MLB – League Championship Series – The Skinny

Posted: October 14, 2010 by The Mark in Baseball
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s League Championship Series time and, boy, did I get it wrong.  Before the divisional series started I thought Minnesota, Tampa, Philadelphia and San Francisco would all go through.  Well, I got half of it right.  I though the Giants had too much pitching for the Braves and the same went for Philadelphia against the Reds.  I was right about that part.  The other two games, not so much.

The Twins finished the season playing .620 baseball over the last two months while the Yankees limped in going 29-30 in August and September.  Maybe the loss of Justin Morneau was too much for 3rd best hitting team in the majors.  Having Joe Mauer bat .250 with no extra-base hits didn’t help either.


Joe Mauer will OWN baseball someday, just not this year


Cliff Lee and Texas were too much for the Rays.  When you’re 26th in batting during the regular season, like the Rays were, it’s hard to score runs when you fall behind.  A team like the Rangers can get hot in a hurry, Tampa can’t.


New York Yankees v Texas Rangers

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1 @ Texas – CC Sabathia v C.J Wilson

Game 2 @ Texas – Phil Hughes v Colby Lewis

Game 3 @ NY – Cliff Lee v Andy Petitte

Game 4 @ NY – Tommy Hunter v A.J. Burnett

The rest of the games are TBD.  Game 5 is also in New York and the final two games are in Texas, if necessary.

Sabathia and Hughes are probably the better pitchers in the first two games.  A win by either or both would be huge for New York.  Game three is where it gets tricky.  Andy Petitte has been money whenever the Yanks have needed him in the postseason but he’s no Cliff Lee.  Lee is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA lifetime in the postseason.  He went 2-0 with 21 strikeouts in two starts against the Rays.  Texas is paying the price for not closing out Tampa in the ALDS.  I’m sure the Rangers would’ve wanted Lee and/or Tommy Hunter in those first two games in Texas.


Can he stay hot?


Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz tore it up for Texas against Tampa but they will need Josh Hamilton and Michael Young to find their swings if they want to beat New York.  Kinsler batted .444 (8/18) with 3 homers and 6 RBI.  Cruz went 8/20 (.400) with 3 homers but struck out six times.  That might be a problem against the Yankees.  Hamilton and Young went a combined .132 (5/38) with six strikeouts each.

Curtis Granderson is batted .455 (5/11) against the Twins.  He only batted .247 in the regular season.  Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have seven hits between them but they’re all singles and that won’t be enough for the Yankees to get by.  As a team Texas is batting .254 while the Yankees come in at .314.  Can the Yankees keep up this pace?

I saw on ESPN where they have the team matchups and they gave the edge to Texas in coaching.  How do you figure?  Am I wrong or did Joe Girardi win the World Series last year?


San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies

Pitching Matchups:

Game 1 @ Philadelphia – Tim Lincecum v Roy Halladay

Game 2 @ Philadelphia – Jonathan Sanchez v Cole Hamels

Game 3 @ San Francisco – Roy Oswalt v Matt Cain

Game 4 @ San Francisco – TBD v TBD

Joe Blanton (Philadelphia) and Madison Bumgarner (SF) are the other starting pitchers but either or both teams might opt for a three-man rotation.  Game 5 is also in San Francisco and the final two games are in Philadelphia, if necessary.

Make sure to watch game one of this series.  Even if your team is not playing right now and you have no interest in this game, this is a must see game.  Lincecum and Halladay are two of the top pitchers in the game over the last three seasons.  If you like baseball, you’ll love this game.  Tim Lincecum threw a complete game one-hit shutout against the Braves in game one of their series.  Roy Halladay did him one better by throwing the second no-hitter in postseason history against the Reds in game one of that series.  I can’t say it enough, watch this game.


You usually don't want to bet against this guy


Jonathan Sanchez and Cole Hamels are similar in regular season stats.  Hamels threw a complete game shutout with 9 strikeouts to clinch the series against Cincinnati.  Sanchez gave up 1 earned run with 11 strikeouts in a no-decision against Atlanta.

Roy Oswalt and Matt Cain are also similar in stats but Oswalt has a lower ERA.  Cain went 6.2 innings with 0 earned runs in a no-decision against the Braves.  Oswalt only lasted 5 innings in his only outing, giving up 3 earned runs and 2 home runs.  This matchup could determine who wins this series.

Neither team is hitting particularly well.  Both teams hit .212 in their divisional series.  Don’t expect that number to get any higher in the first game.

Who Wins:

Philadelphia has too much pitching not to win this series.  Roy Oswalt only needs an above average game to beat the Giants.

Same goes for New York, too much pitching.  Sabathia and Hughes are better than Wilson and Lewis.  Lee should be able to handle Petitte.  It’s game four that will be huge.  A.J. Burnett was terrible in the regular season.  He went 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA.  Tommy Hunter went 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA in the regular season but lasted only 4 innings against the Rays.  Is A.J. Burnett better than a 10-15 pitcher?  Yes.  Can he show it against the Rangers?  That remains to be seen.


Which A.J. Burnett will show up?


Get ready for a Philly – New York World Series.  I’m sure the rest of the country can’t wait for that.


I'd watch this, again.


  1. sittingpugs says:

    Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz.

    What perfect names. They should star in their own buddy picture…as college friends searching for unrequited fandom or secret agents liaising between MI6 (or 5) and the archaeology department of a prestigious American university.

  2. Kennedy Wong says:

    Should have known once you picked my Yankees they would lose!!! Dam Curse of Sal!!

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