Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Know that My Life Makes You Nervous

Well, just call me Professor Trelawney. (I apologize for the lame Harry Potter reference) In my last post about the Dodgers and the Cardinals, I listed what I thought needed to happen for the Dodgers to win. Lo and behold, it did. I must be getting better at this.

The buzz is slowly starting to to wear off from the improbable Dodger win that saw the men in blue have dominating bats, and the Cardinal pitching fail epically. Randy Wolf pitched well enough to leave the game in the fourth inning with a 4-2 lead, after a Matt Kemp 2-run home run, a Casey Blake RBI, and a Rafael Furcal triple. Chris Carpenter started off bad and was never able to quite get his feet under him. By the time the sixth inning rolled around both starting pitchers were out of the game and the Dodgers were clinging to a 4-3 lead. They added one more run and hard as he tried, Johnathan Broxton couldn't blow the save. With the series now 1-0 Dodgers, we look ahead to today's matchup that pits the young gun Clayton Kershaw against The Cardinals Adam Wainwright.

Looking at the recent exercise in futility by the other pitchers on the Dodger staff, Kershaw appears to be the Dodger ace for the coming post season. With an ERA of 3.36, he's been able to manage games without digging himself too big of a hole. There were some games where he looked like a 21 year old and wasn't able to get his other pitches in for strikes, but every pitcher is going to have days like that.

In the end, if the Dodgers want to be successful against this powerful Cardinal lineup, they need Kershaw to perform well. He has the fastball and change up to compliment his devastating curveball, but as the great Vin Sculley said-
"You can have great stuff, but if you can't throw it for strikes its like having a rolls royce with the parking break on." (Funnily enough, Sculley was actually referring to Kershaw when he said this. It was after Kershaw had been taken out of a game in the third inning against the Padres.)
It's going to be crucial that Kershaw get's speed variations on his pitches so the Cardinal batters don't key up on him the second and third time through the lineup.

For the Cardinals, their pitching has to get it together. If the Dodgers keep swinging the bat like they did in game one, they can easily take over a game and jump ahead by a lot of runs very quickly. The Cardinals are also going to have to get Pujols going for them to have any sort of success.

If the Dodgers are going to win this game, they are going to have to do it behind the arm of Kershaw. He's got all the tools to achieve ace status, and this is going to be his first real test. Seeing as he's so young (the tender age of 21 for all those who have forgotten) he's also going to have to deal with nerves. If he can overcome that, and get his pitches in for strikes with lots of speed variation on them, I see no reason why the Dodgers can't take another one in Dodger Stadium

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Post In Which Steroids are No Longer an Issue

Aaaaahhhhhhh, October in the Bronx. Yankee fans come filing into New Yankee Stadium to watch their team's inagural playoff game. If only the Minnesota Twins could have been as happy as them. The Yankees were freshly rested and rearing to go as Derek Jeter personally dismantled the Twins and said "Hello world! I am the MVP!" the Yanks fired on all cylinders and the Twins had no idea how to stop it. The crowd was into the game early after a Jeter two run homerun, and they never let up. Kate Hudson could be seen beaming with pride from the stands as she watched her boy toy conjure up 3 hits or so. (Yankee fans could be heard groaning as they cought sight of her) The Twins were never able to recouperate and ended up losing 7-2. It could be argued that god must be a Yankee fan, because he really, really, REALLY screwed the Twins by making them play today. Game two of this screwfest will be on Friday where I can't imagine the Yankees not winning.

You Ain't Happy Less You Got One

The time has come at last! Smell that fresh outfield grass! Feel the soft, warm infield dirt! Yes, the NLDS has arrived at last. As a proud Dodger fan, I, along with many others, were finally able to watch the Dodgers steadfast refusal to clinch the NL West come to an end behind the stupefying left arm of Clayton Kershaw. Whatever joy I was feeling was to be short lived however, when I learned that Albert Pujols and his Cards would be coming to town. Meanwhile I also observed the Detroit Tigers pull one of the more epic chokejobs I have ever seen. The Minnesota Twins were able to end their time in the Metrodome on a high note as they stole the game in extra innings. There was celebrations galore in the clubhouse, until they were reminded that yes, they would now have to travel to the Bronx. That however, was not the worst news the Twins received. No, they were then informed that they would be playing the next day against a freshly rested Yankee lineup. Yea, that can really suck the fun out of any celebration.
For now, let us travel back to the west coast and look ahead to the coming Game one Dodger Cardinals matchup.
Some Dodger faithful might tell you that the sky and oceans are blue because god is indeed a Dodger fan. If we look deeper, we then realize that no, god must not be a Dodger fan, because if he was he wouldn't have sent the Cardinals here in the first place, and he most certainly wouldn't have decided that it would be Chris Carpenter to start game one. What we now have learned is that god must actually be a CARDINALS fan. (Or a Yankee fan, but that will come later.)
At first glance one might say "Well, the Dodgers had a good run. It was fun while it lasted."
But wait! Upon further examination we learn that the Dodgers are not completely hopeless against the all mighty Cards!
After what I'm sure was many hours of careful deliberation and thought, Joe Torre saw fit to begin his umpteenth playoff run behind the arm of veteran left hander Randy Wolf. This is a good decision by Torre being as he doesn't have all that much to work with. Chad Billingsuck would do just that, Hiroki Kuroda is apparently hurt (again!?) Stultz can throw a knuckle ball and nothing else, Padilla is not a game one type of pitcher, and Clayton Kershaw can not pitch both games (as much as we might want him to)
Wolf is the veteran of the group, so we can suspect that he will be less susceptible to nerves than other Dodger pitchers. Wolf can't possibly be expected to win this game on his arm alone, so the Dodger's must get their big bats swinging early. The Dodger bat's come into this game limping, but they seem to be determined to start hauling in the runs. Batting is a whole other thing in the playoffs and the Dodgers should be helped by the return (return!?) of Andre Either.
The Cardinals obviously have all the tools to smash and sweep the Dodgers under the carpet. They have one of their best pitchers, they have an lineup that includes the human homerun machine Albert Pujols, and the rabid fanbase. If the Cards want to bypass this Dodger team without a second thought, their pitching has to perform. If the Dodgers power hitters get going early they could easily take a game. The Cardinals were able to manhandle the Dodgers in the regular season (with the exception of two games which if I'm not mistaken were won by messers Randy Wolf and Clayton Kershaw) despite a sup par Pujols. All in all, I think that this is going to be a close game. If the Dodger bats get going, and their pitching is able to hold, don't be surprised to see the men in blue take this one.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taking My Baby To Sophistication

My poor neglected blog! Oh well, I vow that I shall not let this happen again! Today we are reaching new levels of sophistication here at Ranting and Raving with the top 10 hottest QB's in the NFL.

10. Mark Sanchez-Now, I'm not exactly sure what it is I see in Mark Sanchez, being as I loathe the Jets with a passion. I'm thinking it has something to do with my love of all things southern Californian. In a blog that I was reading the other day, the author of a particular post stated that " USC recruits Abercrombie models and turns them into NFL like football players." which is the absolute truth. How else can one school get so many good looking quarterbacks?

9. Drew Brees- Once upon a time, there was a little girl. This little girl was young and stupid and had a desperate hope that the Philthydelphia Eagles would win an NFC divisional playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. This girl had a strange thing for Jeff Garcia which could not be explained. That girl was me. And to this day I can not explain what I ever saw in Jeff Garcia or his igglets. Alas, it was not all in vain as this game did teach me how hot Drew Brees is. I'm not gonna lie, its that scar/birthmark thing on his cheek that draws me in. It acts as a sort of dimple of sorts in my opinion.

8. Joe Flacco-If I could only get at this man with a pair of tweezers!! It would do such wonders! He's got everything to become one of the hottest QB's out there, except for that stupid unibrow thing that lingers above his eyes! Speaking of eyes, he's got some nice ones. I'm a sucker for a tall guy with dark hair and great eyes and Flacco is no exception.

7. Tom Brady-Brady is certainly not worthy of this lowly number seven spot, but I put him here because of general hatred and him being a scumbag. Brady has all the looks to be a number one, but I just can't get past that stupid cocky facade he calls a personality. ("We're only gonna score 14 points? hahahahah" *Que vomit sounds*)

6. Matt Schaub-This is is the inexplicable pick. I could sit here and talk until I'm blue in the face and not be able to tell you what it is I see in Matt Schaub.
5. Eli Manning- This is the semi-homer pick. Yes I have to put my beloved QB on this list but he does have the looks to merit a spot. Eli is obviously the more fortunate of the Manning brothers as far as looks are concerned (Be jealous Peyton) He has that cute boy next door who just happens to be an amazing quarterback kind of appeal.

4. Phillip Rivers- Eh, I have some
hesitance with this one. For one I'm not crazy about his southern accent (no offense intended to the lovely people of the south) and I really don't like the Chargers due to a Charger fan brother. But you look at him and you can't deny it. The man is hot. He's got everything required to make me swoon plus he's a great quarterback.
3. Matt Ryan- I'll be the first to admit that when Matt Ryan first came out I didn't think he was all that attractive. As time passed and as rookie quarterback records passed, I came to realize that Matt Ryan was truly quite good looking. There was actually some study done recently that ranked NFL quarterbacks on their hotness based on facial semmetry. Matt Ryan apparently has very good facial semmetry as he was ranked as the NFL's hottest quarterback.

2. Matt Cassel-It's becoming quite obvious to me that I have a thing for men named Matt and USC quarterbacks. Matt Cassel may have had to wait to get his start in the NFL, but it was worth it to unveil his good looks on the universe. He's got it all-dark hair, tall, pretty eyes ect. Much like my number one hottest quarterback...
1. Trent Edwards- Yea, yea, yea. I know all about how is quarterbacking skills are sub-par. But there's no denying that this boy has the looks. I've heard some knocking his new hair, but I personally find it really, really, really hot. It brings a whole other demention to a man who I thought was honestly not that good looking when he first came out.

And that was my list dear readers, and I understand that we all may disagree.