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Game 1: Cole vs Carrasco

On the first pitch of the game Moooookie Betts hit a HR to give the Pads a 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until Bryce Harper doubled it with a two out CLUTCH double off of David Hernandez.
With two outs in the 9th, Christian Yelich hit a solo shot to make it 2-1, but Cole finished the CG three hitter by getting JT Ralmuto to hit into a 6-3 groundout.
SD 2 HST 1
WP: G. Cole
LP: C. Carrasco
GAME 2: Foltynewicz vs Castillo
Before the game Yelich came down with flue-like symptoms – he’d have to play with rust.
The Padres got off to a quick start after Foltynewicz – an 80 error – threw Harper’s infield single into right field trying to make a play that wasn’t there and allowing Betts to scoot home from first.
Andy Simmons tied it up in the bottom of the second with an RBI single.
In the top of the 4th Foltynewicz sailed a pitch and grabbed his arm – he’d be forced to leave the game after just 3.7 innings. With the bases loaded Zack Wheeler came into face Luis Castillo – Garry decided to keep with his starter, and Wheeler induced a fly-out to keep it tied.
In the bottom of the inning with a man on second and two outs the Greys decided to lift Wheeler and go with PH Mason Williams who got his latest in a series of big hits to drive home Bradley Jr., 2-1 Greys.
Bradley Jr. them homered in the 6th and Brandon Nimmo hit a double that scored a pinch running Franmil Reyes, but Joey Votto was thrown out at home to end the inning and keep the score 4-1 Greys.
The Pads threatened in the 8th – with two outs Brian Anderson and Christian Vasquez hit singles, but Craig Kimbrel K’d Marwin Gonzalez to end the threat,

In the 9th Joakim Soria walked the lead-off hitter, Roman Quinn,  and then Anthony Rizzo to put runners at first and second with no outs but K’d Harper and induced Trevor Story into a ground out to second and the game was over.
NOTE: During the game Tucker Barnhart was forced to leave do to a foul tip.
HST 4 SD 1 (series tied 1-1)
WP: C. Kimbrel
LP: L. Castillo
SV: J. Soria
GAME 3: K. Freeland vs A. Sanchez
Before the game the Padres announced that with the day off, Barnhart was able to return to the line-up, but Homestead dropped a bomb – Mike Foltynewicz, owner of a 1.22 ERA in the regular season, and a 1.10 ERA in the playoffs was out for the rest of the season.
The Greys DL’d Folty and called up JAM reliever Fernando Rodney to take his place.
The Padres scored first yet again by sending eight men to the plate in the bottom of the third, but left the bases loaded and scored “only” two runs. One of the key blows was a RBI double by Mookie Betts that came after Simmons and Mark Canha collided, Canha stayed in the game, but Simmons was forced to leave.
An inning later the Greys went Votto single, Nimmo single, Yelich three-run jack and they took the lead 3-2
But the Padres went back at it in the bottom of the 4th – again sending eight men to the plate, scoring four and chasing Sanchez to take a 6-3 lead.
Ryan Goins, doubled to lead off the Homestead 5th, but was thrown out at home on a Jose Ramirez would be sac-fly to end the inning.
The Greys put two men on in the 6th and 7th as well, but couldn’t crack the Padres pen. Marwin Gonzalez added an RBI single late to make the final…
SD 7 HST 3 (SD leads 2-1)
WP: J. Hader
LP: A. Sanchez
GAME 4: Rodriguez vs Wheeler
Before the game the Greys announced Simmons would be able to play, but the Pads revealed that Rizzo had caught the flu and would be using rust rules.
San Diego scored first for the fourth game in a row after Betts singled, stole second and scored on, flu-ridden Rizzo’s second hit of the game.
Two innings later it was Harper with the RBI single that knocked in Eduardo Rodrigues (who had walked). 2-0 Friars.
In the top of the 6th the Greys tied it up. Cesar Hernandez and Franmil Reyes both had one out singles, and Yelich plated them both with a double.
In the 7th the Greys went ahead against Rodriguez — Aguilar hit a double and then Mark Canha mashed a two run homer. 4-2 HST.
An Elias Diaz homer in the 8th gave the Greys the final margin of victory as five relievers combined for four innings of no-hit relief.
HST 5 SD 2 (Series tied at 2)
WP: F. Rodney
LP: E. Rodriquez
SV: J. Soria
GAME 5: Cole vs Carrasco
The last game in San Diego looked similar to game 1. Betts hit the first pitch he saw for a solo home-run in the bottom of the first to make it 1-0, a batter later Harper did the same thing and it was 2-0 San Diego.
The Greys battled back though, Carrasco worked a walk with one out in the third, and Joey Votto lined a shot into the seats to make it 2-2.
Carrasco was struggling though and in the bottom of the 4th he gave up back-to-back hits to Anderson and Barnhart, setting up an RBI Suicide Squeeze by Marwin Gonzalez.
In the top of the 5th Brandon Nimmo went yard and it was 3-3.
In the top of the 7th with two on and two out, JT Realmuto found one of the very few doubles on Cole’s card and put Homestead up 5-3.
In the bottom of the inning the Greys forgot to change their defense, which ended up with 5 error rating Jose Ramirez still at second – with two outs and one on, Ramirez booted a grounder, tiring out JAM Carrasco (who had finally found a groove). In came Craig Kimbrel to face Ben Gamel and the burly RH K’d the former Grey to keep it 5-3.
That screw-up paid off, as Jesus Aguilar, who would have come out defensively hit a lead-off double, and two batters later pinch runner Cesar Hernandez scored on another RBI PH single by Mason Williams to give the Greys their final margin of victory.
HST 6 SD 3 (HST leads 3-2)
WP: C. Carrasco
LP: G, Cole
SV: J. Soria
GAME 6: Hardy vs Castillo
Hardy, forced into a start by the Folteynwicz injury, allowed the Padres to open the scoring for the SIXTH consecutive game as, after walking Rizzo and Harper, he served a meatball up to Storey who made it 3-0.
In the bottom of the frame, Castillo got two quick outs before Yelich hammered a 480 foot deep drive to make it 3-1. Then Rizzo booted a ball at first base – just the second error of the series for the sure handed Friars. Jose Ramirez followed by yanking a DD of his own just out down the right field line to tie the game at 3. A Hernandez walk, was followed by a Bradley Jr RBI double, who was in turn doubled home by Simmons on a 400 ft DD, and it was 5-3 Greys — all but one of the runs being unearned.
After that both hurlers settled in – Castillo retired 8 of his last 10 – including a key caught stealing of Jose Ramirez. Hardy yielded only two more base-runners before leaving after five and a third – his replacement, Brad Peacock, worked into and then out of a two-on jam.
Homestead fans started singing as Franmil Reyes hit a two-run pinch hit single off of Felipe Vazquez in the 7th, but a hush fell over the crowd in the 8th as, with two on, Brandon Nimmo’s deep drive eluded Mookie Betts for a bases-clearing double. Betts would lie motionless on the field before being helped up – the Greys crowd gave the star OF’er a standing ovation as he was carted off the field.
Soria came in to close out the game, pitching a three up and three down ninth and the Greys are World Series Champions!
HST 9 SD 3
WP: B. Hardy
LP: L. Castillo
Mookie Betts was named World Series MVP – despite playing for the losing team after putting up a .385/.429/.654 with six runs, and three rbis, narrowly edging out Christian Yelich’s .333/.333/.630 with four runs and 7 rbis.
A big congratulations to Garry who gave me my toughest series of the year – it was only the second time this charmed team of mine trailed in a series after one game. Both Game 3 and 4 turned on the tiniest of moments – and if either had gone the other way, and they could have easily, Garry is probably walking around with his second trophy.
As always he was a real pleasure to chat about the game with – and given what he told me about his team for next year, I’d say all I did was keep him from pulling a Steve Carter and winning two in a row.
It was a crazy season — I was at once fortunate – a team ERA of 2.56 is obviously lucky – and cursed — injuries saw only of one of my starters top 90 innings, meant only four hitters reached the 65 game mark and the season ending loss of Robinson Cano, though forseeable, was a major hurdle.
In the end, I’m proud of how I put together and managed the team, and was able to win – whether through luck or skill – against so many great players: the defending champion Jays, Tim’s 51-win juggernaut, a mid-season date with the Orioles that was just as tough as the world series, and as always, the Jenkins division which forces you to bring your A game every series.
Oh, and to the aforementioned Mr. Carter? That’s two in a row for the junior circuit.
See you all at the auction!