Today’s news is powered by a sterling scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”:
- Baseball Prospectus gives us the following postseason odds (winning percentages):
Win CS Win WS
NYY 73.3 40.6
LAA 26.7 8.3
LAD 54.9 28.4
PHI 45.1 22.7
- Still at Baseball Prospectus, Eric Seidman analyzes the Yanks/Angels match-up, and summarizes thusly:
I have picked the Yankees to win the World Series in each of my last three chats, and while I won’t be terribly surprised if the Angels pull out a series win and advance to the grandest of stages, I fear their starting pitching will not be able to quiet the powerful Yankee bats. This will lead to Scioscia having to alter his intended usage of the bullpen, off of whom the Yankees are more than likely to feast. The Angels aren’t going to go quietly, but I do not see this series lasting longer than five games, with the Yankees advancing to the World Series. Winning four of five games does not imply any sort of dominance as each could be within one run, but the areas in which the Yankees hold advantages outweigh those of the Angels.
- Step-sliding away . . . :
CC Sabathia has never had a tremendous pickoff move, which is why he listened closely when former Indians teammate Terry Mulholland took him aside years ago and began explaining the virtues of the slide step.
“He just talked to me about the importance of shutting down the running game,” Sabathia said. “He kind of taught me the slide step. It’s been great for me in my career.”
And it may be crucial come Friday. Since the Yankees realized that they were destined for a date with the Angels in the American League Championship Series, they have been peppered with questions regarding the Halos’ running game. To summarize briefly, Mike Scioscia’s club proved lethal on the basepaths this season, ranking third in the Majors with 148 stolen bases. But it was a double-edged sword: the Angels were also caught stealing a league-high 63 times.
. . . “The slide step is something that’s helped me out a lot lately in my career,” Sabathia said. “But it’s tough when you have [Chone] Figgins over there and he’s jumping around, and [Erick] Aybar and those guys — it’s tough. It’s easy to make a bad pitch or hang a pitch to one of the guys in the middle of the lineup.”
- Tyler Kepner offers a preview of the series.
- The permutations for scheduling the series given the possibilities of rain.
- On this date in 1936, Lou Gehrig, who hit .354 with 49 home runs, 167 runs, and 152 RBI, is voted American League MVP.
- On this date in 1962, with the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants hit a hard line drive at second baseman Bobby Richardson for the final out and the New York Yankees won Game Seven, 1 – 0, for their 20th World Series title.
- On this date in 2003, the Yankees capture their 39th American League pennant beating the Red Sox, 6-5, thanks to Aaron Boone’s 11th inning home run off Tim Wakefield at Yankee Stadium. Boone becomes the fifth player to end a post-season series with a homer joining Bill Mazeroski (1960 WS), Chris Chambliss (1976 ALCS), Joe Carter (1993 WS) and Todd Pratt (1999 NLDS).
See you Monday!