SWB RailRiders Game Notes - Governor's Cup Finals - Game 1
Durham Bulls (0-0) vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (0-0)
RH Ryan Weber (0-1, 18.00) vs. RH Domingo Gérman (No Record)
| Governor's Cup Championship Series | September 11, 2018 |
| PNC Field | Moosic, PA |
| First Pitch 6:35 p.m. | Pregame Show 6:05 p.m. |
LAST TIME OUT: The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders topped the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 7-2 in 10 innings to advance to the International League Governor's Cup Championship Series. A grand slam by Bruce Caldwell in the top of the tenth pushed the RailRiders ahead to clinch their semifinal series against Lehigh Valley, the IL North Champion, three wins to one loss.
The RailRiders took a 1-0 lead in the third against Ranger Suarez. The right-hander allowed a leadoff single to Francisco Diaz and hit Mark Payton with a pitch. A wild pitch advanced both into scoring position and a Giovanny Urshela groundout plated Diaz for a 1-0 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre edge. Mike King made the lead stick over the first four innings. After allowing back-to-back base hits in the first, the right-hander retired 12 straight, including five consecutive batters on strikeouts between the fourth and fifth. Lehigh Valley, however, tied the game on an error and two singles in the bottom of the fifth.
In the sixth, Danny Ortiz lined an 0-1 pitch from King over the high wall in right to give the IronPigs a 2-1 lead. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tied the game in the top of the ninth with two outs, Shane Robinson reached on an infield single and Quintin Berry scored from second to even the score at two and pin a blown save on Pedro Beato.
The RailRiders loaded the bases in the top of the tenth. Payton scored on an infield groundout by Ryan McBroom to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 3-2 advantage. With two down and the bases loaded again, Caldwell lined a 1-0 pitch from Tom Windle over the right field wall to seal the deal.
Raynel Espinal (1-0) worked 2.1 innings for the win while Ranfi Casimiro (1-1) was charged with four of the five runs in the tenth in the loss.
RUN IT BACK: The 2018 Governor's Cup finals are a rematch of the 2017 championship round. On Saturday, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre ousted Lehigh Valley, the IL North champions, while the Durham sent Toledo home with a 3-1 series win. In 2017, the Bulls ended the RailRiders season with a 3-1 title series win before capturing the Triple-A National Championship at PNC Field. Durham took a 6-0 victory in Game 1 and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre won 4-0 in Game 2 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Bulls clinched the crown with 6-2 and 6-4 wins at PNC Field to win the 2017 IL Championship.
STORM SHIFTS SERIES: Earlier today, the International League announced that the entire Governor's Cup Championship Series will be played at PNC Field due to Hurricane Florence; a Category 3 storm bearing down on the Carolinas. Durham will serve as the home team in Game 3 and any additional games needed in this best-of-five.
GAME 1 A GO: Domingo Gérman was added to the RailRiders roster on Saturday and Erik Swanson was placed on the 7-Day Disabled List. German gets the call in the finals opener against Ryan Weber. German was on the initial Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Opening Day roster, but was recalled by New York on the second day of the season. The right-hander went 2-6, with a 5.68 ERA over 19 games including 13 starts for the Yankees. He was optioned back to Triple-A on July 21, made a July 26 start for the RailRiders, left after one inning with an injury and was placed on the Disabled List the next day. German was activated from the DL on August 25 and transferred to Tampa, where he pitched six innings and only allowed one unearned run.
DOMINANT FROM THE START: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starting pitchers compiled a 1.16 earned run average in the four-game Lehigh Valley series. Erik Swanson, Nestor Cortes, Ryan Bollinger and Mike King limited the IronPigs 11 hits during that span- an .139 average against (11-for-79).
BRUCE ALMIGHTY: Bruce Caldwell's grand slam on Saturday night plated more runs on one swing than any team had scored in any game of the series prior to the tenth inning Saturday night. It was Caldwell's first career grand slam and kept the RailRiders home run streak alive at five straight games; Labor Day at Pawtucket and each of the first round games against the IronPigs.
FINALS DESTINATION: For the ninth time in 12 years as an affiliate of the New York Yankees, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders have reached the postseason. Since 2007, the RailRiders have won two league titles and have reached the championship round four times. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre holds a 7-6 mark in playoffs series as a Yankees affiliate and an overall playoff record of 25-22 in that time frame. The Bulls have been to the title series 11 previous times and have won five Governor's Cups since 1998.
BULLISH SEASON: Durham claimed the IL South title with a 79-60 record; nine games ahead of the Gwinnett Stripers. The Bulls had the league's third-best batting average (.259), second-most home runs (141) and lead the IL in runs scored (653). Durham's pitching staff posted a 3.54 ERA (third overall) and struck out a league-high 1,267 batters. The Bulls took two of three in each series against the RailRiders during the 2018 regular season.
KEEPING TRACK: The winner of this series will meet the winner of the Toledo-Durham semifinal next week for the league title... Mark Payton's game-ender on Wednesday was the RailRiders fourth walk-off home run of the year and 11th overall walk-off win... Scranton/Wilkes-Barre clinched its first Wild Card berth since 2001 when they were the top affiliate of the Phillies... Chance Adams save on Thursday was his first as a professional...
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International League Stories from September 11, 2018
- Durham Bulls Game Notes - Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - Durham Bulls
- SWB RailRiders Game Notes - Governor's Cup Finals - Game 1 - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
- Entirety of Governors' Cup Finals to Take Place at SWB - IL
- Entirety of Governors' Cup Finals to be Played in Scranton - Durham Bulls
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