Oct. 13, 2016
"The Stack" 10-12-16
The Stack didn’t get our post out on Tuesday so we are making an exception to the normal Wednesday off thing and posting today. Plus with all of the playoff baseball it is a must. We won’t talk about the Carolina Panthers inexplicable loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday night. We’ll also talk college football too in hopes of getting our NHL season preview blog out on Thursday so stay tuned for that. Let’s see what’s in “the stack” for today, Wednesday, October 12th:
For eight innings it looked like it was time to panic for Chicago Cubs fans. The San Francisco Giants were up 5-2 and Giants pitcher Matt Moore looked largely unhittable. Then the 9th inning came and Moore came out. Keep in mind the Giants bullpen gave up a lead in the ninth in Monday’s game too though the Giants did end up winning 6-5 in 13 innings. Don’t know exactly why Giants manager Bruce Bochy took Moore out, but this appears to be a bigger blunder than Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter failing to use closer Zach Britton in the wildcard game against Toronto. Moore came out and the Giants bullpen failed to hold the lead as the Cubs scored four runs to take a 6-5 lead. Bring in closer Aroldis Chapman and one, two, three strikeouts later, the Cubs were celebrating going to their second straight NLCS. This year it doesn’t seem like either the Nationals or the Dodgers are going to put up much resistance to the Cubs. What a comeback for this team. What a meltdown for the Giants. This does in fact appear to be the Cubs’ year.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have forced a winner-take-all game five after their 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals. Game five is Thursday. The Nationals scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game, but Chase Utley delivered the go-ahead single in the eighth inning for the Dodgers. The Dodgers had to use Kershaw who once again was less than stellar in the postseason. That has been the staple of his career. Great in the regular season, bad in the postseason. Kind of like David Price with the Boston Red Sox.
Speaking of which, my World Series pick just got swept by the Cleveland Indians. Despite all of the injuries to their pitching staff, the Indians did a marvelous job against the Red Sox and manager Terry Francona was the big reason why. He made tremendous moves with his staff all series long and the Red Sox had no answers. Plus Price once again came up flat in his postseason appearance. At some point you just have to decide not to pitch him. What was really moving though about this series was the tearful goodbye Big Papi David Ortiz gave after game three. He is a hall-of-fame player in my book and his personality will be missed. It’s a shame that the Red Sox couldn’t win a World Series this year and send him out a winner. Big Papi, you will be missed. Cleveland takes on Toronto in the ALCS with game one starting Friday I do believe.
College football weekend forecast
First off, holy cow! Navy tops #6 Houston last week, gets school off on Tuesday and now finds themselves ranked #25 in the country. Congrats to them. Congrats also to Western Michigan who is 6-0 now and is #24 in the country. They take on Akron this week (3:30 PM ET CBSSN). Wake Forest, show me something. Win your sixth game of the year and become bowl eligible by beating Florida State in Tallahassee Saturday (3:30 PM ET ESPN). Now on to the far bigger games…
Two games pitting top ten teams against one another. #1 Alabama would figure to have a tough test on the road at #9 Tennessee (3:30 PM ET CBS). The Volunteers battled back against A&M last week before falling in double overtime. They can ill-afford to get off to a slow start against the Crimson Tide. This should be a great game. Can Tennessee actually do it and pull off the win? I don’t know if I’m quite willing to go that far.
The other top ten matchup is in the Big Ten which has four teams ranked in the top ten for the first time since 1960. #2 Ohio State at #8 Wisconsin (8 PM ET ABC) will be a dandy of a game. Can Wisconsin actually pull off the upset. I picked them at the beginning of the season, but that was before I saw just how good the Buckeyes are this year. Jump around Wisconsin? This should be a stellar game. #12 Ole Miss at #22 Arkansas (7 PM ET ESPN) will be a good game too, but Alabama-Tennessee and Ohio State-Wisconsin are the main games this weekend. Enjoy the games on Saturday and hopefully no games will be affected by hurricanes though East Carolina-Navy has already been postponed due to potential flooding. That Notre Dame-NC State game and Virginia Tech-North Carolina game were kind of dreadful to watch. Should have been moved to Sunday.
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers 8:25 PM ET CBS & NFL Network (streaming live on Twitter)
Yes, it’s a Thursday Night Football preview on Wednesday since we have our NHL season preview blog tomorrow. No team has lost games this season like the San Diego Chargers. While I think they have a decent chance of pulling off the upset tomorrow night, it really doesn’t matter who the Broncos start at quarterback, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch or myself. The Chargers will find a way to lose the game in the fourth quarter somehow.
Prediction: Broncos 27 Chargers 24
Coming up Thursday: 2016-17 NHL season preview