Athlon Sports Today
Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010
A daily preview of the most intriguing sporting events of the day.
MLB: Game 2 ALDS, Texas at Tampa Bay 2:30
The Texas Rangers jumped on Rays’ ace David Price early and the Rays squandered a bases-loaded, one out situation in the first inning to allow the Rangers to steal Game 1 in St. Pete. The Rays send James Shields to the mound in what has become a must-win game. Going to Texas down 2-0 is not what manager Joe Maddon had in mind. C.J. Wilson will toe the rubber for Texas. Wilson has struggled down the stretch after logging 130 more innings than in 2009. He was not sharp in his only start against the Rays this season, which came in Texas in a 9-6 win. But he allowed five runs in five innings while walking four. Shields, a playoff star in 2008, is coming off the worst season of his career. He was particular shaky in September going 0-4 with a 7.59 ERA in his last six starts. There should be runs aplenty with the Rays keeping pressure on the Texas defense with it speed on the bases. The Rays’s deeper bullpen with prevail sending the series to Texas tied at 1-1.
MLB: Game 2 ALDS, New York Yankees at Minnesota 6:00
The Twins and Yankees played the most dramatic game of the day as the bullpens battled through the final innings. Twins’ ace Carl Pavano takes the mound against postseason veteran Andy Pettitte. The Yankee lefty is the key to New York’s postseason. With the rotation being the only possible weakness of the Yankees this season, New York relies on its veteran to continue his impressive postseason success. Pettitte, injured for most of the season, was not very sharp in his two starts since returning from injury. Pavano, a former Yankee, would love to defeat his former team.
MLB: Game 1 NLDS, Atlanta at San Francisco 9:30
The last of the four LDS gets under way tonight in San Francisco. The Giants have their ace Tim Lincecum on the hill as the Braves counter with Derek Lowe. San Francisco earned its way into the postseason on the final day of the season with a win over San Diego. The Padres’ loss also paved the way for Atlanta to get the wild card in the NL. The Giants’ rotation has been the story in San Francisco all season, and they enter the postseason with three hot pitchers in Lincecum, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez. Atlanta’s rotation has struggled of late, but outpitched the Giants during an early-August four-game series in Atlanta in which the Braves took three of four. Expect a low-scoring series with the Giants prevailing with superior pitching.