LDS Finale & Thoughts On Last Night Winners/Losers

ALDS Orioles @ Yankees – 5:07pm on TBS

Last night’s game was a drag to watch if you ask me. Sure, a 1-1 game going 13 innings sounds exciting but that games story wasn’t great pitching, it was the total inability on both sides to make timely contact.

Heck, the most timely contact of the night came when Joba Chamberlain got hit by a broken bat. Seriously, what are the odds of that?

As a side note – Ernie Johnson of TBS gave me reason number 1,084 why I do not watch the NBA. He’s brutal to listen to.

Darren O’Day pitched brilliantly last night for Baltimore. Good thing the Mets waived him in 2009, huh? I mean it’s not like they ever needed a good bullpen arm over the last 4 seasons.

All the Yankees fans you know are probably harping on ARod. Here’s a fun fact, if you take Tex, Granderson, ARod and Cano – the four hitters they rely on the most, they are hitting a COMBINED .153 in this series. Granderson/Cano/ARod are a combined 5 for 50!

The Orioles aren’t doing much better, Jones/Wieters/Davis/Hardy are hitting a combined .157! So you take the 8 guys combined who are expected to contribute to the cause moreso than everybody else and you’ve got a .155 hitter. That’s incredible.

Yankees fans are on edge. This series is different than past one’s when they lost. They believe the Orioles have no business being here. They don’t respect this roster at all. A series loss could create a very interesting winter.

This evening, C.C. Sabathia takes on Jason Hammel. Hammel pitched okay in Game 1, going 5.2 innings, 4 hits allowed and 2 runs.

Last night, Joe Saunders surprised me and that means Chris Tillman is still available. I have to assume he is the first out of the pen tonight if Hammel gets in trouble early. I believe this gives Baltimore a slight edge because I don’t think the Yankees have a guy available that can give them long innings in relief. I doubt Girardi would go to Pettitte in this situation.

However, with the offenses playing the way they are – I gotta go with my gut and assume the better pitcher will win.

So I am taking Sabathia to pitch the Yankees to the LCS.

Who Had the Yankees?: Clare Lafferty, Jessica DeMattia, Jessep, Tie Dyed, Xtreemicon

Who Had the Orioles?: Jim Mancari, Greg Hopps, Clayton Collier, Ed Leyro

NLDS Cardinals @ Nationals – 8:37pm on TBS

After yesterday’s game, I realized something. I really dislike Jayson Werth. His on-field interview irked me. On a positive note, he should have a quality retirement as the West Virginia University mascot.

A great matchup here as Adam Wainwright goes up against Gio Gonzalez.

The Nats won yesterday in similar fashion to how their season started. Electric pitching, and timely hitting. Jordan Zimmerman only needed 12 pitches in relief and I think that moment gave the Nats a ton of momentum.

I’m not sure how to call this one to be honest. I think the Nats SHOULD win, even though I picked the Cards – but I am also weary of picking against Wainwright.

When push comes to shove though, I trust the Cardinals hitters to come through in a tight spot before the Nationals. If given the option, I’ll trust Beltran/Craig/Freese/Holliday to come through before I trust Harper/Zimmerman/LaRoche/Morse/Werth.

The Cardinals have had their backs against the wall before, the Nationals faced it for the first time yesterday and barely snuck by.

Who Had the Cardinals?: Ed Leyro, Jessep

Who Had the Nationals?:: Jim Mancari, Greg Hopps, Clare Lafferty, Jessica DeMattia, Tie Dyed, Joe D, Clayton Collier

Last Night’s Winners:

Detroit Tigers over Oakland:

Allow me a chance for a humble brag. I said yesterday in my preview, “I don’t think Verlander is going to hand the ball to anybody tonight. This will be his game to win, and he’s going to shut down the A’s.” Nailed it.

For Detroit, I saw what I thought I’d see when I picked them as my World Series winner. Their starting pitching had a great series. What must concern them is whether or not Valverde can be effective against a much tougher lineup in Baltimore or New York.

Also, Miggy & Prince did not have a good series. Detroit cannot get to a World Series unless those 2 guys produce. Unlike the Yankees for example, Detroit doesn’t have 7-8-9 hitters that can beat you every night.

The A’s had a remarkable season. Their executives, their coaches, their players – all have a lot to be proud of in 2012. They overcame so many different obstacles and proved (yet again) that team salary and names on a piece of paper don’t win ballgames.

They didn’t use “moneyball” to build this team. In fact if you look at their roster,

It was built on power (7th in HR), not OBP (24th in OBP), defense and a great bullpen built to protect their young and inexperience starters.

Those 3 things do not fit the mold of the 2002 A’s that a book was written about. To win 94 games out of 162 and beat out the 2 time AL Champs, and a team that spent $300m in the offseason in LA is impressive. Then to go into the playoffs with:

-All Rookie Starting Staff
-Starting 3B who was supposed to be a C in the minors
-RF that they were mocked for acquiring in exchange for their closer Andrew Bailey
-Trading away Gio & Cahill
-Being predicted to lose 100 games
-Losing their #3 starter to a steroid issue
-Losing their #4 starter to a line drive to the head which almost cost him his life
-Being 5 games UNDER .500 on June 30 and 13 games out of 1st

I’m sorry but if anybody tries to downplay how impressive of a season the Oakland coaches, players and executives had they are just simply not enjoying the sport as they should and being blinded by a book that literally has NOTHING to do with how this team was built and how they performed.

I honestly feel bad for anybody who spent time rooting against them because of any vendetta they may have against sabermetrics.

They blew an opportunity to enjoy one of the best baseball stories in a long time.

Who Had the Detroit?:: Jessep, Greg Hopps, Michael Barrett, Tie Dyed, Joe D, Ed Leyro, Clayton Collier, Mitch Petanick, Xtreemicon

San Francisco Giants over Cincinnati:

The Reds defeated themselves here. They flatlined from the time they touched down in Cincinnati. Maybe the news of losing Cueto just killed their confidence, but all I know is when they left San Francisco – they looked like they could win it all.

I will be curious how the Dusty Baker situation is handled. Baker who suffered a minor stroke at the end of the regular season does not have a contract for 2013 right now. Baker has been one of the most tragic Managers in recent memory. 2002 World Series, Steve Bartman, and now this. Will he back?

As for the Giants, they looked like a team that can win it all. They’ve got great pitching, and a rejuvenated Tim Lincecum who will probably get an early start in the LCS now.

They looked tired at the end of that game though, and they should be. Winning 3 road games in a row is not an easy task, especially when 1 wrong step could end your season.

MVP Buster Posey came through yet again for the Giants, and now they await an opponent.

Who Had the Giants?:: Jessep, Clare Lafferty, Tie Dyed, Ed Leyro, Mitch Petanick

The action begins at 5:07 in the Bronx!

About Michael Branda 267 Articles
Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.