Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ringo bracket: Expos (87) defeat Cubs (87) in six games

Game One: Cubs 7, Expos 4
WP: Sutcliffe (1-0)
LP: De. Martinez (0-1)
Save: L Smith (1)
HR: Palmeiro (1), Durham (1)

Game Two: Expos 5, Cubs 3
WP: Heaton (1-0)
LP: Maddux (0-1)
Save: McGaffigan (1)
HR: Raines (1), Trillo (1)

Game Three: Cubs 5, Expos 4
WP: L Smith (1-0)
LP: Parrett (0-1)
HR: J Davis (1), Wallach (1)

Game Four: Expos 10, Cubs 2
WP: Perez (1-0)
LP: Trout (0-1)
HR: Raines (2), Palmeiro (2), Wallach (2)

Game Five: Expos 5, Cubs 1 (10 innings)
WP: McGaffigan (1-0)
LP: Lynch (0-1)
HR: Raines (3)

Game Six: Expos 3, Cubs 1
WP: Heaton (2-0)
LP: Maddux (0-2)
Save: Burke (1)

Pitching depth told in the end for the Montreal Expos, as the Chicago Cubs just didn't have enough front-line hurlers to compete.

The Cubs plated four runs in the first three innings against Dennis Martinez in the opener. Les Lancaster provided three innings of shutout relief when Rick Sutcliffe left after just five innings. The big blow came from Rafael Palmeiro, who hit a three run homer in the third.

Les Expos evened the series in the second game with a heavily left-handed lineup against the rookie Greg Maddux. Tim Raines homered in the first inning, and Neal Heaton was strong through six innings before yielding a two-run pinch-hit homer to Manny Trillo in the seventh. Andy McGaffigan held the Cubs hitless in the final two frames to nail down the win.

The series moved to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Jamie Moyer turned a 4-2 lead over to the bullpen after seven innings, but Dickie Noles, after getting two outs in the top of the eighth, gave up a homer to Tim Wallach, a single to Vance Law and a game-tying double to Hubie Brooks. But Montreal reliever Jeff Parrett was greeted in the bottom of the ninth by Jody Davis's game-winning homer.

In Game Four, the Expos landed Steve Trout with a five-run fourth inning, and scored in six of the nine frames. Brooks smacked three doubles, and Mitch Webster drove in three runs. Four Expos pitchers combined to hold the Cubs to two runs.

The pivotal Game Five was quite the contest. Sufcliffe threw five perfect innings to open the game, and Martinez kept the Cubs off the board himself until the seventh, when Jim Sundberg opened the inning with a base hit and Shawon Dunston singled him to third. With no outs, the Expos played for the double play, and got it from pinch-hitter Palmeiro, but the run scored.

Lee Smith entered in pursuit of a two-inning save and worked around a hit and an error to escape the eighth. The big fireballer got the first two men in the top of the ninth as well, but then Wallach singled and Law doubled him to third. Brooks singled home Wallach to tie the score. Dave Martinez threw out Law at the plate to end the inning, but Smith was done. After McGaffigan tossed a scoreless ninth for Montreal, Ed Lynch relieved for the Cubs, and the Expos clubbed him for four runs, capped by Raines' two-run homer.

The Expos wrapped up the series in Game Six. Maddux again struggled against a lefty-laden lineup, allowing three runs in the first three innings. Heaton held the Cubs scoreless through seven, and Bob McClure got him out of an eighth-inning jam. Tim Burke nailed it down with a scoreless ninth.

Wallach had a huge series, going 11-for23 with six RBIs and five runs and six extra base hits for player of the series honors.

Pitcher availability: Heaton cannot pitch until Game Three. All other Expos pitchers will be available for the start of the second round.

Projected rotation: De. Martinez-B. Smith-Heaton-Perez-(Martinez)-(Smith)-(Heaton)

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