You have to give credit to Dusty Baker and the Reds for not panicking when Johnny Cueto came up lame. The way the situation was handled, and the way the pitching staff performed was a real credit to the Reds. The Giants, meanwhile, sure put themselves in a hole when their most reliable ace could not hold the Reds down in his own ballpark. For them, it won't get any easier from here. That game pick was wrong though.
Justin Verlander did what he is supposed to do as one of the best pitchers alive. And though he wasn't sharp early, he was late and the Tigers' 3-1 victory was a lot more lopsided than it sounds. As we shall see, the Athletics' task does not get easier from here.
There are four big games on today. This is as good as playoff baseball gets. The picks:
- The Tigers over the Athletics: Talk about unfair. Due to the number of games on the schedule, the A's are basically playing this game at 9:07 A.M. on their West Coast biological clocks. Doug Fister is a proven big game pitcher and again, experience trumps a youngster, even if he is Tommy Milone.
- The Cardinals over the Nationals: You know what? The Cardinals drive this picker crazy. How did they beat the Braves? Was it some kind of voodoo they performed on the fielders gloves of that team? How do they look so mediocre and continue their playoff magic? Adam Wainwright will have no business winning this game. But somehow, he will. Gio Gonzalez will do his best to make sure that doesn't happen. But the game is in St. Louis.
- The Yankees over the Orioles: Yes, the Orioles have become a major pain in the Yankees' sides. Middle of the road batters become fearsome sluggers and retread pitchers become Cy Youngs. But if you just look on paper, C.C. Sabathia should beat Jason Hammel, the latter of which has been out of the rotation more often than he has been in it. The Yankees will need to score early to take the O's crowd out of play.
- The Giants over the Reds: Bronson Arroyo should benefit from pitching in the big ballpark in San Francisco. That will take away some of his weakness of the home run ball. But this game completely depends on Madison Bumgarner pitching at home. When he is on, he is lights out and can shut down anyone. He will win the Cy Young Award some day. But will he be on tonight?
Post Season: 1-3