Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Twin Killings

Thanks to a bunch of gaffes, the biggest being Ryan Raburn's egregious misplaying of a fly ball, the Twins outlasted the Tigers in a great game to make it into the playoffs. What started as a fairly boring game because of an early Detroit lead and a dominating performance by Tiger starter Rick Porcello became a marathon of tension with each team punching, counter-punching, and just trying to survive. The Tigers didn't let soon-to-be AL MVP Joe Mauer beat them and the rest of the team just isn't that good, but they're scrappy. They'll have a very difficult time with the Yankees. Playoffs start tomorrow so it's prediction time:
  • Yanks over Twins in 4 -- Maybe the Twins squeak one out at home on emotion, but they just don't have enough and the Yankees have had their number all year.
  • Angels over Red Sox in 5 -- I don't buy the Boston pitching. It's pretty shaky after Beckett and Lester and even Beckett got rocked in his last start after being scratched from the previous one with back spasms. I'll take the home-field in this one.
  • Phillies over Rockies in 5 -- Shorter if Lee and Hamels can pitch the way they are capable of pitching. Rollins and Utley have gone ice cold, which does not bode well, but Howard has been on fire and he's one of the very few players in baseball that can carry a team single-handedly.
  • Cardinals over Dodgers in 5 -- Should be a great series. How do you pick against Carpenter and Wainwright?
  • I'll take the Phillies over the Cardinals -- the Cardinals pitching is not very deep after the big two, while Philadelphia can throw out Happ and Blanton -- and the Angels over the Yankees -- ok, I have a bit of bias here, but the Angels have had the Yankees' number for years.
  • Give me the Phillies to repeat. It's a big if that their pitching will come together, but you know the talent is there and they're the only NL team with an offense capable of hanging with an AL team.

Who you got?

On a side note, in watching the big last 24 hours in the Homerdome, I pondered the following question: Which city has the best one-two punch of superstar athletes? My immediate thought is Minneapolis with Mauer and Adrian Peterson. What city is better? Some contenders:

  • Boston: Tom Brady and Paul Pierce
  • New York: Derek Jeter (or David Wright) and Darrelle Revis (I think Revis gets the nod here over Eli)
  • Washington: Alex Ovechkin and Gilbert Arenas
  • Miami: Dwyane Wade and Hanley Ramirez (or Ronnie Brown)
  • San Francisco: Tim Lincecum and Patrick Willis (or Frank Gore)
  • Phoenix: Steve Nash and Larry Fitzgerald
  • New Orleans: Drew Brees and Chris Paul
  • Pittsburgh: Sidney Crosby and Troy Polamalu
  • Baltimore: Adam Jones (or Nick Markakis or Matt Wieters) and Joe Flacco
  • Milwaukee: Ryan Braun and Michael Redd

I'm sure there a bunch of others. Miami and New Orleans are pretty strong. What do you think?


Seth said...

Your multi-athlete thing got me thinking. If you had to place a bet on one city to win the four major sports titles (football, baseball, basketball, hockey), which do you choose? The choices are limited. But I would go with Boston with Chicago being second.

Anonymous said...

Who do I got? Yankees over Twins in three, Angels over Red Sox in five, Rockies over Phillies in four, Cardinals over Dodgers in four. Yankees take the Angels in six, Cardinals over the Rockies in five, Yankees beat the Cards in the Series in seven.

New Orleans is a very strong one-two punch, I'd also throw out Ryan Howard and Donovan McNabb representing Philly.

Seth, knowing next to nothing about hockey makes it difficult for me to say, but I'd probably go with Boston as well. Others to consider: Dallas- the Rangers were a lot better this year, the Cowboys have a lot of talent, the Mavs are consistently good, and the Stars are...a hockey team who plays in Dallas and may or may not be good; and Denver- the Rockies have made the playoffs in two of the last three years now, the Broncos are 4-0, the Nuggets are good, and the Avalanche have won a couple of Stanley Cups in the last decade or so.


angie said...

Awww, c'mon! After that painful loss last night, you couldn't even TRY to come up with a Detroit pair of athletes?? Pavel Datsyuk (or Nicklas Lidstrom or Henrik Zetterberg) and Justin Verlander (or Rip Hamilton or Calvin Johnson). I'm not saying it's tops, but it's at least as good as some of the others you listed!

Tom, sorry, but no way the Avs are coming anywhere close to a Stanley Cup this year.

Josh said...

I couldn't come with Datsyuk's name which is why I didn't put them there. I hear he's probably the only guy in the Ovie/Crosby class.

I go Boston easy. Sox, Pats, Celtics, and Bruins are all playoff teams.

angie said...

Yes, Datsyuk is the one on par with Ovechkin and Crosby (and Malkin, probably, too), but that's a focus mostly on offensive skill. Lidstrom is hands down the best defensive player of his generation and quite possibly of all time. Zetterberg is definitely in the mix of elite two-way players.