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Playoffs Thread: Phillies at Giants (NLCS Game 3), Rangers at Yankees (ALCS Game 4)

There's a double dose of magical playoff action today, as Philadelphia and San Francisco square off in a battle of dominant pitching. After that, Texas and New York will clash with two of the most potent offens...

Wait, what's that? The playoff magic has run out? Only one of the four remaining teams is even remotely rootable? The whole "lesser of two evils" thing has leapfrogged over annoying and is now firmly in the territory of being soul-crushingly depressing? Oh. Well, here's something to leave on while you're out, so the dog doesn't get too lonely.

Couple Jeffro-style mini thoughts before the games start:

  • The problem with the huge amount of off-days in the postseason is that teams can roll with three or four man rotations. What this means is that while the regular season tests the overall strength of a five-deep starting rotation, the playoffs depend more on having a strong top-end, as the back-end of the rotation doesn't matter. The Giants, for example, threw Todd Wellemeyer (with an ERA that probably is not safe for work) on the mound for most of the season. Zito wasn't all that great either, with an ERA above 4. And yet, come playoff time, they're going with Lincecum/Cain/Sanchez/Bumgarner/Lincecum/Cain/Sanchez. The Phillies used Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton, and Jamie Moyer for 972 innings. They all have ERAs closer to five than four. And yet, in the playoffs, they've got Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels/Blanton/Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels. A balanced rotation may be good for the regular season, but it pays off to have an unbalanced rotation in the playoffs. My point is this: Is the A's rotation too balanced for a good playoff run?
  • The Hardball Times' 2010 Hitter Awards are out. Guess who was among the winners for the Rey Sanchez "Emptiest Batting Average" award? Rajai Davis.
  • Conor Jackson recently said that he'd "love to be back in Oakland". He continued, "The time I had there was phenomenal. Obviously, they have a decision they have to make, and I respect that. So on one side, I'd love to be back with Oakland, and on the other side, I know it's kind of out of my hands...It's been a rough few years, but I know if I'm 100 percent healthy, I can definitely help a team out. I'd love for that to be with Oakland." He's currently making $3.1MM, and he'll be in the final year of arbitration next season, which probably means a raise. With his injury history, the most likely situation is that the A's will non-tender him and then sign him for cheap.
  • Remember Michael Taylor? It's only been five games in the Arizona Fall League, but he's batting .421/.522/.842. When I have to clarify and say that the third slash line is slugging percentage, not OPS...that's a good line.

National League Championship Series, Game 3

Series tied 1 - 1

Sat 10/16 4 - 3 Giants
Sun 10/17 6 - 1 Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies
@ San Francisco Giants

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2010, 1:19 PM PDT
AT&T Park

Complete Coverage >

Wed 10/20 4:57 PM PDT
Thu 10/21 4:57 PM PDT

American League Championship Series, Game 4

Rangers lead series 2-1

Fri 10/15 6 - 5 Yankees
Sat 10/16 7 - 2 Rangers
Mon 10/18 8 - 0 Rangers

Texas Rangers
@ New York Yankees

Tuesday, Oct 19, 2010, 5:07 PM PDT
Yankee Stadium

Complete Coverage >

Wed 10/20 1:07 PM PDT