Just when you thought the Nationals had turned over a new leaf: Stephen Strasburg comes back successfully after elbow surgery, rooie Phenom Bryce Harper is tears it up in the bigs, the Nationals win the NL East for the first time in a real long time… but then this happens… Up 6 runs to 0 in game 5 of the NLDS, at home, up 2 runs in the 9th and boom!!! COLLAPSE/CHOKE. I almost feel sorry for them. I wonder how Albert Pujols feels with the Cardinals adavancing without him and him not even making the playoffs? Maybe if Pujols had hit his first home run before the All-Star break he would’ve given the Angels a chance. Oh well, what’s $250 million to the Arty Moreno. On to the NLCS, Giants vs. Cards. Anyone outside of St. Louis and San Francisco interested in this series?
There’s no other way to put it. Talk about being a sour puss. After the Colorado Rockies declined to offer Jimenez a long-term deal after going 6-9 with a era over 4, they traded him to the Indians for minor league propsects. Apparently, Jimenez hasn’t let that go, especially since the Rockies offered Troy Tulitwitzki and his .300+ batting average, 30 hr and 100+ rbis a contract extension. Then to have Jimenez intentionally plunk Tulowitzki in the elbow of all places in a meaningless minor league outing. I don’t know what’s worse, doing that or denying the real reason for doing so, claiming that Tulo was calling him names. C’mon Ubaldo, you’re better than that. You’re a 28 year old pitcher with your best days behind you. Thank the lord that you’re still in the bigs.
The Yankees got just what they needed tonight, and that folks, was the Oakland A’s bullpen… 16 earned runs in 3 innings? Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all hit grand slams. The Yankees are in a pennant race against the Boston Red Sox. I’m about 99.9% sure that the wildcard is coming out of the AL East but its a pride thing between these two teams/cities. Nobody wants to get in as the wildcard. Good thing the Yanks bats woke up or else they were gonna get swept by the As and they’re 59-71 record. Looks like both the Sox and the Yanks have a majority of their games against the nasty teams left in their division so it’s gonna come down to who can beat up on the nerdy kid the most and we all know that’s a Yankee specialty. Now if you’re in New York towards the end of September, I’d pick up tickets for the Red Sox game because that’s gonna be a telling series. The winner of that series takes first in the East and the best record in the AL.
Who does Carlos Guillen and his part-time, 2 home runs ass think he is? The nerve of him showing up anyone, let alone 14 game winner Jered Weaver. Guillen hasn’t accomplished anything in his career in the majors. He’s never been in a big game in his life. It took Guillen almost 1/2 a minute to round the bases. Weaver should’ve charged Guillen before he rounded 2nd base. Weaver throwing at the next player’s head was exactly what 99% of pitchers would have done. Anyone that says otherwise either doesn’t understand the game or has been out of it for too long (yeah you Curt Schilling). It’s too bad that Weaver and Guillen didn’t see each other once more time that evening. I pray that the Angels see the Tigers in the post-season because I’d love to see Weaver nail Guillen in his 35 year old gut. Weaver is the ultimate gamer and Guillen, well, he’s a has been that never was.
It’s official, Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies has been awarded the National League Cy Young award. He had a great regular season, going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts. He threw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season. What makes it more remarkable is that he’s doing it at the age of 33. Not old but definitely on the back 9 of his career. I know you’re not supposed to include the post season but if you did, I might lean a little towards that kid up in the ‘frisco Bay. Lincecum won the games when it counted (not to say that Halladay didn’t) and if it wasn’t for his pitching and out-dueling the immortal Cliff Lee, the Giants wouldn’t have one the Series. Hats off to Halladay, it’s too bad he didn’t get out of Toronto earlier.
Quick, name me 5 San Francisco Giants’ starters (position players only)!!! Let’s see, Barry Bonds, J.T. Snow, Benito Santiago… ummmm… that guy that batted after Barry Bonds that always looked angry, and oh yeah, Jeff Kent. Just kidding, this group of Giants is a far cry from those that I cheered against in the 2002 World Series. These guys are actually likeable. How can you hate Tim Lincecum, he’s like Jeff Spicoli from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Feel good story for Edgar Rentaria. I’m glad that Pat Burrell’s batting woes continued. Does that guy ever smile? It’s safe to say that Burrell didn’t contribute AT ALL to this Championship. He struck out 3 more times today, which gives him 11 strikeouts in 13 at bats. That’s gotta be a record. Don’t ever say pitching doesn’t win Championships. I don’t know how the Braves didn’t win more in the 90s with the Maddox/Glavine/Smoltz combo but with the Lincecum/Cain/Bumgardner combo, these kids should be back to the playoffs next year and date I say, repeat? Congrats to the Giants, the City and since I live in Cali, congrats to the state. Too bad for Cliff Lee, he went from ALDS hero to the goat, earning to losses in the series. I guess that’s what happens when you go up against the arguably the best pitcher in the Majors. I’m sure Lee’s heading to the Yankees next year, which should bring the Rangers back down to earth. Listen, as long as the Red Sox lose, I can sleep at night.
I’ll be the first to admit that I never thought the Giants would make it this far. I didn’t think they’d make the playoffs. I didn’t think they’d get past the Atlanta Braves, and I certainly didn’t think they were going to dominate the Philadelphia Phillies. I can’t even name more than 3 players on their roster. There’s 1 player who is batting over .300 (Cody Ross). Didn’t the Dodgers let this guy go? I do know one thing though, their pitching is the best in the game. Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are ill. Lincecum’s going up against Roy Halladay in Game 5 and don’t be surprised if the kid out-duels Doc again. It’s nice to see a team from California other than the Lakers making some noise. Looks like we’re going to have a Giants-Rangers World Series. Bad ratings but who doesn’t want to see Lincecum go up against Cliff Lee. Too bad these guys can’t pitch every game. One last note, how sad is it to see Barry Bonds before the game, trying to rally the crowd up. Take your girly voice and your post-steroid body back to the rock you crawled out of. Sorry, I can’t forgive him.
The Rangers thought that by getting Cliff Lee, they would have all AL West all but locked up. HOLD ON!!! Lee got rocked in his first start as a Ranger by the Baltimore Orioles, yes folks, the 27-59 Baltimore Orioles. The same Orioles who have a 11-34 road records. Led by right fielder Nick Markakis, the only player on the team batting over .300, the Orioles shelled Lee for 5 runs in 6 innings, ALL EARNED. It’s nice to see the Rangers stepping up and welcoming Lee with some offense (that’s online sarcasm). I’m sure Lee will bounce back his next start. But you never want to give up an easy win, especially against the Orioles. The Rangers have the hitting with Josh Hamilton and the rejuvenated Vladimir Guerrero, but they just seem to fade down the stretch every year. Let’s see if they can maintain some momentum in September now that they have Lee.
I wanted to wait a for a couple of starts before I jumped on the Stephen Strasburg bandwagon. Now I’m driving it. Let’s take a look at his numbers after 5 starts: 2 wins, 2 losses, 2.27 era, and 48 strikeouts in just 31 innings. It’s too bad he can’t pitch every day. Its also too bad that he can’t hit either because his team sucks offensively. There were a lot of naysayers before this kid got drafted. No one thought risking a #1 pick on a pitcher was worth it, especially since he’s not an everyday player. But the $15.1 million the Nationals signed this kid for was worth every penny. There’s a lot to be said about knowing that you are going to win every 5th game. All the Nats need to do now is shore up their offense. They’re in a tough division with the Phillies, Braves and Mets but having a young cornerstone like Strasburg is something any team would love to build around. Being 6’4, 220 lbs ain’t hurting him either. He’s pitching this coming weekend against the Mets and hopefully his team will get him a win after going winless in the last 3 starts. We’re witnessing something special.
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Armando Galarraga pitched a gem today. He was one out away from a perfect game when Cleveland Indians’ shortstop Jason Donald grounded to the second baseman and hustled down the line for a bang bang play. The ump called him safe but replays later show that he was CLEARLY out. Instead of pitching a perfect game, Galarraga just got a complete game shutout, 1 hitter. It almost would have been better if the 2nd baseman bobbled the ball. At least Galarraga would have gotten a no-hitter. Credit to umpire Jim Joyce for admitting fault after the game, its a tough job and a tougher call. He should’ve however erred on the side of history. Now comes the big issue, is baseball ready for instant replay? The NBA, NFL and NHL all have certain forms of it. I know that baseball games are long enough, but commissioner Bud Selig needs to wake up. This is a perfect example of why instant replay is needed. This kid missed out on being a part of history. A perfect game doesn’t come around that often (sure there have been 2 already this season but only 20 in MLB history). He would’ve been the first in Tigers’ history to achieve that feat. He probably will never get that close to a perfect game again. Time to rally the “instant replay” supporters, because it might cost a team a World Series ring one of these days. Then the mayhem will begin.