Fenway Park

As you may have noticed, I have been missing since last Thursday.  I’ve been up in Boston trying to find a job.  Lucky me, huh?

Hope you’ve been enjoying Weller’s links in my absence.

I realize that Matt Holliday, Freddy Sanchez, and Cliff Lee have now all found new teams but that’s not what I want to talk about.  The last night I was in Boston, I had on of those nights where the stars aligned and I everything went perfect.  Follow the jump to find out what happened. (Suspense!)

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We’ve Got Ourselves a Game 7

We’re in the 4th inning of Game 7 of Rays-Red Sox ALCS and the Rays just tied it up on an Evan Longoria double.  So far, John Lester and Matt Garza have looked terrific.  Garza has only surrendered a first inning solo homer to Dustin Pedroia, and Lester has only given up a single to Akinori Iwamura and the Longoria double.  Both have struck out six.

This is what I want out of a Game 7, a pitcher’s duel.  Right now, both pitchers are really throwing well, so it’s going to come down to which pitcher makes the first mistake.  These are the games where heroes are made, not the ones that end 12-9.  Willy Aybar almost made himself the hero, but his fly ball hit off the top of the wall.  Now Dioner Navarro has an infield single and the Rays are in business.

Now Rocco Baldelli has singled home Aybar for the 2-1 lead. I’m pulling for the Rays; the Red Sox have gotten old, I’m ready for a fresh team in the Series and there’s no one more fresh than the Rays.  I may update this throughout the game if something strikes me…like the kid they just showed in the Redskins jersey.  What’s he thinking?  Red Sox, Rays, Redskins?  Give the tickets to someone who cares.

Update:  Rays win.  Matt Garza is the MVP.  World Series starts on Wednesday night in Tampa Bay.  Interesting to see Joe Maddon stick with rookie David Price to close out the game, but hey, it worked well.

LCS Spots Set

With Jed Lowrie’s 9th inning single to drive home Jason Bay, the 2008 Division Series came to a close.  I wasn’t able to update any of this over the weekend because I was either not home or without internet.  I did get my postseason predictions in just before the gun (well, just after, but whatever) and I got three of the four series winners correct.  I only missed the Cubs-Dodgers series, which was okay because the Cubs lost in humiliating fashion.

Anyway, on the LCS previews.

The ALCS starts on Friday pits the defending Champion Boston Red Sox against their AL East counterparts, the Tampa Bay Rays.  I’d love to see the Rays take this series, just for the sake of someone new.  The Rays took the season series 10-8.  I figure it’s only right to bring up this from back on June 6th.  I doubt we see any fireworks like that, but there is certainly some bad blood between the two teams.

The NLCS will start on Thursday in Philadelphia.  The Dodgers surprised me with their dominance of the Cubs in the Division Series.  Manny looked phenomenal as he went 5/10 with two homers and three RBIs.  I wouldn’t throw a pitch anywhere near the zone if I were the Phillies, but maybe they know something that no one else does.  The season series was tied at four between the teams, but the Dodgers are a completely different team then they were prior to the trade deadline.

Let’s see if my Phillies-Rays World Series prediction becomes a reality.

On a pretty unrelated note, does anyone else think that Fox’s PitchTrax or whatever they call it is nowhere close to correct?  Maybe they could buy the K-Zone technology from ESPN or something because I’m pretty sure every ball misses by at least a foot on that thing.  It really annoys me.

Playoff Predictions

I’m a little late since one game is already in the books, but we love meaningless predictions around here so I’m giving mine.

Phillies vs. Brewers – I would love to see the Brewers pull this out, since they are a fun team to watch.  Their heriocs at the end of the year with Sabathia, Braun, and Fielder kind of endeared me to them.  Having said that, I don’t think they’ll beat the Phils.   Howard, Utley, and Rollins will be too much for them in the end.  Plus, if Cole Hamels can pitch anywhere near like he did today, that’s another win.  I’ll take the Phils in 4.

Cubs vs. Dodgers – I would love to see the Cubs lose in agonizing fashion.  All the brand new Cubs hats around campus were really annoying today.  If the Dodgers can get to Dempster today, then they have a shot.  The Cubs are very difficult to beat when they throw Dempster-Zambrano-Harden at you to begin the series.  The Dodgers counter with Lowe-Billingsley-Kuroda.  Not quite the same, still good, but not the same.  Cubs in 4.

Red Sox vs. Angels – This is a very intriguing series, pitting two of the best teams in baseball against each other.  The Angels have the best record in baseball, but it’s a little deceiving since they play in the AL West.  The Sox are very strong, but Josh Beckett may not be completely healthy and they will miss Manny Ramirez.  The opening game starters are John Lester for the Sox and John Lackey for the Angels.  Lackey has been terrible in his last few starts, so this game is key for the Angels.  I don’t know how big of an upset it is for the defending Champions to win, but Sox in 5.

Rays vs. White Sox – Another good series has the upstart Rays making their first ever playoff appearance agains the veteran White Sox.  The Sox had to beat three different teams on the final three days of the season just to get in.  I have to imagine there will be some sort of hangover from all that drama, but the Rockies proved me wrong last year.  I can see this one going either way and for the record, I’d like the winner of this series to win the whole thing.  I just flipped a coin: Rays in 5.

LCS

Phillies vs. Cubs – The Cubs are the better team here, but this is where the Cubs die.  I really hope something catastrophic happens, like Zambrano pummels someone in the dugout and can’t pitch or Geovany Soto trips while rounding third and gets tagged for the series ending out.  I think the Phils offense might top the Cubs, who have been on cruise control since about August.  Phils in 6.

Rays vs. Red Sox – The Rays have proved me wrong all year, I think they’ll be the better team in this AL East showdown.  The Rays young pitchers won’t tire out as fast as the potentially injured Josh Beckett and company.  The Sox will really miss Manny against Kazmir and friends.  Rays in 6.

World Series

Phillies vs. Rays – This is where it hits the Rays that they’re actually in the playoffs.  Howard and Utley will pound the ball in Tampa while Hamels shuts down the Rays offense.  I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time breaking down this match up since it will probably be the Angels and Cubs anyway but just for fun, Phillies in 5.  MVP – Cole Hamels.

Have predictions of your own?  Let’s see them in the comments.

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