RED SOX SWEEP WAY TO LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP; Boston Starters Strangle KC Offense From Start to Finish

October 8—Kauffman Stadium
Boston 5, Kansas City 0
Boston wins championship series 4-0

 

clemens
The Boston starting firm of Martinez, Wood, Young, & Clemens completely dominated Kansas City on the way to a four-game sweep of Kansas City in the Rhubarb championship series. Each man threw a complete game–the Boston bullpen didn’t throw a single pill in the series. The Royals managed one run against Pedro in game one, zero runs against Smoky Joe in game two, three runs against Cy in game three, and were shutout in the fourth game by Roger in perhaps the most dominant of the four starts. Clemens walked just one, whiffed six, gave up five hits, and faced just 31 hitters as the Sox reached the end of the championship expressway.

KC starter Danny Jackson managed to keep the game tied at zero through four strong innings at the start. But in the top of the fifth, Carlton Fisk and Darrell Evans led off with consecutive walks, and series MVP Nomar Garciaparra knocked in Fisk with a single. Jackson then got Bobby Doerr on a fly-out, but Wade Boggs slapped an RBI single and Jackson’s day was done. In came Bud Black, who got two quick outs, but the first one came on a deep sac fly that plated Garciaparra and gave Boston a 3-0 lead.

That was more than enough for the Rocket on this day, but the Sox added on another two runs in the sixth inning on solo dingers from Carl Yastrzemski and Evans.

The Sox outscored the Royals 25-4 in the series. “It’s a little embarrassing,” admitted KC manager Ned Yost after the game. “Obviously we knew the Red Sox presented a tough challenge to our much younger organization, but we beat them a couple of times in the regular season, and we were confident that we could make it a close series. Unfortunately, we just didn’t swing the bats well, and you’ve got to tip your cap to four incredible pitching performances on their side.”

nomahNomar Garciaparra was named series MVP after the game. He batted 6-for-14 in the series with two home runs. He was the only player with at least one hit in all four games and the only player to score at least one run in all four games. In game one, Garciaparra drilled the game-winning runs with a two-run homer, then in game three had a perfect day at the plate with a walk, two singles, and a homer, and in game four knocked in the winning run with an RBI single.

“It was a hell of a season,” beamed Boston skipper Joe Cronin after the game, champagne streaming down his face. “The guys started the year gangbusters. We got out to such a big lead, then got a little banged up and tired, and flagged just a bit in August, but that quickly turned into a wake-up call and we’ve gone out there just knowing we’re going to win ever since. I’ve never seen a club like this one. The coaches and I mostly just filled out the lineup cards, sat back, and watched the winning machine go to work. Just a beautiful season.”

                  R H BB E
BOS 000 032 000 - 5 8  5 0
KC  000 000 000 - 0 5  1 0

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Boston Rides 3 Early Homers To 3-0 Series Lead vs. Kansas City

October 7—Kauffman Stadium
Boston 6, Kansas City 3
Boston leads series 3-0

Speaker

The series shifted to Kansas City, but the result stayed the same in game three of the best of seven Rhubarb championship series. The Red Sox had the second-best offense in the regular season, but they did not hit a lot of homers–only Minnesota went yard fewer times than Boston–but KC starter Jose Rosado couldn’t keep the Sox in spacious Kauffman Stadium in this game. Jimmie Foxx tagged a two-run shot in the first inning, Nomar Garciaparra went solo boppo in the second, and Tris Speaker took a solo trot in the third inning to put Boston up 4-0.

The Royals had the pleasure of facing the hottest hurler in the galaxy, Cy Young. They actually got to Young better than most teams had managed over the last couple of months, reaching with nine hits and four walks. They chipped away for single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh to make the score 5-3. The KC faithful roared as their squad tried to rally in the seventh. The Royals had runners on the corners with one out, but Young calmly induced a double play grounder from Hal McRae.

Number eight hitters Garciaparra and Jose Offerman led their teams with three knocks apiece. Speaker collected a triple to go along with his dinger.

Boston will try for the sweep tomorrow with Roger Clemens starting vs. Danny Jackson.

                  R H BB E
BOS 211 010 001 - 6 6  5 1
KC  000 011 100 - 3 9  4 0

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Boston Bats & Joe Wood Smoke Kansas City in Game 2 Blowout

October 5—Fenway Park
Boston 11, Kansas City 0
Boston leads series 2-0

wood

When the Red Sox are firing on all cylinders, as they were in game two of the Rhubarb championship series, they are a sight to behold. Starter Smoky Joe Wood barely broke a sweat in a two-hit shutout, and the Boston offense punished KC hurlers Kevin Appier, Joakim Soria, and Jeff Montgomery for 11 runs in the first six innings.

apeStarter Appier got out of the first inning unscathed, but everything fell apart for the Royals in the bottom of the second. Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn, and Nomar Garciaparra started it with successive hits to get Boston on the board 1-0 and load the bases with nobody out. Wade Boggs followed with an RBI walk. Appier then got Tris Speaker on a double play that scored a run and made the score 3-0. With the two outs, Appier needed to stop the bleeding right there, but Ted Williams drew a walk and Jimmie Foxx knocked in another run with a single to make it 4-0. That was it for Appier.

Joakim Soria took over and was not able to end the Boston surge until after Carl Yastrzemski, Fisk, and Lynn all singled in succession and the Red Sox had scored seven runs in the disastrous frame.

The rest of the game felt like a mere formality, with the Royals never getting anything  going against a wicked Wood, and the Sox tacking on four more runs.

Every Red Sox batter got at least one hit and scored at least one run. Boggs and Williams both reached safely in four of five plate appearances.

The teams take a travel day tomorrow before playing game three on October 7.

 

 

                   R  H BB E
KC  000 000 000 -  0  2  4 0
BOS 070 130 00x - 11 18  3 0

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Martinez, Garciaparra Lead Boston To Championship Series Game 1 Win Over Kansas City

October 4—Fenway Park
Boston 3, Kansas City 1
Boston leads series 1-0

Red Sox Spring Training

The heavily-favored Boston Red Sox won the opening game of the Rhubarb Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals in a low-scoring affair. Kansas City starter Bret Saberhagen was reasonably sharp, particularly against the usual on-base machines Wade Boggs, Tris Speaker, and Ted Williams that top Boston’s lineup. But the Boston lineup is deep, and Jimmie Foxx and Carl Yastrzemski opened the bottom of the second with back-to-back doubles to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

Pedro Martinez was fired up and on his game. He did get himself into trouble a couple of times, but buckled down and powered his way out of the jams unscathed. KC’s top five hitters were largely MIA and went a combined 2-for-20 with two singles and no walks in the game. The first three hitters did hit the ball hard in the top of the first, but all three line drives screamed straight towards second baseman Bobby Doerr’s waiting glove. Bizarrely, all three were ballpark single chances, usually a good result for the batter since Fenway has a 1-16 rating for singles and just 17-20 for line-outs. It’s rare enough to land on a ballpark single chance three times in a row, but then to also roll between 17-20 each time is nuts.

The bottom four hitters in Kansas City’s relatively shallow lineup managed to cause some stress for Martinez. In the top of the third, Jose Offerman led off with a walk and Alcides Escobar slapped a single that pushed Offerman to second. Willie Wilson followed them up with a single that couldn’t get Offerman home, but loaded the bases with no outs and the Royals, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th hitters due up. John Mayberry struck out. George Brett lifted a middle-depth fly-out to left field, and Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele, respecting Carl Yastrzemski’s strong arm, elected to not send Offerman home on a tag. Martinez finished off the Houdini act by getting Willie Aikens to ground out softly to first.

Offerman and Escobar again set the Royals up for a rally in the fifth inning, leading off with a single and a walk respectively, but Wilson, Mayberry, and Brett all flew out without advancing either runner.

In the bottom of the fifth, Nomar Garciaparra made the Fenway rooters roar with a two-run blast over the monster.

The Royals got on the board in the top of the sixth with a Hal McRae single and Darrell Porter triple, but that one run was all they could manage against Pedro’s complete game.

Starters Smoky Joe Wood and Kevin Appier are slated to face off tomorrow in game two.

                  R H BB E
KC  000 001 000 - 1 7  2 0
BOS 010 020 00x - 3 5  3 0

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KANSAS CITY WINS IN ANAHEIM, TAKES EXPANSION DIVISION CROWN

September 29: Kansas City 3, Anaheim 1

The Royals needed just one win in their three-game series against last-place Anaheim to claim the Expansion Division, and they took care of business in the opening game. Starter Jose Rosado was sterling for seven innings, allowing just five baserunners and one run on a Lance Parrish solo jack.

Both catchers went ya-ya in the game. Darrell Porter’s second inning dinger plated two runs thanks to Hal McRae’s single ahead of it. The Royals tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning on consecutive singles by Willie Wilson, John Mayberry, and George Brett.

Wade Davis and Greg Holland followed Rosado with one shutout inning apiece. Holland closed it with a strikeout of Jim Fregosi, and the Royals stormed the field for a jubilant celebration before moving into the visiting clubhouse to revel some more. They will face Boston in the league championship series beginning October 4th.

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                  R H BB
KC  020 000 100 - 3 9  2
ANA 001 000 000 - 1 6  1

HR: D. Porter (13), L. Parrish (2)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Rosado   7.0  1  1  1  1  9  
J. Lackey   6.1  3  3  1  2  7 

KC 85-75, ANA 65-95

September 30: Anaheim 4, Kansas City 2

Ned Yost gave a lot of his regulars a well-deserved day off in this one. Kevin Appier still made a short tune-up start, and is line to start championship game two with a normal four days of rest.

Danny Tartabull was one of the regulars to see action, and walked, singled, and donged to push his team-leading homer total to 26.

Troy Glaus belted his 28th dinger of the year, a three-run job against Appier that provided the winning margin.

                  R H BB
KC  000 010 010 - 2 7  4
ANA 000 301 00x - 4 6  3

HR: D. Tartabull (26), T. Glaus (28)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Appier   4.0  3  3  1  2  4  
F. Tanana   7.0  2  2  1  4  4 

KC 85-76, ANA 66-95

October 1: Kansas City 2, Anaheim 1

The regular KC lineup was back at it for the regular season finale and clawed their way to two runs.

Starting pitcher Mark Gubicza has mostly gotten roughed up this season and doesn’t figure to make a start in the championship series since KC can cut their rotation down to four (likely Bret Saberhagen, Appier, Rosado, and Danny Jackson). In this game, Gubicza looked like a guy that wanted to impress team brass enough to at least be on the post-season roster. He shoved in a complete game. A George Brett error helped Anaheim to an unearned run that was the only thing keeping Gubicza from a shutout.

Bizarrely, first-place Kansas City finished 20 games ahead of last-place Anaheim despite the teams having nearly identical runs scored and allowed for the season: KC scored 688 and allowed 764 while Anaheim scored 675 and allowed 761. (The Pythagorean expected record for KC is 73-89, just two games better than Anaheim’s 71-91.)

                  R H BB
KC  010 000 010 - 2 8  5
ANA 000 000 010 - 1 5  3

HR: none

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Gubicza      9.0  1  0  0  3  9  
A. Messersmith  6.0  1  1  0  3  3

KC 86-76, ANA 66-96

 

Kansas City Wins Pivotal Series in Seattle, Magic # is 1 Heading into Final 3 Days of Season

DANNY-TARTABULL-Kansas-City-Royals-1989-Majestic-Cooperstown-_1September 25: Kansas City 8, Seattle 4

The Royals opened the scoring in this colossally important series between the two expansion teams who are fighting for the division crown right down to the wire. Alcides Escobar and Frank White, two of the weakest hitters in the league, cracked back-to-back singles against Felix Hernandez in the third inning to plate the initial run.

Ken Griffey, Jr. drilled a game-tying solo homer against Kevin Appier in the fourth, and Robinson Cano put Seattle ahead with a solo jack in the fifth.

Hernandez was keen for six innings, but KC got to him in the seventh. Danny Tartabull and Darrell Porter both doubled to tie the game, and White, Willie Wilson, and John Mayberry all singled in the inning to put the Royals ahead 4-2.

Another solo homer for Seattle, this time off the bat of Alvin Davis, got the Mariners within a run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Royals ran up their lead in the top of the ninth against Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Porter doubled again, Davis made an error at first base, Wilson singled, and Mayberry and George Brett popped doubles.

Griffey hit yet another solo homer for Seattle in the bottom of the ninth, but the Royals claimed the game and a 2.5 game lead in the Expansion Division.

                  R  H BB
KC  001 000 304 - 8 13  1
SEA 000 110 101 - 4  8  0

HR: K. Griffey, Jr.-2 (27), A. Davis (18), R. Cano (16)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Appier     6.2  3  3  3  0  8  
F. Hernandez  6.2  4  4  0  1  4 

KC 83-74, SEA 81-77

September 26: Seattle 4, Kansas City 3

Jamie Moyer showed why he is one of the front-runners to win Expansion Division pitcher of the year honors. He went eight innings and allowed three runs while walking nobody.

Bret Saberhagen was just about as good for Kansas City and only allowed three earned runs, but Darrell Porter, who had crushed a two-run homer in the top of the fifth, allowed a passed ball in the bottom of the inning that allowed Seattle an extra, unearned tally.

Alex Rodriguez tagged Saberhagen for two homers and three RBI, and Seattle shrank Kansas City’s lead to 1.5 games.

                  R H BB
KC  000 021 000 - 3 7  0
SEA 200 011 00x - 4 8  0

HR: D. Porter (12), A. Rodriguez-2 (30)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Saberhagen  7.0  4  3  2  0  4  
J. Moyer       8.0  3  3  1  0  6 

83-75, SEA 82-77

September 27: Kansas City 4, Seattle 3

It was a lefty-lefty matchup in the ridonkulously important rubber match. Seattle had the more intimidating hurler in strikeout king Randy Johnson, but Danny Jackson rose to the occasion for the Royals and started the game with five shutout innings.

Danny Tartabull got to the Unit early with a two-run mamma-jamma in the first inning, and the Royals added two more runs in the second inning on a Kevin Seitzer double. That was all the scoring KC managed in the game, and they hung on for dear life to make those four runs stand up.

Jackson’s effectiveness slipped in the sixth inning. Nelson Cruz led off with a walk, Griffey struck out, and Davis and Cano crushed back-to-back doubles to score two runs for Seattle. Out came Jackson and in came Wade Davis. Kyle Seager greeted Davis with an RBI single and the Mariners were within a run. Davis put an end to the rally with a double play grounder from Dan Wilson.

Davis then threw a hairy but scoreless seventh inning, and Greg Holland slammed the door with shutout innings in the eighth and ninth.

The Royals haven’t quite finished off the division, but the two wins have put them in great shape. If they win one of their final three games or Seattle loses one of their two remaining games, the Royals are division champions. And if KC gets swept in Anaheim and Seattle wins both of their games against Houston, the teams will meet in Kansas City on October 2nd for a deciding game 163.

                  R  H BB
KC  220 000 000 - 4  6  3
SEA 000 003 000 - 3 10  5

HR: D. Tartabull (25)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson  5.1  3  3  0  3  4  
R. Johnson  9.0  4  3  1  3 10 

KC 84-75, SEA 82-78

Kansas City Loses A Little Ground In Houston

September 22: Houston 7, Kansas City 5

Moises Alou and Cesar Cedeno took Royals starter Danny Jackson to the seats during Jackson’s 5.1 innings. Then in the bottom of the seventh, Alcides Escobar and Darrell Porter both made errors to help Houston build a 6-0 lead.

In his final start of the year, Roy Oswalt nailed down seven shutout innings before KC finally got to him in the eighth with a George Brett grand slam. The Royals tacked on another run in the ninth, but the comeback fell short.

Alou and Johnny Edwards both collected three hits for the home team. Alou’s homer was his 30th, making Houston the only team to currently have three players with 30+ homers (Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman being the other Astros).

                  R  H BB
KC  000 000 041 - 5  8  2
HOU 020 001 31x - 7 11  2
HR: G. Brett (8), M. Alou (30), C. Cedeno (15)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson  5.1  3  3  2  2  3  
R. Oswalt   7.2  4  4  1  2  4 

KC 81-73, HOU 66-88

mike scottSeptember 23: Houston 7, Kansas City 1

The Astros drilled Mark Gubicza early and often. Jose Cruz and Jeff Bagwell both homered off Gubicza.

Mike Scott was wicked in a complete game, walking none and striking out a season-high nine.

                  R  H BB
KC  100 000 000 - 1  4  0
HOU 002 400 01x - 7 10  4

HR: J. Cruz (3), J. Bagwell (31), M. Ensberg (8)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Gubicza   3.1  6  6  2  4  3  
M. Scott     9.0  1  1  0  0  9 

KC 81-74, HOU 67-88

September 24: Kansas City 11, Houston 5

The often meek Royals offense roared to life to salvage the finale. Willie Aikens, Danny Tartabull, and John Mayberry all homered. Tartabull and Mayberry are tied for the team lead at 24.

Both starters lasted only 3.1 innings, but the Royals bullpen stood firm while the Houston relief corps yielded six runs.

Kansas City now stands essentially tied for first with Seattle. KC has played two more games than the Mariners. At 82-74, KC’s winning percentage is .5256 compared to 81-73 Seattle’s .5260. The Mariners play three games against Texas before a monumental showdown with the Royals coming up on September 25–27.

                   R  H BB
KC  001 423 100 - 11 13  6
HOU 001 301 000 -  5 11  1
HR: J. Mayberry (24), W. Aikens (5), D. Tartabull (24),
C. Biggio (12), J. Edwards (4)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Black      3.1  4  3  1  1  2  
J.R. Richard  3.1  5  5  1  3  1 

KC 82-74, HOU 67-89