Thursday, October 11, 2007

The NLCS

I'm watching Game One on TiVo right now (4-1 Rockies in the bottom of the 4th), and despite the fact that it's kinda late, I want to get my prediction on the record. I'm not going to go too in-depth, but I think the offense and starting rotations of each team are pretty much even. Colorado has the better defense, and Arizona has the better bullpen. It's close, but I think the Diamondbacks will take the series in seven.

The reason? Honestly, I can't get over the fact that the Rockies activated Willy Taveras and immediately installed him as the lead-off hitter, moving Tulowitzki down to seventh. Tulowitzki is one of their best hitters! Why are they moving him down??? Would it kill them to hit Taveras 8th or Matsui 7th? I just don't get that - it's crazy. Of course, it was crazy of Eric Wedge to use Paul Byrd and Joe Borowski in Yankee Stadium, and that worked out, but that was one game - this is, presumably, all seven. I don't get it.

Two more Rockies observations: 1) I just can't bring myself to root or a team run by Dan O'Dowd, who should have been fired five years ago after the Hampton and Neagle contracts, and 2) I'm thrilled that they've decided to bury Chris Iannetta behind Yorvit Torrealba, if only because the Red Sox are desperate for a young catcher, and they can probably get Iannetta cheap in the off-season. He's had a rough season, after a slow start led to inconsistent playing time, but his PECOTA projection for this year was .290/.377/.476 in 496 at-bats. Not only is that line head and shoulders (and chest and waist) above what Mirabelli and Cash have done this year, it's better than what Varitek put up. If the Sox could get him for a Brandon Moss or Craig Hansen type (I don't know if they could, but he certainly seems unwanted), he could split time with Varitek on a 60/40 basis in 2008, then take over in 2009 after Varitek's contract runs out. Honestly, this might even be worth rooting for Colorado to go all the way.

So, Game One isn't over yet (at least, on my TiVo it isn't), and I'm already regretting this pick, just because I feel I've severely underrated Jeff Francis. Well, I've got to stick to my pick - I thought Arizona could beat Philly, I have to think they can still beat Colorado.

2 comments:

Sully said...

One last Rockies observation: if someone had asked a million baseball fans at the start of the season which Matsui would make it further in the playoffs this year, how many would have said Kazuo? The answer would have to be in the single digits, right? Maybe double digits, depending on how many members of the O'Dowd family were included in the million. That's amazing, and since I just realized that this must upset both of you, I'll stop typing now.

Warren said...

It's a bit hard to remember with the Dice-K insanity last offseason how big a star Kaz was supposed to be. I had been vaguely following him for years in the hopes he would somehow get to the Mets one day. This is a guy who hit .332/.389/.617 with 33 steals in 2002, while getting the equivalent of the Gold Glove at shortstop.

It was the defense that was the biggest disappointment. You can understand how it's hard for scouts to gauge how a guy's hitting will translate, but the fielding?

Ah, screw it. Now I'm pissed off again.