Playoff Update - Thursday

Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 09:20 AM EDT

Contributed by: Gwyn

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