Archive for the ‘Post-season’ Category
In a week the number of Mormon players in the minors post-season games has fallen from 9 to 3, as their teams have been eliminated in their playoffs. The best among them last week was Clayton Mortensen of the Omaha Stome Chasers (Pacific Coast League — AAA), who gave up just 1 unearned run in a single 5 inning relief appearance and ended up with a loss. Mortensen was otherwise strong, striking out 8 without a single walk and giving up just 1 hit. He ended up with a strikingly low 0.20 WHIP for the week.
Somewhat surprisingly the other two Mormon players remaining in post-season play, Tyler Pill and Bryan Harper, are also pitchers. Pill’s first of two starts was a disaster, but he escaped without a loss, and managed to get a win his second start. Harper pitched just 1.1 innings of relief, but shut out his opponents.
Here’s a run-down of the nine Mormons in the minors who were on teams that played in the minor league post season:
After a stunning performance in the Red Sox’ division series against the Tampa Bay Rays that left him with a .500 2013 post-season batting average, Jacoby Ellsbury, along with his team mates, have been stopped cold by the Detroit Tigers’ pitching. After a 9 for 18 performance in 4 games against the Rays, Ellsbury is 0 for 6 in two games against the Tigers.
The division series’ have finished, and the number of Mormons in the playoffs is down to two. Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox and Doug Fister of the Detroit Tigers will both play in the American League Championship series, which begins on Saturday, and one of the two players will go on to face the National League champion in the World Series.
With the loss of the Pittsburgh Pirates to the St. Louis Cardinals last night, both Kyle Farnsworth and John Buck are out of post-season play. Not that their play has made much of a difference. The Pirates haven’t used Farnsworth at all, and had Buck substitute for catcher Russell Martin once — but Buck never got to the plate.
Just one game is left in the various division series, played tonight between the Oakland Athletics and the Detroit Tigers, who are tied 2-2 in their series. Both teams have Mormon players, although the Tigers’ starting pitcher Doug Fister is unlikely to make an appearance tonight.
Tiger’s starting pitcher Doug Fister struggled a little in the first two innings last night, giving up three hits and a run on a Jed Lowrie single. While Fister then settled down, he later gave up a 2-run home run to Lowrie in the 5th and was pulled after a scoreless 6th with the game tied. The Tigers later won the game 8-6.
No one is surprised, I suppose, that the Mormon athlete who performed best during the year is also best in the post season so far. Jacoby Ellsbury is nothing less than hot; hitting .571, scoring 6 runs and 2 rbis and swiping 3 bases in 3 games. The only question seems to be: can he keep it up?
Meanwhile, perhaps the most unlikely of the Mormons to start every game of the post-season, Elliot Johnson, will play no more, as the Atlanta Braves were eliminated last night by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Johnson’s performance wasn’t much help, he hit just .071 with 1 walk and 4 strike outs in four games and 14 at bats–worse than his regular season record by far.
Only one of three Mormon players on playoff teams in action last night stepped on the field, but neither of the two teams with Mormon players won, as the Los Angeles Dogers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1.
Elliot Johnson was the first Mormon player to take the field in this year’s playoffs, starting the game at second base for the Braves. But the speedy Johnson was 0-4 at the plate, including 3 strike outs, and never really got a chance to steal a base. Johnson will likely see much of the playing time in the NLDS, because the Braves have left Dan Uggla off the roster, probably because his performance at the plate this year has been poor.
In the final minors playoff game this year, the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League beat the Durham Bulls of the International League in the AAA Championship game. The Storm Chasers’ Mormon pitcher, Clayton Mortensen, didn’t pitch in that game, but did pitch in the first game the team played against the Salt Lake Bees, lasting 5 innings after a rainout the previous day delayed the game after 1 1/2 innings.
The minors post-season ended yesterday for all but one of the Mormons in the minor leagues. While in the International League championship Mitch Maier’s Pawtucket Red Sox lost their bid to force a 5th game in their contest with the Durham Bulls, Clayton Mortensen’s Omaha Storm Chasers won the 3rd of the 4 games they played against the Salt Lake Bees to secure the Pacific Coast League Championship. Neither Maier (on the DL) nor Christensen (pitched Wednesday) played in the games yesterday.
Although Bryan Harper didn’t play, the Hagerstown Suns were defeated Friday in the Southern Atlantic League Championship by the Savannah Sand Gnats. Harper pitched two shut-out innings in Thursday’s loss, and wasn’t called on to pitch in the final game.
The loss leaves just two players in minor league championship series, Mitch Maier (on the DL — not expected to play) and Clayton Mortensen.