Archive for the ‘Lake Erie midges’ Category

Hey Man Nice Shot

Good teams find ways to win.

Sometimes it’s a pitcher throwing a complete game to give a tired bullpen the night off, or a great defensive play to keep your team in the lead. In the case of the Red Sox, it’s been back-to-back games with a game-winning home run in the 9th inning. quick hits:

  • It already sucks to be a Cleveland Indians fan. It must suck even more when the Red Sox come to town and you know that your team is going to find a way to lose. The Indians have a ton of talent and should be running away with the division, but with a 5-9 record they are one game out of the Central Division cellar. Maybe they need some Lake Erie Midges swarming around their heads to get them back in the groove.
  • Did you see the lineup Terry Francona put out last night? Coco, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Lugo, and Cash. I thought they were mailing it in before another Yankees series. I guess even the Sox reserves can beat most teams.
  • It was great to see yet another Red Sox prospect live up to the hype. Two years ago it was Jonathan Papelbon. Last year it was Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester, and Manny Delcarmen. After last night’s 3 RBI performance in his first Major League game, it may be time to add Jed Lowrie to the list of legitimate prospects.
  • Which reminds me, how are the over-hyped Yankees Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy working out for New York? Last time I checked, Hughes was was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA, and Kennedy was 0-1 with an impressive 8.74 ERA. Do you think the Yankees are regretting not dealing these guys for Johan Santana?
  • Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano will make a combined $22,071,029 this season.
  • Tim Wakefield and Jonathan Papelbon will make a combined $4,775,000 this season.
  • To further reinforce how crazy the Steinbrenners are, these idiots actually dug up the “cursed” Ortiz jersey buried in Yankee stadium. News Flash, Hank! The shirt is not the reason your team stinks. It’s the lousy pitching pitching staff, over-hyped prospects, and $28 million cancer playing third base.
  • The Red Sox are in first place. Woo-hoo!

Game 3 buzz

Big game in Cleveland tonight. Dice K is hoping to rebound from his ordinary performance against Anaheim in the ALDS. Cleveland, for some odd reason, is going with Jake Westbrook. I haven’t been this excited about a possible Boston rout since John Lackey pitched at Fenway.

Cleveland is a patient team that jumps on the fastball and can pile on runs. With Dice K on the mound, they are sure to get a healthy dose of off-speed pitches that paint the outside corner. Dice K doesn’t need to go out tonight and throw a no-hitter. He needs to play his game and mix up his pitches. If he pitches decent, the Red Sox will win.

Jake Westbrook, on the other hand, might be the worst game-three starter in the ALCS since the Red Sox started Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd in 1986. Westbrook gave up 9 hits and 6 runs in 5 innings against a mediocre team calling themselves the Yankees. Boston needs to get on this guy early in the game. This will keep the always-loud Cleveland fans quiet. And when the Indians resort to releasing another swarm of Lake Erie midges on the Sox, it will be too late. ALCS analysis

It’s hard to get too excited about the Boston Red Sox playing the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS. How do we root against these guys? The Indians play hard. They have some great pitchers and some legitimate All-Stars. They have loyal fans. And they are not the Yankees.

But, it’s the playoffs. Winner goes to the World Series. Time to leave it all out on the field. And it’s time to show Cleveland why Boston has, and will always have, the better team and more passionate fans. Boston fans have been way too quiet prior to this series. If the Yankees were coming to town, Sox fans would already have been on a four-day bender of cheap beer and trash talk. The question I have is this: Why show any restraint against this team and their fans? Let’s make this the most hostile environment they have ever played in. Boston has been in this position before and as recently as 2004. Heck, every home game at Fenway has a playoff feel to it. This whole experience is new to the Indians. They are young and primed to be overwhelmed by the playoff atmosphere. The Sox and their fans need to make the most of this home-field advantage and start the series with a sweep of the first two games.

The Indians have a young lineup featuring the always-dangerous Grady Sizemore. This guy is a complete five-tool player. Mix in Travis Hafner, Ryan Garko, and the ageless wonder Kenny Lofton and you have a team that can hurt you in many ways. Cleveland is coming off a big series with New York where they smacked the Yankees around. They played well in that series, getting great performances by Fausto Carmona and the Lake Erie Midges, but let’s be honest: the Yankees sucked. They definitely did not play like the team that went on a tear after the All Star break. How bad was it for the Yankees? Derek Jeter batted .176 and hit into 3 double plays. This guy is supposed to be Mr. October, and he looked more like A-Rod than A-Rod. Anytime you can beat New York 3 out of 4 games it’s impressive. The Indians are a good team, but they are positioned for a letdown.

Let’s look at the game one starters: Josh Beckett vs. C.C. Sabathia

These are two 27-year-old potential Cy Young winners who have carried their teams and been the aces of their respective staffs. The difference between the two is that Beckett is smarter, more fiery, and is a past World Series MVP. Beckett has already thrown three complete-game shutouts in the playoffs during his career. That is the second most EVER! Beckett lives for these games.

C.C. Sabathia is a big pitcher. When I say big, I mean FAT. This guy is 6’5″, 250 lbs. He should be playing tight-end for the Browns. Have you seen this guy lately? Hat crooked on his head, pants that look like they are used to cover the Goodyear blimp. He does not look like a professional athlete. I wonder if C.C. stands for Chocolate Cake.

I break down the rest of the match-ups like this:

Offense: Papi, Lowell, and a resurgent Manny vs. Sizemore, Hafner, and Garko. Advantage, Boston.

Speed: Julio Lugo and Coco Crisp vs. Grady Sizemore and Kenny Lofton. Slight edge to Cleveland.

Team Defense: Coco, Youkilis, Pedroia, Lowell, and Varitek vs. Sizemore, Peralta, and Garko. Edge Boston.

Starting pitching: Beckett, Schilling, and Dice K vs. Sabathia, Carmona and Westbrook. I want to see how Chocolate Cake and Carmona do on the big stage. Slight Edge to Boston.

Bullpen: Borowski vs. Papelbon. Borowski has been effective all year long, but he doesn’t intimidate anybody. Papelbon is the best closer in baseball. Advantage Boston.

There you have it. Boston will outclass, out-pitch and outperform Cleveland this series. They have the clutch performers and the experience on their side.

Remember you heard it here first.

Foulline playoff notes

I love the baseball playoffs. It really is the best time of the sports year. If you didn’t get excited watching either of the American League Division games last night, you might be a cyborg… or maybe J.D. Drew. Here are some of the things that caught my eye during these two games last night.

  • Boston fans might want to reconsider A-Rod joining the Red Sox next season. This guy is 0 for 24 in the postseason with three more strikeouts last night. If the postseason started in May, he would be our guy.
  • Fausto Carmona is the real deal. He will win a Cy Young within the next three seasons.
  • Watching Joba Chamberlain pitch last night was a thing of beauty. The bugs flying around his head turned him into a shell of the pitcher he normally is. I’m surprised he was able to get anyone out the way he was affected. I bet if it were Snickers bars instead of bugs flying around his fat head he would have been ok.
  • I may have given Dice K too much credit. He looked a little out of sorts. Not a terrible game, but I was expecting more from the #2 guy.
  • Joe Torre aged 30 years over the last two games. He is now officially 112.
  • For a while last night, I really thought Manny Ramirez was drunk. He played like he drank a bottle of Jack Daniels before the game, over-running a ball in the 2nd inning, turning a routine fly ball into a circus catch. He really looked lost. He needed that walk-off home run just to redeem himself.
  • Anytime you get walked four times during a playoff game, you win the official title of Baddest Dude in Baseball. 2007 winner: David Ortiz.
  • Kelvim Escobar deserved better. He really pitched well last night. With the exception of the first inning, he was excellent. I can’t remember a pitcher hitting the outside corner as often as Escobar did last night.
  • Manny Ramirez will get beaned in game 3. After he hit his game winner, he admired that shot a little too long. You have to act like you’ve done it before, Manny. Enjoy the plunking. By the way, that blast was wicked awesome.
  • I can now see why the Angels won their division. They are scary on the basepaths.
  • The WTBS announcers are horrible. They regurgitated every fact that has been reported this season. Wow! Breaking news! Jonathan Papelbon was supposed to be a starting pitcher this year! That is top-rate reporting. Not to mention they both have faces for radio.
  • Has anyone seen Derek Jeter this post season? Isn’t this guy supposed to be Captain Clutch?
  • In a one-run game, Mike Scioscia let Scot Shields pitch. This guy’s ERA at Fenway is 17.65. He makes John Lackey look like Sandy Koufax.
  • That was not a typo above. The Shields family opted to give their son only one “t” in his name.
  • Roger Clemens is pitching his last game in the Major Leagues tomorrow. Four years too late.
  • I know I am reaching on this one, but I really believe Boston and Cleveland will meet in the American League Championship Series.

The American League playoffs have been great so far and have really lived up to the hype.

Does anyone know when the National League Playoffs start???