The National League won the All-Star Game; Interleague Play was closer than usual; and now the Giants are dominating the Rangers through the first two games of the World Series. Is there finally a market correction taking place, as the NL brings things back to respectability?
It appears the “Senior Circuit” is tired of taking a beating and is fighting back. Now, all this Series talk could change by games 4 or 5 if Texas mounts a comeback, but for now, things are changing and NL fans should be pleased.
It may have all started in 2006 when the heavily favored Tigers were upset in the World Series by the Cardinals, breaking a two-year winning streak by the AL forged by the ‘04 Red Sox and ‘05 White Sox with their sweeps of St. Louis and Houston, respectively.
Detroit’s pitchers forgot how to field their position and it cost them dearly, handing the National League a badly-needed win after not even winning a Series game since the ‘03 Marlins beat New York. After Boston came back to win in ‘07, the Phillies carried the NL banner in ‘08 versus Tampa Bay, only to be beaten last year by the Yankees.
At least the National League could boast winning two of the last four Series, softening the blow of losing 12 straight All-Star Games from 1997 to 2008, 12 of the previous 15, and a ridiculous 18 of the previous 21! After all, the All-Star Game is still an exhibition, right? Fox TV doesn’t think so, with the outrageous caveat of an exhibition game deciding home field advantage in the World Series.
This year, the NL finally woke up, won the game, grabbed the home field and boy, what a difference it appears to have made!
No one expected the Giants to not only handle the Texas pitching staff like they have, but also completely shut down the Rangers’ offense in games 1 and 2. You just don’t usually see lopsided scores like these in the World Series where, like the playoffs, pitching rules and games are won by margins of a run or two.
History is on the side of San Francisco: teams winning the first two World Series games have won seven straight Fall Classics, 13 of the last 14 and 40 of the last 51. They held serve at home and now have to win just two of the last five games.
The Giants were a mere 7-8 in Interleague Play this year, and the Rangers were 14-4 while the AL was in the midst of going 134-118 versus the NL. The National League would have done better without these records from the bottom 4 teams: Nationals 5-13, Dodgers 4-11, Astros 3-12 and Pirates 2-13. The National League hit more home runs, 242 to the AL’s 233, while the American League had lower ERAs by both starters and relievers, and more stolen bases.
So, yes, things are changing between the two leagues, and for those of us who love the NL style of baseball without the DH, it’s about time!