Monday, October 6, 2008

No Jive — A.L. Teams Stay AL-ive

The Philadelphia Phillies finished off the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, setting up the National League Championship Series almost as I had predicted.

The Phillies and Dodgers won their divisional series faster than I anticipated, though. I thought both teams would need the full five games to finish off their foes, but the Dodgers eliminated the Chicago Cubs in three games and the Phillies vanquished the Brewers in four.

The National League's best-of-seven Championship Series is slated to begin Thursday in Philadelphia. The starting time hasn't been announced.

In the American League, the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels faced elimination with another loss, but both teams hung on to force a fourth game today.

The Tampa Bay Rays and the White Sox meet in their Game 4 at 4:07 p.m. (Central). The Angels face the Boston Red Sox in their Game 4 at 7:37 p.m. (Central).

Tampa Bay and Boston can win their series if they win today. If either loses, Game 5 will be played Wednesday.

Both games are to be televised by TBS.

Incidentally, Ken Griffey Jr. of the Chicago White Sox has the opportunity (however slim it may seem to be) to end the longest personal World Series drought of any active player in the major leagues.

Griffey has played in more than 2,500 games in his 20-year career without ever playing in a World Series — although he came close to playing in the 1995 World Series when Seattle took Cleveland to six games for the American League championship.

But, to make it to baseball's promised land, Griffey's White Sox must defeat the Rays today and Wednesday, then win the American League championship against either Boston or Los Angeles.

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