Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Something to chew on that you will undoubtedly hear a dozen times over the next two days.
On July 24, C.C. Sabathia gave up one run in seven innings, falling 1-0 to Dice-K and the Red Sox.
On July 25, Fausto Carmona gave up only four singles in eight shutout innings, beating Josh Beckett and the Red Sox 1-0.
The Indians have the best one-two starting pitching combo in the league, and Westbrook can be pretty damn good at times. That will hopefully be the difference in the series. That, and whether the Indians "had a down year" stars (Hafner and Sizemore) and "stop swinging at crap" players (Peralta and Garko) can continue the Indians recent trend of actually scoring runs.

It's been so long, I forgot how great playoff baseball can be. Every half inning, every pitch, so tense. Especially in person. Although the game 1 ass-whipping that I witnessed in the flesh did not have the tension of game 2, it was still pretty amazing. Too bad I had to watch the extra innings of game 2 with 20,000, errrrr, 5,000 Maroon 5 fans at The Q.
Like Bill Livingston said, starters on 3 days rest are 29-52 since 1995 in the postseason. I supported Wedge's move, thinking that a rested Byrd might just be more effective than a tired Sabathia Wednesday. He certainly wasn't "amazing", with all the baserunners. But he was gutsy, and he epitomizes the Indians this year. You can tell by the "Got Pronk?" shirt that he wore after the Indians clinched the division. These guys all love each other.

Some of you are familiar with Bill James' (who works for the Red Sox now) Pythagorean theorem, which uncannily can predict a team's record based on runs given up and runs scored against. (Surprisingly, "runs scored" is a better prediction than the idiotic way teams' offenses are measured...batting average.) Last year, the Indians won 12 games less than they should have. An amazing anomaly, suggesting a underperforming team (or more likely, a fluke.) This year the formula had them winning 92 games, 4 less than actual, suggesting that maybe they weren't quite as good as their record. The Red Sox, on the other hand, underperformed by 7 games.

Can the national media, and by this I mean ESPN, please give the Yankees story a break? I don't care if Torre comes back or not, I don't care if Posada, Rivera, Pettite come back. I don't care if Scott Boras makes the case that A-Rod is worth a half-billion to a billion dollars to a team's regional sports network as he chases both Hank Aaron Barry Bonds and Pete Rose. Why don't we start talking about the teams that actually win a postseason series this year?

And by that I mean other than the Rockies. Of course, winning 17 out of 18 games including a 163rd game where your MVP candidate scored the winning run while sliding 15 feet on his face is a pretty good story. I, for one, would like to see C.C. batting in Coors Field. Thin air + 300 lb. batter = bye bye.