the Ages

Three of the four opening games went to extra innings, but one certainly stood out.

The Monterrey Conquistadors and Kansas City Blues staged one for the ages in game 1 of their AL Division Series. Among the stunning totals from the game are: 14 innings, 32 runs, 46 hits, 15 walks, 7 home runs, and 517 pitches.

The instant classic started with a twist as the Conquistadors starter, Rich Harris faced only two hitters before leaving in a planned move. An Andruw Leach HR gave the host Blues a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. The 'Quistas answered with a run of their own in the 4th to make it 2-1. William Miyakazi sparked a 'Quista rally in the 5th knocking in 2 with an RBI triple and later scoring; Monterrey leads 4-2 in the middle of the 5th.

The bats for both sides got going with a 2-run HR for KC (Blake) in the 5th. Monterrey answered with 2 more runs in the top of the 6th to make it 6-4. All was quiet until the bottom of the 7th when KC tied the game up on a bases loaded walk to Rivera. Monterrey stormed back with 6 runs in the top of the 8th, effectively icing the game and sending thousands of Kansas City schoolchildren to bed angry. But the Blues didn't fold, getting back 2 in the 8th on Tony Baez double, one of his 5 hits on the day. Baez wouldn't stay a hero for long though. Kansas City's furious 9th inning rally, saw them tie the game on an RBI double, leaving the winning run on 3rd with nobody. But Andruw Leach fanned and Baez weak grounder could score the run. Another strike out and we were on to extra innings, tied at 12.

After 3 scoreless frames, William Miyakazi hitting a 3-run HR. Livan Pascual couldn't make it stand though as HR's by Ewell Corey and Al Matthews knotted the game at 15. After Monterrey failed to capitalize on a Baez error in the top of the 14th, KC came to bat again. Justin Blake reached on a single but was gunned down by D. Cheng, the 'Quistas backup catcher. Max Molina relieved Pascual after the 2nd out, but he walked Rivera, bringing the dangerous Corey back to the plate. For the 2nd time in as many innings, the game hung in the balance with Corey at the plate. The 33-year old who had never hit a playoff HR prior to the 13th inning, lit into a 2-1 fastball and sent it soaring into CF. CF Miyakazi thought he had a bead on the ball but his leap came up just short and Corey had a walk-off HR to go with his game-saving 3-run shot an inning earlier.

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