Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Thursday, October 23, 2008

World Series (and more) Notes

Thankfully, we know that this year's World Series will not end in a sweep, as has happened far too often over the past few years. Here are a few more notes on tonight's Rays victory:

1.) The results of the first two games of this series weren't really all that surprising, and were largely dictated by starting pitching. Cole Hamels gave the Phillies the edge over the Rays and Scott Kazmir in game 1, while James Shields (pitching in the Trop, where he's most effective) gave the Rays an edge over Brett Myers in game 2. If that trend holds, it should be a very interesting (and long) series. Matt Garza has a definite edge over Jamie Moyer in Game 3, but the game 4 matchup between Andy Sonnanstine and Joe Blanton should be very evenly matched, and a treat to watch. The Rays should win the series if the starting pitching does in fact hold up -- but there are always surprises, and somebody is bound to have a disappointing start at some point. I certainly wouldn't mind a dramatic seven-game series.

2.) He wasn't needed tonight, but Evan Longoria has started off the World Series 0-for-8 and has a post-season batting average floating around .200. Meanwhile, Carlos Pena has been 0-for-7 hitting in front of Longoria, and Carl Crawford has gone 1-for-8 behind him. That's not a lot of production from the heart of the Rays order. They didn't need it tonight, but if that continues they will have great difficulty winning this series.

3.) Can I just say that while I'm rooting hard for the Rays, I hate the cowbells? They aren't nearly as annoying as those idiotic Thunder Sticks that the Angels first made infamous, but they are still pretty bad. Although, the fact that the "more cowbell" sketch from SNL involving Christopher Walken is a big part of the reason the cowbells are used in Tampa at least gives the cowbells an interesting backstory. Give me a homer hanky any day -- much better for visually distracting the opposition, and nowhere near as gimmicky as the cowbells.

4.) I guess David Price isn't quite infallible, eh? Still, a solo homer isn't such a horrible thing to give up, and Price made it through the eighth without any other problems. He also managed to get out of a bit of a mess in the ninth, although he had some help from the home plate umpire. Imagine if Jimmy Rollins had actually been given first base, as he should have been? That would have made things very, very interesting.

5.) Speculation is that Game 3 could be rained out on Saturday night. I had forgotten that a World Series game was postponed by rain as recently as 2006, when Game 2 between the Tigers and Cardinals was delayed by a day. If it happens, it should be no big deal -- Monday would just turn into a game day instead of a travel day. Of course, I'd rather things just stay on schedule, so hopefully nature will cooperate.

6.) I watched the Versus boxing event tonight, which featured three interesting fights. The first wasn't really all that notable, with two young and inexperienced fighters dueling for 8 rounds to a split decision. The last two fights of the night, however, were pretty fun to watch. In the first, Olympian Demetrius Andrade made his pro debut and destroyed Minnesotan Patrick Cape with a TKO coming 24 seconds into the second round. Cape was very angry with the ref when the fight was stopped, but he was toast no matter what. Andrade looked pretty good already, so with some experience under his belt he could be a very interesting Middleweight prospect.

The second fight was a solid battle between veterans Orlando Salido and Cristobol Cruz for the vacant IBF Featherweight belt. Salido was favored coming into the match (he was the #2 contender for the IBF title and ranked 9th in the division by The Ring, while Cruz was unranked by The Ring and came in as the IBF's #3 contender -- the #1 contender position was not filled in the most recent IBF rankings). The fight went the distance, and Cruz won the belt in a 2-1 split. Throughout the match, the fight stayed close, with both fighters throwing and landing similar numbers of punches. Cruz almost certainly won the fight by tiring out Salido and going strong in the last three rounds. Not a great fight, but pretty fun for two guys who came in with 20 losses between them.

7.) Sorry to see the Wild lost tonight in OT. At least they picked up a point for their troubles, but it sure would have been nice to beat the Sabres and run the season-opening undefeated streak to 5 games.



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