The Quakes got what they wanted: a split in San Jose before returning home for the final three.
Following Game 1’s forgettable 10-0 loss, they got solid pitching, enough hitting and defense for a 4-2 victory in Game 2. Garrett RIchards (1-1) allowed two hits and one run in seven innings and Jon Townsend was 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs.
Game 3 Saturday at the Epicenter looks like a dandy of a pitching matchup: Quakes right-hander Ryan Chaffee (1-0, 1.29 ERA in the playoffs) vs. San Jose right-hander Kyle Woodruff (1-0, 0.00 in the playoffs).
It’s the first time since 2006 the first two games of the championship series were split. That year, the 66ers returned home with the series 1-1 and won the title in 5 games over Visalia. In 2004, the last time before 2006 it was 1-1 after two games, Lancaster returned home but it was Modesto which won the series in 5 games.
Manager Keith Johnson decided to go with newcomer Matt Long (an injury replacement on the roster for Richard Cates) in left over Eric Oliver after Oliver’s missed fly ball in Game 1 led to 5 unearned runs. Johnson knew he was giving up offense for defense. Long wasn’t a factor. he didn’t have tough plays to make in left and went 0-for-4 at the plate.
Other than putting in Townsend in at second (he and Kevin Ramos have shared the second base job), the one other change to the lineup is swapping Darwin Perez to No. 2 and Alberto Rosario to the No. 9 spot in the lineup. Perez was 0-for-4 with a sacrifice bunt and Rosario went 1-for-4 with a run scored.