Tagged: Red Sox

Dodgers, Angels, Yankees Sweep LDS Opponents

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.

-Dillon

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Playoff Prediction (AL)

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

Yankees Sweep

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.

-Dillon

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

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…

Go Yanks!

Go Braves!

-Dillon

To Be Completely Honest…

I am more focused on football season coming up than on the playoff races in the MLB that are going on right now.  I am a huge football fan, both college and professional. I’m a Longhorn at heart and a Pats fan since forever.  Football is my favorite sport overall and I really enjoy watching it.  Now, being a small guy, I’m not really the kind of guy that plays competitive football at my high school, but my friends and I have our own little thing going on which we play each other every week.  It’s pretty fun and I enjoy playing all the time.

Now, although I am focused on football more than baseball right now, I am still keeping up with the major headlines around the league.  Here are my top three headlines from yesterday.

  • Halladay one-hits Yankees
  • Red Sox are slaughtered by White Sox, Rangers Creep up on Red Sox in Wild Card Race
  • The Rox keep on rolling in the NL West

I didn’t even realize that the Yankees had a seven game winning streak going into last night until I saw it on Sportscenter this morning.  When I saw that, I was just thinking, Wow the Yanks are unstoppable right now… then we ran into Roy Halladay.

Since the trade deadline in which Halladay was most likely to be traded, he hasn’t really been on top of his game the way he has been the first part of the year.  Now, I’m not saying he was bad. Because that is the last thing he was.  He still was throwing really well but the offense wasn’t giving him all the support he needed.  He had his off days and his record stumbled down with a few losses.  Last night was a sign of how good he really can be.  And against a powerhouse like the Yankees helps his point.

Simply the only hit he gave up against the Yanks was a double down the line for Ramiro Pena.  It was a really disappointing loss as a Yankee fan but you really have to appreciate how good Halladay was.  He was brilliant.

Freddy Garcia was also very good last night against the Red Sox.  Another great performance against a powerhouse.  Garcia finished the game after throwing six innings, giving up seven hits, and one run.  He struck out five in his phenominal performance.  The Red Sox just could not get anything off him.  It was pretty much the total opposite for Paul Byrd who started for the BoSox.  Byrd was chased after two and a third innings.  He was just aweful.  He gave up seven runs on ten hits, including a homer.  He did strike out three but that didn’t really mean much after his early departure.

The White Sox’s power surge last night was something that we know the Sox could have but the question was when would it happen.  Last night is when.  The Red Sox lost and that meant a huge problem was about to happen in the Wild Card race if the Rangers and Rays both won.

The Rangers won over the Orioles last night behind Scott Feldman who was just STELLAR.  This win was huge for the Rangers as it moved them within two of the Wild Card lead.  The Red Sox better be careful the rest of this series with the White Sox because if they can’t pull it together, they will surely lose the Wild Card spot.

Jason Giambi… everyone remembers him right?  Well, after last night, you should.  He hit a go ahead single to bring in the go ahead run for Colorado as they went ahead over the Arizona Diamondbacks.  This come from behind win is going to prove to be huge as they win the Wilid Card spot for the playoffs.  I am sure they will win it and that is my very confident prediction.  The Rox have been a sight to see the past couple months as they have just streaked throughout their schedule and have really made a big impact on the league.  Their presence in the playoffs is going to be great.  Who knows how far they will go if they continue to streak like this.

Back to football.  The Patriots open their season up against the Bills on Monday Night Football next week.  It is going to be a huge stage to open the season up and the Patriots are going to start up what is going to be a super year for them.  I am predicting they win the Super Bowl over the Packers this year and redeem theirselves as the champs of the league. They really are the best team in the league.  And I think they will win the Super Bowl this year.  With Brady back and healthy, that should be a no doubter.

ut_texas_longhorns_logo.jpg UT logo image by mslagley

The Texas Longhorns are my other favorite team, being in the NCAA’s.  Colt McCoy is my favorite college player and when he gets drafted into the NFL he will then be my favorite NFL football player.  Texas is always going to be my favorite team in the college level just because I have followed them for a while now.  The thing about college is that players cycle through.  They play in college and then are drafted and new guys come in.  Texas is always going to be my favorite team even if the powerhouse goes down in the future when their star players are all gone.  But I think Texas is one of those teams that continues to get new guys that will be great throughout college from their freshman year through their senior years.  Colt McCoy is that kind of example.

Go Pats!  Go Horns!

-Dillon

Uno, Dos, Tres…

C’mon Jorge.  It goes like this.  Uno… dos… tres… so on.  How can you not think this was hilarious.  I mean, Yankee fans as well as everyone else around the MLB community should get a kick out of this.  And I figured that after being away from this blog for a week or so I should start back up with something simple and funny.  This is the perfect thing.

The Yankees are still rolling with the division lead over the Red Sox which is now up to 6.5 games if you were wondering.  Last night, they played the second game of a three game series against the O’s at Camden Yards and there were plenty of exciting moments, and strange ones as well.

The Bombers are the Bombers.  You have to expect them to hit a lot of homers.  Not only while they are at homer friendly Yankee Stadium, but also while they are on the road.  I mean, they are just a really talented and powerful team that hits a lot of homers.  Get over it haters.

Robby Cano hit one in the second inning.  Jorge Posada hit one in the third and then hit another one in the fifth.  A two homer night wasn’t the only thing that got Posada recognized though.  More on that in a second.  Nick Swisher and Eric Hinske both went yard in the seventh.  So there is your list of homers on the night and as always, a very impressive performance by the Bombers.

So, Posada had a great game offensively against the O’s yesterday.  But I don’t think he remembered how to count.  Twice, Posada got the counts messed up and the home plate umpire had to remind him of what was going on.

At one point, HP ump Angel Hernandez had to remind Posada that he had just looked at ball four and was awarded a walk.  This was a few seconds after Posada looked at the pitch and as he was getting ready for another.  The pitcher would’ve loved to get another chance but the umpire was alert and gave Posada the heads up.  The second time he messed up the count.  He thought he had struck out.  When he started walking back to the dugout, Hernandez, as well as guys in the dugout were telling him it was only two strikes.  It was great.  Hysterical.

Both Derek Jeter and A-Rod were filmed by the camera men at the game laughing about the incident and Johnny Damon was also in there somewhere too.  It was really funny and all his teammates were getting a kick out of it.  What I really don’t get is how Posada, being a catcher, messed up two different counts in one game.  It is really strange and it doesn’t happen often.

So remember Jorge.  Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro.

-Dillon

Detroit Downers

From MLB.com

Curtis Granderson has manned center field for the Tigers long enough to ignore taunts from fans when they’re on the road. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t listen.

They’re not taunting him as much. They’re making fun of his city.

“You hear the razzing: ‘Hey, man, I wouldn’t want to live in Detroit,'” Granderson said. “Or, ‘Nice city. The motor industry’s gone. Now what else do you guys have left?'”

He’s heard it before, but it stings a little more now.

Wow.  That’s all I have to say about this.  I read this article and I started thinking that people can be really harsh when it comes to the economy.  I mean, really.  The Tigers are a baseball team that happens to have Detroit as their home.  They are having a successful season and taunts from fans come all the time to every team.  But when fans of opposing teams start making fun of the Tigers for playing in Detroit, that’s just messed up.

Detroit has been the center of motor vehicles for so long and now it is gone.  The economy has definitely payed its toll on Detroit but the Tigers continue to thrive.  The Tigers’ baseball organization is a part of the economy, believe it or not.  Some people don’t think of it that way but it is.  It is a legitimate way of bringing in money to the area.  In fifth grade, I did a project on economics for my history class.  I decided to do it on the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.  The topic was to see how much money this certain rivalry, and baseball in general, brought to the area.  The Tigers are the same thing, an economical tool.

When people start making fun of a team because other parts of the town that were important have fallen apart, they really aren’t thinking.  Obviously the car business was the biggest economical company in the area.  It was one of the biggest in the country.  Now that it is gone, Tigers baseball is one of the biggest in the area.  It is no doubt that the city is falling apart, but the people of Detroit have something positive to think about in the Detroit Tigers.

I find it hard to think about that others are making fun of the Tigers for where they play instead of that they are the opposing team.  It’s just weird and I hate the idea that it is actually happening.

If you want to read the actual story on this on MLB.com, here’s the link.  This is where I got the idea for this post but I didn’t really tell the whole story.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090825&content_id=6608266&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

-Dillon

Sweet Sweet Victory

Well, before I get to the Yankees-Red Sox recap, I’ve got to let my thoughts be heard on a few other things that happened yesterday around the MLB.

Most baseball fans know Chase Utley.  The second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies.  He’s got that good defensive record, a strange power source from a second baseman, and a great mind for the game.  Yeah, him.  But he wasn’t playing in Sunday’s matchup between the Phils and Mets.  Eric Bruntlett filled in for him and made his presence known in an unusual way.  In a game that had so many unusual scenarios, Bruntlett made a play that only one other person has done before.  But that was just the end of everything that happened yesterday.

The Phils scored six runs in the top of the first off of Oliver Perez.  But Perez didn’t make it out of the first inning.  He was facing Pedro Martinez, who was making his return to NY after being cut by the Mets this past off-season.  Pedro had a 3-0 count and manager Jerry Manuel came out to pull Perez.  An unusual happening.  A pitcher getting pulled in the middle of an at bat.  Strange.

Well, the Mets eventually got out of the inning.  Then they had a little fun of their own.  To lead off the bottom half of the inning, Angel Pagan hit a shot to the left center gap that sent Shane Victorino running to the wall.  The ball got wedged under the wall and Victorino thought he could get away with calling it as a double.  But the umps didn’t think it that way.  The umps didn’t make the call and the left fielder picked it up and threw it in.  This whole time, Pagan had been running the bases and wound up with an inside the park homer.  The ball was wedged underneath the wall but it wasn’t so badly wedged that it would take some work to get it out and that it should have been a double.  The umps made the right call.  Strange.

Later in the game, Jeff Francoeur, the Mets’ right fielder, made a great sliding catch to rob Eric Bruntlett of all people of a base hit.  At first the umps called Bruntlett safe as he went on to third as Francoeur was unaware of the call.  Then the umps met and reversed the call after both Francoeur and Jerry Manuel argued the call.  It was another crazy moment that was obviously a catch when the replay showed it.  Strange.

Now, the biggest highlight of the game was Bruntlett’s play in the bottom of the ninth which ended the game.  With runners on first and second, Jeff Francoeur (there seems to be a recurring theme of players being involved in multiple strange plays) stepped up to the plate.  He hit a liner with a full count up the middle.  With the runners in motion, Bruntlett had been moving to cover second base.  The ball was hit right to him on a line.  He snagged it, tagged second base, and tagged David Murphy who was on first at the start of the play.  An unnasissted triple play to end the game, the first in the NL history, second in MLB history.  Strange.

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OK so back to the Yankees-Red Sox game.  Last night, the aces of the two clubs faced off in the rubber match of the series.  It was set to be a great pitcher’s duel, as was Beckett’s and Burnett’s not to long ago.  And it was a really good game.  The Yankees opened up the game with two runs early.  The first was on a Derek Jeter solo shot and the second on Hideki Matsui’s first shot of the night which was also a solo shot.  The Yankees scored two more runs on the Red Sox in the third inning, neither on homers.  Then, Robinson Cano homered in the fourth, and A-Rod homered in the fifth to drive in two more.  Matsui hit the final Yankee homer in the eighth which was another solo shot.  A home run barrage, as Yankees.com puts it, lit up the sky in Boston as the Yanks rolled to an 8-4 victory.  Sweet Sweet Victory.

The Red Sox did score four runs but CC kept them at bay most of the night.  The Yankees did jump on top early and that was a big advantage for them as the game went on.  The Red Sox tied the score in the second but the Yankees went back ahead and never looked back.  The Sox didn’t leave the yard once in the game, surprisingly.  The lack of the long ball in a game dominated by the long ball is probably what did the Red Sox in.

CC finished the game with eight strikeouts as all his stuff was dominant.  Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera were successful out of the ‘pen as they finished the game off.  Beckett finished with five K’s on the night, not bad.  He also gave up all five homers though.  Not good.

So let’s take a look back at the series that was.  Game One:

The Yankees score 20 runs against Brad Penny and the REd Sox.  Another terrible outing for Penny who would later be pulled from the starting rotation to make room for Wakefield who is coming back soon.  Another home run happy game sent many bombs flying through the Boston sky.  The Red Sox had their fair share of runs too.  They just weren’t able to make up for what the pitching let up.  Too bad.  They scored 11 runs.

Game Two:

The Red Sox stole the Yankees’ thunder for game two as they burst out with another 14 runs compared to the Yankees’ Nick Swisher’s single run.  Swish hit a solo shot to left to score the only run for the Yanks on the day.  A very disappointing loss for the Yanks and a touche to the REd Sox was all that was in me for Saturday.

Then came game three which I just talked about.  A very exciting series that was truly a back and forth one.  Great to watch and I’m sure, as always, it was great to play in for both teams.  No fights broke out which was good for the teams.  I don’t think either could afford losing anyone right now, especially the Red Sox who are in the Wild Card race and don’t have that big of a lead anymore.  It was a clean series  that was fun to watch as a fan.  Especially since the Yankees won.

-Dillon