Monday, October 22, 2007

World Series first thought

Let's remember two things as we await the World Series:

(1) Since the advent of the three-tier playoff system in 1995, the team with more time off has won nine of 11 World Series (once the two teams had the same number of days off). The two exceptions: the Mess in 2000 lost to the Yanks; the Tigers in '06 lost to the Cards.

(2) The Rockies whupped the RedSawx at Fenway in June, including smacking Beckett around for six runs.

Now for the reality check -- a cautionary tale.

In 1999, the Yanks had a three-game series after the All-Star break with the Braves at the Stadium. The Braves whacked Clemens in game one behind a solid start from Glavine; knocked around El Duque in game two after the Yanks got to Maddux, and then came back to win with four in the 9th off Rivera; and the Yanks only beat random stiff Odalis Perez in the finale. A small measure of revenge for what the Yanks did to the Braves in '98.

The homer by Andruw Jones off Rivera was the last one Mo allowed that year; and the loss was Mo's last blown save of the season.

In the World Series, Duque mesmerized the Braves (7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 10 K); Clemens handcuffed them in game 4; the Yanks popped three bombs off Glavine in game 3 and swept the Braves (103 wins) in four games by a 21-9 aggregate. Rivera (1-0, 2 SV and continuing his postseason scoreless streak) was the World Series MVP. Andruw Jones went 1-13. The Braves were 74-44 against righties that season (best in the majors), the Yanks' right-handed starters combined for this line: 3-0, 21.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 18 K. And one of the two runs came thanks to a bad call (the one Clemens allowed).

In other words, past performance is no indication of future results.

Sorry Rox fans.

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