Clip & Dirty: 9/8
In typical playoff fashion, the Yankees clawed their way back to within one and in the final innings of the game, up 4-3, Vinnie Pestano yielded a home run that tied the game. Despite a single and 2 intentional walks in the 9th, the Clippers couldn't push the winning run across. So, the packed house at Huntington Park was treated to some additional playoff baseball. Zach Putnam was lights out in the 10th and he set the stage for the Clippers to win the game. Jerad Head singled to lead-off the inning and Luke Carlin did what anyone would in this situation; he fouled off two sac bunt attempts in a row to get behind 0-2 and then promptly launched a deep fly ball over the right-center fence and trotted around the bases amidst the screaming masses. The Clippers won 6-4 in 10 innings and got off to a great start in their quest to win the Governor's Cup.
Team hitting: 6R, 12H, 6XBH, 5BB, Sac Bunt, Sac Fly, SB
The Clippers victory featured offensive outbursts from Luke Carlin (3-4, HR, 2B, BB), Jerad Head (3-3, 2 BB, 2R, RBI, SB) and Ezequiel Carrera (2-4, HR, 2B, 2R, Sac). The Clippers had plenty of chances to score, but none better than the 6th when they started the inning with 2B, 1B, 1B, 1B which scored a run and loaded the bases with nobody out. The opportunity was squandered by a called strikeout and a ground to the pitcher that resulted in a force out at home plate.
Luke Carlin acquired from the Pirates organization after the Carlos Santana injury was seen as a depth acquisition and not one that would yield much from the offensive side of the game. He has generally struggled at the AAA-level, but he has been solid behind the plate and could ascend to a back-up role at some point in the future. His heroics will definitely help him to gain favor with management heading into the off season and just like the Clippers thought the presence of Marson, Santana, Gimenez, and Toregas would be enough to cover their ML and AAA teams for 2010, injuries can crop up at anytime and Carlin could get the call he has been waiting on.
Team Pitching: 4(4) R(ER), 7H, 2BB, 8K, 70% strikes, 65% GB
David Huff pitched very well and gave the Clippers every chance to win the game. He went six innings, gave up three runs and induced 11 ground ball outs out of the 19 balls that were put in play against him. As a result, he only gave up 2XBH's and minimized any potential big innings. The relief pitching yielded the runs that tied the game at 4, but they pitched remarkably well. Josh Judy continued his dominance by needing only 7 pitches to register a strikeout and two quick outs. Vinnie Pestano gave up the tying HR in the 9th, but he induced a strikeout and two quick ground ball outs to quickly dispel any notion the Yankees might have had about taking the lead in the top of the 9th. Zach Putnam gained the Win on the night by nearly replicating the feat accomplished by Josh Judy just two innings prior; he needed 11 pitches to strike a batter out and get two quick outs.
The Clippers face the Yankees in game 2 of the five-game set and will send former Yankee farm hand, Zach McAllister to the mound to face David Phelps.