Saturday, October 11, 2014

The San Francisco Giants eliminate the Washington Nationals in four games

The San Francisco Giants defeated the Washington Nationals in four games to advance to the NLCS again.  They won the World Series in 2010 and 2012 so if that streak continues they will win it again in 2014.  They are in the NLCS to face the only other team that has represented the NL in the World Series since 2009.  It is amazing how dominant the Giants and Cardinals have been.  The Giants continued to rely on their pitching especially ace Madison Bumgarner.  They were close games, the Giants never have the best hitting but they have enough of it to win. 

There was a marathon 18 inning game that the Giants were able to win.  The Giants have a winning pedigree and have been in this position so much that they don't get rattled and they know how to win.  The Giants have a winning pedigree.  They have to continue to rely on their pitching in the next series.  Bumgarner, Peavy, Tim Hudson and their bullpen.  They do have Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey to carry the offense.  Brandon Belt has provided some good offensive moments and Brandon Crawford had some postseason success as well.  It should be a very good series with the Cardinals as they have a similar winning pedigree and anything can happen in October.  It is pretty much two evenly matched teams and it should be a lot of fun in the NLDS.   

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games to advance to NLCS

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games to advance to their fourth straight NLCS.  It is the first time a team has appeared in four straight LCS since the 1998-2001 New York Yankees.  The St. Louis Cardinals don't seem to have the best team but they are always there.  The Cardinals have a great business model though.  They have a lot of young guys that are inexpensive that they work in mainly through their own system.  The Cardinals of course sign some free agents like Matt Holliday but he even comparably isn't that bad of a contract. 

The Cardinals won this series though mainly for one reason.  I give them credit and lots of it for never panicking, for coming back in the late innings.  Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers though blew two games.  He is the best pitcher in baseball, he had an incredible year but he had a 6-1 lead in game one of the series and blew that in a horrendous seventh inning and then in game four he had a 2-0 lead and was cruising along and blew that in the seventh inning.  The worst part is that he gave up the game winning three run homer to Matt Adams.  He hasn't given up a homerun to a left handed batter in two years and never off of his curveball.  Adams also wasn't hitting that great this season but he had his big moment in game four. 

The Dodgers also had no one to trust out of the bullpen other than their closer.  Jansen though the closer only got into one game.  It was a contrast of styles as the Dodgers are a free spending big time organization and then there are the Cardinals who don't spend that much money but keep on turning up in the NLCS.  It is amazing that the biggest spenders this year didn't make it out of the first round if they made it to the postseason at all.  The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox both missed the playoffs.  The Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Dodgers were all bounced in the first round.  What does this teach us?  The Cardinals are a team to be modeled after and the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles who will meet in the ALCS are more teams like the Cardinals then the biggest spending teams.  It will be interesting going forward if more and more teams act like the Cardinals.  It will be really interesting to see if the big spenders act more like them or if they keep doing what they know which is to spend more money and hope for a different outcome next season.  The Cardinals will meet up with the San Francisco Giants who have won the World Series twice in the last four years.  This would be their third time in five years if they end up winning it all this year. 

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