Monday, October 15, 2007

News and Notes From Everywhere

As the Rockies have jumped out to a 3-0 lead and the Red Sox and Indians are knotted at one game apiece, I figured it was time for an update on the two series and various other things going on in the sports world.

  • The sole Minnesota Twins note is that Kevin Slowey won Triple-A Pitcher of the Year honors. He earned the award by going 10-5 in 20 starts, while leading the International League in complete games (5), ERA (1.89), and WHIP (0.96). He also posted a 107 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio and allowed only four home runs in 133 2/3 innings.

  • As mentioned before, Arizona faces an insurmountable 3-0 deficit in the NLCS against Colorado. Colorado hasn't been totally dominant, but as they have been doing for the last month, the Rockies have found a way to come out on top. So far, it has been their pitching that has handcuffed the Diamondbacks, giving up just four runs in the first three games and inducing rally-killing double play balls, along with more timely hitting, most notably Yorvit Torrealba's two-out three-run homer yesterday.

  • Meanwhile, the Red Sox and Indians are in a much tighter situation. In Game 1, it was a matchup of two Cy Young favorites, but only one looked close to being so. Beckett pitched six solid innings while Sabathia was horrible, giving up 8 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. He has now walked 11 in 9 1/3 innings after leading the majors in K/BB and placing third in BB/9 during the regular season. The second game featured a battle to the end... or almost. The Indians scored seven runs in the 11th inning to win 13-6, as Eric Gagne struggled again and took the loss.

  • David Ortiz has been nothing short of spectacular this postseason. After Sunday's game, he was batting .615 (8-13) with nine walks against one strikeout, a .783 OBP, and a 1.154 slugging percentage. He's 1-2 today with a double as I type this, although the Red Sox are down 4-0.

  • Also of note to the Boston area especially, the New England Patriots are now 6-0. Tom Brady continued his sheer dominance by throwing for 388 yards and 5 touchdowns, which kept him on pace to break the single season record for touchdowns and quarterback rating. Whether you like them or hate them, you have to admire just how good a team they are (though, if you ask someone who actually hates them, such as Twin #2, you'll probably get a different response). I don't think I've seen a team this masterful since I started following football.

  • LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, and Devin Hester all had great individual days. LT looks like the running back he's been in the past couple of years, running all over the Oakland Raiders and tying his career high with four touchdowns. Peterson torched the suddenly lackluster Bears defense with 224 rushing yards and three touchdowns, two of 60+ yards. And Hester countered with a punt return touchdown and an 81-yard receiving TD in the losing effort.

  • As quarterbacks continue to drop like flies, some step up and others look atrocious. Vinny Testaverde qualifies as the former, leading Carolina to a victory against Arizona, who had their own issues. Tim Rattay, replacing an injured Kurt Warner in the first quarter, fell into the latter category by throwing three picks and no touchdowns. But St. Louis's Gus Frerotte was even worse; he threw five picks against zero touchdowns. And no, he was no Tony Romo-- they lost 22-3.

  • In terms of rankings, college football has become a complete mess this season. Yet again, the #1 team lost this week, this time LSU to Kentucky, 43-37. Ohio State has now moved up to that ranking, while South Florida--South Florida???--has taken over the #2 spot.

And that about wraps up this post, except for one final Twins note. The Arizona Fall League opened its season recently, and the Twins have some minor leaguers worth paying attention to. Hopefully we'll see some good winter ball from the prospects.

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