Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Sweep Dreams are Made of This

Last night, the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox defeated their opponents to take commanding 2-0 leads in their respective American League Division Series match-ups. Meanwhile over in the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have done the same. All four series are on the verge of ending as sweeps this weekend. What's worse is that the best teams in both the American and National leagues are trailing 0-2. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won 100 games while the Chicago Cubs won 97.

I watch, or listen to, every game of the Major League Baseball playoffs. Despite every series being 2-0, each match-up has been competitive with the exception of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cubs. The combined scores for the Rays and Chicago White Sox is 12-6. The Rays scored four runs late in Game 2 to widen the gap, but the White Sox lead 2-1 for most of the game. The Red Sox lead the heavily favored Angels 11-6. The Phillies lead the Milwaukee Brewers 8-3. Finally, the Dodgers lead the Cubs 17-5. Just to add gasoline to the Cubs fire, they made five errors in two games.

I had to take a timeout. I felt nauseous thinking about the bad defense and lack of Cubs offense. Okay, I'm better.

Starting tonight, every series switches venues. The Brewers return to Milwaukee to play the first playoff game in Miller Park history. Last Sunday they celebrated their first playoff berth since 1982 with a combined victory over the Cubs while the Florida Marlins eliminated the New York Mets. The Cubs head to Chavez Ravine to battle the Dodgers high atop the hill, amongst the palm trees, in Dodger Stadium. On Sunday the White Sox return to 35th and Shields for the first postseason game at U.S. Cellular Field since they defeated the Astros in Game 2 of the 2005 World Series. The defending World Series champion Red Sox return to Fenway Park. Will these teams prevent sweeps? Will there be a full schedule of baseball on Sunday? I hope so.

If these series end in sweeps, the League Championship Series will have a decidedly east coast bias. The Dodgers, of course, would be the exception. On a ratings front, that never bodes well. When the midwest market loses a rooting interest, so go the ratings. I was talking with a friend following the White Sox tiebreaker defeat of the Minnesota Twins. We discussed how the story of the Red Sox is losing interest with the mainstream. They captured the imagination of the mainstream, non-baseball fan, audience when they swept the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004 to win their first World Series since 1918. Last year, they won their second title in four seasons. The "Curse of the Bambino" is officially over.


13 Comments
SallyPants
Wow that's a lot of tags!

I can't believe all the series stand at 2-0. And I can't believe the Cubs are at the losing end of that. If you would have told me a week ago that we'd look like a bunch of monkeys running around the diamond, I would have thought you were crazy.

But hope springs eternal - the Cubs are still in it, and until the last out in the 9th I'm not giving up hope. But I will have Windex and paper towels on stand-by to clean the back window of my Wootmobile.
SallyPants   Saturday, October 4, 2008
billpearch
I did go a little crazy with tags, huh?

We'll see how it goes. I know a 3-game winning streak isn't unrealistic, but historically speaking, it's a rare occurrence in the playoffs. I'll be cheering them on, but if they lose this series, sweep or not, it'll be one of the largest disappointments in franchise history.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, October 4, 2008
daveheinzel
While a 3-game winning streak may be rare in postseason, it's not as rare as the Cubs actually winning the World Series. So I'm still hopeful :)
Dave Heinzel   Saturday, October 4, 2008
billpearch
The Brewers have a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Maybe things are turning around for the 0-2 teams.
Bill Pearch   Saturday, October 4, 2008
_DELETED_carriepassante
Thank god we got that one! I was biting all of my finger nails off when bases were loaded...
Carrie   Saturday, October 4, 2008
daveheinzel
It's the 8th inning, and it's not looking good for the Cubs. I am making some waffles in the hopes that things turn around with a quickness.
Dave Heinzel   Saturday, October 4, 2008
daveheinzel
Hey - lead off double! Please don't squander this.
Dave Heinzel   Saturday, October 4, 2008
nheinzel
So sorry, Dave. It's painful to watch. If the waffles are going to turn this thing around, you better make a lot of them!!
!   Saturday, October 4, 2008
daveheinzel
We got one!!! Alright!
Dave Heinzel   Saturday, October 4, 2008
daveheinzel
If it takes 2 waffles to get 1 run, I think I need to run to the store real quick.
Dave Heinzel   Saturday, October 4, 2008
_DELETED_lindagsings
hurry Dave, more waffles!!!
SA Tenor   Saturday, October 4, 2008
daveheinzel
That's it, I can go to bed now.
Dave Heinzel   Saturday, October 4, 2008
nheinzel
Just wait till next year. Yeah right.
!   Saturday, October 4, 2008
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