Pete Previews the AL & NL Divisional Series

Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

I like both teams here, but I have to pick one. I’m not impressed with either team’s bullpen and I have to give the edge to the Brewers with their starting pitching, especially if Gallardo can pitch like he did last year. Catching, 1B, SS and 3B are just about even, but the Phillieshave the edge at 2B and closer. The Brewers have the edge in the OF corners especially if Burrell doesn’t play due to injury. Cameron, Braun & Hart beat out Burrell, Victorino and whoever the Phils put out in RF (Jenkins, Werth, etc.). After the dust settles, this one might just go 5 games. They are both good teams. Whoever gets hot & stays hot will win.

LA Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs

The Cubshave a lot more fire power even with the Dodger’s newest LF, Manny Ramirez. I don’t think he will be enough, but the wild card here is Joe Torre. I’ve seen him enough times to know that you just can’t count one of his teams out too soon. He just gets the most out of his players. LA is a perfect fit for him! This should be another good series, going 4 or 5 games unless the Dodger’s bats go missing, which is a possibility. They do own the worst record of all of the 8 teams in this year’s playoffs. Cubs advance due to an overpowering offense.

Boston Red Sox vs. LA Angels of Anaheim

The Red Sox have dominated the Angels in the past 9 playoff appearences although the Angels had key players hurt last year. What happened in the regular season is almost insignificant. What does matter is the addittion of Teixiera and Hunter in the Angels line up this year. Also a concern is the ability of the Sox injured to play up to par. Lowell‘s hip is a huge concern and Drew‘s back could loose some punch in the line up, but they can survive that and add speed with an OF of Bay, Crisp & Ellsbury (The Human Sparkplug) The Sox youth movement up the middle at 2B and SS (Pedroia and Lowrie) have an advantage over the Angels, but the biggest concern is with Beckett and his oblique. If he is hindered, the Sox could survive this series, but if they were to continue into the ALCS, it would be a major concern against either the White Sox or the Rays. Either way, I like Boston‘s starting pitching over the Angels, but LA has the better bullpen all around. I still like the Sox to advance though.

Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays

I think this is Tampa Bay‘s year to shine! I just think that the extra two games played the past two days are going to hurt Chicago although an all Chicago World Series would be great baseball! Just don’t hold your breath. The Rayshas the pitching strength of the 2005 White Sox, and a solid deffense behind them and without Quentin, the Sox have a less firepower than they had in the regular season. The only question that remains is how many Raysfans will turn out in Tampa in these games? I would like to see Griffey Jr. go deep into the playoffs, but I just don’t see it happening this year!

Now, if the games were only on another station. The announcers last year were painfully bad, but I did enjoy Eckersley & Ripken after the Sox and Twins game last night. Eck’s colorful baseball lingo is a breath of fresh air if you can keep up with him, that is.

3 Comments

  1. Ken X

    October 7, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Hello Pete,

    I’m interested in your take on some Angels’ statements after last night’s loss.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-angels7-2008oct07,0,6242252.story

    Is that sportmanship giving way to frustration, or refreshing honesty in this day of political correctness and explicit self-censoring?

    And lastly, were they right? Were the Angels the better team?

    Keep up the great work!

    X

  2. Peter

    October 7, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    For those of you who haven’t read these yet, here are the quotes from the Angels after their game 4 defeat to Boston. These quotes are taken from the link X provided in the original comment.

    “We lost to a team that’s not better than us,” growled pitcher John Lackey, who gave up two runs and seven hits in seven innings. “We are a better team than they are. The last two days, we shouldn’t have given up anything.”

    When asked about the aggressive base running and the squeeze play that went awry, Lackey had this to say: “That’s our style of baseball,” Lackey said. “That got us here.”

    “[Sunday] night they scored three runs on a pop fly that was called a hit, which was a joke,” Lackey said, referring to Ellsbury’s pop that fell between center fielder Torii Hunter and second baseman Howie Kendrick in Game 3.

    “[Monday] night they scored on a broken-bat ground ball and a fly ball that anywhere else in America is an out, and he’s fist-pumping on second base like he did something great.” He’s talking about the Pedroia wall ball double. Hey, that’s Fenway!

    Asked to describe his feelings, Lackey said, “Like I want to throw somebody through a wall.”

    “With a 2-0 count, I felt he had to get a ball around the plate,” Scioscia said. “Erick is one of the best bunters we have, and it didn’t work out.”

    “I’m not going to second-guess my manager,” Hunter said. “He made the decision, I’m going to stick by it. If he gets the bunt down and we score the run, everyone would love him. It’s hard to swallow. I’m disappointed it didn’t work out.”

    “I’m [ticked], I’m upset, this one’s going to be with me for a while,” Hunter said. “It doesn’t feel good, because we’re a better team than they are. But they’re moving on.”

  3. Peter

    October 7, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I think that part of this from Lackey is just his attitude. He pitched two really good games, but Boston’s Jon Lester pitched two slightly better games. The problem was that their defense wasn’t as good as Boston’s and error or no errors, the Angels did NOT make a few “key” plays when they needed to.

    Also, they didn’t run enough when they got on base. This would have been an attempt to rattle the Boston pitching staff. Some of which are young and possibly affected by the pressure.

    Masterson’s wild pitch/passed ball was just as costly as the mistakes the Angels made and there was also the error made by Sox SS Lowrie earlier in the series. The difference is that Boston overcame those mistakes and the Angels did not. And Lackey is upset about that, and the fact, or so it seems, that his team played poor defense at times in this series (except for 1B Teixeira).

    I actually comment Hunter for not throwing anyone under the bus. This is his first year in LA (previously played for the Minn. Twins). He was not here for the previous Angel disappointing losses against Boston in years past. He was just sharing his feelings and disappointment, but it seems as if Lackey had an axe to grind. He probably doesn’t like Pedroia’s BIG mouth! I wouldn’t after a loss like that either.

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