Colin G. - Once again both the Cleveland Indians and Dusty Baker can't get it done in the post season. Is there blame to be placed or is that just how the MLB playoffs go?
BP - I think in this case I'll lean with "that's baseball." That 5th inning in D.C. last night especially was truly weird. That said if I had to select one or the other for the hot seat it would be Dusty Baker. I'm guessing patience is starting to wear a bit thin with ownership. They've made multiple pushes to get over the hump and always come up short.
Tito is a great manager. He did what he could do to put the club in a position to win. Sadly those bats went cold at the wrong time. Losing Edwin Encanarcion for most of the series was a big deal as well. Kluber's performances were head scratchers. I wonder if he's not 100%.
Colin G. - What do you make of the crucial pick off in the Nationals / Cubs in game 5 where the replay showed a clearly safe runner called out for losing contact with the bag for 1/1,000 of a second?
BP - Baseball has painted itself into a corner here. If you put in a rule to prevent that from happening then the video ump is having to decide how far and for how long the player lost contact with the bag. There are many good things about replay, but this isn't one of them and I don't know how to fix it.
Colin G. - Are the Astros the only true under dog? Who should the casual fan pull for?
BP - I get the question, but in my mind the Astros are the team to beat. Nothing but tough outs top to bottom. A rotation built to win in the post season. Good fielders. Good bullpen. I've been watching them beat my Mariners like a gong as Hunter S. Thompson used to say for three years now. I know all too well how great this team is. Adding Verlander pushed them over the top. I'm rooting for good games myself. I don't have a dog in this fight.
Colin G. - Looking ahead, what do you expect in the Championship series?
BP - I always look to the teams who have had the opportunity to set up their pitching. The Cubs went to the limit, the Dodgers have been sitting around. Their pitching is better to begin with. Every night for the balance of the NLCS L.A. will go with a starter better than anyone Chicago can bring. Lester had a good NLDS, but he had a mediocre season. Give me L.A. in five.
The Yankees are in better shape because Girardi did a hell of a job with his pitching in games three through five. Getting all those innings out of Severino in game four allowed them to not have to go nuts running starters out there just to survive. That said I like the Astros in five as well.
Brian Phillips hosts the Morning Show on CD1025 in Columbus, OH