Nothing in sports beats a game 7 and this one will please the baseball purists who enjoy a pitcher's duel, the first 1-0 world series game 7 since Jack Morris beat John Smoltz in 1991.
Peter Buchanon retired the first 2 hitters before running into the only trouble he would face on the day. Young and Arceneaux singled with 2 out, Buchanon moved them up with a wild pitch, and Rabbitt walked to load the bases. Buchanon gathered himself to strike out Oswipe Cabrera.
Brad Moulds allowed a 2 out single, but catcher Mathis gunned Howell down at second, the 5th consecutive base runner he has thrown out. With one out in the 3rd, Mitch Oakenshield lined a pitch down the left field line, just over the wall and out of the reach of Brian Kaat. The homer travelled all of 336 feet.
The two lefties matched zeros through the 7th inning, neither allowing more than one base runner in an inning. In the 5th, Mathis again nailed a base stealer, this time Gromit. Arceneaux doubled with 2 out in the 6th, but Buchanon got Rabbitt on strikes to strand him.
Miami pinch hit Mike Gaston for Moulds in the 8th, Buchanon was rolling and set him, Kaat, and Bass down 1-2-3. He had thrown 99 pitches through 8 shutout innings. Dwight Schrute came in for the bottom of the 8th and pitched a 1-2-3 inning with 2 strikeouts.
To the 9th, Wally Calhoun went for defense in left field (Bob King), first base (Chip Atkinson) and brought Grant Hansen in to close things out, despite Buchanon emphatically telling him "I got this!".
Joe Young worked a 5 pitch walk, and due to a depleted bench the 40 year old DH would run for himself. Arceneaux followed with a single, his third hit of the day. Peter Rabbitt bunted the runners up, and Oswipe Cabrera was walked intentionally to load the bases. Enough for Hansen, Florida brought David Tejada in to try and clean up the mess. Batting for Mathis was Trevor Burton. Bases loaded, one out, tying run on third. Burton watched the first 2 pitches sail wide. He fouled one off, then took a slider for a called strike. He lifted the 2-2 pitch out to center. Gromit came in to make the catch, too shallow for Joe Young to attempt to score.
Justin Edwards came up, he had entered the game as a second baseman after Miami pinch hit for starter Forrest Bush. The only Star left on the bench was weak hitting backup catcher Jim Gwosdz, R.J. Duke then assessed the batting abilities of his pitchers. Schrute looked on from the on deck circle, but Miami had no better options. Edwards came to the plate.
Tejada reared back for a 98 MPH fastball, taken at the letters for a strike. His next pitch was a sweeping slider right at the batter, Edwards prepared to get hit, which would have tied things. The wicked slider broke across the plate for a called strike 2. Edwards got a piece of the next pitch, then was able to lay off 2 sliders that started in and broke outside. He was overmatched, but giving it all he had. Tejada threw another slider across the plate, and Edwards was able to get a piece, fouling it back to stay alive. The next pitch was a fastball, high. Edwards was prepared for the slider and couldn't catch up. As he swung and missed, the Penguin crowd went wild.
Congratulations to the Florida Penguins, champions of OOTP baseball. A trophy presentation ceremony is scheduled for later in the week.
Peter Buchanon is the postseason MVP with a 5-0 record in 7 starts, and a 1.48 ERA in 48 innings. Tejada had a great postseason as well, allowing 2 runs in 12.2 innings, striking out 20 against 4 walks, and collecting 2 wins and 3 saves.