Saturday, October 10, 2009

(11) - Welcome to Unscripted

It literally cannot be scripted. The MLB Postseason can literally not be scripted. Sure, I think everyone outside of a Twins fan figured the Yanks to be up 2-0 after two games. They figured two games just like Game 1, with the Yanks winning Game 2 by three or four runs. They figured Pettitte would have a chance to close out the series in Minnesota against Pavano. They figured all of that. What they didn't figure was that the Yanks would be up 2-0 after winning Game 2 with some tricks pulled up their sleeves, and rabbits being pulled out of their hats.

A-Rod delivers a 3-1 fastball deep to right center to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth with 1 out. Let me repeat the first part of that sentence: A-ROD DELIVERS! My prediction for this series for A-Rod was 5 RBIs. Well, he has 5 RBIs already - in two games. With the first three coming with 2 outs (the third tying Game 2 1-1), and the latter two coming off a booming home run in the bottom of the ninth against one of the games Top 3 closers, to again, TIE THE GAME. Unbelievable. A-Rod, not known for his postseason heroics, has seemed to FINALLY step out of his shell. And I for one am ridiculously happy.

Teixeira had been having an AWFUL offensive ALDS. 0-6. That's what he was being paid $190 million for. A-Rod 2.0? Hold that thought. Top of the ninth comes, and he knows he has to get something started. Which is exactly what he did. Hit a deep single to begin the (short) rally. We know what happens next. Finally Teixeira gets a hit, 1-7. Next time up to bat to lead off the eleventh, everyone is thinking the same thing: "Just get on base, get a double, and A-Rod WILL drive you home." What they/we neglected to remember was that Tex lead the AL with 39 home runs this year. And what does he do? Hit a 318.5 foot home run to left field to end the game. clocked the ball coming of Tex's bat at 110mph and left the yard in 2.88 seconds - THE FASTEST home run (to leave the park) in the majors this year. Boy did he want this game to end. Earning his $$$ this post season.

Burnett, the best way to put it - Effectively wild. That's what they were saying all night, and it was true. 5 BB and 2 HBP is never good, but they had some magic to keep the game scoreless through 5. Tagging out Gomez between second and third to make sure the run didn't count in the fourth inning was unreal. Such a great heads-up play by both Swisher and (of course) Jeter. They touched Burnett in the fifth to make it 1-0. The Yanks scored quickly to make sure that lead got erased. The Burnett pitching to Molina and not Posada was a non-factor in this game, as Molina only had one AB and Posada had three.

It must be said, the left field umpire may, MAY, have cost the Twins the game. In the top of the eleventh, he called a sliced Mauer hit foul, when in fact it landed 4-5 inches FAIR and then bounced into the stands. Mauer should have been on second with a ground-rule double, instead he headed back to the plate. He eventually singled. Kubbel in the next AB singled, which could have potentially scored Mauer. If that didn't score him, Cuddyer's next single definitely would have scored him. It's tough to say the pitch calls in those two situations would have been the same, but it's also tough to argue and say the ump didn't screw the Twins chances. What I'm leaving out here is that, with the bases loaded, and no outs, the Twins did NOT score. David Robertson, after giving up the single to Cuddyer, pitched outstandingly. Gets a sharp lineout to Teixeira, who was in perfect position. Gets a check swing grounder to Teixeira, who gets Mauer out at the plate. And then gets a lazy fly ball to Gardner in center to end the inning.

Back to my point: Who would have guessed Game 2 would have played out this way? No one. No one. And that's what is so great about October baseball - you just don't know how it's going to play out. It's always exciting, even if your team is out or on the losing end. Would I be upset if the Yanks lost? Absolutely. But it would not have changed my thoughts on October baseball. Game 3 here we come - let's do it Pettitte.

Other Notes: The Angels are beating the Red Sox 2-0? What happened to past years, with Red Sox domination? Right, its 2009. Not 2008, or 2007, or 2005...The Dodgers escaped with a dramatic walkoff win in Game 2 to lead the Cardinals 2-0. Getting past both Carpenter and Wainwright with wins? Did not think that would happen, two games in a row. Phillies and Rockies are deadlocked at 1-1, heading back to Colorado. Maybe I underestimated this Rockies team?


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