Sunday, October 10, 2010

Playoff Report

-- Boy, do the Braves miss Martin Prado. His replacement, Brooks Conrad, committed three errors that allowed the Giants their first run and a few innings later, the winning run, as the G-Men rallied to take a 3-2 win and 2-1 lead in the NLDS.

Jonathan Sanchez was brilliant, striking out 11 in 7-1/3 innings while Tim Hudson quietly kept the Giants at bay. There was plenty of late-inning drama. First, Eric Hinske hit a two run homer in the eighth to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead, driving the tomahawk choppers into a frenzy.

The Braves were a strike away from victory in the ninth when an Aubrey Huff single tied it. Then Buster Posey smacked one to Conrad, and it went under his mitt as Freddy Sanchez sprinted home. Maybe the Braves miss Billy Wagner a tad, too.

They'll meet again tomorrow night in Atlanta.

-- Cole Hamels allowed five hits, no walks and struck out nine as the Phils swept their NLDS against the Reds by a 2-0 score. An Orlando Cabrera error allowed the first run to score, and a Chase Utley homer was the insurance. Johnny Cueto was the tough luck loser.

The Reds were the NL's top defensive team during the regular season, but wilted in the playoffs; six of Philly's thirteen runs were unearned.

-- Evan Longoria snapped out of his postseason slump with a homer and two doubles, Carlos Pena scored twice with a pair of extra-base hits, and Tampa Bay dodged elimination for the second day with a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

After losing the first two games of the ALDS at home, the Rays won both games in Texas (the Rangers historically are now 0-6 in playoff games at home) to force a deciding Game 5 at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. It should be a dandy, with the Rangers' Cliff Lee going against the Rays’ David Price.

Tampa Bay, the AL’s best team in the regular season, is trying to become the only team other than 2001 New York Yankees to advance to a league championship series after losing the first two division series games at home.

-- Going into today, "highly questionable calls marred all but two of the first 10 division series games. Only Roy Halladay’s no-hitter and the Yankees’ clincher over the Twins were spared. Even Saturday’s Game 3 between the Rangers and Rays had two calls at second base that likely would have been reversed," writes Yahoo Sports Steve Henson.

Is replay or better umps the answer? MLB's gonna have to decide, and probably sooner rather than later.

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