Monday, October 15, 2007

Random Thoughts from the Weekend

1. Who to root for? OSU vs Kent State. Undergrad vs Grad. Past vs Present. Ya...

2. OSU looked good. Of course, it's versus Kent State. Either way, the lopsided final score really helps Ohio State when it comes to polls. Winning is good, winning big is better.

3. Though some things still worry me. I still don't trust Ohio State's run game in big situations. Meaning, those 3rd and 1 plays, where the defense knows they're running, the fans know they're running and OSU runs Beanie Wells... and can't convert. It's not the biggest problem to have and since Ohio State is blowing people out, it doesn't matter too much. But it still worries me.

4. Brian Hartline is good. That is all.

5. I'm still baffled by their ranking. Number freaking one? Really? Maybe I'm weird, but I don't think too highly of this OSU team. Don't get me wrong, they're good, but at this point they are ranked first by default.

6. Seriously, #1? OSU's schedule breaks out pretty nicely for them. They have Michigan State, Wisconsin and Illinois at home (basically they have to avoid upsets) and Penn State and Michigan away. The away games will be the tough ones (Penn State is at night) but I think it's going to come down to the Michigan game.

7. A lot of one-loss teams. I really hope we have a lot of one-loss teams at the end of the year. I'd almost be willing to sacrifice the Michigan game for a chance to really screw up the BCS (almost. My reasoning? This was supposed to be an off year, being a one loss team was more than most of us were expecting anyways. almost)

8. How bout them Browns? 3-3 baby! .500! Hell, I felt so confident this weekend that I picked Cleveland in my suicide league (or maybe the Dolphins stink that bad). Anyways, the Browns are starting to look like an actual, honest to God football team. Who'd have thunk it, especially after the first week?

9. Props to D.A. I haven't been a big fan of Derek Anderson, but he's done the job (and then some). He makes the offense actually look offensive (though it helps that Eric Steinbach and Joe Thomas keeps his jersey pretty clean) and he can make the throws he needs to (though he still has trouble with those pesky linebackers). He's kept Brady on the bench (and more impressively, he's kept the Brady chants to a minimum).

10. I like Jerome Harrison. A lot. He's always looked good in preseason but hasn't done much during the year. Well, in playing backup to Jason Wright yesterday, Harrison got 8 carries and put up 57 yards. Wright had 59 on 20 carries. I think Harrison is one of those players who, once they get a shot, don't let go. He runs hard, he makes people miss and he's fast.

11. I think Braylon Edwards has won over Browns fans. At this point, I don't even remember what the problem with Braylon was last year (seriously, did he act out? speak out? show up late? do I care? Should I?). This year, he's working hard and has turned into an elite receiver.

12. I guess Brady ain't starting after the bye week, huh? Anderson's play probably means that, barring injury, Quinn won't see meaningful playing time til next season.

13. I love K2. I know he's easy to hate (the solider comment, his best TE at 80% comment, etc). But the dude works hard as hell. He takes hits, he runs good routes and he always seems to be dragging guys. It's a shame we always hear about stuff like his feud with Joey Porter, because I think it just plays into his reputation as a me first guy. Winslow has sacrificed a lot and plays through a lot pain for this team.

14. I still don't trust their defense. The Browns gave up yet another 100 yard rusher (though barely) and at times, looked completely lost on the defensive end (like the Dolphins' opening drive of the second half). They don't get nearly enough pressure on the quarterback and they don't tackle well (they're often in position, but they arm tackle or go for a big hit instead of securing the runner).

15. How bout those Indians? Here's the thing, if I were to tell you before the series started that Sabathia and Carmona would combine to pitch 8.1 innings, give up 12 runs, 11 hits and 9 walks in the first two games, you'd swear that the Tribe would be coming back to Cleveland down 0-2. But they aren't. Even if both CC and Fausto had pitched lights out, the best we could've hoped for was a split in Beantown.

16. But that's the way the entire season has been. If I were to tell you in April that Trot Nixon, Dave Dellucci, Josh Barfield, Keith Foulke and Roberto Hernandez would all be flops, Travis Hafner would only hit .266 with 24 homeruns, Grady Sizemore would only hit .277 and Joe Borowoski would have an ERA over 5, you'd think the year would've been a waste. But the Tribe kept getting contributions from everyone, all year long. I don't know if I'd call the lineup 'slump proof' but it's close. They don't rely on just Hafner, Sizemore, Sabathia and Carmona. They get contributions from the entire ball club.

17. Which is why I feel really confident about this series. The Tribe is tied without either of their two best pitchers pitching particularly well. I expect Sabathia to respond in his next start and I'd be shocked if Carmona pitches two bad games in a row. Obviously, anything could happen, but I feel a lot better about things now than I did at around 11pm on Saturday night.

18. Ken-ny! Ken-ny! It really is neat that Lofton is back on the Tribe for this playoff run.

19. Could be. Terry Pluto comes dangerously close to calling the Tribe a team of destiny. I can see what he's getting at (see #15 and 16) but at this point, I'd have to give the 'Team of Destiny' title to the Rockies.

20. The pressure is on Boston. They have to rebound from their first postseason loss and they have to pitch Dice-K, who I'm not that high on. I think Westbrook will bounce back from his Game 3 loss; I'm not expecting much, but I think 6 innings and 4 runs should be about right (and right now, I trust the Tribe's bullpen a lot).

21. I'd be wary of pitching Betancourt tonight. He says he's ready and he has been dominant, but Game 2 was his longest outing of the season, in both innings (2.1) and pitches (42). It's not a huge deal, due to the off day, but I think he should only go an inning or less.

22. I always did like John Hart. Sure, he never got the pitching that they needed, but he's built quite a legacy around the league.

23. Really? We're doing this? Midges? Those bugs? The Plain Dealer has a cut out Midge Mask (.pdf). Fantastic.

24. I love how Eric Gagne has turned into the goat. Boston trading for Gange was one of those moves where you're like, "did you really even need to do that? You already have a dominant closer, you need another one? Just because?". It seems like only Boston and New York make these moves. It seemed completely unnecessary and arrogant. The rich getting richer and bloated, trading for a closer they don't even need. And I absolutely love the results.

25. Hey, the Cavs are in China! Just an FYI. Also, they brought Moondog.

26. Oh, goody. Apparently Mike Brown's new 'offense' doesn't include much of Z. I'm sure some fans will love this, but not me. Z has the best post moves on the team and probably the best mid range jumper. I'm not saying feature the guy, but if I start seeing box scores that show Larry Hughes with double the shot attempts, I'll be one unhappy camper.

27. Kevin Durant doesn't sound all that confident. I'm sure he'll be fine, but if Greg Oden said some of these quotes, Bill Simmons would have a entire column centered around the words 'alpha' and 'dog'.

28. What Digby said. Word.

29. Oh Boston fans. I know you guys are arrogant and all, but can you at least wait for the game to end before you crow about an ALCS sweep?

30. Jovi Punch!


LargeBill said...

Concur that this OSU team is not one you look at and say wow! Then again, in different ways, neither was the 2002 championship team.

The O-line was supposed to be good, but the running game just doesn't reflect a great line. Late in the season this team needs to be able open holes and pick up yardage on the ground. If you can't run against Kent State you probably can't against Penn State.

Quinn learning on the sidelines is a good thing. Who knows if Couch would have panned out either way comma but his development would have been better with a year watching. Having said that, I'd like to see him get in for a couple series a game down the stretch.

Ben said...

Of course, if Couch had this line...