|2014 Play-in Recap|
|Written by Brian Lewis|
|Friday, 29 August 2014 13:34|
As is standard for the KWL, we had quite a jumble around the last playoff spots. This year the Shanghai Chuckers, Graboids, and PF Flyers were all vying to be the final two playoff teams.
Each team finished their regulation games with a record of 15-13. As determined by tie breakers the first Play-in game was between Graboids and the Chuckers. The AL representatives sent Tom Mausen to the mound as their slated pitcher Casey Shinabarger was unexpectedly called back to his home in Salsburg, Arkansas. The Graboids started ace knuckleballer Phil Shaler. Both teams were confident but obviously nervous as the national anthem finished and the players stepped on the field. Each team was looking for their first playoff berth.
Both pitchers used this nervous energy and threw well in the first inning. Phil had some control problems in the second and the Chuckers are a team who will exploit a pitcher who can’t hit the board. The Graboids had several opportunities in the early innings to score but couldn’t capitalize. Finally, in the top of the sixth the brown bombers were able to mount a rally. Cheered on by former player Matt Schave’s new lumberjack beard the Graboids were on the verge of an epic comeback. But the sweat soaked Mausen wasn’t going to give in. His accuracy greatly increased for the last two batters and by the grace of Travis Branches lotion soft hand and superb diving catch, the Shanghai Chuckers held on and earned the 7th seed in the 2014 Playoffs. It was hot dogs all around for Branch and his fans.
Due to the loss in game 1 the Graboids were forced to regroup quickly as the PF Flyers were ready to pounce and hit some bombs to earn the 8th and final Playoff spot. The recently defeated NL team sent Vincent Cataldo out for their last start. The Flyers used big league slugger John Liberty as their starting pitcher.
As we saw in game one, the first at bats were shaky for all players. Inning two started with devastating toe spray for Cataldo so they brought in Jackson Brill in hopes of keeping the Flyers grounded. This was not to happen as the Liberty and Homrich both starting sending Brill’s curve ball well over the outfield fence. After 4 innings the PF Flyers were winning 7 – 2.
The Graboids used the Kalamazoo Growler’s back up announcer Mike Siegel to finish off the game. He gave up another 5 runs to the hulk like strength of the big hitting men in green. As the dust settled the 8th seed went to the PF Flyers and the Graboids were resigned to the 1st seed of the Tom Selleck Festival of Competition.