Monday, October 5, 2009

Starting at an Ending: NLDS

Playoffs have finally arrived and the teams are set (at least for the National League). So let's run down the "best" of the senior circuit and see how these boyos match up. In addition, we'll get some tunes from each city's respective scene.

Philadelphia Phillies: One of the top teams in this league, the Phillies did it with good ole mashing. Put Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard in a lineup and you really have no choice but to score some runs. The defending champs have a nearly identical lineup to last year, save a substitution of Raul Ibanez (who had an unusually good excellent first half) for Pat Burrell. Starting pitching is strong on paper with lefties Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and J.A. (sounds like "Jay." Seriously) Happ and and old Pete Martinez with the valuable "veteran leadership." They're a tough club. There has to be some weakness. Oh, well there is this guy.Yeah, that might be a slight problem they'll have to look into. The Phils have homefield advantage and take on the Rockies.
Philly has some damn good music. Not many better than this band:

Colorado Rockies: This year's wildcard (which lately has meant World Series favorite) got to where they are by disciplined hitting and great pitching by Ubaldo Jimenez and Jorge De La Rosa and out of his element pitching by Jason Freakin' Marquis. Not to mention, they fired their manager mid year. Hey, it worked for the Penguins, amirite? But let's not kid ourselves. If this team makes the World Series, we're all going to be bored out of our skulls. Remember the Red Sox-Rockies World Series? Of course, you don't.
This song's called "Joe California" but it's by a band from Colorado. Crazy worldly, I know.

St. Louis Cardinals: "My" team was a rag tag band of merry players that used grit and determination to lead the league in goodwill and hearty wins. Not really. Two Cy Young candidates and groundball wizard Joel Pineiro provided some stability in the rotation. The front office pushed their chips (read: top prospects) all in for masher Matt Holliday to protect Lord Pujols in the lineup. With any luck the peripheral players will play the slightly above replacement level that that are paid to do.
Unfortunately, not much to choose from but this is a pretty damn good song:

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Cards face the NL West Champion Dodgers. The Dodgers had a hot start this season after getting some decent pitching from Chad Billingsly and Clayton Kershaw and some hot hitting from Manny Ramirez, who has been coming off his 'roid cycle. But like the Cards, they lost a bunch of games as they entered the playoffs. It'll be interesting to see which team decides it's worth it to play games 163-168 of this long season.
LA has some legendary punk bands and I could choose any number of great music. However, I want everyone to root for the Cardinals, so here's a reason not to root for Los Angeles: the town brought you this travesty:

It's like Snoop Dog is endorsing a Juggalo band.

Go Cards.

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