Playoff Perspective – Game 1
One night after an incredible SDCS finale, the Dash stumbled in Game 1 of the Mills Cup Championship Series. Lynchburg led the entire way in a 3-1 win over the Dash Saturday at BB&T Ballpark. Here are a few thoughts before the quick turnaround for Game 2 Sunday at 2 p.m.
- Big league rehab assignments are always touchy subjects during the playoffs, but I have absolutely no problem with them. If Paul Konerko needed to work back from an injury, and the Dash were the only minor league affiliate playing, you better believe he would be in Winston-Salem. Sure, Andrelton Simmons was a big part of Lynchburg’s win tonight, but he is here to prepare for a return to the big leagues.
- For the first time this season, Michael Lee did not allow a run in a start with the Hillcats. His off-speed stuff befuddled the Dash over six and a third innings. Lee was the difference in the game.
- Even though Dash starter Steve McCray did not post his best start of the season, he kept Winston-Salem in the game. The former Tennessee Volunteer stranded seven runners and only allowed two runs in five innings, with one being Simmons’ leadoff homer. It could have been much worse for McCray, but the righty battled to keep his club in the contest.
- The Dash struggled offensively for seven innings, but this offense has a special aura to it. When Michael Earley, Mike Blanke and Courtney Hawkins strung together three straight hits, it felt like the Dash were going to battle back. Obviously, it didn’t happen, but this is an offense that can strike in a hurry, and I’m guessing it will before this series concludes.
- Speaking of Hawkins, the 18-year-old has driven in a run in all four playoff games, which is incredible considering the Dash only scored one run in both series openers. This youngster is the real deal.
- Tomorrow is the 77th and final minor league baseball game at BB&T Ballpark in 2012. This facility has hosted 50 Dash victories, three walk-off wins, an incredible All-Star game and much more. It will be bittersweet to wrap up the home slate, but it is fitting that the Dash are playing in a meaningful game after an incredibly great 2012 campaign here in the Triad.
Keep the faith. The Dash go for a series-tying win tomorrow. Already can’t wait.