Monthly Archives: October 2011

NFL Pick Six: Week Seven

Welcome to one of the new features of Squeeze Situation – NFL Pick Six! Each week the writers are going to rank the top six and bottom six teams of the league, and pick the three best matchups of the week (six teams total! MUAHAHAHA) and pick a winner. Let’s kick the tires and light the fires.

(Chris Cassavecca with the commentary on the top and bottom six.  With a few contributions by Monty.)

Top Six

1.) Green Bay Packers – The only undefeated team left, and it wasn’t easy either.

2.) New England Patriots – Reclaimed the top of the East with the win over the Cowboys. Brady beat a Ryan defense not once, but twice

3.) Baltimore Ravens -Even though they do not have the hardest schedule, a 29-14 win against the Texans is pretty impressive. Their defense is what will take them to the Super Bowl.

4.) San Francisco 49ers – They slapped the Lions around like Harbaugh slaped Schwartz at the end of the game. They will easily win the NFC West.

5.) Detroit Lions – A loss to the 49ers is nothing to cringe about. This team will still be contenders for the NFC North. Games against Atlanta, New Orleans and San Diego will say a lot, regardless of their two dates with Green Bay.

6.) San Diego Chargers –   They are well rested and ready to take on the Jets this Sunday. Their remaining schedule is not easy,  but they can get through it.  Its like we’re waiting for them to turn into the Chargers of old but they are not playing like it so far.

Bottom Six

27.) Minnesota Vikings – McNabb has no more gas in the take and Adrian Peterson cannot carry this team. Maybe its time to ponder about Ponder. Congrats, Ponder! Your first start is against the PACKERS. I can feel the pain from here.

28.) Denver Broncos – This team just wants to give up. They are trading away all their talent and have rested this season on the hopeful Tebow.

29.) Jacksonville Jaguars – Maurice Jones-Drew is the only talent this team has.  I can’t wait for this team to move to LA.

30.) Miami Dolphins – Congrats Andrew Luck, you will be the next Dan Marino – A great player with a mediocre coach and no talent around him.

31.) St. Louis Rams –  This is one team that cannot catch a break. At this rate, all their starters will be injured by week 13.

32.) Indianapolis Colts – Without Peyton, this team is absolutely nothing. Think of the bright side, at least Indiana fans can watch the Pac– oh…wait. They’re screwed.

Week Seven Picks

Atlanta vs. Detroit:

Atlanta is a team that should be playing much better than they are so far this season. 3-3 with Ryan only throwing eight touchdowns is very underwhelming.  That said, the Falcons have a chance to re-start their season with a win Sunday over a very good Detroit team.  The Lions fell last week to San Francisco, but are getting five points on the spread.  Jahvid Best will not be playing, and that will put a lot of the pressure on Maurice Morris to perform for the Silver and Blue.  Stafford should rebound against a weak backfield for Atlanta.

Monty’s Pick – Detroit 34 Atlanta 17

San Diego vs. New York Jets

The Jets are nowhere near the level they are supposed to be at this point in the season. 3-3 is not a good number to be at, and early on in the season this week’s match-up against the Chargers was circled on the calendar as a benchmark.  That said, the Jets are simply outmatched in this game. The Chargers are more sound on all sides of the ball, sixth in passing yards per game, ninth in rushing yards, and second in passing yards allowed.  It looks to be up to Shone Greene to win the game for the Jets….I’m taking the Chargers.

Monty’s Take: Chargers 38 Jets 21

Texans vs. Titans

A surprisingly crucial game in the AFC South.  The 3-3 Texans hit the road to take on the 3-2 Titans.  What’s going to be interesting is when we are finally going to see the emergence of Chris Johnson.  Common belief can say that the fantasy all-star running back is just mailing it in.  Against Houston, Johnson needs to return to his form for this team to win.  The Texans will put up points, even though Andre Johnson is still out with an injury.  I put more faith in Houston than Tennessee. The Texans get a massive road win.

Monty’s Prediction: Houston 27 Tennessee 17

LIVE BLARG: NLCS Game 6: St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers

> I must say that although this Liveblarg is losing steam, at least we now have a solid system for the World Series games.  Buckle up.  That said, this game sucks.

>In other news, this Liveblarg is totally losing steam.

>Okay, now the game is getting kind of boring.

>”You’re going to get eaten alive in middle school.” You = St. Louis Cardinals; Middle School = Texas Rangers in the World Series.

> I haven’t felt this sick since that time we saw that Ronald Reagan film.

>Glad Mailwaukee was booing their team right there. Deserving.

>If this is “no fun” for Tony LaRussa, he’s doing it wrong.

>Yeah, Corey Hart, throw that bat. It would totally have been the bat’s fault if you had made contact.

>The sad thing is that the Cardinals have a chance to be even better next season, but the Brewers without Fielder (which, if they do not win, is nearly a guarantee) are significantly less impressive.

> Pretty much how the rest of this game is going to go – Cardinals should hit a home run every other inning and the Brewers are going to shoot themselves in the foot.  The last two games Milwaukee has played like everything but a pennant-contending team.

> How good is this game making Texas look?

>Let’s take a minute to discuss how awful that hanging, chest-high movement-less slide piece was from Narveson to Pujols: Extremely. 

>This is just getting ridiculous. Milwaukee keeps trying to give this series away by pitching to Pujols. Absolutely absurd.

> Fact: Record for most Home Runs in one playoff game is Seven. Shared by Chicago vs. Florida NLCS game one in Oct. 2003 and Boston vs. Tampa Bay game two in Oct. 2008.

>STOP HITTING HOME RUNS.

> Fact: St. Louis has scored first in every game of this series.

> Remember when people said that the AL was the more power-heavy league?  HAAHAHAHA! Rafael Furcal launches the third home run of the game, second for the Cardinals to the second deck in Left. 5-1 St. Louis top 2nd.

>Don’t hand Narveson the “W” just yet. His two K’s were versus the pitcher and an even lesser batter in Nick Punto.

>You would think Punto would have tried to master hitting right handed before becoming a switch-hitter. Not the case. #awfulhitter

>Working on the Long, Cold Winter post for the Houston Astros. God what a horrendous team. Enough pitching to win games, though. Going to get obliterated in the American League verus TEX, ANA, NYY, BOS, TOR, well, everyone.

> If anyone has been complaining that this series or these playoffs have lacked offense…watch tonight’s game and remember last night’s game.

>Okay, Roenicke: This is your third chance. Stop putting Marcum out there. Narveson as a long reliever sounds good. Corey Hart goes yard. 4-1 Cardinals. this isn’t even close to being over.

>Wow…to quote Anchorman…”That escalated quickly…I mean…that really got out of hand fast!” David Freese makes his stance for NLCS MVP with a three-run ROCKET. 4-0 St. Louis.

> Marcum self-imploding in the first. It’s like his time back in Toronto all-over again. Berkman shot up the middle plates one – 1-0 St. Louis Top 1st

>Brewers doing what they should have all series: Not pitch to Albert Pujols.

>Roy, I thought you were a huge fan of X-Factor.Joe Buck sure is.

>Just tuned in to FOX. It was the XFactor. Game is on TBS. I will never get that 7 seconds of my life back, and I will be forever embittered by it.

> I may be a little late to this party. Watching Simpsons Treehouse of Horror. Since 6PM. This is the last one, I swear.

Trying again: Monty and I (Roy-Z) will be attempting to liveblog this pivotal, momentum-shifting, cliche-inducing game 6! Stay tuned!

The End of the Theo Epstein Era in Boston, The Start of the Theo Epstein Era in Chicago

The End of the Theo Epstein Era in Boston (Monty)

The other shoe had to fall somewhere.

This move was not unexpected, in fact this move was likely more anticipated than Tito’s exit.  Theo had ran his course in Boston, falling victim to the increasing tension of the media onslaught in Beantown and took the way out that would be expected.  The past statement is not throwing salt on the wound, more of a way to cope with the fact that the two major pieces that put together and ran the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox are now elsewhere.
Continue reading

Rick DiPietro

Thu, Oct 13

DiPietro (head) will not suit up for Thursday’s game against the Lightning, ESPN.com reports.

At this point, you have to think, “how much of this is really in his head?”

Ricky Di took one of the facemask on Wednesday night, and since, has been “feeling woozy”, in what the New York Islanders training staff is currently trying to avoid calling a concussion.

Before this, Rick DiPietro was having a solid preseason, and was likely to start this game versus Tampa Bay. But then this, another setback. Not a serious one, but still.

When will these injuries that constantly plague Rick DiPietro go away? Will they ever?

Posted by Roy-Z.

Monty’s Take: NO.

Shallow Thoughts: Weekend Edition

by Roy-Z

Papa Grande Rain Dance (Via CBS Sports)

I am going to stop attempting to write awesome introductions to posts, so here’s some stray thoughts from this weekend.

Rays @ Rangers

Rangers were my pick to take this series, and I stand by it. At first I was a little worried with the pounding of CJ Wilson on Friday night, but the ripe offense of the Rangers showed up again on Saturday, as the Rangers rebounding against James Shields in a big way.

But let’s not take away from (what is quickly becoming) the Legend of Matt Moore. I mean, damn, that was impressive. Moore had the Rangers hitters by the curly hairs all night, racking up 6Ks against 2 hits and 2 free passes. Seriously? One of the most potent offenses in baseball – shut down, in the playoffs, by a 22-year-old with LESS THAN 20 innings pitched. In his career. And 7 of them were last night. (Prepare for obligatory Matt Moore boner-waving from my posts from here on out.)

So far, Matt has pitched in two big games for Tampa Bay, and both of these games were against teams that can absolutely smash. His first two appearances were not as great as his last two, but keep in mind he was 22, making his debut in a huge pennant chase, and had to face the Red Sox and Orioles. Yeah, those teams can hit a little bit, as well.

Tigers @ Yankees

“It’s over,” Valverde said of the AL division series now tied at 1-1. “It’s over. (Monday night) is the second game. When is the last game, Tuesday? Ok, then Tuesday celebration and we’re there.”

Then Valverde broke into a big laugh.

“No, no, I am just kidding,” he backtracked.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2011/10/02/2011-10-02_tigers_closer_jose_valverde_on_yankees_chances_in_alds_its_over_no_im_just_kiddi.html#ixzz1ZjSmEjt6

Umm, ok, Jose.

El Tigres bounced back after a poor, nay, shitty game 1. One of the more glaringly awful pitching change decisions in history led to a – you guessed it – Robinson Cano grand slam, effectively ending game one. But thanks to a HR in the first inning of game 2, the Tigers efficiently evened the series Sunday evening. I was expecting the American League Division Series to be a bit more competitve and exciting than the National League, and after blowouts in respective game ones, game two for both series provided some seriously awesome play. Hat tip to the AL teams here.

Oh, yeah, and Verlander versus Sabathia tonight. The rain delay played perfectly into the hands of the Tigers, here. Instead of the dreaded Verlander/CC at the bandbox New Yankee Stadium, the much more comfortable confines of (Tiger Stadium) Comerica Park await Verlander and Carston Charles.

Key to the Yankees success: First-pitch fastballs from JV. Stamina isn’t an issue with him, so working the count likely won’t break him

Key to the Tigers success: DON’T PITCH TO ROBINSON CANO. EVER.

Diamondbacks @ Brewers

The Diamondbacks seem overmatched.

In what many “experts” initially believed to be the most competitive series has simply become the least. Of the four current divisional series, ARI@MIL is the only one which can end in its next game. Heading back to Arizona for Tuesday night, Arizona will toss Josh Collmenter (my fantasy baseball pickup the year) versus Shaun Marcum. Some may see this as the easiest game of the series for Milwaukee to win, but Collmenter has been quite good, while Shaun Marcum has been a bit rough lately. In his last four starts, Marcum has given up 5,6,1,7 earned runs, versus the Phillies, Rockies, Cubs and Pirates, respectively. He’s 1-0 versus Arizona in his career, but has allowed 7 earned runs in just 11 innings. He does have this going for him though, his home/away splits:

G GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP BAA
 Home 17 17 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 103.0 103 58 55 14 34 76 4.81 1.33 .259
 Away 16 16 8 3 0 0 0 0 0 97.2 72 26 24 8 23 82 2.21 0.97 .202

As for Collmenter – he has been great versus Milwaukee. In 14 innings versus the Crew he’s only allowed, wait, zero runs, while accumulating 10 k’s and scattering a whopping 6 hits. It’s very possible that this may be better than most of the incredibly over-hyped pitching matchups so far this postseason.

Cardinals @ Phillies

Sweep! Sweep!

Oh, wait. The Cardinals got to Cliff Lee last night, and I couldn’t be more excited. Nothing bothers me more than a one seed walloping a lowly Wild Card winner and coasting easily through the playoffs. The Cardinals had a great game plan versus Lee last night – smasht he hell out of fastballs, especially early in the count. Doing so earned them a clean slate – and if they win Tuesday, a possible home-game decision date – which is exactly what they need.

About LaRussa…

The Cardinals played a good game, and as much as I hate to admit it, LaRussa’s spamming of two-pitch pitchers worked…this time. With TLR the problem is never under-managing, it’s over-managing. And eventually, as Joe Girardi is competent in showing us, he will fail at this. Unfortunately for St. Louis’ sake, it’s that fail-and-go-home time of year.

Stay tuned. Maybe a liveblog tonight? Who knows. Follow me on twitter (@rolewiii , @squeezesit) for second-by-second commentary.