Wednesday, October 04, 2006

MLB WRAP:Playoff Day 1

A lot of familiar things happened on Day 1 of the playoff, and those things helped the A's, Cardinals ans Stankees take 1-game leads in their best-of-5 Division Series.

A's put Big Hurt on Twins, Santana
The reports of Frank Thomas' demise have been greatly exaggerated. The artist formerly known as The Big Hurt lived up to that moniker in a big way yesterday asd he smashed 2 (and nearly 3) home runs in the A's 3-2 victory over Minnesota. Santana, the likely Cy Young winner, lost his 1st game at the Metrodome all season, and Big Hurt was the big reason. Thomas smacked a solo shot in the second, quieting the raucous crowd, and the A's scored another on a 2-out double by Marco (Polo) Scutaro; Thomas nearly curled another almost identical shot around the rightfield fair pole in the 4th. After Minny's Rondell Ageless Wonder White launched a solo shot to cut it to 2-1, for some reason Gardenhire took Santana out after 8. That's when reliever Jessee Crain blew the game, allowing another solo shot to Thomas, and when Minny scratched a run in the 9th, that last bomb proved to be the game winner.
Zito took the win with a terrific performance, and now that Cy-tana has lost, the Twins will have to rely on Tampa's own Boof Bonser to draw them even today. Good luck, Boof, and just one thing- don't get Hurt.

Padres: Anybody but Albert
As I said in my playoff preview, the only way St. Louis wins this series is to wait for Alber Pujols to win each game for them. Well Phat Albert did not waste any time, as his 2-run bomb off Padre ace Jake Peavey in the 4th turned out to be all Cardinal ace Chris Carpenter would need to take Game 1 in San Diego. Pujols nearly fouled out in the lengthy at bat, but Piazza couldn't snag his popper that nicked the screen behind the plate. That second life was all Albert needed as he then took a Peavey fastball right over the plate and deposited it in the rightfield bleachers for another momentous postseason HR (he now has 11 in his brief career.) The Pads tried to claw back, but when St. Louis tacked on a couple more to go up 5-0 after 5 1/2, it was over. The Pads will now turn to Boomer Wells to even it up. Hint, Boomer: Pitch around Albert.

Jeter (5-5) shows why he's the best
See ERod, all you have to do is go 5-5, put your team on your back, and single-handedly lead the Stanks to some playoff success and you'll be a hero on the Big Apple. Jeter does it every season, and that's why he is the king and ERod is still a peasant in New York. The new Murder's Row battered Detroit starter Nate Robertson for 12 hits & 7 runs in 5 2/3, and Jeter was the main catalyst. He had 2 doubles, 2 singles & 1 HR as the Stanks unleashed an awesome lineup that saw former MVP Rodriguez batting 6th- jeez.
Judas Demon went 2-5 with 2 runs scored, mid-season acquisition Bobby Abreu went 2-5 with 4 RBI and the Stanks hit machine cranked out 14 hits in their 8-4 victory over the out-classed Tigers. Get those ciggy ready, Leyland, cause there is plenty more where that came from.

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