A’S @ TWINS, CARDINALS @ PADRES
Well the A’s and the Cardinals both took charge against their favored opponents on the road yesterday. Interestingly they did so in completely appropriate fashion—-with their aces and the star sluggers that were the big stories of their respective seasons.
CARPENTER AND ZITO
Chris Carpenter made another case for why I should forget the sucky Chris Carpenter I had to endure as a Blue Jays fan and accept that there is a new Chris Carpenter pitching for the Cardinals. And Barry Zito reminded us why the A’s have always been greatly feared in the 5 game series’ (even though they always lose them!) by being the great pitcher that some rocky streaks have made people underestimate. Though I was rooting hard for the Twins, Zito’s my favorite A and at the top of my wishlist for the Mets rotation next year, and so there is some small consolation there.
THOMAS AND PUJOLS
And how about that Frank Thomas! I couldn’t believe he managed to beat out that grounder to rightfield and end up safe at first. And people thought his body was too broken down to play baseball anymore! I think he even homered a couple times in the game too but that’s the kind of little thing that winners do that gets buried in the box score so you may not have heard about it.
And how about Albert Pujols! And the Cardinals actually getting most of their lineup to be healthy and play! Can’t say I am the biggest believer in Jake Peavy but I was picking and rooting for the Padres, so I gotta tip my hat to the Cardinals for winning the one way we all knew they could—-on the backs of Pujols and Carpenter.
TIGERS @ YANKEES
And it so sucks to be right about the Yankees bashing the Tigers all over the park. That Yankee offense—just unbelievable. And I was right about my comment yesterday when I said, “Fuck Giambi.”
All I could think deep enough into the game was, “Holy Crap, the TIGERS are allowed to play in the postseason?? The 119-losses-three-years-ago TIGERS????” I know there’s only a small handful of remaining players from that bunch of minor leaguers but it sure didn’t feel that way last night.
One thing in the Tigers’ defense concerning their 3 game sweep at the hands of the Royals to end the season that has everyone thinking them ready to be served on a silver platter to the Yankees—-they were 14-1 against the Royals previously. Law of averages people, law of averages. It was time for the Tigers to have the inevitable unlucky games in which they get beat by the far inferior team. The Yankees after years and years and years of pummelling the D-Rays suddenly struggled against them in 2005 and then went back to more months of pummelling this year. That’s just baseball. Winning is about most of the time but not all of the time. So, I’m not writing off the Tigers because of that bad stretch agaisnt KC. I’m writing them off because of Damon, Jeter, Abreu, Sheffield, Fuck Giambi, Rodriguez, Matsui, Posada, and Cano. And I’m gulping in fear as I write.
Now to the most important event of yesterday’s playoffs—-Orlando Hernandez. Here’s the way I see it. John Maine has deserved to have a prominent, pivotal role in this postseason. Only in New York would trust in young players be so low as not to want to ride one of the best and most consistent arms on the team while it’s hot in the postseason. I think injuries giving him the shot he deserves could be a real blessing in disguise. If he gets the ball and gives us a prominent, tone setting terrific game one performance, then we might be seeing a truly deserving pitcher rise to the stature that he will get the ball when we need him to later on.
The downside though is this—-who can like any of the options to replace Maine in the role of game 4 starter? Oliver Perez? Dave Williams? Lastings Milledge? I’m not feeling too good about those options. But, the best result might be that Hernandez gets approved as a-ok by then and we get our tried and true October-machine available to pitch later in the series when the games are more likely to be do or die. And that might make us better off after all.
That’s just my take on it. I’m not panicing too much. I just hope the bats show up and by the time Sunday rolls around, Hernandez is all cleared to go.