Close but no cigar for Savannah last night, whose season ended with a loss in the final game of the best of five SAL Championship Series.
I wish I could say it was a close one. After two straight 11-inning thrillers in a series that looked more like a heavyweight fight, it would have been fitting. Unfortunately, it was not to be as the Sand Gnats were beat up in this 7-3 loss to Greensboro, a game in which they were outhit 16 to 6. All season long Savannah managed to skate by despite a suspect lineup but on this night the magic ran out (see, 1-for-9 with RISP). And the staple of their successful 2011 campaign, very strong starting pitching, just didn't come through in this one. Even more surprising, it was Sterling Award winner LHP Angel Cuan - the Gnats most consistent starter - whose fourth inning meltdown put them behind the eight ball for good.
Following three clean frames, Cuan got two quick outs but couldn't find that third one, allowing five straight hits, with a pair of costly errors from the typically surehanded SS Wilfredo Tovar sandwiched in between. Suddenly the Gnats went from up two to down three and after two more runs allowed in relief by LHP Adam Kolarek, things looked bad. But the Gnats lineup had their chances; they would put twelve men on base over the final five innings, though only one would come around to score. Twice they ended the inning with the bases loaded and they didn't have a hit with RISP after that disastrous fourth inning. All in all, it was a pretty disappointing night out at the old ballpark in Savannah, Georgia. However, despite a tough ending, 2011 was an impressive season for first year manager Ryan Ellis and his Sand Gnats nonetheless and that shouldn't be forgotten, championship or not.
The Usual Suspects
CF Darrell Ceciliani: 1-4, RBI, BB, K; Batted .394 for the series
C Albert Cordero: DNP; Missed this one after tweaking a hamstring in the 4th inning on Friday...why'd they send Maron home early!?
DH Aderlin Rodriguez: 1-4
SS Wilfredo Tovar: 0-5, K, 2 E
2B Juan Carlos Gamboa: 1-3, R, BB
LF Alonzo Harris: 2-3, 2B, 3B, RBI, BB, K
LHP Angel Cuan: L, 3.2 IP, 3 ER (2 unearned), 8 H, BB, 2 K, WP, HB
LHP Adam Kolarek: 1.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, K, WP, HB
RHP Yohan Almonte: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K
RHP Gonzalez Germen: 2.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, K
And with that, we've officially wrapped another season down in the Mets farm system. It was another interesting one and I certainly enjoyed bringing it to all you guys here. Thanks to all who kept up the enthusiasm here day after day, the interest in the system has absolutely skyrocketed around these parts since those very first reports last season. And let me take this chance to also thank Steve, Pack and Jeff without whose stellar support all season I clearly would have gone nuts. So that about does it but don't fret, we'll be back with AFL and winter league action before too long. And in the meantime, keep your eyes open for the 2011 Minor League Seasons in Review!