MLB Playoffs 2011: 4 Players Who Will Continue Monster Postseasons
The 2011 MLB Playoffs have shown an increase awareness of individual performances. With the best records in baseball in the Phillies and Yankees being eliminated, the attention now turns into the four remaining teams and the players that have gotten their teams into this position.
In these next four slides, I have gathered the four players who have had a successful postseason and will continue to dominate in their distinctive roles. Each player is from the remaining four teams (Cardinals, Tigers, Rangers, and Brewers) and can have an enormous impact to determine who reaches the World Series.
St. Louis Cardinals: Albert Pujols
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Although Pujols was held to a .299 average in the regular season he has been able to return to his dominant ways. Over the last seven days he has hit a .313 average in the postseason with five hits, one run, and three doubles in the last 16 at bats.
Considering the threat he is to opposing pitchers, Pujols only seems to begin to gain his batting swing at the right time. With no home runs it is unlikely that he goes without a homer in the postseason and I expect him to continue to gain more confidence in hitting the ball as the games go on.
If he can continue the pace he currently is hitting with then the Cardinals have a great chance in producing enough runs for their team to advance to the World Series.
Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
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Similar to Pujols, Cabrera had an enormous regular season by being the batting champion in the American league with an a .344 average. Although the postseason has not been quite the same, he is still producing the numbers that Tiger fans want to see.
In his last 15 appearances at the plate, Cabrera has had one home run, three RBI's, four hits, and a .267 average. The most important stat however may be in his walks. During the postseason, teams have walked him five times, demonstrating the awareness of how much of a big threat he really is.
Expect Cabrera to continue to put up numbers and bring his average up. If teams decide to pitch away from him, then his walks will continue to rise, giving the Tigers a runner on base and possibly a chance to win games.
Texas Rangers: Alexi Ogando
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With all the hitters the Rangers have I had to give Ogando some credit for the job he has done in the postseason. Watching him a couple nights ago only made me realize how focus and determine he is to succeed. When he came in during Game 1 against the Tigers, Ogando shut out the Tigers offense by giving coach Ron Washington 2.0 innings after two rain delays.
As I saw his stats I only became more impressive of how dominating he has been during the postseason. To put numbers in perspective, Ogando has had 3.2 innings in the last seven days and has zero hits, one walk and four strikeouts. His WHIP is sitting at 0.27, which is very low compared to his 1.14 WHIP he had during the regular season.
If Ogando continues to come in and give the Rangers two to three shut out innings during a course of a game, then we can see the team winning the American league again and heading into the World Series.
Milwaukee Brewers: John Axford
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The "Ax-Man" as he is called in Milwaukee has shown great determination in closing out games. His ability to control the ball during the postseason has given a securely blanket for the Brewers in the last stages of games.
In his last seven days Axford has pitched 3.0 innings and has only allowed one run with three hits. He has four strikeouts those seven days and only had problems against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 5 (where he allowed the run).
At this pace Axford is vital for the success the Brewers will have in the postseason. I expect him to continue to dominate whenever the Brewers need him and give the city of Milwaukee a trip to the World Series.