November 18, 2017

Clearing The Bases

October 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The Rays’ magic ran out in the 1st round playoff loss to the Rangers.  They won the first game, but their lack of offense was a glaring weakness in three straight losses that sent them home.

The Yankees had a disappointing end to their 2011 season with a Game 5 loss to the Tigers at home.  The vaunted Yankee offense either scored a ton of runs, or barely showed up, going 2-9 with RISP in Game 5 and leaving 11 runners on base.  CC Sabathia also had his issues, giving up four runs in Game 3, and the winning run in the deciding game.

The Brewers and Diamondbacks turned into a series in which the home team won all the games.  This is why the Brewers needed to win in the final week and started Zach Greinke on three days rest, they knew they play better at home and proved it.

Detroit versus Texas

In the beginning it didn’t look like events were unfolding the Tigers way in the 1st round.  The Game 1 rainout after an inning and a half meant that Justin Verlander would only be able to pitch once in the series, a seemingly big advantage for the Yankees.  However Max Scherzer seemed to be the big equalizer completely shutting the Yankees down in Game 2 and in relief in Game 5.  Now Verlander is fully rested and able to pitch at least twice, maybe three times versus Texas, a huge advantage as Verlander has had an almost unhittable season and was throwing close to 100MPH versus the Yanks.  A key injury however is the oblique strain suffered by leftfielder Delmon Young who had to leave Game 5 early.  Young was a big part of the Tigers offense hitting three HRs versus the Yankees including the winner in Game 3, the Tigers really can’t afford to lose any offense.  The Rangers have no such offensive worries.  They can hit and are unlikely to have the same problems with RISP that the Yankees had.  They made it to the World Series last season and seem to be on a collision course to get there once again.  The Rangers may have to adjust their starting pitching rotation as they were planning on throwing quite a few left-handers to slow down the Yankees, they may want to re-think that strategy now that the Rangers are the opponent.

Texas in 6

St. Louis versus Milwaukee

Anyone who had the Cardinals upsetting the Phillies that lives outside of St. Louis, please stand up, yeah, I didn’t think so.  The Cardinals barely squeezed into the playoffs, needing a Braves collapse to do it, than they upset the team with the best record in baseball.  In Game 1 the Cardinals clearly looked over matched but pretty much took the series to the Phillies after that.  Game 5 was a classic pitchers duel as Chris Carpenter outpitched Roy Halladay for a complete game victory.  Carpenter may have had a rough season, but this one game makes up for all that.  The Cardinals will need this kind of performance once again versus the Brewers, these two teams know each other awfully well as they both play in the same division.  The Brewers would seem to have a big advantage, deeper starting staff, better bullpen, better offense, but Cards manager Tony LaRussa seems to push the right buttons when his team is undermanned, and that just might be enough.  The health of Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday could be a big key as the red birds will need all the offense they can get to keep up with the Brewers.  Milwaukee is not totally healthy either as 2B Rickie Weeks looks like his ankle is really bothering him, but once again the Brewers will keep him in the lineup.

Milwaukee in 6

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