Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ringo bracket: Blue Jays (87) sweep White Sox (87)

Game One: Blue Jays 7, White Sox 5
WP: Key (1-0)
LP: F Bannister (0-1)
Save: Henke (1)
HR: G Bell 2 (2), C Fielder 2 (2), Hulett 1

Game Two: Blue Jays 8, White Sox 5 (12 innings)
WP: Henke (1-0)
LP: Winn (0-1)
HR: Barfield (1), G Bell (3), Boston (1)

Game Three: Blue Jays 5, White Sox 3
WP: Musselman (1-0)
LP: DeLeon (0-1)
Save: Henke (2)
HR: Fisk (1), Calderon (1)

Game Four: Blue Jays 3, White Sox 1
WP: P Niekro (1-0)
LP: LaPoint (0-1)
Save: Nunez (1)

An impenetrable Toronto bullpen provided 13.6 shutout innings in the Blue Jays sweep of the Chicago White Sox.

George Bell and Cecil Fielder each clubbed a pair of home runs in the opener against Floyd Bannister, going bck-to-back in the third inning. Jimmy Key pitched into the seventh but was touched for five runs. Mark Eichorn got him out of the seventh with a double play.

Chicago led Game Two 5-2 after three innings, but the Jays chipped away while Jeff Musselman fred three scoreless innings in relief of Jim Clancy. The Jays tied it in the ninth off Bobby Thigpen when Ozzie Guillen couldn't get the double play on Rance Mulliniks. Eichorn threw two shutout innings, then Henke added another before Jesse Barfield clubbed a three-run homer off Jim Winn in the bottom of the 12th.

The series shifted to Old Comiskey for Game Three, and a pair of fifth-inning homers from Ivan Calderon and Carlton Fisk gave the Sox a 3-1 lead against Dave Stieb. But Toronto scored twice in the sixth, aided by Jose DeLeon's error, and broke through for single runs in the eighth and ninth. Musselman, Eichorn and Henke combined for three innings of one-hit, no-run relief.

The Jays turned to venerable knuckleballer Phil Niekro for Game Four, and he threw seven scoreless innings. Toronto broke through against lefty Dave LaPoint for three runs in the fourth, with a Guillen error proving crucial in the rally. Guillen knocked Niekro out with an RBI triple in the eighth, but Jose Nunez entered to strand Guillen at third. Nunez stuck out three and allowed just a walk in two innings for the save and the sweep.

George Bell hit three homers in the series, and Guillen hit three triples at the bottom of the Chicago order, but the players of the series were the four Toronto relievers: Musselman, Eichorn, Henke and Nunez.

Pitcher availability: All Toronto pitchers will be fully rested for the second round. Projected rotation: Key-Clancy-Stieb-XX-(Key)-(Clancy)-(Stieb). Original plan was to replace Niekro with Mike Flanagan in the second round; Niekro may now remain in the rotation.

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