In an advance "Happy 10th-year Anniversary of the 2001 World Series" The Snake Showcase is back, with the second series in the First Round. For this series, the aforementioned 2001 World Champion Diamondbacks take on the Dead-pen 2010 Diamondbacks. Many (exactly half) pick the World Champs to sweep, and another 45% pick the World Champs to lose just once on the way to the Second Round.
I think Ian Kennedy, Chris Young and company have something to say about that.
UPDATED 10/26/11 8:15pmThe Tourney is underway with one Series already in the books. Now it's time for a match-up featuring one of, if not thee most hallowed team in Arizona Sports history. Here is a quick update of the bracket so far:
This Series is highlighted by what should be spectacular pitching matchups for at least the first three games. Lets take a look at the teams:
2010 Arizona Diamondbacks (65 - 97)
|1 Chris B. Young||584||27||91||28||.257||.341||.452|
|2 Kelly Johnson||585||26||71||13||.284||.370||.496|
|3 Justin Upton||495||17||69||18||.273||.356||.442|
|4 Adam LaRoche||560||25||100||0||.261||.320||.468|
|5 Miguel Montero||297||9||43||0||.266||.332||.438|
|6 Mark Reynolds||499||32||85||7||.198||.320||.433|
|7 Stephen Drew||565||15||61||10||.278||.352||.458|
|8 Gerardo Parra||364||3||30||1||.261||.308||.371|
And the Starting Rotation for 2010:
1. Ian Kennedy (3.80)
2. Daniel Hudson (1.69)
3. Barry Enright (3.91)
4. Joe Saunders (4.25)
5. Rodrigo Lopez (5.00)
The 2010 Diamondbacks were a mix a good, bad, and hair-pulling moments. Being still a fresh-wound in our collective minds I probably don't need to go too much into depth about our Bullpen. Besides them being one of the worst all time, there were some positives about our team The experiment-formerly-known-as A.J. Hinch was canned, along with Josh Byrnes. Also in the season was the Edwin Jackson no-hitter against Tampa Bay. This season was best known for setting up the season we just witnessed, such as forming the one-two punch of Kennedy and Hudson, Gibby as Manager, and KT as GM. Unfortunately the season itself turned to be terrible, with the Dbacks finishing in the cellar of the NL West.
2001 Arizona Diamondbacks (92 - 70)
|1 Tony Womack||481||3||30||28||.266||.307||.345|
|2 Jay Bell||428||13||46||0||.248||.349||.400|
|3 Luis Gonzalez||609||57||142||1||.325||.429||.688|
|4 Matt Williams||408||16||65||1||.275||.314||.466|
|5 Mark Grace||476||15||78||1||.298||.386||.466|
|6 Reggie Sanders||441||33||90||14||.263||.337||.549|
|7 Steve Finley||495||14||73||11||.275||.337||.430|
|8 Damian Miller||380||13||47||0||.271||.337||.424|
And the Starting Rotation for '01:
1. Curt Schilling (2.98)
2. Randy Johnson (2.49)
3. Brian Anderson (5.20)
4. Albie Lopez (4.00)
5. Robert Ellis (5.77)
6. Armando Reynoso (5.98)
(What annoys me is how there is no option for Miguel Bautista (11-8 3.36) to be used as a starting pitcher. I guess he's on full reliever duties)
No need to recap the 2001 Diamondbacks, although it's interesting to point out there are points where this team struggled, and statistically they aren't the strongest team in the bracket. To counter that point, they still have Schilling and Johnson 1 and 2. In this 5 game series that could very well be a death sentence for the 2010 team.
I predict a Game 3 win for the 2010 team, but they lose Game 4 to fall 3-1. Game time.
Series 2 (10 at 01) Game 1: Schilling kicks off the Series against Rising Ace IPK
For the first two innings Schilling is a tad sloppy, but effective. After a lead-off double by Montero in the 2nd, he is able to walk free with a flyout and 2 Ks. His Opponent-in-arms Kennedy is less lucky; After a flyout courtesy of Matt Williams, he walks two before allowing a Miller double to Right that scores both Grace and Sanders. 2001 on top 2-0.
The 2010 Dbacks wouldn't let that lead stand. In the Top Third, they strike after two Infield singles by the 'Playboys' C.Y. and J-Up is quickly followed by a flyball double to Right by Adam LaRoche. This tie would not last an inning, as Womack doubles to lead off, and is later driven in by Mark Grace. 3 to 2 '01 leading.
Apparently this back and forth just pisses the 2010 team off. In the top of the 4th, Drew leads off with a single. With that, 2 critical plays of the game occur. Parra grounds a ball up the middle for what should be a double play, but Parra is able to beat the throw. The next batter IPK grounds a ball weakly to Miller, but Miller decides to try and gun down Parra at 2nd. This backfires as he makes a terrible throw to put runners on 2B and 3B. With two free outs given to the 2010 team, they make the Champs pay with a bases clearing double by Young. The inning isn't quite over. The very next batter Kelly Johnson, highlights more defensive woes by hitting an 2 run inside-the-park homerun to the rightfield corner. 2010 now has a commanding lead at 6 to 3
Chris Young continues his hot game with a single that scores Parra in the sixth, to increase the lead 7 to 3. The 2001 team can't seem to get anything started, and when a rally is in place Kennedy is able to escape with no damage. To the ninth inning-
Schilling is still working in the ninth, and is well passed 100 pitches. With only one more out to get from a complete game, Reynolds chases him from the ballgame with a solo homerun to the pole in right. His final line: 8.2IP 13H 8R 7ER 2BB 13SO 2HR with 148 pitches (ERA at 7.27).
Heilman, off a scoreless 8th, starts the ninth. Adam LaRoche allows Miller to reach after his own error. Durazo, pinch hitting, doubles moving two men into scoring position. Womack flies out to the track to score Miller, and prompt Gibby to bring in Qualls to finish the game.... Surprisingly Qualls strikes out Bell and forces a .325 average Gonzo to ground out
W: I. Kennedy (1-0) L C. Schilling (0-1) MVP: C. Young: 4-5 2B 3RBIs 2R LVP: L. Gonzalez 0-5 1K 5LOB
details on Game 1 here
Series 2 (10 at 01) Game 2: The Big Unit needs a great game to tie the Series up
('10:R.Ryal in for G. Parra. '01: For some reason the sim wouldn't let me switch up Counsell and Bell)
This Series is starting to surprise me, and this game is no different. The first runs to come across the board are by the 2001 team in the First and Second innings. In the first, Gonzalez gets his first hit of the Series by Tripling. Hudson, feeling the pressure, balks, scoring Gonzo. In the second, Grace homers to Center to put the '01 team up 2-0.
The 2010 team would strike for another big inning against the other Co-WS MVP. After two strikeouts, Johnson walks Chris Young. In a matchup of RJ vs KJ, Kelly Johnson adds to his sudden running ability streak by tripling to score Young from first. Upton is walked to set the runners-on-the-corners table for LaRoche, who singles to keep the rally alive and tie the game at 2. Montero waits for a pitch to hit and it pays off; he sends a deep bomb to Right to take the lead at 5-2.
Meanwhile, Daniel Hudson has started to gain total command of his pitches. From the 3rd to 6th innings, all the 2001 could manage in offense was one single by Womack. The 2010 seems to be done with its offense production, as Johnson attempts to keep his team in the game. In the 7th, Reggie Sanders hits a deep solo homerun to close the gap at 2. We are about to see the first true test for the 2010 Bullpen:
In the 8th, Heilman is brought in for a critical hold. He immediately allows a single to Miller. Durazo is brought as a pinch hitter for RJ, and too singles to center. With two on and no outs, Heilman strikes out Womack, then forces a quick 4-6-3 Double Play to end the inning. With only 13 pitches, Heilman causes one quick scary inning, but keeps the lead.
I think the sim has switched the 2001 and 2010 teams, because its the 2001 bullpen that coughs up late runs. Prinz is brought in for the Top 9th, and gathers two outs- at the expense of two runners on base. Troy Brohawn is brought to gather the final out, but fails utterly and compleatly: Upton doubles, scoring two, and LaRoche caps off the inning with a two-run homer to right-center. It's now 9 to 3 in favor of the under-dog 2010 team.
now immediately starts to blow the game with a. Qualls closes the door with a 1-2-3 inning, posting another scoreless inning for that bullpen. The World Champions are now on the brink of elimination
W: D. Hudson (1-0) L R. Johnson (0-1) MVP: D. Hudson 7IP 4H 3ER 0BB 9Ks 2HRs LVP: Top three 2001 hitters: 2-12 4Ks 5LOB (Womack, Bell, Gonzo)
Details on Game 2 here
Series 2 (01 at 10) Game 3: Series shifts to Chase as 2010 looks to stun with a sweep
(Counsell in for Bell, Ryal still in for Parra)
So the Series for the World Champs rests in the hands of Brian Anderson, although this game soon proves to be a slug-fest. The teams trade homeruns in the second, a solo shot for Grace and a 2-run blast by Reynolds. In the bottom 3rd, LaRoche hits the team's second two run homerun to put the score at 4-1 2010.
2001 decides to answer back with two more homeruns in the 4th; a solo shot by Gonzo and a Sanders 2-run shot to tie the game at 4 a piece. 5 homeruns in only 4 innings. Out of the two starters Enright only stays in for 4 innings while Anderson for 5. Which bullpen will give up the game?
We go to the 7th, game still knotted up at 4. 2001 hits hard. After Heilman loads the bases, Qualls is brought in to gather the last out. Sanders clears the bases with one swing. Qualls walks Finley, then Miller tacks on with a RBI single. Qualls is replaced by Esmerling Balkquez who ends the innning. 8-4 '01
Troy Brohawn is brought in for the bottom 7th, and the circle of crappy bullpen performances continue; He loads the bases without registering an out. He gets Young with a strike out, but Johnson drives in 1. Erik Sabel is brought in to stem the rally. Long story short, he can't. He ends the inning but not before he allows the 2010 team to tie the game with a Upton and Montero single. Credit him with a Blown Save.
Now tied at 8 we move to the 9th, where Edwin Jackson (!?!) is brought in to hold a tie game....He can't. He loads the bases, but does manage to get two outs. With Dellucci brought in for a pinch-hit, he clears the bases with a LCF double. To the bottom 9th 11-8
B.K is brought in and even he has to suffer some sort of abuse, as he gives up a solo shot to LaRoche (second of the game) before closing the door. 11-9 for '01
W: M. Morgan (1-0) L E. Jackson (0-1) Sv: B. Kim (1) BSV: E. Sabel (1) MVP: R. Sanders 3-5 5RBIs 1HR 3R LVP: Both bullpens, but more specifically Edwin Jackson
Details on Game 3 here
Series 2 (01 at 10) Game 4: Albie Lopez vs Joe Saunders, battle of the 4+ ERAs
The 2001 team is looking to send this series to Game 5, and just needs somewhat of a quality start out of Albie Lopez., and thats what they get. Both teams trade Zeros till the 4th, where 2010 will strike first.
With only one hit off Albie Lopez, the 2010 team gets things started with a Double by KJ and a Triple by Upton to score him. Upton will later score on a sacrifice fly from Montero that just barely beats the throw. 2-0
In the bottom half of the 5th, 2010 will tack on to their lead with a Young single that drives in Drew, but Lopez will get out of that inning stranding two. This sets up the first run scored for the 2001 offense. Saunders has been doing what he does best by stranding runners. Up till the 6th, he had 6 stranded runners without a run, until Damian Miller doubles to score Grace from second. 3-1 2010
With 9 outs to get and a two run lead, the 2010 would start to blow it late. In the top half of the 7th, after a Counsell single and Gonzo walk, 'Matt the Bat' Williams singles to bring in Counsell and knock Saunders from the game. In comes Heilman.... and he grabs out #2 from a Grace flyball. next at-bat however, Sanders drives in Gonzo to tie the game and send runners to the corners. With that, Heilman fans Finley and keeps the game at 3.
Qualls comes in for the Top 8th, and immediately becomes the stereotypical Qualls we know. Miller bloops a double to Right Center right off the bat, then he is scored by another pinch hit RBI from Durazo, as he doubles in Miller to take the lead for the 2001. Balkquez is brought in to hold it at a one run ballgame. He gets Womack to fly out, before allowing a single to Counsell. In a game-changing play, Durazo is waived home, but Ryal, pulling from his best possible Parrazooka impression by barely beating Durazo home with the throw. Gonzo would appear to negate this with a double right past Ryal scoring Counsell. Inning ends 5 -3 for 2001.
To the bottom half of the 8th, Troy Brohawn on the mound. Brohawn, in just 8 pitches, allows a Young single and a Johnson double before being replaced by.....Erik Sabel. Sabel allows a single to LaRoche that ties up the game 5-5. Sabel, with his team's future riding on this inning, gives up a double to Miguel Montero that scores Upton and LaRoche. Its 7 to 5, and Sabel is replaced by Morgan
2010 isn't done, tacking on one more with a Ryal single that scores Montero. Now to the 9th, 2001 down 8 to 5. Juan Gutierrez would make his first appearance in this inning, and facing Mark Grace. But unlike Mariano, Guti forces a groundout. 1 out. Sanders can't get anything started as well, also grounding out to first. 2 outs. Finley would give his World Champion one last gasp, with a double into the Right-Center gap. But Miller is unable to get the ball passed the infield, with a line-out to 2B. The 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks are done.
W: E. Vasquez (1-0) L: E. Sabel (0-1) Sv: J. Gutierrez (1) BSV: E. Sabel (2) MVP: M. Montero 2-3 3RBIs GW 2B LVP: E. Sabel 0IP 3H 3ER in 10 pitches
Details on Game 4 here
That's it. The first upset, and its against our beloved World Champion team. More upsetting, the team that gave us headaches was the one that did it. It's getting very late, and with a critical test tomorrow, i'll edit the post later today with the look-in to the next series, and the MVP/LVP. I only did slight proofreading, so please let me know about any errors or mistypes!
After crying myself to sleep last night after forcing myself not to rig the 2001 team to win, I was surprised to see how poorly the 2001 One-Two punch did in the Series. Combined they went 16.2IP and allowed 12 Earned Runs to the less-than-great 2010 offense. But here are the MVPs and LVPs:
Ian Kennedy(1-0) 7IP 6H 2ER 2BB 4Ks
Daniel Hudson(1-0) 7IP 4H 3ER 0BB 9Ks
Miguel Montero .412avg, 3 Doubles, HR, 2 game-winning go-ahead hits(Game Two 3-run HR and Game Four 2RBI 2B) as well as Game-tying 7th inning 2RBI single in Game Three
Erik Sabel(0-1) 0.2IP, 5 hits, 2 Blown Saves, 3ER, not including 4 inherited runners scoring (ERA 40.50)
Troy Brohawn: 3 appearances, 0.1IP, 7hits, 8R, 7ER, on just 28 pitches (ERA 189.00)
Steve Finley: .133avg, 2 hits 2Ks, 2BB, one for an infield single, and the other a 2B in the last inning of the Series(a tad late, Fins)
For last week's challenge, no one guessed the correct amount of wins (Only one in the poll guessed the correct outcome, props to him/her). I realize that the MVP/LVP guess a bit tough, so it'll be tweaked for Week 2. imstillhungry95 gained 5 points with the guess of 33 total runs, as the actual total was 44 for both teams. Jim gained 6 with his high ERA guess of 3.22, as their actual ERA was more than double than that at 6.48
Next week the 2007 'Anywhere, Anytime' Dbacks take on the Buck's 1998 Diamondbacks team. The pitching matchups for Game 2 and Game 3 are| D. Davis vs B. Anderson | and | L. Hernandez vs O. Daal |
This week predictions are as followed
1.One point: Which team will win the Series?
2.One point: Will it end on Game 3,4 or 5?
3.Three points: Series MVP (Take 2 players from both teams)
4.Three points: Series LVP (Take 2 players from both teams)
5.Four points: Total runs scored of both teams for Game 2 and Game 3 (closest wins)
6.Five points: What will be the combined ERA for Anderson and Daal? (closest wins)
7. Five points: What will be the combined ERA for Davis and Livan Hernandez? (closest wins)
These predictions will continue throughout the Tournament. And to make things interesting, I'm adding a prize. 2 tickets to a 2012 Dbacks game in the 'Baseline Box' sections (a potential $88 value!).
I'll accept entries till Tuesday November 1st at 5:00 pm Arizona time.
See you all next week!