This year’s baseball playoffs have been pretty intense. Besides the fact that the series’ haven’t been close in terms of game-count, the actual games themselves have been extremely close, with ten out of twenty-one games played so far being decided in the ninth inning or in extra innings. The games have been hard-fought and grueling; the most entertaining type of baseball. Last night’s two games were no different.
First, in the afternoon, the New York Yankees played the Los Angeles Angels in game three of the American League Championship Series. After 6.1 tough innings of three-run baseball, the Yankees decided to swap him out for the recently re-bullpenned Joba Chamberlain. Not the best move. Joba gave up the tying run and re-started the Yankees bullpen musical chairs that has, so far, been effective for them. The Yankees used seven relievers yesterday, but it wasn’t enough to stop the inspired Angels, who, after coming from behind, figured out a way to keep the intensity up until the right moment: When backup catcher Jeff Mathis smacked a two-out double in the bottom of the eleventh inning for the win. The series is now 2-1 Yankees, with game 4 happening tonight at 8 PM (EST) in Anaheim, with CC Sabathia, making his second start this round, facing off against Scott Kazmir.
The late game yesterday featured game 4 of the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the defending World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Both starting pitchers–Randy Wolf for the Dodgers, Joe Blanton for the Phils–were somewhat effective, both leaving the game in the sixth inning (Blanton gave up four runs, Wolf three). Both bullpens were lights out for the remainder of the game, letting up a combined three hits through the seventh, eight, and ninth innings. However, it is in the ninth where the Phillies found playoff magic. With two out and two men on base in the bottom of the ninth, former league MVP Shortstop Jimmy Rollins smacked a double off fireballer Jonathon Broxton to tie and then win the game for the Phils.
This is what playoff baseball is all about. Good pitching, timely hitting, and, most of all, luck. As much as it pains me to say it (I’m a die hard Mets fan / Yankees hater / Phillies hater), its looking like we’re gonna see the Yanks and Phils play each other in the World Series this year.