Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Game one of MLB playoffs recap

By Kshell

I love the opening the round of the baseball playoffs. I love the fact that it is so hard to make the baseball playoffs only eight teams make the playoffs. I love game one with all the great pitching matchups especially in the American League today. I'm going to recap each game with my personal observations. We all know what happened today.

Roy Halladay no hits Reds 4-0

The Cincinnati Reds making their first playoff appearance since 1995 and their reward was facing the two time defending National League champions. The Reds were also up against Roy Halladay. Halladay is having a Cy Young season again. Halladay was calm and cool all game. Halladay had the most wins amongst active pitchers without making a playoff appearance.

Halladay proves the myth of postseason experience means nothing. I'll take talent over experience any day of the week. Halladay supported by a nice 4-0 lead as the Phillies chased Volquez out of the game in just 1.2 innings. Halladay I couldn't believe what I was watching as the game wore on. Its the playoffs no hitters aren't supposed to happen. I was in Las Vegas earlier this year when Halladay threw a perfect game. Halladay became the first pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a season since Nolan Ryan in 1973 and first pitcher since Don Larson in 1956 to throw one in the playoffs. Halladay only mistake was a walk to Jay Bruce in the 5th. Unlike most no-hitters there wasn't any great defensive plays. Halladay was just dominating and had 8 strikeouts.

This is the reason why Halladay was asked to be traded. Its good to see a great pitcher of his calibar finally get a shot in the postseason. He was basically wasted for a decade in Toronto and this is his chance to shine on the national stage. The Phillies with Halladay going into this playoffs are the favorites to win it all.

The only good news for the Reds is that this game just counts as one game and they won't face Halladay the next two games. Instead they'll get Oswalt and Hamels who would be game one pitchers on most teams. Nice knowing you Cincy.

Cliff Lee dominates the Rays 5-1

Texas making its first postseason appearance since 1999 and currently are the only team in major league baseball without a postseason series victory. That is why Texas gave up top prospect Justin Smoak for a rental in Cliff Lee for games like today.

The Texas offense hit David Price pretty hard early belting two homeruns off Price and scoring 5 runs on Price in 6.2 innings.

Cliff Lee was the story of this game. Cliff Lee went 7 innings of 1 run and had 10 strikeouts. Coming into the game Lee was 0-3 vs the Rays with a 4.56 ERA. Lee last year and today's performance shows he is a playoff gamer. Last year for the Phillies who traded him after acquiring Roy Halladay went 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA and threw 40 and 1/3 innings in 5 starts.

The Rays will have another home game but lost homefield advantage to Texas with this loss. This should be a fun series but Texas has never had an ace like Lee before. If Lee gets hot and with that offense Texas could be a sleeper in this postseason. I still like the Rays but Cliff Lee is the big x factor for the Rangers.

Teixeira hits game winning two run home run to lead Yankees 6-4

This was a great game that featured again two great left handed pitchers. The Yankees have defeated the Twins in the 2003,2004 and last year in 2009 ALDS. This year is different though as the Twins have homefield advantage.

The Twins got to C.C. Sabathia early scoring three quick runs to take a 3-0 lead going into the 6th inning. Francisco Liriano was cruising through the first five innings but hit a wall in the 6th. The big blow was to Curtis Granderson who hit a two run triple with 2 outs off Liriano to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.

The Twins tied it up on Sabathia the following inning on a bases loaded walk. The Twins failed to take the lead stranding the runners. Then Mark Texeira blasted a home run off Jesse Crain to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead.

Mariano Rivera recorded his 40th career save and in typical postseason Rivera fassion made it a 4 out save. The Twins have now lost 10 postseason games in a row. The Yankees are now 10-2 all-time vs the Twins in the playoffs. The Twins have no won a home playoff game since 2002. The game two matchup is the most interesting matchup with Carl Pavano the former Yankee bust takes the hill for the Twins vs the all-time postseason wins leader in Andy Pettitte.

This will be a tough game to overcome for the Twins who are already facing previous years demons against the Yankees. The Yankees showed why they are still the defending World Series champions and won't just give that title away.

That was my day one of the MLB playoffs recap. What we learned today is that two pitchers who were essentially traded because of each other dominated today. Cliff Lee who became expendable with acquisition of Roy Halladay was dominant and of course Halladay was historically dominant. Just imagine if the Phillies had kept both or if the Yankees had gave up more to Seattle to get Lee. Both American League teams lost homefield advantage on the first day. I hope to keep writing on each day's baseball playoffs hope you enjoy guys.

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