What an incredible night of baseball. Except if you are a fan of the Orioles and Tigers. If so, much sympathies as all baseball fans, especially long-term ones, know exactly how that felt and it is a horrible feeling. But for everyone else, nothing could have beaten the drama displayed as two teams in succession came from behind and walked off with victories. Amazing stuff.
As for the NLDS, both of the picks there yesterday were wrong. Both visiting teams took care of the home teams with ease to push the Reds - Giants series to the brink and gave the Cards a 2-1 lead in their series with the Nationals.
All four series will continue today. There is a possibility that all could end today and only wins by the Orioles and Nationals will extend those two series. The other two are Gave Five events. Wow.
It will be a packed day of baseball, so let's get to the picks:
- The Reds over the Giants: The Reds are taking a pounding in the press over losing the last two games at home after winning the first two games of the series in San Francisco. But geez, these things do happen and the Giants are a playoff team that won a division handily. Two things will have to happen to make this pick a reality. First, Mat Latos has to come up big. Very big. Second, the Reds have to get to Matt Cain a second time which doesn't seem likely. This is a true tossup with the pick going to the home team.
- The Cardinals over the Nationals: Ross Detwiler is starting a game that is a do or die game for the Nationals. This is the truest consequence of the Strasburg decision and one that will be discussed for a very long time, especially if the Nats lose. Kyle Lohse is a very good pitcher who has been here before. He will hold down the Nationals and allow the bats to win the game.
- The Yankees over the Orioles: While not buying the meme that the Orioles will be shell-shocked and dejected, their backs are against the wall (cliche alert!). They have two win two games at Yankee Stadium. If they do beat Phil Hughes tonight, they have Sabathia tomorrow. Tough. Hughes, of course needs to come up big for the Yankees and he is certainly capable. He has to keep the ball in the ballpark. But if he struggles early, David Phelps and Derek Lowe are two good options. This pick is predicated on the belief that Joe Saunders cannot hold the Yankees down.
- The Tigers over the Athletics: Hate making this pick. The A's have been such a fun story and last night was killer. But they get Justin Verlander, and while Verlander is not a god, he is quite the mortal. Jarrod Parker is very good too. The A's only hope here is to have Parker match zeroes with Verlander and make it a bullpen game. If they can do that, they have a good chance. If it is close, one has to wonder if Leyland would go with Jose Valverde again.
Post season: 6-10