Most of the MLB divisions were essentially won a long time ago, but the last week saw it become official as the regular season ended and the post season began.
The regular season did not go quietly into the night as the Twins battled back to make the AL Central race interesting forcing the Tigers into a playoff game. The deciding game for the AL Central was a shining example of what we expect to see in post season play as the teams battled into the 12th inning before the Twins finally came out on top. As much momentum as the Twins had going into the post season it was not enough to take on the most dominant team in baseball, the Yankees. The Twins appeared a little tired as the Yankees swept them in three.
The Twins were not the only team to get swept out of the post season. Joe Torre showed why he is still one of the best managers in baseball as he guided the Dodgers past the listless Cardinals. Perhaps one of the more intriguing match-ups ended in a sweep as the Angels took out the Red Sox in three.
While there are inevitably some match-ups that end up like the aforementioned there is always at least one that is pretty even like the Phillies and Rockies. There records were nearly identical with the Phillies winning just one more game. The Rockies as a team hit for three points better over the course of the regular season (.261 to .258 for the Phillies). A slight pitching advantage would go to the Phillies (4.16 team ERA relative to 4.22 for the Rockies) even though the Rockies got more strikeouts (1154 to 1153).
So far the Divisional playoff series between these two teams has lived up to the stats. After Sunday night’s game the Phillies hold a 1 game advantage over the Rockies with a 6-5 at Coors Field in Colorado. That win will probably end up launching the Phillies into the next round. The Rockies played their best ball at home winning 51 games (to 30 losses) while only wining one more road game than they lost (41-40). While the Rockies chances of tying the series up are pretty good they just will not be able to get it down on the road in Philadelphia without a Brad Lidge (Philly’s closer) meltdown to help. Look for the Phillies to start play against the Dodgers on Thursday.
Since their ballpark is sponsored by a brewer I doubt the Rockies and their fans will have any trouble finding a beer to drown their sorrows in once they lose. Perhaps in the spirit of October they should consider giving Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale a try. Fittingly orange-ish in color this ale has an aroma of both pumpkin spices and malt. Bitter in taste with a strong taste of spices the pumpkin flavor does not really come up till the aftertaste sets in. Definitely not a beer to be guzzled; the spices and pumpkin just will not allow it. It is best consumed at a leisurely pace (better known as nursing your beer). At 5.6% ABV the alcohol will let you realize that it was the umpire’s fault your team lost and that your team kicks ass.