Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sports With The StatMan #59: Show Notes

00:00-25:00 – Flyers come back from 3-0 in series and in Game 7 to stun Bruins
25:00-33:00 - Montreal slays another giant in the playoffs, Flyers-Montreal preview
33:00-38:00 - Chicago owns Canucks in Vancouver
38:00-46:30 - San Jose getting tougher, San Jose-Chicago preview, Predictions
46:30-55:00 - Yankees facing the best of the AL Central
55:00-58:30 - My trip to Target Field
58:30-64:00 - Mets facing divisional foes
64:00-70:45 - Red Sox: Beckett issues, Ortiz heating up
70:45-75:00 - Phillies: Injury news, Manuel talks about sign-stealing
75:00-81:00 - Fantasy Minute
81:00-82:30 - Final Note

Main Points
00:00-25:00 – Flyers come back from 3-0 in series and in Game 7 to stun Bruins
  • How big of a loss was this in Boston sports history?
  • Players returning from injury in Simon Gagne and Michael Leighton made the difference in the series
  • Gagne gave the Flyers the fuel to push them over the top
  • Flyers coach Peter Laviolette is playing everything just right, evidenced by the timeout called down 3-0 in Game 7, maneuvering around goaltending injuries
  • The only way the Flyers could get home ice is this very matchup (#7 Flyers vs. #8 Montreal)
  • What will change for the Bruins before next season?
  • What happens now to the psyche of the team, especially young goaltender Tuukka Rask? If you remember, Brian Boucher was an up-and-coming goaltender for the Flyers with some playoff success before blowing a 3-1 series lead against the Devils in 2000 stunted his growth.
25:00-33:00 - Montreal slays another giant in the playoffs, Flyers-Montreal preview
  • Jaroslav Halak carried the Habs against Washington in the first round, but it was a team effort in Game 7 at Pittsburgh (W, 5-2)
  • Hal Gill and Josh Gorges are the defensive tandem getting the attention for Montreal in the playoffs. Gill was with Pittsburgh last year and has been called on to shut down the likes of Ovechkin and the big guns on Pittsburgh.
  • Philadelphia loves to score goals on chaotic goal-mouth scrambles. It will be up to Gill and Gorges, along with the rest of the Montreal defense, to clear the crease and make sure Halak can see Flyer shots.
  • Cinderella teams that ride a hot goaltender have the tendency to turn into a pumpkin in the Conference Final
33:00-38:00 - Chicago owns Canucks in Vancouver
  • Chicago was the only home team to win in this series as they won Game 2
  • Chicago scored 12 goals in Games 3 and 4 and won both games in Vancouver
  • Roberto Luongo has failed against Chicago as he has tried to build a reputation of a good playoff goaltender
  • Chicago is in the Western/Campbell Conference Final in consecutive years for the first time since 1989-90
38:00-46:30 - San Jose getting tougher, San Jose-Chicago preview, Predictions
  • Marleau and Thornton have played well in these playoffs
  • San Jose shed their playoff failure label after handling defending Western Conference champs (Detroit) in five games
  • The kids are still alright in Chicago
  • Through the Second Round: 7-5 in Playoffs, 2 exact hits (winner and games)
46:30-55:00 - Yankees facing the best of the AL Central
  • Phil Hughes is pitching like he belongs in the Big Three of the Yankee starting rotation
  • Hughes’ inning count is rising quickly, but he is a lot more economical than Joba Chamberlain was as a starter
  • Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam to pass Frank Robinson for 7th all-time in HR (587); the grand slam tied him with Eddie Murray for 3rd in GSHR with 19 (Lou Gehrig 23, Manny Ramirez 21)
  • Will the next generation of kids remember and be able to recite the home run career leaders? Will kids remember 762 like they remembered 755 and 714? Will it take a chase of Bonds for the top spot to ingrain 762 in our heads or have steroids taken the bloom off the rose forever?
55:00-58:30 - My trip to Target Field
  • Early returns on how the ballpark is playing: ball is carrying down the lines, not in the alleys or straight away center
  • Champions Club has all of the amenities, but only one bathroom
58:30-64:00 - Mets facing divisional foes
  • The great comeback game against Washington, in which the Mets scored 6 runs in the 8th, was the only win of the week for the Mets.
  • Ike Davis must have patented his foul pop catch and subsequent dugout flip. He has done this three times now and, New York, those things get candy bars named after you.
  • The time has come to take Oliver Perez out of the rotation. In his last two starts, he has allowed 21 baserunners and recorded only 20 outs.
64:00-70:45 - Red Sox: Beckett issues, Ortiz heating up
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka looked like the Dice-K of old using his fastball in his last start, striking out 8 of 9 Blue Jays on fastball
  • Josh Beckett has a back issue and will skip his turn this week. He is scheduled to go Tuesday against the Yankees. Is his back an issue or did they give him some time off to figure things out?
  • Even though the Red Sox have Jon Lester and John Lackey, they need a healthy and effective Beckett to win
  • David Ortiz is starting to hit for power, hitting two against Detroit on Friday night. Since hitting .143 in April, he has four multi-hit games since then to raise his average to .213. Ortiz had his 34th multi-HR game on Friday, which is third in Sox history (Ted Williams 37, Jim Rice 35). Ortiz is a Red Sox all-timer because of his playoff performance, but he is starting to get those longevity statistics as well, even though he is hanging on.
  • Manager Terry Francona will not commit to returning Ortiz as the everyday DH. Mike Lowell (.269-1-9) has gotten very little playing time. Adrian Beltre is still entrenched at 3B. Beltre is hitting .311, but he is not hitting for power.
70:45-75:00 - Phillies: Injury news, Manuel talks about sign-stealing
  • Brad Lidge may have some elbow issues, which could be a big problem because with Ryan Madson on the DL and J.C. Romero best in a setup role, who would close games?
  • Jimmy Rollins started his rehab today and could return for next week’s (May 17-23) homestand
  • Manager Charlie Manuel responded to the Rockies accusing the Phillies of stealing signs at home. Manuel asked how the Mets play so well at home and said the Mets should be checked for stealing signs. The only thing missing from the Mets-Phillies rivalry is a full-out bench-clearing brawl. Eventually, the off-the-field stuff will probably escalate to on-the-field actions.
  • tells you what they really think of Charlie Manuel
75:00-81:00 - Fantasy Minute
  • Last 7 Days (week ending Friday, May 14th)
    • Hitters: 1. Ichiro Suzuki SEA 42 FPTS*, 2. Mark Teixeira NYY 36, 3. Hunter Pence HOU 34, 4. Casey McGehee MIL 33, 5. Alex Rodriguez NYY 32
    • Pitchers: 1. Dallas Braden OAK 54 FPTS* (perfect game), T-2. Johnny Cueto CIN 47 (1-hitter), T-2. Joe Saunders LAA 47, T-4. Jeremy Guthrie BAL 46, T-4. Mat Latos SDG 46 (1-hitter)
  • Season-To-Date (through Friday, May 14th)
    • Hitters: 1. Andre Ethier LAD 154 FPTS* (overtakes Braun for the season lead), 2. Ryan Braun MIL 150, 3. Miguel Cabrera DET 138, 4. Vernon Wells TOR 134, T-5. Evan Longoria TBY 130, T-5. Justin Morneau MIN 130
    • Pitchers: 1. Roy Halladay PHL 201 FPTS* (1 more start than rest of starters in Top 5), 2. Ubaldo Jimenez COL 182, 3. Tim Lincecum SFO 176, 4. Adam Wainwright STL 159, 5. Matt Capps WSH 158 (only reliever in Top 5)
81:00-82:30 - Final Note
  • Dallas Braden is still talking about Alex Rodriguez. Braden’s 15 minutes of fame just got extended with a perfect game last week.
  • Mark your calendars: the Athletics have two more series with the Yankees this season. The next time they meet is a three-game set in Oakland (July 5-7) and they also have a four-game series at Yankee Stadium (August 30-September 2). There may be some fireworks.
Next Week
We will return to our regular spot on Wednesday night at 9pm Eastern time. On the show (#60), the Flyers continue their charge toward the Stanley Cup. We’ll talk Conference Finals in the NHL. We will talk baseball, with the mini two-game series between the Yankees and Red Sox over with and it is Oliver Perez’s night to start, so we will see if Perez is still in the rotation. We will also preview Interleague play 2010 and see if the American League will dominate yet again. All of this and more on Sports With The StatMan.

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