Friday, October 06, 2006

A's sweep Twins out; Tigers take 2-1 lead

Oakland finally got that playoff monkey off their backs

Boy I can really call em', huh? Let's see I had Twins taking the A's in a thrilling 5-game series, the Tigers being swept, the Padres beating the Cards in 4, and the Mets losing to the Dodgers in 5 games.
Can you say "oh-for-four?"
The Twins got swept today, the Tigers took a 2-1 series lead over the Empire, and the Pads & Dodgers are 1 day away from being swept. Can you see why I don't gamble? I might as well throw my money directly in the trash.

But I enjoy the action more because I have nothing riding on it, either monetarily or emotionally. Unfortunately for fans of the Twins, Padres, Dodgers & Stanks their teams are playing as if they feel that way as well.

Twins Swept Away by the Bay
The Oakland A's finally closed out a playoff series after being 0-9 in the past 6 seasons when trying to do so by defeating the stunned Twins, 8-3 to advance to the ALCS; it's the 1st time they've won a playoff series since 1990, and it will be their first ALCS since 1992.
That wasn't a monkey on their backs, it was freakin' King Kong.
It must have felt so good for players like 3B Eric Chavez and lefty Barry Zito, who both have been there for all the collapses, like 2000 & 2001 vs NY and 2003 vs. Boston, the series where D-Lowe gave the infamous "ride this" crotch move in the clinching game as the Sox came back from an 0-2 deficit.
What monkey, I don't see no stinkin' monkey in here!
Maybe that's because your eyes are coated in Korbel, Chavvy.

Minny was supposed to be the hotter team coming in after chasing down & passing the Tigers for the Central crown on the last day of the season and boasting the possible Cy Young winner (Johan Cy-Tana), MVP (Justin Morneau) and the AL batting champ, C Joe Mauer. But the Twins never recovered from Santana's loss in game one; with rookie phenom Francisco Liriano shelved due to arm troubles, Cy-Tana was really being counted on to win that game and probably one more if the Twins were going to advance. The penultimate knockout blow was the Torii Hunter blunder that turned into Mark Kotsay's excellent inside the park home run adventure, which changed the whole tone of the series (as plays like that will do in the short, intense 1st round.)
The knockout punch came today as the A's took it to retiring righty Brad Radke, whose shoulder is barely attached to its socket yet still went out there and gave his team a fighting chance to win. Trouble is the Twins were down 4-0 in the blink of an eye, thanks to homers by Chavez & Milton Bradley and another clutch RBI double by Marco Polo! Scutaro. By the time Hunter put the Twins on the board with a solo shot in the 4th, the game already had an air of "it's over" about it. And it turns out it was.
Think Torii will lose a little sleep this winter over his Game 2 gaffe?

So the A's will wait for the winner of the Detroit/New York series which has also taken a surprising turn in this postseason named "Jeff can't call anything right."

Tigers stun Stanks behind Rogers' gem, 6-0
Wow. That's all people around the country have to be saying right now as the Tigers just finished beating the Evil Empire, 6-0, behind Kenny The Cameraman Clubber Rogers to take a surprising 2-1 series lead. Detroit can close out the Stanks tomorrow at 4PM EST on FOX.

But it's not just the fact that the sputtering newbie Tigers are sticking it to the Multi-All Star Travelling Freak Show that is the ridiculous Stankee lineup, it's how they are doing it. Like having a 42-year-old bitter photog batterer and former Stankee, who has a horrendous track record against his former team and everyone on it, pitch 7 2/3 innings of 5 hit ball; he also struck out the dumbfounded Stankee hitters 8 times, and they had a look of "how the f*** is this guy doing this to us?!" on their normally smug mugs.

The pathetic numbers this powerhouse NY lineup is putting up are staggering in their scope: in the last 2 games they are 1-16 with runners in scoring position, have left 26 men on base, failed to move a runner over until the 7th inning tonight, and haven't scored in 14 innings, since Judas' 3-run blast in the 4th inning of Game 2. And wouldn't you know it, RSN, our boy ERod has been the epitome of all this futility: his 0-3 today left him 1-11 in the series and he hasn't driven in a run in his last 11 postseason games.

Guys, what is this thing in my glove?

The Tigers got on the board in the 2nd off of the Feeble Unit with 4 singles, 3 consecutive, mixed in with a Curtis Granderson stolen base (the more I see of this kid, the more I like him- he's now 5-11 with a 3B, 2HR, 3 R, 2 HRs & 5 RBI in these 3 games) and a fielder's choice to take a 3-0 lead. Turned out that was all The Gambler would need, as he continued to mow down the Stankee hitters like they were, well, the D-Rays.

So now New York faces a must-win situation in Game 4 tomorrow. Who would've believed that? One week ago the Tigers were sputtering to losing their Division crown to the Twins, and here they are on the verge of eliminating the team that resembles the famed Murderer's Row NY team of 1927. Smokey Jim Leyland said after the first win that maybe now people will take them seriously and view them as a real playoff team. After this performance tonight, I don't think there's a person in America who will argue with him.

This kid Granderson is the real deal- watch him play

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