Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-10-3

10/3/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Top of the 1st
AN A-TO-Z GUIDE TO THE PLAYOFFS
Just partial proof that I know my alphabet –
A – A-Rod – He is baseball’s player of the year and he will not disappoint this post-season. I say he continues to beat the Indians and the Red Sox with his bat and then, announces he’s staying with the Yankees.
B – Beckett – He’s the best starter in the postseason; no Joshing. He’s baseball’s only 20-game in the last two seasons. He faces the great John Lackey in Game 1. Odd fact – the Angels have lost the first game in five consecutive post-season series and I think they will lose this one as well.
C – C.C. Sabathia – C.C. tied for second in the majors with 19 wins, was fifth in the AL with a 3.21 ERA and led the majors with 241 innings pitched. He throws three pitches: fastball, slider and change-up and the Yankees will wait for him to throw the ball up in the zone. Want to win a drink? C.C. is short for Carsten Charles
D – Dustin Pedroia is the rookie that everyone is talking about in Boston. I call Dice-K’s initial season “D for disappointing.” Pedroia does it all…like a veteran.
E – Eric Byrnes – Eric is one of my favorite players. His energy lit up the D-Backs this season. He hit .286 with 21 home runs and 83 RBI. He also stole 50 bases. He can change the tenor of a game by himself.
F – Fielding – Colorado led the majors with .989 fielding percentage. The Red Sox and Phillies were fourth and fifth respectively at .986. The Yankees were eighth at .985. The Indians were 11th at .985 and the Cubs 12th at .984. The Angels were 19th at .983 and the Diamondbacks were 21st at .983. Fielding always plays a role in the post-season, Just ask Detroit’s pitchers in the Series last year.
G – Garrett Anderson – Garrett is not as productive as he was when he was younger, but .297 batting average, 16 home runs and 80 RBI are still pretty good stats and if he gets hot he can really hurt you. He probably won’t.
H – Holliday and Howard -Matt Holliday and Ryan Howard in the bandbox known as Citizens Bank Park in Philly (the Phillies led the majors with 125 home runs allowed at home) and the rarified air at Coor’s Field, the pitchers will say “Hell!” or maybe “Helton!” Citizens Bank Park is a cozy joint that tortures pitchers.
I – Indians – Forget the fact that the Tribe were 0-6 against the Yankees during the regular season, it’s the post-season and everybody is 0-0. After the two aces on the mound, this is a team of comprised of very good players with Grady Sizemore the closest to a superstar. Victor Martinez may prove to be the key bat for this team
J – Joba the Heat – Joba Chamberlain throws close to 100 mph, but what makes a force to be reckoned with already is a nasty, no really nasty slider, that has batters missing by a foot or more.
K – K-Rod – Remember how Francisco Rodriguez became the first pitcher in baseball history to win two post-season games without owning a regular season victory? Well, he better remember as well. The Angels can’t afford any slips from him. None.
L – Lou Piniella. Okay, it helped that the Cubs spent all that money to improve their team, but don’t minimize Pinilla’s ability to poke, poke, poke his team to victory. We are loaded with great managers this post-season: Joe Torre, Terry Francona, Charlie Manuel, Clint Hurdle, Eric Wedge, Mike Scioscia and Bob Melvin. Look for a key game in the 9th inning and watch for Diamondbacks bench coach Kirk Gibson around the bat rack.
M – MVP – After the season that Jimmy Rollins put together for the Phillies, there should be no questioning who the NL MVP is this year. But can he do it in the post-season too? Sure, why not?
N – New York, New York – Sorry, only one New York – the other one choked on a big apple. In some ways the Yankees are a Cinderella team because in May things looked really ugly. Wicked step-mother ugly. The Yankees had a losing record as late as July 5 but have the best record in the majors since at 51-25.
O -Owings – The fact that Micah Owings went 8-8 for the D-Backs this year on the mound doesn’t make him the “O” over Okajima. He get’s noticed because on August 18, he threw seven innings and went 4 for 5 with two home runs and six RBIs to beat the Braves. It wasn’t a fluke either, he finished the season with a .333 average 4 homers and 15 RBI.
P – Pitching – It’s the name of the game and the Indians have the best 1-2 punch in the post-season in C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona. If one fails, the Yankees win in four. If both fail, they sweep. It’s really that simple.
Q – Q-Score – Q Scores are an industry standard for measuring familiarity and appeal of performers, characters, sports and sports personalities, broadcast and cable programs as well as company and brand names. For example, if you think DH, the name that comes to mind as your favorite is David Ortiz.
R – Rockies – the Rockies must be tired from Game 163. Good tired. If the Phillies think that they were hot finishing the season 13-4 to win the National League East title they will find that the Rockies went 14-1 to become the league’s wild-card. You may be mystified as to how the Diamondbacks got here, but these Rockies are the real deal.
S – Sweet Caroline – If the networks are smart they stay at Fenway in the 8th as the fans sing along with Neil Diamond. This is one of the great baseball rituals and fans all over the country will wish their ballparks had a tradition like this.
T – Troy Tulowitzki looks like the next really exciting shortstop on the horizon. You know he was involved with two triple plays this season. One he pulled it off unassisted, the other he was a runner on first base.
U – Ubaldo Jimenez – Ubaldo? Me too! Jimenez is a rookie with a 100 mph fastball. Not me. Saturday, with the season on the line for the Rockies, he struck out 10 and allowing just one run in 6 1/3 innings against Arizona. I was Chance the Gardner, I watched.
V – Vladimir Guerrero – The greatest Russian to ever play the game. He’s not Russian? Okay, maybe he’s just one of baseball’s premier hitters. He is the best bad ball hitter I’ve ever seen. One of these days he’ll double on an intentional walk.
W – Wrigley Field – Let’s hope those Cubbies last long enough that we can see the ivy change colors this autumn.
X – X-Factor – Which team has it? Going into the playoffs I would say the Phillies, but as you well know, karma can be gone in an instant.
Y – Yoouk, Yoouk – If you are watching a Red Sox game for the first time, the fans aren’t booing Kevin Youkilis they are Yoouking him. Not always the same with J.D. Drew.
Z – Zambrano. Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano can be great or sloppy. Facing Brandon Webb, he needs to be more the former than the latter. In his past five starts, Zambrano is 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA. He has not allowed a run in 13 innings. But in his starts prior to that, he walked seven against the Mets, gave up seven runs to Houston, six more to Cincinnati and then he allowed eight runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Dodgers. Dr. Jekyll meet Mr. Hyde.

Top of the 2nd

2007 MLB POSTSEASON SCHEDULE

A M E R I C A N L E A G U E
N A T I O N A L L E A G U E

Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 NYY @ CLE Thu Oct. 4 6:30 pm TBS
Gm 2 NYY @ CLE Fri Oct. 5 5 pm TBS
Gm 3 CLE @ NYY Sun Oct. 7 6:30 pm TBS
Gm 4* CLE @ NYY Mon Oct. 8 6 pm TBS
Gm 5* NYY @ CLE Wed Oct. 10 5 pm TBS
* – if necessary

Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 CHC @ ARI Wed Oct. 3 10 pm TBS
Gm 2 CHC @ ARI Thu Oct. 4 10 pm TBS
Gm 3 ARI @ CHC Sat Oct. 6 6 pm TBS
Gm 4* ARI @ CHC Sun Oct. 7 1 pm TNT
Gm 5* CHC @ ARI Tue Oct. 9 10 pm TBS
* – if necessary

Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 LAA @ BOS Wed Oct. 3 6:30 pm TBS
Gm 2 LAA @ BOS Fri Oct. 5 8:30 pm TBS
Gm 3 BOS @ LAA Sun Oct. 7 3 pm TBS
Gm 4* BOS @ LAA Mon Oct. 8 9:30 pm TBS
Gm 5* LAA @ BOS Wed Oct. 10 8:30 pm TBS
* – if necessary

Game Matchup Day Date Time ET TV
Gm 1 COL @ PHI Wed Oct. 3 3 pm TBS
Gm 2 COL @ PHI Thu Oct. 4 3 pm TBS
Gm 3 PHI @ COL Sat Oct. 6 9:30 pm TBS
Gm 4* PHI @ COL Sun Oct. 7 10 pm TBS
Gm 5* COL @ PHI Tue Oct. 9 6:30 pm TBS
* – if necessary

Series Date Network
NLCS Game 1 Thurs., Oct. 11 TBS
NLCS Game 2 Fri., Oct. 12 TBS
ALCS Game 1 Fri., Oct. 12 FOX
ALCS Game 2 Sat., Oct. 13 FOX
NLCS Game 3 Sun., Oct. 14 TBS
ALCS Game 3 Mon., Oct. 15 FOX
NLCS Game 4 Mon., Oct. 15 TBS
ALCS Game 4 Tues., Oct. 16 FOX
NLCS Game 5 Wed., Oct. 17 TBS
ALCS Game 5 Thurs., Oct. 18 FOX
NLCS Game 6 Fri., Oct. 19 TBS
ALCS Game 6 Sat., Oct. 20 FOX
NLCS Game 7 Sat., Oct. 20 TBS
ALCS Game 7 Sun., Oct. 21 FOX

Series Date Network
WS Game 1 (AL host) Wed., Oct. 24 FOX
WS Game 2 (AL host) Thurs., Oct. 25 FOX
WS Game 3 (NL host) Sat., Oct. 27 FOX
WS Game 4 (NL host) Sun., Oct. 28 FOX
WS Game 5 (NL host) Mon., Oct. 29 FOX
WS Game 6 (AL host) Wed., Oct. 31 FOX
WS Game 7 (AL host) Thurs., Nov. 1 FOX

Top of the 3rd
BILLY-BALL’S-PICKS
* Red Sox in five
* Yankees in five
* Phillies in four
* Cubs in four

Top of the 4th
19 TO 21
No, that’s not the number of years Phillies fans have waited for this, it’s,
Baseball… Then and Now

Its John Shiffert’s latest and its right here: http://billy-ball.com/19to21.htm

Top of the 5th
COMEBACKERS
Carlos Pe