Brooklyn—With three rallies after the seventh, the Brooklyn Moabs played one of their best games of the year, finally prevailing in the bottom of the 15th on Felipe Lopez’s RBI triple off Francisco Cordero to beat West-leading Yuma by a score of 7-6 in 15 innings. Heroics upon heroics, but despite all of that the club made up no ground in the ultra-competitive East, which now boasts four clubs with 70 or more wins. When will a clear favorite emerge from the dogfight?
On Game Day 129, it was a matchup of Carlos Zambrano and Chien-Ming-Wang. ‘Big Z’ was off on his command, walking seven, and when Shane Victorino’s misplay of a fly ball led to three runs, it appeared he was slated for a loss. Wang was hitting his spots, but an error by Lopez let Yuma back in the game to tie the affair. Wang was removed rather hurriedly, to his obvious irritation, and when reliever Taylor Tankersley bounced a curveball away from Molina, Yuma went up 5-3, a shocking turn of events.
But, Lopez, trying to redeem himself, worked a walk to start the bottom of the frame against Rafael Soriano, stole second, and this so rattled Soriano that he lost Ryan Howard as well. Cuddyer followed with a booming double to score Lopez, and Howard scored on a sac fly from Casey Blake to tie the game at 5-5. Bring on the bullpens!
Soriano and Wes Ohman combined for five innings of no-run ball until the 13th, where Travis Hafner hit a solo homer, his 30th of the season, off Brooklyn closer Francisco Rodriguez giving Yuma a 6-5 lead. Well-traveled Francisco Cordero came on to shut things down, but the Moabs worked a run out of the debacle to keep their chances alive, getting three hits in the inning, the last an RBI job by the hot Lopez. That took things further, and with their bullpen already somewhat depleted Cordero was given a chance to stick things out----where he was finally burned in the bottom of the 15th by Lopez, who finished the day 4-for-6 to make reliever Joe Kennedy (4-3, 2.79) an unlikely winner over Cordero (6-4, 2.94).
Nor was hardly anyone around to see it, with the game finishing at 4: 31 on the West Coast, with only a few hundred of the original crowd around to see the marathon affair to its conclusion. And, after all of that, the Moabs would have to be up by noon to continue their quest to catch the Eliminators. Such is life...or at least fantasy....
In other BARB action:
LAS VEGAS 3, POTTSYLVANIA 2
WP: Aaron Heilman (10-5, 4.07)
LP: Mike Mussina (3-10, 4.26)
SV: Rivera (28)
Aubrey Huff, the forgotten man, hit a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to snap a 1-1 tie as the Luchadores finally eliminated the defending champ (and last year’s chief rival) in the Central Division. Mike Mussina pitched a good game, going eight solid innings, but it was not enough, as Heilman in relief of Erwin Santana held the Creepers without a hit for three-plus to earn the win. Pottsylvania, at 39-90, becomes the first team to be eliminated from post-season play a year after winning their division!
FROSTBITE FALLS 7, ARIZONA 6
WP: Scott Linebrink (1-1, 9.28)
LP: Derrick Turnbow (4-5, 7.26)
The D-Backs and Felix Hernandez blew leads of 4-0 and 5-2, as the Squirrels mounted a fierce comeback, getting a go-ahead blast from Barry Bonds in the eighth (his 25th of the season) in a game that saw six home runs, including Squirrels 1B Albert Pujols’ BARB-leading 41st of the season off "King Felix", whose reputation as an underachiever seemingly grows by leaps and bounds. Carlos Delgado hit his team-leading 33rd dinger in a losing cause for the D-Backs, who did not lose ground in the West due to Yuma’s loss...
OAKEYLAND 7, S-MART 6
WP: Kevin Millwood (9-10, 3.97)
LP: Javier Vazquez (7-11, 5.53)
SV: Fultz (5)
Hotter-than-hot Alex Rodriguez blasted his 31st homer of the season, giving him 21 HR and 56 RBI in his last 47 games, with a .333 average and .702 slugging over that span....but despite all that, the Boom Sticks lost another close one as their lack of pitching depth bit them once again, as both Posada and Thome hit big flies to doom Javy Vazquez in the seventh. With the league’s second-worst record, S-Mart seems likely to join Pottsylvania on the list of the eliminated, any day now.....