Win or lose, the Division Series format makes you feel a little strange that an entire season comes down to a best 3 out of 5 series. When you lose, especially, it feels like it happens so fast. This year, the one-game Wild Card playoffs will be an even more intense feeling. In the minors this year, fans following the Rays’ minor league affiliates have gotten to feel a little bit of the sting from losing short series. Hopefully it will be in exchange for a lack of sting we’ll feel when the Rays go on a run that takes him all the way to the end of October.
Double-A Southern League Postseason Game 4: Mobile BayBears (ARI) 11, Montgomery Biscuits 4 (BayBears win series 3-1)
The Biscuits needed a win to stave off elimination, and it looked like they had a shot early on before their pitching collapsed and their season-ending loss became even more frustrating. A Matt Davidson sac fly off of Merrill Kelly gave Mobile a 1-0 lead in the 1st, but with 2 outs and nobody on in the 2nd, the Biscuits’ bats came alive. Omar Luna singled and stole second base before Michael Sheridan walked. Then Kevin Kiermaier, in his first Double-A at-bat, singled home Luna to tie the game at 1. And Mark Thomas followed with a clutch 2-out, 2-run triple to make it 3-1. But the lead didn’t last long as an Ed Easley sac fly in the 3rd make it 3-2 and an Evan Frey RBI single tied the game. Kiermaier came up big again in the bottom of the inning, doubling in a run to make it 4-3 Biscuits. But a demoralizing 2-run homer by Jonathan Griffin make it a 5-4 game in favor of Mobile before a Michael Freeman RBI single make it 6-4. Kelly lasted just 4.2 innings allowing 6 runs on 9 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1. The bullpen could not stop the bleeding, with Marquis Fleming allowed an unearned run in the 6th, Matt Nevarez, who had been automatic down at High-A, allowed 3 more runs in the 7th, including a Yazy Arbelo 2-run shot, and 11-4 was the final as the BayBears moved on to the Southern League Finals and the Biscuits saw their great season come to the end. Kiermaier was one of the few bright spots in the season finale for Montgomery, going 2 for 3 with a double, a walk, 2 RBI, and a run scored.
New York-Penn League Postseason Game 2: Hudson Valley Renegades 8, Brooklyn Cyclones (NYM) 1 (Series tied 1-1)
The Renegades needed a big game to keep their season alive. And that’s exactly what they did. The Renegades took a quick lead in the 1st inning, with Tommy Coyle tripling and scoring on a Luke Maile RBI single. The Renegades offense was quiet for a few innings after that, but Jeff Ames was not going to let this season slip away for Hudson Valley. Ames went 6 innings allowing just 1 run on 6 hits, striking out 4 while walking none. Dylan Floro followed with 2.2 innings of hitless relief before Alex Moshier got the final out of the game. As the pitchers had a huge game, the offense made sure this one wasn’t close. Marty Gantt had a sac fly in the 4th, Joey Rickard scored on an error in the 5th, and then in the 7th and 8th the Renegades scored 5 runs to pull away, with Leonardo Reginatto drilling a 2-run double and Richie Shaffer closing out the scoring with an RBI single as the Renegades won 8-1. Reginatto went 2 for 4 with the 2-run double, Luke Maile 3 for 5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored, Coyle went 2 for 3 with a triple, a walk, an RBI, and 2 runs scored, and Shaffer went 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored.