So, what did we learn from the AL and NL Division Series? (1) Karma caught up to
Randy Moss Matt Holliday like a m***af***a. Too bad “karma” couldn’t catch that ball, eh Matt? (2) The Red Sox, desperate to stave off their team’s increasing age and irrelevance, are going to throw mad free agent money at Holliday this offseason. (3) They’ll be sorry. Holliday makes JD Drew’s heart look David Eckstein-ian, by comparison.
Your prognosticators-slash-mirth makers are, again, m’man Tom Daniels – a Mets fan from the excellent One New York Life blog. Check out his 2009 Mets postmortem and laugh along with the rest of America. We’ve also got Cards fan Eugene Tierney from Tailgate Crashers. Fortunately, Cardinals red goes nicely with all the black he’s been wearing since St. Louis was eliminated. He’s already writing about the 2010 free agent class.
Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees
Aaron: Darryl Kile of the Cardinals was the last MLB player to die during the regular season before the Angels’ Nick Adenhart passed away in April. In 2002, Kile’s Cards swept Arizona in the NLDS before losing the pennant to the Giants. I have no doubt that the Angels are deriving inspiration from Adenhart’s death, but we don’t need to keep referencing the kid to explain the 2009 Halos. They beat Boston in the ALDS because they were better when they needed to be. Playing for the memory of a deceased teammate makes a quaint story, but in a short series – as the ’02 Cards discovered – endings ain’t always happy. That goes double for those of us who hate the Angels with every fiber of our being. Pick: Angels in 6
Tom: With the only perfect record in the opening round, I’m on top of the world. The reason why the Halos tend to own the Yankees isn’t exactly mind-boggling. Get ready for the following two sequences because you’re going to get real sick of seeing them. First: Single, hit to right, first to third on Nick Swisher’s arm. Second: Single, stolen base on Jorge Posada’s arm, hit to left, second to home on Johnny Damon’s arm. The only question in this series is if they Yankees battering offense can keep up. Recent history says it can’t. Pick: Angels in 6
Eugene: The Yankees are hot right now. Joe Girardi did the right thing by resting C.C. Sabathia, something that Eric Wedge and Ned Yost didn’t do in the past. As a result, he’s looked the sharpest he ever has in the playoffs. The team did everything right against the Twins. While the Angels have played well, the Yankees are playing better. Pick: Yankees in 6
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Aaron: It must be fate. I grew up equidistant from Dodger Stadium and the old Anaheim Stadium, yet I despised both teams. Still do. It doesn’t have to make sense. Logic need not apply. The Dodgers and Angels are going to meet in the 2009 World Series. When Vincente Padilla – cast off by the always pitching-needy Rangers – shut down the Cardinals in the deciding game of the NLDS, I saw the light. When former A’s farmhand Andre Ethier offered up a series-long exhibition of his limitless potential, I saw the light. But, the light was cold and dark. My two most hated teams will be fighting for the game’s Holy Grail later this month. See y’all in 2010. Pick: Dodgers in 7
Tom: The Phillies starters are worlds better than the Dodgers. The Phillies line-up, top-to-bottom, is worlds better than the Dodgers. Postseason games with young pitchers are won in the bullpen. J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton, and Cole Hamels are pretty much five inning starters. So if I pencil in two wins for Cliff Lee and one for Pedro Martinez, that leaves 48 outs for a bullpen that walked just around 4 per 9 IP with, conveniently, just around a 4 ERA. Pick: Dodgers in 7
Eugene: This should be a really good series. Both teams have good pitching and great hitting. The difference is the Dodgers’ bullpen and Joe Torre. The Dodgers played their pitching perfect against the Cardinals and they will do the same thing with the Phillies, which is a testament to Torre and his ability to manage a game. Pick: Dodgers in 7
Tags: Baseball, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Holliday, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies