Pipers Win Their 1st ESL Title
Solid Pitching, Timely Hitting, Lead to Easy Victory
Eddie Perez, Carl Everett Are Surprising Hitting Stars
|Bouyed by solid starting pitching and clutch hitting from the bottom of their order, the Pelham Pipers cruised to their 1st ESL championship in 2004. Their 7-1 overall record in post-season play was the 2nd best record ever by an ESL team in back-to-back post-season series. With the exception of a 14-6 lowout loss to the defending ESL champions in the 3rd game of the finals, Pelham was dominant throughout, winning the close ones and keeping their opponents attacks at bay. Congratulations to the Pipers on their inaugural crown!
Semi-Finals: Pelham Pipers over the Albany Metros 3 games
Game 1: Pelham Pipers 3 -
Albany Metros 1
The Pipers set the tone for this year's ESL post-season right from the start, as Tim Hudson, Keith Foulke and John Smoltz combined to limit the Metros to 5 hits and a single score. Berkman and Bagwell combined for 2 runs in the bottom of the 3rd and Albany never again came close to scoring.
Game 2: Pelham Pipers 3 -
Albany Metros 2
Mike Mussina outdueled Russ Ortiz to give the Pipers a two game edge. Pelham scored all the runs it would need on Eddie Perez's three-run homer in the bottom of the 2nd inning. No, that is not a misprint. Isringhausen and Kim tossed a pair of scoreless innings to close the door.
Game 3: Pelham Pipers 7 - Albany Metros 1
This time it was Ramon Vazquez driving in the winning run, with help from Eddie Perez and his two ribbies. Berkman added a three-run shot in the 8th inning to put the game out of reach and give Pelham its first post-season series win ever.
Finals: Pelham Pipers over the Pittsford Plague
games to 1.
Game 1: Pelham Pipers 7 - Pittsford Plague 2
The Pipers jumped all over Oedro Martinez and took advantage of a porous Plague defense to score a convincing win in the series opener. Carl Eevertt began his heroics, going 4-4 with 2 doubles, a home run, 3 runs scored and a pair of RBIs. The Plague had no answer.
Game 2: Pelham Pipers 4 -
Pittsford Plague 3
A late Plague rally fell short, as the Pipers won their fifth straight post-season game. Mussina was sharp again, and timely hitting by Everett (GWRBI) and Vazquez gave the Pipers an early 4-0 lead. Palmeiro and Winn drove in two runs in the 7th and Winn plated another in the bottom of the 9th, but Pittsford left the tying run on base and went down 2-0 in the series.
Game 3: Pittsford Plague 14 - Pelham Pipers 6
The Pittsford bats woke up in a big way in the post-season's most lop-sided game. Luis Gonzalez and Vinny Castilla each drove in four runs and Gary Sheffield plated three more as the Plague ran out to an early 10-2 lead. Brian Lawrence weakened in the 7th inning, but the Plague added four more runs late to make it a 2-1 series, advantage still Pelham.
Game 4: Pelham Pipers 9 - Pittsford Plague 2
Any momentum the Plague may have felt after game 3 was quickly extinguished as Pedro Martinez again had no answer for the bats of Steady Eddie Perez and Carl Everett, who cimbined for five hits and four RBIs in six at-bats. Surprise starter Brian Anderson tossed the post-season's only complete game, allowing only six harmless hits. Kenny Lofton also contributed, with a triple and a homer.
Game 5: Pelham Pipers 3 - Pittsford Plague 2 (10 innings)
Luis Gonzalez' 1st inning two run shot gave the Plague the early lead, but Pipers chipped away with single runs in the 2nd and 5th. Neither team was able to score again in regulation, but with one out in the bottom of the 10th, Doug "Eye-Chart" Mientkiewicz drove in the winning run off of Mariano Rivera with his third hit of the game, and Pelham had its championship.
And so while the Pelham Pipers may not have had one of the ESL's all-time lineups, they played like champions throughout the post-season. In fact, their 7 wins in 8 games is one of the best play-off records ever. Congratualtions to the Pipers - 2004 ESL Champions!