Monday, 9 October 2006

So that is why I'm not a professional

0 for 4. Whoops.

I wasn't really surprised Oakland beat Minnesota, but I was a little surprised at the ease in which they did it. Ditto for St. Louis and New York. I was surprised Detroit beat the Yankees, especially so soundly in Games 3 and 4. That's a dynamite Yankee lineup, but the Tigers were awesome. And this is the team that got swept at home to Kansas City to end the regular season. Baseball is a funny game.

But now we head onto the ALCS and NLCS. Tigers at A's, Cardinals at Mets. Not the matchups I was anticipating, but they should provide some competitive games, unlike the first round. Some questions:

Can anyone stop Albert Pujols?
The National League couldn't do it all year. The Padres didn't have much luck in Round 1. Do I think John Maine, Tom Glavine, and Steve Trachsel can do in the NLCS? Well, let's just say that Albert may be receiving some free passes this round. As someone once said, you can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him.

Do the Cardinals have the pitching depth to slow down the Mets?
Doubtful. Jeff Weaver is an ok #4 starter... but he's the 2nd best for St. Louis and the Game 1 starter. Game 2 will belong to Jeff Suppan, who did not fare well against San Diego lst round. If the Cardinals don't get two great performances from Chris Carpenter (like in the NLDS), I'm, very skeptical about this staff's ability to hold the Mets down.

Was that a one-game abberation for Kenny Rogers?
Historically, "The Gambler" has been awful in the postseason, with an ERA on the wrong side of 8 going into his Game 3 start. Which is why it made perfect sense for him to shut down New York. But was that an abberation or can he continue that? If the rotation holds, Rogers would be pitching Game 3 and a potential Game 7... so if Rogers can come close to duplicating his ALDS performance, Detroit could be sitting pretty.

Can the Oakland offense do what they did against Minnesota?
Oakland didn't set the world on fire at the plate in Round 1, but they took a lot of pitches, worked the pitch counts, hit a couple homers, and did very well with RISP. Once again, they'll be facing a great staff with a deep bullpen. Can they score enough runs for their solid pitching staff?

Do we have to listen to another prediction?
I'm afraid so. Oakland in 7, Mets in 6.