Talk about a dominant performance. The Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers all swept their LDS opponents and have moved on the their respective league’s championship game. Wow!
Now, the Yankees simply flexed their muscles in their first round matchup against the Twins. They won both games at home to open the series, despite having to come from behind in a crazy game. When Mark Teixeira hit the walk off homer to left to end the game, the Yankees stormed onto the field and celebrated, leaving a stunned Twins team in the opposite dugout. In the third game of the series, the first in Minnesota, the Twins kept it close again, but when they had the chance to score some runs and put some pressure on the Yankees, they made some key baserunning mistakes that really cost them. It was surely a disappointing series for Twins fans but you can’t say that you didn’t see this coming.
My pick for the ALDS matchup of the Angels and Red Sox had the Red Sox coming out victorious after a five game series. Obviously I was wrong as the Angels really poured it onto the Red Sox and swept them. History wasn’t in line to repeat itself in this series and the Angels soared their way to the ALCS. It was kind of against my prediction but while I was watching the game three between these two teams, which was at Fenway, I told my dad in the eighth inning that the Angels would come back to score three runs against Papelbon and win the game. He didn’t want to believe it but when the game was over I left the room with him staring at the t.v. I felt pretty good about myself about that one.
The ALCS is going to be a very intriguing matchup between two quality powerhouses with good pitching. The Yankees obviously have a pitching advantage but the offense’s of these two teams are pretty evenly matched. The Halos have a very good and underrated offense that will really matchup well against the Yankees. But the key to this seris will be pitching. If the Yankees pitching can overcome the good Angels offense than the Yankees will roll onto the World Series. My Prediction: Yankees win it in six.
Now onto the Dodgers, the team that everyone thought would be leaving the playoffs early due to their end of the season slump. Well, the Dodgers didn’t feel like taking any of that and they went out and swept a very powerful Cardinals team, that a lot of people thought would not be a factor in the Central this season. With the one-two punch of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright, how can you go wrong. Well, the Dodgers’ offense poured it on to the top two pitchers in the Cy Young race this year while in LA and when they went to St. Louis, Vincente Padilla put in a great perfornance and kept the Cards at bay while the Dodgers continued to have success against Cardinals pitching as they pushed Pineiro out of the game early. It was a great series for the Dodgers and they will want to use this head of steam going into the NLCS against whoever it is they end up playing.
When talks about the AL and NL Cy Young awards comes up, the general consensus usually comes up with four or five solid candidates for the awards. This season, there is no doubt that the NL race is between these three guys:
Tim Lincecum (SF)
Adam Wainwright (StL)
Chris Carpenter (StL)
So, that race is one in itself. The AL race is a totally different race from my perspective. There are so many quality guys in the AL that are worthy of the award but since I pretty much have to narrow it down to a few guys, I have come up with five guys that could possibly win it.
Being a Yankee fan myself, you have to think I’m gonna start off with the top guy in the Yankees’ rotation. And he is not just on this list because of where he plays. He is a legitimate candidate. Sabathia came just short of reaching twenty wins for the season when the Rays tore up the Yankees on Friday, 13-4. CC just wasn’t on his game and unfortunately he was unable to make it to twenty wins. That doesn’t mean his chance at winning Cy Young were shattered. No it just means that he isn’t going to have the distinction of having twenty wins. It’s alright. Adam Wainwright was also denied twenty wins when he recorded a no decision in his final start of the regular season.
Sabathia has had the pleasure of playing in New York and behind an offense that is probably the best in the league at scoring runs. That right field fence has looked great all year for Yankee hitters and he has really taken advantage of that. His record to finish off the season is 19-8. A solid record for any pitcher. To get to 19 wins is a huge aspect of his Cy Young resume. His 8 losses aren’t too bad a total but Sabathia definitely had some trouble at the beginning of the year that drew up that ugly loss total.
Sabathia’s ERA at the end of the season totals up at 3.37 which is a respectable one. Any ERA below 3.50 is generally considered solid. Sabathia has really picked it up toward the end of the year compared to the beginning of the year. He had real trouble early and that is why his ERA after the first month of play was really high.
Sabathia also finished the season with 197 strikeouts. He finished two complete games and one shutout. Sabathia’s season was definitely worthy of a Cy Young award. But personally, he would be my third choice for the award this year despite being a Yankee. I know it’s unfortunate but I am making my picks according to how good they had over the season and Sabathia did not have the best season among the AL pitchers.
2. Felix Hernandez
This young flamethrowing Mariner is a clear candidate for the Cy Young this year. His season has included two complete games and one shutout. He struck out 211 guys over the season. And guess what… he still has one more start today. Despite playing for a Mariners team that lacks much offense, other than Ichiro, Hernandez has done a great job of maintaining his success. Hernandez has one more game to go but his current record is 18-5. A record that is a little better than Sabathia’s. Sabathia does have one more win than Hernandez but Hernandez has less losses. It’s close but that is not the only thing that goes into account when thinking of a Cy Young resume.
Hernandez has a phenominal 2.38 ERA which to me is just fantastic considering he doesn’t get much run support from the M’s. He really can control a game and knows how to get it done like the best of them…. wait a minute, he is one of the best of them.
Hernandez’s age is what is so amazing. He is so successful so early in his career, this being his fifth year in the league. He still has a long way to go and this success and poise he is showing now will surely get him into high places as his career goes on.
Hernandez also finished the season with 232 innings of work which is clearly more than any other guy on the Mariner rotation or bullpen. He has really done something special in Seattle this year and he is a legitimate Cy Young candidate as well. He is my second pick in this contest.
3. Justin Verlander
Verlander has also had a fantastic season. He has led that Tigers team back to the spotlight in the AL Central after a few really really really really… okay you get the point… bad years. With the Tigers on the brink of a playoff birth, Verlander will be a key to the Tigers’ success if they get to the playoffs.
Verlander finished this season with a 19-9 record. A very good one that easily compares with Sabathia’s and Hernandez’s that will go up as the top three records in the league. Verlander has been a solid… more than solid… top of the rotation guy for the Tigers. He has been the vocal point of this team all year. The offense hasn’t been great but it has been good enough to support the pitching and Verlander hasn’t really needed all that support. With the stuff he has, there isn’t really much you can do to support him other than put a single run up on the board.
Verlander always finishes at the top or near the top of the strikeout list. This season, he finished with 264 and every one made the opposing batter just look back and think about how good the pitch was. Verlander is that good. You always have to include this flamethrower in the Cy Young conversation. The only difference this year is that his team has been a little more successful and he has gotten more recognition that he has the past few years. Verlander’s ERA was also fantastic this season at 3.45 which is a little lower than Sabathia’s. To me, either him or Sabathia would go third in my voting but I would put Sabathia there because of the success of the Yankees this year. Nothing against Verlander but they are both great performers.
Verlander also finished the season three complete games and one shutout.
4. Roy Halladay
You always have to include Roy Halladay in the Cy Young talks no matter what. He has had that kind of influence in this league since he came into it as a rookie.
Halladay’s numbers this year have been down and his Cy Young resume has decreased in value. Much of this came from the constant rumors of his being traded at the deadline in the summer. His performance surrounding the deadline shows many stats that are uncharacteristic of his career. Some bad losses, tough ERA numbers. And just about anything that can go wrong during an outing. It happened to him.
Halladay didn’t have a terrible season though. His record was 17-10 to finish the season. Not terrible but a tough number of losses. He probably could’ve come up with a win or two more but that was due to the trade rumors and the fact that the Jays had a tough time getting runs on the board over a period of time over the summer.
Halladay is the lowest on my list of candidates for every reason I explained to you now. He finished with nine complete games and four shutouts, which are two stats he holds over the other candidates in this competition. He struck out 208 guys which is a respectable number. His season has been a generally good on but not a Cy Young good season.
Winner: Zack Greinke
I know, I know he’s on the Royals. But that is a key reason why he is the winner of this competition. I mean come on… a Royals pitcher in this conversation? That’s ridiculous. Well, it’s not. With the numbers he has put up this season, he is clearly the best pitcher in the AL.
His record doesn’t give him justice of how well he has pitched. At 16-8, Greinke has lossed more games than he should have if he had more run support. His ERA is a league low 2.16. That just proves that he really didn’t get enough run support ot get the wins. If he gave up one or two runs a game, he lost the game because of the lack of run support the Royals’ offense gave him.
Greinke also put up some good strikeout numbers finishing the season with 242. He six complete games and three shutouts. With the team he was pitching behind, I think it is possible that he could get a loss when he threw a shutout. Just kidding but still, I’m just making a point. Greinke’s season would’ve been no doubt a perfect Cy Young season if he was with any other team that could put up three or four runs a game of run support. The Royals have had a tough history and Greinke has been unfortunate enough to be stuck on that team and be such a great pitcher. With the talent he has, he is no doubt the Cy Young award winner in the AL this season.
P.S. My NL Cy Young vote is Adam Wainwright.
Strasburg is signed, the Yanks were kept scoreless by their former comrad, and the Cards continue to dominate the Dodgers, MLB’s best team. Here we go…
Yesterday I talked about the whole Strasburg situation. Well, he’s finally signed; it took until 11:58 Monday night to get it done. Another Scott Boras guy, Strasburg was drafted number one by the Nats and is expected to be the start of a reformation in the nation’s capital.
Here’s a comment I got on my post from yesterday by Julia from Julia’s Rants:
“Dillon- Jacoby Ellsbury has to be near the top of your list as well. Many a wall wear scares from him. And Strasburg? Sadly another case of his devil of an agent trying to extort money from teams.”
Julia put it right on the money. Boras has the reputation of extorting money from teams trying to sign his clients. He definitely gets his clients money but he is not like much by other players, teams, and fans because of how he does it. For the Nationals, they are probably ecstatic that they were able to sign Strasburg. Boras took it down to the last minute until Strasburg told him to get it done because of his wanting to play. It’s done now and you can expect to see Strasburg in the nation’s capital next spring.
Hey, Yankee fans! Remember this guy. Yeah. It’s Brett Tomko. He kind of played for us this year until we released him in July because he wasn’t performing to the level of success that we needed him to. Yeah, him. Well, he’s on the Athletics now and he just shut us out yesterday. What a shame.
The Yankees were held to seven hits and were walked twice. Tomko was definitely on his game for the first five innings of the game before he was taken out. And even after he was relieved, the Yankees were still baffled by the Athletics’ pitching. They just couldn’t get it done. After Tomko came out, they only got two more hits. That’s terrible. How could this happen against the A’s of all teams? Well, at least we can say AJ Burnett and Derek Jeter had really really good games.
Burnett went a complete game (8 innings) of STELLAR work. He only allowed six hits, one less than the Yankees had as a team. He struck out five and walked two. Not a bad performance. In fact, it’s a very good performance. This would be the kind of performance we would assume came in a Yankee victory. But unfortunately the Yankee bats were held quiet. But not Derek Jeter.
Jeter went 3-4 with three singles. He didn’t do much more than that but at least he was able to have some success agaisnt the Oakland pitching. Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher both hit doubles, their only hits of the game. Jorge Posada and Ramiro Pena both hit singles as well. The Yankees still have a seven game lead on the Red Sox in the AL East.
Chris Carpenter was dealing last night against the Dodgers. He went eight innings of work giving up only five hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He only gave up two runs on the game which is a good sign as for his run control goes. The offense also helped out. It took until the end of the game to pull ahead but it happened eventually and Carpenter was still on the mound to record the win. Pujols homered in the fourth to tie the game at one apiece. Then in the seventh, Rick Ankiel sent a bomb to deep right center to go ahead 3-2. The Cards kept the lead with Trevor Miller and Ryan Franklin who combined to pitch the ninth. The Dodgers seem to have no answer for the Cards this season. They could be a deadly foe for the Dodgers in the playoffs as the Cards may have the top of the Central division come the end of the season. Who knows, maybe the Cards will out play the MLB’s best team.
Now, some of you may know that fantasy baseball, to me, is a fun game that is a great way to make your baseball dreams come true. But it’s nothing more than that. It’s a game, nothing more. Now, I have made several rants on how I have a huge pet peeve over people who follow baseball, or whatever other sport, just to see how their fantasy team is doing. I mean, c’mon. That’s not why people love baseball. There are so many hypocrites out there that say they are baseball fans but only follow the sport to make sure their fantasy team wins. I hate that so much.
Well, I couldn’t think of anything else to write so I figured I would just talk about this. So, here we go. I myself love to play fantasy sports. It’s just fun. I love to make up my own team and manage it like I would if it was a professional team. But I still follow the game of baseball as a fan of the Yankees and not just as a fan of whoever is on my team. Whether or not I have any Yankee players on my team, I will still love the Yankees. As goes for Curtis Granderson or Ryan Braun or David Wright. I am still a true baseball fan whether or not I play fantasy. I play fantasy baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. But that’s pretty much it. I have fun with it and I usually don’t play in competitive leagues. Usually just casual. I figured I’d show you some of my teams.
Here’s one of my two baseball teams that I enjoy following more than the other. I am currently in sixth place out of ten, mostly because of injury problems. But here it is.
Team Name: The Silver Sluggers
C: Mike Napoli (LAA)
1B: Kevin Youkilis (Bos)
2B: Chase Utley (Phi)
3B: Emilio Bonifacio (Fla)
SS: Alexei Ramirez (CWS)
OF: Jermaine Dye (CWS)
OF: Jason Bay (Bos)
OF: Andrew McCutchen (Pit)
Util: Garret Jones (Pit)
Util: Shin Soo Choo (Cle)
Bn: Brad Hawpe (Col)
SP: Tim Lincecum (SF)
SP: Derek Lowe (Atl)
RP: Jonathon Papelbon (Bos)
RP: Huston Street (Col)
P: Chris Carpenter (StL)
P: Joakim Soria (KC)
P: David Price (TB)
Bn: Jair Jurrjens (Atl)
Bn: Johnny Cueto (Cin)
I’m doing pretty well in this league and I think I could make a run toward the end of the season. I have been playing a lot better of late because my team’s injury problems have diminished. I’ve been telling my friends that they better watch out for my team because I could be a spoiler in the playoffs.
On Friday, many of the people in the league that I have that baseball team in did a draft for football that starts up soon. I missed the whole draft except the last pick in which I chose Sidney Rice from Minnesota. I figured if Brett Favre ever signed with them that he would be a valuable guy. So I took a chance and picked him. Here’s the rest of my team.
Team Name: No Punt Intended
QB: Aaron Rodgers (GB)
WR: Steve Smith (Car)
WR: Marquis Colston (NO)
WR: Santonio Holmes (Pit)
RB: Adrian Peterson (Min)
RB: Frank Gore (SF)
TE: Anthony Fasano (Mia)
BN: Owen Daniels (Tex)
BN: Joseph Addai (Ind)
BN: Carson Palmer (Cin)
BN: Jericho Cotchery (NYJ)
BN: Sidney Rice (Min)
K: John Kasay (Car)
BN: Rian Lindell (Buf)
DEF: New England
So, this league is to start up obviously whenever the NFL season starts so I’m excited for that.
Well, now I’m really bored so I’ll hopefully have something more intersting to write about tomorrow.