Last night, the Memphis Redbirds, a team that was not sure it would even be making the initial round of the Pacific Coast League (PCL) Playoffs, won the first game in the PCL Championship round. By a score of 1-0, the Redbirds were able to secure a series lead against the heavily favored Sacramento River Cats.
Third baseman David Freese provided the lone Memphis run off of a solo shot against starting pitcher Chris Gissell. A group of five Memphis pitchers did not give up a single run. The final pitcher to lock down the game for the ‘Birds was Pete Parise, who made his fourth performance in as many playoff games that Memphis has appeared in this postseason. In all four appearances, Parise has been lights out. He has yet to give up a run, and has three pivotal saves.
“You really have to hand it to the pitching staff,” [David] Freese said. “I hit a couple of home runs that put us on top, but our pitching staff was unbelievable. They have been unbelievable all year, so you really have to tip your hat to them.”
The tail end of that staff has been closer Pete Parise, who once again put on a solid performance in the ninth to earn his third postseason save, a Memphis Redbirds franchise record. The right-hander has appeared in every playoff game and has retired 12 of the 13 batters he has faced.
The Puerto Rico World Baseball Cup team will have to wait a little while before they get to enjoy Parise’s arm.