VOGELSONG COMES THROUGH, YANKS FACE VERLANDER

Everything I said in yesterday’s post was turned around by the San Francisco Giants as they squared up their NLCS at 1-1 with a 7-1 win over St. Louis. The starting pitcher, Ryan Vogelsong, went 7 strong innings and he cooled off the hot Caridinal bats. Nobody squared up any of Vogey’s pitches, except maybe P Chris Carpenter with his 2nd inning RBI double.

The only homer in the game was a leadoff blast by Angel Pagan. No homers for St. Louis, so the Giants turned that power disadvantage around. And Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma were held hitless, a combined 0-for-7. Carlos Beltran got two of St. Louis’ five hits but did no damage.

They head to St. Louis tied at a game apiece and it is anybody’s series. Stating the obvious, if the Giants play like that the rest of the way, they’ll be in great shape. The Cardinals won three games in the Division Series by piling up runs on the Nationals. The two games they lost, they didn’t score much. The pattern is holding in the NLCS.

ALCS GAME 3

In the American League, it looks like it can’t get much worse for the Yankees. The  middle of the order isn’t hitting, Derek Jeter is out with a fractured ankle and they lost two games at home. Now, they go to Detroit to face Justin Verlander. New York counters with Phil Hughes.

The anlysis is pretty straigtforward here. Everything is trending the same direction. Only two outcomes seem possible from here. Verlander could keep the train rolling and put the Yankees in line for a quick elimination, where they will lick their wounds over the offseason and try to come back strong for 2013.

Or, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and the rest of the slumping Yankee offense has finally hit rock bottom and will break out to make a series of it. Cano’s riding a record postseason hitless streak and Swisher and Granderson have a long history of being much better than what they’ve shown this October. Their numbers are shockingly bad and bound to turn around soon.

Against Verlander?

Well, maybe option one looks more likely.

OFFSEASON LEAGUES

MLB.com’s Offseason Leagues page is humming now with stats available by organization or by league. As I said in a previous post, this is a marked improvement over last year. In between updates of my Watch List, you can see that Rafael Ortega is now playing in the Venezuelan League by clicking on the Colorado Rockies link on the Offseason League page. Quickly see who is playing in what league and how they’re doing.

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