Plague Wins 25th ESL Championship
Pedro Martinez Hurls 1st No-Hitter in ESL Post-Season
Second Championship for Pittsford Franchise
In a post-season that featured outstanding
pitching, the Pittsford Plague captured their 2nd ESL Championsip, by winning
four of five from the Mt. Vernon Thunder. Emblematic of the strong pitching was
the league's first post-season no-hitter, a 4-0 gem in Game 4 of the finals,
hurled by Pedro Martinez. He displayed excellent control, as only an error and
a hit batsman kept it from being a perfect game, and Pedro fanned 9 in the
course of his gem. He also struck out 11 Thunder batters in the series opener
(a 4-3 win) en route to the series MVP award. A post-season recap
Semi-Finals: Mt. Vernon Thunder over the Albany Metros 3 games
Game 1: Mt. Vernon Thunder 2 -
Albany Metros 0
This game set the tone for the
post-season, as Randy Johnson beat Mark Buehrle in a classic pitchers' duel.The
Unit allowed only 2 hits and fanned 9. The Thunder scored all the runs they
would need in the second, on a solo shot by Moises Alou, a double by Corey
Koskie and an rbi single by Mark Quinn.
Game 2: Mt. Vernon Thunder 9 -
Albany Metros 1
Jamie Moyer continued the Thunder hill
mastery, twirling a five-hitter and going all the way in a Thunder rout. Bobby
Abreu, David Segui, and Russell Branyan all went deep for Mt. Vernon, as they
took a commanding 2 games to none lead in the series.
Game 3: Albany Metros 4 - Mt. Vernon
This time it was Chan Ho Park as the
dominator, as he tossed a four-hit shut-out, while fanning seven. Barry Bonds
and Tony Clark has rbi doubles for the Metros and Jermaine Dye iced it with a
two-run homer in the 8th.
Game 4: Albany Metros 11 - Mt.
Vernon Thunder 1
Randy Johnson didn't have it this time
around, but Mark Buehrle certainly did, making it all look easy with a seven-hit
complete game effort. Johnson was pounded for nine hits, two walks, and six runs
in 5.1 innings of work. Jeff Cirillo turned in the post-season's greatest
offensive performance, with a double triple, and homer. He had five ribbies on
the day. Dye also added his second homer of the series in the Metro rout,
bringing on a fifth game semi-final showdown.
Game 5: Mt. Vernon Thunder 7 -
Albany Metros 3
The Thunder made their statement early,
scoring five times before the Metros had a chance in the top of the 1st. Jamie
Moyer went the distance for his second series win, as he earned MVP honors for
the semi-final round. Abreu hit his second round-tripper for the MVT, and Barry
Bonds hit a solo shot for the losers. It was the only run Bonds was to score in
the entire series.
Finals: Pittsford Plague over the Mt. Vernon Thunder
games to 1.
Game 1: Pittsford Plague 4 - Mt.
Vernon Thunder 3
It promised to be a classic matchup
between Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson, but after two innings it didn't look
like one, with the Plague ahead early, 4-2. Luis Gonzalez hit a 2-run shot in
the 1st, and Jason LaRue was the surprising source of a two-run homer the
following inning. Both pitchers settled down after that, and 15 Thunder batters
went down on strikes, as Arthur Rhodes and Mariano Rivera recorded the last four
outs via whiffs.
Game 2: Mt. Vernon Thunder 5 -
Pittsford Plague 1
Jamie Moyer continued his remarkabale
performance from the semis by fanning 10 Plague hitters en route to a 6-hit
complete game victory. Sammy Sosa homered and drove in three runs, as the
Thunder broke open a close 2-1 game in the 6th and cruised to
Game 3: Pittsford Plague 4 - Mt.
Vernon Thunder 2
This was the pivotal game of the
post-season. Maddux had pitched brilliantly, but left after seven innings on the
short end of a 2-1 score, as Jerrod Washburn had fanned eight up to that point.
But the Plague rallied for 2 in the 8th on a triple by Roberto Alomar and an
insurance run in the 9th. Mariano Rivera struck out all four men he faced to
nail down the win.
Game 4: Pittsford Plague 4 - Mt.
Vernon Thunder 0
The finest pitching performance in ESL
post-season history also gave the Plague a commanding 3 games to 1 lead. Pedro
Martinez was never in trouble, allowing only two base runners and benefiting
from a four-run Plague outburst against Randy Johnson in the 3rd inning that
featured back-to-back homers by Alomar (one on) and Frank Catalanotto (solo).
That was all Pedro needed to best Johnson for the second time.
Game 5: Pittsford Plague 1 - Mt.
Vernon Thunder 0
Jamie Moyer began to look more and more
like Dickie Kerr, as he spun yet another complete game (his 4th, an ESL
post-season record). Unfortunately, one of the 6 hits he allowed was a solo
homer by Catalanotto. That was all that the Plague needed, as John Burkett,
Arthur Rhodes, and Mariano Rivera combined to shut down the Thunder bats yet
again, this time on only three hits.
And so the Pittsford Plague, who had
previously been post-season disappointments (winning only once in four earlier
tries) were crowned the 25th ESL Champions. Congratulations to all league GMs
for a well-played and taught post season.