Batavia Muckdogs 96-71 vs.
Arizona Arrows 93-77

Game Location Results Win Loss Save
1 at Arizona Muckdogs 4, Arrows 3 C.Green(1-0) J.Suarez(0-2) C.McHugh(1)
HR – J.Ramirez(3), L.Robert(1)
2 at Arizona Muckdogs 5, Arrows 2 J.Montgomery(2-0) S.Matz(1-1) K.Jansen(4)
HR – K.Tucker(2), D.Solano(1)
3 at Batavia Arrows 6, Muckdogs 2 T.Mahle(2-1) Z.Gallen(0-1) A.Warren(1)
HR – H.Bader(3), A.Baddoo(2), J.Davis(1)
4 at Batavia Arrows 4, Muckdogs 1 J.Chavez(2-0) C.McHugh(1-1) J.Romano(4)
HR – None
5 at Batavia Arrows 5, Muckdogs 0 C.Rodon(1-0) R.Yarbrough(0-1) None
HR – None
6 at Arizona Muckdogs 5, Arrows 4 C.McHugh(2-1) Z.Littell(0-1) K.Jansen(5)
HR – A.Kirk(2), J.Luplow, J(1)
7 at Arizona Muckdogs 4, Arrows 1 Z.Gallen(1-1) T.Mahle(2-2) C.McHugh(2)
HR – M.Trout(1)

(click game # for boxscore)

Batavia wins NLCS 4-3

Game 1 – Nate Lowe led off the bottom of the first for Arizona with a double. He went to 3rd on Luis Robert’s single and scored on Alejandro Kirk’s sacrifice fly to deep left. Batavia took a one-run lead in the 3rd when former Arrow, Kevin Kiermeier, doubled and came home on the big fly Jose Ramirez deposited into the bleacher seats down the LF line. The lead see-sawed back to ARA in the bottom half as Lowe singled and Robert plated him with a blast 20 rows up into the left field seats. The ‘Dogs tied it in the 6th on a Donovan Solano double and an RBI single by Akil Baddoo. Baddoo doubled in the 9th and scored on Jordan Luplow’s pinch-hit single, giving the visitors a one-run lead heading into the bottom of the 9th. Kenley Jansen came on to close it and was greeted by a deep fly ball down the RF line. For Arizona fans, it wasn’t deep enough as Kiermaier caught it with his back to the wall. Jansen struck out the next batter, then with two outs, Alcides Escobar booted a routine grounder and the crowd had new hope. Jansen then walked JD Davis and Lowe to load the bases. Mark Landhuis had seen enough and brought in Collin McHugh. Teoscar Hernandez stepped to the plate. He hit a rope down the LF line that was just foul (ARA had a lot of near misses down the line and with very deep fly balls in the late innings) and ended up striking out to end the threat and allowing the defending NL Champs to regain home field advantage. Chad Green was the pitcher of record when BMD batted in the 9th and got the win. Jose Suarez was tagged with the loss and McHugh earned the save. Baddoo and Ronald Torreyes were each 2-4 for Batavia. Robert finished 4-4 for ARA.

Game 2 – Kyle Tucker led off the bottom of the 2nd with a home run down the RF line for the first score of the game. Two outs later, JP Crawford’s RBI single made it 2-0 Arrows. Steven Matz was perfect for the Arrows for the first 3 innings. The wheels fell off the bus in the 4th though. Tommy Pham and Mike Trout walked. Jose Ramirez came up and drilled one down the LF line, but not far enough as Teoscar Hernandez back pedaled to get under it and catch it for an out. Matz then fell behind Donovan Solano 3-0 and started trying to blow it by him, down the middle. He went to the well one time too many and Solano belted it in Hernandez’s direction. Teo couldn’t catch up to this one as it landed in the cheap seats and the Muckdogs took a 3-2 lead. Arizona started a rally in the 5th, getting the first two batters on with singles. A 4-6-3 doubleplay and a strikeout kept the game at 3-2. Miguel Castro had a throwing error in the top of the 9th that ultimately led to 2 unearned runs and Batavia headed into the bottom of the 9th leading 5-2. With two outs, JD Davis walked and Adam Frazier singled Davis to 3B. Crawford came to the plate, gave Kenley Jansen’s 2-2 offering a hard ride down the RF line. Kevin Kiermaier raced back to the warning track, reached up and corraled the ball ending the game. BMD is heading home to Globe Life Field with a 2 games to none lead in the NLCS. The ‘Dogs used only 5 hits to score 5 runs. No player had more than one. ARA scored only 2 runs on 8 hits with each team stranding 6 runners. Jordan Montgomery raised his post-season record to 2-0. Matz took the defeat, falling to 1-1 in the 2022 playoffs. Jansen earned his 4th post-season save. Crawford was 3-4 at the dish, his lone out being the game ending deep fly to right. 

Game 3 – After losing both home games at Truist Park, the Arrows felt this was a must-win game. They certainly did not want to go down 3-0 in Batavia. They got on the scoreboard in the top of the 4th when Tyler Stephenson reached on a 2-out single and scored on JD Davis’ home run down the left field line. Harrison Bader made it back-to-back dingers with his shot about 20 feet beyond Davis’ HR. Tommy Pham had an RBI single in the bottom half to make it a 2-run game. In the top of the 6th, after a lead-off double to Adam Frazier, John Gant came in and fanned the next two batters. Bader hit a grounder to Alcides Escobar who threw it low to Joey Votto at first. Votto couldn’t find the handle and Bader was safe on the error. Gant walked the next two batters, the second one with the bases loaded to make it 4-1. Hyun Jin Ryu entered the game with the bases loaded and couldn’t find the plate either, walking Nate Lowe. Bader got another RBI with a fielder’s choice in the 7th to give Arizona a 5-run advantage. Akil Baddoo went yard in the bottom of the 7th for BMD’s second run. In the bottom of the 9th, Wade Miley gave up two one-out singles. Art Warren came in to put out the fire and he did. He induced Kevin Kiermaier to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 doubleplay. Tyler Mahle got the win, Zac Gallen the defeat. Frazier, Stephenson and Davis each had 2 hits for the Arrows. Escobar was the only Muckdog with more than one. 

Game 4 – Jose Ramirez’s RBI double in the bottom of the first plated Kevin Kiermaier, giving the Muckdogs a 1-0 lead. It looked like that was going to be the final score as the Arrows would strand 12 baserunners on the day. Danny Duffy, Huascar Ynoa and Hyun-Jin Ryu combined to fan 7 batters and scatter 6 hits in 6.2 innings of shutout ball. Luis Robert drew a walk from Chad Green to open the 8th. Green struck out Tyler Stephenson and Collin McHugh came in to pitch. Kyle Tucker walked, then JD Davis drove in Robert with a single. Adam Frazier then singled in Tucker and Davis and Arizona was up 3-1. The first two batters for Batavia in the 8th walked. Art Warren came in from the Arrows’ bullpen to put out the fire, but he walked the bases loaded with no outs. Mike Trout stepped to the dish and Warren blew a 1-2 pitch by him for out number one. Kiermaier came up and grounded to a 6-4-3 doubleplay to end the threat. In the 9th, Arizona loaded the bases with two outs. John Gant’s 2-2 offering went way inside, far enough to hit Davis and force in a run to make it 4-1 ARA. Justin Romano, who had 50 saves in the regular season, came on to close this one out. He was a little shaky though, as Ramirez walked and Thairo Estrada doubled, giving the home team runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out. Alcides Escobar lined out to 3rd and Joey Votto lined out to 2nd. Arizona evened the series at 2 games each. Jesse Chavez got the win. McHugh the loss. Romano earned his 4th save of the playoffs. 

Game 5 – Arizona felt fortunate to tie the series in enemy territory after losing both games in their home park. They still didn’t want to return to Truist Park needing to win both games. Nate Lowe led off the game with a walk. He then scored on Victor Reyes’ triple and Reyes crossed the plate on Luis Robert’s double. Robert went to third on JP Crawford’s groundout and scored on a passed ball to put the Arrows up 3-0. That was more than enough as Carlos Rodon was on the top of his game. He struck out 12 and allowed only 4 hits in 7.0 innings. Zack Littell allowed one hit in the 8th and James Karinchak pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Batavia never had more than one runner on base in any inning as the momentum shifted ARA’s direction with the 5-0 shutout. Ryan Yarbrough was charged with the loss. Reyes and Robert each finished with 2 hits. For BMD, former Arrow Kevin Kiermaier collected 4 of the home team’s 5 hits. 

Game 6 – Even though no home team had won a game to this point, Arizona felt good about their chances. Carlos Rodon’s dominance in game 5 felt like a huge momentum shift in the minds of Arrows’ fans. Steven Matz and Jordan Montgomery locked heads in this one and the first three innings was a pitchers’ duel. Arizona drew first blood in the bottom of the 4th. Kyle Tucker scored on Adam Frazier’s single and Alejandro Kirk beat the throw home on Matz’s grounder to shortstop. The capacity crowd at Truist Park went berserk. In the 5th, it was Tucker and Kirk again. Tucker raked a 2-out double off the wall in right and Kirk followed with a blast over the wall down the LF line. The Truist Park frenzy continued. Matz was wheeling and dealing. He did give up a solo HR to Jordan Luplow who led off the top of the 6th. Three of the 5 hits he allowed in 6 innings were in the 6th inning. In the 7th, Batavia got to relievers Jesse Chavez and JT Chargois, but Arizona survived 3 walks and a “hold-your-breath” deep fly ball to LF, ending the inning with NO runs and the bases full. The plan was to ride the momentum to the World Series. ARA had a 3-run lead. Art Warren was ready to pitch the 8th and set up closer Jordan Romano for the 9th. This combination had worked so well during the regular season, especially in the September run. Warren did his job, tossing 11 pitches and fanning 2 batters in a 1-2-3 8th inning. Now, it was Romano’s turn to shine. He had 50 saves in the regular season, breaking Rob Dibble’s Arizona record of 41 in 1990, and had 4 saves already in the 2022 post-season. The Muckdogs weren’t intimidated though. Akil Baddoo singled to lead off the 9th. Joey Votto doubled off the wall in right center, plating the speedy Baddoo. Christian Vazquez singled and Votto went to third. Romano was rattled and Hornback pulled him for Zack Littell. Zack got Alcides Escobar to ground to 2B and Arizona got the force out, but Votto scored making it 4-3 Arrows. Mike Trout came up and it looked like he had hit the go-ahead homer to deep right center, but the ballpark contained it, bringing up Kevin Kiermaier who had hit .444 against his old mates thru game 5. With an 0-1 count, Littell was supposed to pitch around KK, but left it too close to the plate and Kevin doubled off the wall down the 3B line to tie the game at 4-4. Miguel Castro was summoned from the bullpen to face Jose Ramirez. Ramirez singled up the middle and Kiermaier scored the go-ahead run. A heart-broken Arizona crowd was stunned in silence. Kenley Jansen took the hill for the bottom of the 9th. Tyler Stephenson singled to put the tying run aboard. Teoscar Hernandez stepped to the plate and drilled one to deep right center, but Kiermaier tracked it down for a long out. Tucker walked and now the winning run was at 1B. Luis Robert stepped to the plate batting .320 for the NLCS. Jansen blew a 2-2 fastball by him. Now it was 2-on, 2-out in the bottom of the 9th with ARA trailing 5-4.  A Jansen wild pitch put the runners on 2nd and 3rd. With the count 3-2, Gio Urshela thought the ball was outside and didn’t swing. The home plate umpire saw it differently and rang him up. The Arrows had blown a golden opportunity to be in their first World Series since the 2007 season. Fortunately, there is one more game, one more chance for the home team to win one in this NLCS. Collin McHugh got his 2nd win of the playoffs and Jansen his 5th save. Littell was tagged with the “L”. Tucker, Kirk and Frazier had 2 hits each for Arizona, but ARA couldn’t get the clutch hits, stranding 12 baserunners. Ramirez was the only ‘Dog with 2 hits, the 2nd one being the game-winner. 

Game 7 – Arizona had gone 12-1 late in the season to overtake the SouthWest Roughnecks by one game, before losing game 162 which forced a tie-breaker for the Clemente Division title. In game 163, the Arrows were down 1-0 early, but came back to win 5-4 and advance to the SWBA Playoffs. They took on the 108-54 Assateague Stallions in the Divisional Round and found themselves down 3-2 heading back to Assateague for games 6 & 7. They won both games to advance to the NLCS. After losing both home games to start the series, ARA won 3 straight games in Batavia and was 3 outs away from a long-awaited World Series appearance. The fatal 9th inning broke a lot of hearts and it felt like the spirit of their fans was way down, like an insurmountable momentum shift. It was a rematch of the game 3 starters, Arizona’s first win. Tyler Mahle hoped he’d have the same result against Zac Gallen. Mahle got the first two batters of the game out, but then 2 walks and a hit batter loaded the bases. He got Tommy Pham to ground out for a force play to end the inning. There was a big sigh of relief in the ballpark. The sigh turned into excitement as the home team got a pair of singles with one out in the bottom half. Gallen got a strikeout and groundout and no one scored. The 2nd and 3rd innings were similar to the 1st, but the game was still scoreless heading into the 4th. Gallen raked a 2-out double (his 2nd hit in 2 trips) and scored on Alcides Escobar’s single for a 1-0 lead. Mike Trout, struggling in limited action during the series, blasted a one-out HR over the wall down the LF line and Arizona was down by 2. Another RBI single by Escobar followed by a Jose Ramirez RBI single in the 6th put the Muckdogs up 4-0 and there was dead silence at Truist. JD plated a runner with a single in ARA’s half, but the possibility of hanging a crooked number on the scoreboard ended when Harrison Bader grounded into an inning-ending doubleplay. Arizona would have only one batter reach base in the 7th and 8th innings, bringing up the bottom of the 9th with a 3-run deficit to overcome. Kenley Jansen, who had 43 regular season saves and had saved 5 games already this post-season, took the hill for BMD. Jansen wasn’t on top of his game and walked 2 Arrows, bringing up the tying run with 2 outs. JP Crawford stepped to the plate and Mark Landhuis walked to the mound and took the ball from Jansen. He summoned Collin McHugh from the bullpen. McHugh was on, fanning Crawford on 3 pitches and sending the Batavia Muckdogs to their 2nd World Series in Landhuis’ two years in the league. Gallen won it, Mahle lost it and McHugh earned his 2nd save. Escobar, Ramirez and Gallen each had two hits for Batavia. Crawford, Davis and Tyler Stephenson each had a pair for ARA. Arizona left 10 runners on base in this game, running the total to 59 for the series. The memories that are going to stick for a long time in Joe Hornback’s mind are the 3-run HR by Donovan Solano in game 2 and the top of the 9th in game 6, especially Kevin Kiermaier’s game-tying double. Ramirez was named NLCS MVP.

NLCS MVP – Jose E. Ramirez

.308/.400/.462, 4 BB, 2B, HR, 5 RBI