SportsNet - October 2012
The Detroit Tigers did not enjoy their trip to San Francisco this week.
Coming into the series as the odds on favorites, the Tigers find themselves in a 0-2 series hole to the San Francisco Giants, who it now seems can do no wrong.
After a grueling seven game series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants were forced to throw Barry Zito in game one against All-Planet pitcher Justin Verlander. The result? Zito dealt like the man who won the AL Cy-Young in 2002, Pablo Sandoval hit three homeruns, and the Giants smoked Verlander for five runs on their way to an 8-3 victory.
Then the Giants decided to throw Madison Bumgarner in game two, a guy who hasn’t had his normal stuff since the end July. The Tigers threw Doug Fister, who was one of the best pitchers in the AL after the All Star Break.
Fister did his job, holding the Giants to just 1 run on 6 hits, but what not many expected was Bumgarner to look like 2010 World Series Bumgarner. The 23-year-old they call Mad-Bum threw 7 innings, allowed only 2 hits and struck out 8, frustrating Tigers hitters all night and the Giants won 2-0.
Man, you just can’t get anything past Jim Leyland.
Brilliant strategist, scintillating motivator that Detroit manager is, indeed. Seeing how San Francisco played baseball’s rope-a-dope with Cincinnati and St. Louis in successive series to reach the World Series as the National League’s rep, Jimmy stepped back, somehow coaxed his Motown minions to roll over the first two games and give the Giants false hope.
For good measure, he even boasted – yes, boasted – how his Tigers’ bats looked good Thursday night, belting out a collective two hits against that trio of Cy Young-like stylists named Madison Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo in what normally would have been seen as a must-win situation.
A must-win situation, of course, if it were not for Leyland’s foresight, his absolute understated genius … which somehow gets stated all the time by national media members.
Oh, the Tigers have San Fran right where they want it – up 2-0 in the series, feeling good and bordering on the edge of overconfidence – and they can thank their chain-smoking lead strategist for that.
At least that’s the scenario all of Detroit hopes is the case.
10 MLB Players Fans Should Watch In Person Part 2: Chapman, Hernandez, Ichiro, Stanton, and Halladay
There’s that old adage that certain athletes are “once-in-a-lifetime talents.” And while the phrase may be played out, there are definitely a handful of athletes that actually fit into this category. There are some talents that are just too amazing to not enjoy watching, regardless of what your favorite team may be. Some may be older players that have a limited window of playing time left while some may be young stars that are just too good to miss. The first installment in this series will highlight ten baseball players that fans should watch in person. Keep in mind this list is NOT solely comprised of guys on the verge of retirement. Here is part 2 of 2 (Players are in no particular order). You can check out part one here.
Aroldis Chapman- Pitcher, Cincinnati Reds
Manchester City have started the season well, however, they’re yet to capture their form of last season, despite still being unbeaten. They’ve won five and draw three out of their opening eight games, winning their last three, including a last gasp win against West Bromwich Albion, with ten men. With their envious home record, they’ll certainly be looking to take all three points against a Swansea side that has had a mixed start to the season.
Swansea started the season in exhilarating style, taking apart both Q.P.R. and West Ham, scoring eight goals and conceding none in the process, they then went on a winless run of five games, with draws against Sunderland and Reading, while losing to Stoke, Everton and Aston Villa, giving Paul Lambert his first win in charge of The Villians. After beating Wigan last week, however, The Swans confidence will be restored, and a win against the Champions could kick-start their season, and give them a new lease of life.
This Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-0), ranked No. 5 in the BCS standings, will take on the Oklahoma Sooners (5-1), ranked No. 8 in the BCS standings. The game will be broadcasted on ABC at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday 10/27 and will be Notre Dame’s biggest test to date. Historically, Notre Dame and Oklahoma have met eight times with the Irish winning seven of those contests, the last of which was a 34-30 Notre Dame victory in 1999. Notre Dame will look to prove that their top five ranking in the BCS is warranted and Oklahoma will try to keep rolling after dismantling Kansas 52-7 on 10/20 and move closer to Kansas State, who beat Oklahoma earlier this year and holds the top spot in the Big 12.