Well, I spent another afternoon of watching tons of playoff action – um, actually, between flipping channels to catch some football (especially the ‘Skins) and HBO’s ‘True Blood’ – the games were must wins for three teams.
Obviously, as you know, they were the Brewers, White Sox and Angels.
Two – the White Sox and Angels – lived to see another day; however, the Brewers are done.
For much of the series, the Brewers offense could not do much and seemed to be at a huge disadvantage; thus, on Sunday, the Phillies finished them off for the season.
Two huge home runs by Pat Burrell, and an impressive performance by Joe Blanton, helped Philadelphia down Milwaukee, 6-1. The home team could not mount much of a challenge, and the squad that needed everything to go their way at the end of the regular season could not translate the same magic into October.
The NLCS could be one to potentially remember, as Philadelphia takes on the Dodgers. I think Manny Ramirez, his cohorts, and their pitching can match up with the Phillies in all aspects of game, and right now, I give them the advantage.
Although Joe Torre managed the Yankees, I am glad to see him in the post-season again, and not in pinstripe blue. Growing up, the Dodgers were my second team, so I am going to pick them in the NLCS.
As for the Brewers, it was nice to see another small market – especially a team that has not seen themselves in the playoffs after a generation gets in – however, this offseason will be one to watch for them.
Like I said in a previous entry, the Brewers’ ownership must make an offer to Sabathia – even if he turns it down – to just placate and give confidence to their fan base. Plus, you’ve got to wonder if they can even sign Sheets, keep their manager, and list of other stuff.
The White Sox, who needed to win, did so yesterday by beating the Rays, 5-3.
Tampa Bay starting pitcher Matt Garza was shaky, and the White Sox took advantage of him by getting hit after hit, especially Dewayne’s contributions with two hits and runs driven in. It was interesting watching the game how dominant the White Sox crowd was and I think it might have given them the advantage.
I figured the White Sox would win game three just because they were at home, and they had the impressive John Danks on the mound. I haven’t thought much of him this season, but he has been clutch for Chicago in the closing weeks and the post-season.
I like what he’s brought to the table, and it will be interesting to how Gavin Floyd (a tough pitcher) does versus Andy Sonnanstine – who has been slumping after his impressive first half. I still think Tampa takes the series in four; however, the White Sox have a veteran team that might give them some trouble.
The final game yesterday featured the Angels vs. Red Sox, perhaps the least interesting in my eyes, but probably the most compelling and captivating. Well, the Angels nearly gave this one away after Jacoby Ellsbury was able to bloop a ball into center – actually, both Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter allowed the ball to drop in – thus, Boston plated three runners.
That play would have ended the first inning and perhaps saved America from five hours of drama.
Los Angeles won the game, by the way, 5-4.
Mike Napoli helped the Angels with immensely with two home runs – the first being a two-run job and the second a solo one – to keep them in the game.
The game was tied at 4 in the fifth inning and deadlocked until the twelfth as Erik Aybar plated in Mike Napoli. Javier lopez took the loss, while Jered Weaver in his first relief appearance kept the Angels alive with his clutch performance.
Both teams had multiple chances to score and end the game, but they could not.
And more thing – K-Rod, oh K-Rod. Your 62 saves might net you a big pay once the games are done; however, from what I have seen so far, you’re a tad overrated. You’ve seemed to be shaky, and that home run you give up to J.D. Drew as not done any favors for your huge quest.
To be quite frank, there are six other closers I can name – including one who wasont he mound last night – whom I would rather have to a pressure packed situation (Fenway is that to the last degree) than K-Rod.
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