The Dodgers couldn’t pull out a win last night and fell to the Phillies by the score of 10-4. This means the Phils will be making their second straight trip to the World Series, and they are looking like one heck of a team with a great shot at repeating. Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and JA Happ are the best 1-2-3 punch I have seen in the playoffs since Zito-Hudson-Mulder for the Athletics. Their offense is strong up and down and their bullpen has really been stepping it up. After a horrible year, Brad Lidge looks great. I don’t think I will be picking against the Phillies next week.
My least favorite team in the Major Leagues is the New York Yankees. One of my favorite American League teams is the Anaheim Angels. So, by this, it is clearly seen that I am pretty upset that the Yankees are up 3-1 and go to clinch the series tomorrow in Anaheim.
Baseball in October is one of the great things about life. Since March of this year, baseball is just not the same without a blog, so here I am, making my first post that has nothing to do with the Pirates (well… for the most part). Here’s my (quick) preview of the 2009 Postseason:
Cardinals vs. Dodgers:
The Cardinals are a scary good team, especially when it comes to postseason baseball. The Dodgers have the NL’s best record, but they have been slumping lately, and I personally don’t think they are built for the post season. They have one of the deadliest offenses in the game, but the pitching isn’t there. Randy Wolf is starting game 1, which is ugly. Clayton Kershaw has some of the nastiest stuff in the playoffs, but he’s still young and very inconsistent. I like the Cardinals to take this one fairly easily. Cardinals in 4.
Yankees vs. Twins:
The Yankees are another team I don’t see suited for the postseason, however if CC and Joba can get it together they could be a better team than anyone. Those are the big question marks, they paid Sabathia all that money, and he hasn’t earned it yet. Chamberlain is still a big question mark in that rotation. Burnett is a very solid guy, I think he is going to put up some nice numbers. The Twins really have no chance in this series. The pitching isn’t there and neither is the Justin Morneau. Yankees in 4.
This one kills me. I hate the Red Sox, almost more than anyone, and the Angels have always been a favorite team of mine. However, they have been just atrocious in these series’ with the Sox. I like their team, however it really doesn’t match up well. I think they have a definite shot at game 1, but after that it gets questionable. Boston’s rotation is deeper, and their bullpen is one of the best in the game. Red Sox in 5
Well the Pirates 2009 campaign is over. The team finished with a 62-99 record after a 6-0 loss to the Reds today. Pirates blogger Dejan Kovacevic posted his bests and worsts of the 2009 Pittsburgh Pirates today, and I was kind of disgusted by it, honestly. Sure, there is not much good to say about this season, but I completely disagreed with his take on some things in there. You can read that article here. Since my disagreement is so strong, I’m gonna go ahead and post MY bests and worsts of 2009. I’m gonna use the same categories as him, just different answers, for the most part:
Top player: Andrew McCutchen. I know he only played 4 months, but what McCutchen did in those months was fantastic. He hit .284/.361/.470 with 12 bombs, 54 RBI, and 20 SB. His defense was fantastic and he is only going to get better in the future.
Bottom player: Ian Snell. There is no arguing with this one. Snell was just awful this year, he did almost nothing positive. The only good thing that came out of Snell was Jeff Clement, whom the Pirates got from the Mariners in the trade.
Finest moment: I can’t argue with Dejan here either, McCutchen’s 3 home run night was probably the best part of the 2009 season. It got Andrew noticed on a national level and was just a feel good night for the future of the Pirates.
Foulest moment: Tough one here. I think the foulest moments were those first couple road games the Pirates would have after long homestands. The team would play so well at home, and then be a completely different team on the road and lose a ridiculous amount of games away from PNC, which was truly foul.
Emotional high: Gotta be the 11-7 start of the season and the early sweet of the then undefeated Florida Marlins.
Emotional low: For most fans it was the trades of Jack and Freddy, however for me it was long slumps of Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young, two Pirates who I was watching closely this year. If those two would have showed consistency and capability at the plate, the future would have been a lot brighter for the Pirates. However, they really didn’t show much this season.
Best front-office move: Low ticket-prices are always nice.
Worst front-office move: I suppose missing Miguel Sano hurts. It sounds to me like there was really nothing the front-office could have done there, and Sano’s agent is just a jerk, but there is a lot that I don’t know, so who knows what really went down. They should have signed him though, they were the front-runners and somehow they blew it.
Best personnel move: The trade of Nate McLouth and the trade of Freddy Sanchez. Charlie Morton, Gorkys Hernandez, and Tim Alderson could all be huge parts of the future and could all be all-stars some day.
Worst personnel move: The John Grabow/Tom Gorzelanny trade. Sure, Grabow and Gorzo probably weren’t worth much, but it turns out that they pretty much got nothing for them. Hart was a complete flop and Ascanio and Harrison don’t impress me at all either.
Best managerial move: The infield play and the improved pitching. Big ups to Joe Kerrigan and Perry Hill.
Worst managerial move: Not utilizing the bullpen effectively. I feel like JR really isn’t good at game management and using his pitchers. That needs to improve.
Best quote: ”My gentleman’s name is Tony Plush.”
Worst quote: Anything that came out of Cryan Braun’s mouth.
Historical high: Andrew McCutchen’s 3-homer night.
Historical low: Number 17.
Top play: Jack Wilson’s backhand sliding, falling, tumbling, on his back, in the outfield, throw to first in July.
Bottom play: Ryan Doumit’s swing in April that cost him 2 1/2 months of the season.
Most encouraging: Ross Ohlendorf’s great performances, dominating at times, Lastings Milledge performance, and Andrew McCutchen’s many highlights.
Most discouraging: Andy LaRoche, Delwyn Young, and Brandon Moss.
Leap forward: There were questions about Andy LaRoche’s defense at the beginning of the season, but there aren’t anymore. He stepped it up big time with the glove… if only he could hit the ball.
Step backward: Matt Capps, 8 losses, 5.40 ERA… yuck.
Accountability: Neil Huntington, he has been consistent in his moves.
Lack of accountability: The “fans” running out of funny jokes to tell about the Pirates. I have grown to hate a lot of Pittsburgh sports fans because of their lack of knowledge and lack of respect for the Pirates organization.
Leadership: There really isn’t much… Zach Duke and Paul Maholm were the closest things we had to team leaders after the trades.
Lack of leadership: John Russell? I don’t know…
Positive force: Andrew McCutchen, and the small amount of hope he brought to the majors with him.
Negative force: The fans. I hate them.
Sweetest swing: Mr. Pedro Alvarez. The kid is gonna be a stud.
Miserable miss: Brian Bixler, one of the worst baseball players to ever suit up in a big league uniform.
Powerful crowd moment: Opening day when Zach Duke pitched a complete game shut out.
Weakest crowd moment: The other 80 home games.
Reason to believe in the 2010 Pirates: The pitching looked great at times this year, and their is offensive help on the way. This team can’t get any worse, and the future starts next year.
Reason not to believe: It’s rare that young talent clicks this quickly, and it won’t be easy for the Pirates young guys to put together a winning season next year, but it’s still doable.