Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Swing away, Merrill. Merrill ... swing away.



The baseball playoffs (schedule) start tomorrow, so it's prediction time. Yours are most welcome.

10/7/2009 UDPATE: This just in, Vegas oddsmakers pick Cardinals & Yankees in the World Series.

NLDS
Cardinals at Dodgers - Cardinals
Rockies at Phillies - Rockies

ALDS
Tigers/Twins* at Yankees - Yankees
Red Sox at Angels - Red Sox

NLCS
Rockies at Cardinals - Cardinals

ALCS
Red Sox at Yankees - Yankees

World Series
Cardinals at Yankees - Cardinals Win!


COMMENTARY:
  • NL: With the Cardinals top 3 in their pitching rotation and Pujols & Holliday, they have a chance against anybody. That being said, the Cardinals match up MUCH better against the Dodgers than the Rockies or Phillies. The key will be the pitching. Worst case scenario, Carpenter pitches Game 1 & Game 5 in LA. He could still pitch Game 3 & Game 7 in the NLCS, with Wainright & Pinero in Games 1 & 2 and 5 & 6. Ideal would be finishing off the Dodgers in 4 games to start Carpenter, Wainwright, and Pinero in Games 1-3 and 5-7 in the NLCS. Either way, some off days favor the Cardinals being able to maximize their starting pitching.
  • AL: The Yankees & Red Sox shouldn't have much difficulty in the first round, even though the Red Sox start on the road. I wouldn't be surprised by another epic match up in the ALCS, but I think the Yankees have upgraded a bit, but I wouldn't say the same for Boston.

*Regardless of who wins the one-game playoff tonight, neither poses much of a threat to NY. However, I am rooting for the Twins after the Cabrera's recent incident of potent drunkeness and spousal physicality. I just wish the sport commentators were more upset about the latter than the potential "distraction" he's caused the Tigers.

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35 Comments:

At 06 October, 2009 07:55, Blogger Timothy said...

OK, OK, I will join the Cardinals bandwagon for the playoffs.

Now, who was it that I used to pull for???

Quote: Signs with Mel Gibson???

 
At 06 October, 2009 09:53, Blogger GUNNY said...

Bing! You got it, T-Money.

There's always room on the Cardinals bandwagon, sir, especially as many exit the train bound for College Station.

 
At 06 October, 2009 10:11, Blogger Strong Tower said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 06 October, 2009 10:17, Blogger Strong Tower said...

Rockies have beat most of them at one time or another and at this point they are a stronger team than during the regular season. The buggaboo of the Dodgers not withstanding.

The real weakness is in the inconsistent performance of Rockies pitching, however, if they can string together a series of good starts and strong relief, they'll take it.

Who are the Cardinals? They're the team that the Rockies beat up even with the Cardinals enhanced lineup.

Rockies haven't faced the dYan-kees. That's a match up I'd like to see. Viva the Giambino, Todd, Tulo and the rest of a phenomenal comback team under Tracy. Hooyah!

 
At 06 October, 2009 10:38, Blogger GUNNY said...

Strong, I was actually pulling for the Cardinals to NOT get the best NL record, so we don't have to play them in the first round.

However, I think the Rockies least favorite match up would be against the Phillies and as you know, it's all about match ups.

If that series can take a bit out of the Rockies and get their pitching off kilter, don't be surprised to see them struggle against the Cardinals pitching.

I think the Rockies have the edge where the bats are concerned, but it's all about the pitching in the postseason and if you've got 2-3 studs, you've got a chance to go far.

See you in the NLCS, Deo volente.

P.S. I readily concede the Rockies have been the best NL team the last month or so. But, history teaches us that it's a whole new ball game in the postseason.

 
At 06 October, 2009 10:52, Blogger Strong Tower said...

No doubt it will come down to pitching and the Rockies sticks have shown major frustration in generating offense when facing strength.

I actually thought that the Cards would be the worst first match up. We'll see.

In either case, I suspect you're right. If the Rocks are exhaustipated in the first round, it will be all up hill from there.

How's about Farve last night? It makes me feel younger just knowing he's an ol guy.

 
At 07 October, 2009 16:42, Blogger GUNNY said...

I was very happy for Brett, who's still rockin' it on the cusp of the big 4-0.

Boy, Cliff Lee really showed up for the Phillies today, didn't he?

 
At 07 October, 2009 19:26, Blogger Strong Tower said...

Yeah, he showed up big time. I wish the Rockies batters would learn that not every hit has to go to fence. UJ, man, for such a pitcher he only needs to get over that one, uh two, make that two bad innings. Usually they come early and he can more often than not recover, but when they come late its always too late. He was lights out through four. Lee and Jimenez are both full nine pitchers. Experience means alot and you can see why Lee was Cy Young, eh? Tracy seems to have Hurdlitis when it comes to recognizing when a pitcher's lost it. Well, there's still tomorrow and with worser weather. Then its back to Denver, where we're 'posed to get a huge storm. Hope the Phillies don't like Colorado Blizball. What do ya think, 162 ought to be trimmed a few so that it is still the Boys of Summer?

 
At 07 October, 2009 22:17, Blogger Jade said...

Gunny wrote:
World Series
Cardinals at Yankees - Cardinals Win!



Hahaha ... that's a good one Gunny. That's just wishful thinking.


But first, let's see if STL could even make it out that far.... :ob

 
At 08 October, 2009 17:18, Blogger Jade said...

OK here's my prediction:

NL:
Cards over Dodgers
Philly over CO
Cards to the Series

AL:
Angels over Sox
Yanks over Twins
Yanks to the Series

Yanks wins the World Series. :o)

 
At 08 October, 2009 17:49, Blogger Strong Tower said...

Baseball is a matter of inches.

Helton unable to pick a low Barmes throw, and wouldn't you know it, Barmes reels in a liner to end the game!

Rockies rock!

 
At 08 October, 2009 18:01, Blogger GUNNY said...

It really is a matter of inches! With the bases loaded a Ryan Ludwick fly ball goes deep down the left field line, landing on the line, it appeared to me. But the line judge called it foul. We didn't get a replay on it, but if it was foul we're talking an inch tops. So, instead of driving in 3 runs with a double, it's a foul and then he's the 3rd out of the inning.

Plus, Holliday got called out looking in the first inning, in a bases loaded & no outs situation. We only get one run that inning, thanks to an ending inning double play.

Both of those "almosts" were painful.

The home teams all held serve yesterday. The Cardinals & Rockies need to head home with a 1-1 split if they really want to make it to the NLCS.

Jade, you really think the Angels can beat the Red Sox? I guess we'll know more after Game One today.

 
At 08 October, 2009 18:10, Blogger Strong Tower said...

Don't gots no cable so I only get one game a day at mum's house. Got a study tonight with a friend out of Knowing God so I couldn't stay at her house to watch anything other than the Rockies win. Kinda hope the Cards do win, though.

Beside a matter of inches it is also a matter of umpireyers myopia. There's been a raft of what really seem to be questionable calls. Take Torealba's slide to third yesterday. He beat the tag by three feet Behind the plate hasn't been all that wonderful either.

Enjoy the games.

TT

My word verification is herwormy. Now that is a strange call!

 
At 08 October, 2009 18:15, Blogger Jade said...

Gunny wrote:
Jade, you really think the Angels can beat the Red Sox? I guess we'll know more after Game One today.

The Angels are scary if they can get their pitching together. That's the story for all AL teams. The team whose pitchers stay consistent will make the the series. With the injuries on the Yanks, Sox and Angels, there's so many question marks. It seems the Angels can pull it together; the Yanks and Sox are questionable. This is where my main concern is for the Yankees .... I think the Angels will be more of a threat ... though the Yanks did perform better in their last meet with the Angels, so I"m hopeful and hence put the Yanks in the WS. :o)

 
At 08 October, 2009 23:56, Blogger Jade said...

So did you see the Angel's powerhouse pitching? That's just a glimpse... scary!

I can't get over that you're rooting for the twins in the Yanks-Twins series?! Sure that Detroit player did a bad thing ... but what does that have to do with the Yankees?! :ob

 
At 09 October, 2009 00:13, Blogger Jade said...

Looks like STL's back is against the wall here Gunny (0-2), against the Dodgers. Game 3 is going to be do or die....

So watcha feeling?! What needs to happen in game 3 (other than the obvious need to win)?

 
At 09 October, 2009 13:16, Blogger Strong Tower said...

That Vegas line looks pretty good, especially since the Cards lost. Denver is a 14-1 underdog. That's almost worth burning a C note.

Brrrr! Projected low here (Cheyenne) tomorrow 11 degrees F -Denver's high tomorrow, 32, a 32 degree departure from the norm.


You know they put the balls in humadors in Denver to limit homers. I suspect that there will be a lot of shattered bats because of the cold and perhaps our first shattered baseball. Pitching could be a real challenge. I wonder if there is a category for ice balls? Stiff fingers, cold arms and frozen balls- it is gonna be one different kind of baseball if it is played at all. They're calling for ice and snow storms. Sheesh! Denver never does well after protracted delays, so I hope the game comes off on time. I think the weather is to their advantage- unless of course there is wind. Wind was the tenth player on the field in the first game and Denver didn't react as well as Phillies.

 
At 09 October, 2009 22:56, Blogger GUNNY said...

Regarding the Cardinals losing Game Two, I shared the following on Facebook last night: "Gunny hates to say it, but the Cardinals look done. You don't come back from losing a game that way. Franklin's confidence will be shot and Holliday's stock has tanked after his error cost them the game. How tragic after expectations were... so high, but "clutch" does not characterize the Cardinals' play so far."

They need to win Game Three, but they need to gain some confidence, particularly with the bats in "clutch" situations (e.g., with runners on base and/or in scoring position, where they've been HORRIBLE this series).

That Game Two can have drastic & lasting repercussions. Holliday may not sign with St. Louis, if he's perceived as the "goat" and would like a fresh start without that stigma. Franklin's been signed to a big contract, but his first post-season appearance ever didn't turn out so well tonight.

I feel bad for Wainwright and a team that went from likely NL pennant winners to potentially being swept.

Remember, those were the 2 games we were supposed to win because of the pitching match ups. We're on the short end of that stick for Games Three & Four.*


*If necessary.

 
At 09 October, 2009 22:58, Blogger GUNNY said...

Whilst picking up milk late last night, I came to the sobering realization that 30+ years from now Cardinals fans are still going to be talkin' about Holliday's error and the postseason that got away. That is, of course, unless the Cardinals go on to win the World Series.

FYI ... "This is the 15th year of Division Series play, and no NL club ever has lost the first two games of a Division Series and advanced to the League Championship Series."

 
At 09 October, 2009 23:00, Blogger GUNNY said...

Oh, Jade, in response to your query about my comment above:
"However, I am rooting for the Twins after the Cabrera's recent incident of potent drunkeness and spousal physicality."

I meant only that I was rooting for the Twins to beat the Tigers, so that the Tigers (and particularly Cabrera) would not enjoy the postseason festivities.

 
At 09 October, 2009 23:15, Blogger Jade said...

Ohhhh .... OK. Duh me.

Gosh Gunny, with your last sobering posts, I almost feel sorry for the situation STL is in.

I suppose the Twins are in the same place as STL now ... leading in the 9th and then just loosing it... but what can I say ... they are facing the Yankees....

 
At 09 October, 2009 23:54, Blogger GUNNY said...

There's some similarity based on their Game 2 experiences. However, nobody anticipated the Twins even making the postseason and certainly nobody picked them to beat the Yankees.

However, the Cardinals were the first team to clinch the division. They rolled out perhaps the two top NL Cy Young candidates (leader in ERA & wins respectively). Even LA commentators and writers were picking the Cardinals, some in 3 games, which is not unreasonable given the match ups on paper.

So, you go from that to 3 elimination games ... as the best you can hope for, well, you get the idea.

I would feel different if we had Carpenter & Wainwright in Games Three & Four, but we "wasted" them already.

I appreciate your desire to talk me in off the ledge, but it really is doom & gloom and talk of underachieving & under-performing is valid.

Woe is me! ;-)

 
At 10 October, 2009 00:07, Blogger Jade said...

OK, so you're not a Yankee fan but surely there's some wisdom from Yogi Berra's famous quote, "It ain't over till it's over"? :o)

Well it looks like The RedSox is also going home with 0-2. Like what I said, the Angel's bullpen is a force to be reckon with.... It isn't going to be an easy feat for the Yankees to get to the world series ...

 
At 10 October, 2009 00:22, Blogger Jade said...

I don't know if this is the place to discuss this. But what's your take on using replays to fix bad calls? As folks probably know there's been several bad calls already done in the recent post season games. And maybe it's not very "Yankee" of me to bring this up, but a bad call in the 11th inning did cost the Twins tonight's game.

Do you think MLB should use replays when a call is brought to question, as they do in NFL?

 
At 10 October, 2009 00:27, Blogger Strong Tower said...

That wasn't just a bad call, it was a really bad call! I think that game breakers might be justification for replays at least post season.

 
At 10 October, 2009 00:48, Blogger Jade said...

So does anyone know why MLB refuses to use replays to settle questionable calls?

I've got to say though, there were some tough moments in that Yanks-Twins game... it definitely was an eventful game... especially when the bases were loaded by the twins in the 10th inning, no outs. Robertson really kept his cool. How he got out of that jam is beyond me. That last out made by Jeter at 2nd base earlier in the 4th inning was amazing...annulling the scoring run by the twins.

Well I guess just the nature of post season games...

 
At 10 October, 2009 21:15, Blogger Rev. said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 10 October, 2009 23:06, Blogger GUNNY said...

I ... have become UNcomfortably numb.

Rev, I feel your pain, sir.

The Cardinals are too good a team to get swept, including being manhandled in their own hizzle. They couldn't even give the fans the courtesy of a second home game.

Strong, that must be some weather up there to keep 'em from playing ball.

Jade, looks like the path is clear for the Yankees now that the Cardinals are out of the way.

Oh, on the replay, they CAN reverse a play with recall, but they rarely even seem to think about it (unless it's a critical home run).

I understand very well how it works in the NFL, but I don't really know much about how it works for MLB.

 
At 11 October, 2009 08:44, Blogger Strong Tower said...

It's bad when you have to use a Zamboni to groom the infield.

 
At 11 October, 2009 15:53, Blogger Jade said...

Opps ... posted this earlier in the wrong thread! Now putting it in the right thread:

Well Gunny, I guess now it's REALLY OVER. I suppose for you, it was over a few days ago....

So did you also see the sweeping of the RedSox? I told you the Angels is a force to be reckon with! Did you watch the game? The Red Sox momentum has been going down in the past months and I really didn't think they could withstand the Angels. I could only hope now that the Yankees will defeat them! But I'm getting ahead of myself; let's put away the Twins first!

BTW I really don't know why the Yankees ever gave up Abreu. I mean that man is feeding positive energy into the offense.... the Yanks were just fools for giving him up. I sure hope they're not going to regret it!

 
At 11 October, 2009 16:08, Blogger Jade said...

So are you guys still going to watch the playoffs or will you just tune out because STL is out?

Make some new predictions Gunny based on existing teams. :o)

My prediction is ... at the WS, it will be the Dodgers vs Yankees. That will be interesting to see Torre up against his old team.

My only fear is the Angels... I don't know if the Yankees have enough to withstand the Angels! My only consolation is that the Yanks swept them the last series they played with the Angels. But the Angels are improving by the day! So whose to know?!

 
At 11 October, 2009 22:50, Blogger Jade said...

Well I guess the sweeps are completed for the day. This had to be a record for a post season day, no?

1)Dodgers swept STL
2)Angels swept RedSox
3)Yanks swept Twins

I've got to say, this is becoming an awfully quick post season....

Or is everyone just tuning out? :ob

 
At 12 October, 2009 23:26, Blogger GUNNY said...

Wow, that was a fast Divisional round, with the Advancers going 12-1.

I went 1 for 4 in my predictions, with only the Yankees "not letting me down."

*sign*

For what it's worth, I'm really laboring over the team(s) I should root for.

I hate to see the Phillies win back to back championships, since that would deter from the Cardinals' claim to being the elite team in the National League in the 00s.

I hate to root for the Yankees or the Angels. For one, they're in the American League and as long as the American League employs the lame "designated hitter," I will never root for an AL team to win the World Series.

Plus, the Yankees have more World Series championships than the Cardinals. Another would make it even harder to catch up.

Plus, the Angels have the goofy name thing where they changed from California to Anaheim to Los Angeles to the Los Angeles at Anaheim. What's up with that goofiness?

That brings us to the Dodgers. On the one hand, we're angry with them for beating the Cardinals. On the other hand, if the Dodgers win the whole thing, the sting is lessened losing to the eventual champions. But, the Dodgers would narrow the gap with regard to World Series titles, where the Cardinals presently have the most of any National League team. Plus, they already have more NL pennants than the Cardinals do. So, I don't want them to win.

So, I'll have to cogitate further before offering predictions or my rooting interest.

 
At 12 October, 2009 23:58, Blogger Jade said...

Gunny wrote:
I went 1 for 4 in my predictions, with only the Yankees "not letting me down."

*sign*


C'mon Gunny! What's with the *sigh*?! You'd think that the Yankees "not letting you down" would be some consolation to you! hahahaha.

OK, maybe this would help. You've seen the Angels steam roll over the RedSox ... so you know they are a force to be reckoned with, right? So... can't you see that the Yankees will be the underdog in the ALCS? So don't you wanna root for the underdog?!

Plus, you really want payback time for STL, don't you? And what more delight would it be to see Joe Torre (and the Dodgers) face off with his old team and lose?!

Can you see why you should be rooting for the Yankees?! :o) I mean those Angels look scary and so the Yankees need our support!

 
At 13 October, 2009 00:08, Blogger Strong Tower said...

I told ya that a game delay would undo Colorado. They nearly proved me wrong. I am sad. Veteran players were a great asset against the Rocks. The ability to stay off pitches was a big difference.

Now who do I root for? I hate the Doggers. If they would lose Manny I could be their boy.

So I am gonna go with the Hankies. I don't think anyone will match there hitting, even the Phillies, whose top of the order is mean and the bottom not so bad either. That by the way showed one thing about Colorado's pitching. They were at least able to hold down the scoring and keep the games close and make for the best of the series games so far.

What can I say, but Go Broncos!

 

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