Last night's game between the Yankees and the Tigers was crushing. It was not crushing because the Yankees lost. Teams lose and in a seven game series, there is time for a team to rebound. It was crushing because this picker's favorite player ever, Derek Jeter, is done for the playoffs with a fractured ankle. Feel however you want to feel about Derek Jeter. Don't really care. Talk to any player in the league. The guy is an icon even among superstars. And even so, none of that matters. This is a site called the Flagrant Fan and the Fan part of that equation fell in love with Derek Jeter a long time ago. So it doesn't matter what you think. It doesn't matter what Jeff Passan thinks (Jeter fractured his ankle because he was old!?). It doesn't matter that a respected Seattle blogger was mean-spirited enough to say that Jeter's range was unaffected by his fractured ankle. It is a personal blow. It hurts deeply. And the playoffs have almost become a dead deal here. Sorry. That's just the feelings inside. Take the good with the bad, people.
So it's good that this game picker is on the road and writing this from a lousy hotel's lousy fusion-whatever wireless account. It's good that the long drive home will mean missing the game. No longer want to see it. But picks must be made. Because that's what this site does. Sunday's picks:
- The Tigers over the Yankees: No longer care. The Yankees can't drive people in during the easiest of circumstance. Bases loaded? No problem. Just strike out three guys in a row. Don't worry about the batter making contact and scoring a run on an out. No contact happens. Just throw the ball in the dirt, or six inches outside. They will swing at it. Raul Ibanez has masked so much crappy offense this post season. Alex Rodriguez takes all the heat, but they all suck at it. Name a name and you'll name one that chokes in the easiest scoring scenarios. Just make the game last long enough to get David Phelps in there, Tigers. That's all. Hiroki Kuroda on short rest is the diciest of pitching decisions this post season by Girardi. The guy has always been better with MORE rest, not less. Anibal Sanchez, like Doug Fister, like Jason Hammel, like Joe Saunders, will look like Cy Young against the Yankees' offense. And no Jeter...no soul. It's over.
- The Giants over the Cardinals: The Giants might out pluck the pluckiest team ever in the Cardinals. Lance Lynn gets the start. Does that sound like a good idea for the Cardinals? The last time we saw him was against Werth. We all saw how that went. Madison Bumgarner will need to pitch a brilliant game though and someone needs to help Buster Posey on that Giants' offense.
Post season: 8-15