So I was able to get the National League predictions right, but not the American League. If you want to see my Wild Card recap and my League Division Series preview you can read it here. I said that the Yankees and A’s would advance in the American League (WRONG!). Luckily the Dodgers and Braves moved on in the National League. I will get into recaps of the series below. But as I said last week another bit of sad news came in today (Monday 10/12/20) Hall Of Famer Joe Morgan passed away. Also over the weekend Whitey Ford passed away as well.
Whitey Ford was a left handed pitcher who spend his whole 16 year Major League Career with the Yankees. He won the 1961 CY Young Award and 6 World Series (1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961 (MVP), & 1962). Ford was elected into the Hall Of Fame in 1974. Reading Ford’s Hall Of Fame page is really interesting. He has the highest winning percentage among all modern pitchers with 0.690% with at least 150 wins. Ford embodied the Yankees of that era. He went out and won. That is what made he one of the greats from that time. He will be missed.
Joe Morgan had a 22 year Major League career. He is most known for his time with the Reds, help making the Big Red Machine. Those teams won back to back World Series in 1975 and 1976. I was shocked to find out he did not spend most of his time with the Reds. He played for the Astros (10 years), Reds (8 years), Giants (2), Phillies (1), and A’s (1). Morgan won back to back MVPs in the World Series years in 1975 and 1976. He was a 10 time All-Star and was elected into the Hall Of Fame in 1990. After his playing career Morgan went to the booth to broadcast Sunday Night Baseball games on ESPN. Another player who will be greatly missed.
In the last month we have lost Tom Seaver, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford and Joe Morgan. This absolutely sucks.
— Fuzzy (@fuzzyfromyt) October 12, 2020
I have to agree with Fuzzy on this: we have lost some all-time greats recently. It has seemed to be a lot lately. It makes you appreciate the great game we love so much. I want to really cherish all the players we get to watch everyday. No one will be around forever, so lets have fun while we can.
League Divisional Series Recap
Yankees vs Rays
I knew this one would be good. It was the only series to go 5 games. I did have the Yankees coming out on top. But the Rays are just playing too well to let the Yankees stand in their way. In game 1 the Yankees stayed hot and won 9-3. The Rays were able to come back in game 2 to win 7-5. The Rays took a 2-1 lead in game 3 winning 8-4. The Yankees tied the series up at 2-2 with a 5-1 win. In the decisive game 5 the Rays held on to win 2-1.
This series had it all with homeruns, strikeouts, and everything in between. The best part of all was Mike Brosseau of the Rays having an amazing at-bat in the bottom of the 8th and capped off with a solo homerun off Aroldis Chapman to take the lead. If that name does not seem familiar that is okay. But there is some back story to it. Earlier in the season Chapman threw over the head of Brosseau with a 101 MPH fastball. So Brosseau had the last laugh in that one. For the second straight season Chapman gave up a series losing homerun. That must be tough.
Astros vs A’s
I thought this one would be a little closer than what it actually was. I did pick the A’s to move on, but the Astros are hitting the cover off of the ball. The Astros took game 1 10-5 then game 2 5-2. The A’s stayed alive with a 9-7 game 3 win. The Astros won the series with a 11-6 victory in game 4.
Carlos Correa had 3 homers in the series. He was the best hitter for the Astros. You could tell he had something to prove. The whole Astros team is trying to show they did not need the cheating to win. They are proving a lot of people wrong (me included). The Astros had a losing record coming into the playoffs, but they are able to turn it on and win when it counts. They are now 4 wins away from another World Series appearance.
Padres vs Dodgers
Another series I thought would be more competitive than it was. Game 2 had all the fireworks in it that everyone thought the whole series would have, but that was the only game that was close. The Dodgers swept the Padres. Game 1 was a score of 5-1, game 2 6-5, and game 3 12-3.
Game 2 had everything in it. Clutch pitching, timely hitting, and players showing they do not like each other. Manny Machado hit a homerun in the 6th inning and pimped it. The Dodgers did not really do much about it. But later in the game in the 7th inning with a chance to take the lead Fernando Tatis Jr hits a deep fly ball to center. Cody Bellinger leaps over the wall to rob the what would be homerun. Brusdar Graterol throws his glove and hat in celebration. Machado has some choice words for him.
Just because the Padres lost this series does not mean they are done. They are so young. I feel that the Padres will win a World Series or two if they can build around the core they have. Watch out league for the Padres. They remind me of the 2015 Cubs who lost in a tough series only to bounce back and win it all in 2016.
Marlins vs Braves
Oh my the Braves pitching is unhittable right now. In 5 postseason games so far the have 4 shutouts. Yes you read that right, in only 1 game the Braves have given up runs. That is unheard of! The last time we saw something like this was the ’05 Giants. Not the 2005 Giants the 1905 Giants. The Marlins were a good story, but just did not have what it took to beat the Braves. The Braves swept this series winning game 1 9-5, game 2 2-0, and game 3 7-0.
It was so cool to see the Marlins make it that far when no one believed in them. I feel if they can build a little on what they had this season, the Marlins could be back in the playoffs before we know it. I do think what Derek Jeter is doing will pay off. Jeter is working to rebuild from ground up. He wants to make the team strong from the minors to the majors. Jeter saw how the Yankees ran everything for so long.
The Braves are a scary team. They are playing other-worldly. Their hitters are coming up big when they need to. I cannot wait to see how the Braves matchup with the Dodgers.
League Championship Series Preview
Astros vs Rays
This one started yesterday (Sunday 10/11/20). Also, game 2 was already played tonight. So we know the results of the first 2 games. That does not change my pick. I do not think the Astros have the pitching depth to keep up with the Rays in a 7 game series in 7 days. So far the Rays have won the first 2 games 2-1 and 4-2. I do believe the Astros will win a game or 2, but not much more. My pick has been Rays in 6 and I will stick to that. I think the Astros win tomorrow then the Rays win Wednesday, then the Astros win game 5. But the Rays move on to the World Series with a game 6 win.
Braves vs Dodgers
This will be a good series. I have been on the Dodgers all year to win it all. That does not change with how the Braves are playing. The series starts tonight at 8:08pm EST. The Dodgers are just too hungry to let anyone stop them. The Braves pitching finally shows some weakness. The Braves are missing some of their better starters. That will show when the Dodgers attack them early.
This series will go 5 games. I do believe the Braves will sneak a win in game 3 but that is it. The Dodgers just look like all they care about is winning the World Series. If you watch they way the Dodgers have acted after each series win you can tell what their goal is. The Dodgers do not celebrate like the other teams. That is because they have been there and done that. If they win it all you will see a crazy celebration.
Two more baseball legends passed away this passed week in Whitey Ford and Joe Morgan. The baseball community will miss them both. As we can see I am not good at picking winners. Please do not gamble with the picks I made. I do think we will have some great baseball in the League Championship Series. I am excited to see who will be in the World Series. If you want to hear my takes listen to Legends Lingo!
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-Tom “Powder” Cadmus (@powder42308)