In case you haven't been paying attention, the MLB Playoffs are in full swing. On one hand, three of the series have been sweeps (and the fourth series went four games). But the thirteen games that we have been treated to includes...
- Tuesday 10-6 - Before the playoffs even started, the Twins completed Detroit's collapse by winning their tiebreaker game 6 - 5. Two Tigers relievers (Zach Miner and Fernando Rodney) blew saves, as the Tigers team blew a 7 game division lead with 26 games to play. Of note is that the Twins closer, Joe Nathan, also blew a save in this game.
- Thursday 10-8 - The Cardinals were leading 2 - 1 in the bottom of the 9th inning with their closer, Ryan Franklin on the mound and the third out in the air. However, rental player Matt Holliday lost the fly ball in the lights, and the ensuing Franklin choke job gave the Dodgers a 3 - 2 win for a two-game series lead. Former Brewers infielders Ronnie Belliard and Mark Loretta had the game tying and winning RBI, respectively.
- Friday 10-9 - In scoring two runs off of SuperCloser Mariano Rivera, the Twins held a 3 - 1 lead going into the bottom of the 9th with closer Joe Nathan pitching. It didn't take Nathan long to blow his second save of the week, as Alex Rodriguez hit a game tying home run with nobody out. In the 11th inning, the Twins Joe Mauer was robbed of a likely double when umpire Phil Cuzzi errantly ruled the ball foul. The Cheater's Proof was not in effect, as the Twins loaded the bases anyway but didn't score, and then the Yankees Mark Teixeira deposited a pitch into the bleachers in the bottom of the 11th for a Yankees 4 - 3 victory and two game series lead.
- Saturday 10-10 - The Cardinals slept-walked through the only game of the day, and in doing so lost their series to the Dodgers. With the snow-out of the game in Denver, this day was not-so-exciting in the annals of MLB history.
- Sunday morning 10-11 - In a game that few people saw as they were getting their Favre fix, the Angels battled back from a 5 -1 deficit mid game by scoring a pair of runs in the 8th inning. The Red Sox got what was thought to be one insurance run before entrusting the game to closer Jonathan Papelbon, who promptly gave up three runs and let the Angels win the game 7 - 6 and the series sweep (Side note; I thought the same thing as Joe Posnanski when the Red Sox chose to intentionally walk Torii Hunter).
- Sunday evening 10-11 - In a game that few people saw as they were in bed when the game ended at 1:15 AM (Side note; Well, I stayed up for it. Something to do with a wager that I had made for entertainment purposes only) and played in 30 degree weather, the Rockies and Phillies traded punches for eight innings, with the score tied at 5 - 5. The Rockies brought in closer Houston Street, and he did what most closers all week had done, namely puke the game away. The Phillies scored a run in the top of the 9th to make it 7 - 6 and entrusted that lead to the pukiest closer of the season, Brad Lidge (he of the 0-8 record, 7.21 ERA and 12 blown saves in 2009). Though he did make it exciting, Lidge did save the game and gave the Phillies the series lead.
- Monday 10-12 - With the Phillies leading 2 - 1 in the bottom of the 8th inning, they brought in closer-when-Lidge-is-being-benched Ryan Madsen who blew his second save of the short series and allowed the Rockies to take a 4 - 2 lead. Since Rockies manager Jim Tracy hadn't been paying attention to the trend, he brought in Street (again) to try to close the game and take the series back to Philadelphia for a final game. Instead Street (who had been paying attention) correctly gave up three runs to the Phillies. In this alternate universe week, worst-closer-in-baseball Lidge closed out the game 5 - 4 to give the Phillies the series win.
Other than my continued frustration with four-hour baseball games, everyone should be happy now. MLB has four teams within the five largest TV markets in the country. Fans had a full week's worth of competitive games.
And how'd the Packers do this past week?