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Baseball: 2006 MLB Playoffs: Division Series

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posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 01:50 PM
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NL Matchups

St. Louis @ San Diego 10/3 4:00 PM ET on ESPN

For the second straight year, the Cardianls will be facing the Padres in the Division Series. But this year, the Pads are much better, and the Cards are much worse, and showed that in September. Carpenter will be facing Peavy, and I see a Cardinals win in game 1 as long as Pujols has a few hits and rbi. But beyond game 1, I don't see much production out of the cards.

My Pick: Padres in 4

Los Angeles @ New York 10/4 4:00 PM ET on ESPN

The National Leagues two best offenses should provide a fairly entertaining series. Both teams are fairly equal in everything, but the Mets do have a slight edge in pitching. The Dodgers really only have two pitchers that can give them a win. But without Pedro, the Mets may have a much harder time winning the series.

My pick: Mets in 5

AL Matchups

Detroit @ New York 10/3 8:00 PM ET on Fox

The Tigers became the 18th team to lose the division lead on the last day of the regular season. They haven't been playing well lately, and anytime you face the Yankees you have to be at your best. The Tigers at mid-0season may get the series, but the Tigers we are gettin now will not have enough to get through.

My Pick: New York in 4

Oakland @ Minnesota 10/3 1:00 PM ET on ESPN

I haven't watched much of either team, but I do know they are both able to take this series equally. I expect a close series, with Thomas providing much of the offense for the A's. The thing that makes me believe the Twins have this series though: Mauer, Morneau, and Santana. The two bats bring offense for the pitchers, making their job easier, and anytime Santana is on the mound you're already half-way to the win.

My pick: Minnesota in 5


So then that means the NL Matchup will be:

San Diego Padres vs New York Mets

and the AL:

New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins

[Edited on 10/2/2006 by GiantsFan]




posted on Oct, 2 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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The Yankies are playing some serious ball lately. Minnisota had a long way to go from mid season to make it this far. I believe you're right about those matchups. Personally I'd like to see the Twins go all the way, they were very entertaining to watch. No idea about the NL, saw very little of them.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 09:16 AM
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Welp... the playoffs start today! First game at 11 my time, so hopefully the game lasts for a little bit past 12:30, as I'll be able to go watch it on ESPN.com in the library.



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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Game 1 is underway right now with Oakland leading 2-0 in the bottom of the 6th. Frank Thomas hit a solo HR to lead off the 2nd inning. As I said in the initial post, Thomas is going to be the biggest provider of runs for the A's. If he stays consistent enough... he could very well lead Oaklnad to a series win.

[Edited on 10/3/2006 by GiantsFan]



posted on Oct, 3 2006 @ 12:34 PM
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Rondell White hit a solo HR in the bottom of the 7th to cut the lead to 1. Santana has pitched 8 innings giving up 5 hits, 2 ER's and 8 K's.



posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 09:34 AM
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The Oaklnad and Minnesota game turned out to be a fairly good one. Johan Santana pitched 8 innings giving up 5 hits, 2 ER's, and striking out 8. The A's scored 2 in the 2nd inning when Frank Thomas led off the inning with a solo shot, later followed by a rbi double from Scutaro. In the 7th, White homered for the Twins to cut it to a 2-1 lead. But after Santana was pulled in the 9th, Thomas led off that inning with his 2nd HR of the game to give the A's a 3-1 lead. Torii Hunter then had a rbi groundout in the 9th, to cut it to 3-2. The next batter, White, then Flied out to center to end the game.

Since the Twins couldn't get the win with Johan pitching, it just made it that much harder to win this series. As I said before, Thomas will be key to the A's offense, and he was why the A's won today.

Oakland leads series 1-0

I was unable to catch the Cards game, as well as the highlights, so I'm not sure how the game flow of this one was. The Cards scored first when Pujols hit a 2-run HR in the 4th inning, just after Piazza failed to catch a pop-up behind home plate by Pujols. The Cards later added another run in the inning. The Cards then added 1 run in the next two innings to take a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the 6th, Brian Giles hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 5-1, which eventually became the final score.

I see this as being perhaps the Cards only win. I expected Carpenter to get the win, which he did, but now the cards don't have the pitching to match the Padres. But if Pujols can produce like he did in game 1, then the Cards have a chance to easily take the series. He's going to have to carry his team into the NLCS, otherwise, their season will end short of a title yet again.

St. Louis leads series 1-0

The Yankees and Tigers game was just as expected, an easy win. Jeter went 5-5 on the night with 2 2B's and a HR, and Abreu added 4 RBI's. In the third inning, Abreu doubled to score 2 runs. Gary Sheffield then singled to score Abreu, followed by a Jason Giambi HR to make the lead 5-0. In the 5th inning, the Tigers made a small comeback when Monroe homered, Polanco had an rbi double, and Casey having a rbi double to make the score 5-3. But in the bottom of the next inning, Abreu had a 2-run single to make the lead 7-3. Granderson then homered in the 7th to make the score 7-4, and Jeter followed with a solo shot in the 8th to make the final score of 8-4.

This series should be fairly quick, but I do expect the Tigers to get at least one win out of it. I think it will be when Bonderman starts that the Tigers will get their win.

New York leads series 1-0

Tonight's Games

Oakland @ Minnesota 1:09 PM ET on ESPN

Los Angeles @ New York 4:09 PM ET on ESPN

Detroit @ New York 8:09 PM ET on ESPN


Ben

posted on Oct, 4 2006 @ 07:21 PM
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The Mets won there first post-season game today in what has seemed like forever. In order for the mets to win this series they are going to need their bats and bullpen. Glavin in starting game 2 and we are definatly going to need his experience to gain a 2-0 lead.



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 06:35 AM
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DEAR SULTAN (and others),

I'm not a Twins fan and I LOATHE that ridiculous "ballpark" of theirs, which gave them two b.s. World Series rings. But....

Tori Hunter is one of the best players in the A.L. and would be a mega-star if he played on the Yankees. He makes a lot of spectacular plays, and right now he's a goat because had to make a split-second decision about whether to go for that ball or not. Obviously his decision looks bad in the cold light of the day after, but I'm not a results person. I believe Babe Ruth's decision to try and steal home--and thereby get caught stealing and end Game 7 of the 1926 World Series when he was the tying run, and the winning run was at the plate--was wrong because it was wrong, NOT because it didn't work out.

I'm not sure that's true of Hunter's failed attempt which turned a single into an inside-the-park HR. Both of the current MLB CF's who were on ESPN last night said they agreed with Hunter's play, though they're not likely to trash him for it on national TV. How'd you like to step into the box against Santana next time if you did, lol? Trash the Twins' great everyday player; face their great pitcher; get half-killed. Not an enticing prospect.

Sultan, you're a very accomplished ballplayer. You've played CF in semi-pro ball and you played it in college.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Was Hunter's judgment sound in going for the catch, or should he have held it to a single? He obviously didn't miss it by much, and he just as obviously had no way to be certain, one way or the other, whether he could catch it... until it was too late. Does that make such an obviously high-risk play a bad one?

And what do you think of the criticism of Tim Kurkjian--who, like me, knows a great deal about baseball history but has never played the game at any serious level, that the corner outfielders have to recognize the dangerousness of that situation, and therefore run toward CF in case of such a disaster, thereby prevent the inside-the-park HR? If that criticism is valid, those guys committed a huge error, because it would have been a 1-run game for a couple of innings, and I needn't tell you what a difference that makes.

BHN



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 09:02 AM
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Personally, I think Hunter's attempt at the ball was a valid one. The score was tied 2-2 in the 7th inning with 2 outs when he made the attempt. He was just trying to get the out, and get out of the inning. I see nothing wrong with it, though it did cost the Twins the game.



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 09:24 AM
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Last night Minnesota may have just lost them the series. Because of a critical error in the 7th, the A's took a 4-2 lead after a tie. The score was tied at 0 until the 5th inning when Scutaro had an rbi double and Kendall had a rbi single. In the bottom of the sixth, the twins would tie it with back-to-back HR's from Morneau and Cuddyer. The critical error came in the top of the next inning when Torii Hunter dove to catch a ball to end the inning, but missed resulting in a inside-the-park 2R-HR for Kotsay. Later in the 9th, Swisher added and insurance run when he scored on a wild pitch.

The Twins really should have taken the win, but it seems that it's all over for them. 19 of the last 20 teams to go up 2-0 in the division series have won the series. The team that won was the 2001 Yankees, when they started their series down 0-2 to oakland. So the series isn't quite over yet, but the Twins will need Morneau and Mauer to be HUGE the next three games.

Oakland leads series 2-0

The Mets and Dodgers played a fairly entertaining game. The Dodgers scored first in the 2nd inning when Anderson had an rbi double. The Mets would then take the lead in the 4th with solo shots from both Delgado and Floyd. In the 5th inning, the Dodgers had the opportunity to take the lead, but failed when both Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew were thrown out at the plate at the same time. The Mets added two more runs in the 6th when Wright hit a double to right. The Dodgers would tie it at 4 in the 7th when Furcal hit a rbi single and Garciaparra had a 2-R Double. The Mets would regain the lead the same inning when Delgado had an rbi single and Wright had an rbi double. The Dodgers fought back, scoring a run in the 9th to cut the lead to 5-6 with a Martinez double. But with a man on second and two outs, Nomar Struck out to end the game.

I didn't get a chance to actually watch this game, but sounds like the Dodgers should have had the lead, but because of the base-running error, they will have to battle back and try to take the series down a game.

New York leads series 1-0

Tonight's Games

Detroit @ New York 1:09 PM ET on ESPN

St. Louis @ San Diego 4:09 PM ET on ESPN

Los Angeles @ New York 8:19 PM ET on Fox



posted on Oct, 5 2006 @ 11:45 PM
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I'll say this much: I think Kurkjian is right about the corner outfielders, simply because this happened once before in the playoffs with Hunter. The RF and LF had to be able to see it would be a close play, and they bloody well should have been running for deep CF as Hunter ran for the ball. At worst, it would have been a waste of their energy, which they're presumably in good enough shape to waste. If one of them had shown such Jeter-esque hustle, and as a result held it to a double or triple, it could have changed the whole game by making the teams play it as a one-run game.

Instead, it took forever for the corner fielder to get over there, and by the time he did so, only a dead-solid perfect throw could have prevented the HR. No such throw was made, and for that fact, I do not believe the relay man was to blame.

SULTAN: You are unquestionably THE man to weigh in on this one, given your vast and pretty serious experience in playing CF. Please enlighten us.

BHN



posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 08:54 AM
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Even though Sultan played semi=pro ball and stuff, even in High School baseball you are taught to always back up the player trying to make the catch... even if it is a lazy fly ball. I play CF when I'm not pitching or catching, and I always back up the RF or LF.



posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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OK, then, Giants Fan.

If those corner fielders knew this particular CF had a disaster like this before, resulting in a deadly inside-the-park playoff HR, wouldn't you agree that makes it particularly unforgivable that NEITHER of those guys got there until, oh, Hell froze over?

I mean, I doubt they were both playing the batter to pull it down the line.


BHN



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 01:51 AM
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I can only assume they figured he's made many good plays for the out, that it was going to be yet another one. Other than that, there really is no other excuse for it, and even the one isn't a good one. It doesn't matter waht league you play in, whether it's t-ball or MLB, you ALWAYS back up the RF, CF, or LF.



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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Ah, in case you missed it...

The Yankees Lost!

To the Tigers.

:party-smiley-018:



posted on Oct, 7 2006 @ 09:49 PM
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The Dodgers were red hot going into the playoffs, but they were bounced out tonight by the Mets. Even without Pedro Martinez and El Duque the Mets swept the hottest team in baseball.

As for the Yankees, great pitching beat great hitting.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by GiantsFan
Personally, I think Hunter's attempt at the ball was a valid one. The score was tied 2-2 in the 7th inning with 2 outs when he made the attempt. He was just trying to get the out, and get out of the inning. I see nothing wrong with it, though it did cost the Twins the game.


If the runner was on second or third, then I would agree that laying out with 2 outs was the right move. A sinking liner on that turf is not a great ball to dive on. Its hit hard enough that if it gets by you, you're dead. Even if the corner outfielders start on a dead sprint at the crack of the bat, the best they could hope is to hold the hitter to a triple. As it was, it seems they hesitated and became something of spectators, most likely because they've seen Hunter make that play many times. In that situation, pulling up and playing it on one bounce, having the chance at throwing the runner out going to third, was the right move imo. At worst, you end up with first and third, 2 outs.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by Gibbs Baby!!!
Ah, in case you missed it...

The Yankees Lost!

To the Tigers.

:party-smiley-018:


I think the Tommy Lasorda commercial says it best, when he's trying to talk the Red Sox fan out of the head. "The playoffs is when it's time to root against the Yankees." I argued with a couple guys today about the Yanks losing, they kept saying that they gave the series away, I argue that maybe the Tigers were just better than them, and rather than the Yanks losing the Tigers won.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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I have a buddy who's a big Yankee fan, he actually admitted that the Tigers were the better team. Not expected form a Yankee fan...



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 09:52 PM
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Funny how all the Teams I wanted to win won, yet all my picks, besides the Mets, were wrong. Oh well... I'm not complaining.



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