First, a quick rundown on my LCS predictions.
As well as I did with the LDS predictions, I could not have been more wrong on my LCS predictions.
American League Championship Series
Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees
“I really hope I am wrong about this, but…
My prediction: New York Yankees in 6 games.”
Reality: Texas Rangers in 6 games.
VERY happy to be wrong on that prediction. Although things basically went as they should have as far as each team’s respective aces winning the games they started (CC Sabathia Game 1, even though he pitched poorly and did not get the win, Cliff Lee’s masterful performance of 8 shutout innings in the Bronx for Game 3), the major keys were Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis, who got the wins in Games 2 and 6, along with the Rangers offense coming alive against subpar Yankee pitching outside of Andy Pettitte.
The Rangers bullpen had a horrific implosion during Game 1, giving up 5 runs in the Top 8 which allowed the Yankees a huge come-from-behind victory.
People were freaked, especially in Texas. Could the Rangers possibly rebound from a devastating loss in Game 1? They did so in Game 2, beating up on Phil Hughes and the rest of the Yankees bullpen.
No need to recap the rest, the Rangers took the series in 6 games, pretty much outplaying the Yankees in every way except for Game 5 where CC Sabathia led his team to a 7-2 victory.
Texas is going to their first World Series in franchise history.
National League Championship Series
San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies
My prediction: Philadelphia Phillies in 5 games.
Reality: San Francisco Giants in 6 games.
There was only one way the Giants were going to beat the Phillies, and that was to have their pitchers be lights out, shutting the Phillies offense down.
And that’s pretty much what happened except in Game 2 where the Phillies beat SF 6-1 behind Roy Oswalt.
Closer Brian Wilson got 3 saves and a win in the series, giving up 0 runs. That’s always a critical factor for any postseason team, to have their closer be lights out. Stating the obvious? Perhaps, but it shouldn’t go unmentioned considering how many teams are undone by bullpen arms that can’t finish the game.
This was definitely an upset, moreso than the ALCS because the Rangers matched up better against the Yankees, plus they had Cliff Lee. Plus during Game 6, you had the meltdown of Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez and yet was saved by the rest of the Giants pitching staff including Jeremy Affeldt (!) and Madison Bumgardner.
Also a very exciting series to watch, as all of the games except Game 2 were very close. Game 6 was probably the best game of the entire postseason thus far.
San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers
For the first time since 2005 (Chicago White Sox vs. Houston Astros), I can’t really say I have any rooting interest either way. There are many reasons to root for/against each team, and I do KINDA hope that Vladimir Guerrero gets a ring here, because he’s been one of my favorite players. But if he doesn’t get one with Texas, I won’t shed any tears. If the San Francisco Giants win the WS, it will drive Los Angeles Dodgers fans INSANE, which is almost reason enough to root for the Giants to win.
So who is going to win this World Series between two teams that have never won the World Series? Yes, the NEW YORK Giants have won the World Series, last time being 1954, but the San Francisco version, never.
I think we’re going to be in for a dogfight here. Game 1 pits “Mr. Perfect” Cliff Lee, who has yet to lose a postseason game, against Timmy Lincecum, the 2-time NL Cy Young winner in 2008 and 2009. This should prove to be a huge matchup, whether or not it lives up to all the hype.
Cliff Lee is still the rock of the Rangers pitching staff, and it’s hard to bet against him until he falters. You have Rangers catcher Bengie Molina getting a World Series ring regardless of who wins, since he played for the San Francisco Giants for half the 2010 season. But there also should be some innate knowledge that Molina possesses of the Giants pitching staff that should on some level, aid the Rangers in hitting guys like Lincecum, Cain and Sanchez (especially Sanchez. Of course the Giants have switched up their signs, but Molina has to know the Giants pitchers better than most, and share that knowledge with his current team.
If the Giants pitching staff can maintain their level of excellence from top to bottom the way they (mostly) did against Philadelphia, then they have a good chance of beating Texas. But Texas’ offense is hotter, their pitching is equal or better to San Francisco’s, and if they can take care of the Yankees pitchers, they SHOULD be able handle the Giants staff as well.
My prediction: Texas Rangers in 6 games.