Home Field Advantage… there’s a reason you want that status. Especially in the Best of 5 Divisional Games. It’s a Major League Advantage ; )
The Home Town teams did not disappoint. The Crowd was a factor in each of the games.
Although, Cliff Lee didn’t exactly need the crowd. He was mesmerizing to Colorado’s hitters. Spot on with locations and adjusting speeds.. up – down, in – out… a masterful job of Pitching.
On the Phillies side of the plate.. they are just relentless. A stacked lineup that features Power, Speed, Power and more Power. Every single player in the lineup (including Cliff Lee) posted a hit in their box score. But it was the meat of the order… 4,5 & 6 that brought home the bacon. Ryan Howard, 2-4 with an RBI from an absolute laced rocket through the wind that turned Carlos Gonzalez 9 different directions. Jayson Werth, 2-4 with an RBI Triple that was as hard and high as you could possibly hit a ball into the crosswind gail. Werth also scored twice and was a menace to the Rockies. Raul Ibanez.. man. They just kept coming at you. Raul was 2-4 with 2 RBIs. It didn’t seem like it was fair – High School Seniors against the Freshmen. Phillies take the nod 5-1 and a 1 Game Lead.
In LA it was an exercise in futility. These two were battering the ball all over the field. They filled the bags so many times between them I was certain YH would come out of this game. It just seemed inevitable that one hit would produce 3 or 4 runs. But… it just never happened. The game ended up setting a Major League Record for Men Left On Base in a 9 inning Post Season tilt… 30 Runners!!!
Rafael Furcal had a great game and set the tone for LA (they barely escaped the top half of
the first inning with only one run across). Raffy led off LA with a sharp single and one pitch later he was trotting around the bases courtesy of Matt Kemp’s towering HR to centerfield. From that point forward it was standing room only on the bases. Fortunately for LA, they were able to squeak across one run at a time as a result of their top 6 hitters. Furcal 3-4 a Run and a Rib, Kemp.. the Big Fly was his only hit. Andre Ethier 2-3, a Walk and 2 Runs. Manny Ramirez… pretty pitiful. But James Loney and Casey Blake picked up the listless Ramirez and were effective hitters all night long. Loney, 2-4 with a Walk. Blake, also 2-4 with a Walk and knocked in a big run in the 3rd to give the Dodgers some breathing room at 3-1.
In the Bronx, it was simply… Out with the Old… In with the New. Same ol’ story for Yankee Stadium (new or old) another Post Season win for New York… ho hum. The Twins though, were surprisingly tough early on. Even to the point of taking a scrappy 2-0 lead in the top half of the 3rd. I’m pretty sure the New Yorkers were a little nervous… the crowd was pretty much taken by surprise when the Twins scored first. Honestly, though.. .how can you worry when without question your team possesses the most dynamic post season hitter of our era…
Derek belted the first pitch he saw in the first inning for a rifle single. He was due up 2nd in the Bottom half of the 3rd inning with NY down by that 2-0 score. No Problem for Mr. October/November/December (whatever)… he just performs when the occasion needs it the most. And it did in the 3rd. What does Derek do 2 pitches later? A Home Run launch.. tie game 2-2. Mr. Clutch…
When you have that fella on your team.. how can you not perform? From then on it was a no contest whipping as every gear fell into place. Including the oft troubled Alex Rodriguez’ post
season issues. History. Alex was a healthy 2-4 with 2 RBIs and a Run scored. Hideki Matsui provided some thunder of his own with a 2 Run Bomb. But it was the Captain.. .
Derek Jeter folks.. you should enjoy this man’s play as though you are witnessing Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig or Babe Ruth. Those are the names he accompanies on the All Time List for Home Runs in the Post Season. It’s amazing if you think about it. He’s not a power hitter. He is a clutch hitter. Period. A Perfect day at the Plate for Derek; 2-2 2RBIs, 2 Walks, 3 Runs.
Hats off to you Derek Jeter. You are Yesterday’s Hitter… .Without Question.
The typical short slate was there to greet us on Thursday. But, there was certainly no shortage in action. The highlight reels were reeling.
The Tigers were in the luxurious position of knowing they could extend their Central lead by a
half game… all they had to do was win. Win they did. Verlander throws bullets! And just who was it that stepped up at the plate? None other than Yesterday’s YH Les Guillotine Carlos Guillen! Carlos was a perfect 3 for 3 with 1 Rib and one run scored. Not much production, I know. But when SuperMan is tossing bullets on the mound for your team, you just don’t need much. El Tigres now have a 3 game spread on the Twins with 10 to play.
In another game of semi importance it was the Big Papi show for the second day in a row (Hmm, I think I see a trend here). The Red Sox, priming their weapons for the weekend battle in New York, cracked out 15 hits and 10 runs on Royals pitching. Mr. David Ortiz was the big gun drilling his 26th bomb of the year and collecting 3 RBIs on a 3 for 5 display of power and accuracy at the plate. The Big Man is warming up for the big stage and the short porch at Yankee Stadium is in trouble.
A couple of guys you don’t hear much about had nice performances yesterday. Josh Wilson
(remember him?), the former Marlin, National, Ray, Mariner, Padre, D-Back and now Seattle Mariner shortstop (whew) traveled around the bases instead of the league. He belted a game winning 2 RBI triple in the 8th inning and helped the Mariners knock off the Blue Jays 5-4. Josh was 2 for 4 on the day.
The A’s have been red hot for the past week or so and the poor Texas Rangers have been their whippin’ post. No different in yesterday’s clash as Eric Patterson put together a nice day at the dish. He got on base 4 of his 5 plate appearances and knocked in 3 RBIs as the A’s continue to be a thorn in Texas. Patterson is good looking young 2B… in fact the A’s are looking completely different. They may be on the rise in the AL West in a year or so.
On the Senior Circuit the Giants were hoping to move closer to Colorado in the Wild Card.
They placed themselves in a perfect situation; leading 2-1 at home against those poor Cubbies. Brian Wilson throws peas and he had 2 out in the 9th when Jeff Baker came to the plate. Wilson owns Baker. In fact, Baker knows Wilson owns Baker. Ahhh … but the game is not played on paper. Wouldn’t you know it, Baker absolutely crushed a Wilson offering and won the game with a 2 Run Home Run! A little air left the stadiuim when that ball got over the fence. It was only the 2nd time all year the Giants had lost a game when leading after 8 innings. SF is cooling off and it’s not just the Bay Area Weather… they’ve dropped 4 of their last 6. Oh what could have been.
What could have been because the Rockies lost! Nick Hundley made certain of it. He hit a Home Run and had walked and scored before he stepped to the dish in the 8th. With a 3-3 tie staring back from the scoreboard, Hundley cracked a tie breaking single that sparked the Friars to a spoilermaker 5-4 win in Colorado. The Rocks lost a little ground in the Wild Card with the loss… not to the Giants…. to the red hot Braves who are smelling a chance at the Post Season. Braves trail now by only 3 1/2. The Rocks have 9 games left, The Braves have 10. Anything can happen.
One thing I’m pretty sure is not gonna happen, they won’t catch the LA Dodgers. After a
comedy of errors in the field during Wednesday’s loss to Washington, the boys in blue were right back in a nail biter with the feisty Nationals. I’m not quite sure what Rafael Furcal has been eating lately, but whatever it is it’s making him a hittng machine. He was smoking in Washington… and I don’t mean cigars. For the 2nd time in the series he wrapped out a 4 for 5 game that included the game winning Homer in the 8th. The Dodgers actually brought their gloves and made some key defensive plays to seal the slim 7-6 rubber match win. Nice game Raffy, I really wanted to give you the YH… but, ya just gotta give props to your buddy… your pal….
What a season Matt Kemp is having. He’s poised to set a franchise mark for hitting. In fact, he’s basically done it…. with the exception of one stat that can still fluctuate – his batting average. If he can keep it above .300 (he’s at .306), Matt will be the first Dodger EVER to post a 25+ HR, 100+ RBI, 30+ Steals season. Think about that. Jackie didn’t do it. No Dodger ever has! Matt continued his terrific season in yesterday’s 7-6 win. He belted his 26th HR in a 3 for 5 day that netted 3 RBIs to reach the coveted 100 mark. He also scored twice (nearly 100 here too!). I’m rootin’ for ya Matty… keep it above the .300 line!
Congrats Matt Kemp. You’re Yesterday’s Hitter!
This Rangers team is not going away. Locked in a Wild Card feud with the Red Sox, and on the road against the winningest team in baseball, the Rangers came through again. 2nd Baseman Ian Kinsler is having a standout year and yesterday he showcased his talent in the rubber game of their Bronx series. Kinsler smacked a 3 Run Jack to put Texas in front and then capped the scoring with a Solo Jack later in the game, his 27th and 28th HRs of the year. Kinsler’s average is down but his production is big! Watch Here!
Honorable Mention: Matt Kemp, Joey Votto