BY CLAYTON RICHER – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Now that the League Championship series are in full swing, I figured it would be a good time to recap the playoffs that have been to date. The Divisional series provided almost everything one could hope for from late game heroics to unlikely heroes to fill your baseball appetite.
The Reds, Orioles, Athletics and Nationals were all sent packing pondering what could have been.
The defending champion Cardinals pulled off the upset of the century in game five after giving up an early six spot to the former Expos. The likes of Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso provided all the late game drama working out of the 7th and 8th spot of the lineup for the Cardinals. The shell-shocked Nationals saw the series and their season slip from their grasp.
The Yankees rode the lumber of the ageless wonder Raul Ibanez to a series win over the upstart Baltimore Orioles. In an unlikely turn of events Orioles, closer Jim Johnson imploded in two outings during the series costing Baltimore dearly. The Yankees experience paid off along with timely hitting for the series win.
The Detroit Tigers jumped on the back of their horse Justin Verlander in defeating the Moneyball Athletics. Verlander was filthy in game one and absolutely disgusting in game five, fanning 22 Athletics in 16 innings all the while only surrendering one run. The Tigers will be tough to beat with that kind of production from the “Big V”.
Other Playoff Ramblings:
National’s phenom Bryce Harper struggled for much of the playoffs but did have a breakout game in game five becoming the youngest player in MLB history to record a playoff triple. Harper also smashed his first playoff home run in the game in a losing effort.
Detroit Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque angered the Athletics faithful with a flamboyant display of kissing the baseball before tossing it to first base to end an inning. Probably a good thing pitchers don’t bat in the AL because I have a feeling the kissing bandit would have gotten up close and personal with the leather again this time courtesy of the A’s.
In Game 3 of the Yankees/Orioles series and the Yankees down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, manager Joe Girardi pinch hits for Alex Rodriguez with the game on the line. Raul Ibanez steps up and hits a 1-0 offering from Jim Johnson into the right field seats to tie the game. Not to be outdone Ibanez then steps up in the 12th inning and repeats the feat for the series changing walk off win.
Canadian Playoff Content:
Joey Votto hit .389 with seven hits in 18 at-bats, but zero home runs and zero RBI for the Reds.
George Kottaras hit .000 with zero hits in four at-bats for the Athletics.
Russell Martin hit .176 with three hits in 17 at-bats, with one home run and one RBI for Yankees.
It was one of the most exciting and heart stopping divisional rounds I can remember, so fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride the rest of the way.
Clayton Richer is a baseball writer for Baseball Hot Corner, his interviews and blogs can be found daily at www.baseballhotcorner.com as well you can also follow him on twitter MLBHotCorner
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