Monday, October 5, 2009

Weekend Review - 10/5/2009

Wow, who would have thought we'd be sitting here still stressing about the Twins even  four days ago?  Quite the run to tie it (I think they are on a 16-4 run right now) and a little help from the Tigers and we are back to last year all over again.  That was a fun game to watch yesterday, and the cheers from the crowd when the White Sox scored and the chants of "Let's Go White Sox" were great moments.  Glad I had the chance to go.  No, I won't be in attendance on Tuesday, but I will most definitely be watching.  Let's hope we get the good Baker, not the gopher ball one.


1.  Delmon Freaking Young.  What.  The.  Hell?  I have no idea what got into him, unless it was that little bean ball/I hate Mijares incident, but whatever it is keep it going.  Delmoney absolutely destroyed Kansas City in this three game set, going 6-13 with three home runs and 10 rbi and coming up with the biggest hit of the game in both games 1 (the grand slam) and game 2 (bases clearing double off Grienke) and then knocking out two homers yesterday.  To put his production this weekend in perspective, these three games representent about 3% of the games he's played in all year and he put up 25% of his season home run total and 17% of his RBI total this weekend.  Is he finally turning it around and showing the player everyone thought he would be coming into the league, or is this nothing more than a small sample size flash?  I don't care, just do it for one more game.

2.  Jason Kubel.  If Delmoney hadn't had such a monster series, we'd be talking about Kubel who is almost as hot right now.  In the three games against KC, he went 6-13 with 3 homers and 8 rbi - the big difference is we expect this from Kubel.  His three-run bomb in the first yesterday set the tone and took a whole ton of pressure off the rest of the team, and continued a season of utter dominance as he's now up over 100 rbi and a .300 batting average.  Seriously, this batting line:  .300/.369/.535 with 27 dingers, 35 doubles, and 102 ribi is just sick.  He has a better slugging percentage than Alex Rodriguez, a better on base percentage than Johnny Damon, a better average than Mark Texeira, more homers than Evan Longoria, Justin Morneau, and Derek Jeter.  Seriously, at this point anybody bashing Kubel is either completely retarded or just running a bit, because he really and truly has had an elite hitting season this year.

3.  Jacob Edward Peavy.  This is a repeat from last week, but how can I not include him again?  A week after completely shutting down the Tigers, he did it again, going eight innings this time, and giving up just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out five and giving up no runs.  You can read my post last week and pretty much apply the whole thing this week.  Two interesting additional thoughts about Peavy, both supplied by Snacks this week.  First, how impressed should we really be by him shutting down the Tigers twice?  As snacky-boy said, Carl Pavano did it four freaking times.  Pavano is the definition of mediocre, so perhaps it isn't time to make sweet love to Peavy just yet - although I lean towards the fact that this guy is pretty good.  Second, Peavy doesn't miss a whole lot of bats, and that isn't a desirable trait in the AL.  He only threw four pitches that batters swung and missed at tonight.  For comparison sake, Manship had nine and even Jesse Crain had two.  That's not a good thing.  If the Sidler still read this blog and wrote for it, he could probably do this better than I.

4.  B.J. Upton.  Bossman Junior has driven me crazy this year, first being my preseason pick for MVP and then proceeding to alternate between being hurt and sucking all season long, but he finally played the way I expected him to all year this weekend.  He started off by hitting for the cycle and driving in six on friday, scored two runs without getting a hit on saturday, and .  The thing that drives me and probably actual Rays' fans crazy is that he has all the tools to be an MVP candidate, but his numbers have taken an inexplicable dip this year.  Batting average from .273 to .243, OBP from .383 to .312, SLG from .401 to .376.  It's even more dramatic looking at deeper metrics, his walk rate went from 15.4% to 8.9%, his line drive % went from 19% to 15.5%, and his fly balls up are 31% to 40% and he's suddenly swing at 20% of the balls he sees outside the strike zone, where he was at just 15% last year.  Perhaps most damning is that that last year his BABIP was a ridiculous .350, and now that he's at a more normal .315 his numbers are awful.  Is the Bossman just an average player?  My eyes say no, but my brain is starting to say a solid maybe.

5.  Hakeem Nicks.  It's unfortunate that he got hurt and had to miss three games, because it's allowed Eli to get cozy and snuggly with guys like Manningham and Steve Smith which might slightly slow down his quick ascent to the #1 WR on the Giants, but it's clear he's going to be a star.  They managed to get him in the game a bit this week and he responded with a 54-yard TD catch.  Is it safe to say he's the next Randy Moss?  Yes, I think it probably is.  


1.  Miguel Cabrera.  Obviously losing two of three to Chicago and coughing up a 2 game lead with three to play means a whole lot went wrong for the Tigers, such as scoring one total run in the first two games, but supposed MVP candidate Cabrera really forgot to show up, going 0-11 for the series.  And it's not even so much 0-11, but how many opportunities he squandered.  Game 1, first inning two runners on and 1 out - Whiff.  Fourth inning, runner on nobody out - popup.  Ninth inning, runner on nobody out - popout.  Game 2, first inning, runner on two out - popup.  Third inning, runners on 2nd & 3rd, two outs - ground out.  Sixth inning, runner on one out - strikeout.  Eighth inning, two on, 1 out - double play.  Even in game 3 he came up twice with a runner on base and failed to get a hit.  Sure, game 1 was a blowout so it didn't matter and they won game 3 anyway, but he had every opportunity to win or at least change that second game and failed to come through time and time again.  Of course, this probably just means he's due and he'll do a Jason Kubel impression to Baker on Tuesday.

2.  Clemson.  They weren't exactly a national title contender or anything, but with a kick-ass RB like C.J.  Spiller and a ranking just outside the top 25 in the preseason in like every poll it looked like they were poised for a good year.  Oops.  The losses keep piling up, and at this point the Tigers are 2-3 and suddenly look like instead of fighting for a top tier bowl they'd be lucky to make the Poulan Weedeater Bowl.  Losses to TCU, Georgia Tech, and this weekend to Maryland aren't horrible by themselves, but add them up and they haven't won a meaningful game this year.  It's always a struggle with a freshman QB, and Kyle Parker hasn't thrown a TD since September 10th, but they just keep finding ways to lose, and this week it was missed field goals - they missed two in the fourth quarter, either of which would have tied the game.  They weren't exactly chipshots at 47 and 48 yards, but kicker Rich Jackson hit a 51 yarder earlier, so you know he had the leg.  Sorry Clemson, not your year.   

3.  Dallas Cowboy Playcalling.  If you had the misfortunate of watching this crapfest I feel for you, though I had to watch it to.  At the end of the game, the Broncos had managed to suck slightly less than the Cowboys and had a 17-10 lead, but Dallas had the ball, 3rd and goal, with nine seconds left - two chances to tie the game.  So they go to Sam Hurd.  Huh?  I guess he'd be after Witten, Williams, Crayton, and Austin, but ok, maybe he had a good matchup.  Nope, he was going against Champ Bailey.  Now, Bailey may have been passed by guys like Revis and Asomugha, but he's still top shelf.  So of course, he knocked the pass away.  Then they ran THE EXACT SAME PLAY, which he again knocked away - Game Over, Broncos win.  And this wasn't Romo checking down, Hurd was the #1 option and Romo was Weber-locked on him.  The announcer also commented that Romo threw at Bailey 16 times in his 42 attempts, which, clearly, didn't work (Bailey had four pass deflections and an INT, and I'd love to see the overall results of those attempts).  Just an absolutely bizarre strategy.  

4.  Oakland Raiders Rushing.  So much for the three-headed monster (McFadden, Bush, Fargas).  Well, it could be a three-headed monster if the monster was a pile of crap with pipe cleaners sticking out and cotton balls and googly eyes for the three heads, but it certainly ain't some kind of real monster after Sunday's output.  Fargas was the star, gaining a whole 24 yards and 10 carries, while Michael Bush got 10 and McFadden carried six times for -3 yards.  Darrius Heyward-Bay was the team's second leading rusher thanks to a 20 yard reverse.  The Raiders gained 45 total yards on the ground agains the Texans, who ranked as the NFL's worst defense and were allowing 205 rushing yards per game to their opponents before Sunday.  Of course, this could be more of a Jamarcus Russell thing than a RB thing, since the Texans stacked the line and dared Russell to beat them - which he didn't, completing just 12 of 33 attempts for 128 yards.  Holy god is that guy terrible.

5.  Gopher football.  I didn't watch the game because I was busy doing I'm not really sure what, but seeing as how they lost at home to Wisconsin in a game in which they were favored, I'm going to assume they sucked.  No doubt either the Daily Gopher or the Gopher Football Blog has slightly more detailed information if that's your sort of thing.


Dharma Bum said...

I take it you didn't see this.

WWWWWW said...

I saw that, but not until after this post went up. You gotta love a guy who goes out drinking with his opponents until 6am during a big series.

Anonymous said...

Kubel is a poor mans brady anderson. Just because he is fat and sassy doesn't make him a good ball player. Cuddy is twice the player and man.