Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wow! Now that was an instant classic!

I speak, of course, of tonight's one game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox. The game was scoreless into the bottom of the 7th, when Twins rookie starter Nick Blackburn gave up a solo home run to Jim Thome. White Sox starter John Danks turned in the performance of a lifetime, going 8 scoreless innings and earning a "free beer" ticket in the city of Chicago for the rest of his life. ChiSox closer Bobby Jenks came in for the save, preserving the 1-0 win. The last out came on a spectacular diving catch by center fielder Brian Anderson.

This is why I love these "one-and-done" type playoff games. Both teams seasons are on the line and both are giving everything they have to advance. Tonight's game couldn't have been a tighter, better played contest between two good teams.

Oh, and check out these hats. This is one of the best championship hats I have ever seen:
I don't typically buy hats for anything other than a world championship, but if I were a White Sox fan I would get this one just because it looks cool.

Three of the four division series start tomorrow, including Red Sox -Angels at the ungodly hour of 10 PM. The big questions for the Sox going in revolve around health, with Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett both question marks. The biggest scare is Beckett, who suddenly developed an oblique strain throwing a side session over the weekend. Beckett's start has been moved back to game 3, while Jon Lester and Daisuke pitch games 1 and 2 on the west coast. Those two guys are more than capable, but it's a big drop off from the virtually invincible post-season Beckett to either Wake or Paul Byrd in game 3 if Beckett can't go.

Now that we have final matchups for the four series, here are my postseason predictions:

Division Series:
Angels over Red Sox in 5 - sorry, I think the health woes are going to dog the Red Sox, much like they ruined the Angels chances last year. Hope I'm wrong on this one.

Rays over White Sox in 4 - Chicago is so done in from the effort just to make the playoffs, they won't be able to get it done against a rested Tampa Bay team.

Cubs over Dodgers in 4: Despite Manny's Ruthian performance since the trade, the Cubs are quite simply a better team.

Phillies over Brewers in 5: This depends on Ben Sheets' health. Sheets didn't look great in his start on Saturday. C.C. Sabathia has been the pitching version of Manny since he came over to the Brewers, but he's not going to be enough to beat the Phillies by himself.

ALCS: Angels over Rays in 6
NLCS: Cubs over Phillies in 7

World Series: Angels over Cubs in 6. Sorry Cubs fans!

Wish I could stay home and watch tomorrow's playoff tripleheader on TBS. That pesky work thing gets in the way again!


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