Yesterday was the equivalent of baseball porn as we had playoff baseball for more than thirteen hours. The first two games were blowouts as the Red Sox blew out the Rays (you cannot just blame Wil Myers) and the Pirates, in impressive fashion, derailed a bit the Cardinals hunt for redbird October (there is not surprisingly a website by that name).
The later two games were much more thrilling and both were one-run games. Max Scherzer showed why he is now the Tigers' ace and not that other guy and Zack Greinke was pulled an inning too soon as his replacement coughed up two runs the Dodgers could not overcome. Yes, Michael Young did get a pinch hit single that Greinke may or may not have produced (he is a good hitter for a pitcher). But a double-play killed that rally, the Dodgers did not score and the two runs the Braves scored off of Greinke's inexperienced reliever cost the game.
How did the picks fare in all this? They split, 2-2. The Pirates surprised me and good for them and their fans. It's great the series now goes back to Pittsburgh so that entire city can celebrate. The Braves win was much less unexpected. That was a game that could have gone either way and it did fall away from what I predicted.
How boring, there are only two playoff games today and they are both American League games. Heh. The picks:
- The Rays over the Red Sox: This is a tough one because you cannot predict how each pitcher will fare against the other's lineup. If you go by just the pitching match-up, you would naturally think that David Price is a better pick than John Lackey. But the Red Sox mash the baseball and Price is going to have to pitch the game of his life. If Lackey survives the first inning, he could frustrate this pick also. I think I would have gone with Clay Buchholz in this game to try to go up two heading to Tropicana. But we'll see how it all works out.
- The Tigers over the Athletics: Sonny Gray is the big wildcard in this game. I have loved this kid all season, but to ask him to come up big in this setting? The Indians tried the same thing with Salazar and it did not work. Another unknown is what kind of effort the Tigers will get from Justin Verlander. He certainly fell off the most feared list this season. But I would not put it against him in a big ballpark to do well in this game. Verlander will need to get ahead in the counts and go from there. Neither of these offenses consistently crank. It all seems hit or miss sometimes. The Tigers scored three runs in the first yesterday and then died the rest of the game. I have to go with Verlander. Uh oh, I just picked both home teams to lose. Yikes!
Post season: 6-3