Here’s a new regular feature I’ve roped a few of my poker friends into playing. Now, to be fair, I call them my friends—but they’re really only guys who don’t run screaming in the other direction when they see me in public, though that may be only because they’re not coordinated enough to run and scream at the same time.
We each have to pick one weekly winner—straight up, no point spreads, any game, any sport. Sounds easy, right? Not to anyone who has ever played such a pool before; if you get it right for five straight weeks, you’re on a great roll.
So, enough blah, blah, blog, onto the picks and the reactions:
I'll pick the Phillies in Game 3 on Saturday in Milwaukee. Jamie Moyer gets the start and all he's done in big games for the Phillies is win the division title-clinching game in two straight seasons. He's older than me—and that's saying something!—but he still went 16-7 with a 3.71 ERA. The Phils were 22-11 in Moyer's starts, and he was 9-1 with a 3.22 ERA over his last 15. Plus, one more big-game stat: He's 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA in his four career playoff games. The guy is clutch. — John
Normally I would be all over the Sunday Birds/Skins game, but we've got playoff baseball and for the first time in 15 years the Phils have not blown their first 2 playoff games. However, much as I trust Jamie Moyer in the pinch, he's going to need help on offense and defense, and I just don't think this team has the discipline to run the sweep after winning the first two in such dramatic fashion.
If Larry Bowa were the coach, I wouldn't worry, but Manuel's aw-shucks approach to coaching won't keep the giddiness in check; expect some sloppy play. Get ready for a let-down on Saturday, but—the good news—expect a Mike Schmidt e-mail or dugout visit afterward to inspire the gang one more time, and they'll shut this thing down in Milwaukee on Sunday. — Carnac the Magnificent
Good pick if Hamels is pitching. The Brewers looked like me golfing—big swings at the dirt, but no contact. — John
The Eagles win by at least 2 touchdowns on Sunday. Washington will be very flat after beating the Boys last Sunday.
The Phillies close out the Brewers on Saturday, as they will be swinging like wild at Jamie Moyer’s changeup.
I don't believe St. Joe’s plays this weekend. So my top play is Pennsbury beating Harry S Truman Friday night by 5 touchdowns. Pennsbury will not throw a single pass (just as they didn’t 2 weeks ago in beating Council Rock) but rush the ball up and down the field. Not the prettiest of teams to watch but very efficient.
I need to get a life. — Dave
I'm happy to join in the football discussion, boys.
Things don't look great for Chelsea hosting Aston Villa on Sunday. Several of the Blues' best are injured (Drogba, Deco, Carvalho, and Essien), while Villa has gone five straight Premier League matches without a loss in this matchup. Kiss your sister, we're looking at a draw here between two of the Premier League leaders.
Back in the states, bank on the defending national champions and undefeated Demon Deacons (2-0-0 in ACC, 9-0-0 overall) to easily handle the Hokies (0-3, 3-5-1) Saturday night in Winston.
Cheers! — Phil
Soccer and Wake Forest football? The only thing more boring is golf without Tiger. The things you put your poor kids through.... — John
Um ... both of my predictions are "soccer." Wake doesn't play American Football until next week. I'm thrilled/frightened that you thought Wake's football was "defending national champions!" Nice editing, editor! Sheesh. — Phil
They play for a national championship in college soccer? Wait, someone actually plays college soccer? I thought everyone outgrew that once they turned 11. And I thought you were being delusional about the "national champion" Wake football team. An Orange Bowl appearance every century or so can do that to a guy. — John
John, this is what you get when you “give an inch” and give Phil complete latitude on what he can write about! — Carnac the Magnificent
You guys need to get a life, too. — Dave
I had a feeling the college soccer line would get a reaction from our reigning triathlete champion, Dave. And before anyone asks, yes, they did actually have a hoops team at D-III De Sales. It had the excitement factor of D-II badminton. — John
Am I to infer you don't think badminton is a real sport? — Carnac the Magnificent