Sunday, March 23, 2008

League Championship Series

Both of the American League DCS match ups went to game five. The Hokies were the first team in the series to capitalize on their home field after each team split two road victories. However dramatic that series was, the one in Syracuse was even more exciting. Las Vegas was down by two runs in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. J. Sugawara entered the game needing only one out. Instead, he loaded the bases. R. Morales followed that up by walking in the tying run. M. Hayes then continued the disaster by walking in the go-ahead run and giving up a two-RBI single. Syracuse fans were stunned. So was the world.

ALCS: New York v. Las Vegas
Season series: New York 7-3
Playoffs BA: New York - .266 Las Vegas - .271
Playoffs ERA: New York - 3.80 Las Vegas - 3.86

New York and Las Vegas look to carry the excitement from the previous series over to the championship. The New York rotation has the advantage of having thrown a lot less than Las Vegas's 3 starters (61 innings between the three). While the Viagras have different role players, the Hokies have their hitting prowess spread out throughout their lineup (8 different hitters with a home run). Post-season numbers for both teams are essentially identical. Does this mean another long series?

Prediction: Las Vegas is riding in as the only wildcard left in the post-season. With the way they are playing, anything can happen. However, they're going up a very good New York team that could outlast them over an extended series. Especially with the amount of time already logged for Las Vegas, fatigue should be a factor. Taking two giants in a row is a hard task but if they do, they are definitely worthy of a World Series appearance. How far can heart and adrenaline go? Six games worth. New York wins the American League

The National League is the yin to the American League's yang. The NL's top seeds were dominant during the DCS with a sweep and a four-game series that saw the opponent score only nine runs. The San Francisco Gothams and the New York Highlanders look to do battle in what should be a grinding, low-scoring series.

New York v. San Francisco
Season series: New York 6-4
Playoffs Team BA: New York - .285 San Francisco - .294
Playoffs Team ERA: San Francisco - 3.67 New York - 2.31

Both teams may show up being a little rusty. With the bye and then a short series, each team is trying to keep up the intensity at practice. It's been a long and successful season for both ball clubs and each one would hate to see their season slip away. Denny Young for New York and Donaldo Lunar for the Gothams look to steal at least two wins. However, each pitching staff does not solely depend on them as Jamie Itou and Larry Farrell have had under 3.5 ERA seasons and New York's Harold Drew and Franciscio Feliz have cranked up the heat in their post-season appearances. It'll be interesting to see how the pitching matchups workout and whether or not one team will have to use their ace more than twice.

Prediction: The Highlanders are a really good team. They pitch well, hit well, and win ball games. However, going up against a Cy Young candidate twice equals nearly certain exit. Especially with the rotation's supporting cast. The only way for New York to win is to take out Lunar early and remove his impact on the series. Problem is - Lunar is really really good. San Francisco in 6 games

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