Both of these first two series feels done, though it's obviously not over until the last pitch.
Cubs v. Diamondbacks:
The Diamondbacks won Game 1 (3-1 final score), and I think the Cubs' loss is being fraudulently painted as Lou Pineilla's fault (taking Carlos Zambrano out too early). The fact of the matter is, the Cubs weren't hitting. They simply weren't. It was a 1-1 ballgame with Zambrano in, and I'm not sure the bats were going to be any better with him still in the game. 9 baserunners all night. It wasn't a smart move by Lou, but it's not the reason they lost the game.
Game 2 finished while I was typing this. The Cubs actually put together the makings of a rally in the 9th against Jose Valverde, but were unable to dig themselves out of the hole starter Ted Lilly put them in. 8-4 Diamondbacks, final.
(Series: 2-0 Snakes, headed to Chicago.)
Rockies v. Phillies:
Game 1 featured a matchup of two young lefties, the widely heralded (for good reason) Cole Hamels and the less heralded Jeff Francis. Hamels wasn't bad, Francis just ended up being a little more effective. The Rockies won 4-2 on the strength of a 3-run 2nd inning. That inning started with a triple from elder statesman Todd Helton.
Game 2 (10-5 Rockies) was more of a pitcher's duel. The duel being: who can better shoot oneself in the foot. The Rockies took the lead in the 4th on a Kaz Matsui (Yes, I'm serious) GS and never gave it back, despite what I'm sure was Brian Fuentes's best attempt at doing so. Btw. Manny Corpas goes to the Kenny Rogers school of "getting your opponent to focus on something unimportant".
(Series: 2-0 Rockies, and headed to Denver.)
Yankees v. Indians:
I said (to myself) before this series that the Indians offense was going to be consistently underrated by everyone. I knew Fausto Carmona and C.C. Sabathia would get adequate discussion, and I figured the pre-Borowski part of the 'pen would get due credit. This is a team that scored 811 runs in the regular season despite how bad Josh Barfield (420 ABs, .270 OBP) and Trot Nixon (307 ABs, .336 SLG) were this season, and despite a very down year power-wise from Travis Hafner.
It will be said that Sabathia was not on his game tonight, and he wasn't. Whatever you feel about the strike zone this evening, many of the balls (that I saw) weren't close. The Indians' offense was able to pick up a shaky (though not disastrous) outing from their starter, smacking Wang around for 8 runs over 4 2/3, then tacking on 3 more against Ross Ohlendorf and 1 more against Philip Hughes. The Indians racked up 4 HRs and 4 2Bs tonight en route to a 12-3 final.
(Series: 1-0 Indians, resumes tomorrow in Cleveland)
- P.S. Anyone else think it was an interesting decision for Lebron James to wear a NYY hat to the game tonight? Nothing wrong with him being a fan of a team outside the city in another sport, but why would you wear it to the game?
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