Thursday, October 22, 2009

For Those Who Care: World Series Preview

Ok, so today is game 5 of the ALCS championship series. If the Angels somehow manage to pull out a win, the Yankees still win the series in 6 or 7. C.C. Sabbathia is the best pitcher on the planet right now and if the Angels get to game 7, that is who they will have to face. He totally dominated their lineup on 3 days rest and game 7 will be on full rest. Phillies won last night which was good since they may the only team in baseball right now that can match up with the Yankees. It should be a great series. I still pick NY in 7 because Sabbathia can pitch 3 games. The Phillies have Cliff Lee and when Sabbathia and Lee go arm to arm, it should be an epic pitchers duel. Beyond those two both pitching staffs drop off quite a bit. Hamels and Burnett are good but can have lapses when they can't throw strikes. Petitte has trouble getting beyond 5 or 6 innings. Which is ok because NY has the stronger bullpen by far. The lineups match up pretty well. The Phillies have hit almost as many home runs as NY and they were flying out of the Phillies park last night just like they have been flying out of the new Yankee Stadium all season. The edge has to go to NY though because ARod is hitting like he can and erasing memories of his postseason power outages of the past. Texiera is looking like ARod of postseasons past but he is always a threat to wake up and win a game with a home run. Jeter is playing like Jeter which means like the MVP of postseason play. But the Phillies have a good lineup that combines speed with power. They are scrappy and won't be intimidated by the Yankees. They will be helped by the DH rule in the world series. Matsui is always a dangerous hitter and he could be out for 3 games. The other intangibles are the weather and the umpiring. Both, have been equally bad this postseason. The weather on the east coast in late Fall can be like Kodiak baseball weather: raw with rain and wind. The umpiring has been amazingly bad for what is supposed to be the best crews in the game. Fortunately, it does not seem to have actually cost any team a game although the Twins could argue Mauer's fair/foul ball bad call did. In the last Angels/Yankees game Tim McClelland who was the third base ump made two of the worst calls I have ever seen. With two Yankee runners stranded in no - mans land off third base and both tagged out by the Angels catcher, he called a fielders choice and awarded one of the runners third base! The other call went against NY when he called Swisher out for leaving third too soon after a caught fly ball in the outfield. Swisher tagged and scored. The Angels appealed and McClelland called Swisher out. Swisher was caught on camera with a look of total amazement as the replay clearly showed that not only did he not leave early but the ump was not even looking at the play at third! Later, after watching replay, he admitted he did not see it, but in one of the classic lines of baseball lore, he said, I felt in my heart he left early. The only way the Angels win this series with the Yankees is if McClelland is behind the plate and he feels in his heart they should win!

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