To kick off the Championship series last week, we asked you to predict the outcome of the series. Who will be battling for MLB supremacy next week? 9 people voted, a surge in responses happening rather late, which makes us suspect that you waited to see how the first games would play out before deciding. Cheaters. Initially, readers favored a repeat of last year’s World Series, the first 2 votes going to the Yankees and Phillies. 1 lone reed went with a Rangers/Phillies series. However, as the Rangers and Giants repeatedly flashed their might, the voting tide changed. 4 people went with a Giants/Rangers World Series. 2 people think that the Yankees still have some spunk left in them and picked a Giants/Yankees series. We’d like to think that you’re right.
It’s not surprising that the Phillies had been the heavy favorite with their powerful offense and an intimidating pitching staff that includes Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Brad Lidge. While the Giants aren’t sending a bunch of hacks to the mound, their offense does not flex the same muscle as the Phillies. That being said, the Bay Area Boys have proved that they will not go gently into that good night, just as Dylan Thomas once wrote. It is the Giants that have out-performed the Phillies this week, with the exception of a few defensive miscues last night in Game 5. Despite the loss, the Giants displayed character in that they continued to fight back against Roy Halladay, who’d injured his groin earlier in the game, pushing the score to 3-2. On several occasions, the Giants had men in scoring position and failed to produce. On Halladay basically pitching on one leg, Jayson Werth said, “he’s a man.” Well, Jayson, we’re thrilled to see that there’s at lease one man playing professional baseball these days. So, Roy? Super Hero of the Week goes to you for being a MAN. You rock that testosterone like a champ, Roy.
We’re sure you’re going to expect us to rant about the asinine behavior of the Yankees thus far and trust us. We want to. We knew these games would be tough (though Lisa strongly felt that the Yankees would have no problem dealing with the Rangers whereas Serena was not as confident), but the Yankees (with the exception of Games 1 and 5) seemed to have been content to roll over and get their tummies scratched instead of manning up and playing the game the way they’re meant to. Despite all of that BS, it’s AJ, we’d like to focus on. Dear, sweet, dinosaur-loving AJ. That friggin’ NTAC. What kind of man takes the heart you trustingly offer to him and flushes it down the toilet? WHAT KIND OF MAN, we ask you! He started the first 5 innings off fantastic and then BAM! 3-run home run. Game completely blown. Look of utter dejection on his face, which we’re becoming way too accustomed to seeing. Anger, resentment, disappointment reining in the Bronx. This is so typical of him! He’s always been great at foreplay and terrible at the main event. Now he gets absolutely no visitation rights for Winkie. He needs to go to pitching rehab before we can even consider allowing him to see Winkie again. It’s baffling behavior like this that makes us want to drink more.
At least both Championship series have set up a Game 6 (though technically, if the Yankees hadn’t been playing like such NTAC’s, the ALCS might not have gotten to this ridiculous nail-biting stage), do or die situations for the defending American League and National League champions. So far, the weekend matchups look to be as follows:
Colby Lewis/Phil Hughes (8:07 pm/TBS)
Roy Oswalt/Jonathan Sanchez (3:57 pm/FOX)
Game 7 (if necessary…and it BETTER BE)
Cliff Lee/Andy Pettitte (8:07 pm/TBS)
Game 7 (if necessary…and it better NOT be! Giants need to clean house!)
Cole Hamels/Matt Cain (7:57 pm/FOX)
Joe Girardi has announced that CC Sabathia is available out of the bull pen, should Phil Hughes run into trouble tonight. An interesting, but understandable decision given how the bullpen has butchered the first two games played at Yankees Stadium. The concern lies in how utilizing Sabathia in this way could effect his performance in the World Series should it come to that. Granted, you have to first win the Championship series in order to get to the Fall Classic (learn to walk before you fly, if you will), but one still has to wonder.
Nick Swisher has been quoted as being fed up about the questions regarding Cliff Lee pitching Game 7. Even Josh Hamilton has briefly expressed frustration over questions of that nature. We don’t blame them. Game 6 has to be played first before a Game 7 thought can bubble to the surface. While Cliff Lee is indeed a formidable foe, one man isn’t going to win a baseball game (this isn’t tennis, ya know) and there isn’t a better man to go toe to toe with Lee in a Game 7 situation than Andy Pettitte. Love us some of that big Texan hunk of man. CC Sabathia might be the “Ace” of the Yankees’ staff, but Andy’s the Big Game man. Always has been.
The series has been split between being broadcast on TBS and FOX. We know that many of you are not from the Long Island area and have been able to enjoy both stations without any complications. Unfortunately, Cablevision customers on Long Island have had to deal with the greed of wealthy network executives and scramble to find ways to see their FOX sports and television shows like House, The Unit, and 24. Newscorp has pulled FOX and UPN9 (like anyone cares about that station) from the air like selfish a-holes while they unyieldingly negotiate an obscene contract with Cablevision. As a result, the New York Giants/Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings/Dallas Cowboys games on Sunday and many of the playoff games have not been aired on Cablevision televisions, forcing customers to either crash at non-Cablevision households or frequent sports bars. Cablevision customers have also been blocked from viewing these programs on the FOX website, which is complete garbage as that is a free service that FOX has provided to viewers. “Coincidentally,” both stations were pulled the day of the NLCS Game 1, forcing us to miss the fantastic Lincecum/Halladay duel. Serena had to watch Terminator Salvation instead. Not that she entirely minded it. Christian Bale and Sam Worthington? Yes, please. But that is not the point! It’s the principle of the matter. We’d been dreaming of a pitching duel like that all friggin’ season and those wealthy, stick-up-the-ass, a-holes denied us that privilege! Thankfully, Serena works with Tom, an amazing genius, who managed to find a website called channelsurfing.net that broadcast the Giants game and all of the MLB playoffs. Granted, watching sports on a laptop isn’t the sexiest, but it beats waiting for Gamecast to refresh with each play. Had it not been for Halladay’s ballsy pitching performance, Serena might have pushed for Tom being Super Hero of the Week.
Shocking that there’d be anything to talk about other than the playoffs, but we do happen to have a baseball note for you this week. Third baseman, Brandon Inge and the Tigers have agreed to a 2-year, $11 million contract with a team option for the 2013. The option year calls for a $6 million salary for a $500,000 buyout. This season, Inge had an American League-best 97.7 fielding percentage among third basemen and we all know how much Serena loves a good defenseman.
Taio Cruz closes us out with “we throw our hands up in the air sometimes, saying Yankees gotta let’s go. We wanna celebrate another year, saying Yankees, baby let’s go. Cause we gonna rock this club, we gonna go to Game 7, we gonna light it up like its dynamite.”