Right from the beginning of the season , the Phillies were considered the favorites to win the whole shebang. And the Yankees , while their pitching was suspect , were strong contenders to make it to the World Series. What a surprise then to find that neither team has made it to the Championship round .
I was happy that the Phillies didn’t get past the Cards. Part of the reason is that I have somehow built up a dislike for all the Philly teams. As a New York Giant fan , I hate the Eagles and ,as a long-suffering Ranger supporter , I dislike the Flyers . In my mind , both those teams play dirty though that could just be my prejudice speaking .I have no such issues against the Phillies ; I just doesn’t seem right that one team could somehow have stockpiled so many top notch pitchers . It seems quite unfair. I couldn’t believe it when the Cards nipped them in a classic pitching duel between Cris Carpenter and Matt Halliday.What a terrific game and what an advertisement for baseball !! Normally . I prefer a bit more scoring ( a 3-2 score to my mind is ideal) but this was a treat to watch with moments of high drama scattered throughout the nine innings . And to think that the Cardinals were lucky to make the playoffs at all !
Even though I’m a longtime Yankee fan , I can’t say that I was particularly surprised or upset at their quick exit. What was surprising is that it was their batting , rather than their suspect pitching , that let them down. The pitchers , in fact , did all that could be asked of them. Even , A.J. Burnett , he of the fragile ego and the 82 million dollar contract , came through in the clutch and pitched six strong innings in the Yankees fourth game victory . Ivan Nova,too, pitched well in the series though he did give up two home runs early in the fifth and deciding game . Who would have thought that it would be the Yankee bats , so dominant in the first game , that would be the Yankees Achilles heel. ? Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson were great , Jeter and Posada were OK but the big guns A-Rod , Miguel Teixera and Nick Swisher didn’t come through when the game was on the line . You can’t load the bases , not once but twice , and fail to knock in runs. ( More about that in my next post). Detroit deserved to win and I wish them the best going forward.
As for who is going to make it to the World Series , the field seems wide open . Texas has won the first game but that was at home and I don’t read too much into it . Milwaukee showed a lot of fight back in the way they took the opener against St. Louis and they have had a most impressive second half of the season . I didn’t watch the Brewers at all during the regular season and am still getting familiar with their roster . If I had my ruthers I’d be happy to see St. Louis win since they put in an amazing effort just to make it into the playoffs. Next to the Yankees , the Cardinals are one of the most storied franchises in baseball and back in the sixties and seventies , when I was a NL fan , I used to root for them . Those were the days when Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton used to be their star pitchers ; Ted Simmons was the catcher and Curt Flood , Lou Brock and Joe Torre were some of the other big names . Yes , it would be nice to see the Cards hoist the World Series banner once again . It has been a long time since they did it .