Thursday, October 26, 2006

Game Seven

New York sends Roger Chillingworth, the greatest pitcher in league history, to the mound. Miami sends their Cy Young award winner David Lefevre. Obviously, the only possible outcome would be a slugfest on this cold October day.

Miami struck first, scoring 3 in the first and leading 7-0 after batting in the 4th. Brian Kaat started the game beating out an infield single. Damon Nkik drove him in for the first run before Ryan Kashiwada brought in 2 with a double. In the third, Jimenez doubled in one and later scored on a Brett Solo error. Bubba Lewis singled in two the next inning. Dave Lefevre looked sharp for the first 3 and was on his way to his biggest postseason win ever, but with New York, things would not be that easy.

Cobra got 2 in the bottom 4th as Bob Zygyk had a 2 run pinch single. Lefevre lost it completely in the 5th. After Mueller and Lee reached base Solo doubled in one. Chad White then lined a single just out of the reach of Brian Kaat to bring in 2 more. Miami brought Sunsurf in from the bullpen. After White stole 2nd, Jerrod Smith singled to bring Cobra within 1 run.

Bobby Hoffman extended the lead to 9-6 with a bases loaded single in the 6th. Sunsurf shut New York down in the bottom 6th, but ran into trouble in the7th. Brett Solo singled, then Sunsurf threw inside to Chad White, hitting him in the ribs and knocking him out of the game. Peter Cooney, the only player left on the bench with any outfield experience, came in to run for White. Thompson relieved Sunsurf. Smith singled to load the bases. Fernandez popped out, then Bob Zygyk forced in a run by drawing a walk. With the pitcher’s spot up, Tommy Keatley pinch hit, and cleared the bases with a double. New York led 10-9. RJ Duke brought Mike Brady in from the bullpen, and he stranded Keatley on third, striking out Joe Thomas, Joe’s 4th strikeout in what will likely be his last game. With White injured, Cooney played left, Zygyk moved to right and Lee played center.

The Stars still had one thing going in their favor: New York’s bullpen. The shaky Fernando Benitez started the 8th. Nkik singled. Kashiwada walked. Bubba Lewis singled to tie the game, with runners advancing to second and third on the throw. Jimenez flew out to left, with Pete Cooney playing an ordinary flyball into an adventure. He made the catch, but Kashiwada scored the go ahead run.

Brady was able to pitch a scoreless 8th, helped by a 6-4-3 double play. Miami added another in the top 9th off Troy Everett. Fanning doubled, Kaat bunted to first, and reached first as Mueller tried unsuccessfully for the out at third. Favre was hit by a pitch. While it would be insane to suggest it was intentional in a situation like this, the umpires issued a warning nonetheless. Any more hit batters, and somebody will be ejected. Tim Carey drove in one with a sac fly. An intentional walk to Nkik loaded the bases again for Ryan Kashiwada. Miami had a 2 run lead and a chance to bust the game open, but Joe Thomas was there to show the spectacular defense he’s been known for his entire career. Kashiwada grounded to second with the infield in. Thomas threw home, and Fernandez threw to first in time for a 4-2-4 double play.

New York had one more chance, but if anyone reached base would have to let Troy Everett bat for himself, as they were out of pinch hitters. Everett was 0 for 14 batting on the season. Miami went to Bob Belardi to try and close out a championship.

Smith lined to left, one out.

Fernandez singled.

Zygyk crowded the plate and took one in the elbow. Belardi was ejected. RJ Duke was furious, but there was nothing he could do. He had to bring Joel Shapiro to try and finish the game.

Troy Everett was up. The New York fans sort of hoped for a strikeout, at least that way he wouldn’t hit or bunt into a double play. Shapiro got the ground ball, but it was perfectly placed and made it through the infield. The bases were loaded with only one out.

Manfred Mueller struck out.

Last chance for New York was Joe Thomas, coming to the plate for the very final time in his distinguished career. Thomas was 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts in the game.

The play:

The runners take their lead ... the pitch ... Thomas swings hard ... and lifts a fly ball to right
the runners on the move ... Favre backpedals ... still drifting back ... he might run out of room
he times his leap ... gone! ... it's all over! ... it sailed over the wall for a grand slammer!
whoa, baby, that ball just kept on carrying ... Favre hangs his head
he just missed making a spectacular catch ... Thomas will circle the bases
and he's sure taking his time ... Shapiro is giving himself a lecture
and Shapiro is a lonely man out there
Stars 12, Cobra 14
FINAL SCORE : Stars 12, Cobra 14

Joe, as you might expect, was named series MVP.

Asked what he was thinking as he stepped into the batters box, Joe responded simply: "I thought I should try and get a base hit" Joe was mobbed by his teammates, then tipped his cap to the fans, and walked up to Owner/GM Brad Boomer. Joe said: "Thank you, sir, for the opportunity to play baseball for the New York Cobra. My work here is done. Goodbye." Then he went home.


At 11:47 PM EDT, Anonymous #1 Cobra Fan! said...

And we will miss you Joe.

At 11:47 PM EDT, Anonymous Rudy Giuliani - Cobra (and Yankee) fan for life said...

COBRA! Way to go Cobra!

At 11:47 PM EDT, Anonymous rabid APBA fan said...

You're still a fat yoda.

At 6:02 PM EDT, Blogger Jeffrey Lamar Lewis said...

Greatest Game Ever Played.


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