We ordinarily would only post such a format on the Weekends but let's be serious here, what else are we going to write about today? We have playoffs on our scattered brains, and thus will unapologetically move full steam ahead with a blog format.
I couldn't help but notice yesterday that Rich seemed to be downplaying the contributions David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez made in Boston's sweep of the Los Angeles Angels. Rich said the following:
Although David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez will get a lot of the credit for lifting the Sox to the first-round victory, Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling shut out the Angels for 16 innings.
OK maybe he did not downplay it, but he failed to mention specifically what Ortiz and Ramirez did in the series. Combined, the two put up a ridiculous .533/.731/1.333 AVG/OBP/SLG line. Boston fans have long been treated to superb hitting from these two but never at this level simultaneously. It will be difficult to keep the momentum going, however, with a five day break and C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona set to go this weekend.
- Patrick Sullivan, 10/9, 8:15 AM ET
Before I can turn my full attention to the upcoming ALCS and NLCS, I feel the need to make the following comments with respect to Joe Torre, who may be on his way out in New York.
Joe Torre is a class act. He is a pro. Respected by his players and peers. Too bad the same thing can't be said of George Steinbrenner. Torre should have been able to leave on his own terms or at least with the dignity he showed throughout his 12-year career with the Yankees. He was good to baseball and baseball was good to him. Fifty years. Four world championships. Nine-time All-Star. MVP. Gold Glove. Batting title. And, yes, a Hall of Famer.
- Rich Lederer, 10/9, 8:30 AM PT
Two infielders famous for not living up to some lofty expectations came through in a major way for their teams in the LDS. Three others notable for carrying their teams at times and coming through when needed most did not. Have a look:
AVG OBP SLG
K. Matsui .417 .500 1.083
S. Drew .500 .500 1.143
D. Jeter .176 .176 .176 (3 GIDP)
A. Soriano .143 .200 .143
A. Ramirez .000 .077 .000
It will be interesting to see if Arizona and Colorado continue to get heightened performance from Drew and Matsui, respectively.
- Patrick Sullivan, 10/9, 12:47 PM ET
They say good pitching beats good hitting, especially in the postseason. Well, the League Championship Series will feature four of the best pitching staffs in baseball.
Let's take a look:
ERA+ Lg Rank
ARI 114 1
COL 110 4
ERA+ Lg Rank
BOS 118 1
CLE 109 3
Don't let those hitters' ballparks fool you. Arizona, Colorado, and Boston can flat out pitch. And so can Cleveland. These teams also boast good defenses (with Colorado tied for second in the NL and Boston tied for first in the AL in defensive efficiency). It's important to note that a run saved is worth more than a run scored.
- Rich Lederer, 10/9, 10:25 AM PT