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A's 5 - Twins 2 (A's lead series 2 - 0)

Mets 6 - Dodgers 5 (Mets lead series 1 - 0)

The Twins have played two pretty poor games in a row now to put themselves in a hole they're unlikely to climb out of. They've blown two solid starts from Santana and Bonser through being caught stealing, failing to get bunts down, bobbling grounders and going 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position. This has not been the fundamentally sound Twins of the regular season. This was all hignlighted of course by poor Torii Hunter getting a slow break and mis-playing Mark Kotsay's soft knuckling liner into a two-run inside the park homer.

In New York King Carlos was hitting the ball over the place yesterday, clearly wanting to have a good time as he finally made the playoffs. He was four for five with a huge dinger and a couple of RBI last night. Shawn Green wasn't quite as successful with the stick, but his strong accurate throw to Vizcaino started the bizarre play in which the Dodgers had two men tagged out at home. The replays didn't show the play very well, but if Donnelly (and you can only assume he was) was waving Drew home this was a third base coaching mistake of Wendell Kim proportions. Interesting bullpen management by Willie Randolph in this one, displaying a hook so quick even Gibby might have found it precipitous, he yanked emergency starter John Maine in the fifth after just 80 pitches with runners on first and second and one out and Kenny Lofton stepping up. Randolph went to his LOOGY to get Lofton and immediately to Chad Bradford to to get Nomah. The threat was snubbed out, but the Mets had now used three pitchers through five Innings - despite a good start from Maine, this in turn led Randolph leaving his next pitcher Mota in for an uncharectistically long two Innings and evn having him bat for himself. In Newsday Wallace Matthews rips Randolph for this saying he "...managed to get outmanaged by Grady Little", whilst at the Hardball Times Studes is full of praise for Willie's "advanced bullpen management". So, you make the call - good bullpen management or bad ?

Nice little feature at ESPN I hadn't seen before are the pitcher report cards. Here is John Maine's for yesterday, he gets a B- overall but an A+ for dominance.

Tigers at Yankees 1:10
Cards at Padres 4:10
Dodgers at Mets 8:20

Playoff Update - Thursday | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Paul D - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#156601) #
I want to know why Brad Penny came on in relief yesterday.  Was that ever explained?
Joanna - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#156609) #

Maybe Penny was counting it as a side session.  Grady works in mysterious ways.

I was so proud of King Carlos yesterday.  And his smile in the post-game press conference made me happy and wistful.  The Mets and Dodgers are full of refugees from the A.L. East, even both managers. 

My dad and I play a game called "Ex-Jays in the Playoffs" where we count the number of ex-jays in the playoffs vs. the number of Jays in the playoffs (so far it's always been x -0).  And then we try to assemble the Ex-Jays team and see if they are better than the current Jays team.  Feel free to try it at home.  It's a great way to make fun of the G.M.  This year, the Red Sox fans can play it too.  It's something to do to drown out McCarver!

Mike Green - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#156634) #
If one is stuck in a TV-free environment, the Enhanced Gameday on is a real step forward. 
js_magloire - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#156647) #
Joel Zumaya Who else saw him shame the Yankee order?
Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#156652) #

Joel Zumaya is... an even richer man's Brandon League.  He sure was wow... that was great.

The Detroit pen today... 3.2 innings, one hit, no runs, no walks, four strikeouts.  What a bravura performance.  They've now given up three hits, one walk, and one run in six innings over two games.  If this series goes back to New York, I wouldn't be surprised to see good ol' Charlie Wholestaff get the Game 5 start.

Dave Rutt - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#156653) #
Joanna, you could try a new twist to make your game a little less one-sided; x-Jays vs. Future Jays!
Bruce Wrigley - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#156660) #

Pujols is great, but let me tell you, watching Cards-Padres is like watching an Orioles-Mariners series.  Is there any doubt that the Blue Jays (or the Angels or White Sox, or even the Rangers) would utterly destroy either of these two teams in a playoff series?

It looks like the Mets are going to cakewalk into the World Series.

Joanna - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#156665) #
Anyone who says that a fantastic bullpen is an unnecessary luxury should just look to the Yankees/Tigers game.  Pitching is what makes playoff teams go far. Hitting makes up for the mistakes the pitchers make  and plugs up the leaks. Poor  Arod looked more lost than usual.
Chuck - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#156675) #
Anyone who says that a fantastic bullpen is an unnecessary luxury should just look to the Yankees/Tigers game.

I'll assume you're referring to the Tigers' bullpen. If so, I'm not sure how their bullpen could be considered a luxury of any kind (other than the needless millions being spent on Jones).

The four main men in the team's bullpen are Jones, Zumaya, Walker and Rodney.

Jones cost them millions and predictably reverted to his old, unspectacular self after an uncharacteristic lights out 2005.  He was the only one of the four brought in to shore up the bullpen. The other three, earning a collective $2M, were in the organization already. Zumaya blossomed ahead of schedule. Rodney finally harnessed his natural ability, at the age of 29, after giving hints last year that he might have turned his career around. And Walker is your garden variety LOOGY, maybe a little better.

So, while those four collectively made for a strong package, their collective success was not the byproduct of an overt design to ensure a strong bullpen.
Joanna - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#156677) #
I meant generally, not specifically.  Pitching is what owns the post season. 
Craig B - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#156678) #
Wow, Grady Little is twelve kinds of stupid.  How that guy ever got another job is beyond me.  Letting Kuo hit for himself last inning, down 1-0 against a tough pitcher, with four good innings in the books for a recently-converted reliever... damn, that was dumb.
VBF - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#156679) #

I think the fact that Julio Franco beat that throw is an even bigger testament to his remarkability than if he hit the grand slam.

Simply the best.

Craig B - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#156680) #
I love my Julio Franco.  He still runs pretty well; stole six bases in limited duty this year.   I imagine he's one of the faster first basemen in baseball running the bases.
VBF - Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 10:53 PM EDT (#156683) #

Joanna, was that you that wrote into Sportsnet?

I could've sworn Jamie Campbell said "Joanna Cornfax".

Joanna - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#156692) #
Yeah, VBF, that was me.  I wrote Jamie and said that Arod is prob the best ballplayer around but I gave the edge to Wright as best 3B in NY because he is having more fun.  I didn't hear my name, but my parents did.  And I guess you did too.
HoJu - Friday, October 06 2006 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#156695) #
If one is stuck in a TV-free environment, the Enhanced Gameday on is a real step forward.

I agree. I like how they display the 2 different pitch speeds. One for when the pitcher released the ball and one for when it crossed the plate. I also like how they still provide the Classic Gameday. Sometimes its nice to see the boxscore, which isn't provided in the Enhanced version.
Playoff Update - Thursday | 22 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.