Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ringo bracket: Giants (87) defeat Braves (87) in six games

Game One: San Francisco 7, Atlanta 2
WP: Reuschel (1-0)
LP: Z Smith (0-1)

Game Two: San Francisco 9, Atlanta 3
WP: Dravecky (1-0)
LP: Mahler (0-1)
HR: R. Thompson (1), W. Clark 2 (2), Melvin (1), M. Williams (1)

Game Three: Atlanta 2, San Francisco 1
WP: Acker (1-0)
LP:  D. Robinson (0-1)
Save: Garber (1)

Game Four: Atlanta 5, San Francisco 4
WP: Garber (1-0)
LP: D. Robinson (0-2)
HR: Murphy (1), Milner (1)

Game Five: San Francisco 6, Atlanta 0
WP: Reuschel (2-0)
LP: Z. Smith (0-2)
HR: C.Davis (1)

Game Six: San Francisco 2, Atlanta 1 (10 innings)
WP: Garrelts (1-0)
LP: Garber (1-1)

It took the Giants three tries, but they finally won a close one -- and closed out the series in the process.

Game One started out well for Atlanta, as the Braves stung Rick Reuschel for a run in the second -- driven in by starting pitcher Zane Smith. But the Giants smacked the lefty around for three runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth, with RobThompson and Bob Brenly each clubbing two-run doubles. "Big Daddy" Reuschel allowed one run in his seven innings of work, scattering six hits.

Game Two featured a first-inning battering of Braves starter Rick Mahler. Thompson and Will Clark opened the frame with back-to-back homers, and Bob Melvin -- catching because of a first game injury to Brenly -- closed the scoring with a grand slam. Dave Palmer saved the Atlanta bullpen with six-innings of one-run relief.

The Braves, down 0-2 in the series, bypassed veteran Doyle Alexander for Game Three in Atlanta and turned instead to rookie Tom Glavine, and the southpaw came through with six innings of one-run ball. That was only good for a tie, however; the Braves got their second, and final, run in the eighth. Jim Acker and Gene Garber combined to throw three no-hit innings in relief.

The Braves tied the series in a dramatic Game Four. They were down 3-0 after three innings, but then Giants starter Kelly Downs hurt himself hitting in the top of the fourth. The Braves plated two runs off Atlee Hammaker in the fifth, then tied it in the seventh with a run off Don Robinson, The Giants responded in the eighth with a pair of doubles from Kevin Mitchell and Brenly, only to see the Brave win in the bottom of the ninth on a single by Dion James, a double by Dale Murphy, an grounder from Gerald Perry and a base hit by Ted Simmons.

Reuschel dominated the Braves in Game Five, tossing a two-hit shutout. Thompson went 3-for-5 for the Giants with three RBIs.

As bad as Mahler was in Game Two, he was good in the dramatic Game Six.

The Braves scored in the first inning of Dave Dravecky, and Mahler made that run stand up a long time. He took a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning, when pinch-hitter Mike Aldrete led off with a double. Eddie Milner then walked. Mahler popped up Thompson. Lefty reliever Paul Assenmacher got Will Clark on a liner to second. Then came Garber, who retired Mitchell on a fly to center to end the threat.

Garber opened the ninth by walking Jeffrey Leonard, but the submariner induced Candy Maldonaldo to bounce into a double play. Garber was just one out from evening the series, but he couldn't close the deal. Brenly singled and Jose Uribe doubled him home to tie the game.

And in the bottom of the 10th, Garber hit Thompson with a pitch, gave up a base hit to Clark and, with two outs, surrendered the game -- and series -- ending hit to Leonard.

Scott Garrelts went two innings in relief for the win.

Reuschel's pitching brilliance was matched by Thompson, who was stellar in the field and went 10-for-26 at the plate with three runs and six RBIs. They are co-players of the series.

Pitcher availability for Round 2: Dravecky needs two games off.  Downs cannot pitch until Game Three. All other pitchers available.

Projected rotation: Reuschel-LaCoss-Dravecky-Downs-(Reuschel)-(LaCoss)-(Dravecky)

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