Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bay Area Clubs Stay Afloat (at least for one more day)

I think it’s unanimous that the addition of a second wild card was a welcome addition to the mix this year and enabled the MLB season to carry the drama through game 162 as opposed to the banal September months of previous years when everything was decided by Labor Day. However, despite the added drama (and revenues) some clubs may feel like they’re picking up part of the tab for the added party guest. For example the A’s came on strong to sweep the Rangers in the final 3-game set of the season and win the division in the process. The spoils of their victory may have allowed them to hang another pennant on the walls but it also bought them all-expense paid tickets to Detroit to open the playoffs. Not sure how that worked out it Bud Selig’s mind, you win more games, 94 to 85, you win your division, yet you have to go on the road for the first two games of the playoffs and find yourself down 2-0. I mean, this ain’t the NBA where at least it’s a 2-3-2, and a 7-game so losing one at home doesn’t kill you but it does send you home under this format.
So the Oakland A’s now must sweep their second consecutive 3-game series and although they may be in the friendly confines of the Oakland Coliseum it is still a tall order bing that they’re going up against the a team with the triple crown winner and is in the top ten of the four major offensive team categories (11th in the fourth). So that may have set the stage and the A’s answered the call in game 1 by winning a thriller 2-0 but is this perpetual death? On Wednesday they go up against 16-game winner Max Scherzer and will try to counter with 24-year old rookie A.J. Griffin. As I mentioned, I’m not sue it’s fair how they got here but this pitching matchup and facing Prince (only hitting .125 in the post season, so due) and Cabrera (who is not due hitting .375) bodes well for the money ballers. Across the bay the Giants also made an amazing run of their own not only taking the NL West crown but doing it in very convincing fashion, smoking their inner-state rivals LA in the process and all without the aid of the All-Star Game MVP who is currently fulfilling a 50-game suspension for PEDs. I don’t think their situation is quite as egregious but still 94 wins and an 8-game cushion, doesn’t go as far as it once did as all the thanks the Giants got was a two game deficit and coming off the hands of a 9-0 thrashing looking more like wild card than the their host for the last two games whom didn’t clinch a post season reservation until game 160. Much like their No. Cal comrades facing elimination they managed to pull out a win however unimpressive it was. The GMen tied a dubious record for winning a game despite notching only 1 hit through nine innings (they scored 2 in the 10th). They also set a record for striking out 16 times in an ALDS and winning. Both don’t say much for their offensive prowess or chances in game 4. But I will close with this, if there is ANY club left in the playoffs that can defy both odds and gravity its San Francisco and if the Reds are wise, like I know Dusty is, they take some pitches and try to get Zito out early and not even give this a chance of going 5 because we’ve seen this “group of misfits” before, they were drinking champagne and getting fitting for rings two years ago.

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