Thursday, July 21, 2005

AL Playoff Previews?

The Cubs afternoon loss left me with little to do on Thursday night. So I decided to checkout the ball being played in the Junior Circuit. It just so happens that this weekend the AL has a couple of great 4 game series'(both started on Thursday). On the southside of Chicago the World Champion Red Sox are visiting the team with the best record in baseball the White Sox. Out in Orange County the Yankees are in Anaheim for their annual visit.

On Thursday night I took advantage of being in a two team town and took a ride south. The World Champs are a fun team to watch. They have so many characters--Damon, Ortiz, Manny, Millar, and all the rest--plus Matty Clement was throwing. I have always liked Clement despite how up and down he was with the Cubs.

U.S. Comiscular had a playoff type atmosphere(Red Sox nation had nowhere near the presence they had at Wrigley Fd. back in June). The White Sox looked good early taking an early lead. I turned to my wife in the fourth inning and told her that I thought this might be the White Sox year. Well, it could still be their year, but it was not going to be their night. Led by Johnny Damon the World Champs clawed back and took the lead. The White Sox tied the game off of Curt Schilling(I wonder how long he'll be coming out of the pen) in the 8th. In the bottom of the 9th Joe Crede dropped a routine foul popup by Ramirez. You cannot give a player like Manny a second chance. He made the Sox pay when he hit a BOMB into the left field stands. Game over.

When I got home I turned on the tube to find the Angels trailing the Yanks in Orange County. Randy Johnson looked to be in control for the Yanks. Jason Giambi had hit two dongs and the Yanks were up 5-2. In the 7th, Vlad Guerrero came to the dish with the bases loaded. Vlad, in the midst of a 4-45 slump, got a two seam fastball from Flash Gordon and he hit a Grand Slam to give the Angels a 6-5 lead. K-Rod came in a shut the Yanks down in the ninth.

Both games were outstanding. Two of the games finest hitters Manny and Vlad had game winning homeruns. Looking at the AL on July 21st I think the Red Sox are going to be tough to beat in a short series. They are still the defending champs. I know it's only mid-July but I'm ready to start watching the better teams in baseball pursue the pennants.

No comments: