They qualified for the playoffs thanks to a good climb in the standings, then made a dramatic comeback in the last game of the regular season to end the campaign at the top of the East. And, obviously, the Capitals don’t intend to stop there.
Two days after the descent a heartbreaking loss at the hands of the New Jersey Jackals a loss that forced them to play only one-on-one games for the rest of this type two out of three series, Quebec reached the final of the Frontier League on Sunday for the second year in a row.
Patrick Scalabrini’s protégés did not offer a shocking performance as on Saturday, where they scored 10 runs in an innings including four thanks to a grand slam from former Yankee Greg Bird.
However, they gave their approximately 3,800 fans gathered at the Canac Stadium another offensive performance as a gift, winning 15 to 6 to give themselves the chance to defend their title in cost the winner of the series against the Otters after Sunday. of the Gateway Grizzlies.
A clear victory, which the Capitols celebrated with the sound of their traditional fireworks, while, a few minutes later, in the final moments of the game, their vocal fans chanted ” Olé, olé, olé” felt good.
“It was huge from our sticks! said their manager. (…) It would have been easy, after a very emotional defeat (that Friday), to come back here without energy. But the boys remained focused, down to earth.”
“We had such a tough time in the first game, losing by 10e inning, plus shortstop Jesmuel Valentin. But we know we’ll be back. (…) When we got up the next day, we knew something good was going to happen.”
Proud of his warriors
The Capitals have a tradition of winners and one might believe that a sectional championship, while the final title is not won, is somehow just a necessary step for the team.
But on the field, while many fans screamed in the stands, Scalabrini did not stop smiling. At one point, this opportunity to play in the playoffs once again seemed so far away, even out of reach.
In June, the coach told some people that he did not see his club getting there. And on Sunday, he got a taste of the traditional Gatorade shower, which arrived to “clean up” some of the beer his players had been served earlier.
“The way we started the season, everything was crooked, after winning the championship … we got back on track thanks to a couple of fighters we have on this team,” Scalabrini said. I’m really proud of some of these fighters who gave more than I expected in the last few weeks.
The beautiful “vibe” remains.
The other day, Scalabrini was right to say that his players were smart enough to maintain the “vibe” of their 14-2 win, while recovering quickly.
The manager made no mistake. That’s exactly what the Capitals do.
In a collective effort – all players except TJ White scored a point in this game – they responded to each of the offensive thrusts of their opponents, who nevertheless became a formidable machine to attack time.
A feat of arms that they achieved well in the second and fifth innings, where they each went around the plate five times, mainly thanks to two RBIs from Bird, then a home run run from two points from Valentine.
Quebec also took advantage of the size of the opposing gunners for a second game in a row, as their starter, Ruben Ramirez, contained the threat by giving up nine hits, but only two earned runs, in five innings.
“There is no choice to believe it”
So the Capitals will continue their playoff journey on Tuesday and Wednesday, at Stade Canac, before heading west. A Canac stadium where they haven’t lost in the playoffs since last year.
And they intend to take advantage of this unconditional love from their fans to keep their momentum going.
“The atmosphere here is electric. (Saturday), pain, guys are still talking about it (Sunday) how much it is something that has not been experienced anywhere else,” Scalabrini added.
“We have this confidence, series or not. All year long, we’ve come back late in games, we’ve believed in it from the beginning to the end. People are so upset it’s like we can’t do anything but believe in it until the end.”