Browsing posts from October, 2011
We knew the MLB Postseason would have a hard time surpassing, let alone matching, the high drama of last Wednesday’s playoff push.
However, for just the second time since 1995 three of the four Division Series are headed to a decisive Game 5, the first of which begins tonight at Yankee Stadium.
The last time this happened was 2001. Aside from Atlanta sweeping Houston 3-0, Arizona defeated St. Louis in five games, Seattle bested Cleveland 3-2, and New York rallied from an 0-2 hole to take the series against Oakland.
But the excitement was short lived with both league championship series ending in five games: Arizona defeating Atlanta 4-1, and New York doing the same against Seattle.
Conversely, under the shadow of 9/11, the postseason closed with one of the more memorable World Series in recent memory: the Diamondbacks winning a seven-games series against the Yankees.
Obviously, there are no guarantees this Fall Classic will follow suite with 2001. But so far, baseball’s playoffs are living up to the hype!
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Despite an 8-1 drubbing against Arizona in Game 3 of the NLDS, odds are the Milwaukee Brewers, holding a 2-1 series lead, will advance to play either the Phillies or Cardinals in the NLCS, at least according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Including this postseason, of the 65 best-of-five playoffs series in which a team trailed 0-2, only seven have recovered to win three straight.
I’ve listed those great comebacks, or in the case of the ’84 Cubs, collapses, below.
-2003 ALDS Boston, 0-2, defeated Oakland
-2001 ALDS New York, 0-2, defeated Oakland
-1999 ALDS Boston, 0-2, defeated Cleveland
-1995 ALDS Seattle, 0-2, defeated new York
-1984 NLCS San Diego, 0-2, defeated Chicago
-1982 ALCS Milwaukee, 0-2, defeated Anaheim
-1981 NLDS Los Angeles, 0-2, defeated Houston
Larry Rothschild got out of Dodge just in time to avoid sitting through another miserable season on the North Side.
He’s now enjoying the playoffs in his first season as the Yankees pitching coach instead of worrying about the inconsistency of Randy Wells, the health of Andrew Cashner, the flip-flopping of Jeff Samardzija or the next harbinger of another Big Z meltdown.
But changing guard to join the Bombers hasn’t been all roses, not with Rothschild inheriting a thin and over-the-hill gang of starters behind CC Sabathia.
That, however, didn’t stop Rothschild from proving his worth by patch-working the rotation together for the Yankees to win the AL East.
Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Cliff Lee with an early 4-0 lead is suppose to be money in the bank. But those pesky Cardinals rallied for a 5-4 win to tie the series at 1-1. Dang it!
The Cards Game 2 win is arguably the biggest victory for any team this postseason, especially considering the series now shifts to Busch Stadium for Games 3 & 4.
At the very least, it’s yet another example of St. Louis’ ‘never say die’ attitude that carried them past Atlanta this September and perhaps to the NLCS and beyond.
What’s more, the Cardinals have a quite confidence knowing they took the season series 6-3 vs. Philly, including a crucial mid-September set in Philadelphia, in which they won 3 of 4 and defeated both Hamels and Halladay.
A split of the first two games squarely puts the pressure on Philadelphia, who carries not only the major’s best record (102-60), but also the lofty expectations of not just reaching, but winning, the Fall Classic.
As a Cubs fan, obviously, I can’t stand the thought of St. Louis advancing to play either Milwaukee or Arizona. But given the importance of its stunning victory Sunday night, I wouldn’t bet against LaRussa’s boys to do so.