Monday, October 19, 2009

Two Great Games, One, not so great...

Jeff Mathis and Jimmy Rollins. The two are hardly ever mentioned in the same sentence, in fact maybe this is the first time ever. Today and tonight those two players, sent their teams to dramatic wins in their final at bat. For the Angels, it kept the faint pulse beating against the Yankees, and for the Phillies it may have just finished off the Dodgers.

The Angels needed this one badly. They are now down 2-1 in their series with the Yankees and still have some hope. Many are criticizing Yankees skipper Joe Girardi for losing his DH, when he put Jerry Hairston Jr in left, and then with Mariano Rivera scheduled to hit with two out and nobody on, pinch hit for the closer, leaving Girardi without the established presence in the 11th. Go ahead and criticize. I'm not going to though. I've learned over the years from such managers as Jim Riggleman, Don Baylor, Dusty Baker and now Bud Black that there's usually a darn good reason for making the moves they make. What might look curious to some, is never something left to chance. We never know if a guy is injured, or if a pitcher says "hey skip, my arm is toast, take me out", or some other underlying factor. Good managers never throw their players under the bus in public, most of the yelling and screaming is done in private, behind closed doors. Just something to think about.

How important was the 11 inning win? CC Sabathia is coming back to pitch game four for the Yankees after dominating the Angels in game one. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Angels to try and pull them even in the series. Game 4 is tomorrow night.

Jimmy Rollins was lucky to escape the post game celebration with his life. When did it become custom to try and tackle and beat up the hero of the game? I remember in 2007 when Kevin Kouzmanoff snuck a single through the right side of the infield to beat the Rockies, Brian Giles almost took Kouz's head off! It's supposed to be a non-contact sport!

Rollins two run double/triple off Jonathan Broxton capped a mad comeback to put the Phillies on the brink of heading back to the World Series. Philadelphia now has a 3-1 lead in the series, and it may not have to go back to LA at all.

Broxton really has nobody to blame but himself. He throws hard, but once in a while, and yes Padres fans you've seen him give up 5 run leads on a couple of occasions, he just looses his command. He walked pinch hitter Matt Stairs, hit Carlos Ruiz and though it may not sound like a big deal, it turned the line up over and allowed the tough part of the Phillies order to come up and tonight, come through in a 5-4 win at Citizens Bank Park.

I think one of the lines of the night came from Rollins just after he won the game for the Phillies...I'll use quotes, but I'm paraphrasing here, "I'm not looking to hit a home run there, I knew I just had to barrel one up and when a guy is throwing 99 MPH, and you hit it square, it's going to go". What a refreshing approach to a critical situation in a game.

The NLCS will take tomorrow off and resume Wednesday in Philadelphia.

High Hopes...
In case you were wondering, if you were still watching the NLCS during the post-game, and heard a song playing in the background at the ballpark, I'll tell you what it was. Since the passing of legendary hall of fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, the Phillies either during the 7th inning stretch or after a win, will play his rendition of "High Hopes", that Harry sung at a banquet before his induction at Cooperstown. We heard it for the first time, in the Phils first home game after his passing. The entire series they played it instead of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" and to hear all those people in the stands, singing along with Kalas, sent goosebumps up my arms and shivers down my neck each and every time I heard it. Same tonight.

Low Point...
Ok, I mentioned two good games (baseball) and one bad one. Unfortunately that one was the Chargers/Broncos game. Not sure what happened tonight. I actually did watch quite a bit of the game, while switching back and forth to baseball. I did find it hard to believe that LaDanian Tomlinson was not in the game, but on the sidelines during a critical short yardage situation. Why? He seemed quite "irked" by the decision as well. The Chargers failed to measure up to the Broncos tonight. Eddie Royal's two returns for touchdowns, Carrell Buckhalter and Knoshown Moreno's 1-2 tandem rushing the ball, and Kyle Orton, who is leading the Denver team to a 6-0 record. They outplayed the Chargers at the Q. To me, the Chargers still are a more talented team, but sometimes effort and determination beat talent. I'll leave it at that.

Parting shot...
To Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), I say, "GIVE ME A BREAK". The trio is vowing to fight to kill the BCS system and put in place a more fair post season system for college football. I agree with that because the BCS is about a middle initial too long, but for government officials to get involved? Come on. Hmm, wonder if it's because its Utah, Hawaii and Texas, three schools that have gotten less than a fair shake from the BCS in it's present form? I would think that the taxpayers from those states, would rather see their representatives fight for other things, like help for the economy and foreclosures and other real life things going on. Just my thoughts. Don't want to get into a political debate but this seems sort of stupid.

Ok, that's it for me tonight! Enjoy!


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