The Stack is here on this Thursday to talk playoff baseball and preview tonight's snoozer of an NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans. Who knows? We might talk something else. Find out now in "the stack" for today, Thursday, October 11:
Yankees take 2-1 series lead thanks to walk-off homerun
The New York Yankees seemed to be out of luck Wednesday night against the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles had hit two solo home runs and held a 2-1 in the ninth inning. That's when Yankees manager Joe Girardi elected to pinch hit Raul Ibanez for a struggling Alex Rodriguez. It turned out to be one of the best moves Girardi has ever made. Ibanez hit a solo shot to tie the game. Amazing that the veterans the Yankees pick up alwayas seem to come up big in the postseason. Obviously that is why the Yankees get them, but rarely do they miss. A little odd to say the least. But Ibanez wasn't done there. In the 12th inning, he hit the game-winning homerun to give the Yankees a 3-2 win and and a 2-1 series lead. Demoralizing loss for the Orioles. Going to be awfully tough for the Orioles to beat both C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte. We'll see what Buck Showalter's team can do tonight.
Oakland A's stun Tigers in the ninth
It was not going good for the Oakland Athletics. Four hits through eight innings. Only one run. Could have had more if Stephen Drew hadn't gotten greedy and tried to stretch a double into a triple in the sixth inning with no outs. The A's really had something going there. They trailed the Detroit Tigers 3-1 headed into the bottom of the ninth, their season hanging in the balance. Jose Valverde, the Tigers closer was ready to go. And just like that, the A's turned the hit machine on, pounding out four hits, a couple of them absolutel lasers, winning the game 4-3 to stun the Tigers and throw the crowd into complete delirium. Tigers right fielder Avisail Garcia overran the sharply hit single by Coco Crisp and it looked like he would have had a play at the plate. But the ball didn't come fully into Garcia's glove and the A's won the game 4-3. What an amazing finish. This is a tough loss to swallow for the Tigers, but they do have Justin Verlander pitching today so that will help a lot. The A's will have a lot of momentum though.
Giants force game five
The San Francisco Giants must like the road, because after losing both home games badly to the Cincinnati Reds, they have turned up the heat on the Cincinnati Reds following their 8-3 win Wednesday to force a decisive game five today. The giant panda, Pablo Sandoval, drove in three runs for the Giants. The Reds are in a tough position given the injury to pitcher Johnny Cueto. Who will they throw out today? All of the momentum the Reds had after game two is gone. I feel somewhat responsible since I thought the Reds were a dark horse to win the World Series. Game five is going to be good.
Cardinals thump Nationals
What happened to the Washington Nationals? It almost seems like de ja vu for the St. Louis Cardinals who are getting hot at the right time following their 8-0 win over the Nationals. They roughed up Edwin Jackson, who gave up four runs in five innings. The Nationals are in trouble. Can they summon their bats to drive in some runs to force a game five? Or is this team just too young for this stage at this point? They have a bright future ahead of them. I think Washington can win game four, but given that the Cardinals have scored twenty runs the last two games, one has to wonder how the Nationals pitching staff can stop the Cardinals bats.
Thursday's playoff schedule:
San Francisco Giants @ Cincinnati Reds 1:07 PM ET TBS
St. Louis Cardinals @ Washington Nationals 4:07 PM ET TBS
Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees 7:37 PM ET TBS
Detroit Tigers @ Oakland Athletics 9:37 PM ET TNT
Enoy another stellar quadruple baseball playoff day.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans 8:20 PM ET NFL Network
The Pittsburgh Steelers struggled last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. They won the game 16-14, but it was still tough to watch. This game will be tough to watch, but it is because Pittsburgh is going to dominate. Ben Roethlisberger is licking his chops as he thinks about going against that terrible Titans defense. The Titans offense isn't good either, which is what Chris Johnson said earlier this week. Problem with that comment though is that Johnson is a major part of the offensive issues. He sucks! The Titans made a huge mistake in giving him that much money a couple of years ago. Get rid of him. The Steelers are missing Troy Polamalu for tonight's game. That would be a huge factor if they were playing a good team. The Titans are far from a good team.
Prediction: Steelers 31 Titans 13
Coming up Friday: Week 6 NFL predictions