Two games Monday night and two statements made by the visiting teams, who now lead the Championship Series (the Phillies are up 3-1 on the Dodgers and the Rays are up 2-1 on the Red Sox). Here are some thoughts:
PHILLIES 7, DODGERS 5
It amazes me how the Phillies keep getting the job done without Ryan Howard as their main run-producing source throughout the postseason. Last night the pitching was good enough, but the power game made Dodger Stadium look like Citizens Bank Park. That huge eighth-inning rally with the line-drive, game-tying homer by Shane Victorino and that absolute monster of a game-winner by Matt Stairs showed that this team can almost taste the World Series. A different guy gets it done for them every night.
You can’t take anything away from Manny Ramirez, though. What an October he’s having. It leads me to believe that the Dodgers might have a serious interest in re-signing him, and why not? He might not have had a happy ending in Boston, but it seems like he really fits the Dodgers well and his teammates like playing with him.
RAYS 9, RED SOX 1
The Rays continue to impress me and just about everybody else who didn’t think they’d do much of anything in the American League East this year. Not only did they make their first postseason game in Fenway Park a laugher from the start, but good signs continue to pop up for this club, like B.J. Upton hitting everything in sight out of the ballpark and Matt Garza channeling his emotion in a dominant pitching performance that gave his bullpen some much-needed rest.
Everyone knows it would be silly to count out the Red Sox. They came back from a 3-1 deficit against the Cleveland Indians in last year’s AL Championship Series and they’ve got the knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, going tonight. He’s tortured Tampa Bay throughout his career.
Let’s hear your predictions and thoughts about tonight, the LCS play moving forward, and how the World Series might set up.
With some major pennant races starting to heat up, I’m starting to think ahead to what might happen in October, and when I do that, I can’t help but think back.
It’s true that my mind pretty much goes blank to anything but baseball when October moments are playing in my personal memory bank. And the drama of the first seven years of this millennium have clogged my baseball brain so much that right now I don’t know where my car keys are and I think I might have put my drivers license in the freezer.
http://mlb.mlb.com/chc/fan_forum/y2008/october_gonzo_vote.jsp?poll_q=1In other words, let’s get on with the memories…
Did you stay up late to watch Game 7 in the emotionally charged 2001 World Series, when the Diamondbacks finally got Mariano Rivera and Arizona won a thrilling seven-game Fall Classic over the Yankees?
Who can forget Moises Alou running over to the brick wall along the left-field line at Wrigley Field in 2003 and having a sure out botched by fan Steve Bartman?
Were you among the millions of people who say they were sitting in 55,000-seat Yankee Stadium when Aaron Boone hit that Tim Wakefield pitch out in the 11th inning to win the 2003 American League Championship Series?
Did you consider yourself close enough to the action last year in Colorado to really figure out if Matt Holliday was safe or out?
So bring it. What’s in your October memory bank?