FOX’s Ken Rosenthal is generally pro-Phillies in this column and likes them to win it all, but he’s got a good point here:
Hey, I love Pedro. It is foolish to bet against him. But no one has any idea how he will pitch in cool weather against an American League club using a DH, one that happened to be the highest-scoring team in the majors during the regular season
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, working the Series for FOX, says Martinez will be tough if he throws his breaking ball for strikes. The Yankees, if they start to press, might even prove easy prey, given Martinez’s ability to change speeds and read hitters.
Of course, the other, perhaps more realistic, possibility is that the Yankees will simply crush Martinez and his diminished, 87-90 mph fastball.
I’m a huge Pedro Martinez fan myself, and my own World Series prediction notwithstanding (I need the Phillies to lose four of five to be proven correct) nothing would make me happier to see him catch some 1999 lightning in a bottle tonight.
Like Rosenthal, however, I just don’t like his chances of doing it. Cliff Lee has proven over the past two years that when he’s on the top of his game, he is basically untouchable. The 2009 version of Pedro Martinez, however, is merely good at his best, eminently hittable if he’s off. And that’s when he’s not facing the Yankees, who have basically had his number over the course of his career.
The Yankees are due, and I think Martinez will be hit hard tonight.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.