Marty Fiehl – (During the offseason,) Diana's mom passed (away on December 8th.)
Comfort Care is a wonderful thing, and I know she was feeling no pain and went peacefully.
Before then, every breath she took was a struggle.
We were all with her last night, along with Diana's brother and my sister, so she was not alone.
Bob Braun – A weekend visit to Endwell was part of the Thanksgiving celebration in the late 70’s/early 80’s. I recall waking early on Saturday and having coffee with Gramma. I would read the local newspaper and make jokes about the news. Gramma didn’t laugh, but she would talk with me - something Marty says she didn’t do with anyone else. She was a tough old bird; reminded me much of my own immigrant ancestors. I guess that’s why I liked her.
Bob Wood - The Scranton Spanish Flies and Bradenton Buckeyes squared off the 87th TCBA World Series (41st in Today) on the wide screen in Grantville, Pennsylvania before a standing room only crowd
Tom "Lefty" Meade opened the festivities with a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner that even Francis Scott Key would have loved.
The series began in Bradenton's Shaffer Stadium with Aaron Harang on the mound for the Buckeyes. Scranton countered with Zack Grienke in what most thought was a certain mismatch.
Harang survived a 1-out 1st inning walk to give Bradenton at least one at bat without trailing. Grienke struck out the side in his first inning, surviving a 1-out Jhonny Peralta double in the process.
Harang pitched a perfect 2nd, fanning one hitter and Grienke rose to the challenge, fanning two in his perfect frame.
Brandon Crawford led off the Span 3rd with a single, advancing on Grienke's sacrifice. Dexter Fowler, who would have a wonderful series, followed with a single to right that put runners on the corners. Carpenter singled to open the scoring, 1-0. Cano then singled into the dreaded 9-2-6 double play to end the half inning as Scranton had little but the lead to show for a 4-hit half inning.
Grienke pitched another perfect half inning, fanning two more Buckeyes to raise his total to 7 K's in 3 innings.
Mesoraco led off the Span 4th with a home run, 2-0, before Harang retired the next three hitters.
Grienke got a ground out and his 8th strike out before Kyle Seager connected with a home run to give Bradenton some hope, reducing the deficit to 2-1. Drew Stubbs followed with a double, but a ground ball ended the inning.
Dexter Fowler's 2-out single in
the top of the 5th produced no harm.
Billy Hamillton led off the Buckeye half with a base hit. Bradenton had stolen 29 bases in 32 tries against Rochester's TH+2 catcher and Hamilton wasted no time in testing Devin Mesoraco's TH-0 arm. Ernie makes the call
HAMILTON bluffs going ... the runner's
going ... swing and a miss ... MESORACO fires to second
Back in the routine, Grienke got a strikeout and ground out to end the inning.
In the 6th, Harang was perfect, fanning one and getting two long fly ball outs. Grienke quickly fanned two more Bucks in another perfect inning, giving him 11 strikeouts already.
Phil Coke took the mound for Bradenton to start the 7th inning. Harang will hope to be ready for a 4th game as the Buckeyes have to scramble without Grade 12 Wily Peralta (15 game injury).
Justin Morneau greeted the southpaw with a 2-base hit. A long fly to left and a long fly to center brought Grienke to the plate. Coke walked him and then took a long walk of his own to the clubhouse, relieved by Blaine Boyer, who turned Dexter Fowler around at the plate and coaxed an inning ending pop out.
Kyle Seager, producer of the only Bradenton run thus far, lifted a foul pop up. It fell out of Mesoraco's reach. Given a 2nd chance, Kyle singled. As he did before, Drew Stubbs followed Seager's hit with a double, this one tying the game as Seager was on the run, 2-2. Stubbs, who was perfect in steals against the Cheetahs, broke for 3rd base, only to be gunned out by Mesoraco! Rosales beat out an infield roller and was replaced by Craig Gentry. Gentry registered the first stolen base of the series for Bradenton, then watched as Hamilton popped out. With 2 outs, Gentry caught Grienke napping and stole 3rd base. Grienke pitched from the stretch as Kennys Vargas pinch hit. Fowler chased down the drive to end the 7th, tied at 2-2.
Mesaroco singled with 2 outs in the Span 8th to no effect.
Bradenton hit for Coke in their half, but could only produce a 2-out walk to Peralta.
In the top of the 9th, Sam Freeman took the mound for Bradenton to throw a 1-2-3 frame. Scranton did a double switch with Aaron Loup taking the mound. Grienke ended the day with 11 strikeouts in 8 innings of work, but no decision. Loup began his perfect inning with a strikeout.
On to extra innings. After a lead off strike out, Fowler doubled. Two line shots were gloved in the outfield to end the inning.
Leadoff man Billy Hamilton drew a walk. Scranton replaced Loup on the mound with Brandon League. Off went Hamilton to the races, but Mesoraco surprised everyone with yet another perfect throw, the 3rd Buckeye he caught stealing today, matching Rochester's total for the semi-final series! A pinch hitter for Freeman didn't help the cause as League quickly got his two outs to end the inning.
In the 11th, Brad Boxberger took the mound for Bradenton. Mesoraco led off with a walk - the PITA! Yelich popped up a bunt, but Jennings drew a walk, putting two men on with one man out. Ender Inciarte was sent to the plate to hit for League. Bradenton called Dale Thayer from the bullpen to face him. While it wasn't Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance, the Bucks settled for a 4-6-3 GDP to end the threat.
Danny Farquhar relieved for Scranton and was perfect. Thayer matched him in the top of the 12th. Travis Ishiwaka drew a 2-out walk for Bradenton, but the Buckeyes were out of bullets and couldn't run with the N-rated 1st baseman. A fly out sent the teams to the lucky 13th inning.
Who is this guy? With 2 outs, Mesoraco doubled, but Yelich popped out to end the half inning. In the bottom of the 13th, Carlos Ruiz drew a lead off walk. With 26 chances, the Buckeye catcher took off the 2nd base. Mesoraco threw him out! His 4th OS of the day. Bradenton is now 2-for-6 in stolen base attempts. Two more quick outs and the game advanced into the 14th inning.
Cory Rasmus relieved for the Buckeyes. Scranton pinch hit for Farquhar but went out in order 1-2-3.
Then the crowd was blessed with a surprise performance. As reliever Tyler Clippard took his warm up tosses, Tom "Lefty" Meade entertained the audience with a "second 7th inning stretch" rendering an outstanding version of "God Bless America"
Jhonny Peralta lifted a pop up in front of the plate. Having left his Big Red S in the dugout, Mesoraco proved human after all and muffed it. Torii Hunter, the ancient warrior delivered a perfect hit & run to put runners on the corners with no one out. Hunter advance to 2nd base when Seager bounced out to Belt at 1st base. Runners on 2nd and 3rd with only one man out. With the infield in, Drew Stubbs lifted the ball into right field. Yelich was racing in, but Peralta attempted to tag. Hunter tried to draw the throw to 3rd, but Mesoraco applied the tag in time to end the inning.
On to the 15th. With one out, Fowler soloed to break the 2-2 tie that had lasted since the 7th inning. Billy Hamilton caught the next two fly balls to end the inning, but was out on strikes leading off the home half. Clippard then fanned the Buckeye battery of Ruiz and Rasmus to wrap up a classic opener.
SO 3-11-1 WP-Tyler Clippard (1-0)
BR 2- 9-0 LP-Cory Rasmus (0-1) 15 innings
Forced by injuries and fatigue to start Grade 5 Marco Estrada, Bradenton had no chance in Game 2. It was 4-0 before they got to bat and 10-1 after 3 frames. With the bullpen shot, Estrada took one for the team. Marco couldn't finish however, getting pulled in the 9th with a season ending injury (9 days). Mesoraco hit THREE home runs and was joined by Matt Carpenter and Justin Morneau. Bradenton had a little fun in the 9th, scoring six times to make it look closer than it was, and actually stole two more bases (Drew Stubbs)
SO 14-18-2 WP-Julio Teheran (1-0)
BR 8- 9-1 LP-Marco Estrada (0-1)
The series shifted to Scranton and everyone expected a pitcher's duel as Adam Wainwright and Jake Arrieta took the mound. Well, Arrieta pitched like Arrietta in August. Wainwright pitched like Arrieta against the Mets in October. Adam gave up 8 hits and 3 walks in just 2 innings of work Fowler had 4 hits, Cano had 3 rbi and it would have been a lot worse, had not Marty Fiehl stopped runner after runner at the hot corner with 2 outs, stranding a total of 13 men.
BR 2- 3-2 LP-Adam Wainwright (0-1)
SO 11-15-0 WP-Jake
With their backs to the wall, Bradenton changed the master plan and asked Masahiro Tanaka to pitch, rather than Aaron Harang. The Buckeyes were rewarded with a 3-hit shutout as they avoided the sweep. Tanaka fanned FOURTEEN while walking just one batter. Seager hit his 2nd homer of the set and Torii Hunter had a 3-hit day.
BR 6-8-0 WP-Masahiro Tanaka (1-0)
SO 0-3-0 LP-Matt Garza (0-1)
Bradenton still had their back to the wall, but hoped to
at least get back to Shaffer Stadium with a win in Game Five. It would
be a rematch of the opener as Aaron Harang and Zack
Grienke took the mound, but no one anticipated another
Scranton took the lead in the 2nd inning when Mesoraco hit his 5th homer of the series. Morneau stroked his 2nd homer to make it 2-0.
Jhonny Peralta homered for the Bucks in the 3rd, 2-1, and Bradenton tied the game with a 4th inning run. Seager drew a lead-off walk in the 7th, then scored on Hunter's double, 3-2. Hunter eventually scored on a Rivera SF for an insurance run. Seager stole home in the 9th to send the Buckeyes back to Shaffer Stadium.
BR 5-4-1 WP-Aaron Harang (1-0)
SC 0-3-0 LP-Zack Grienke (0-1)
It would be Wainwright versus Teheran in Game Six as Jake Arrieta prepared for a possible 7th game.
Fowler scored the game's first
run before Wainwright retired a batter. Fowler scored his 2nd run in
the 3rd on a 2-run single by Cano. Fowler scored his 3rd run on
Morneau's single in the 7th. That gave Fowler as many runs as Bradenton
had hits as the Spanish Flies won their 9th Today Championship.
BR 0- 3-0 LP-Adam Wainwright (0-2)