The Do or Die weekend got underway Friday, the first day of October. For some teams this weekend is the only October baseball they will play this season, for others it’s a chance to keep their fans entertained for a few more weeks.
The National League has the Giants, Padres and Braves are all in Do or Die situations. The Padres must win at all costs, the Braves can make it with a mix of Padres loses and their own wins, the Giants just need a win.
The American League has all their post season teams decided, it’s just a case of who will have the Eastern Division crown, the Yankees and Rays were deadlocked at the start of play, so any sort of favorable win/loss combination would work for either team.
While the Yankees watched the rain fall in Boston, the Rays were embarrassingly out played by the Royals, so the Yankees get a half game lead by default.
The Giants and Padres get to beat up on each other and the first round went to the Padres who seemed to want it just a little bit more.
The Braves thought they had an easy shot, at home to the Phillies it should be a no- brainer. The Phillies already are in and so will be using the time for tryouts for a post season roster. The Braves have the best home record in baseball and so felt comfortable with having the champagne bottles ready to start cork popping.
The Braves didn’t count on the fact that the Phillies would like nothing more than to stick it to division rivals at any and all given opportunities. In the center of it as usual was….
….Jimmy Rollins with his first hit since returning, not just any ordinary hit, on a night when the wind was blowing in, J-Roll hit a deep line drive home run to left field for a grand slam in the 6th inning. Phillies end up postponing any Braves celebrations with an 11-5 win.
Today at Turner Field, they say goodbye to….
….Bobby Cox, not sure what this entails, but I am sure it’s a chance for the fans to cheer and scream and make Bobby cry and cover up the fact that he’s more saddened by the fact the he still doesn’t know if he can take off Monday for his retirement home.
Today the Phillies pit Vance Worley against Tommy Hansen, so I guess the Phillies are saying to the Braves, if you cant win today you don’t deserve to be in the post season.
Around Baseball –
The Yankees get to play a double header in Boston, this will be a tough day as it’s hard enough to win in Boston without having to win 2 on the same day.
The Rays are back at it with the Royals, having passed the advantage to the Yankees it’s almost a must win if they want any chance of the division title.
The Padres and Giants face of again in San Francisco, I am sure both these teams and the Braves will be score board watching, no one admits to it, but they all do it.
4 Days to post season play – GO PHILLIES….
The popularity contest is over, NL and AL rosters are set, okay not entirely,
there is still the opportunity to vote the final spot on each roster, my choices
are Votto (CIN) in the NL and Konnerko
(CWS) in the AL, as for who
should be there and who shouldn’t it’s all about personal choice so now it’s set
the managers have to make the best of it.
The hype around Strasburg continued, you have Charlie Manuel on national television and the best first
question you can come up with is “did you consider Strasburg an option” or words to
that effect. If you have any ounce of intelligence and slight knowledge of baseball,
you know the kid has made 6 starts is not going to the All
Star Game when so many other pitchers have accomplished so much more this
season. To those who claim his 100 mph fast ball is worth him being there, bullsh-it,
after seeing him against the Braves and the Mets, I am convinced the Strasburg
Hyper Interest Tension Syndrome will dissipate
and die before the season ends, he will be ‘the kid that threw really hard’
for a season and a half maybe, who knows his agent may even be able to swing a
movie about him, cause he has obviously worn out his knee pads convincing the
media sheep to hype this kid up. Kevin Kaduk of the Yahoo Sports Blog “Big
League Stew” is one of those who plays the reporter hidden inside a
blog, is a prime example of over hyping Strasburg, telling us ‘MLB is
missing out’, this probably wouldn’t be so laughable if you weren’t actively
promoted by Yahoo as an authority on the MLB and sports.
The media sheep, they get one or two reporters to write it, the rest follow
and there go the bloggers
too. Of course you have the bias
media , yes that’s you Fox Sports, who will tell you that the AL won
the ASG voting because of who the fans selected, then there are those who have
chosen to publicly
mock Charlie for a couple of his picks.
Lets see, Ryan Howard, yes we all know Votto has better
numbers, but he has better numbers than Albert Pujols too, and aren’t the
managers selections there for his amusement, to appease players on his team, after all
Joe Girardi chose A-Rod. Then we have Omar Infante and yes
on first glance I had a dazed look on my face and said “WTF!” then I
saw Chipper Jones’ comment about utility players never get selected, so
good for Charlie for doing his homework, now when a manager has spent
most of the first half of the season relying on utility players to maintain
contention in the division, then this choice makes sense, if indeed this game
does go the extra innings, he now has a player he can use when and where he
Inside sources, who do not wish to be named, said, the Phillies
organization is close to a deal with a large hotel consortium to appear in Las
Vegas during the All Star Break, it seems they did such a good job
making the Pittsburgh Pirates look good over the weekend, the
Treasure Island Hotel Casino would like to use them to help increase awareness
of the Treasure Island pirates.
The Phillies close out the regular season fielding 1 starter and 8 bench players. Jayson Werth played trying to get his 100th RBI on the season, but was unsuccessful, the Marlins walked him in the 10th and Hoover followed up with a base hit driving in Mayberry for the win.
The final day of regular season has come down to the AL Central, who could have expected anything less, will the Tigers join the Mets as the decades biggest chokers. They have to win this Tuesday on the road against the Tigers in the tiebreaker for the AL Central division championship.
The Dodgers finally won the NL West division, which has set the National League post season games. Home field advantage overall in the NL goes to the Dodgers, although I am not sure that this makes much difference in the NL. The Rockies have the worst road record among the NL post season teams and only have a winning record overall against the Cardinals. Although post season play is a completely different atmosphere and regular season wins and loses don’t really reflect the way a team plays in the post season, there will still be some element in the back of the players minds about how they have performed against those clubs.
The way the playoffs look now:
Phillies host the Rockies —- regular season 4-2 Phillies
Dodgers host the Cardinals —- regular season 2-5 Cardinals
Angels host the Red Sox —- regular season 5-4 Angels
Yankees host either the Tigers or Twins —- regular season 5-1 and 7-0 Yankees
Predictions at this point are really irrelevant since everybody wants their team to win it all. There are obviously some favorites among the sports analysts, but as I said post season play has a different atmosphere and teams tend to play better since the light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer…
Who will be left at the end is anybody’s guess, we all want our team, and the pundits along with fans of non-post season teams will all speculate, but they are all just guessing.
Who will take the prize in 2009…
My message to the Phillies…
…it’s time to launch your bid for a World Series repeat
Something a little different today, don’t laugh my rhyming sucks……
Some slumps, some bloops, the first half is done,
It ends on a Felix grand slam home run,
Some Phillies are resting, this may seem sweet,
With the past weekend of a Pirates sweep,
Time to relax, whether your Muts, Nats or even Cubies,
Off to St. Louis, where rivals become buddies,
Watchin’, the Derby can be slow, but painless,
Who will win, my guess, Howard or Carlos Pena,
The Rays give the infield a new AL spin,
The Phils have the outfield and we’ll get an NL win.
So ryhming is not my best feature, but it’s the All Star break, so have fun
The headlines around MLB say it all, the race for the #33 All Star pick is a tight one, since Victorino and Sandoval are playing cat and mouse in the NL ballot, the campaigning is reaching new heights never before seen in an All Star ballot.
Victorino added to his case last night with a walk off RBI to give the Phillies a 3-2 win over the Reds, this was definately the highlight of the game.
Lopez, had another good start, although he only went 5 innings, due to a sore shoulder (last reports), his pitch count was low and he held the Reds to just 2 runs on 5 hits. Rest up Lopez your fast becoming an asset in the starting rotation.
BullPen was again outstanding last night, Madson’s speed was up, location was good, both Durbin and Romero also had good outings. Although for me the best activity from the bullpen was without a doubt Chan Ho Park, the sandwich boards campaigning for Victorino votes, was terrific, I wonder if he lost a bet or won a draw to do that, hopefully we’ll find out on The Pen on MLB Network, whenever that returns.
The Phillies have teamed up with the Detroit Tigers to try and double the voting capacity for each of our respective players, wow, politics in baseball, colaborations between parties, who’d have thought it would come to this, who knows next year they may have to call in the people from American Idol to get telephone voting too.
The only soar note on last nights game was the strike zone, seemed to be a little too flexible when the chance of a called third strike loomed, maybe the home plate umpire was auditioning for an upcoming movie, or maybe a chance to grab a headline and get himself noticed.
All that really matters is that Victorino gave to us last night with the walk off RBI, now it’s our turn to give back and vote him in the All Star game. Voting ends at 4pm EST today, hopefully we will be celebrating during tonights game and Detroit will be celebrating too, which will just go to show the NL and AL can work together for the good of the fans.
What a night of swings and roundabouts, ups and downs, highs and lows, whatever you call it, it was good baseball.
Rollins is back in the line-up and batting at the top of the order, regardless of what others may think, it’s good to see him in the line-up, even if he did get an O’fer at the plate, the team just appears to be well adjusted with him there, so welcome back Jimmy.
There was a lot of things that happened tonight,
Victorino went back to back on the Braves pitchers, tough luck Shane, any other night they would have been back to back hits up the middle.
Utley became the first left hander to homer off Lowe this year, way to go Chase, that’s why he is probably the best second-baseman in the majors.
Howards ground-rule double scored Victorino, but had Utley tryin to get the umps to give him home, guess they didn’t hear the umps reviewed one the other night, still he was around third when it went out…. not sure the umps here had a sense of humor with them, Chase obviously did.
Thats when the evening started to have ups and downs, Phillies lead Braves tie, again in the 5th, then the Braves lead into the 6th.
Feliz, I think the best 3rd baseman in the NL, even better than Wright for the Mets, saved a run in the 6th with an unbelieveable play, and then went onto hit a homer as part of back to back homers with Mayberry Jr.
Before the back to back homers, it seemed like some of the hitters were in panic mode, down one, first pitch swinging again, I guess it’s good when the ball fly’s like Pedro’s did.
The bullpen played well tonight, despite the Phillies loosing it in the bottom of the 10th, it was good baseball from both teams, just unfortunate that the 2 Braves players that hurt us, weren’t really regulars, and as they say THAT’S BASEBALL…
Another shot tomorrow, the 9 straight streak at Turner Field ended so its time to start a new one.. GO PHILLIES…..