World Series Games 3 and 4 & Week 9 Post-Mortem

Hello again everybody...

Back to the start of another work-week. And a frustrating one it is for me. I was supposed to have this coming Friday off, but one of the other Coordinators messed up his knee and is out for another full week at least. Unfortunately for me, the brain-wizards who run this place have seen fit to under-staff us to the point that I had my vacation day rescinded.

Normally that would annoy me in and of itself. But because apparently God got bored again, it gets worse. I found out late last week that the Coen brothers (No Country For Old Men, O, Brother Where Art Thou?, etc.) are going to be filming a portion of their new movie at the Synagogue across the street from my apartment building. You guessed it... starting Friday. And just to add insult to injury, they're all evening shoots, from 5-9pm. How late does Dan have to work? Yup, til 9pm.

Yes, this is my life.

But enough of my grousing. The World Series is on the verge of conclusion, so today I'll go over what happened over the weekend and then preview tonight's potential clinching game. Then it's time to dissect how my college football picks did in a little segment I like to call the Week 9 Post-Mortem. So let's get to it!

"It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others."
- John Andrew Holmes, author

Doesn't it just grate on you when people get all wrapped up in their own drama?! Yeah, me too.

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If you didn't see the World Series games over the weekend (and judging by the ratings, you didn't - copyright Harry Doyle), you missed out on a whale of a Game 3 and an unexpected blowout in Game 4.

Game 3: Philadelphia 5, Tampa Bay 4

If it wasn't for the sloppy defense at the end, this would've been one of my favorite World Series games from the last 5 years. You had the young lion (Matt Garza) squaring off against the cagey veteran (Jamie Moyer), and both had outstanding performances.

Garza didn't have the same kind of outstanding stuff that he did in Game 7 of the ALCS and the Phillies were able to score 4 runs off of him over his 6 innings of work. Moyer on the other hand took his "slow, slower and slowest" approach and held the Rays lineup to 3 runs over his 6 1/3 innings of work.

I loved watching Moyer guile his way through this game. The guy's 45 years old and in his first career World Series. Most people, including yours truly, had penciled his start as the one that the Phillies would lose at home. Instead he threw every piece of junk he could get his hands on (I'm pretty sure there was a porcelain fixture sighting in there somewhere) to hold the Rays line-up down.

I just wish it had been those two performances that decided things. But the Rays scored the tying run in the 8th when B.J. Upton stole 3rd and then scored when the throw to third went into left field. The Phills then scored the winning run when a Tampa miscue put a Philly runner on third, which was followed by one of the ugliest infield, dribbler singles you'll ever see.

So the Phills took a 2-1 series lead heading to...

Game 4: Philadelphia 10, Tampa Bay 2

This one was all but over by the 5th inning. Ryan Howard's bat finally woke up as Philly's slugger hit 2 home runs including a prodigious blast in the 8th inning to help salt the game away.

Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine wasn't able to get out of the 5th inning having given up 5 runs, though only 3 of them were earned.

Phillies starter Joe Blanton was not only solid on the mound (6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER), but also hit a solo home run to help give his club a lead they'd never relinquish.

This one was never all that close, which was disappointing because the Rays needed this game badly to make this a close series.

Instead the Phillies own a 3-1 series lead as we head to...

Game 5: Scott Kazmir (TB) vs. Cole Hamels (Phi)

I'm not going to say this is a lock win for the Phillies, because it's not. But consider these numbers:

Cole Hamels is 4-0 in the playoffs with a 1.55 ERA.

Scott Kazmir is 1-1 in the playoffs with a 4.15 ERA.

Hamels is young, and there have been some questions about the shape his arm is in this late in the year.

Kazmir has been shaky at best, but the Rays have David Price sitting in the bullpen ready to come in if Kazmir struggles early.

That all being said, I think the Phills will be popping the champagne at the end of the night. Either way, I just hope it's a good game. I was hoping that this Series would be more tightly contested than it has been so far. So even if it ends tonight, I'd like to see it go out on a high note if at all possible.

7 pm is the scheduled starting time. First pitch, as usual, won't be til closer to 7:25 pm.

Next up, it's time for my Week 9 College Football Picks Post-Mortem!

Last week was a nice bounce back for the picks, but could I continue it this week? Did my magical "+ .500" season continue? Would I just get to the damned results already? Okay, okay, settle down!

Minnesota -1 @ Purdue: Final Score - Minnesota 17, Purdue 6.

Once again, the Gophers defense stepped up. Giving up only 6 points to a Boilermaker offense that has the potential to put a bundle of points on the board is an impressive effort, especially on the road. Granted, Purdue QB Curtis Painter got hurt and couldn't complete the game. But if you consider where the Gopher defense was last year versus the performances they're giving this year, it's still damned impressive.

What Dan Learned: Minnesota's pretty good. They're clearly behind both Penn State and Ohio State, but you could argue that they're the 3rd best team in the conference. 3 out of their next 4 games are at home. And it wouldn't surprise me a bit if they're favored in all 4. No, I'm not saying they have a chance at a Rose Bowl (the loss to Ohio State will probably preclude that), but a New Year's Day bowl is suddenly very much in reach.

1-0 and feeling good about the day.

Kansas -1.5 vs. Texas Tech:
Final Score - TX Tech 63, Kansas 21


ST reader "Lon in Forest Lake" accused me of being on a controlled substance when I made this pick. No Lon, that's the fella at that other radio station.

But I will admit to being glaringly wrong in my assessment of this game. I'm still not sure that Tech is totally for real, but suddenly I don't think that the Longhorns can name their score against the Red Raiders this coming week.

What Dan Learned: "The first rule of poker is leave emotion at the door" - Rusty Ryan, Ocean's 11.

I picked this game because I wanted to be right about Tech being a fraud, not because there was evidence that Kansas could actually beat them. That was a mistake. No more emotional picks! Unless they're Flier Picks that is!

1-1, but my darling Ball State Cardinals will come through for me, right?

Ball State -25 vs. Eastern Michigan: Final Score - Ball State 38, E. Michigan 16
*This was the Sports Take Flier Pick of the Week.

Dammit. 3 measly points from a push. One freaking field goal.

Oh well. Vegas was going to over-estimate Ball State sooner or later. Hopefully we'll get a more reasonable spread this week.

Thank God for the Flier Pick. Still 1-1 and needing Alabama to pull through!

Alabama -6.5 @ Tennessee: Final Score - Alabama 29, Tennessee 9.


Here's the thing. Bama's #2 in the BCS, but #3 Penn State is getting all the predictions for the Title game.

How's that work? All Bama does is win. Maybe they're not blowing people out of the water. But they're not exactly nail-biters either.

What Dan Learned: Phil Fulmer better have that resume updated. He saved his job late last year, but I don't think he'll pull it off two years in a row. Sorry Jon.

So 2-1 this week brings my season total to 21-13 (.618). We're making money baby! Well, we would be if we were actually betting on these games. But still, I feel good!

That's all for today folks. Remember, check out tonight's baseball game. It may be the last one you'll see till February! I'll be back on Wednesday, with perhaps a baseball season-wrap, and at least a solid DFTU effort! Until then, thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Here's the kicker (pardon the pun)to that Ball State line. Eastern Michigan has a fourth and 12 at the Ball State 20, down by 25 points with 3:10 to play in the game and they send in the field goal unit. Not exactly a bad beat, but still, you're down 25 points! Does a 22 point defeat feel that much easier to stomach? Go for the touchdown damnit!