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Issue 87, Detroit vs Boston for the Championship!

Boston Red SoxDetroit TigersThe Boston Red Sox (84-70), Champions of the Legends League, and the Detroit Tigers (82-72), Champions of the Union League, square off for a 9-game series to determine which team will hold the title of World Champion of the ATL. The Red Sox and the Tigers have met all opponents and have vanquished every one of them so far over the long haul of the season. But that trend can't continue for both teams as only one can earn the 2006 Crown, and that by winning the best of 9 ATL World Series

Game 1: Dwight Gooden (14-7, 4.51, 2CG) pulled the chit for the opening game against Greg Maddux (12-4, 3.69, 7 CG, 3 Shu). Neither were sharp, but Gooden needed a doctor, figuratively speaking, after allowing 6 hits and 5 earned runs in the opening 2 innings. Dwight was called off the mound in favour of Don Newcombe (1-3, 3.94, 1 SV, 1 HLD, 10 G) after his first pitch for a strike in the third inning, his third pitch that inning, was sent for a ride to the cheap seats past the right-centerfield corner in Fenway Park by Shoeless Joe Jackson (.318, 31 2B, 13 3B). Maddux wasn't sharp either, allowing 10 hits & 1 walk in 8.1 innings. But the important bit is the only 3 runs allowed for the game. Final Score: Boston 7, Detroit 3.

Game 2: Nolan Ryan (8-7, 4.59, 2 CG, 1 SHU, 173 K, 188 IP) took the hill for Detroit in the second game. His opposite number came in the guise of Kevin Brown (15-7, 4.28, 6 CG, 202 IP). The big money was on Brown, but conventional wisdom doesn't always prevail, and Ryan, with the help of Danny Darwin (6-2, 3.28, 45 G) and Todd Worrell (9-4, 3.51, 3 SV, 15 HLD, 59 G) were able to easily outpitch Brown, Robin Roberts (9-14, 4.21, 11 CG, 1 SHU) & Wilbur Cooper (7-4, 3.80, 1 SV, 16 HLD, 71 G). Tim Raines (.282, 20 HR, 124 RUN, 65 SB) accounted for 5 of Detroit's 7 runs in their first ever World Series win. Final Score: Detroit 7, Boston 1.

Game 3:
After a season of relief work, Mutsuo Minagawa (2-2, 2.81, 32 G) has been thrust into the starting rotation during the post-season. In this game he faced off against Boston's Addie Joss (8-11, 4.00, 4 CG, 1 SHU), but the 4 runs in the top of the first inning gave Minagawa all the runs he would need as the Tigers coast to a 5-3 victory. Tommy Bridges (16-8, 3.70, 8 CG, 2 SHU), the regular season's ace starter turned into a post-season closer, came in for a third of an inning to close out and save the game. Kirk Gibson (.287, 27 HR, 22 SB) drove in 3 and scored 1 for the Tigers. Final Score: Detroit 5, Boston 3.

Game 4:
Carl Hubbell (6-6, 4.04, 3 CG, 1 SHU) got the nod against Boston's Tommy Corcoran (11-5, 4.31, 5 CG, 3 SHU), and King Carl did not disapoint the hometown faithful. Hubbell pitched a masterful game, allowing only a single in each of the first two innings and then after a walk to Josh Gibson (.293, 27 HR) to open the 5th, retired the last 14 batters of the game in a row. King Kelly (.286, 61 SB) punched one out of the park in the first, and that would be the game-winner. Final Score: Detroit 4, Boston 0.

Game 5:
Again the Tigers scored first, and scored in the first, as King Kelly (.286, 61 SB) doubled down the left field line, stole third base, and then scored on a groundout. The Red Sox would take the lead in the third inning on triples by Ross Barnes (.333, 42 2B, 14 3B, 114 RUN, 19 SB) and Tris Speaker (.324, 34 2B, 104 RUN, 97 RBI, 31 SB) sandwiched around a walk to Joe Jackson (.318, 31 2B, 13 3B). But that's all the Red Hose would score, and in the 5th inning Kirk Gibson (.287, 27 HR, 22 SB) started things off with a double, and scored on a single by Mickey Cochrane (.293, 19 HR), who scored the game-winner himself on an error by Jud Wilson (.315) after the Tigers had loaded the bases. Greg Maddux (12-4, 3.69, 7 CG, 3 Shu) took the loss, and Dwight Gooden (14-7, 4.51, 2CG) notched the win, but Doc injured himself on a bunt play laid down by Maddux in the 7th. Gooden will miss the rest of the Series. Final Score: Detroit 3, Boston 2.

Game 6:
On the brink of defeat, the task was given to Kevin Brown (15-7, 4.28, 6 CG, 202 IP) against Nolan Ryan (8-7, 4.59, 2 CG, 1 SHU, 173 K, 188 IP) to keep the Sox hopes alive. It was not a pretty game for the pitchers: 13 runs, 17 hits, 11 walks and 2 errors. The Tigers again scored first, and in the first, when Tim Raines (.282, 20 HR, 124 RUN, 65 SB) opened with a single, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a lineout to left. But an RBI-double by Joe Jackson (.318, 31 2B, 13 3B) followed by a 3-run home run by Jimmy Foxx (.259, 30 HR, 107 RBI) put the Red Sox out in front to stay. Dennis Eckersley (5-9, 3.01, 27 SV, 62 G) came in for the final out to nail down the win after Wilbur Cooper (7-4, 3.80, 1 SV, 16 HLD, 71 G) faltered a bit -- walking King Kelly followed by George Brett ripping a double deep down the line in left. Final Score: Boston 8, Detroit 5.


Game 7:
No tomorrows for Boston . . . or is there? One more loss sends the Red Sox home, and crowns the Tigers. Wilbur Cooper (7-4, 3.80, 1 SV, 16 HLD, 71 G) gets the nod this game for Boston, and Mutsuo Minagawa (2-2, 2.81, 32 G) faces him from the Detroit side. Neither pitcher started a game during the regular season in 2006, though both had started in 2005 . . . Minagawa with success. Cooper faltered first, serving up a leadoff home run to Tim Raines (.282, 20 HR, 124 RUN, 65 SB) in the 4th inning, and the third batter after that, Babe Ruth (.325, 64 HR, 119 RUN, 150 RBI, 142 BB), doubled in George Brett (.291, 33 2B, 13 3B, 28 HR, 104 RUN, 112 RBI, 11 SB)  to put the Tigers out in front by 2. The Red Sox fought back in the 6th to score a run on a Tris Speaker (.324, 34 2B, 104 RUN, 97 RBI, 31 SB) two-out triple followed by a Jimmy Foxx (.259, 30 HR, 107 RBI) single. The lead changed hands in the 7th when Wilbur Cooper started things off with a leadoff dinger -- after going hitless in 2006 (0-for-14), Cooper is now 3-for-6 in the post-season with 3 RBI & 2 RUN. Three walks, a stolen base and two singles later and the surging Red Sox were on top by a score of 5-2 . . . but it was short-lived as in the bottom of the inning a 3-run Mickey Cochrane (.293, 19 HR) blast tied the score. That's how it stayed through regulation 9, and 2 outs into the 10th, where Todd Worrell (9-4, 3.51, 3 SV, 15 HLD, 59 G) and Tommy Bridges (16-8, 3.70, 8 CG, 2 SHU) combined to walk the bases loaded for pinch-hitter Ken Singleton (.269, 55 G, 52 AB, 2 HR), who took the third pitch deep over the wall in right for a game-winning grand slam home run! The Tigers threatened in the bottom of the inning, but the Red Sox win to keep alive. Final Score: Boston 9, Detroit 5.

Game 8: Detroit's Carl Hubbell (6-6, 4.04, 3 CG, 1 SHU), fresh after his stunning shutout in Game 4, drew Boston's John Smoltz (3-4, 4.06, 2 SV, 2 HLD, 42 G, 2 GS) as his surprise opponent. King Carl had a bit rougher game than last time, but just like last time he stuck it out to the end, though this time the Big W was awarded to his opponent. The decisive inning came mid-game, when in the fifth, tied 1-1, the Red Sox put together a double and 3 singles to score 2 runs. Smoltz tired in the 8th, but had pitched a strong 7 -- striking out 6, allowing 4 hits and walking 4 (Ruth twice intentionally). The Tigers would get one of those runs back in the 8th, but Smoltz got the win, and Dennis Eckersley (5-9, 3.01, 27 SV, 62 G) pitched 1.2 innings for the Save. Hubbell scattered 9 hits & 3 walks over 8 innings, but his 3 runs allowed were 2 too many to end the Series. We shall have a Game 9! Final Score: Boston 3, Detroit 2.

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