Rockies v. Phillies
Well, like most sequels, Rocktober II got off to a lack-luster start. The Phils have already done better in this version than they original as they've actually won a game this time. The weird thing is that while this is the only tied up series...this is the series that I haven't gotten the least into
Cardinals v. Dodgers
Prior to the series, I argued that the Dodgers would win this series due to having a better-rounded team. I also mentioned that while the Dodgers have several players who could step up on any given day...the Cardinals are revolved mostly around Carpenter, Wainwright, Holliday and Pujols.
This series isn't even over and the Cardinals have been hurt by 2 of these players not playing up to their regular season performance. Chris Carpenter did has non-stepping up on a more subtle level as he got out-pitched by Randy Wolf of all people.
Then there is Matt Holliday. Thursday started off well for him with him hitting a home run early on. However, thats not what people are going to remember. He's obviously going to be remembered for his missed opportunity to grab the final out of the game (plus getting hit in the groin with the baseball---usually you have to watch MTV for something like that...and the impending collapse that occurred afterwards.
While Holliday obviously made a crucial error, he definitely can't be blamed entirely for the loss. After this error the Cards were up 2-1 with a runner on base and 2 outs. I get the vibe that the defensive gaffe will cover-up the very non-clutch performance of Ryan Franklin.....its not like he gave up the game-tying/losing hits to the meat of the line-up...he blew this game against two players who did time on some bad Brewers teams in the late 90s (Ron Belliard and Mark Loretta).
Twins vs. Yankees
Todays match-up was a lost opportunity for the Twins. They were up 3-1 on a couple late RBI singles. A normally clutch Joe Nathan blows the game on the biggest stage.....can't capitalize on loading the bases with 0 outs and left 17 men on base...........14 of those potential runners that could have let them win this game......there are some things you can blame on payroll discrepancies...Game 2 is not one of them.........if this didn't ruin the Twins morale...the walk-off home run from Mark Teixeira pretty much finished off the job
Angels vs. Red Sox
Well, the Angels are one win away from beating the Red Sox for the first time in a playoff series. Whether they follow through on this is yet to be seen. They have to travel east to Fenway Park so anything can happen here. For what its worth out of the 4 times a team has come down 2-0 in the ALDS...the Red Sox have been the team to come back two of those times ('99 vs. Cleveland and '03 vs. Oakland)
Still, to pull this off (or win a game) they need to get their offense going. Scoring 1 run in 2 games is not a good things.
For a while this game looked like it was going to be more epic than the preceding Twins/Yankees game. Josh Beckett and Jered Weaver went blow for blow until the 7th inning until the Angels broke through for a 3-run inning.
On a misc. note, this series has allowed C.B. Bucknor has gotten his 15 minutes of shame. How hes umpring in the playoffs is beyond me. His work has been bad enough to have various edits made to his wikipedia page.
Well thats my gut reaction to the first few days of the playoffs......can't wait to see how the rest of this plays out.