The Arizona Fall League came to an end on Thursday afternoon with the championship opponents now set. Surprise, winners of the West Division at 19-11-1, will face Scottsdale, winners of the East Division at 18-12.
There were just four games this week for Surprise, as the entire league has Friday off. The Saguaros went 3-1.
The week started out with the division clinching win on Monday. In that game, right fielder Bubba Starling went 1-for-4 with a two-run double in the first. He scored a run and walked, but did strike out twice.
The rest of the week, Starling went 2-for-7 with a run scored and three strikeouts. On Wednesday, he stole his fifth base.
Second baseman Ramon Torres played in two games this week. He went 0-for-6 with a walk and a strikeout.
Cam Gallagher caught one game this week (Tuesday). He went 0-for-3 at the plate. Phoenix stole two bases off him.
Right-hander Kevin McCarthy pitched just once in relief for Surprise this week, giving him a high probability of pitching in Saturday’s championship. On Tuesday, he entered in the 5th inning with two on and left both runners stranded. Over 1.2 innings, McCarthy allowed three hits and walked one while striking out one. He threw 34 pitches, 22 for strikes.
Matt Alvarez followed McCarthy on Tuesday and allowed two hits in his scoreless inning. He struck out one (26 pitches, 15 for strikes). Alvarez pitched again on Thursday, as he entered with one on base in the 2nd inning (stranded that runner). Over 1.1 innings, Alvarez allowed a hit and walked one (23 pitches, 13 for strikes).
Andrew Edwards followed Alvarez on Tuesday and allowed a run on three hits over one inning of work. He struck out one and allowed a stolen base (24 pitches, 13 strikes). Edwards also pitched again on Thursday, allowing an unearned run on three hits over 1.2 innings. He struck out one and was pulled in the fifth with two on (both were stranded).
In Tuesday afternoon’s game, McCarthy, Alvarez, and Edwards combined to give up eight hits over 3.2 innings, but allowed just one run.
*Former Royal Sean Manaea made the start for Mesa in their AFL finale. He allowed an unearned run on three hits and a walk over 4.2 innings. His seven strikeouts earned him the strikeout title, giving him 33 in the AFL.
I will have a recap of the Championship Game up over the weekend (fingers crossed because I will be in Miami for a winter ball matchup between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela).
I will do a final AFL recap sometime next week, taking a look back at the AFL season by the eight KC Royals minor leaguers that participated.