Saturday, October 4, 2008

Playoff Reflections, Friday

Well, yesterday brought us more baseball -- this time, exclusively AL -- as the Division Series continued on Friday. I got home from work, and aside from talking to people off and on throughout the night -- it was all baseball, even doing cardio on my stationery bike.

The first game featured the upstarts Rays against the White Sox, and watching on TBS, it was shocking to see how many White Sox fans were there; nevertheless Tampa came back from a shaky first inning by Scott Kazmir -- where he gave up two runs -- and Chicago's inability to do anymore damage against him.

In a 6-2 final, Tampa used small ball and a huge Akinori Iwamura home run in the fifth inning to breball, tampa bay rays eak it open.

Tampa's bullpen kept the White Sox off the board, and in the end, they are now up 2-0 in the division series.

Being a fan of the Orioles, I have watched the Rays more than enough to see what they are capable of -- they are a complete team from top to bottom and can score in various ways -- unlike the White Sox.

I think the Sox will take a game in Chicago; however, I just think the Rays move to the next round of play and no one should confuse this team with the previous incarnations of the last decade. This Tampa team is very athletic, they don't make (many) mistakes, and they'll use various tricks up their sleeve to win.

Tampa is that good.

***

The final game on the night was the Red Sox vs. the Angels. Obviously, most people know my thoughts on this series; however, last night's game was highly entertaining and might have been the best game so far I have watched on TV.

I thought the Angels would mount a challenge and they did in game two -- but, the Boston Red Sox seem to have a killer instinct that the Angels don't have. A double by David Ortiz and then a home run by the "hurt" J.D. Drew in the top of the ninth lead Boston over Los Angeles, 7-5.

Jason Bay's home run in the first broke open the game and helped Boston take a four-run lead. They took advantage of a bad Ervin Santana, but his teammates chipped away at the Boston lead and Daisuke Matuszaka to tie it up. In the end, the Angels could not take advantage of opportunities -- especially in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded.

I expect Boston to finish the series up on Sunday. The Red Sox know they have the advantage, and now they head home to Fenway. The Angels will need a lot of luck on their side to win, and at this point -- if you saw the faces on some of the guys (especially Torii Hunter) -- you can tell that they are a defeated team.

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1 comment:

Allan said...

Yes Tampa is very good. I think the series between the Red Sox and the Rays will be the real World Series. Whoever wins that matchup will easily crush the NL champion in the World Series.

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