2015 Champions Bowl - Quarterfinals
September 17 games
Phoenix 1 at Philadelphia 2 - Philadelphia wins 4-0
Game MVP - SP Ricky Nolasco, Philadelphia, 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 4 K; 1/2
Series MVP - SP Ricky Nolasco, Philadelphia, 13 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
Notes: In a surprising sweep, the Liberty finished off Phoenix at home in a low-scoring affair....Philadelphia's first run came in the bottom of the second when 3B Cliff Pennington hit a two-out double to score CF Alex Escobar from second....1B Yeow-whye Cheung could not muster a hit in the game, but his third-inning sacrifice fly proved to score the game-winning run....The Firebirds' lone run came in the seventh inning when star CF Axel Darke took Nolasco deep....Phoenix SP Vance Worley allowed two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings....Four Liberty relievers finished the game, with three different pitchers recording an out in the eighth inning. Mickey Storey pitched the final inning, walking two and striking out two, to earn the save....Philadelphia SS Elvis Andrus was injured in the top of the first inning in a collision at second base with Phoenix lead-off hitter Alex Avila. Jean-Jacques Lalanne replaced him with just one out in the inning. Andrus is not expected to play the rest of the 2016 season with an undisclosed ankle injury....The 2015 Champions Bowl winners were unable to defend their title.
San Diego 2 at New Orleans 5 - San Diego leads 3-1
Game MVP - Dallas Braden, San Diego, 7 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, K
Notes: New Orleans was able to avoid the sweep, keeping them as the fifth team remaining in the tournament....Braden pitched seven shut out innings before giving up a lead off home run to LF Rikyu Matsuura in the bottom of the eighth. The Gators went on to score four more runs in the inning off three San Diego relievers....Slammers lead off CF Jose Marquez had the best day offensively, going 3 for 5 with two doubles and two runs batted in....In the New Orleans eighth inning, Taylor Tankersley replaced Braden after Matsuura's home run. Natsu Okada then singled, leading the Slammers to call on rightie Homer Bailey. SS Troy Tulowitzki then doubled Bailey to third and came out of the game for pinch runner Manny Ruiz, representing the go-ahead run at second base with no outs. Tulowitzki was noticeably limping as he came off the field. Carlos Quentin then struck out, leading to left-hander Brett Anderson to take the mound against leftie 1B Ike Davis. Davis wasted no time, jumping on the first pitch on a screaming line drive to left field to score Okada and send Ruiz to third. 2B Robinson Cano then came through with a two-RBI triple to give the Gators a 4-2 lead. Arthur Atkins completed the scoring onslaught with a sacrifice fly to score Cano and give the game its 5-2 final....Gators SP Greg T. Smith pitched decently well despite the no-decision. In seven innings, he allowed two earned runs on seven hits with four walks and six strikeouts.
Dallas 8 at Denver 5 - Dallas wins 4-0
Game MVP - SP Jake Peavy, Dallas, 6 IP, 9 H, ER, BB, 6 K
Series MVP - 2B Jason Kipnis, Dallas, 7/17, 2 2B, 3B, HR (GS), 7 R, 5 RBI
Notes: The Tycoons jumped out to an 8-0 lead and held on as the bullpen nearly gave one away in the sweep....Series MVP Kipnis had another solid game. He had at least one extra base hit in each game of the series, including a double in this one. He also scored a run and drove in a run in his 3 for 6 effort....Peavy only allowed one RBI double in the fifth inning to Denver SS Dee Gordon. Peavy left the game after the sixth inning when Denver began its comeback attempt....Three Peaks players had three hits. CF Ezequiel Carrera led the way, going 3 for 5 with a double, run scored, and three RBI....Denver had five doubles in the game, with two of them coming in the fifth inning off Peavy....Dallas was not as successful with extra-base hits, but they took advantage of the Peaks' pitching staff walking nine batters. SP Jordan Lyles walked five of the nine. In four innings, he gave up four earned runs on five hits with five walks and three strikeouts....Peaks' RP Tim Stauffer had the worst day of all pitchers. In just 2/3 of an inning, he gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits with two walks and a strikeout....Dallas now moves on to face the surprising but hot Philadelphia Liberty in the semifinals.
Montreal 5 at Brooklyn 6 - Brooklyn wins 4-0
Game MVP - SP Will Smith, Montreal, 5 IP, 3 H, 5 K
Series MVP - SP Will Smith, Montreal, 10 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 12 K (I had no other choice...He was NOT the reason Montreal lost the series!)
Notes: The Saints were up 2-0 in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs when SP Smith was due to bat. What to do in that situation? The Saints' manager chose to pinch hit for Smith with Michael Godwin. Godwin struck out and the Montreal bullpen could not hold on to the lead, leading to a quick exit in the Round of Eight for the Saints....Though the Saints blew the lead in the seventh, they were able to reclaim the lead with three runs in the eighth for a 5-4 lead. However, Brooklyn found a way to single and advance runners in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good....Avengers LF Tony Campana gets credit for the game-winning RBI on his one-out RBI fielder's choice. He was able to beat out the double play chance to give Brooklyn a 6-5 advantage heading into the ninth....All five Montreal runs came via the long ball. 1B Shelley Duncan homered in the third inning and RF Jesus Gomez homered in the sixth, both solo shots off Brooklyn SP Stephen Strasburg. C Wilson Ramos had the big hit of the game when he hit a three-run homer in the eighth off RP Michael Stutes....Strasburg allowed two earned runs on 10 hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings....Avengers SS Steve Hastings led the team in hits, going 3 for 4 with a run and RBI....Montreal 2B Jose Altuve led all hitters in hits, going 4 for 5 from the lead off spot. However, he was never able to turn any of those hits into runs.