So, as shameful as it is, I'm really not a baseball fan. I talk a good game though, enough to impress those around me, anyway. How? Simple, I call NPR's Mike Pesca and ask him what I should say to sound smart. I'll share them with you, but just remember, you see me in the bar before game time tonight, these lines are mine!
Texas Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee. Hey, anyone can have one bad start.
"Hey, anyone can have one bad start." Say those words about Cliff Lee who had been 7-0 in eight post season stats up until last night. Personally, I think Cliff Lee is one of the best pitchers in baseball, probably third best over the past three years. But if you took the best pitchers in a baseball over that time : Roy Halliday, CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez and Lee and gave them all between 6 and 10 post season starts it doesn’t surprise me that one of those guys would have put together an impressive streak. Now, up until last night Lee’s teams won every game he started, so that is a little better than anyone could have expected, but I don’t think that there was something mystical, magical , or other worldly about Lee. That is to say you can expect a regression to the mean. And Cliff Lee has been a very good pitcher, but even very good pitchers have bad outings. Nice Double though.
"Defense Matters." Not much escapes the abundant cranium of Giants manager Bruce Bochy, that’s why he sat his Pablo Sandoval. The Giants third baseman will be their Designated Hitter once the series moves to Texas. The problem for the Rangers is what to do with their usual Designated Hitter while playing in the National League Park. In yesterdays slugfest Vladimir Guerrero's misadventures in right field were costly for sure, but given the score at the time he was 8-4 they didn’t effect the outcome of the game. Next time they could. Rangers manager Ron Washington cannot sit Vlad, his bat is too valuable as protection for Josh Hamilton in the lineup (say those exact words and you’ll bluff your way through any World Series related convo this week) but this could be a problem. The last time we saw this degree of unsteadiness during a World Series in a San Francisco Park you could blame the Loma Prieta earthquake.
"CJ Wilson is Cliff Lee’s mini me, Or Mini Lee if you will." Actually Wilson is listed as 20 Pounds heavier than Lee though 2 inches shorter. The statement isn’t about size it’s about style. Wilson has talked about Lee’s status as a guru, imparting knowledge to his fellow member of the League of Extraordinary Left-handed Gentlemen. Wilson is a pretty interesting fellow, who, baseball wise, made the transition from career reliever to starter better than any other player in recent years (Yes, I know David Price and Adam Wainwright spent some time as relievers but that was only to break them into the league. Wilson worked his way out of the pen.)