Category Archives: Brewers

April baseball brings… May Baseball!

April is over kiddies. It was a fun month. In recent years I’ve realized how much April really doesn’t matter. April is like pre-season games that actually wind up on your W-L record. Nobody is “out” yet, even if your team is struggling. Let’s look at what happened in April, good points, bad points, and what it could mean for the rest of the season.

We opened the season in JAPAN! We went 3-1 with the A’s on that road trip before getting swept by the Jays. Fatigue, jetlag, whatever you want to say happened there, the Jays outplayed us. Thats going to happen sometimes because news flash, Baltimore, Tampa and Toronto aren’t the pushovers they have been. No, I don’t expect any of them to make the playoffs, but they will make it closer. If the Yankees or Sox falter a little, you could see one of these teams finish 2nd.

The Sox may not be in first, but we are damn close, and standings sure as hell don’t matter yet. I saw so many things this April that made me extremely excited about our team.

We bounced back from the Jays sweep by winning 12 of 14, including an 10-1 stretch. We battled the flu and still were able to churn out some W’s. We were bested by Tampa bay on a tough trip down there, getting swept by them for the first time ever in a 3 game series, and sending a losing streak to 5 games, longer than any in 2007. Well… It had to happen sooner or later. On the upside, 2 of those losses are wins 90% of the time. You give me a 1 hitter into the 8th, and tell me we only allow 2 runs? Thats a win most of the time. A career high 13 K’s for Beckett? Win most of the time.

How about 6 players batting above .290? Papi had his little slump, and yet both him and Manny have 20+ RBI, keeping them on pace for 120ish on the season. We have… wait a minute… that cant be right… TWENTY stolen bases on the year. Twenty.

Strikeouts seem to be a bit of an issue (186), but I think for the most part those will drop at least a little as players get into the season more and start seeing the ball better.

Matsuzaka seems to be getting a handle on this USA baseball thing, as we have won in all of his starts. You can whine about large pitch counts all you want ESPN, but I like this guy and I think he is going to be a fantastic #2 guy for us all year and for many more years to come.

Beckett missed a few starts, and I think it’s no big deal. I think it’s really just part of this team’s newer philosophy of making sure guys get rest and stay healthy, especially early in the year. It’s a long season, and Francona knows that. He wont let his guys hurt themselves. Beckett has shown signs of brilliance and dominance. Love this guy.

Wakefield is Wakefield. You should know how I feel about him by now, as I constantly am praising him. He will do his thing.

There’s been concern about Lester and Buchholz not going late enough in to games. I say whatever. Again, it’s just April folks. They have had some good outings and have in fact gone longer into games when the situation warrants it. They are growing well and we are going to have a banging pitching staff come October.

We have EIGHT wins where we came from behind in our last at bat, including the two recent walk offs at Fenway.

This team is strong, and built for the long haul. This team can be dominant and has the talent to win the big games. I see no reason why we can’t win another Division title and make some noise in the playoffs.

May brings us the AL Central as we get series with the Tigers, Twins, and Royals. Throw in a few division games with Baltimore and an early interleague series with the Brewers and we’ve got ourselves a month!

Baseball has truly arrived.

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2007’s Best Playoff Races

I love September baseball. In recent years, it’s come down to the wire. Every game matters. I expect 2007 to be no different, giving fans a reason to watch right up until playoffs start. Here is a rundown of all 8 playoff races, in order of how good I think each race will be.

#1 NL Wild Card – Fantastic Race

Current Standings
San Diego —
Philadelphia 2.5 GB
Colorado 3.5 GB
Los Angeles (Dodgers) 3.5 GB

As it has been the last 2 years, the NL Wild Card will be the last playoff spot won. Yes I know wildcards are usually last, but once again, this may be a last-game-of-the-season type race. I personally will be rooting for the Phillies, but it is going to take a lot to take a lot to get San Diego off their roost. I’m declaring the Braves, Cubs, and Cardinals out of this race as they are not only 5 or more games behind, but have too many teams to leapfrog.

#2 NL Central – Good Race

Current Standings
Milwaukee —
Chicago 1.0 GB
St. Louis 4.0 GB

The best part about this race is that it’s a win or go home race. None of these teams have a high enough winning percentage to be considered in the wild card race. These guys will be scrapping for playoff glory. I’d like to see Milwaukee win this, just because they deserve the playoffs. They have been so bad in recent years I love to see a team like this get a shot. I also wouldn’t mind the Cubs there. If my Red Sox or Phillies aren’t winning a world series, I wouldn’t mind seeing a curse be broken.

#3 NL West – It is in fact, a race.

Current Standings
Arizona —
San Diego 2.5 GB

I think its great that the Diamondbacks have surfaced here. After their championship in ’01, they died off a little and weren’t really a threatening team. They are BACK, with or without Randy Johnson. They will win this race, but San Diego will be right there the whole way.

#4 AL Wild Card – Could be a race?

Current Standings
Yankees —
Tigers 4.0 GB

It pains me to say it, but I think the Yankees will be in the 2007 playoff picture. They have been far to hot to just go and miss it. The better the Red Sox do this weekend, the closer the Tigers can get to making this a race. Come on Detroit, you know you want it. Sorry Seattle, you buried yourselves and filled in your own grave on top of yourselves. At 6.5 out, I’m declaring you done.

#5 AL East – Talk to me on Monday.

Current Standings
Boston —
New York (Yankees) 5 GB

Just because I’ve ranked this at #5 doesn’t change my prediction that the Yankees will not win this. I still stand buy that. There is one and only one reason that the AL East even finished at #5, and that is this weekend’s head to head series.

Pettitte Vs. Matsuzaka
Wang Vs. Beckett
Clemens Vs. Schilling

Wow. Can you say playoff baseball? In a series where Roger Clemens makes his first return to Fenway Park since 2003, the Yankees COULD make this a playoff race. I say the Sox take 2 of 3 over this series, and then it will no longer be a race. If the Yankees sweep by some chance, this race could jump up to #2 or #3.

#6 AL Central – Possibility of a race, not likely.

Current Standings
Cleveland —
Detroit 6.5 GB

Only in a world where the Indians collapse and Detroit plays super hot is there any chance that the Indians blow this one. This is not really a race, but is more of a race than #7 and #8 because Detroit is only 6.5 out and is a good team.

#7 NL East – Race? What’s a Race?

New York (Mets) —
Phillies 6.0 GB

I think the Mets had this division won at the all star break. They are the best team there, and no matter how the Phillies do the Mets have this one won.

#8 AL West – Hahaha you are STILL falling.

Los Angeles (Angels) —
Seattle 9.5 GB

If you were to ask me what the biggest collapse of a team was this year, I’m going to point you right here. The Mariners had it going, and completely blew it. You guys were my hope for keeping the Yanks out of October. Thanks a lot. See you in the playoffs Angels, and good luck with home field Advantage.

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