The Southern League Championship Series is an interesting thing. On one hand, it's wonderful for Double-A Mobile to have taken a 2-0 lead over Tennessee, leaving them just one game away from capping off a three-game sweep, with the club set to send the always-dominant Tyler Skaggs to the mound for game three. On the other hand, however, the Southern League playoffs are set up such that the team with home field advantage plays the final three games at home, so Mobile has to win a game at Tennessee. If anybody can do it, though, my money's on Skaggs.
BayBear of the Day:
Jarrod Parker: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 6:3 K:BB, 8:1 GO:AO
Mobile 1, Tennessee 0. (11 innings) This game looked like it might have been a bit of a slugfest early on, as starter Jarrod Parker was wobbly in the first two innings. Parker gave up a single, a double, and a walk in the first inning, but managed to prevent any runners from scoring. That was mostly because Tennessee leadoff hitter James Adduci tried to go from second to third after Ed Easley's throw sailed into center field, but A.J. Pollock nailed Adduci with a strong throw to third baseman Matt Davidson. Speaking of Davidson, he manned the hot corner spot ahead of Mobile's regular third baseman, Ryan Wheeler, who moved to first base to accommodate the new arrival, and went 1-3 with a strikeout and a hit-by-pitch.
The second inning wasn't better for Parker, as JP walked a pair to put a runner in scoring position with two outs, but worked out of it with a groundout. The next four innings, though, went spectacularly for Parker, as he struck out four, walked none, and notched six groundouts while holding the Smokies scoreless. The BayBears bullpen took it from there, as Bryan Woodall worked scoreless seventh and eighth innings, Evan Marshall struck out two in a clean ninth, and Kevin Munson notched the win by putting two more zeroes on the board.
That exceptional overall pitching performance gave the BayBears offense enough time to finally snap out of their funk, walking it off in the bottom of the eleventh. Wheeler led off the inning with a line drive single, and after the next two batters notched unproductive outs, Davidson singled through the left side of the infield to put Wheeler in scoring position for Ollie Linton. Linton came through, poking a grounder through the right-side of the infield that brought Wheeler home and gave Mobile a 2-0 series lead heading back to Tennessee. With Skaggs on the mound (or so I believe) for game three on Saturday, the BayBears are in an awfully good position to seal a ring, despite playing the rest of the series in Tennessee.