When examening why the 66ers were able to beat the Quakes 6-4 on Saturday to create a tie for the South Division’s final playoff spot with two games remaining you don’t need to look any further than batting with runners in scoring position.
The Quakes were 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position. The one hit? Abel Nieves’ single in the first inning that didn’t score Peter Bourjos from second but set up Hank Conger’s RBI groundout a batter later. The Quakes went hitless in their next 15 at-bats with RISP, but scored three runs on home runs.
The most excruciating part for Quakes fans came in the ninth inning after Conger singled with one out and Efren Navarro doubled him to third. With the tying runs in scoring position, Sixers closer Paul Koss earned his 14th save by striking out Drew Toussaint and Ryan Mount swinging.
The Sixers, meanwhile, had only seven at-bats with runners in scoring position, but had three hits: Tommy Giles’ three-run homer in the fifth, Esteban Lopez’s RBI single in the sixth, and Giles’ RBI double in the ninth.
It’s now down to the final two games. The pitching matchups seem to favor the Quakes, with Michael Anton (6-5, 5.63) and Sean O’;Sullivan (15-8, 4.80) going for the Quakes and Tim Sexton (5-12, 6.07) and Steven Johnson (3-5, 6.94) but the Sixers’ bullpen has been better than the Quakes’ of late, so it should be interesting.