All three series currently stand at 2-0; our own personal cheeseballs, the Rays, have beaten the White Sox pretty handily both of the first two contests. Unfortunately, they won't be playing tonight, so we'll all be reduced to watching, and rooting against, the Cubbies and Brewers. Fits kind of nicely with my morning post, though, doesn't it?
In the early game, the Brewers will try to stave off elimination by sending Dave Bush, who we all remember as Yadier Molina's personal punching bag, to the mound to opposed the ageless wonder, Jamie Moyer. The Brewers have been quite good against lefthanded pitching in general this season, posting an OPS of .806 against them overall. Still, given the pitching matchup, I have to say that I like the Phillies, even in Milwaukee. I just don't think that much of Dave Bush. I could be wrong, though; it definitely wouldn't be the first time.
In the late game, which is the one I'm really interested in, the Cubbies will send Rich Harden to oppose the Dodgers' latest Pacific Rim import, Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda hasn't gotten a whole lot of press, which isn't surprising, considering he's essentially the Japanese pitcher following Daisuke Matsuzaka to America. Even so, Kuroda has quietly put together a very nice season for the Dodgers. He posted a 3.73 ERA this season, despite a less than stellar 9-10 W/L record. It's always tough to say what you're going to get out of Harden. Wait, that's not quite right. You pretty much always know what you're going to get from Harden, you're just not sure exactly how long he's going to be able to give it to you. I expect the standard five innings of near no-hit ball, after which the Cubs' pen will be asked to hold down the fort and hope that the offense can finally wake up. Bottom line, this game will likely come down to the top five in each team's lineups. If things continue on as they have in the first two contests, Chicago will be going home early, and the Dodgers will be making their first NLCS appearance since the Year of Kirk Gibson.
First pitch for the Milwaukee/Philly game is at 5:37 Central. Enjoy it, everybody. It's the best time of the year.