We’ll start with the Division Series. The Royals and Orioles are both in the driver’s seat, up 2-0 in a best of five, with two thrilling wins yesterday.
KC won its third straight extra-inning postseason game, setting a postseason record, by scoring 3 in the top of the 11th to defeat the Angels, 4-1. While Mike Moustakas had the HR in the 11th inning of Game 1, this time it was Eric Hosmer with the big blow.
I like the way KC plays. Not only that, although I admire Trout and Pujols, I can’t root for the Angels. I’m tired of seeing Mike Scioscia bitching all the time about balls and strikes. I admire Scioscia as a manager and think he’s one of the best in the game, but he (and when he was managing, Bobby Cox) are two of the biggest dugout whiners and crybabies I’ve ever seen.
Meanwhile, Baltimore, down 6-3 in the bottom of the 8th, scored 4 in that inning and went on to win 7-6. Delmon Young, who while with Detroit was the ALCS MVP in 2012 against the Yankees, got revenge on his old team with a bases-loaded double. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for seeing Buck Showalter do well (as well as Donnie Mattingly with the Dodgers).
In the NLDS, a shocker. You expected a pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright. The Dodgers knocked out Wainwright in taking a 6-1 lead. But then Kershaw, 21-3, 1.77 in the regular season, lost it. St. Louis got one in the sixth and 8 in the seventh and hung on for a 10-9 comeback victory in Game 1 of the NLDS. The Cardinals’ mastery of Kershaw goes back to last year’s postseason. They have his number, or maybe Kershaw is tipping his pitches and only St. Louis knows how?
In the other NLDS, the SF Giants won Game 1, 3-2 over the Washington Nationals.
Some great, great games in this postseason so far.
There was a good article I read about the Yankees noting how they really are hamstrung in trying to improve the team for 2015. Yes, you’d like to improve the offense, but how when players are tied up into long-term deals, are declining and have no-trade clauses? Or, if you CAN trade them, you won’t get equal value or will have to eat much of their expensive contracts? McCann, Teix, A-Rod, Beltran, Gardner, Ellsbury, CC… all these guys are signed up for 2015 AND BEYOND. (Also, younger guys like Tanaka are, but Tanaka is a different story…). Which means these guys have to improve on 2014’s performances. You are stuck with them. For some guys who are aging, you have to wonder if they EVER will get back to what they once were. And that is a problem.
There are rumors that Derek Jeter has a big to-do this weekend. Some call it a retirement party. Others say he’s getting married to Hannah Davis. If it IS a wedding, it’s on short notice, since Derek really, if things would have gone right, would be having an off-day today in the middle of playing in the Division Series. In another words, the original plan was for him to be playing ON the field and not OFF of it. We’ll wait for confirmation on that wedding rumor.