It's Thursday.....which means it's time for my post previewing the games on tap for this weekend...the last weekend before the all-star exhibition game.... As always the games are rated from 1(yawn inducing) to 5 (must-see) and with that said.....let the games begin
Saturday FOX Regional Action
Yankees (Pettite) vs. Angels (J.Weaver) = 3
Potential playoff preview that got knocked down a point solely because I dislike the Yankees and they're on TV too much. With that said, this should be a good match up. The Yankees are making my prediction of their 3rd place finish looking worse by the day and are creeping up on the Red Sox (which will inevitably lead to ESPN slobbering over the next Yankees-Red Sox match-up more than usual...if that's even possible)......the Angels are in a tight race with the Rangers in the AL West....Angels will probably be playing with a chip on their shoulder since they're coming off being schooled by Andruw Jones and the Rangers.....Angels win this in a close one
Cardinals (Carpenter) vs. Cubs (Lilly) =3
Another compelling game that I don't have interest in since I do not like either team (not to the game....I just don't like them)....the Cards are coming off winning 2 out of 3 in Milwaukee(grrrrr.......) and they have Chris Carpenter who has returned to form since returning from injury.....the Cubs are lurking at 3 1/2 games out of first and 101 years since their last title....they have All-Star Ted Lilly going to the hill....should be a low scoring affair and a good pitching match-up........if there was a way for these teams to lose to each other....that would be awesome but since someone has to win it will probably be the Cards (writing those words makes me nauseous)
Saturday night MLB (The most awesome channel ever) Network Game
Braves (Jurrgens) vs. Rockies (Marquis) = 3.5
Not the most compelling match up at first sight but it gets more interesting when looking at it at a closer level. The Braves have been hovering at or a couple games below .500 all season but are only sitting four games back. Playing in an underachieving NLeast if they get hot for a few weeks they could get themselves into first place. With a rotation headed by Jurrgens and Vasquez, that's not out of the question.
Speaking of teams who struggled for a couple months than got it together, they are facing the Rockies. Six good weeks and a managerial change has transformed the Rockies from NL West bottom feeders to fighting the Giants for second place and the wild card. The Rockies have an over-supported and decent (but not 1o-wins great)(wins and win-loss records are such over-ratted stats btw) Jason Marquis going for them Saturday.
Sunday TBS Game
Dodgers (Kershaw) vs. Brewers (Gallardo) =4
Another possible play-off match up (well if the Brewers ever start winning more than one game per series). The Dodgers have young pitcher Clayton Kershaw pitching for LA on Sunday. He pitched against the Brew Crew in a sunday afternoon game last year....don't remember the exact statistics but I do remember he pitched impressively..he was in line to get the win but the Brewers tied in it the ninth on a Braun homer only for Carlos Villaneuva to give up a game-losing home run in the bottom of the 9th....
Speaking of pitchers pitching well but not getting the wins to show for it, the Brewers have Yovanni Gallardo (who ironically is the one Brewers starter who's pitched well all-season) going for them......this dude has cy-young award potential, should been an all-star and has gotten zero run support in his last two starts (including an electrifying 12-K performance against the Mets)...my call is that the Dodgers will be lookin ahead...the Brewers offense will show up for Gallardo's start (for once) and the Brewers grad some momentum going in to the break.
Sunday Night Game
Cardinals (TBD) vs. Cubs (Zambrano) =2
While ESPN does get well-deserved flak for showing too many Sox-Yankees game.....they do find time to over-do the Cards-Cubs as well (this I can at least tolerate since as an off-shoot they've shown more Brewers games when they play either team)....hard to get excited for this end-of weekend match-up. Zambrano pitched seven strong innings the last time I watched him pitch (last Friday vs. the Brew Crew)....despite his struggles he'll probably show up and pitch another strong game against another division rival...... I really wish these teams could lose to each but since someone has to win...... it will probably be the Cubs win this one (it makes me naseous to type that statement)