road to the LCS takes another step today, with at least two teams hanging by a
thread, hanging onto that glimmer of hope that they can turn it around and win
the remaining games of the LDS series they are in.
The Twins lost all hope yesterday, when once again the Yankees
crushed their hopes of getting beyond the first round of the post season. That
is what happens in all sports when you are involved in a knock out style
tournament, the losing team is ousted and the winning team moves on. Lets face
it last year everyone claimed the Yankees high dollar line up gave them the edge
and eventually gave them the ultimate team status in baseball, World Champions
2009. This year after a few tweaks in the off season, they still maintain the
highest salary, but they aren’t clear cut favorites, in fact a month ago they
weren’t even favored to reach the post season. So to all those Twins fans and
fans of clubs that didn’t reach the post season, this year any claims that the
Yankees brought and paid for the wins are unfounded, they won the Twins series
with quality baseball. Well done Yankees for clinching a spot in the ALCS
No I haven’t turned into a Yankees fan, I still hate the smirk
on Swishers face whenever he seems to be on camera, I still have no intention of
ever giving A-Rod a free pass, but along with those things I also know that
Jeter is a true ball player, that Phil Hughes will be a legit ‘Ace’ one day and
that Granderson always seems like he’s had way to much caffeine. As I said not a
Yankees fan, but a baseball fan, almost every team has players like these, ones
with similar attributes.
The Tampa Bay Rays, shocked the crowd in Texas as they hit their
way to a win in the Rangers home ball park. This was supposed to be a
celebratory home coming for the Rangers, but the Tampa Bay Rays have been one of
the strongest road teams all season long, ending the regular season with the
best record on the road, so it shouldn’t have been a shock to anyone that they
were able to win an all or nothing game on the road.
Today is a crowded day for baseball, with 3 games scheduled, the
Rays v. Rangers at 1 PM ET, Giants v. Braves at 4:30 PM ET and finally the
Phillies v. Reds at 8 PM ET. The Rays need a win to even the series and take it
back to Tampa, the Rangers need a win to clinch and meet the Yankees in the ALCS.
The Giants or Braves need to win just to get the series lead and put the other
team on a must win Monday. The Phillies need to win to clinch their 3rd NLCS
playoff spot, where as the Reds need to win just to stay alive in the post
Moments in time:
October 10th, 1582 If you lived in Italy, Spain, Portugal or
Poland this day did not exist.
In 1971 the biggest souvenir from Great Britain was purchased
by an American Tourist. London Bridge was a tourist attraction, a working bridge
that spanned the river Thames in London, this day in 1971 it was sold, then
dismantled and shipped to Arizona where it was rebuilt and opened in Lake Havasu
was the ‘O’ from H2O that took the mound on Friday night for the Phillies facing
off against the Reds in game 2 of this NLDS match up. The stage had been set by
Halladay’s amazing no hitter on Wednesday, the anticipation of what could game 2
give us to rival game 1.
Roy Oswalt was not at his best Friday night, far from it in
fact, giving up a homer in the first at bat seemed to set the stage for his
performance, it certainly gave the TBS commentators added reason to praise the
It’s bad enough that TBS and Fox don’t give us local
commentators, but when they give you competitors commentators it’s just a slap
in the face to fans. TBS thought it fitting to put Brewers and Braves
commentators in the booth for game 2, and it was clear that they were very
anti-Philadelphia, right from the introductions to the final pitch.
Things seemed to be going the Reds way, thus the commentators
were able to praise them and tell us all the stats that made the Reds the better
team, especially after Utley made a couple of errors, we heard how the Reds and
Padres had the least errors, etc etc.
came the 7th inning, if these commentators had put Chapman on any higher pedestal
he would have needed oxygen for the altitude. They told us how he went through
an opposing team with 8 pitches in an inning, told us how his fast ball was
un-hittable. Told us his idol as he was growing up was Contreras, whom had just
shut down the Reds 1,2,3 in the top of the 7th.
There is no question this kid has some good stuff, but did the
Reds throw him into the fire too early, did the overwhelming atmosphere at
Citizens Bank Park effect him any, were the Reds fielders expecting no one to
hit a ball. Who knows, but this type of thing could effect a young players
mental attitude going into his next appearance.
It all started with the first hitter he saw, Chase Utley and of
course the commentators who had attacked Utley earlier for his 2 errors, were
quick to attack him again, when his actions indicated….
….he was hit by the 101 mph fast ball that was up and
in, the umpire awarded him first base. It wasn’t enough that they were accusing
Utley of cheating, they then called his action ‘Jeter Like’. Way to go, attack
a guy that isn’t even playing in this game.
It didn’t stop there, Utley got to 2nd on a ground ball by Werth,
the fact that TBS had lousy camera angles for plays that normally are clear to
the camera, or they just didn’t want to show the truth in what happened, but
again they accused Utley of being out.
Still not the end of it, first pitch swinging, Rollins hit a
line drive into right field where the Reds players where sleeping, thus driving
in Utley and Werth, the commentators chose to accuse Utley of not touching the
base has he rounded third, it didn’t matter that the replay clearly showed his
foot hit the bag, they still accused him of being a long way from third.
The bottom line the Phillies scored on some fielding errors, but
more importantly the raving of Chapman didn’t seem to affect the Phillies who
hit him like any other pitcher, Ibanez and Sweeney both hit his fastball, which
forced Baker to remove him from the game.
We now have to wait till Sunday to see how the 3rd phase of H2O
In San Francisco the Giants allowed one to get way from
them by giving up 3 runs in the 8th and then the game loser in the 11th, the
Braves take 1-1 series tie back to Turner Field where they were almost
unbeatable during the season.
We have ALDS games today, which could make the ALCS picture
clearer, however for now 3 postseason teams hang on to a life line…
A moment in time: October 9th, 1919 the Cincinnati
Reds clinched the World Series title surrounding the Chicago White Sox or ‘Black
Sox’ as they were to be known for the part they played in the fixing of the
games. All involved players were banned for life, which also included ‘Shoeless’
Joe Jackson, even though any participation he may or may not have had was and is
It’s over, as much as we all would have liked to see single game deciders, it was not to happen, the Giants beat the Padres, there was no 9th inning rally to send it into extras, or even make the Giants sweat in the chilly bay air, they just got it done.
The Yankees fell to the Red Sox in the same fashion they have in 7 out of their last 10 games, which made the Rays game mute, all the same the Rays beat the Royals as if they wanted to be the division champions.
The Braves finally won a game against the Phillies, 1 out of the last 6 isn’t that bad I guess, although Cox had to get Wagner in from the pen, who eventually got the final out after giving up a couple of hits and a run, it was still just enough to give the Braves an 8-7 win.
The teams all know there places….
…. who’s wild, who’s not, where to be and what day.
We know who’s playing who, and at least initially we know when for the first 4 days anyway, then who the hell knows. MLB seems to have sold all post season rights to Fox, since it appears they are the ones calling start times. Sunday is listed as ‘When NFL Sunday Ends’ so everyone has to be in the dug outs ready to go when Fox tells them to go, or maybe it’s when Joe Buck can switch locations.
I am sure this is the first of many bash Fox moments between now and the crowning of the 2010 World Series Champions.
2 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
It was the inevitable anti-climax, a roller coaster coming off it’s tracks at the high point, and then there’s the ‘what if’s’, like they had got the Mayberry call right.
So I watched the game last night with the Reds TV or FSN Ohio or FSOH, something like thatit’s one of those low budget Fox Sports things, here’s hoping noone gets offended, cause lets face it, the Reds don’t have the market other teams do, and that’s why it’s a lower budget station. I am going to be brutally honest here, it was somewhat dificult to follow and I don’t remember the commentators names, so I cheated and looked them up, George Grande and Chris Welsh and I can tell you the pre game show was done by Jeff Piecord. I am not going into the blow by blow of how they did it, and these events may not be in order.
As a general rule they were very complimentary of the Philly players and staff, and the pre game show did part of an historical tour of Philadelphia and a spot remembering HK. They were amused that we refer to the Mets as the Muts even in the press.
1st Inning, Taveras on first, they comment on Taveras being so fast he can leave with the pitch and never get caught, – what happened thrown out, I simpathise since the consistant replay showed him safe, they did make comment about the umpire and connected him to the umpires in the Yankees game and reference Foster telling Jeter, you don’t have to be tagged if the ball beats you to the bag, or something like that –
Top 1st, Utley gets caught stealing, no replay, no analyse to see if he was safe or not straight to commercial.
They were surprised at how good Happ pitched, and they were saying Harang was the Reds ace and he needed to do this and this with the ball, then Phillies went back to back and they analysed, did freeze frames of the ball hitting the bat that is, just to show that Harang didn’t hit his spot with the pitches.
I did notice what seemed to be an air of resentment that Chase Utley had been selected to go to the All Star Game, the inference was that since he played infront of 40,000 fans every night it was easier than for say, Phillips who only gets and audience of say 20,000, it’s a popularity contest. They also complained that he didn’t make the top 4 player voting to go, you just have to look at what he has done is about what they said, then there seemed to be a sequence of events where Utley made some gold glove plays, then Utley hit a ball hard straight at Phillips and it hit off his glove, did he chase it down, no he let it trickle into the outfield, consequence, Utley’s on second, I thought that’s why Utley’s an All Star and Phillips isn’t.
Like I said I found it pretty hard to follow with these guys, and I think that is nothing more than familiarity, they had inside jokes and such like, if I watched them everyday I would understand and be able to follow along better.
Then we had the Mayberry out at home, they were so joyous they showed the replays to see how the great a defensive play it was and then you saw it the catchers tag was kind of late, Mayberry’s hand was in and on the plate, Mayberry was safe, silence fell on the commentators and then commercial break, after the break the only that was said I think the Reds got away with one then.
So thats about it really, yes I know they were over joyed that they scored a run off Lidge and won. The almost refused to mention the 22-1 the night before.
You’ll never guess what the Aflac Trivia Question was: okay here goes:
What is the largest margin of victory the Reds have had in the franchise history?
Well I didn’t see that coming.
The game, was without adoubt a game of missed chances, too many missed opportunities with runners in scoring position and less than 2 outs, we cant blame the loss on the umpires for a couple of bad calls just because we couldn’t deliver.
Yes we got a couple of homers and we got at least one run home from third, but it doesn’t excuse the 1 for 12 with RISP
Happ had another outstanding start, Madson delivered in the 8th and somehow Lidge had a location problem in the 9th.
I almost forgot in all the excitment, Howard broke his homerless streak, way to go Ryan.
So today is another day.
It seems I am not the only one who has negativity about Fox, So living in Ohio, just 550 miles or so from Philly what does Fox put on my TV, NOT Phillies vs Mets thats for sure, and since it’s blacked out on MLBTV, I have no alternative but to listen to the game on WPHT via MLBTV. So this is the first time this season I have had to do this, so here’s how the highlight are from a radio listners point of view.
First Inning – Jimmy Rollins, doesnt run the play out as hard or intense as he should for a guy in a slump. So Phillies leave men on base, we can’t do that against the Mets and oh yeah, Werth hits an RBI fly ball.
Second and Third Inning – Some pitch by pitch and has Manny Ramirez added longer dredlocks, cause it looks terrible, expalnation that it was meant to look terrible in a baseball uniform and not terrible in general.
Fourth Inning – Couple more runs score, Utley and Ibanez gets congrats for making the All Star Team as starters, then more appologies, cause the selection show is not till Sunday and no one knows who’s ahead in the voting till then, you must be looking at an old list.
Fifth Inning – Moyers pitching better, gives up a run.
Sixth Inning – Victorino RBI with 2 outs, he’s playing well and Atlanta lost, more unimportant drival about Nationals players and Braves players
Seventh Inning – 87 pitches through 6 and a third for Moyer, hopefully the bullpen can save this one for him Durbin in gets a hitter out, hits a hitter, 10 pitches, in comes Romero, lets hope he can find the strike zone, the stikes the next guy out inning over. Fireworks at the Wharf were last week, so probably going to watch the downtown today.
Eigth Inning – Romero resumes gets one out gives up a hit, Madson in – gets 2 out, Lidge is warming up in the bullpen, guess he’ll be in for the ninth wonder if he’s okay hasn’t pitched since Toronto.
Ninth Inning – Lidge 1,2,3 in 13 pitches. So Philly take 2
Not the most enjoyable way to spend 4th July, having to listen to nothing and make out what was really happening, at least with TV you can see for yourself your not relying on others to keep you informed.
So thanks Fox for screwing up my 4th of July.
Not a single mention about Jamie’s 600th start – Congrats Jamie, keep em coming.
Dare I say SWEEP today, fingers crossed.