Sunday, October 7, 2012

Young Guns Prevail

With Gio Gonzalez only giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and he didn't even give up a hit to drive in those runs. Those runs were walked in. He pitched rather well besides the second inning. Hope he can start out better in his future postseason starts because overall it was good minus the control issues.

Ryan Mattheus pitched stellar out of the pen to hold the 2-1 lead and get out of the jam set up by Craig Stamen.

Tyler Moore, only one word can describe his hit. Clutch. I personally think he is going to a great player, but some disagree. He has power and he obviously showed he can come through in the clutch.

Lastly Drew Storen with the save. He is already good and again he is anther player I think will be good in the future, even better than he already is.

I never really got to talk about the Nationals-Cardinals series. I think the Nats will win hands down. They have better pitching, even without Strasburg. Their hitting is so dominat from top to bottom. Definitley. in my eyes. the best team in the National League.


Donald Thomas Kelly

Donald Thomas Kelly. Not a known MLB player by most fans but after today he is. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 8th round of the 2001 Player draft.

He was a great prospect as he was knocking the snot out of the ball. Yet the Tigers never gave him a chance to play in the Majors during the regular season. They let him walk as a free agent after the 2006 season.

He signed with his home town team Pittsburgh Pirates and they gave him a chance in the Big Leagues.  He made his Major League Debut April 2nd 2007.  He didn't last it in the Majors for long as he was demoted to Triple A Indianapolis June 23rd.

He spent the 2008 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks Triple A team.

After the 2008 season, he resigned with the Tigers to a minor league deal. He was called up on June 11th.

The 2009 and 2010 seasons were nothing to be rememberable or to be excited about. Same goes for all of the 2011 regular season.

So why am I writing about him? Well in Game 5 of the 2011 ALDS he hit a lead off homerun in New York to start the scoring as the Tigers went on to win the game, and the series 3-2. His homerun was probably one of the biggest reasons why they won.

And now this year. Most of the year he never did anything really special but in ALDS Game 2 he came in as a pich hitter for Delmon Young and had gotten out.

In the bottom of the 9th, he came up with the bases loaded and hit a deep fly ball to right center. Josh Reddick may have caught it but it would be a moment Kelly would never forget. The game winning run came in and the Tigers won the game 5-4 and took a 2-0 series lead.

Every kid dreams of hitting a walkoff hit in a playoff game. Most of the time they would want to hit it in a World Series, but after what he has been through to get there it is surely something that will last a lifetime for him.

He may not be a consistent hitter but he comes through in key situations for his team when they need him most. He is a great utility guy to have on your team and is  underated and I am giving him the spotlight.


Black and Yellow? Yeah Right, Black and Orange!

The Orioles are one of the biggest suprise Cinderella teams of the 2012 year. It is the first winning season in Baltimore ince 1997 when, now Nationals manager, Davey Johnson was their manger. Also in the last Orioles winning season Matt Weiters was 11, Manny Machado was 5 an Jim Thome was playing for the Cleveland Indians in the prime of his career.

They are on a hot streak coming into the playoffs but they should have a few concerns if they get deeper into the playoffs.

Lew Ford is starting in right field. Don't get me wrong he is a good fielder but his bat isn't a good presence in the line up. Ford probably wouldn't even seen the starting lineup if Sabathia hadn't intentionlly pegged Nick Markakis in the hand, which caused it to be broken.

The only starters I would be comfortable with if I were the O's are Chris Tilman and Miguel Gonzalez. Whatever the minor league instructors said or did to Tilman on his recent minor league demotion, he must have listened this time because right now he is their ace. Gonzalez came out of no where as he became a very reliable starter for them. He came as a minor league free agent and I would consider him as a steal for them.

Wei Yin Chen hasn't been hot of late. It seems he gets rocked in the first inning a lot and all goes down hill for him. Joe Saunders had a great start against Texas but he can scare fans at times. Jason Hammel is a very good starter but that knee injury has me pretty concerned.

One of the biggest advantages for the O's is their bullpen. They have dominated all year. The Orioles are undefeated in extra inning games since losing their first two extra inning games. The main reason they won those games is because of their outstanding bullpen. The Orioles also are undefeated when leading after 7 innings.

A big factor in this series for the O's is their lead off hitter, Nate McLouth. He is always a rally starter or momentum changer. He can hit homeruns, get on base, steal a base, and is an excellent fielder. He was signed as a minor league free agent in June and was called up at the begining of August and has been a big factor since.

The Orioles are second in the MLB in homeruns. The only problem with being second is that they are playing the number one team in homerun in the Yankees. Most homeruns for the Yankees came at home especially with the short porches they have in right and left field and the short porches couuld be big factors especially with the final 3 games being in New York.

The Birds are also being outscored by opponents on the year and yet they have a winning record. "How is that possible?" you're wondering. It's simple. When they win they win by only a handful of runs and when they lose they get demolished. So if they get demolished it is no big deal since they can bounce back easily and win by small ball if their pitching is on.

They have executed small ball and haven't really been on any type of cold streak all season. I think the O's will win the series in 4 games. The only game I think they will lose is Game 2 because I don't think Wei Yin Chen will have his A+ game with him and the Yanks will take advantage of it.


The Post Effects of the Gio Gonzalez Trade

When the Nationals got their early Christmas present when they aquired the former A's ace Gio Gonzalez. The A's got Tommy Milone, Derrick Norris, AJ Cole, and Bard Peacock. All four of them were very highly looked upon by the Nationals but Nationals GM Mike Rizzo believed they had a legitmate chance to win with Gio.

Most people thought the A's would have to rebuild with these prospects for years but Norris and  Milone were huge parts of the teams succes. Milone was one of the aces for the team and Norris came up big in late game situations and took over the role of catcher when the Nationals traded up for Kurt Suzuki.

Both teams made the playoffs this year. An A's/Nationals World Series to see who won that trade? You never know crazy things happen in October.

No Cueto? No Problem!

The Reds may have went almost the whole game 1 without Johnny Cueto but they came away with the win. Dusty Baker made probably a huge gutsy move by bringing in Sam LeCure to give Mat Latos time to warm up. LeCure went and an inning and 2/3 scoreless. They brought in Latos, whose only blemish was the first pitch hanging slider homer Buster Posey hit in the 6th inning.

By that point the Reds had 3 runs provided by Brandon Phillips, who had hit a two run homer in the thrid, and Jay Bruce who hit a solo shot in the 4th. Those run Matt Cain gave up were the first career postseason runs he ever gave up. Not bad huh?

The Reds scored twice more in the 9th on a single by Phillips. Xavier Paul scored on past ball a few pitches later.

It seemed as though the Giants were making a comeback as they scored one run on an Aroldis Chapman wild pitch but he settled down and got the last two outs.

After the game it came out that Cueto had back spasms. I've had the same feeling playing baseball and Cueto should be back before you know it. It would be a great loss if it is worse than I think it is as he is the Reds ace.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Verlander Dominates

Justin Verlander racked up 11 strikeouts in the Tigers 3-1 victory over the A's in game one of ALDS. I was wrong as I thought Oakland would have beaten the Tigers. I think they wil beat Detroit becasue like I said they are one of the hottest teams coming into the playoffs.

 .   .   .
I never really got to talk about Cincinati vs San Francisco much. I feel Cincinati has the best shot at winning the series against San Fran. Their offense is better equipped minus the fact that they don't have a legitimate leadoff hitter.
The only real true pitcher the Giants can trust on, in my mind, is Matt Cain. Bumgarner can be spotty and this year Tim Lincecum is all over the place.
Jhonny Cueto may be severely hurt or he may be not. We still have yet to fin out. If he is out I still feel their offense is good enough to win this series and carry them throught the playoffs.

A's - Tigers Game 1 Preview

The wild card games were a nice start to the postseason but in my mind those are just game 163's. Tonight the Cinderella Oakland A's take on Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, and the Detroit Tigers.

All season people were expecting the A's to just collapse because they never had really any big names. In this case Billy Beane ball was in full effect all season. The A's never let up and it seemed Yoenis Cespedes was a pretty good sign and Josh Reddick prevailed from leaving Boston.

Cespedes put up great rookie numbers but won't come close to being Rookie of the Year (ROY) since Mike Trout was just outstanding. Reddick put up absolute career numbers which I don't think he even expected.

Another diamond in the rough was Brandon Moss. Last Year was in Lehigh Valley in the Phillies Organization, this year he signed as a minor league free agent. He was called up in June and he hit 22 Homeruns in less than 100 games.

The A's even had one of the best bullpens in all of baseball, but personally Baltimore was btetter. They had trouble finding a consistent closer but eventually Grant Balfour stepped it up and was the closer to make the playoffs and winning the division.

Now probably the buggest story of the season, Miguel Carbrera.  He looks like he doesn't even try hitting wise and he wins the first Triple Crown since 1967 when Carl Yasztremki did it. It is something that probably won't happen again for awhile. If he loses MVP to Trout there is something wrong with the MVP voters because he is the true MVP.

This is an above average year for Cabrera. Usually he hits about 30 homers a year. If he continues to put up these outstanding numbers he IS a Hall of Famer (HOF).

Justin Verlander coninued to be dominant. Prince Fielder put up great numbers. The story of the Tigers for me, besides Cabrera, is Austin Jackson. He has finally hit the prime of his career and is getting on base and, in my mind, one of the biggest reasons the Tigers made it to October.

Max Scherzer. He has put up crazy amount of K's. He is another big backbone of this Tigers team as they have not had stable pitching most of the year through Doug Fister and Rick Porcello.

The A's are on one of the hottest streaks in all of baseball right now and I think they will come out strong and take game one.