Cubs win first AZL title since 2002. Final 13-3 pic.twitter.com/6pYkQhsE5W— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) September 8, 2017
There was no championship title in the desert for the Giants last night. The team’s pitching staff hit a collective E on the gas gauge a couple of weeks too early. And the offense never really recovered from the removal of it’s most irrepressible force. And, in the end, it all slid away from their grasp on a long, stormy night.
AZL Giants lost to AZL Cubs, 13-3
losing their Championship Series, 1-2
|a- Robert Antunez||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Seth Corry (L, 0-1)||2.1||1||4||2||2||3||0||7.71|
|Franklin Van Gurp||0.2||7||5||5||0||2||0||67.50|
Dad Greenwalt was wrong (or partially wrong). It was 3rd rounder Seth Corry who got the start for the elimination game. And for two innings the young lefty made that look like a great decision. He struck out 2 in an easy 3 up/3 down 1st inning and retired 6 of the first 7 batters he faced.
But the 3rd inning took a different turn. He opened the inning with his second walk of the game and then surrendered his first hit. Then the crucial mistake — Corry pounced on a sac bunt and attempting to get the out at 3b threw the ball away, allowing a first run to score and setting up for the big inning.
After a comebacker a hit batsman loaded the bases and ended Corry’s night quickly.
Corry hits Jonathan Sierra to load bases and, to his apparent disgust, is removed for Camilo Doval.— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) September 8, 2017
It had to be a disappointing night for the lefty for sure, starting out so promisingly and going south with breath-taking speed. In a very tense and emotional atmosphere, the game might have sped up on him a bit. As playoff games do. Learn to control the heart rate, learn to control the emotions. It’s all part of the process.
Seth Corry thinks about things very deliberately; pouty body language, gets swept up and loses it quick. Biggest question for me in profile— Chris Kusiolek (@CaliKusiolek) September 8, 2017
Camilo Doval came into the bases loaded situation and immediately allowed a two-run single. And then came the weather.
Dust and lightning are moving in, thunder rumbling over head. pic.twitter.com/mrX0WZO4hT— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) September 8, 2017
After a delay stretching out near an hour they picked up again. But Doval didn’t return from the break. Doval has been arguably the most impactful arm on the staff this year and his championship series was just six batters faced — with five of them reaching base.
Instead it was Jake Greenwalt who took over. As we saw yesterday, Greenwalt has been battling illness the last few weeks that sapped his strength and his performances have suffered for it. But he did well here, working out of the two-on, one-out jam with just one more runner scoring and then through a scoreless 4th. But in his third inning of work, things began to conspire against Jake and the Giants.
Raining again and starting to impact play as Greenwalt has hit two consecutive batters pic.twitter.com/KNOahF4ph2— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) September 8, 2017
The rain, the strep, the fatigue, a combination of all the above? Whatever it was, Greenwalt would hit three consecutive Cubs with one out — the last of those forcing in a run — and the Cubs were on their way to their second four-run inning of the game.
From there it was just sloppiness. Keenan Bartlett walked in two more runs and departed. Later Franklin Van Gurp, who’s been sensational on the season, allowed 5 earned runs on 7 hits in 0.2 of an inning. For reference, Van Gurp allowed 3 earned runs on 17 hits all season (29.1 IP). The team piled up six walks and four HB; C Andres Angulo had three passed balls. It was a sad way to go out.
Delvin Zinn singles. 6-3 Cubs pic.twitter.com/6t5z9atkc4— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) September 8, 2017
And so congratulations to the 2017 AZL Champion Cubs.
And congratulations, too, to the most exciting team in the Giants’ organization this year by a good stretch. And a hope that several members of this club go on to compete and achieve at higher levels in future years.
And before we go, let’s all wish a very happy birthday to a guy who might have made a difference:
Hope you get your own post-season soon enough, Heliot!
That’s it for 2017 folks. Somebody turn out the lights on your way out.