Major League Baseball begins their playoffs today and for the first time in six years, I’m excited about it. The Cleveland Indians make their triumphant return to October baseball. What are they greeted by, the Evil Empire themselves, the New York Yankees. (Personally, I hate that nickname, the Evil Empire, so you won’t hear it again. It’s a compliment to them and I don’t like to dish those out.)
I like this match up for the Tribe. It will be a good, entertaining series that I’m sure will spark a lot of trashing talking between myself and fellow blogger, G- Money Graig. The series will dominate this blog space for the next week and find a way for me to somehow lose even more respect for Graig.
Cleveland is listed as the underdog despite having the home field advantage and having the better record. That’s fine. Play the underdog card. People will point to the fact that the Indians have as many wins against the Yankees this year as Mike Vick will have pet dogs for the rest of his life – zero. I don’t care about that stat. Throw it out the window like a Rex Grossman pass (wait, not like a Rexy pass because it probably wouldn’t find the window, just don’t worry about the records).
New York has a powerful offense and is incredible talented. The Indians have the best 1-2 pitching combo in the bigs. History says, good pitching beats good hitting in the postseason. The Yanks lucked out by having the series start Thursday rather than today. (which is still a horrible rule that Boston got to pick when the playoffs started and how is the Tribe-Yanks series the only one that doesn’t start today. If Cleveland loses, I’ll blame this moronic rule for it.) If the series goes five games, they’ll only face Fausto Carmona once and C.C. twice. That’s an advantage for NYY.
Other people will point to the fact that C.C. is a 1-7 with an ERA more than 7 in his career against the Yankees. But he also hasn’t faced them since 2004. C.C. is a much better pitcher now. To go that long without seeing a pitcher, especially someone who has changed his game as much as C.C. is a big advantage to the pitcher. That’s why Game 1 goes to Cleveland.
If the series is low scoring, it helps the Tribe. If it’s high scoring the advantage is in New York. It’s probably a bit of a homer pick (how can I not) but I’m taking the Tribe in 5. Everyone wins at home and C.C. comes lights out in Game 5 next Sunday.
As for the other playoff series, I’ll take the Angels over Boston, Cubs over D’Backs (just because it will give Cub fan hope the may actually make it to the World Series again only to lose in the NLCS). As for the Phillies-Rockies series, I don’t know who to take. I wish they weren’t playing each other because I want one of them to be in the World Series. I’ll take the Phillies because there’s no way the Rockies can continue to play at the pace they have been.
The only series that really matters though is the Cleveland-New York one. The way things have been going in Cleveland (surprisingly well) I think the Tribe is set for a run at a title. I wish it was game time now. Go Tribe!