Whoever brutally shoe-horned Doc Holliday into "Doc Halladay" regrettably launched a thousand cringe-inducing puns. "Doctober" is the new favorite of course. I just thought I'd throw "Document" out there for the hell of it, because who could write a pun-less headline at a time like this?
Figures that the Rays would have had trouble with Cliff Lee. They only hit .247 as a team during the regular season. Buck Martinez spent the better part of six innings wondering how they scored any runs, and it never did occur to him that there is more than one way to get on base (although when Don Orsillo asked how the Rays should get back in the game, Martinez correctly answered "with base runners").
Unfortunately, Cliff Lee never, ever walks batters, which pretty much neutralized the Rays' outstanding 10.7% walk rate and left them with only their lousy batting average. David Price was not as bad as his five earned runs indicate, but it didn't matter anyways. Joe Maddon will throw James Shields out there tomorrow, whose high ERA is not really representative of his actual skill.
The best the Rangers can do is trot out C.J. Wilson, a mediocre relief pitcher as recently as 2008. I like the Rays to even the series.
So, yeah. Roy Halladay isn't bad. His performance was just a joy to watch from start to finish. I have to wonder though, "Did he doctor the ball?" Oh, I jest. Anyways, I laugh at those who brought up the fact that he had never pitched in the postseason back when he was on the trading block like it was somehow his fault. Dusty Baker's decision to start Edinson Volquez gives me yet another reason to question his sanity, but the point is moot. The Reds are in serious trouble here. They're going to see nothing but Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and (if they survive long enough), Halladay and Hamels again. This is the deadliest postseason 1-2-3 I've seen since the Astros' super-rotation in 2005.
It came up in the game thread that the Angels were also involved in the trade discussions for Halladay. Mike DiGiovanna reported that the Blue Jays might have been willing to deal him for Jered Weaver or Joe Saunders (it's unknown which they wanted), Erick Aybar, and Peter Bourjos. He also said the Angels balked with Aybar. That's a lot better than what they ultimately got in return, but Weaver plus anybody would have been a steep price to pay for just one season of Roy Halladay. There's no guarantee he would have signed an extension with the Angels, or even lifted his no-trade clause in the first place. Clearly Scott Kazmir was not the Plan B Tony Reagins was hoping for, but the Dan Haren theft makes me feel better again.
I'm not sure if the Twins are breaking my heart or if my heart is breaking for the Twins. The Yankees are their Red Sox, the ghoulish, disfigured horror villain who just won't die no matter how many times the screaming heroine stab, stab, stabs him. I was hoping tonight would be the final scene of Alien for the Twins, when Sigourney Weaver finally blasts that creepy thing out the airlock, but now I'm afraid we might still be stuck at the part where the monster is killing people from the air vents. Francisco Liriano is such a good pitcher too, he was just a groundball away from a very commendable start.
You have no idea how badly I wanted Jim Thome to crack a homer after that blown call in the bottom of the ninth. We'd have instant replay in seconds if a bad call cost the Yankees a playoff game. But really, what was up with Joe Girardi arguing that play like he was George Brett? There are still two outs in the bottom of the ninth, you have a two-run lead, and the BEST POSTSEASON PITCHER EVARRRR on the mound. The bogus base runner added all of 3% to the Twins' win probability. Neither team has another starting pitcher worth a damn (well, I guess Pettitte can still throw), so we'll see what happens. Get 'em tomorrow, Twins.