Both games were picked correctly yesterday though the Dodgers – Braves game did not go according to what I envisioned. Hyun-jin Ryu was ineffective for the Dodgers and they quickly went to Chris Capuano. That decision won the game because Capuano was terrific and he earned the win. The Braves, as we shall see in a minute, are now in big trouble.
The Pirates also have the Cardinals on the ropes, but we shall see if the shortness of their rotation becomes a factor as they lack a shut down guy today and if the series extends, have to come back with A.J. Burnett, who was shellacked in his last outing.
The two ALDS games will be exciting too. The Tigers and A’s are tied and the series goes to Detroit. The Red Sox have a chance to sweep the Rays but must do so down in St. Pete. Four big games today. It should be fascinating.
- The Tigers over the Athletics: Jarrod Parker is my problem here. At times, he looks spectacular and on others, not so much. His one start against the Tigers this season was disastrous. His home/road splits do not tell us much nor do his day/night splits. I think the Tigers hit him. Anibal Sanchez goes for the Tigers and few people realize what a great season he had. His record does not pop out at you, but he is right there among the leaders in many categories. If he pitches well, the Tigers win.
- The Cardinals over the Pirates: This game completely depends on how Michael Wacha pitches. The young stud pitcher for St. Louis has the kind of arm that can shut down anyone. But he is young and he makes mistakes. If he can limit them today and get off to a good start, the Cardinals win. If he doesn’t start well, then anything can happen with the fans in Pittsburgh going nuts. Charlie Morton does not strike fear in anyone. He is a pitcher totally dependent on BABIP or where his batted balls go upon contact.
- The Red Sox over the Bay Rays: I see a sweep. Clay Buchholz has been unbelievable this season and if he is good today, the Rays will not get him. I questioned Lackey in Game 2, but as a Twitter pal pointed out, Lackey is better at home and if the Red Sox won, could come back with Buchholz for game, set and match. The only sticking point is Alex Cobb, who has been amazing himself. But that amazing goes against every team except the Red Sox. The Red Sox can make any pitcher look mortal and if that offense shows up, there will be nothing Cobb can do to stop them. Cobb lost only three games this season. One of them was to the Red Sox. Overall, he faced them four times and had a 5.16 ERA against them.
- The Dodgers over the Braves: The Braves are in big trouble and I see the Dodgers closing out the series today. Fredi Gonzalez‘s decision to bring Alex Wood into the game as a long reliever in yesterday’s game means that Freddy Garcia will start for them today. Excuse me while I pause to gag. Oh, Freddy is capable of a surprise good start. He has done it a couple of times this season. But he has given up 18 homers in just 81 innings. Yeah, that’s bad. Alex Wood should have started this game and Garcia should have performed the long relief. Of course, Ricky Nolasco had a great start with the Dodgers and kind of petered out as the season went along. But gosh, all he has to do is be ordinary today and the Dodgers should win.
Post season: 8-5