Improbable? Yes. Impossible? Not anymore.
The Quakes, who weren’t supposed to beat heavily-favored Lake Elsinore in the first round of the playoffs, did.
I thought they had a chance against the Mavericks, because they had played them very competitively during the regular season.
But down 2-0 after losing the first two games in Adelanto 5-0 and 4-0, the prospects for the Quakes looked very bleak.
But in Game 3 Monday, the Quakes rallied three runs in the ninth for a 7-6, 10-inning victory. In Game 4 Tuesday, they held on for a 2-1 victory as Ryan Brasier pitched eight shutout innings, and Michael Kohn got his third save of the playoffs despite allowing one run on one hit and two walks in the ninth. He struck out Travis Scott to end it.
Do the Quakes have a chance to win in Wednesday night’s Game 5? Most definitely they do. The game is in Adelanto, which will have the Mavericks an advantage. But the Quakes have left-hander Manuel Flores pitching in Game 5. He pitched seven shutout innings in Game 2 against Lake Elsinore last Thursday. Donnie Hume, a left-hander who led the Cal League in wins with 17 will pitch for the Mavericks.
The powerful Mavericks lineup isn’t hitting like it usually is. Leadoff hitter Tyson Gillies (.341 in the regular season) is batting .071 in the playoffs. The Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters Jamie McOwen (.340 regular season, .133 playoffs), Carlos Peguero (.271, 31 HR in the regular season, .077 in the playoffs) and league MVP Alex Liddi (.345 in the regular season, .077 playoffs) aren’t hitting either.
Joe Dunigan (8-for-16 in the playoffs) is the lone big Maverick bat that’s hitting right now.
The Quakes have proven they don’t always need to hit to win. Their starting pitching has been good in the playoffs, their relief pitching has been very good. Even if Michael Kohn can’t pitch in Game 5 (after pitching in Games 3 and 4) Taylor Wilding and Eddie McKiernan are good alternates.
Either way, it’ll be interesting.