It took 12 innings and more than four hours but the Durham Bulls completed a three-game sweep of the International League's Governors' Cup finals with Thursday's 3-2, 12-inning win at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Tampa Bay Rays have consistently put good teams in Durham since the Bulls came into the IL with the Bisons in 1998. Durham has won three titles (2002, 2003, 2009) and lost in the finals four other times (1998 to the Bisons, 1999, 2007 and 2008). Pretty remarkable deep playoff runs. When the Rays finally broke through last year it was no surprise because of all the great players who have been in Durham over the years (topped by Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton). Eventually that winning feeling had to translate up top.
The Yankees scored only four runs in the series as IL MVP Shelley Duncan was called up to New York at the start of the playoffs. Seemed like a pretty unnecessary move given how the parent Yankees are in no trouble in the AL East and really don't need Duncan.
Durham plays the PCL winner in Tuesday's Triple-A National Championship Game in Oklahoma City(formerly the Bricktown Showdown). Memphis leads the PCL finals, 2-0, heading into Game Three tonight in Sacramento.