This drop by Matt Holliday ultimately put the Cardinals in a 2-0 hole and has put a lot of pressure on the Cards to win both games at home. If they lose even one they are done. This is how important that drop turns out to have been. He’s going to be hitting himself when the Cardinals go home early.
The Dodgers truly did get lucky last night but the Dodgers I think have a talented enough team to win a game on the road. If they can win a game on the road already up two games then they can close this thing out early and get some extra rest. That would be really big for them. They are my pick to get to the world series this year.
Speaking of that, my friend and I made a bet about who would make it to the Fall Classic. My pick is the Yankees and Dodgers, the matchup that a lot of people really want to see. Joe Torre returning to Yankee Stadium and facing off against the current Yankee skipper. That would be so great. Now just because I really want to see that matchup doesn’t mean it is the obvious choice but I really think the Dodgers can get there if they play well enough.
My friend’s pick is the Angels and Dodgers. Now I don’t know about the Angels but the Dodgers are obviously my pick too. Whoever wins the bet has to buy the other a snack out of the vending machines at school. Nothing huge but we felt like making it interesting enough so that’s what we came up with.
Well, I’ve got nothing else to talk about right now so…
Now how about that? The Twins are in the playoffs. I bet no one believed they could do it. I bet everyone thought the Tigers were a lock for the division but look who’s in the playoffs now. Regardless of who it is, the Yankees are going to sweep them. They are just too good.
The Twins pulled off a miracle win last night and it really was a great game to watch. The fans at that game must have been going crazy the entire game. After the game went into extras, I knew the Twins had it in their hands. I just had a feeling.
There were so many great plays and happenings in the extra innings that made it such a great game. Brandon Inge’s diving stop at third, Ryan Raburn’s throw from left to get Casilla out at home. It was all great stuff. The twins were able to come out victorious and I am not taking anything away from the Tigers. They played a great game. It’s just that the Twins were able to come up with one more extra run that ended up winning it.
Well, now that the Twins have finally reached the postseason, they have the amazing prize of playing the Yankees in the ALDS. Just oodles of fun.
Prediction 1: Yankees vs Twins
If you look at the season series numbers between these two teams, it seems as though the Yankees have easily taken the series by storm and have the obvious advantage in about every statistical category. Well, although Joe Girardi says it has been a closer series than it looks on paper, the Yankees will easily sweep the Twins in the ALDS and will move on to the ALCS. Three simple aspects of the Yankees’ game can explain why I am so confident with my pick for them to win the series:
Tremendous Offense, Dominating Pitching, Phenominal Defense
And then again, they have Derek Jeter
Prediction 2: Red Sox vs Angels
Red Sox win in 5
This matchup is going to be a lot clsoer than the Yankees’ against the Twins. For one, the Red Sox have not proven to me over the past half month that they can win consistently against teams that are actually good. They haven’t really been consistent at all and that is why I think this series will go five games.
The Red Sox have a really good pitching staff that they are bringing into the playoffs. As long as their pitching is good, I think the offense, which has struggled a little of late, can keep up. The Angels on the other hand, have also had some pitching problems. They still have some really reliable guys on their rotation but the offense has been phenominal this year. They have a good squad but I have to pick the Red Sox in this matchup.
Well, as much as I thought I would be busy this upcoming year, I have realized that I have a lot more time on my hands than I thought I would. I had planned on not being able to write on this blog for a while, since I would be doing track this year. Since I have the extra time, I figured I’d get back to blogging on the MLBlogosphere. And I mean c’mon. Can you blame me. I couldn’t stay away from this too long. And what a perfect time to come back, right as the playoff races are coming to a conclusionn. There is still no winner in the AL Central and NL West, the Yankees are dominating and the Red Sox got lucky to even get into the playoffs as the wild card, considering they haven’t been able to win consistently recently. Well, I’m back and… HERE WE GO!
To start off, the Tigers’- Twins series last week was phenominal. Every morning before school I would make sure I got to the t.v. and see the score of the game. It was a great series. Orlando Cabrera came up big in one game. Another, the Tigers’ pitchihng was dominating. The Twins had no answer. It was a great series.
The Yankees have been 100% untouchable over the past few weeks. Now, by untouchable, I don’t mean they haven’t been able to lose, because they have, but when they did, it hasn’t really struck anybody as a tough blow, the Yankees haven’t lost that much recently but when they did, it didn’t hurt. They have been on that kind of roll.
The Red Sox… well, I guess I can say they deserve to be in the playoffs over the Rangers who have all but fallen off the edge of the earth this past month. The Red Sox haven’t done all that much better. They clinched on a night when both them and the Rangers lost. They have been about as inconsistent of late than any other losing team. They won’t make it very far into the playoffs. If history runs its course, they will beat the Angels, but they won’t get past the Yankees in the ALCS if they even get that far.
The playoff race in the NL West has gotten a little slow lately but that is comparing it to the way it was when the Rockies were unbeatable. They have lost a few key games over the past few weeks but the race is still close. Neither the Dodgers or the Rox have clinched and it will most certainly go down to the wire. One thing that is definite… the Giants made a run but their pitching couldn’t carry them all the way. They need to hit too. All I have to say to the Rockies is this… if you’re gonna go out there and lose, you better watch out for the Braves who could easily sweep out of no where and take the wild card.
That’s all for now and I feel great. Until next time…
Man, the Yankees can’t seem to pull out a win against either the Red Sox or the Angels. It’s bad enough that we were just swept by the Halos but now we’re three games out of first behind the Red Sox who are the second team we have been unable to figure out for the first half of the season. Yesterday, we sent CC to the mound in hope of stopping the sweep, but I guess that didn’t go over very well with the Angels because they still beat us. The final score was 5-4 and the Yankees unfortunately ended the first half of the season on a sour note. A sweep, not my idea of a good end to the first half.
As far as the Yankees go, they didn’t play all that bad. CC pitched all right going 6.2 innings giving up nine hits and three walks. He gave up all five runs that the Angels would get in the game. When he was relieved in the seventh, Phil Hughes came out from the ‘pen and continued his dominance from the ‘pen. He went the remainder of the game giving up two walks and striking out one. A STELLAR performance from Mr. Hughes.
The offense played pretty well too. Here are my top performers for the day:
Derek Jeter- 2-5, 1 RBI
Melky Cabrera- 2-3, 2 Runs, 1 RBI
Jorge Posada- 1-1, 2 RBI
Hideki Matsui- 0-1, 1 Run, 3 Walks
Phil Hughes- 1.1 IP, 1 K, 0 Runs Allowed
So, the All Star break is here and the Yankees are second in the AL East, three behind the Boston Red Sox. We’ve got some guys representing the Bombers in St. Louis for the game and I feel that the second half of the season is going to be a good one.
Now onto other thoughts running through my brain right now…
The Home Run Derby is tonight and I have a feeling it is going to be a good one. In the NL, there are a quartet of first base sluggers that are definitely give us a good show.
In the AL, there are a few guys that I don’t feel will last very long, not mentioning any names… Brandon Inge… cough cough.
Here are the rest of the AL contestants.
Albert Pujols will dominate the general competition sending balls into the stands left and right. Adrian Gonzalez will be the Josh Hamilton of 2009. He is the one guy that I don’t think is getting a lot of credit for being here. He is going to have a great derby. Fielder and Howard will do well in general but I don’t know if they will make it to the second round. Brandon Inge is out after the first round. Nelson Cruz will make a run as will Carlos Pena. I think Joe Mauer will have a good derby despite not being considered as much of a power hitter as the rest of the competitors (not including Brandon Inge). Mauer will make it to the second round but probably not much further.
After first round, guys still in it:
Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Howard, Joe Mauer
Gonzalez will use his high home run count from the first round to stay ahead of the pack and get into the finals. Pujols will continue to hit a ton of bombs. Mauer and Howard will fall despite having another round of good numbers. They won’t catch up to Gonzalez and Pujols.
After second round, guys still in it:
Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez
It could go either way and I think either guy will have a great chance at putting on a show and getting the victory. Personally, I would like to see Adrian Gonzalez win it because I think it would be nice to see him get credit for being the big power hitter that he is. He can go the other way better than any of the other competitors and that is why he is my favorite to win the event.
Overall, the Home Run Derby is an event for the fans and it is usually greatly enjoyed. I am looking foward to seeing this one. It’ll be a great time.
Hmmmmm… what to do on an off day? That’s the question for me today. There aren’t many over the course of the year, but there are a few here and there. And today’s one of them. So what should I do? The Yanks aren’t playing. In fact, there are only two games scheduled for today. The Angels and Giants face off in Frisco, and the Tribe and Brew Crew face off in “bugville.” That’s Cleveland for any of you unfamiliar with the Yankees’ and Joba Chamberlain’s situation in Cleveland last year. So that’s it. No more baseball other than that until tomorrow. So the question still remains, what should I do? I know.
I’m going to analyze how bad the Nationals are. Why not. It shouldn’t be that hard. So I’m going to start with this. Their pitching.
It’s horrific. Their best starting pitcher is probably Shairon Martis, who at 5-1 has a 5.06 ERA. It’s terrible. And that’s just the start of things. He has the most wins on the team. Ron Villone has a .96 ERA and has appeared in 22 games. That is the best reliever they’ve got. He has at least been somewhat good. The next lowest ERA on the team for someone that has pitched in at least 10 games is 3.51 from John Lannan who is their number one starter. The guy with the highest ERA is Logan Kensing who has an ERA at 13.40. Everything is going wrong for the Nats on the pitching side. They have very little upside and way too much downside.
The offense has some upside to it. A ton more than the pitching does. To start, you’ve got Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn. Two top offensive guys in the league. But after them, you’ve got some other guys who are either young with some potentioal or other guys who just haven’t hit it huge in the bigs. Some of those players are Elijah Dukes, a potentially very good player. He hasn’t hit it big yet but I think he will sometime soon. Also, Nick Johnson, Christian Guzman, and Austin Kearns are some guys that are good players, but they aren’t good enough to take the Nats to bigger places. Obviously this is true or else it would have happened the last couple years.
The defense is alright. They don’t have any gold glove contenders. They don’t have anyone that makes great defensive highlights day in and day out. They just don’t have any spark on defense and that is why they aren’t noticed defensively. They don’t have guys that dive out for catches in the outfield and they don’t have guys that make “Top 10” worthy double plays. They aren’t terrible, but they aren’t great either.
So overall, the Nats suck. The Yanks should have their way with them and should come out with a swwep. Now, I’m not the kind of guy to underestimate a team. The Nats are a really bad team. But they still can’t be underestimated. Their offense does have some spark so if our pitching is not top notch, they could build a lead up. So I am expecting at least two out of three games won for the Yanks but the sweep would be perfect as well. We need this sweep to keep going and keep pace with the Red Sox who are in first.
CC is going tomorrow against Shairon Martis. It should be a pretty good matchup as our ace goes agaisnt their ace (as far as I see it). So hopefully we can take advantage of the not so good pitching. Offense- you need to score runs.
Let’s go Yanks.
His offense and defense were both tops among the non pitcher free agents and he was going to make whatever team was lucky enough to get him so much better. That’s right. Mark Teixeira. The golden boy that everyone wanted when he became a free agent after his contract with the Angels ran out. He was the top offensive free agent out there, possible the best overall. He was just that good and everyone wanted him. Since the Yankeeas have had an inconsistency at first base in the past (no one that could use a glove), they wanted to get a guy that could produce on offense and could use a glove. So who better to spend a big part of your enormous budget on than Mark Teixeira. One of the top free agents on the market. The Yanks signed him over the Red Sox, who were their top competition for Teixeira. They gave him a eight year, $180 million contract that would keep him in pinstripes for a long time. And hey, I’d like to keep him around for a while as well.
At the start of the season, Teixeira’s offense wasn’t as good as everyone had hoped it would be. A big hole in the Yankee offense that was one of the reasons they slipped as low as fourth place in the AL East. His defense was there, continuing his gold glove worthy work at the home plate corner of the diamond. So why was he having such a slow start. One of the reasons, now known, that Teixeira’s offense took a while to start up was the absence of another middle of the lineup guy, Alex Rodriguez. The projected lineup for the Yankees at the beginning of the season included Teixeira batting third and A-Rod batting fourth. The absence of the powerful A-Rod behind him may have caused him the slow start. But now, Teixeira’s performance at the plate could not be more the opposite of how it started.
Currently, he is batting .286, has 17 homers, has 50 RBI, has a .390 OBP, and has a .618 SLG. He is absolutely on fire. He has been so since A-Rod came back. Since his return, Teixeira has been on a tear and is one of the biggest parts of the Yankee offense. Now I’m starting to think that deal the Yankees signed him to is going to be worth it.
Last night, Teixeira had another big game. He went 2-5 with a solo homer and two additional RBI. He also played a solid game at first. Like he always has, he will be a solid first base defender and will have yet another shot at the first base gold glove. Someone he will have to compete with for that award will be Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox. Youk is also a very good player on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He is always in contention for the gold glove at first base. He is the defender of that award from last season but the battle will still be a good one.
So, the Yankees have gained so much since Tex has gone on his tear. He is the biggest part of their offense, a solid defender, and a great presence in the dugout. He was a huge aquisition for the team and that huge deal he signed may end up to be worth it. He is having a great season and, with the All Star weekend coming up, may earn a trip to St. Louis to play with the best of the best. He is my pick for the AL starting first baseman (sorry Youk). Hopefully he will continue to tear it up for the Yanks as the season is going on. I am expecting him to be in the running for AL MVP at the end of the season and I am also expecting him to lead this team to the playoffs and hopefully to a World Series victory. Who knows? That’s a while away. But hey… you can never be too ready.