Daily Breakdowns – Playoffs

Morning everyone. If you’re like me, then you woke up today to the amazement of four total playoff games today in the baseball world. Unfortunately, the first game will only be aired on MLB Network so sorry to the working folk, but it’s for the greater good we swear!

Without further ado, here’s the Daily Breakdowns:

Cardinals at Nationals:

This is beginning to remind of the 2001 ALCS. Then the Mariners were coming off an AL-Record 115 wins against the three time defending champions Yankees. The Yankees steamed through with Clemens/Mussina/Pettitte pitching in four of the five games.

Now we come to the Nationals who have not been in the spotlight for their league leading 98 wins. They however are in everyone’s mind because on September 3rd, they shut down ace Stephen Strasburg for the year. While we give points to the organization for maintaining player career health, we give slops for not properly evaluating the team in the offseason.

So the next three games are in Washington, to the tune of Carpenter/Lohse/Wainwright vs Jackson/Detweiler/Gonzalez. This afternoon we have Carpenter vs Jackson in a reunion of the 2011 championship team. Jackson was, to put this bluntly, more of a help for the opposing team during the postseason last year. He’s only 28 and it feels like he’s played for every team (only 7) in baseball. His stuff is great, but he lacks control or focus and it leads to a high walk rate. (3.5 BB/9 career, 3.0 the last two seasons)

Carpenter on the other hand is the seasoned vet, the competitor. What he lacks in velocity since return from injury he makes up for in moxie. Look for the Cardinals to breeze through today to the tune of a 8-2 victory, barring Mike Mattheny thinking he can actually manage a game.

Giants at Reds at 4:07 pm:

Well guys, you’ll be able to watch this one on TBS or TNT, so check your cable provider. The matchup is Barry Zito vs TBD. I don’t know if you’ve seen TBD’s stats this year, but they are stellar. He’s really been shutting down the opposition and without recourse either.

Okay, so this is because Cueto was injured in game two and Mike Latos came in and pitched for an extended amount of time. I think the Reds will start Latos with a short leash (4IP or 75 pitches) and jump right to the bullpen hoping to move on to the LCS. Thankfully, Bailey pitched well yesterday and most of the bullpen should be fresh despite the extra inning affair.

That said, the Reds probably have the pitching advantage as the Giants are starting Barry Zito and they’re really hoping he’s less bad than Lincecum. Also, their pen has been used constantly this series, but adrenaline may carry those sore arms another day as their in win or go home mode.

Look for Rolen to start the game, but get pulled around the sixth inning for Todd Frazier. Really sad considering his HOF reknowned defense. Look for the Reds to win this easily 6-1.

Orioles at Yankees 7:37 pm:

So, the Yankees are heavily favored (-175 moneyline) for absolutely no reason. The Orioles have proven all year they are the Yankees equal, and tonight won’t be any different. Buck has these boys enjoying baseball again, and they’ve shown it with their play on the field. Well, Mark Reynolds has shown it by hammering every Yankee fastball out of the stadium, but I don’t think Buck will complain.

The Yankees on the other hand have a misguided moxie. They were built to win championships in 2001 not 2012. Alex Rodriguez is on the tailend of his career, but to the Yankees’ chagrin not on the tailend of his contract. He’s 37 and because Derek Jeter has hogged his elixir of youth, playing like it. Ichiro another hall-of-famer, is relugated to platoon shifts nowadays. The Yankees won game one because CC pitched, and maybe they thought they were the better team because of it.

The Orioles aren’t going to roll over, they’re not going to play dead, and they’re going to win. Mark Reynolds blasts two into the bleachers tonight, and the headlines will be calling for CC to start game four. Orioles win 9-5.

Detroit at Oakland 9:37pm:

So if you took off in Oakland today, you’re starting with baseball at 10am all they way til the end of this game, which is pretty cool. This games actually going to be pretty cool because I doubt Max Scherzer, and it’s not because he’s pitching poorly. Max Scherzer does three things when he’s pitching: Strikeout people, walk people, give up homeruns. Do you know what the A’s hitters like to do? Strikeout, walk and hit homeruns! Ladies and gentlemen we’ve got a match made in heaven!

Some of you woke up to the slogan “That’s Bretter” as the A’s won last night, and were probably thinking okay they got one, good for Billy Beane and his there Moneyball. But they’re going to need some sort of mythical creature to win a second game. Well, the A’s are starting A.J. Griffin so, I guess that counts?

Aside from the Rangers game, he’s pitched well all year, and if he can keep the flyballs in the park (rather easy to do in Oakland) he should give the A’s a chance at game five. Look for Prince Fielder to finally hit a ball in Oakland that touches the grass (did you see his face last night? He’s never looked that mad, not even when the all you can eat buffet was closed.) and Cabrera to try to earn MVP votes despite all ballots being casted already.

We see this one breaking Oakland’s way as Scherzer leaves one too many over the plate tonight. Look for a score of 5-3 And for CoCo to get the triple dip. (HR, SB, diving catch robbing extra bases.)

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