MLB Playoffs Momentum Meter: Cincinnati Owns The Bay AreaBaseball, The Cheap Seats — By Matt Whitener on October 9, 2012 at 9:43 am
The newly-minted Wild Card round was exactly what it was advertised be, wild..er than anything seen in before in baseball: a virtuoso one-game Game Seven. And from the intro day to the MLB playoffs, there are two things to draw from last Friday’s baseball:
#1) there is a clear misunderstanding about the infield fly rule, from all sides. And…
#2) it was the launching point for two underdogs into the playoff scene, full-speed.
After Friday’s events, it’s time to say farewell to the Texas Rangers, who move into an unknown cloud of an offseason that could see as much change as they have witnessed in years. It’s also time to say goodbye to the Atlanta Braves, who had a rowdy and controversial close to their year, as well as the career of Chipper Jones.
And now that smoke has settled and the familiar Divisional Round is underway, things still are far from the same as before. With this season’s underdog’s hosting the first two games of the series before heading off to play three games at the home of the higher seed, there’s a mountain of a task in front of every underdog in the middle of this week.
With that being stated, this week’s momentum meter finds the Grim Reaper throwing out a few first pitches, potentially as soon as tomorrow. Each series finds its halfway point in very different places, but there are two cities that may be tuning in for the last time come Tuesday. So with weight of the last seven months lying on their chests, is the line for the World Series TSFJ’s MLB Playoff Momentum Meter about to get even closer to one in, one out status?
Let’s see where the chips are stacked heading into the third (potential) double elimination day within the last week.
- Cincinnati Reds: Cincy is playing like they aren’t in the Playoffs so far…because they are treating the Giants like the Astros or Cubs so far. In the process of winning the first two games of their series in San Francisco, they’re ahead 14-2 so far and haven’t played an inning yet in their own park. (Ed’s note: I’ve been told by Cincinnatians to remind all Bay Area residents that the Reds also swept the A’s 22 years ago. I’m just the messenger.)
- Detroit Tigers: The advantage of having Justin Verlander is real; he makes road games like home ones. And now headed to the road with a two-game head start, if everything goes wrong, they can unleash him again in Game Five. Kinda sucks when that’s what you’ve got to look forward to.
- St. Louis Cardinals: The Champs rebounded from letting Game One slip away at the last second to issuing a 13-hit, four home run molly-whopping to tie the series up headed to Washington…where they have Chris Carpenter, Kyle Lohse and Adam Wainwright to deploy.
- New York Yankees: There’s something different about Yankee Stadium in October, and now, they have three games at the home of many of the greatest Baseball Gods to try to keep their late surge alive.
- Washington Nationals: The Nats emerged from a hostile St. Louis with the series knotted up, but the bats that have carried them as a unit will have to wake up together to keep the long awaited return of DC October baseball alive for more than a quick stop.
- Baltimore Orioles: It’s been a great run, and the odds never seem too high for them to overcome. Winning on Monday night was a must, but do their Yankee Killers in Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis have enough left in the clip to keep the impossible run moving?
- San Francisco Giants: The Giant bats have been lured to sleep, low lighting with a two-hit shutout loss in Game Two at home. Now they have to hope that they can withstand the built-in offensive onslaught Great American Ballpark brings; definitely not good for a team built around limiting runs, not producing them.
- Oakland A’s: The A’s run to the postseason was unforgettable, but after two tough hard-fought, close losses at home, do they have the juice left to take out the Tigers at home, especially with an inevitable rematch with Verlander awaiting at the end?