Monday, November 30, 2015

Paul bracket: Reds (09) defeat Pilots (69) in six games

Game One: 69 Pilots 11, 09 Reds 8
WP: Segui (1-2)
LP: K Wells (2-2)
Save: Locker (4)
HR: Mincher (4), Oyler (4)

Game Two: 09 Reds 8, 69 Pilots 5
WP: Harang (2-1)
LP: Brabender (2-3)
Save: Cordero (9)
HR: Hegan (6), L Nix (4), Bruce (4)

Game Three: 09 Reds 8, 69 Pilots 4
WP: Rhodes (1-0)
LP: O'Donoghue (3-1)
HR: Harper (1)

Game Four: 09 Reds 5, 69 Pilots 1
WP: M Maloney (1-0)
LP: Marshall (0-1)
HR: Bruce (5)

Game Five: 69 Pilots 15, 09 Reds 11
WP: O'Donoghue (4-1)
LP: Rhodes (1-1)
Save: Bouton (1)
HR: T Davis (1), Al Gonzalez (3), Bruce (6), Votto (6), Pagliaroni (2), Harper (2)

Game Six: 09 Reds 7, 69 Pilots 3
WP: Harang (3-1)
LP: Brabender (2-4)
Save: Cordero (10)
HR: Bruce (7), Votto (7), Harper (3)

The 2009 Cincinnati Reds had a grand time of it, hitting three grand slams and taking advantage of 13 Pilots errors to win this unlikely matchup for the Paul bracket title.

Game One, played in Cincinnati's Great American Park, was a slugfest that went to the Pilots. The Pilots scored three runs on four hits in the first inning; the Reds retaliated with two in their half of the inning and tied it in the second, The Pilots retook the lead with a five-run top of the third, Ray Oyler clubbing a three-run homer. That inning chased Bronson Arroyo, but he was taken off the hook by his teammates as they scored twice in their half of the inning, two more in the fourth and one more in the sixth, all off Diego Segui. With the score tied at 8 entering the seventh, Kip Wells relieved for the Reds. He retired the leadoff hitter, but then Tommy Harper walked and stole second. Mike Hegan doubled him home, and out out later Don Mincher homered for a three-run lead. John Gelnar and Bob Locker combined for three innings of scoreless relief. Mincher was 5-for-5 with three runs, three RBIs and a steal.

Hegan's two-run homer put the Pilots ahead in Game Two before Aaron Harang retired a batter, but the Reds took the lead off Gene Brabender in the bottom of the inning on Laynce Nix's grand slam. The two teams traded runs in the fourth, and Jay Bruce homered in the fifth for a 6-3 lead. The Pilots scored twice in the sixth, but the Reds added single runs in the sixth and seventh. Nix had five RBIs, while Brandon Phillips, Bruce and Ramon Hernandez each scored twice.

The tied series moved to Seattle and Sick's Stadium for Game Three. Cincy starter Johnny Cueto walked five men in the Pilots' three-run third and nine (plus a hit batter) in his five innings of work. George Brunet carried a 4-2 lead into the seventh, when his own error put two one with two outs for reliever John O'Donoughue. It didn't work. Joey Votto singled home one run, and the tying run scored on a passed ball by Jim Pagliaroni. Phillips and Johnny Gomes walked to load the bases, Jerry Hariston Jr. singled for two runs and Bruce doubled in two more. Jared Burton and Wells combined for three innings of one-hit ball to wrap up the comeback win.

Matt Maloney, activated for the first time, had the best start of the series in Game Four, allowing four hits in the complete game win. The Pilots reached him for a first inning run (John Kennedy walked, stole second and scored on Wayne Comer's single) but got only two other men in scoring position. Bruce hit a three-run homer in the fifth off Mike Marshall, who was the eighth starter deployed by the Pilots in the series.

The Reds looked for much of Game Five as if they were about to wrap up the series. The Pilots started Gelnar, who entered the game with a 1.32 ERA for the tournament, but the Reds tattooed him for six runs in the first inning, climaxed by a grand slam by Alex Gonzalez. (Two Pilots errors meant four of the runs were unearned). The Pilots scored one in the bottom of the first and two in the second on Tommy Harper's homer. The Reds bombed Steve Barber for four more runs in the fourth to make it 10-3, with Phillips plating two runs with a single and Bruce following with a homer. But Harper and Comer drove in three runs in the home half of the inning to make it 10-6. Votto's solo shot in the sixth gave the Reds an 11-6 lead, but John Donaldson singled in two runs in the bottom the seventh to make it 11-8. Arthur Rhodes entered for the eighth inning. Steve Whitaker led off with a single, Harper reached on an error by center fielder Chris Dickerson. Mike Hegan singled home Whitaker, and Comer plated Harper with a sac fly.  Tommy Davis homered to put Seattle ahead, Steve Hovley walked and Pagliaroni homered for a cushion.

The Reds had to go back home to clinch, and that they did. For only the second time in the series, neither team scored in the first inning. Indeed, Brabender and Harang matched scoreless frames for five innings, with Brabender hold the Reds hitless for 17 outs. Alex Taveras walked with one out in the bottom of the sixth, stole second and went to third on Votto's ground ball. Phillips tripled for the Reds first hit and the go-head run, and Bruce homered for the fourth time in the series and for the third straight game. Barber relieved for the seventh inning, but a pair of errors helped load the bases with two outs for Votto, and he hit a grand slam for a 7-0 lead. The Pilots scored three in eighth to chase Harang, but Rhodes and Cordero got the final four outs without further damage.

Player of the Series: Jay Bruce was 11-for-22 with seven runs and 13 RBIs, including four homers.

Player availability: Harang cannot start until Game Three. Maloney will not be active.

Projected rotation: Arroyo-Cueto-Harang-Owing or Bailey-(Arroyo)-(Cueto)-(Harang).

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