Down 2-0 but back at home, the Tigers need a win to avoid an elimination game.
The Giants held serve at AT&T Park, winning the first two games of the series by thrashing Justin Verlander behind Barry Zito in the opener and riding Madison Bumgarner in a duel with Doug Fister on Thursday night. Now, it’s up to the Tigers to take at least two of three in Detroit to send the series back to San Francisco. Step one is winning tonight’s Game Three, which may hinge on one offering by each starter that is crucial to his success.
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The tater trots for April 9: Pablo dances, LaHair blasts one to Sheffield, St. Louis' trio of shots, and De Aza's leadoff beauty.
The allure of Opening Week is finally gone. While some teams are still celebrating (or awaiting) their home openers, others are already back to midseason form. In Houston, 17,095 paid to see the hometown boys beat the Braves. In Oakland, the stellar Royals/A's matchup only brought out 10,054 paid attendees. One of those is bound to change on Tuesday, as the Astros plan to hold their first throwback game of the year. In honor of their 50th anniversary, the team will be wearing old Houston Colt .45s jerseys, smoking gun and all.
The tater trots for August 2: five multi-home run games and a couple of notable shots in the Cubs game. The home run call for Jose Reyes' shot is something special.
Yesterday, I made a special note of the four multiple home run days hit across the league on Monday. Well, if four was special on Monday, then the five on Tuesday must be even more special. Of course, there were forty-two home runs hit in total on Tuesday as opposed to the twenty-six on Monday, so maybe that dilutes it somehow. I doubt Ryan Howard, Alfonso Soriano, Garrett Jones, Mark Teixeira, and Omar Infante would care, though.
Though some players look like absolute busts at the beginning of the season, could they hold value at the end of the year?
Jose Lopez | FLA | 2B/3B: Lopez was considered a sleeper pick by many coming into 2011, but has been a complete bust thus far; he had a terrible stint with the Rockies, who released him a couple weeks ago. He recently signed on with the Marlins, though, and after spending just four days in the minors, he was called back to the Show yesterday.
While there’s no denying he has been a drain on fantasy teams this year, this is a guy who had posted double-digit homers five years running coming into 2011, and really the only truly out-of-line marks from his stint in Colorado were his BABIP (which is highly unstable) and, to a smaller extent, his power.
Hot Spots begins its offseason moves coverage with three Marlins-related names.
As fellow Hot Spotter Rob McQuown alluded to yesterday, Hot Spots is back in the offseason to cover some of the various moving parts of Hot Stove season and how they might affect your fantasy teams. Moving parts means more to fantasy players than just a new team name in front of their favorite stars. It also can bring more (or less) playing time, increased opportunities for success, and all sorts of other considerations that fantasy players should keep in mind. We hope that we can provide that for you this offseason.
In his final game as a manager, Bobby Cox went with his gut, and it steered him wrong.
Five-game series have a different dynamic when compared to their seven-game brethren, in particular when it comes to stress management. One loss represents 50 percent of your series-recommended allowance, so teams find themselves in desperation mode much quicker. After getting a gift win in Game Two to tie the National League Division Series, the Braves gave one right back to the Giants on Sunday in equally, if not more heart-breaking fashion. With his season (and career) on the line, manager Bobby Cox did not hesitate to make major overhauls to his Game Four approach on Monday night.
Two teams that took interesting rides to the postseason meet in the first round.
Those of you who root for chaos and the eventual heat death of the universe were no doubt disappointed that the season did not end with a series of one-game playoffs. To the Braves and the Giants, however, the outcomes of Sunday’s games were more than welcome. Their starters will receive an additional day of rest each, and they won’t entirely foreclose the possibility of pitching their Game One starters on short rest in Game Four. The condensed schedule of this series (potentially five games in seven days, rather than the eight allotted to the other NLDS) means Bobby Cox and Bruce Bochy will have tough decisions to make should the series go to four or five games.