LCS Game 3 Notes

 By Peter Schiller

NLCS Post Game 3 Notes

Colorado Rockies Lead this Series 3 – 0

     Last night’s National League Championship Series game added yet another Rox hero to the list. This time the heroics came from the bat of catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who just this year broke the 100 game mark after breaking into the majors in 2001 with the SF Giants (playing in only 3 games, but going 2 for 4, with one of those hits being a triple). In the previous 5 years, he only averaged 65 games played. His 3-run HR (he had only 8 HR’s in the regular season) came in the 6th off of D-Backs starter Livan Hernandez. So this is yet another dramatic moment from a not-so likely player bringing the Rox one win away from reaching the World Series. Josh Fogg got the win, his second of this postseason, while Corpas got the save, his fourth of this postseason!   

     The Rox have won 20 out of their last 21 games and find themselves in a position to be almost guaranteed a berth as the NL’s representative in the 2007 World Series. Only 1 team in baseball history has ever come back from being down 3 – 0, that being the veteran & star studded 2004 Boston Red Sox. This does not bode well for the extremely young D-Backs, but does bode well for their bright future in the next few years to come. Game 4 starters going tonight will be Rookie pitcher Micah Owing & his “BIG” bat, getting his first taste of the post season against Franklin Morales of the Red Hot Rox, but who only lasted 3 innings in his last playoff start against the Yankees where he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits (including a HR).

    My pick in this game goes to the D-Backs with Owings being a big factor at the plate. But with the Rox will win the series in 5, unless Webb starts, in which case it will be over in 6. 🙂

ALCS Pre-Game 3 Notes  

This Series is Tied 1 – 1 going into Cleveland Tonight

     Tonight’s match up will tilt the tide for this series. Which of these two pitchers will live up to their expectation when these two teams had signed them? Matsuzaka, in Japan, was known as a Big game pitcher, but he has faced a longer season (by 22 regular season games), a bigger ball than they use over in Japan (this is much more of an issue, I would assume, for a pitcher), not to mention the cultural & language differences. The Sox brass has noted that they only expected him to get between 12-15 wins. They need him to throw one of those gems of a game that he has teased them with periodically all year long. Westbrook, on the other hand, has not pitched up to the expectations of the Indians when they signed him. In each of their last starts (in the LDS), neither pitched effectively enough to get a win. Matsuzaka went only 4.2 innings giving up 7 hits, allowing 3 runs with 3 walks & 3 K’s. Westbrook went 5 innings giving up 9 hits (1 HR), allowing 6 runs with no walks & 1 K, but got the only Indians loss against the Yankees.

     The Red Sox have shown a great deal of patience at the plate thus far & need to keep it up. It is putting pressure on the Indian starters, forcing them to throw strikes, which they are having an unusually difficult time (at least for Carmona & Sabathia) doing. Manny, Ortiz & Lowell need to stay hot, while the supporting cast of Pedroia, Youkilis, Varitek & Drew need to pitch in as well. Especially tonight as Matsuzaka has been the victim of a lack of run support at times during the regular season.

     The Indians have to see which version of Matsuzaka they will ve facing in order to find out how to approach him. If Matsuzaka is on his game, they will need to be aggressive & create scoring opportunities becasue they may not get many! Sizemore & Lofton will need to use their speed in this instance to try to create some distractions to the Red Sox battery. If he has problems with his control or is just not sharp out there, then they should be patient. He just might beat himself if he becomes erratic.

     My gut tells me that the Sox have the edge in pitching in this game, but as Saturday night proved, anything can happen between these two evenly matched opponents. Just watch out for those flys! 🙂

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