Friday, September 21, 2012

NL Wild Card Home Stretch

Astros team of unkowns playing spoiler
in more ways than one
Baseball fans: we're heading down the home stretch and the NL Wild Card race is far from decided. Oddly enough, the Houston Astros were right in the thick of things & made their mark for better or worse among contenders in the past 7-10 days. The only team in the majors that does not field a single player making more than $1 million dollars per season was both a thorn in the side on some days and easy prey on the other days last week. Either way, they certainly played a key role in the wild card standings. Here's the review from the last 10 days...

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NL Wild Card: A Night at the Movies Edition

Top NL wild card teams are
chasing elusive W's
Really. Which team in the National League within reasonable distance wants to seize and take control of their playoff destiny? The Pirates, Cardinals, & Dodgers are stumbling and the chase pack is closing in. There are six NL teams within legitimate striking distance, and it's developing into quite a mad, mad, mad, mad world as we inch closer to October. Let's take a look back at the week that was and the week ahead Hollywood style in A Night at the Movies Edition on the CLBT...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The End of Summer: Labor Day Weekend NL Wild Card Wrap-Up


The Phillies held on to take 2 of 3
in Atlanta
Good morning, baseball fans. Hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend, as usual it was not long enough. But, the weekend did produce great baseball and more shrinkage of games between the contenders in the NL Wild Card standings. Let's go straight to the weekend that was:

  • Atlanta Braves: If Braves fans want to party with their short-term memory, they'll still be celebrating today the dramatic, walk-off bomb by Chipper Jones on Sunday night which saved them from being swept by the surging Phillies. While it was certainly an amazing comeback, it still doesn't take away the Phillies winning 2 of 3 over the weekend after Atlanta just lost 2 of 3 on the road at the hands of the San Diego Padres. Yesterday's victory over the Rockies--while being held to just 5 hits--drew only 24,848 fans at Turner Field. I don't know if the fans in Atlanta have forgotten this shot after the final play in 2011, but they're headed in the same direction as of today. The Bobby Cox years are over & the NL Wild Card race is getting tighter by the inning, this kid doesn't want to cry again.
  • Friday, August 31, 2012

    Your NL Wild Card Update

    So much has happened in the last 3 days & the top 2 teams (Braves & Cardinals) posted a combined 2-5 record this week to help keep this close. Way to seize the day, boys. Both NL wild card spots are still mathematically available, the prize is there for either of 6-7 teams to win. A new addition arrived to join the teams in contention, but not with serious possibilities. We'll hit this NL wild card update with a re-cap after my post from Tuesday morning:
    The Pirates' Pedro Alvarez lit up
    the night vs. St. Louis
    • Atlanta Braves: simply went out and dropped 2 of 3 at San Diego, losing 3-0 & 8-2. In the opener, Padres top pitching prospect Casey Kelly trotted out and threw 6 innings of shutout ball, only giving up 3 hits. A 3-run bomb by SD Catcher Yasmani Grandal decided this affair. Pitcher Tommy Hanson got banged up in 4.2 innings allowing 8 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) in the 8-2 loss.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    So, You're Telling Me There's a Chance! The 2012 Phillies

    
    2011 Cardinals
    Let's have a little fun. Hey, stranger things have happened and the next month has a small chance of producing another exciting finish in Major League Baseball. What prompted my brain to start churning & flipping on the research/forecast switch was Cliff Lee & the Phillies putting the finishing touches on a 3-game sweep of the Nationals on Sunday. We all saw the Cardinals make an improbable (see "impossible") sprint during the last month of the 2011 regular season to steal the only NL wild card spot en route to their stunning World Series championship. Even the most holy of baseball purists who thumb their noses at MLB's wild card format would be lying if they didn't say the final weeks of the 2011 regular season--with the most memorable final day of any regular season in all sports--was an incredible gift for baseball fans to enjoy. So much that MLB went ahead and approved a second wild card spot in 2012 just to make things that much more interesting. With that additional playoff berth, are the Phillies quietly building momentum to make the same type of miracle run in 2012??

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    In 2012, baseball will be relevant in D.C.

    Gio Gonzalez
    Yesterday, the Washington Nationals traded for Oakland A's pitcher, Gio Gonzalez (see stats here)giving up prospects A.J. Cole, Tom Milone, Derek Norris and Brad Peacock. Most experts believe that the A's got the better part of the deal, but CLBT says that the Nationals didn't really have a choice in pulling the trigger. After finishing under .500 and last in the division five of their seven seasons since arriving to play ball in D.C. in 2005, the Nationals put together a very respectable almost-winning season in 2011 with an 80-81 record, good for 3rd in the division.  Not bad for a team picked by many to remain living in their perennial NL East finished basement. What went lost in an insane final two weeks of the MLB 2011 season was that the Nationals went 8-2 in their last 10 games leaving fans with reason to, well...show up in 2012.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Who's Number One? Victorino vs. Rollins

    Jimmy Rollins
    As you know, I am from the Philadelphia area which can at times put you in the voice-of-reason chair when it comes to discussing locally the sport you know, you still play, you watch, and the one you have loved with a passion for your entire life. Don't take this the wrong way, I LOVE Philadelphia, the city, the history, the people, the restaurants, and I certainly love its sports fan base--of course, minus the 1% who get "tased" on the playing field or decide to throw up on a little girl and her father. Hey, I know the rules of football, how the game is played, etc., etc. However, I will never pretend to know enough about the current ongoings of the Eagles, the NFL, NCAA Football, NBA, or even Cricket simply because I don't follow these sports.