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Baseball Insider: September 28, 2008 - October 4, 2008

Cubs-Dodgers Game 3 Lineups

Live from Dodger Stadium, by far the most underrated great ballpark in all of baseball... Cubs Soriano LF Hitting .111 in the series. Yuck. Fontenot 2B Fallout from Fukudome's benching. Lee 1B Hitting .429. Ramirez 3B Soto C Edmonds CF DeRosa RF Four RBIs in series. Theriot SS Harden P...

By Marc Carig  |  October 4, 2008; 9:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Cubs , Dodgers  
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"Post-mortem Tones"

Continuing some thoughts from the earlier post... Since Milwaukee last hosted a playoff game, 25 years, 11 years and 17 days have passed. Nobody exactly requested this history lesson, but it's cool, and space is free, so here is the start of the story filed that day for The Washington...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 4, 2008; 7:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Brewers  
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The Playoffs Come To Milwaukee

Miller Park has an infectious spirit right now. I suppose that's what happens when a city is seeing its first evidence of playoff baseball in 26 years. Sure, the first sighting and the last sighting might come in the same night (because the Brewers are facing elimination), but at least...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 4, 2008; 6:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Lineups from Miller Park

Philadelphia Rollins - 6 Werth - 9 Utley - 4 Howard - 3 Burrell - 7 Victorino - 8 Feliz - 5 Ruiz - 2 Moyer - 1 Milwaukee Cameron - 8 Hall - 5 Braun - 7 Fielder - 3 Hardy - 6 Hart - 9 Weeks - 4...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 4, 2008; 4:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Brewers , Phillies  
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Results Are Microwavable

Wait -- it's Saturday morning! We've had postseason baseball for all of 60 hours, and you're telling me the LCS matchups are already set? Perhaps that's the only conclusion here. Eight games in, and the headlines are all bold. Baseball's two best teams (the Angels and Cubs) are nearly extinct,...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 4, 2008; 8:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Leaving The Nation Weary

There is a group of about 10 of us inside The Washington Post newsroom who either grew up in New England or have direct ties to the region. We follow the Red Sox. Closely. A few years ago an in-house message group called "TheNation" was created. It's essentially a message...

By Tom Heleba  |  October 4, 2008; 8:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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It's Over

If you're an Angels fan, my condolences. Your team is cooked. Unlike Game 1, the Angels actually made a cameo appearance in Game 2. But it's but a lousy consolation prize after a 7-5 loss that puts the Angels' season on life support. But with Josh Beckett slated to pitch...

By Marc Carig  |  October 4, 2008; 2:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Angels , Red Sox  
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Bay Goes Deep. Again.

Before the game, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia made the point that in a short series, the momentum can change from pitch to pitch. And in the top of the first, we saw exactly what he meant. Angels starter Ervin Santana had just made Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia look foolish...

By Marc Carig  |  October 3, 2008; 10:26 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Angels , Red Sox  
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Lineups from LaLa Land

First, we'll skip ahead for a second. Postseason stud Josh Beckett is ready to pitch Sunday's Game 3, so says Red Sox Manager Terry Francona. The pitcher, who has been nursing a strained oblique, feels good after his long bullpen session on Thursday. Now, back to today. The most obvious...

By Marc Carig  |  October 3, 2008; 6:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Angels , Red Sox  
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Uecker Gets First Pitch Honors

Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker, will throw out the first pitch before Game 3 of the Brewers-Phillies series tomorrow in Milwaukee. He's been the Brewers' radio voice for 38 seasons. Let's say, just for fun, that the Nats were making their first postseason appearance this fall. Who would you want to...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 3, 2008; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (27)
Categories:  Brewers  
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Game Times Announced

MLB announced the starting times for the rest of the first round late last night. Here they are: Sunday 1:07 p.m.: Philadelphia at Milwaukee (if nec.) 4:07 p.m.: Tampa Bay at Chicago 7:17 p.m.: Los Angeles at Boston 10:25 p.m.: Chicago at Los Angeles (if nec.) Monday 5:07 p.m.: Tampa...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 3, 2008; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Sleep and Deprived

Chico Harlan reported in this morning's Post that the Cubs, unhappy with Thursday's 8:30 p.m. local starting time, were uncertain as to whether to fly to Los Angeles after Game 2 of the NLDS or to remain in Chicago to get a full night's rest. They even went so far...

By Tom Heleba  |  October 3, 2008; 9:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
 
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The '98 Marlins, a Decade Later

You always hold a special place in your heart for your first. My first - baseball beat, that is - was the 1998 Florida Marlins. Yes, that was the year after. It was the infamous year Wayne Huizenga tore down his World Series champs and fielded a glorified Double-A team--still...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 3, 2008; 7:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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The Great CC: Not So Great Tonight

So, what are we to make of Brewers ace CC Sabathia tonight? The ugly pitching line: 3 2/3 innings, six hits, five earned runs, four walks (one intentional), five strikeouts, one home run. The home run was monumental, a grand slam by Shane Victorino in the second inning, which left...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 2, 2008; 8:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Lou and Joe

Yesterday, when Cubbies skipper Lou Piniella sat down for his pre-game media discussion, somebody asked him to reflect on how he's changed over the years. Piniella had his arms crossed. He leaned forward; an edginess made every movement of his look stiff. His eyes were little beads, just shaded under...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 2, 2008; 6:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cubs , Dodgers  
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Brett Myers Is No Cole Hamels

We're done with one half-inning here in Philly, and Phillies starter Brett Myers has already allowed more baserunners than Cole Hamels did in eight innings yesterday. After Mike Cameron struck out to lead off the game, the Brewers went walk-double-intentional walk-walk. The double was Ryan Braun's. The intentional walk was...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 2, 2008; 6:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Pena Pulled From Game

Are those empty seats I see in the upper deck at Tropicana Field?? Shameful. At least those not in attendance didn't see Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena replaced by Willie Aybar in the third inning of the Rays' game against Chicago. Pena apparently left the game with slightly blurred...

By Tom Heleba  |  October 2, 2008; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Lineups From Philly: We Got 'Em

For the Brew Crew: Mike Cameron - 8 Ray Durham - 4 Ryan Braun - 7 Prince Fielder - 3 J.J. Hardy - 6 Corey Hart - 9 Craig Counsell - 5 Jason Kendall - 2 Carsten Charles Sabathia - 1 For the Fightin's Jimmy Rollins - 6 Shane Victorino...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 2, 2008; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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And Another Thing (About Sabathia)

I've had a nice mix of responses to the column on CC Sabathia this morning. However, almost all the negative e-mails, from sharp people and good fans, make the same point: "But EVERYBODY use to start on three days' rest. Why can't CC do it for two weeks?" I grew...

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 2, 2008; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Brewers  
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Cubs Fear

Oh, boy, that didn't take long, did it? The full-blown Cubs Fear is back, coast-to-coast. It only took one game. A 7-2 loss in Wrigley Field to the barely over .500 Dodgers. But the fear is justified. Lou Piniella almost had more choices for his Game 1 pitcher than he...

By Thomas Boswell  |  October 2, 2008; 1:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cubs  
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Rays Name Roster

Rookie David Price was named to the Rays' ALDS roster, which was submitted at 10:45 this morning. The September callup had one start, pitched 14 innings with no decisions and compiled a 1.93 ERA. There were no real surprises, but as had been reported, closer Troy Percival was omitted. This...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 2, 2008; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Rays  
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Mets Extend Minaya Through 2012

From the Associated Press: The New York Mets have given General Manager Omar Minaya a new contract that runs through the 2012 season. The deal contains club options covering 2013 and 2014. Minaya became general manager in 2004 and was signed to a five-year deal. The Mets made it to...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 2, 2008; 11:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mets  
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It's Gonna Happen?

The phrase of choice here on the North Side is, "It's Gonna Happen." T-shirts promise it, Wrigleyville bar signs pledge it, and yes, Chicago players believe it. But goodness, it's crazy how one game can put so much of that in doubt. All of a sudden, the Cubs, the NL's...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 2, 2008; 9:02 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Cubs , Dodgers  
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On the Deployments of Lidge and Sabathia

This is not a second-guess, as Boz can attest -- he was sitting next to me yesterday at Citizens Bank Park and heard me question out loud why Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel took starter Cole Hamels out of the game after eight brilliant innings (and a mere 101 pitches) in...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 2, 2008; 8:37 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (13)
 
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Boy, Did the Angels Blow It

After watching the Angels squander Game 1 of the ALDS tonight, I've come to one conclusion: There's got to be a curse brewing. In an immediate sense, the loss puts all the pressure on the Angels coming into Friday's Game 2. But it also pushed the Angels postseason losing streak...

By Marc Carig  |  October 2, 2008; 3:06 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Angels , Red Sox  
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Around the Horn

A couple of quick observations/opinions from today's action: In the few times I've seen Mike Cameron play center field, I've never seen him take a poorer route to the ball as he did on Chase Utley's drive in the third inning. I wonder if the whole 100-year drought thing is...

By Tom Heleba  |  October 2, 2008; 1:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Questionable Move

It will be interesting to hear Terry Francona's thinking when he went to rookie Justin Masterson in the eighth inning. The Red Sox have relied almost exclusively on Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen when holding a lead at that point in the game, and instead the Boston manager called upon...

By Tom Heleba  |  October 2, 2008; 12:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Live from L.A., your lineups!

It's about 90 degrees here, warm even for SoCal standards. I ducked it by watching Cole Hamels hammer the Brewers. Still, it's pretty out, and the weather should be perfect by first pitch. Anyway, the lineups for tonight's series opener were released a short time ago. And all the Red...

By Marc Carig  |  October 1, 2008; 6:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Angels , Red Sox  
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As the Wind Blows

Right now, those iconic flags atop Wrigley's dull green center field scoreboard are flapping toward the right field foul pole, and I mention this only because today's pre-game media sessions had a distinct fascination with all things meteorological. Yes, it's all about the wind. Greg Maddux has counseled tomorrow's LA...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 1, 2008; 6:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Cubs , Dodgers  
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Great Pitching, Light Rain and the Seventh-Inning Stretch

Cole Hamels just set down the side in the top of the seventh, with a light rain falling on Citizens Bank Park, and there remains no activity in the Phillies' bullpen -- even though Cole Hamels himself is leading off the bottom of the seventh. This is Hamels's game, and...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 1, 2008; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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First-round predictions... even though they're late

Sorry I'm late with my picks. I've been in route to the O.C. Phillies d. Brewers (four games) I like the top of the Phillies rotation a lot better than I do the Brewers', especially now that Ben Sheets is out. Only if Manager Dale Sveum announces time that CC...

By Marc Carig  |  October 1, 2008; 4:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Angels , Brewers , Cubs , Dodgers , Phillies , Rays , Red Sox , White Sox  
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As We Await the First Pitch of the Postseason

Greetings from Citizens Bank Park in Philly... Quick news nugget: Pat Burrell, the Phillies' left fielder, is in the lineup, despite the recent flare-up in his lower back. The decision wasn't made until perhaps an hour ago, as the Phillies waited to see how the back responded to some light...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 1, 2008; 2:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Post Predictions ... Unpredictable

This is why the notion of vast media conspiracies is so laughable. You can barely get TWO journalists to agree on anything -- even postseason predictions. I can understand not picking the Cubs, to whom history has not been kind. But the Brewers imploded, fired their manager and needed the...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 1, 2008; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (24)
 
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Cashman Gets 3-Year Deal

From the Associated Press: Brian Cashman's contract is done. Now, he can get back to making deals for the Yankees. Cashman is staying on as general manager in New York, agreeing today to a three-year contract that runs through 2011. A news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. in New...

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 1, 2008; 9:26 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Yankees  
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Taking On Sheinin, Boz, and Probably Regretting It

Let me be perfectly clear about something, Pt. II: My baseball knowledge pales in comparison to that of Dave Sheinin, whose baseball knowledge pales in comparison to that of Tom Boswell, whose baseball knowledge pales in comparison to nobody but Bill James, and even on that one might get you...

By Chico Harlan  |  October 1, 2008; 8:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Cubs, Phillies, Red Sox, Rays

Welcome to October, folks. As you probably guessed, those four teams are my first-round picks, which you may have also seen here and here (pdf files) in today's print edition. Meantime, here is a closer look at the defending champs, who may not be the best team in the field...

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 1, 2008; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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Taking on Boz

Let me be perfectly clear about something: I pale in comparison to Mr. Thomas Boswell when it comes to attire, prose and baseball knowledge. I might be able to spell a little better, but nothing more. That said, I'm here to offer my two cents on the first round and...

By Tom Heleba  |  September 30, 2008; 5:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Angels , Brewers , Cubs , Dodgers , Phillies , Rays , Red Sox , White Sox  
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Why I've Stopped Hating Kirk Gibson

Around this time every season, the footage gets rolled out, as if we need another reminder of how much drama the postseason packs. And while flipping through the channels at lunch today, I caught it again. But no matter how many times it happens, I get the same reaction as...

By Marc Carig  |  September 30, 2008; 2:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Athletics , Dodgers  
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My 1st-Round Picks: Rays, Angels, Phils, Cubs

Since 1975, I have done formal well-reasoned detailed analysis of post-season baseball for the Post and then made my picks. Well, the heck with that. What a waste of time. You can't imagine the hours I spent on that stuff. And it's all forgotten instantly. (Unless you are wrong.) Thank...

By Thomas Boswell  |  September 30, 2008; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Angels , Brewers , Cubs , Dodgers , Phillies , Rays , Red Sox , White Sox  
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In Praise of the Twins

By around 11 o'clock tonight, when this game ends, the playoff field will be set. I figure the White Sox have the advantage in this one, being at home (the Twins are not nearly as formidable on the road as they are at home) and carrying the momentum of two...

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 30, 2008; 9:03 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Twins  
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Silver Lining?

There's no question that Josh Beckett's oblique injury puts a major damper on the Red Sox' hopes of defending their World Series title. He's been one of the best postseason pitchers over the last five years and there's simply no replacing his bulldog mentality on the mound. But perhaps Boston...

By Tom Heleba  |  September 29, 2008; 1:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Greatest Deadline Trade in History?

So, we're all set in the National League. The Brewers are in, the Mets are out. It's Brewers at Phillies, and Dodgers at Cubs in the first round. The American League may be set after the White Sox play their makeup game today against the Tigers, or (if the White...

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 29, 2008; 8:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Can I Get a Mulligan?

Here (pdf file) is the final MLB Sunday page of the season, featuring a look ahead to the postseason, in which we rank the top rotations of the remaining contenders, a look at some of the worst performances of the season, and my picks for the major awards this season....

By Dave Sheinin  |  September 28, 2008; 1:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Location, Location, Location

A number of years ago I had dinner with Dick Radatz, a former big league reliever who dominated the mid-1960s with an overpowering fastball. He was called "The Monster," a nickname inadvertenly given to him by Mickey Mantle. You see, the Mick faced Radatz 63 times in his career and...

By Tom Heleba  |  September 28, 2008; 9:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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About last night...

Doesn't anybody want to win this division? For the second straight day, both the White Sox and the Twins took losses, meaning that Minnesota got to keep its 1⁄2 game lead in the AL Central entering the final day of the season. And while neither team helped themselves, the White...

By Marc Carig  |  September 28, 2008; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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