Tagged: Francisco Rodriguez
Heart of a champion
The Red Sox continue to show why they’ve won two of the last four World Series titles. They flat-out know how to get it done in October, and if you didn’t believe they could win it all this year, all you had to do was watch them last night. On to Friday’s games…
RED SOX 7, ANGELS 5
The guy they got for Manny, Jason Bay, puts them on top right away with an early homer, and then J.D. Drew breaks a tie with a two-run blast off K-Rod in the ninth! In other words, the Red Sox can taste another title, and going up 2-0 on the road against the team with the best record in baseball is pretty impressive in my book. The Angels have to be wondering what’s going on, losing their Major League-record 11th straight October game against the Sox. Fenway and a possible early clincher awaits …
RAYS 6, WHITE SOX 2
The tone-setting homer by Akinori Iwamura, the lockdown bullpen, the late insurance runs. It was a textbook October victory for the hometown Rays at the Trop, leading them to another 2-0 series lead heading back to Chicago. Can you believe how poised this young team seems? It’s like they’ve been playing in the postseason for years.
The weekend will be wild, with all four series possibly ending early in sweeps. Let me know who you think will get it done right away and who you think has the goods to pull off a stunner and take three straight.
You know I’ll be watching.
Sitting here at my computer all the time, I’m thinking when I’m not blogging. And lately I’ve been thinking about rookies and how these first-year phenoms can make things happen for teams in September and then all the way through October.
You don’t even have to be on the 25-man roster in the first three months of the season to make your presence felt when it counts.
Frankie Rodriguez did it almost every night for the Angels in 2002 at the age of 20 after making his Major League debut in late September! Six years later, K-Rod’s team is a lock for October and he’s closing in on the all-time single-season saves record.
How about Jacoby Ellsbury last year? Did anyone see that coming – besides Theo Epstein and the Red Sox brass?
I can’t wait to find out which rookies will rile things up in this year’s Postseason, and I’ve got two in mind that I think might just etch their own names into the October history books.
One of them hits a ton and plays the hot corner like a veteran even though he zoomed through the Minors.
One of them crouches behind the plate, calls the games for a top pitching staff, and does just fine with the bat, thank you very much.
Both of these young stars have been in their leagues’ Rookie of the Year conversations all season, and they’re the favorites for that hardware.
But something tells me it’s not the only hardware they want.
Now you tell me: Which rookies will make the biggest impact this month and through October.
Let me know.
Armed for October
Everyone knows that pitching gets the job done in the postseason, and I’m here to tell you that you can bank on it playing out that way again this season.
Just check out all the pennant races cooking right now in the middle of August. Everywhere you look, the teams on top have the arms to get the job done. And once you’re in a best-of-five or a best-of-seven series? Forget it. Pitching is EVERYTHING.
So who’s going to be this year’s Bob Gibson or Jack Morris or Dave Stewart?
Who’s this year’s El Duque, John Smoltz, Fernando Valenzuela or Curt Schilling?
Maybe it’ll be Big Z in Chicago.
Maybe it’ll be K-Rod in Anaheim, just like in 2002.
Maybe it’ll be CC Sabathia, the new ace of the Brew Crew.
Or maybe it’ll be Josh Beckett, just like last year.
The bottom line is this: Someone is going to step up on the mound in a key situation, take that ball in his right or left hand, and use every single one of its 216 stitches to do something in October that nobody will ever forget.
And I can’t wait to see who that someone is.