Each morning during the playoffs, we'll attempt to answer some questions about the playoff games that absolutely nobody asked. This could be helpful and fun or this could be painful and uninformative. Either way, it's another listicle in the listicle-ful sportsblogosphere.
Two NL Division Series ended this weekend as the Cubs were swept away by the Dodgers and the Brewers were sent packing by the Phillies. Meanwhile, the Angels and White Sox both stayed alive with game three wins that ensure we'll have playoff baseball tonight. To the questions 'n' answers:
- Which Dodger or Phillie did the most heavy lifting in bringing a series win to their team? James Loney collected just three hits in the series but was responsible for six RBI that fell in the right places. His game one king dong stunned Ryan Dempster and his game three first-inning double off Rich Harden plated two runners and set up the Dodgers for the sweep behind Hiroki Kuroda. Is Loney the best hitter on the team? Not by a long shot. Is he clutch? No, there's no such thing as clutch. Should he be lauded for his bigtime hits? Absolutely. Some Swedish dude even started a band in his honor. Runner-up: Cole Hamels
- Which Cub or Brewer did the most damage to their team's hopes and dreams? Alfonso Soriano went 1-for-14 with four strikeouts in the leadoff spot for the Cubs. Despite the fact that he's not really a good choice for Lou Piniella to pencil in for the #1 spot every game, he really had an especially awful three game stretch. It's bad form for me to single out Soriano when the entire Cub team fell flat on their faces (hitting, pitching, fielding, managing, peanut-vending) but I'm sure Cub Country appreciates a tidy scapegoat to point fingers at. Runner-up: Prince Fielder
- How happy are the Red Sox that their extra off-day during their playoff series allowed them to start Jon Lester in Game Four? Very. Kid's on his normal four days rest and I wouldn't be surprised to see him throw a 27 strikeout perfect game against a sadsack Angel team that struggled to put together five runs despite having like 80 runners reach base last night. Hurt or not, Josh Beckett is no longer your ace, Red Sox Nation. Jon Lester is made of some sort of magic.
- How about that Dewayne Wise? Kid finally got a chance to start yesterday against righty Matt Garza and he came through with a big two-run double to put the ChiSox up 4-1, a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored. Combined with his Game One performance, he's 2-for-5 with a double, a homer, and five RBI. Where do you think the left-handed hitter will be in the lineup tonight against the righty Andy Sonnanstine? Second?
- Will you come back tonight as we glog the Angels - Red Sox game? Even if the game goes five hours (like it did last night), we'll be liveglogging the entire thing, and that's a Walkoff Walk promise to you.
Stay tuned for more baseball-y stuff all day.