If the Yankees were in trouble with the ALCS at 2-0 and the series headed to Detroit, what do you call them now that they lost 2-1 last night, and are down 3-0? Just shy of dead in the water?
- That series went to 3-0 on the strength of a dominant start by Justin Verlander - though, increasingly, how much can you attribute a low-scoring Yankee effort to the opposing pitcher? The Bronx Bombers have scored just one run in their last two games, have scored just 14 in their last seven games, and are hitting just .200 on the post-season. Game Four is tonight at 7pm CT, with C.C. Sabathia taking on Max Scherzer.
- As for the NLCS, which resumes today at 3pm CT, the big story - other than the Giants' win on Monday - has been Matt Holliday's borderline dirty "slide" into Marco Scutaro. Presumably you've seen it, but if you haven't:
- Scutaro stayed in the game long enough to log a crucial hit (which, in karmic fashion, Holliday butchered in left), but later had to leave the game. He underwent testing, and has a hip injury that could prevent him from playing today - though he's hopeful he'll play.
- Matt Cain on how he'll pitch to Matt Holliday today: "You have to pitch your game. If something gets away from you inside, that's kind of part of the game. You've got to be able to pitch inside and you've got to be able to pitch away. You can't have a fear with doing that." I don't know too many fans who would blame Cain for letting a pitch get away inside (but not high), though I'm not sure how MLB would feel about the matter.
- Dave Cameron says it's time to take player-to-player contact completely out of the game, and proposes a hard-line rule: if you initiate contact with another player, you're ejected. Where a player was trying only to reach the base safely, there is no ejection. The goal of such a rule (player safety) is admirable, but you've got to figure it leaves so much gray as to be as difficult to enforce as the rule that arguably should have led to an interference call on Holliday.
- Grant Brisbee also digs in on the takeout slide rules, and what can be done in the future.
- FanGraphs looks at Chris Carpenter's velocity and stuff before and after the shoulder injury that kept him out most of 2012. He's lost a MPH or two off his fastball, and his curveball has lost some bite. Alone, those are differences he could probably be successful through. But together? It could be a serious problem, particularly in this post-season. There is, of course, the possibility that Carpenter has simply come back too soon from major shoulder surgery, and will be back to normal next year. It's also possible that a 37-year-old coming off of major shoulder surgery is going to decline.
- C.J. Wilson, who didn't have a great first season with the Angels, is set to undergo elbow surgery - the minor kind - and he'll be recovering over the next four to six weeks.
- Beyond the Boxscore looks at the nastiest pitches in baseball. The Cubs do not feature ...