Monday, May 22

Early Series Capsules: 5/22/06 - 5/25/06 - Special Losers Edition!

That's right! I'm changing things up a little bit (mainly because I'm getting tired of writing about the Red Sox and Yankees, especially since it's one of THOSE series). This time, I'm focusing on the series that only hardcore fans care about - the mismatches and alley fights. Let the games begin! (Houston @ Washington not included - next time the Nats better lose a series if they want in on this round!)

#5: Detroit Tigers (29-14, W2, 9-1) @ Kansas City Royals (10-31, L9, 1-9)
Pitching Matchups:
5/22: Verlander vs Affeldt
5/23: Rogers vs Hernandez
5/24: Bonderman vs Redman
5/25: Maroth vs Bautista

For the Tigers:
Always nice to know that the combined record of the teams involved is under .500 and it's not your fault at all. Basically, the keys for the Tigers are:
- show up
- don't have flashbacks to previous years
- don't accidentally show up in Cleveland's uniforms

Do that and they'll win 3 out of 4.

For the Royals:
Sacrifices are in order - and we're not talking sac bunts. Pick your god and kill that goat, kids. I never thought I'd actually suggest "bean their good hitters" as a legitimate strategy, but there you go.

#4: Tampa Bay Devil Rays (20-24, W4, 7-3) @ Toronto Blue Jays (23-20, L3, 5-5)
Pitching Matchups:
5/22: McClung vs Janssen
5/23: Hendrickson vs Halladay
5/24: Fossum vs Towers

For the Devil Rays:
- Don't accidentally import Florida's bullpen.
- Rock the house on Monday and Wednesday. Hope you get lucky on Tuesday.

For the Blue Jays:
- Win with Halladay, pray with everyone else.
- Hit the bullpen, hit it hard.

#3: Pittsburgh Pirates (14-30, L1, 4-6) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (24-19, L1, 6-4)
Pitching Matchups:
5/22: Perez vs Hernandez
5/23: Santos vs Vargas
5/24: Duke vs Batista

For the Pirates:
Well, since you have your 1-2 guys going in this series, that's got to be a good sign, right? Then you remember you're the Pirates. I think the motivation to temporarily fuck up Arizona's chances at getting first in the NL West might be enough to win 2. Maybe. Or maybe the motivation to not be made fun of. Feel the excitement! Come watch Jason Bay (seriously - he's good)!

For the D-Backs:
Show up, hope your pitching doesn't suck. Not a huge deal - Ollie Pee is a walking landmine, only he explodes INTO the ground (i.e., does you no harm). Your starters aren't bad, but there's nothing on their end to worry about. Viva le series victory!

#2: Los Angeles Angels (17-27, L5, 3-7) @ Texas Rangers (22-21, L1, 4-6)
Pitching Matchups:
5/22: Escobar vs Loe
5/23: Lackey vs Padilla
5/24: Weaver vs Tejeda

For the Angels:
WTF? Dooooood. Hit. Seriously.

For the Rangers:
No biggie - just pitch decently and hope for the best. Until the Angels realize they're supposed to be good, you can beat up on them.

#1: Chicago Cubs (18-25, W1, 3-7) @ Florida Marlins (11-31, L7, 2-8)
Pitching Matchups:
5/22: Marshall vs Nolasco
5/23: Wood vs Olsen
5/24: Maddux vs Moehler

For the Cubs:
No Glendon Rusch + Wood = series victory. Well, push a couple of runs across, too. Maybe that's the harder part of this.

For the Marlins:
Curl up into a ball, wait for 2007. Oh, and release your bullpen. Seriously. Start over.