I can’t believe I missed all the madness. I had an Arctic Monkeys concert to go to tonight so I missed all the ridiculous drama in MLB tonight. When I left the apartment the Yanks were up 7-0 in the 8th inning and the BoSox were leading by 1 late. Things were tense in Atl when I was leaving, but things looked good with Atl up 3-2 heading to the 9th. What the hell happened? I walk out of the concert with my ears ringing and my phone going bananas with texts saying ridiculous nonsense. I didn’t believe any of it, but now I’m home and looking at the highlights…HOLY S#$%!
First of all, I have to talk about the Rays. Given the circumstances, is that not the best comeback in baseball history? A game tying shot with 2 outs and down to your last friggin’ strike with a batter that was sitting for the previous 3 hours coming up cold swatting a jack? Unreal! The Rays definitely deserve the Wild Card after that magical comeback and the Red Sox definitely did not deserve to make the playoffs after horribly fading down the stretch and losing 2 out of 3 to the last place team in their division. The BoSox will have to take a hard look at their starting staff and bullpen this offseason because this is what let them down in September.
In the NL the Cards completed their seemingly impossible comeback by destroying the Astros while the Braves painfully ended their season when a nervous ninth led to a blown save and eventual extra innings heartbreak. Plain and simple the Cards deserve the Wild Card, taking care of business all throughout September while the Braves offence disappeared in September leading to their grand collapse. I think the Braves will be fine in seasons to come, they’re a young team and they’ll only get better and better. But yeah, this will sting a bit.
Photo via AP
Predictions on 1st round playoff matchups
Tampa vs Texas
Winner: Texas, I have to stick with them because they are my world series pick, but Tampa has all the momentum in the world. This pick is all pride
NYY vs Detroit
Winner: Detroit, one evil empire misses the playoffs and another bounced in the opening round. Sounds good to me. Yanks have all the offence in the world, but other than CC who is starting?
STL vs Philly
Winner: Philly, their rotation is just too sick to lose.
Arizona vs Milwaukee
Winner: Milwaukee, more pitching, more hitting and they have a Canadian in Axford…that should be good enough
It’s coming down to the final game in both the AL and NL Wild Card chase. Unbelievably, both races are deadlocked coming down to the final game of the season. Both the Red Sox and the Braves looked like sure bets to make the post-season, but both have choked their way to the brink of missing the playoffs. The Red Sox blew a 9 game lead in 23 days and the Braves let an 8.5 game lead slip away in the last 3 weeks. From a fan’s standpoint I’m hoping both races remain tied after tomorrow forcing a 163rd game to be played. 1 game of desperation is intense and I’m greedily crossing my fingers for this can’t miss TV possibility.
If you are a Yanks fan which team would you rather face? Your arch rival who limps into the playoffs with question marks all over their starting rotation and bullpen? Or a seemingly less dangerous team in the Rays who you’ve historically owned in the past, but is coming into the playoffs red hot and full of confidence? If I was the Yanks I’d totally throw tomorrow’s game and let the Rays win in a walk and hope the Orioles can pull off an upset win against the Sox. The Sox may look like the inferior team of the two choices, but these are the Boston Red Sox, they are capable of suddenly turning it on and be the best team in the league. They also seem to play their best against the Yanks and their offence is just as dangerous as the Bronx Bombers.
If you are the Phillies you probably don’t care. Your team is the best in baseball and will match up well against either the Braves or Cards. I think they would prefer to play the Braves because the Braves don’t have a guy named Pujols. The Cards have a better offence than the braves and their bullpen is deep with all their trade deadline pick-ups.
Pitching match-ups for tomorrow:
Boston: Lester Baltimore: Simon
Tampa: Price NY: TBD (probably a reliever)
Philly: Blanton Atlanta: Hudson
STL: Carpenter Houston: Myers
I just can’t see the Red Sox losing tomorrow, Simon is a gas can. I also think the Rays win because David Price is a big game pitcher and the Yanks just won’t put up much of a fight. In the NL I’d be scared if I was a Braves fan because St. Louis will win against a Houston team that has already lost 104 games. However, one bright spot for the Braves is Blanton has struggled against Atlanta going 1-3 in his last 4 starts against the Braves. Hudson on the other hand is 3-1 in his last 4 starts against Philly.
So in conclusion I think we’ll see a 163rd game between the Red Sox and Rays and I think the Cards complete the unreal comeback and snatch the Wild Card away from the Braves.