Thursday, October 05, 2006
The playoffs rolled on with the Cardinals & Padres taking the day off as planned, the Yankees and Tigers taking a rain delay, and the A’s took a 2-0 lead over the Twins.
I am utterly stunned that the Oakland A’s took both games in Minnesota and now head to the West Coast just needing to win on Friday to close out the series and advance to the ALCS. I hope the A’s do it, because I want them rested and ready to take on the Yankees when the ALCS kicks off next week. History is not exactly on the A’s side here: they blew 2-0 leads in the 2001 and 2003 ALDS (the A’s were the last two times that a team blew a 2-0 lead in the ALDS, which has only been done four times), but you sort of feel like the A’s have momentum behind them.
Frank Thomas and Nick Swisher have both been great in the series for the A’s, but the real star of the series has been the A’s pitching and defense, which allowed just four runs in the first two games. I think their strength there bodes well for their series with the Yankees.
Meanwhile, much to my chagrin, the Dodgers shot themselves in the foot and dropped Game One 6-5. The bizarre play at home plate in the fifth inning where Kent and Drew were both tagged out was a shocker and utterly killed whatever momentum the Dodgers had for this game. Without that gaffe, I am confident that the Dodgers would have won Game One of this series. That said …
Today Hong-Chih Kuo goes against Tom Glavine. Sort of a must-win for the Dodgers, as they don’t want to go to L.A. with a 2-0 deficit and need to dig themselves out of the hole. I’ve seen plenty of teams rally from 0-2 deficits in the playoffs. Specifically, it has been done four times since 1995: the Red Sox did it over the A’s in 2003 and the Indians in 1999, and the Yankees did it against the A’s in 2001. The first time a team rallied from 0-2 was in ’95 when the miracle Seattle Mariners rallied from 0-2 to upend the Yankees.