Team of Destiny? KC up 2-0; SF goes up 1-0.

I’m starting to wonder if KC is a team of destiny for this postseason. They won their sixth straight postseason game, doing it late like usual, albeit in regulation, not in extras this time. (Four of their six postseason wins have come in extra innings). They scored two in the top of the ninth to break a 4-4 tie and win 6-4 on Saturday. They go home up 2 games to none in the ALCS, winning both games in Baltimore.

Meanwhile the NLCS, the visiting San Francisco Giants shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in Game 1 last night.

Good move in Cashman telling A-Rod to prepare for reps at 1B in spring training. I’m not a fan at all of A-Rod’s return, but since he’ll be 40 next July, missed all of 2014 and all but 44 games in 2013, also is coming off two hip surgeries, you wonder about EVERYTHING with him. Offense, defense, baserunning. There is no guarantee he can hit, handle 3B, etc. But the Yanks didn’t have a legit 1B backup for the fragile Teixeira last year. Kelly Johnson, moving a C to 1B (McCann/Cervelli), even sometimes putting Brendan Ryan there… not answers. At least with A-Rod you would have an experienced infielder… and hopefully power-hitting 1B, playing 1B when Teix can’t.  It beats what was attempted last year, when there was no legitimate backup to 1B.

Turning to college football, this PSU grad has to say that so far he isn’t too impressed with the new coaching staff at his alma mater. I’m not thrilled with some of the play calling this season, there isn’t a running game, for some reason big bull Zach Zwinak appears to be underutilized (the big boy may not be quick or gain too much yards/carry, but he may be able to wear down the opposition in the 4th quarter if used more often earlier in the game) and the O-line has serious issues.

ALCS Game 1: Extra inning wonders again. KC takes Game 1.

Why not stick to the formula? KC won the wild-card game in extra innings, as well as Games 1 and 2 of their Division series against the Angels before beating the Angels in the more conventional style in Game 3.

KC became the first team ever to win three consecutive extra-inning games.

So in Game 1 of the ALCS last night, they went “formulaic” and beat the Orioles 8-6 in 10 innings. Alex Gordon homered leading off the 10th and Mike Moustakas hit a 2-run HR (which would be decisive when Baltimore scored a run in the bottom of the 10th) later. Game 2 will be today.

Gordon had three hits and 4 RBI last night.

The NLCS between San Francisco and St. Louis starts tonight.

Cashman returns, but not Long or Kelleher

The Yanks signed GM Brian Cashman to a new 3-yr. deal today, but let go of hitting coach Kevin Long and 1B/Infield coach Mick Kelleher.

Baseball resumes/Yogi/The SS search

The ALCS gets started tonight with Game 1 between Baltimore & KC. The NLCS starts tomorrow between SF and StL.

Meanwhile, sad and disturbing news. Late Tues. night or early Wed. morning, professional thieves broke into Yogi Berra’s Museum. Items stolen include his WS rings and MVP trophies. I hope the scumbags are caught soon. Their punishment should be that every Yankees fan gets a bat and one good swing at these thieves, hitting their bodies wherever.

Yogi, of course, is devastated. The 89-year-old legend lost his wife earlier this year, and now this.

Cross J.J. Hardy off your wish list for Yankees’ SS. He won’t be going into free agency. Instead he signed a 3-yr. extension with the Orioles.

NLCS set along with ALCS

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals last night, 3-2, to win their NLDS 3 games to 1. The winning run scored on a wild pitch.

They will face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. The Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, also by a 3-2 score, to also win their division series 3 games to 1. Matt Adams 3-run HR off of Clayton Kershaw in the bottom of the seventh decided the game.

Kershaw was 21-3, 1.77 for the Dodgers this year, but lost both of his starts against the Cardinals in the series. In fact, he’s lost his last four postseason starts. The Cards have his number.

With the ALCS already set, Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals, some observations.

Both teams that won the one-game wild card playoff are still alive. (SF and KC).

The two teams that were the #1 seeds are eliminated (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Washington).

Hopes for a Beltway Series (Balt./Wash)., and Freeway Series (Dodgers/Angels) are gone. Same with a BART Series (A’s/Giants, as what happened in 1989 with the earthquake). Any kind of all California WS are gone.

There is still hope for an I-70 series between KC and St. Louis, which happened in 1985.

For the two AL teams, if Baltimore wins, it’ll be their first WS appearance since they won it all in 1983. For KC, it would be their first WS appearance since winning it all in 1985.

In the NL, SF and St. Louis are familiar. SF won it all in 2010 and 2012. Will the even year of 2014 work for them? Meanwhile, St. Louis lost the WS in 2004, won it in 2006, won it in 2011 and lost it last year (2013). In fact, if you throw in the Phillies getting to back-to-back WS in 2008 (winning) and 2009 (losing), the last team other than the Giants, Cardinals or Phillies to win the NL pennant was the Colorado Rockies in 2007.

 

NLDS: Nats stay alive, St. Louis goes 1-up.

The San Francisco Giants didn’t get the sweep they were hoping for, as their pitcher, Madison Baumgarner, made an error that let in two runs and set up a third for the Washington Nationals, enabling the Nats to stay alive in their postseason series. Washington won 4-1 and kept hopes alive for a Beltway Series between them and the Baltimore Orioles. Game 4 is today.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals got homers from Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong in defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 to take a 2 games to 1 lead in that NLDS. For Carpenter, it was his third straight game with a HR and a double. Wong’s 2-run HR in the 7th broke a 1-1 tie. Game 4 is tonight, and Midwesterners are hoping for a redux of the 1985 Cardinals-Kansas City Royals series (and now, with instant replay and challenges, there won’t be a Don Denkinger moment, as what happened in Game 6 of the 1985 WS).

I really wish the media would stop comparing postseason stats as if all were the same. It’s unfair to the pre-1969 players like Ruth, Gehrig, Berra and Mantle who had WS only to compare their stats to the Jeters, Bernie Williams, etc. who have had LDSs, LCSs and WS.

ALCS set.

Baltimore got a 2-run HR by Nelson Cruz in the 6th and survived a Tiger run in the bottom of the 9th to win 2-1 and sweep the Tigers out of the playoffs. They will face the surprising KC Royals in the ALCS since the Royals swept out the #1 seeded Angels by winning 8-3 Sunday night.

The O’s have the home field advantage in the best of 7 ALCS. If the O’s win, it’ll be their first WS since winning it all in 1983. If KC wins, it’ll be their first WS since winning it all in 1985.