Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Round 1: Nats (8) upset Twins (2) in 4

GAME 1 - Metropolitan Stadium
Moore vs Kaat
Twins 6, Senators 2

The highly favored Twins got off to a great start behind 7 shutout innings from Jim Kaat.  With the Twins up 3-0 Tony Oliva hit a 3 run shot in the bottom of the 7th to serve as the proverbial "coffin nail" for the Nats.  Minnesota's pen held on for the victory despite reliever Johnny Klippstein giving up 2 runs in the 8th.
Twins lead series 1-0


GAME 2 - Metropolitan Stadim
Richert vs J.Perry
Senators 7, Twins 3

Washington manager Justin Ryan gave Pete Richert the quick hook after giving up 3 runs in 3 innings or work.  That move served as a jump start for the Nats who go 4 stellar innings of relief out of Diego Segui.  With the game deadlocked at 3-3 after 7 innings the Nats exploded for 4 unanswered runs in the top of the 8th.  Ed Brinkman scored on a squeeze play to make it 4-3.  Don Lock (2-4, 4 RBI) followed that with a double to make it 5-3.  Jim King's 2 run shot was the crushing blow to the Twin effort.  Al Worthington gave up all 4 runs in the 8th on 3 hits and took the loss, while Segui rightfully earned the win.
Series tied 1-1

GAME 3 - D.C. Stadium
Grant vs Ortega
Senators 4, Twins 3

Both teams exchanged 2 spots in the 1st.  Neither team could mount any offense until Jim King walked, which forced home Fred Valentine.  Washington added what would turn out to be an important insurance run in the 7th in a most unlikely way.  With 1 out pitcher Phil Ortega singled to right center, then scored immediately when light hitting shortstop Ed Brinkman doubled off the wall down the left field line.  Harmon Killebrew's solo blast to lead off the 8th made it a 1 run game once again.  Casey Cox and Dick Lines combined to keep the Twins off the board and lock the game up for the Nats.
Senators lead series 2-1
GAME 4 - D.C. Stadium
Kaat vs McCormick
Senators 4, Twins 2

Could the 8 seed Nats upset the 2 seed Twins ?  As we have learned many times over, anything can occur in a short series.  The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd when Rich Rollins led off the inning with a homer and Tony Oliva doubled home Ted Uhlaender with 2 outs.  That lead would be short lived as Jim Kaat surrendered 3 runs to the Nats in the bottom of the frame.  Frank Howard was able to reach base courtesy of a Versalles error at short.  Ken McMullen walked to put runners on 1st an 2nd for Washington's "catch and throw" backstop Paul Casanova.  Kaat, who is usually fine with his control, got wild in the strike zone and Casanova launched a 391 foot opposite field bomb to put the Nats up 3-2.  Washington would add another run in the 5th.  All the while Washington starter Mike McCormick was on cruise control mowing down the vaunted Twin lineup.  After getting Killebrew and Rollins to make easy outs in the 9th, the Nats were 1 out away from the tournament's biggest upset.  Then Cesar Tovar singled and Ted Uhlaender walked to put the go ahead run in the batter's box in the form of All-Star Tony Oliva.  Manager Ryan wasted no time going to the pen to get lefty Dick Lines to face the lefty hitting Oliva.  With a blink of an eye Lines had Oliva in an 0-2 hole.  Oliva battled hard by fouling off 3 consecutive strike 3 pitches before lifting a weak fly to Don Lock in center to end the series.
Senators win series 3-1

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