Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Duluth-Superior Dukes Postseason Recap

The Dukes first opponent was the Cream City Pirates. The Dukes got off to a fast start in Game 1 scoring 5 runs in the first three innings. Alex Rodriguez had a 2-run homer in the first to keep the home town crowd quiet for the rest of the game. Five pitchers combined to beat the Pirates with Nathan finishing the job and a 5-2 victory and Duluth-Superior taking a 1 game to none lead.

Game 2 the Cream City Pirates dominated all game and whipped the Dukes 7-0. Shane Victorino was the star of the game as he went 3-4 and scoring 2 runs and knocking in one. Four Pirate pitchers combined for the shutout and Cream City and Duluth-Superior are tied at 1 game apiece.

With the series ties 1-1, the Dukes were feeling pretty good playing the next three at home. Game 3 saw the Dukes start right away scoring 3 runs in the first. Alex Rodriguez went 3-5 and was one of three Dukes to drive in two runs. The others were Justin Morneau and Albert Pujols. Chris Young pitched a gem going 6 innings while only giving up one earned run. The big three Rodriguez, Morneau and Pujols each homered in the game. The Dukes won 6-5.

Game 4 went to the Dukes to take a commanding 3 games to one lead in the series. Pirate pitcher Jeff Francis gave up seven walks in 3 and 2/3 innings pitched. Offensively, Michael Cuddyer came through with a bases clearing triple.

Game 5 saw a low scoring 3-2 11 inning Pirate win, each starting pitcher went 7 2/3 innings. Dukes pitcher Eric Bedard struck out 11 batters while walking only one. Alex Rodriguez hit his 3rd homerun of the series. B.J. Upton was the difference as he hit a game winning homer in the top of the 11th, his second of the series.

Game 6 in Cream City was another nail biter. The pitching matchup pitted Javier Vazquez and Rich Hill. Vazquez pitched in to the 8th on a two-hitter and striking out nine Cream City Batters. Rich Hill walked seven batters and was tagged with the loss. The Dukes went on to win game 6 and the series with a 2-1 score. Millar homered for the Dukes.

The Dukes were on to meet up with the San Jose Scorpions. The Dukes were on the road again for games 1 and 2.

Game 1 matched Eric Bedard and Barry Zito. Bedard pitched 6 strong innings striking out five batters. Bedard would be the winning pitcher as the Dukes outscored the Scorpions 4-2. Offensively the Dukes got big hits from Albert Pujols (2-4) knocking in three of the four runs scored. Scorpions’ Jimmy Rollins went 3-3 and two runs scored.

In game 2, Javier Vazquez kept his strong postseason going, getting seven strikeouts and allowing only one earned run. Joe Blanton also pitched well for San Jose going six innings. The winning run was scored in the 7th inning as Rafael Furcal doubled and stole third. With Furcal on third, Juan Pierre delivered the game winning RBI single. The Dukes won game 2 by a score of 3-2 and had a commanding 2 games to none lead in the series with the series coming to Duluth-Superior for the next three games…..How could we lose?

Game 3 saw the start of the Dukes bats go silent as the Dukes would only score 11 runs in the last four games. The Scorpions won game 3 by a score of 9-2. San Jose’s big hitter was Ryan Doumit hitting two homeruns, going 3-5 with 7 RBI. Others hitting homeruns were Willie Harris and Nate McLouth.

Game 4 was a little closer but same result, San Jose wins outscoring Duluth-Superior 4-3 in 10 innings. Travis Hafner hit his first homerun of the series. In the top of the 10th, Carlos Pena walked, Hafner doubled him to third. Jimmy Rollins was intentionally walked to load up the bases. Josh Hamilton the singled in the eventual game winner. With the series now tied at two, the Dukes were feeling pretty down.

Game 5 was a laugher and the San Jose bats really woke up torturing the Dukes inning after inning totaling 15 runs on 12 hits. Dukes pitchers allowed 8 walks and four hit batters. Joe Blanton went the distance for the Scorpions allowing only five hits while striking out six batters. Mark Ellis had a grand slam homerun to start off the slug fest.

Game six capped off San Jose’s four game streak and end the series. San Jose won 5-3. The key at-bat was Josh Hamilton’s double in the fourth innings plating two runners. Winning pitcher Brandon Webb won his fourth game of the postseason. Webb finished the series with a 2.19 ERA.

Some notable Dukes stats:

Team Batting Average: .213
Homeruns (12 games): 10
Opp. Homeruns: 14
Stolen Bases: 14
Dukes batters hitting above .250: ONE-Alex Rodriguez
Dukes batters K’s: 78
Dukes pitchers K’s: 113

0 Swings of the bat: