An update on that whole MLB Playoffs thing
Well, this is awkward.
After vowing to write a daily column deciphering the mystery that is the prediction and analysis of Major League Baseball’s second season, I somehow managed to fall off the map. It reminds me of other ill-fated thoughts in life, like the notion that this year might actually be different for the Atlanta Braves because it was Chipper Jones’s final season. Or something.
Some may call the delay in another column laziness. I call it a return from a ‘fishing trip,’ but the reality is simply that real life sometimes calls and won’t let you off the phone. Either way, I’m sure all of you loyal readers have long since fallen off the edge of your seats, so I’ll cut to the chase.
When we last looked at the MLB Playoffs, we stood with the Tigers leading the Yankees 1-0 and Derek Jeter having gone down for the remainder of the season. Personally, I predicted that the Yankees would even the series heading back to Detroit. I was wrong. The Tigers made quick work of a New York team that just simply didn’t click the way postseason baseball demands, and eliminated them with four consecutive victories.
Meanwhile, the Giants and Cardinals managed to have a much more entertaining series. As they did in 1996, against a prior-mentioned team from Atlanta, the Cards took a 3-1 lead in the series only to fall flat on their faces and lose three games in a row. For the Giants, it’s all but solidified the thought that we might have a ‘team of destiny’ on our hands here, given their come from behind series win against the Reds.
For you readers who’ve been here since the beginning, you know that the Giants constantly proven me wrong. Had I maintained the level of consistency I like to think I have, then the same mistake wouldn’t have been made twice.
So, now we stand with a World Series featuring the Giants and Tigers, two of the MLB’s oldest franchises. It’s Jim Leyland versus Brian ‘Duck Dynasty’ Wilson, and any other clash you’d like to conjure up.
At any rate, we’re two games into the Fall Classic and the Tigers are in serious trouble, trailing a team riding an emotional wave 2-0. It’s not just that the Giants are already halfway there, it’s the manner of their victories. Game One (8-3 final score) saw them win with their bats, and last night’s 2-0 shutout saw them win with their pitching.
There’s also this little nugget of a statistic: no team that took a 2-0 lead in the World Series has not walked away with the prize in the last fifteen years.
That’s not to say that a deficit of this magnitude is insurmountable, but my personal take is that the Tigers are very much on the ropes right now. Much like things go in the political world, the narrative has already been set.
What’s that narrative? The Giants, fresh off two comeback series wins that no one thought had in them, have all of the momentum and it’s simply a year in which they won’t be stopped. Had the Tigers instead notched two wins, then they’d look like the rested, dominant team finally overpowering a squad that had to claw their way into the big boys’ dance.
The only superstitious alternative thinking here is that the Giants are the ones in trouble, because since they aren’t having to come from behind they will take things for granted. Not a logical argument about a team two years removed from a World Series win.
For no reason other than the fact that I won’t a dramatic conclusion to the season, prediction here is that the Tigers will win Game 3 tomorrow, and it least give some optimist a reason to hope. I’ll be back soon.