There have been some interesting developments in the LDS. First of all, I'll discuss the only one that's gone final so far.
So the White Sox swept the Red Sox. This comes as a surprise to me, since I picked the Red Sox in 5. So what exactly happened? I said that the Red Sox had to do two things to win in this Series: get some good starting pitching and find a way to score off the tough Chicago pitching. They failed at both, so it's small wonder that they were swept.
The Red Sox had a team hitting line of 295/413/240. Chicago's line was 355/567/289. It's not really unreasonable to expect the White Sox to hit well against a sub-par pitching staff, but they outdid themselves in this series. So yes, the White Sox hit well, even better than we could have expected against the Sox.
But if there's one stat that defines this Series, it's this: 3.00 ERA for Chicago; 7.56 ERA for Boston. Not only were the Red Sox pitchers unable to rise to the occasion; they got absolutely tomahawked. Matt Clement got bombed, Wells was good until that 5-run inning, and Wakefield just didn't have it. Whereas the White Sox got a fine start from Jose Contreras. But the story doesn't end with the starters; Boston was actually able to get to Mark Buehrle and Freddy Garcia. It was a story of bullpens. The Boston bullpen allowed 7 runs in 9.1 IP for a 6.75 ERA. The White Sox bullpen -- allowed a grand total of 0 runs over 7.1 IP.
The Red Sox missed Pedro and Schilling, and the White Sox had all their cylinders working and even threw in some genuinely good hitting for good measure.
In San Diego, the Foregone Conclusion takes place tomorrow night at 11 PM. Seriously, though, Jake Peavy was about the only thing the Padres had going for them. Not only did they lose his first start, but he's extremely unlikely to return in Game 4 or ever. The pitching matchup for Game 3 is Matt Morris .vs. Woody Williams. Formerly the anchors of the Cardinal rotation, they took a separate career path this season:
Morris: 4.11 ERA, 192.2 IP, 22 HR, 37 BB/117 K
Williams: 4.85 ERA, 159.2 IP, 24 HR, 51 BB/106 K
So while Morris hasn't exactly been golden, Williams has just been awful in San Diego. I don't know if Adam Eaton is hurt or anything, but if they think that Williams' postseason experience will suddenly reverse the effects of aging he felt this year, they've got another thing coming.
But the Padres do stand the chance of at least winning a game. What makes me say that? Their hitting line over the first two games was 400/414/329. It's just two games, yes, but it was against Chris Carpenter and Mark Mulder. Not only does this tell us something about Carpenter and Mulder, but it makes me think that the Padre offense hasn't been as weak as the 7 R in 2 games would make it seem. So while they might scrape across a victory tomorrow, their chances of winning the Series have to be less than 1%.
The Yankees lost in New York tonight, which was not what I expected when Randy Johnson went up against Paul Byrd. But the Angels got to Randy Johnson and scored 11 runs. Erk? Well, the Yankees scored 7 runs, which was about what you could expect. But, as Yankee fans don't need to be reminded, it sometimes takes more than 7 runs to win this year. Not only did the Angels catch Randy on an off-night, they were able to feast on the Yankee middle relief, which is just dreadful. Why Al Leiter is out on the mound in such an important game, I have no idea, but I guess it's true that the Yankees just don't have anyone else. New York still has a chance to win the Series, certainly. But with the deciding Game 5 against Bartolo Colon in Anaheim (with Mussina how reliable?), we have to call the Angels slight favorites now. Either way, it certainly won't be the 4-game Yankee victory I predicted.