Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Postseason Picks So Far

Last week, I picked Yanks-Sox for the ALCS and Astros-Cardinals for the NLCS. Turned out I was right on both counts.

I was a bit off on most of the numbers. The Braves along with Phil Garner's foibles made the Astros sweat, instead of the 3-game sweep I had predicted. Who woulda thunk ex-Yankee farmhand Russ Springer would appear in a postseason game? At least the Astros were smart enough to dump David Weathers.

I called the Cardinals over the Dodgers in 4. Right on.

In the AL, I thought the Angels would have more fight in them, saying it would take 5 games for Boston to beat 'em. But Boston is red-hot. No doubt about it.

And I gave the Twins a little too much credit. After Santana left, that bullpen was fodder for the Yanks. And the Twins' lineup just wasn't enough to bash the Yankees' putrid pitching.

But who predicted a couple of come-from-behind wins? Thank you very much. All the Yankee fans making such a big deal of the resilience and toughness of these Yankees. Give me a break. All those comeback wins are a sign of weak, awful pitching. Most bullpens in the league are weak, and the Yankees have no trouble pounding them. The '98 Yankees had much fewer comeback wins. And they were much, much better than this squad.

As for the upcoming ALCS:
GAME 1: Curt Schilling will once again prove that "aura" and "mystique" are just names of strippers. Mussina did a decent job against the Twins, but this is a much better lineup he'll be facing.
GAME 2: The Pedro game is gonna be interesting. I see the Yankees pulling this one out. Lieber has been pretty good at home, and the Yankees always find a way to beat Pedro. The Yankee fans will make a huge deal, say "who's your Daddy?" and talking about all the momentum the Yanks got from beating Pedro. Expect some Jeter heroics and the Yankee fans to make a huge deal over this overrated, overpaid guy. But once the Sox hit the Junkees' junky part of the rotation, the fun will begin.
GAME 3: I'm starting to really like Bronson Arroyo. He gained my respect when he plunked A-Rod, and then the guy was pretty solid down the stretch. He pitched very well against the Angels in the ALDS. The Red Sox are gonna knock Brownie out of this one early, kinda like the game a few Sundays ago. Again, these are not the Henry Blanco Twins we're talking about.
GAME 4: Javier Vazquez is starting to remind me of Jose Contreras. Yankee fans got excited when he beat the Royals and Devil Rays, but clammed up when the guy got rocked by a half-decent team. And lately, Vazquez has had trouble getting anyone out. Wakefield has always stymied the Yanks (except you know when ---and expect Fox to show the Aaron Boone HR about a million times this game), and hopefully his schmooze with ex-Schmet pitching coach Charlie Hough will prove helpful.
As for Game 5, I see Mussina keeping the Yanks in it, but Schilling should prevail. Maybe the Yanks will tie it up, in which case I'm all for a 2001 Game 7 redux. And just for old-times sake, how about Curt Schilling as ALCS MVP?

Last year, the Yankees were a bit better than the Sox, and painful as the loss was, the Sox could tip their caps to the Yanks. No more. The Yankees must lose this year. We don't need a $190 million payroll and a 4.70 ERA making the World Series. This time for sure, the Yanks don't deserve to be in it. The Red Sox are clearly the better team.

One more point: Even after his heroics the other night, Ruben Sierra is hard for me to hate. Anyone who calls Torre a "liar" is up there in my book. And the fact that George got him just to stick it to Torre was great.


PizzaBagel said...

If not a liar, Torre is a certainly a first-class phony. He plays Steingrabber and the sycophantic media, sometimes against each other, almost always managing to pull the right strings with them. His occasional short-term blunders are eventually forgotten because of the team's long-term success during his tenure. A talent-heavy team purchased through the deepest pockets around certainly helps make him look like some kind of a genius. Lastly, he's probably a damn good poker player. A shot of his mug in the dugout won't tell you whether the Bummers are ten runs up or twenty runs down. (Preferably the latter.)

Anonymous said...

So much for Schilling "Shutting Up" 55,000 New Yorkers eh? The Boston Offense may have been able to bring this game close, but, in the end, the Sox best pitcher just got owned.