Friday, November 4, 2011



Here we are folks, in the midst of another exciting round of playoffs. If the Play-In round is any indication of what the rest of the playoffs will be like, then we're all in for a treat. Great matchups across the board, and 90-win teams such as the Austin Bats and the Arizona Awesome! won't even participate.

Should we even dare try to predict these matchups? We'll sure give it a try, but no guarantees on getting any of them right.


One of the more intriguing matchups of the playoffs. Expectations rose once Foolsgold79 joined on, and he's slowly taken the climb up to the top. The Cincinnati Blue Darters have a lethal offense, led by Billy Lamb. As he goes, so goes this offense. Add Jesus Elcano and Zack Hernandez to the lineup, and it's already one of the AL's best. Wait, we haven't even mentioned Ed Kennedy yet. Simply awesome. Did I mention they have the arms too? Twenty-game winner Pete Sizemore and Anderson Moss lead this filthy rotation, and Matt Perez provides playoff experience to this club.

Salem has their share of stars as well. The tandem of Geronimo Elcano and Santo Rijo once again is where the heartbeat of the lineup remains. Youngsters such as Lorenzo Castilla and Pedro Crespo need to be able to produce to stay with the Blue Darters. Luis Trevino could be the key to Salem's success. Speaking of keys to success, it all falls on Erv Orie. They lack the arms that Cincinnati has, and Orie needs to be near perfect. Brian Yang has the talent, but also has shown inconsistency.

PREDICTION: Salem's playoff woes continue as the Blue Darters advance in 4.


I've never seen a team "cool off" to 99 wins, but that's exactly what the Oklahoma City Redhawks did. They started the first half of the season on fire, and the talk of the Redhawks being the best SJ team of all-time surfaced. They cooled off a bit, but they still got their 3rd straight AL WEST title. The Redhawks have a balanced offense, led by veteran Steve Wynn. B.C. Medlen and D'Angelo Nieves are stars in the making, and it's important for those two to have good starts to this series. Keep an eye on another youngster, James Galloway. As far as the rotation goes, it belongs to Peter Williams. He's been straight money all year long. Chick Lankford and Jeff Sweeney need to pitch deep into games so their bullpen can take over and protect the lead.

The Milwaukee Naturals just might be the best #6 seed of all-time. Not only with 94 wins to their credit, but they knocked favored Austin out in the previous round. This team is led by Luis Candelaria and SJ's best all-around catcher Milt Kipling. Denny Gaston is a unique talent that has the ability to take games over. To advance, Moises Ozuna needs to lay the wood on the ball and create some scores, and do it often. Milwaukee's two-headed SP ace of Cedrick Redmond and Tomas Sanchez will be showcased here. These two accounted for nearly a third of Milwaukee's total victories, and they'll be relied upon to pitch well.

PREDICTION: The Redhawks' great season ends early as the Naturals head to the ALCS in 4.


The Kansas City Pine Tar narrowly entered the playoffs by winning the NL EAST over the San Juan Expos. So naturally you'd think that the exhaustion of the last couple games would take its toll on KC and they'd be an early exit, right? Wrong. They sent Arizona home for the rest of the playoffs. Now, they're San Diego's problem. Rigo Flores makes this offense go. He's a special talent who needs to continue to lead this team. Miguel Alonso and Talmadge Brock had great regular seasons, and are counted on to continue the production. There's no doubt that Enrique Pineda has the glove, but he needs to bring the bat as well. Any offense from him is a bonus, and could be the series difference. Al Burnett is still bringing it after all these seasons, and he leads the KC rotation. Joe Quinn has the potential to be a solid #2, and he's done just that so far. More consistency from Hensley Dixon, and KC has a legit shot against the #1 seed.

What a job mumcoach has done with the San Diego Padres. This team has battled mediocrity the past few seasons, but they finally pulled it all together and earned a #1 seed. We all balked when San Diego signed James Katou to that monstrous FA contract several seasons ago, but he's lived up to the hype. Ubaldo Gutierrez and Andruw Herndon can mash the ball, but they need to consistently get on base and knock runs in. The second best catcher in SJ? Carlos Martis, no question. He's a beast. Joey Hunter and Vic Andino are the anchors to the Padre rotation. Bartolo Acosta is an innings eater with a no-hitter to his credit this season. The acquisition of Jaime Jefferies is a big one, and he'll be expected to provide some big innings for the Padres.

PREDICTION: This will be a squeaker, with the Padres moving on in 5.


I love to see teams like the Montgomery Smooth Skies in the playoffs. Teams that didn't have too much success in the early years, but now are. You can thank scottie14 for that. No big names in the lineup, just solid veterans such as Mandy Creek, John Martin, and Earl Wakeland. They found a right mixture and they've made it work rather well. Jose Bocachica is getting up there in years, but he has proven that he can still produce. No secret here, but Montgomery's strength is their pitching. Two words: Hideki Shin. I think you've heard that he's, like, awesome. Ken Owens and Bob Chapman are more than capable of providing some great playoff pitching. I haven't even mentioned Rudy Dingman yet. Yeah, they're that good.

Well well well, look who's back! It's the one team that nobody wants to face come playoff time. Yeah, we know this version of the Rochester Mountain Dwellers isn't the same from years past, but they still have talent. Albert Guerrero and Vic Gonzales bring the wood on this year's squad. Unheralded Arnold McInerney has done really well serving as Kipling's replacement. Their rotation has 3 top line starters: Al Small, Paul LeCroy, and Cozy Murphy. Their philosophy: just get to the playoffs, and they'll do their thing. It also helps to have a guy like Hick Quinn as your closer. Any lead is a win, guaranteed.

PREDICTION: Another 5 game series here, and I like Rochester to pull the upset.

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