Game 1- Fliesser wins it with a 2 run walk off HR
The 1st place Mariners(18-4) cruised into the 2016 final with a sweep of the 6th place Cardinals. They had a team average of .300 vs one of the leagues best pitching staffs, while longtime vet Scott Fliesser would add his 9th and 10th postseason HR’s of his career. John Istorico is also coming off his 1st post season no hitter in game 2 vs the Cardinals.
The suddenly red-hot Expos got it done with big HRs from Anthony DiDio and Kenny Rodgers Jr in the 1st and 2nd rounds, while Bush was masterful on the carpet (with an era of 1.23 in 20 innings this post season) to help the Expos get to their first finals appearance.
Outside of the heavyweight match-up between the pitching of Brain Dinap and the hitting of Kenny Rodgers Jr; the other key matchup would be the pitching of Istorico vs the Expos line up. Didio and Rodgers were a combined 1 for 8 off John Istorico in their career while Fliesser and Istorico have yet to face Ryan Bush.
Game 1 saw Dinap vs Bush toss up goose-egg after goose-egg. Outside of a DiDio single in the 1st, and a Dinap triple in the 3rd, this was a textbook pitcher’s duel, and undoubtedly a wiffs classic.
Scott Fliesser came to the plate in the bottom of the 5th, and with 2 strikes - took a Bush Screwball deep to right center to give the Mariners a 2-0 win and a game lead in the series. One win away from wiffle immortality.
Game 2 - Bush shuts down Mariners to even series
The Expos would Let bush stay on the mound for game 2 and would set down the Mariners 1-2-3 in the 1st. Istorico would get a little wild in the bottom half of the inning, by walking in 2 runs to give the expos the early lead. In the 2nd inning, the Expos managed to get on the board once again by stringing together a few hits and walks. A 4-0 lead would allow the Expos to put it in cruise control and even the series up.
Game 3 - Rodgers' 2 run HR in third would be all Bush needs as Expos win Chip
After 135 games, 2016 would come down to a pivotal game 3 to see who would be crowned champion. Dinap and Bush would take the mound and both teams would scatter a few hits with no damage. But in the top of the 3rd, with 2 outs and a man on, Kenny Rodgers Jr would step to the plate and drive a Dinap drop out of the yard.
The Mariners threatened in the 5th by getting the tying runs on base. But Bush bucked down. After a ground ball, he would strike out the next 2 batters to give the Expos their first 'ship.
Bush would pitch 35 innings and hold a record of 6-1. His microscopic ERA of 1.01, and 78 strike outs in the post season would earn him Co-MVP honors with Kenny Jr. Kenny would hit .341, with 7 HR and 13 RBI, complimented by DiDio at the dish, adding 5 Extra base hits (including 2HR) and 8RBI’s of his own.
The Expos ticker-tape parade will be held at 10AM this Thursday, October 5 at Cottage Lane.