Friday, October 13, 2006

Postseason Recap: A's falter, Weaver good?

Detroit 5, Oakland 1
Detroit 8, Oakland 5

In game one, the A's came out a lot like the Twins did in their first couple of games: fighting and clawing to strand every runner possible. They managed to score one on a groundout, but took the dreaded 0-for with RISP that decided this game. The Tigers got three of their runs on two out RBI's as Barry Zito took his potential FA treasure trove from 15 million a year to 14 million a year.

In game two, the Tigers got a career game from the unlikely Alexis Gomez and started Neifi Perez for some reason as they KO'ed Esteban Loaiza. Oh I know Sean Casey is injured. Theres just still no reason to ever start Neifi Perez. The A's stranded eight more runners and couldn't knock out Nate Robertson.

I had an idea that the Tigers may be doing this by putting low OBP/high SLG guys in the lineup, thinking maybe that they were drawing fewer walks, however, they've drawn the second most among teams remaining. Maybe it's just that since everyone in the lineup other than Polanco is a power threat, pitchers still have to pitch carefully. Wheras good pitchers won't walk hitters like David Eckstein in the postseason.

Mets 2, Satanic Fowl 0

I like Carlos Beltran. He hits homers for the New York Mets.

No really, I saw someone on ESPN this morning (Brantley? I think) talking about how stupid it was for TLR to leave Jeff Weaver in to face him. Jeff Weaver had a one-hit shutout and there were two outs. If Tony had taken him out in that instance, it would've been GROSS incompetence. A bigger problem for the Redbirds is that with the Mets' perceived ability to not be able to hit left-handers, they used Tyler Johnson for 20 pitches and this series is going to play five straight games (or four, I wouldn't complain if there were four). The only other left-hander in their pen is Randy "BERMAN THINKS I AM FUNNY" Flores, who had a 5.8 ERA.

My gut reaction when I saw the Mets rotation being put to the test in five straight games was it was going to hurt the Mets because Randolph wouldn't be able to be as proactive. But what about the Satanic Fowl? They have just two left-handers in their pen. Also, their bullpen is horrendous. I don't care what they've done so far in the postseason, the only real pitcher of any competence is Wainwright.

(No Box Scores Yet)
Nippon Ham Fighers 3, Softbank Hawks 1
Nippon Ham Fighers 1, Softbank Hawks 0

In game one, right-hander Yu Darvish turned out to be too much for the Hawks, as he threw a CG and struck out eleven. Darvish allowed his run in the first on a sacrifice fly after back-to-back hits and a bunt. The Fighters took the lead for good on Tsuyoshi Shinjo's two-out single in the third.

Another gutwrenching loss for Kazumi Saito in Game Two, as he went a CG and only gave up the winning run in the ninth off an infield single to Atsunori Inaba. He had walked the leadoff hitter, Hichori Morimoto, on four pitches. He was bunted over, and then they intentionally walked PL HR King Michihiro Ogasawara to pitch to Fernando Seguignol. Seguignol struck out, but the infield single by Inaba won the game for the Figters. Saito was matched by 22-year-old rookie lefthander Tomoya Yagi, who threw the CG SO for the Fighters to send them to their first Japan Series since 1981.

In other news, Chunichi clinched the CL by taking the Yomiuri Giants 9-3 in 12 innings. Fukudome broke the tie with a bases loaded single and then Tyrone Woods put the game away for good with his second grand slam in two days, and 47th of the year (leading all of Japanese baseball). Ham Fighters-Dragons will meet in the Japan Series, and FC will be previewing it here sometime this coming week.

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