Game 2 went according to plan with Matt Cain continuing his postseason dominance, but I don't think anyone was anticipating 18 runs and 12 pitchers in Game 1 with Lee and Lincecum starting. Lincecum looked like a deer in headlights in the 1st inning, especially when he chased Young back to third base without tagging him. Luckily, a double play bailed him out, Cliff Lee was getting too much of the plate with his pitches, and the rest was Game 1 history.
The series continues in Texas tomorrow and, despite the 0-2 hole, don't count the Rangers out yet. Look for the bats to explode against Sanchez.
The Giants are the first team to surprise me this postseason after successfully predicting the first five series. While Philadelphia's offense has stalled occasionally this season, I still thought it would be enough to combat anything San Francisco had to offer, especially against Halladay, Oswalt, and Hamels. Instead, Roy will be home for the postseason "Halladay" as last year's Philly star Cliff Lee will be throwing Game 1 for the Texas Rangers. Meanwhile, Bochy figures that Lincecum will be rested enough to start Game 1 for the Giants. Look for my World Series Preview tomorrow!
Yesterday's games went exactly as expected, and most importantly, kids got to watch the first game. Today, the Yankees and Rangers are handed the afternoon game, as CC Sabathia tries to stave off elimination against C.J. Wilson. Just a hunch, but I see Texas getting out to an early lead and hanging on to a one-run victory to close out the series (even though I originally picked Texas in 6). Meanwhile, look for Joe Blanton to keep the Giants' hitters off balance just enough for Philadelphia to even the series in the night game.
Cliff Lee put on yet another show last night, pitching almost mistake-free ball for 8 innings in an 8-0 win that was closer than the final score indicated thanks to a six run ninth. Texas has rebounded in impressive fashion after the Game 1 implosion, and look for Tommy Hunter to hold his own as I anticipate the Rangers winning yet again, but this time in a higher scoring contest.
In the NL, get your kids in front of the TV, because there is finally a LCS day game! Matt Cain faces off against Cole Hamels, and I'm getting some bad vibes from Hamels (how's that for statistical analysis?), so I expect the Giants to take a 2-1 lead in the series today.
After little drama in the Division Series outside of Texas-Tampa Bay, the LCS seems to be heating up. Tonight's game is pivotal, as a Texas loss with Cliff Lee on the mound would make it difficult to come back, knowing he'd only be available one more time. I'm predicting a surprisingly rough outing from Andy Pettitte and a comfortable victory for the Rangers in Game 3.
Better late than never: the NLCS Preview is ready, and it's no surprise that The Commish is leaning toward the Phillies. For the complete preview and prediction, check out the latest Hot Corner! If you haven't read the ALCS Preview, you can find it here, and you may be surprised at The Commish's pick.
So far so good for The Commish's prognosticating, thanks for a 4 for 4 record in the first round. This time around, I'm going with a surprising pick in Texas and the favorite in Philly to come out of the NL. I'm expecting both series to go 6 games. More details to follow soon.
My suspicions were right on target: Atlanta didn't get no-hit by Lincecum, but it was close. An amazing performance by Tim Lincecum resulted in what I considered to be a 1-0 "blowout." Despite the one run lead (and one that came via a bad call at second base), it felt insurmountable as the Braves were unable to launch any kind of legitimate attack, swinging and missing at first pitch strikes all night long, only to strikeout on pitches out of the zone later in the count. Lowe was battle ready, but Lincecum was masterful. If Matt Cain is on his game tonight, it might be another quick game in San Francisco.
I thought the Braves were the one team capable of being no-hit in this year's playoffs, so extra kudos to Roy Halladay for shutting down the Reds with a potential MVP (Votto) in the lineup. Cincinnati has a day to get over it until the series continues tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Rays are getting spanked again and it might be a short series for Joe Maddon and his crew.