Everybody is on the Toronto bandwagon, especially the ex players and punditry on ESPN and MLB Network, but they are a team with so-so pitching outside of Price and a touchy bull pen and they depend on home runs and have few situational hitters that build rallies and manufacture runs the old-fashioned way.
In 1963 the Yankees, like Toronto, were stocked with power hitters who did know how to manufacture runs, but a great Dodger pitching staff held them to 3 runs in a 4 game sweep!
Throughout the history of the game, consistently good teams like the Yankees and St. Louis have savvy general managers with a great instinct for what their team needs, and what kind of player has the clutch gene to help them down the stretch and into the playoffs, and cull a veteran late in his career with just enough left to get them over the hump
The Yankees picked up Johnny Mize and later Enos Slaughter in their waning years and both came up huge. The gem this year might be Chase Utley of the Dodgers, who was a big time player in the Philadelphia championship run, can still field his position, battles at the plate and has enough power to change or win a game.
Look out for lefthanders, who for decades have baffled hitters from both sides of the plate--Carl Hubbell, Lefty Gomez, Whitey Ford, Mickey Lolich, Ron Guidry, and of late Andy Pettitte, Cole Hamels and Madison Bumgardner. There’s an excellent crop this year—Hamels, Kershaw, Keuchel, Lester, Kazmir, Price, Anderson…
There is constant chatter about the inexperience of rookies who’ve never been in the playoffs or World Series. Well, many of these kids have been in College World Series and pennant races and since little is expected of them, there is nothing to lose, while star players of which too much is expected often press—like Barry Bonds. The same can be said for journeyman or marginal players who’ve never won—they’ve got everything to gain and nothing to lose, which speaks to all the unheralded heroes throughout the history of the game. Denny Doyle?
During late innings in tight ball games, especially in the deciding games, even great hitters, the best in the game, will find themselves swinging too hard at hittable pitches and either missing or fouling them off, and swinging at bad pitches they wouldn’t normally bite on. The last couple innings of last year’s final World Series game, Kansas City found themselves in this situation against Bumgardner.
Teams like Texas and Houston, who nobody was picking at the beginning of the year, or now, and were not expected to win their leagues, were supposedly rebuilding, will feel less pressure than a Kansas City, who has “been there,” and Toronto, who hasn’t been there but much is expected and are to me over-rated.
It is a disgrace how many big leaguers strike out so much and don’t seem to mind, and this is especially true with Houston, who has more hard swingers than I’ve ever seen on any team and swing and miss at more balls than I’ve ever seen. I can’t think of any of their big swingers with the exception of Correa who changes his plan with 2 strikes. George Springer, who has a great swing, a great eye, a quick bat, a natural, could emerge in these games as a future star. He’s already a fine outfielder and runs the bases well but I fear he’ll hurt himself swinging so hard. (wrist tendons, oblique muscles). The reason they lead the majors in missing 90 plus heat is BECAUSE they swing too hard
These guys all swing like Reggie Jackson.
The Dodgers should win a 3 out of 5 series against the Mets with their two great starters against three inexperienced starters, and especially Harvey, who, if I was a player, would want to beat with a burning hatred. I also think the Dodgers will have a tougher time in a 7 game series with their dysfunctional lineups due to injuries. They’ve got strong, inconsistent arms in the bull pen that need to get hot. The toughest team for them to beat would have been the Pirates.
Something seems wrong with St. Louis. They might be gassed. Their starters are young and the bull pen looks tired. Maybe the lay off will help. They’re still the best fundamental team in the mix by far. They need a lot out of Matt Holiday, if he can play.
Maybe it’s time for fresh blood in the Series.
Don’t be surprised if Kansas City eventually feels a hole in their pen without last years un-hittable closer, Holland.
Houston has 4 strong starters and some whips in the pen and gazelles in the outfield and a solid infield
Hinch might be the next great manager—smart, cool and in charge without the bludgeon.
All these teams seem in competition as to who has the ugliest, most idiotic haircuts and should never take off their caps. Their mothers should know better.
ESPN, get that woman out of the booth and away from John Kruk. It just doesn’t look or sound right. She adds nothing but quotes from the clubhouse, clichés and new-age terminology involving statistics and saber-metrics and feeble commentary, knows about as much about baseball as some guy in a bar who played in high school. She is redundant, representative of over-reaching by market-obsessed stooges running the corporation. Stop swamping the game in with stats. Let the game breathe.
Women will watch the game whether there’s a dame who never played the game in the booth or not. ESPN’s plan is so obvious they should be embarrassed. Most sickening, Rick Sutcliffe, company man, supports her with gushes. Stop it!
I’m sick and tired of the Gatorade pour on the head of interviewed so-called heroes. Give it a rest. Save it for the final game for the championship, put the champagne away.
I already miss watching Mike Trout. Get him some help so we can see him for an extra 3 weeks.
Ditto Bryce Harper.
Still, watching what remains is exhilarating.
Football can wait.