And so the Metrodome lives to see another day. The Twins defeated the Tigers in 12 innings today to edge past Tigers as the AL Central Champs. The win had the Metrodome rocking and it will now at a minimum host one more playoff game before facing the wrecking ball. The Twins now serve as sacrificial lambs for the Yankees. I’m hard pressed to see any way for the Twins to defeat the Yanks in their Divisional Series after starting de facto Ace Scott Baker in today’s playoff. I’ll be pulling for the Twins and MVP Joe Mauer to topple the MFYs, I just don’t think it’s likely.
In the other AL Divisional Series the Angels are lined up for their annual Autumn rogering at the hands of the Red Sox. I know it’s a different year and the Angels have ridden an emotional roller coaster this season, but I see this series ending predictably. And as usual, not only will the Angels be playing the Red Sox they’ll also have the Umpires to combat. MLB and Fox are once again drooling at the prospect of a Yankees-Red Sox ALCS and you better believe the Angels will have to earn everything they get. Hopefully Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter can flip the script for Anaheim, but I wouldn’t put money on it.
In the National League the Rockies have been a great story as they stormed into contention after replacing Manager Clint Hurdle with Jim Tracy. Colorado has some exciting young players and a clutch performer in SS Troy Tulowitzki. The Rockies will have to travel to Philly and will not have #3 starter Jorge De La Rosa at their disposal as he is out with a knee injury. I’ll take the Phillies in 4, though I think the Rockies win game 1 and send the Philly airwaves into panic mode. Let’s just say “Halladay” will replace “cheesesteak” as the most used word in Philadelphia if they lose this series to the Rockies.
I’ll take the Cardinals in a sweep over the Dodgers. St. Louis will have the 2 best hitters and the 2 best pitchers in the series, ’nuff said. They can throw Cy Young hopefuls Carpenter and Wainwright 4 times in a 5 game series if so desired. That’s a tough hill for the Dodgers to climb, even with home field advantage. The talk in LA has gone from Manny being Manny to Manny being mediocre. The Dodgers will need the October 2008 version of Ramirez and some surprise performances by young hurlers Billingsley and Kershaw to have a shot at downing LaRussa’s Cards.