The playoffs just started, and already 3 of the 4 series are dunzo.
After the crazy fashion in which the NL post-season teams were finally determined, with the Phillies not taking the NL east until the last day of the season and the wildcard not being decided until the 13th inning of a 1-game playoff between the Pads and the Rocks, the two NLDS series were decidedly anticlimactic. The D-Backs swept the Cubs
with less effort than I expend cracking open a Dr. Pepper and reading a delightful book, and while the Phillies
kept things a tad more respectable with the Rocks
they too were swept. Also taking up residence in sweepsville are the Angels
, who are clearly not the Kryptonite to the Sox that they are to the Yanks; Beckett, Dice-K, and Schizling made quick work of the Jesus-Crew.
The Yankees were thisclose
to having to join the ranks of the Phils, Halos, and Cubbies after getting clobbered by the Indians on Thursday
and by GNATS
on Friday, but they prevailed at home tonight and will live to see another day.
Unlike Thursday and Friday, the team seemed to be confident both at the plate and
at the mound tonight. A-Rod had not one but two
hits, as did Matsui, Jorgie Porgie hit one to break himself out of his own little post-season slump and Hughes looked absolutely brilliant in relief of the Rocket (who, by the way, I have to commend for pitching at all - - it seemed clear to me that he was not feeling up to it physically; I appreciate that he didn't want to let the team down but was also smart enough to step aside and let Hughes take over when it started to unravel). Damon, of course, was the true hero with his 3 hits and that 3-run smack (isn't it nice to see him hitting a homer FOR the Yanks rather than AGAINST them in October??), but Cano was a big contributer with his 3-run dub, too. In fact, the only starters that didn't join the hit party tonight were Jeter, Abreu and Giambi.
Now that the Yanks have avoided the humiliation of the sweep, we have to cross our fingers that the win tonight will prove to be enough of a boost to their morale to propel them through another 2 games. The Wangster will face off against Byrd tomorrow at 7:30pm EST, and I think that we can expect better results this time - Wang pitches much better at home
than he does away, and unlike last week the rest of the team should be able to back him up with some runs. Also intriguing will be seeing Big Stein's reaction to the win
and how Torre is treated by the boss man - more on that
mess in the morning!!