Injuries mar Blazers in series.
It was the one thing that could not happen. The one thing Blazer fans have dread over the last eight years. The one thing no one ever spoke of. The biggest “what if” in New Milford. Yesterday, that “what if” became the biggest reality in Blazers history. Mr. All Star. Mr. CY. Mr. MVP. Mr. HOFer. Mr. 40 starts a year. Mr. All Everything. Mr. Dependable. Mr. Blazer himself, Clayton Kershaw pulled up lame during his warm ups and went to the training room. A MRI later confirmed the worst fear any Blazer fan could think of. Clayton Kershaw is going on the DL courtesy of a herniated disc in his lumbar spine. “This of course is a terrible blow to the franchise, but we are confident we are still a playoff caliber team,” stated NM GM Anthony Peburn. “Trainers have assured us that with an epidural steroid injection and rest he will only miss 5 starts this chapter. We will probably then have to ease him back into the rotation and that should give us a great chance to have him at full strength for the stretch run. ” “It just kinda grabbed me,” said Kershaw. “The pain was unlike anything I’ve felt before but I knew I couldn’t pitch through it.”
Because of this injury, Shane Greene will be asked to step in and fill Kershaw’s rotation spot. “I told Kersh I had some pretty big shoes to fill,” stated Greene. “But Kersh just smiled and told me the only shoes I have to fill are my own. That got me to calm down a bit.”
It has been years since Kershaw has not started 7 games in chapter one. It looks like he won’t start many in chapter 2, either, opening the door for a very good Salem team to make a run to the top of the division. “We will battle with who we have,” proclaimed Peburn. “I think we will be fine.”
Meanwhile, the Blazers, minus Kershaw, traveled to South Loop for the first time to face the Furies.
Game 1: Greene @ Maeda
Top 2, a Blazers take advantage of some wildness by Maeda as Castro draws a bases loaded walk to take a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Greene does his best Kershaw impersonation going 5 innings and only giving up 4 H and a walk with 5 K’s and no ER.
Boshers and Bowman escaped a bases loaded jam getting PH Joyce to K to end the threat in the 6th. Devenski came on for the 7th and 8th for some very uneventful frames and Kimbrel closed out the 9th with 2 K’s as Blazers hold on for the 1-0 shutout win.
WP Greene (1-0)
LP Maeda (1-1)
S Kimbrel (3)
Game 2: Tanaka @ Nelson
Top 2, Blazers score 2 on a Tulo RBI double and Tanaka RBI single.
A 5th inning Carpenter HR made it 4-0 Blazers.
Bottom half, an Inciarte single put the Furies on the board for the first time 4-1.
Top 6, Tulo goes yard for a 6-1 lead.
Bottom 7, a Hicks solo shot pulled South Loop to 6-2.
Bottom 9, Calhoun HR’s to lead off the frame and Martinez then singles. Kimbrel got up as fast as he could and after allowing a one out walk to bring the tying run to the plate, he K’d that tying run twice to preserve the Blazer 6-3 win.
WP Tanaka (2-0)
LP Nelson (0-1)
S Kimbrel (4)
Game 3: Quintana @ Porcello
Furies furie all over Quintana early with two in the first courtesy of Cain and Calhoun RBI’s and one in the second on an Eduardo Nunez HR, but Blazers tie it in the second on a Tulo 3 run bomb.
Bottom 4, Porcello helps his own cause with a RBI double and a 4-3 lead.
Top 6, Saunders, who started the season 1 for 14 with 10 K’s ripped a RBI single to tie it. A Tulo single and Castro sac fly make it 6-4 Blazers.
Bottom 7, a VMart RBI IF single pull Furies to 6-5.
Top 9, Saunders with anther RBI single made it 7-5.
Bottom 9, I had a feeling Kimbrel was tired but he wasn’t red, so I went with him. After getting a groundout, he walked the next 2 to bring the winning run to the plate. He was visibly pissed when he was yanked from the game. Boshers came on to get Calhoun, and then Recker PH for Walters. NM counters with McGowan the righty killer but Recker wins the battle with a single plating 2 and tying the game at 7.
Top 12 with one out and runners on second and third, Tulo is IBB’d but Dietrich hits a ball deep enough to plate a run. 8-7 Blazers.
Bottom 12, Treinen comes on and after a 2 out walk, K’s Ramirez who was not only the last pitcher on the roster, but the only batter as well as Blazers win 8-7.
WP Cervenka (1-0)
LP Ramirez (0-1)
S Treinen (1)
Freeman and his Iron rating were lost for the rest of the series midway through this game.
Game 4: Moore @ Samardzija
Top 2, Saunders goes yard for a 1-0 Blazer lead and make it 4 games in a row scoring in the second inning.
A Garcia RBI single in the 4th made it 2-0 Blazers.
Top 5 a Grandy Man solo shot and Garcia bases loaded walk make it 4-0 Blazers.
Bottom 6, VMart and Calhoun go back to back to cut the Blazer lead in half, 4-2.
Bottom 9, Devenski on for the tired Kimbral and gets the Furies in order as Blazers get the sweep and 6th Blazer save in 6 wins for the Blazers.
WP Moore (1-1)
LP Samardzija (1-2)
S Devenski (1)
Blazers hold a one game lead over Salem in the McGowan Division.