CARIBBEAN SERIES – CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Melky Cabrera (starting RF, Dominican Republic): 0-3, 1 BB, 2 K – Cabrera may have finished his Serie on a low note in terms of personal performance, but he, and all of his Dominican teammates, are the one thing every player starts the season wanting to be: Champions.
Hector Hernandez (SP, Puerto Rico): ND, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R (earned), 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR allowed – Hernandez pitched five solid innings and nearly left the game with the lead, but gave up a game-tying solo shot to Aguilas 3B Johan Camargo in his penultimate plate appearance on the mound. Unfortunately, his performance was not enough to earn the Criollos the Caribbean crown.
AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE (ABL)
Andrew Campbell (DH, Brisbane Bandits): 2-6, 1 R, 2 K – A multi-hit effort in what would prove to be his last appearance of the season gives Campbell a .270/.333/.378 slash line with four extra-base hits (2 2B, 2 HR) and as many RBI in 21 games during the 2020-21 ABL campaign.
Samad Taylor (RF, Canberra Cavalry): 1-6, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K – Taylor only had one hit, but it was crucial. His sixth-inning three-run homer to left-center tied the game at seven.
Shawn Morimando (RP, Canberra Cavalry): W (3-3), 4 IP, 3 H, 4 R (2 earned). 3 K – Yes, you read that right: Relief Pitcher. Morimando made his second non-start outing of the season on its penultimate day. Like most pitching performances in this slugfest, it was hardly a thing of beauty, but the Cavalry walked it off in the bottom of the eleventh to clinch a spot in Tuesday’s Wild Card Game, so all’s well that ends well.
Speaking of pitching performances, a tip of the ATF hat to Australian mound legend Travis Blackley, who Tribe fans may remember for giving up back-to-back-to-back homers to the Indians and subsequently plunking Pronk back in his rookie season with the Seattle Mariners in 2004. He started this game for the Bandits in his final outing in league baseball (He is still pitching for Team Australia in their quest for an Olympic spot.).
Fun fact about this game: thanks to the miracle of time zones, I am writing about this Sunday contest from Australia while watching the top of the eighth in the Saturday night Caribbean Series Championship Game taking place in Mexico.
Ryan Battaglia (C, Brisbane Bandits): 0-3, 1 BB – Battaglia finishes the season having reached base safely in six of the seven games in which he came to the plate three or more times.
Samad Taylor (2B, Canberra Cavalry): 0-4, 1 K – A rough way to finish the regular season, but Cavalry fans are hoping he’s just saving his hits for the Wild Card contest on Tuesday night (3 AM Tuesday morning Cleveland time), which the Cavalry will host thanks to this victory.
Speaking of the ABL Wild Card Game, check back on Tuesday or Wednesday (given the overnight start time, I’m not sure what day it will publish) for ATF’s coverage of Samad Taylor (and possibly Shawn Morimando) in that contest. If the Cavalry advance, coverage will continue into the double-elimination playoffs in Melbourne next weekend. You can catch all the ABL postseason action live or on-demand on the Videos page of the ABL website or the baseball.com.au YouTube page.