Yankees C.C. (Complete Comeback)

cc

In CC we trust!!

In a decisive Game 5, the Yankees turned to 37-year old, Carsten Charles Sabathia Jr. Sabathia, now a crafty veteran, channeled his former self. Sabathia, and his left arm, were tremendous, striking out 9 in 4 and 1/3 innings. Notoriously a slow-starter, he wasted no time, striking out the first 2 batters he faced. He kept hitters off balance with his swooping slider and surprised Indians’ hitters with his sneaky fastball.

Do you know what the most impressive part was?? He outdueled AL CY Young favorite, Corey Kluber, twice. For the 2nd straight outing, Kluber was ordinary. After lasting just 2 and 2/3 innings in Game 2, he was destined for just 3 and 2/3 innings on Wednesday. It’s hard to explain. Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the world. But hey, I’m not losing any sleep over it….

Kluber was tagged not once, but twice, by Didi Gregorious. Didi connected on a solo home run in the 1st inning. And struck gold again in the 3rd inning with a 2-run home run. It was DD and CC to the rescue.

Too corny??

Sorry.

Following their crushing defeat in Game 2, winning the ALDS was all the more impressive. These young, “baby-bombers” showed grit and resiliency, punching their way out of a corner. After completing the comeback Wednesday night (5-2), the 2017 Yankees became just the 7th team to comeback from an 0-2 deficit to win a Divisional Series.

If I had told you Aaron Judge would go 1 for 20 in this series, but they’d win, you would have called me names I can’t write on my website. Aaron Judge is an impressive, young man. He’s humble. He’s a great athlete. And he hits baseballs really, really far. But he now holds an unenviable record. Judge’s 16 strikeouts in the ALDS are the most by any player, in any playoff series, in MLB history. No es bueno.

Judge mashes mediocre fastballs (under 94 mph), and has a great eye (127 walks). However, he struggles against fastballs 95 mph or faster and strikeouts far too much (208). Pitchers usually raise his eye level with the ‘high-heat’, and then drop the hammer with a low-and-away breaking ball. If the Yankees are going to have a chance against the Houston Astros in the ALCS, Judge will need to lay off those nasty breaking balls. He should walk down to 1st base over and over again, and set the table for Gary Sanchez in this series. This will force opposing pitchers to serve up inside fastballs to Judge later in the series. Then, my fellow Yankee fans can bust out their telescopes to track Judge Moonshots….

Again, I’m not rooting against my team. I simply call it like I see it.

ALCS Prediction: Astros in 7  

Prove me wrong, again, please….

 

Who do you think will win the ALCS?? In how many games?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

 

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:10 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

Advertisements

I Don’t Do Deadlines

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers

Deadline – the latest time or date by which something should be completed.

Can someone please pass this definition along to Major League Baseball?? While it is exciting to see trades happen on August 31st, it is confusing. Remember seeing Trade Deadline specials on ESPN and other programs on July 31st?? Yeah, me too. So, why are trades still happening a month later??

MLB has 2 different trade deadlines. Until July 31st at 4 P.M. EST, any player can be traded at any time. After this deadline, if a player is to be traded, they must ‘clear waivers’. This means, the given player must be offered to every team in reverse order. If any team decides to claim the player, they must take on the player’s current contract. Before the ‘claiming’ team officially acquires the player, the original team has the right to revoke the waiver, and retain the rights to that player (this is often the case). Once a player clears this waiver process, they can be traded to any team. August 31st is the ACTUAL TRADE DEADLINE, sort of. Players can still be traded, but any newly acquired player would not be eligible for the postseason.

Now that we got that out of the way, jeez, we can discuss the trades that happened on August 31st (yesterday):

  • Justin Verlander (SP) was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Houston Astros
  • Justin Upton (LF) was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Los Angeles Angels
  • Brandon Phillips (2B) was traded from the Atlanta Braves to the Los Angeles Angels

 

And one player, Cameron Maybin, was actually claimed on waivers (which is rare). Maybin was on the Angels, but will now add depth to the Astros’ outfield. The Astros will pay the $1.5 million Maybin is owed for the rest of the season.

Justin Verlander

Verlander, 34, is still one of the better pitchers in MLB. After a slow start to the season, Verlander has returned to form since the All-Star Break. Over his last 6 starts he is 4-1 with a 2.36 e.r.a. With Lance McCullers Jr. still on the DL, and the Astros struggling, adding Verlander could be just what the Dr. ordered.

Verlander was acquired for 3 prospects.

Justin Upton

Also departing the Tigers, Upton will bring a solid, veteran bat to a struggling Angels lineup.

Upton’s season so far: .279, 28 home runs, 94 r.b.i.’s. Decceenntt.

Angels’ left-fielders so far: .244 with 7 home runs. Yikes.

Upton was acquired for a pitching-prospect and a player to be named later.

Brandon Phillips

The Angels didn’t stop there. After acquiring Upton, they gave the Atlanta Braves a call. And just 1-hour prior to the deadline, the Angels acquired Brandon Phillips.

Phillips’ season so far: .291, 11 homes runs, and 52 r.b.i.’s. Not bad for a 36-year old. 

Angels’ second-baseman so far: .196….need I say more??

Phillips was acquired for Tony Sanchez (Triple-A catcher).

 

All of these trades are bad for the Yankees. So I don’t like them. The Yankees won the 1st of a 4-game series last night against the Boston Red Sox. 1 down and 3 to go. Let’s Go Yankees!!

Who did the best at THIS trade deadline?? Post your reaction in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel called DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

Opening Day Should Be A National Holiday

You’ve waited and waited and it finally arrived. No I’m not talking about your clothes that you ordered online, I’m talking about Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. Monday, April 1st marked the start to another marathon that is the baseball season. Some will say, but what about the first game on Sunday night doesn’t that count? Umm no, no it does not. This years Opening Day brought about a couple of firsts and also brought you more of what you’re used to. For the first time in the history of New York’s baseball franchises, the Yankees and the Mets opened their season at home at the same time. I feel bad for the people stuck in that post game traffic. Now you might need to read this next part twice, but the Yankees lost and the Mets won. The Mets looked good with Jonathon Niese on the hill, and a grand slam by Collin Cowgill didn’t hurt either. They won their game 11-2 over the San Diego Padres. The Yankees on the other hand did not look as good. We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you an important message: Do Not, I repeat Do Not overreact to the first game of the year!! This game meant absolutely nothing as to how the baseball season is going to pan out. MLB’s regular season is 162 games that span from April through 2027. If you are one of those people that thinks you can predict the future based on the first game of the year, than you my friend are crazy. Anyway, the Yankees still looked pretty awful out there yesterday. CC was his usual April self (for those of who don’t know, CC Sabathia notoriously pitches poorly in the month of April). The bats still think it’s March because they only scored two runs, and by the 9th inning it was difficult to find fans in the seats (the Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox 8-2). However, let me repeat it is only game 1 of 162. Now, if the Yankees are 10 games out of the wild card when their entire roster is back healthy in August, then we can all panic and run around pulling random fire alarms.

All around the rest of the league (where there were 12 total games played Monday), we saw more dominance by the pitchers we’ve gotten to know over the past couple of years. Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez were their usual lights out selves. While at the same time we saw, who I believe are the two best pitchers in baseball; Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw dominate. Stephen Strasburg pitched 7 brilliant innings in just 80 pitches. He also at one point retired 19 straight batters. That is uh how do you say it; INSANE. At the same time, no one had a better Opening Day than Clayton Kershaw. He picked up right where he left off last season by throwing a complete game shutout against his rival San Francisco Giants. And as if that wasn’t enough, Kershaw hit his first career home run. It wasn’t a bad day to be Clayton Kershaw. The regular season action continues today where there are 7 teams in play. Enjoy the games everybody!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

American League Central Predictions

Today, we will take a look at our first American League Division; the American League Central.  I will preview each team and give you my bold predictions for the upcoming season.  Here is a quick look at how each team finished last season:

2012 American League Central Final Standings:

                                                        W   L

Detriot Tigers:                                 88-74

Chicago White Sox:                        85-77

Kansas City Royals:                       72-90

Cleveland Indians:                         68-94

Minnesota Twins:                           66-96

Ah, the 2012 Minnesota Twins.  What a major disappointment they were huh?  No one was crowning them World Series champions prior to the 2012 season, but I think we all expected them to be above .500.  The Twins started out with a horrid record, and as the season continued it only got worse.  They finished dead last in the American League Central, a horrible 30 games under .500.  There is good news for 2013.  I don’t think it is physically possible to be as bad as they were last year.  That means there is only one way to go; up.  The Twins lost speedy outfielders Denard Span and Ben Revere, and they are hoping Darin Mastroianni can be their starting center fielder of the future, their leadoff hitter, and can blossom into a star.  I think he is a nice little player, but his strikeout rate is too high and his batting average is too low for me to say he’ll be a difference maker in Minnesota.  They also added Vance Worley and Mike Pelfrey to their starting rotation.  Mike Pelfrey after one solid year for the Mets in 2010, has underachieved beyond belief (if only I were 6’7″).  I don’t see the change of scenery being the difference for Pelfrey, and I see him struggling mightily this season.  As for Worley, after bursting on to the scene in 2011, his 2012 was very pedestrian (where he sported a 4.20 era and only won 6 games).  The Twins offense does have a chance to put up some runs, but that all depends on the health of their two former ‘superstars’; Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer.  Josh Willingham should have another nice season at the plate, but if Mauer and Morneau can stay healthy they could make a run at that elusive .500 record (hahaha).  That’s how good I think they will be this season, their ceiling is a .500 record.  When it’s all said and done I do think they improve upon their record from last season, but not by much.  They will be a stellar 70-92.

Last season the Cleveland Indians showed that they can compete in the American League Central.  They held a record of 44-41 at the All-Star break.  Then the Indians went on to have a disastrous 2nd half, going 24-53 to close out the season.  This forced the Indians owner to fire their manager Manny Acta.  Over the offseason, the Indians hired former Red Sox manager Terry Francona.  They believe that the combination of Francona and their new acquisitions this offseason gives them a chance to compete for the division title.  They added former Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, home-run hitting Mark Reynolds, speedy centerfielder Michael Bourn, and the power/speed threat of Drew Stubbs (if only Stubbs didn’t strike out a million times he’d have the potential to be GREAT).  Between Reynolds and Stubbs their batting average will plummet while their strikeout rate soars through the roof, but they have the potential to be a very good team.  If Ubaldo Jimenez can return to All-Star form, watch out for the Cleveland Indians!  I think that they will be the most improved team from last season but will just miss out on the playoffs.  I believe they will finish with a record of 85-77.

The Kansas City Royals have been a model of inconsistency over the years, and that’s exactly what they were last season.  I do believe that they are heading in the right direction though and might actually surprise some folks this season.  The Royals have a good young team with a mountain of potential.  They also added James Shields, Ervin Santana, and Wade Davis to their starting rotation this offseason.  I believe this will vastly improve this team, and they will finish with a winning record for the first time since 2003.  The Royals have a lineup with a rare combination of speed and power.  Between Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar, Jarrod Dyson, and Alex Gordon the Royals should swipe a lot of bases this season.  They also have a lot of pop in their bats, with Mike Moustakas, Eris Hosmer, and Billy Butler anchoring the lineup.  Expect the Royals to be improved from last year, finishing with a record of 82-80.

Outside of Chris Sale, the Chicago White Sox rotation hovered around .500 in terms of wins and losses last season.  I believe that is what we will see from this team in 2013.  They did not make much noise this past offseason.  The only real addition they made was bringing in Jeff Keppinger to play 3rd base.  He should help with their batting average but not much more.  They do have nice players in their lineup in Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, and Alejandro De Aza, but that won’t be enough to compete in this division.  This will be the most improved division in baseball, and the White Sox will finish in 4th place in the division this season.  I don’t think their pitching is good enough and it will ultimately be their downfall.  I see the White Sox having a disappointing season, finishing with an 80-82 record.

This is the Detroit Tigers division to lose.  With Justin Verlander heading up a rotation that includes Max Scherzer and Doug Fister, the Tigers rotation should continue to mow batters down.  Add that to a lineup that features Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, and I think it’s safe to say that the Tigers will win the American League Central again this season.  The Tigers do have a big question mark this season though, that could throw a big curveball into their plans.  They don’t have a closer right now.  They don’t seem to be interested in re-signing Jose Valverde.  Now, I dislike Valverde more than anyone in the world.  Watching him pitch makes me want to stab myself in the eyes with a pencil.  However, sometimes the scarcity at a position should dictate how you put your team together.  Valverde did implode in the postseason last year, but he is by far the best option at closer for the Detroit Tigers (at least right now).  Come playoff time, are you really going to feel comfortable handing the ball to a rookie in the 9th inning??  I highly doubt it.  I foresee the Tigers holding off the Indians to win the division, but I don’t think they’re going to make it look easy.  Their record should be similar to that of last year at 89-73.  They will narrowly win the American League Central.

2013 American League Central Projected Final Standings:

W   L

Detroit Tigers:                                  89-73

Cleveland Indians:                          85-77

Kansas CIty Royals:                        82-80

Chicago White Sox:                         80-82

Minnesota Twins:                            70-92

Projected American League Central Winner: Detroit Tigers

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!