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Division Series impressions

Apologies for some of the silence on ye olde IP blog. That Sabres preview section took lots of time and energy but that doesn't mean we haven't been watching the Division Series and preparing for our annual pilgrimage to the World Series.

Here's a few of my thoughts in no real order:

---I stand by my March choice of Phillies over Yankees. They're both prohibitive favorites now after quick sweeps. Their pitching is all set for the LCS as they can run Halladay/Oswalt/Hamels and Sabathia/Pettitte/Hughes, respectively. Now, of course, they move to best-of-seven and you really can't go with just three starters. The Yankees have already announced today that they will in fact use A.J. Burnett in Game Four. Oh boy. They're going to be playing simulated games Tuesday and Wednesday so they don't get overly rusty. But six days off is a loooooooong time at this point.

---Poor Brooks Conrad. Has anyone had that many yips in the field in a playoff game as the Braves second baseman did last night? Even Bill Buckner only butchered one ball, not three! The Braves are sitting him out tonight in Game Four, putting Omar Infante at second and Troy Glaus at third. They had no choice.

---What's up with the Rays and Rangers? No five-game series has ever seen the road team win all five games so that's in the Rays favor for the deciding game Tuesday night in St. Pete. The Yankees have to love this series. Now Cliff Lee or David Price is out of the ALCS until Game Three and certainly can't go three times in seven games.

---The Giants need to win tonight. Forget about beating the Phillies in the NLCS if they have to use Tim Lincecum in Game Five against Atlanta. They'll be in the same spot the Rays and Rangers find themselves in.

---Why did the Reds even bother? If that was the National League's best offense, that doesn't say much for the NL. Between the Halladay no-hitter, the Hamels shutout and Jay Bruce's butcher job in the lights, it was a quick exit after 15 years out of the postseason. Dusty Baker sure goes down hard in October (think 2002 Angels and 2003 Cubs). Even the Twins played the Yankees tough for two games. But they're equally pathetic in October.

Memo to White Sox, Cardinals, Astros and even sad-sacks like the Indians, Royals and Pirates: You're not that far away in these divisions. If the Twins and Reds are the gold standard, you can jump up quick. 

---Mike Harrington


AL Division Series | Major leagues | NL Division Series
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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |