Playoff Perspective – Game 3

In case you missed any of our coverage following the Dash’s SDCS-clinching win, be sure to check out the game recap, the highlights, two postgame interviews and the twitter updates. Now, it’s time for our Game 3 analysis.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • The Dash posted the best overall record and home mark in full-season minor league baseball, so this team won on a regular basis throughout the year. This was, in my opinion, the most complete effort of the season, and it came with the season on the line.
  • Myrtle Beach outplayed Winston-Salem during the first 14 innings of this series, but the Dash responded and crushed the Pelicans in the final 13 frames. After Vinny DiFazio’s homer in the top of the seventh inning in Game 2, Myrtle did not score again in the series, while the Dash plated 12 runs and recorded three crooked numbers.

Chris Bassitt twirled the best start of his career Friday (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

  • The offense will steal the headlines because of the nine-run showing, but Chris Bassitt pitched the game of his life. “Absolutely,” Bassitt said when I asked him about it. Considering the importance of the game, I haven’t seen many pitching performances better than the one Bassitt turned in Friday night.
  • Keenyn Walker’s three-run triple in the second inning was a huge hit for the Dash and for Walker personally. The Pelicans were a deflated bunch after Walker slammed a 2-0 fastball to the gap in right-center. Plus, Walker had struggled a bit in the first two games of the series, and hitting coach Gary Ward has been working with him frequently over the last few weeks. Walker credited Ward in my chat with him after the game, and Dash fans saw Walker’s hard work come to fruition.
  • Winston-Salem catcher Kevan Smith put the game away with a grand slam in the bottom of the third. In his 24 games as a member of the Dash, Smith has driven in 27 runs. He has proven that he can truly hang offensively in the Carolina League, and his slam tonight was a bomb to the bullpen bar.
  • Speaking of Smith’s grand slam, tonight’s crowd was not the biggest at BB&T Ballpark, but it may have been the most baseball-savvy one we’ve seen this year thanks to the draw of a playoff elimination game, and the reaction after Smith’s grand slam was tremendous. This crowd went nuts.
  • Now, the scene shifts to the Mills Cup Championship Series, and the Dash have a huge advantage in their rotation for the first two games. Steve McCray will go in Game 1, and Justin Collop will toe the rubber in Game 2. On the flip side, Lynchburg will have Michael Lee for Game 1, but the Hillcats may have to go with multiple relievers in Game 2.
  • Two playoff wins down, and three to go. Enjoy it, Winston-Salem. I can’t wait until tomorrow.

- Brian

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