Saturday, October 10, 2015

Day Two, in Summation

This guy had the big RBI that broke the game out of the 14-inning extra slog, and managed to say his team, the Rangers, could take away two games at home from one of the toughest teams in baseball, those battlin' Toronto Blue Jays. They're up 2-0, and looking pretty damn good right now.

Meanwhile, this guy helped drive in the force that turned what could have been a 2-0 lead for the Astros into a tied series headed into Houston. Leave it to Zobrist to still be a playoff producer, even away from Tampa.

This guy had a career renaissance performance, overpowering the Cubs, going 6 innings of no-hit ball, and letting everybody know that the Cardinals can still be a playoff threat (to many disinterested groans around the blogosphere)

And this guy became the umpteenth guy to get the best of Clayton Kershaw in October, slamming a homer and leading to an impressive offensive drive behind Jacob DeGrom, and proving the Mets can be a legitimate playoff threat this year.

Tomorrow, reprises from the Cubs-Cards and Mets-Dodgers battles. Let's see how crazy this gets.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Tables Have Turned

Well, that sound you just heard was the sound of the number of 'Blue Jays win the World Series' predictions being drastically rewritten.

The Rangers took complete control of that game, even if it looked like Russell Martin was trying to whoop it right back into Jaysville a few times. David Price did not look like David Price. Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista left with injuries. This was not the team that made it to the postseason...this was the team that got by for a while in May.

The Rangers, meanwhile, were on top of the world, hitting well and keeping good defense. When Robinson Chirinos, the nine man, gets your big hit, you know you're doing something pretty right. Gallardo, for the most part, was solid, and they're going into a Cole Hamels game tomorrow night, which puts them in position to potentially go 2-0 heading back to Arlington.

This game was a pretty big move for both teams, because it may drastically alter the outcome of this postseason.

Now onto the Royals and Astros.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Right Outcome

I know I said the Pirates were gonna win. But all that time, I was secretly hoping the Cubs would pull a win away. And lo and behold...

Jake Arrieta is a freaking artist on that mound. The guy deserves some serious consideration for Cy Young, even if the race between him and Greinke will be tight. Kyle Schwarber is a menace at the plate. Kris Bryant is a future postseason icon. And Dexter Fowler reaffirmed his status as the best player nobody's heard of.

This was a great game for baseball. Even if Cubs-Cardinals could be kind of one-sided, it'd be pretty damn nice if the Cubs went on a tear in St. Louis. They've got the momentum, and they've certainly got the talent.

Well, I was right...

The Yankees, suffice to say, didn't show up.

This was the tired, battered remains of a team that had peaked way too early. I saw this coming, and a lot of people saw this coming. Dallas Keuchel especially, because he had a phenomenal night.

As sad as I am that the Yankees aren't moving on, I feel like it fits. This was not their year. This was not their story. The 2015 season begins and ends with people like the Astros, who came from absolutely nothing and worked their ways up. THEY are the victors. THEY deserve to be in the playoffs. The Yankees had a great mid-season, and then limped to the finish.

The Astros deserved to advance, so they did. Simple as that. It's gonna be a tough matchup, Royals-Astros, but I think it'll be a pretty nice one. I don't suppose the Astros will find it as easy as the Bronx, though.

By the way, one last Congratulations to the 2015 New York Yankees. Hell of a job, boys. Shame it all had to end this soon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

AL Wild Card: Showdown at the Okay Team Corral

In one corner, one of the best pitchers in baseball, and a shoo-in for the AL Cy Young award.

In the other, a fast-wielding Japanese strikeout artist.

Two will enter. One will leave victorious. It could go either way. Again, it's not looking great for the Yankees, but I'm still pretty optimistic. Sure as hell could be a really cool and competitive game...or a blowout. And with these two, it could be either one.

Monday, October 5, 2015

C.C. Ya Real Soon

Not especially thrilled about the reason, but if he thinks this is the way for him to be a better person, and a better father, then he is more than entitled to do this. Hopefully this rehab visit will have the right outcome, like a 2016 season that is truly worthy of the CC Sabathia of 2001-2010.

Hope all goes well, CC. The Yanks will do their best without you.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The 2015 Postseason: Where Are We Now?

And just like that...the 2015 regular season ended. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. Clay Kershaw hit 300 strikeouts. Jacob Degrom almost pitched a no-hitter. The Yankees lost. It didn't go out on a high note like it did last year.

Good news about it ending quietly is that the smoke can settle easily for the playoffs to begin. Tuesday night, the Wild Card match ups take place, and then we're off to the races. This is a very competitive, and very strange playoff field, and one that could go a TON of different ways. I'm not gonna go over ever single scenario, because that would be Night Owl's thing.

So what I am going to do, is give you the most likely scenario for this season's endgame. I am not going by an expectation for spontaneity. I am not going for surprises. I am simply looking at this field, and thinking, "who would be the most likely victor in this situation?" Simple as that. Same thing I used to do with the Football Predictions, only there I had room for upsets. Here, not really.

I am fully expecting the actual playoffs to go differently from these match ups, these predictions. Matter of fact, I encourage it. This is the 'if absolutely nothing goes wrong' scenario for the 2015 playoff season. So if it actually ends up going like this, baseball will have failed. Things are meant to happen that go according to the grand scheme of things. How the hell do you think we wound up with a Giants-Royals Series last year?

So now...the 'if absolutely nothing goes wrong' track for the playoffs:

AL WILD CARD: Yankees vs. Astros. Judging by the current momentum, the Yankees have absolutely no shot. They've completely run out of steam, and even with Tanaka on the mound, Dallas Keuchel's gonna kill the offense. ASTROS MOVE ON

NL WILD CARD: Cubs vs. Pirates. This one is pretty tricky, because both teams are on a tear right now. It'll likely be Gerrit Cole vs. Jake Arrieta. I say Arrieta goes 7 innings, pitches a gem, but the Pirates fight back late and Melancon shuts 'em down. PIRATES MOVE ON
(Not saying I want this to happen, because I don't, but logically this is what happens.)

ALDS 1: Blue Jays vs. Rangers. The Jays have the better roster, the Rangers have the better pitching. Will last all five games, but in my eyes the BLUE JAYS TAKE IT IN A SQUEAKER, thanks to a late Ben Revere RBI double. JAYS MOVE ON.

ALDS 2: Astros vs. Royals. Could be pretty evenly matched, as both teams haven't had the greatest months, but in my mind, the Royals will take this game, offensively and defensively, only giving up one game, and it'll likely be the Keuchel one. ROYALS MOVE ON

NLDS 1: Mets vs. Dodgers. The Dodgers, as great as they are, are gonna fall victim to the same things they fall victim to every postseason, only with a less cohesive roster than usual. The Mets, on the other hand, picked the exact right time to gain momentum. Will take it in 5. METS MOVE ON.

NLDS 2: Cardinals vs. Pirates. Ooh, this is a matchup I don't want to write about, because it's so hard to predict. It could literally go either way. The Cardinals are an amazing team, but the Pirates have lit a spark and have kept things going since last month. It's gonna boil down to endurance, ad in that respect I think the Pirates are gonna pull it away. I know I said no upsets, but the Cardinals peaked in about June. They've been on top forever, and a battle against someone like the Pirates could be the thing that breaks them. PIRATES MOVE ON.

ALCS: Blue Jays vs. Royals. Another tough matchup, especially in 7. The Royals at this point will either have regained their mid-season momentum, or will be completely out of fuel, and lacking in the spark that got them this far last year. I'm guessing the latter, and I'm guessing the still-hot Blue Jays will take full advantage of this. BLUE JAYS MOVE ON.

NLCS: Pirates vs. Mets. This one will boil down to pitching, because you've got two really tough offenses. The pitching will decide who wants it more. And, in this case, the Mets have the better pitching, and will be able to shut down the furious Pirates offense. In 6, the METS MOVE ON.

WORLD SERIES: Blue Jays vs. Mets. Battle of the 'Miracle' Teams. The '69 feel-good story vs. the '93 feel-better story. And suffice to say, if this is what it ends up as, are we in for a series. The pitching is stacked. The hitting is stacked. It'll go for all seven, and will be decided by some late-inning moves. It could honestly go either way, but in this situation I say the METS TAKE IT IN 7.

There. I just boldly predicted the New York Mets to win the World Series over the Blue Jays. I don't expect any of this to actually happen, but if it does, it would be kind of nice.

Of course, if it's Cardinals-Jays, then I won't be happy.