Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports - Presswire
After a dramatic division series round that ended with some heart-pounding classics, we were treated to more of the same in the first LCS game.
How much more drama can one postseason give? First, it's a shame that Derek Jeter is going to miss the rest of the season; no matter how you feel about the Yankees, Jeter has always played the game right, been a class act, and played through injuries that would have stopped lesser players. The Yankees will have to step up, now that they are down one game to none, and facing the prospect of having to defeat Justin Verlander twice if the series goes seven games.
Jim Leyland, meanwhile, can thank his players for bailing him out of his mind-numbingly awful decision to leave Jose Valverde in the game. First of all, Valverde probably shouldn't have been in the game with a 4-0 lead. But once he gave up the home run to Ichiro, Leyland should have yanked him. Or after he walked Teixeira. Or sometime. This is where managers get themselves in trouble, by being too loyal to certain players, instead of playing the game to win.
Valverde has been bad this postseason (2⅓ innings, seven hits, two home runs, seven earned runs, 27.00 ERA). At times, it seems as if he's more interested in his histrionics on the mound than winning baseball games. Leyland will have to make a decision soon on whether to stick with him, or instead try Octavio Dotel (who has 109 career saves) or Joaquin Benoit in closing situations. For now, the Tigers have to consider themselves fortunate that they escaped what could have been a soul-crushing defeat, and instead lead the series 1-0.
Meanwhile, the NLCS matchup of the last two World Series champions -- something that's never happened before in a LCS -- will begin this evening in San Francisco. The Cardinals have magic dust sprinkled on them, or so it would seem. But I think the Giants' pitching will shut them down. The teams split six games during the regular season, which were played (oddly) in a four-game set in San Francisco (split 2-2) and a two-game series in St. Louis (each team won one).
Giants in seven.
|2012 - Anibal Sanchez||4-6||12||12||1||1||0||0||74.2||81||36||31||8||15||57||3.74||1.29|
|2012 - Hiroki Kuroda||16-11||33||33||3||2||0||0||219.2||205||86||81||25||51||167||3.32||1.17|
MLB.com Gameday for Giants/Cardinals. Game time: 7 p.m. CDT. TV: Fox. Announcers: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. (Yes, they're back. ESPN Radio is covering this game; if you can sync up the broadcasts, you can listen to them instead.)
|2012 - Lance Lynn||18-7||35||29||0||0||0||0||176.0||168||76||74||16||64||180||3.78||1.32|
|2012 - Madison Bumgarner||16-11||32||32||2||1||0||0||208.1||183||87||78||23||49||191||3.37||1.11|
This will be the only thread for today's games; if it gets too slow, post another one in the fanshot area. Discuss amongst yourselves.