MLB Division Series Day Three: Sox Stoppers?

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MLB Division Series Day Three: Sox Stoppers?

What's with all the baseball being played around the Frank TV advertisements?

It's nice to see that Frank Caliendo has a sense of humor about how many advertisements his television show ran last year. Then again, he's a comedian so I hope he has a sense of humor.

I do hope that Lou Piniella has a sense of humor after the way his Chicago Cubs played on Thursday night. It was a defense fit for a last place team, rather than a first place one.

The pizza is good Lou, way better than your team's defense at least.

Does that come with hot peppers? If not, the Dodgers can add some, because they are red hot right now. Everyone’s making contributions at the plate and veterans and youngsters are pitching well.

We can blame the Cubs for being down 0-2, they certainly deserve it the way they've played, but don't discredit the Dodgers and the way they've been going.

One team that looked as if they were picking right up where they left off was the Tampa Bay Rays. With a star making performance by Evan Longoria, the Rays rolled right along in Game One over Chicago.

James Shields hunkered down and held in long enough to give his team a big win. I also added a new pitcher to my favorite players stable in Grant Balfour. Not that I don't like Orlando Cabrera or anything but his attitude is entertaining.

It wasn't entertaining to watch CC Sabathia struggle and depart early. I think Sabathia learned from last year's mistakes in the postseason, but the reason for the letdown lies with his fatigue.

It was obvious he was out of gas. He finally hit that wall we were expecting him to hit because of all the use and abuse. He carried Milwaukee to the playoffs, but couldn't do much more.

It's a shame someone the caliber of CC is going to be branded with that letdown tag for the playoffs. He's a much better pitcher than that.

 

ALDS Game Two: Chicago (Buehrle) @ Tampa Bay (Kazmir)

Tampa is in a very good situation, sitting up with a one game lead and their ace on the mound in Game Two.

Scott Kazmir takes the mound for the Rays in opposition of the Chicago's Mark Buehrle. After yet another let down performance from Vazquez, Buehrle will attempt to save the White Sox's bacon.

I was real impressed with the way Tampa Bay settled in and came back right after Dewayne Wise hit the three run shot to put the White Sox up by two. I thought the inexperience was finally going to catch up with them.

I was wrong. With a calm and cool demeanor, they battled right back, took the lead and never looked back.

I think Buerhle will be a stiffer test. The thing that bothers me about the Rays in this game is the fact that Scott Kazmir gave up four home runs in two of his final three regular season starts.

The White Sox are built to hit the long ball; Paul Konerko is hot and has had decent success against Kazmir in the past.

I'm going to continue to ride the White Sox until they are eliminated, but the key for the Rays is how well Scott Kazmir pitches.

ALDS Game Two: Boston (Matsuzaka) @ Los Angeles (Santana)

For all intensive purposes, Daisuke Matsuzaka has been the ace of the Boston Red Sox this year. With Beckett struggling with injuries and the rest of the staff aside from Lester being moved in and out, Matsuzaka has been there all year.

He's an 18 game winner with an ERA under three. He's being opposed by one of the comeback stories of the year in Ervin Santana. Joe Saunders and Santana were there early for the Angels when Lackey and Escobar were not.

In Game One we saw Jason Bay promptly ease the psyche of the Red Sox faithful with a big home run that you would expect from the man they traded him for, Manny Ramirez.

You wonder if the Red Sox are inside the Angels players' heads a little bit. This team has been super successful against the Angels in the last few playoff games. The Angels turned the tides on them in the regular season and outright beat them.

However this is a different game and the Red Sox are battle tested.

Ervin Santana has managed to avoid Boston this year, a team he's struggled against in the past giving up at least 14 earned runs in four games.

Typically Santana has been a better pitcher at home, but this year he's been a road warrior going 11-2. We'll see how Mike Scioscia's move to start Santana in Game Two and possible game five at home works out.

This is a game the Angles need to have if they are going to win this series. It would be a long road to travel with Beckett looming in game three. I'll go with the Angels to make it interesting series after all.

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