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Looking ahead to a full slate of division series action today

Oct 10, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT

Mike Matheny

Four games, two possible eliminations. Let’s see what the playoffs have in store for us today:

Cardinals vs. Nationals, 1:07 PM, MLB Network

The Nats and Cards split in St. Louis and now play a best of three in Washington, which will host its first playoff game since 1933.  The back-from-the-dead Chris Carpenter faces off against Edwin Jackson, whose last posteason win came in the 2011 NLDS for the Cardinals. The Cards offense exploded in Game 2, and Jackson needs to stop them or else the “why did they shut down Stephen Strasburg?” chorus will grow even louder.

Giants vs. Reds, 4:07 PM, TBS

An extra innings win last night was nice, but the Giants still have their backs up against the wall, facing elimination. They are also facing an offensive drought, having scored a mere four runs in three games while hitting .126. Barry Zito takes the hill for San Francisco. And if anyone says they would have predicted that he, rather than Tim Lincecum, would be the go-to guy in an elimination game, they’re lying like a cheap rug. With Johnny Cueto out, the identity of the Reds starter is still up in the air. It could be Mike Leake or Mat Latos.

Orioles vs. Yankees, 7:37 PM, TBS

This one has the feel of a series that is going to go all five, with each team beating the other’s brains out. The Yankees have the presumed pitching advantage here, with Hiroki Kuroda — perhaps their most reliable starter all year — facing off against Miguel Gonzalez. Of course, thanks to the New York media narrative, all eyes will be on and most announcer words will be about Alex Rodriguez, who has struggled mightily of late. Never mind that the entire team has struggled to some degree — Rodriguez didn’t strand all ten of those baserunners himself on Monday night — but that’s how it is when A-Rod is involved.

Tigers vs. Athletics, 9:37 PM, TBS

Speaking of cold bats, the Tigers have them now, as the A’s pitchers carved them up last night, cutting Detroit’s series lead to 2-1. A.J. Griffin will take the ball in the do-or-die game for Oakland. The very-banged-up-but-now-allegedly-healthy Max Scherzer goes for the Tigers. If he is on, the A’s may be in trouble. Scherzer’s second half performance was the stuff of aces. The last time we saw Griffin pitch, he was digging a hole for his teammates in game 162 against the Rangers.  If he does that again, he can’t count on being bailed out like he was last time. The rookie has pitched a lot more innings this year than he expected to, and he may be running out of gas.

Get your snacks ready and watch baseball all day long. I doubt your spouse or your boss will mind one bit. Tell them I said it’s cool.

  1. jeffperk - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    Now Orioles/ Yankees will go to all 5? Weren’t you the 1 who predicted Yankees would sweep, giving Orioles no respect? Look @ Gonzalez’s #’s in NY vs. Yankees this year, 2-0 w/ 2.50 ERA. Also look @ Orioles record in NY in each 3 game series. 6-3 winning 2 of 3 in each series. GO ORIOLES, #BUCKLEUP

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      No, I was not. But even if I was, it would be a bit silly to stick with a sweep prediction after the series is already tied 1-1, no?

      • jeffperk - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        Craig, I am sorry for saying you were the one who said that & you are correct. As far as no respect taking personal offense, because the Orioles have received no respect all year but yet have proven they deserve it. I’m sure for all their bravado, Yankee fans are not happy the series is tied 1-1 & back in the Bronx. Make all the excuses you want why the record is what it was in NY this year, but this team is not the Orioles of the last 14 years.

    • nategearhart - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      There’s a huge (huge) [HUGE!] difference between predicting a team will get swept and “giving no respect”. Why do so many people take personal offense to a prediction of how a sporting event is going to turn out?

    • mrjavascript - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      It was Drew Silva who predicted the sweep:

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/07/alds-preview-orioles-vs-yankees/

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Luck for the Yankees Nova and Garcia will be starting zero of the next three games, since those are the guys who lost four of the 6 you are referring to. This is why regular season results are poor indicators of postseason success. The Yankees were also without either Arod, Teixeira or both for those games.

      Rodney Dangerfield called; he wants his schtick back.

      • duckaround - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        And Tommy Hunter, Jake Arrieta and Brian Matusz won’t be starting any games for the Orioles, so it works both ways.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 10, 2012 at 4:00 PM

        Right, so stop quoting regular season stats because they are irrelevant.

  2. emeraldcityfan - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    Come on Craig!
    A-Rod is the highest paid player in the game and has a history of crapping the bed in the postseason. Of course the New York media is going to make him own it.

    • nategearhart - Oct 10, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      Too bad A-Rod’s postseason stats are actually pretty awesome. But no sense in messing with the narrative.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Except when he basically carried the team to a world series in 2009. Yeah, except for that, he is no good. Except that he is pretty good. But really, he’s no good because he’s ARod. Steroids. “Ha!” Madonna.

      Ugh. Can we please eliminate the Os in the next 2 days so we don’t have to hear this junk anymore?

      • Jeremy T - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        Why would eliminating the O’s end the A-Rod garbage? People are going to talk about A-Rod until either he has some kind of crazy 4-HR game or the Yankees are eliminated. And even then it’d probably keep on going, just more quietly in the background.

  3. El Bravo - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Leave ARod alone?

  4. mungman69 - Oct 10, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Aw, pick on A-rod all you want. The Yanks can win without him and probably will have to. In division series before this year he is batting .256 with 5 HR in 133 AB. Not the stats of stars.

  5. emeraldcityfan - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    Sabathia and nategearhart:
    If you take out A-Rod’s 2004 and 2009 postseasons he has a grand total of 1hr and 17hits. Yeah totally worthy of the highest paid player in the game.

    • sandwiches4ever - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Also, if you take out all the at-bats that he got hits, his batting average is .000! What a bum!

    • Jeremy T - Oct 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Well yeah, if you cherry pick only his worst performances, of course his numbers won’t look good… He’s definitely had a bad series here and there, but 5 or 7 games will never be enough to get an accurate look at a player’s skill level, and as a whole his numbers are basically in line with his career numbers.

  6. hojo20 - Oct 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    So the Orioles game is at 7:30 and the A’s play at 9:30. Where do I go to see the start of the A’s game?

    • rythestunner - Oct 10, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      TNT

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