Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Playoffs Update: A Tale of Two Pitching Wars
I've had a busy few days, so I'm just now posting an UPDATE! WITH CUSTOMS! on the playoff race. And...it's actually resulting in two very different series'.
The NLCS is dead even right now, thanks to two straight great pitching performances. Game 1 had a stunner by Jon Lester. Game 2 had a marvel by Clayton Kershaw. This is a series of two really nice rotations. The Dodgers' pitching isn't PERFECT, but enough guys are staying afloat, like Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill and Julio Urias, that it's looking pretty optimistic on their end. This is a very cool, well-polished Dodgers team with some very hot Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson and Corey Seager performances.
Look, I absolutely adore the Cubs, and all they've done. I especially adore the fact that David Ross, in his final season, has become a mentor and unlikely source of power for one of the best teams in baseball.
Am I assuming they'll win this easily? No. The Dodgers are just as good as them right now. This series might go to 7. I'm still rooting for the Cubs, but it won't be a cakewalk.
Now, speaking of cakewalks...
Indians are 3-0. Tonight, their starter lasted about five seconds, Dan Otero took over for the remainder of the first half. They still won, with a RELIEVER doing most of the work.
And they're shutting down one of the most ferocious offenses in baseball. They've done it three times. And they're in World Series entering position.
Against the 2016 Blue Jays.
This has been one roller-coaster of a postseason.
No, I love the Indians, and love the fact that they're doing all of this, but I never would have seen that coming. They were so meek in the last bit of the season that they're coming alive has been so satisfying, and surprising. Mike Napoli, Carlos Santana, Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis, and ESPECIALLY Francisco Lindor have all been in peak condition. Couldn't be happier.
Look...I'm not a big fan of the Blue Jays, but if they want to retain ANY bit of legitimacy for the near future, they should probably work on trying to win Game 4. Corey Kluber will be on short rest. He's one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he'll be slightly depleted. If they can't get past a strikeout pitcher on three day's rest...then next year, nobody gets to be surprised when they miss the playoffs. Or, if they make the playoffs, when they get wiped out easily.
That's all. On with the show.