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Monday, October 06, 2003
Two home plate collisions go Marlins' way. Ivan Rodriguez knocked the ball loose from Yorvit Torrealba to score the go-ahead run in the 8th. In the 9th, on the final play of the game, J.T. Snow couldn't do the same to Rodriguez. Marlins defeat Giants, 3 games to 1. (

Wood dominates Braves again. Cubs defeat Braves, 3 games to 2. (

Yanks move on as Wells shuts down Twins. After the first game, it was like 1998 and 1999 versus Texas. Yankees win series, 3 games to 1. (Yahoo!)

O is for Ortiz: Big hit saves season. The Red Sox have come back to tie the A's, 2 games apiece. Tonight: Pedro Martinez (four days rest) versus Barry Zito (three days rest). Pitchers going on three days' rest in the playoffs are 5-14 since 1998. (

This series closely parallels the 1999 Boston-Cleveland ALDS. In Game 1, on the road, the Red Sox lost a close one behind Pedro. In Game 2, the Sox lost again, and it wasn't close. In Game 3, back in Fenway, the Sox won a game that was close most of the way. In Game 4, the opponents brought back their Game 1 starter on three days rest, and he didn't last; the Sox won again to tie the series. In Game 5, the opponents went with their Game 2 starter on three days rest. A's fans hope Barry Zito fares better than Charles Nagy.

Joe Sheehan on Saturday's games.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this series was the way in which two veteran managers with no postseason experience handled their first trip. Jack McKeon adapted to his environment, from his refusal to allow Barry Bonds opportunities to beat him to his use of only his best pitchers. Three members of McKeon's rotation came out of the bullpen in this series, and while Carl Pavano was actually designated a reliever, McKeon's use of Willis and Brad Penny showed that he "gets it" in the postseason: the rules are different, and all that matters is winning today's game.

Felipe Alou did very little right, and his persistent failures were a contributing factor to the Giants' collapse. The decision to start Sidney Ponson and Kirk Rueter in that order, rather than the reverse, turned out to be minor concern when weighed against his decision to carry 12 pitchers for five games. Not only do you not need that many arms in a Division Series, you don't want that many. You don't want the 11th- and 12th- best pitchers in your organization anywhere near a mound in these games.
(Baseball Prospectus)

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