Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mets Win! Yanks Lose! It's A Good Day.

Baseball is the only sport I follow with any enthusiasm. On Saturdays in October most people turn their TVs on to College football. Not me, it's always baseball, especially when the Mets and/or Mariners are in it. I'm also a dedicated Yankee hater. So, I'm happy today.

First, let's talk about the Yankees. The Yankees lose the division series to the upstart Tigers, who everyone felt had no chance to even win a game against the mighty lineup of the Yankees. The Tigers were probably the weakest of the potential opponents the Yankees had to face. Even though everyone knew the Yankees had shaky pitching, surely it would be enough to allow their awesome lineup to take care of business. The problem was the Tigers pitching was deep but who da thunk that the Yankee bats would go so quiet, even against Kenny Rogers who never won a post season game and had a 8.85 in 20+ innings in post season play.

So what went wrong? Too many superstars and their egos. No one in the lineup other than Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon played situational baseball. They took their swings, hoping for the big hits that did not come by after Johnny Damon's home run in game two that gave the Yankees the last lead they would have. They also lacked in pitching between the time their starters were done and when Mario Rivera would come in to save the day. Rivera has to be used if the Yankees want to win. He was used in their only winning game but not in a save situation.

The Mets on the other hand took care of business and they did what they had to do, which was sweep the Dodgers. They didn't need to sweep them to prove they were the real deal but they had to sweep the Dodgers to hide the fact they were vulnerable with their starting pitching. The three starers averaged less than 5 innings per outing, with Glavine the only one to qualify for a win. This would be disastrous if it were the Yankees but the Mets have an incredible bullpen mix, and Willie Randolph was not afraid to take out his starters early. The bullpen performed well with two minor exceptions but hey there was always someone else in the bullpen, they carried 11 pitchers or was it twelve?

The Mets egos were more humble too, players who didn't get a chance to start a game came through when they did start. They played situational baseball, took advantage of Dodger mistakes and came back to score runs when they went behind or when the Dodgers tied things up.

So, now the Mets go to the next round and the Yankees go home. This is the first time the Yankees get to watch the Mets play after their season's over since 1988, the year the Dodgers beat the Mets in League Championships.

It's good to be a Mets fan, now bring on whoever wins the Divisional series between the Cardinals and the Padres.

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