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Weekend predictions: Yankees, Rangers, Phillies and Giants

1. In Game 6 of the ALCS tonight, the Yankees will defeat the Rangers, 8-4, to tie things up at three games apiece. Phil Hughes will pitch admirably, allowing three runs in seven innings, to amend for his poor Game 2 start.

“I think I would’ve pitched even better,” Hughes will say afterwards, “had I not eaten that chalupa between the sixth and seventh.”

Alex Rodriguez will hit two home runs, his first two of the postseason. "When your life is on the line, literally, you're naturally going to play better," A-Rod will explain.

In a Game 7 for the ages tomorrow night, the Yankees will edge Texas, 3-2, to qualify for their 41st World Series. Jorge Posada will hit a fifth-inning, three-run homer off Cliff Lee to win ALCS MVP honors. Joe Girardi will order Posada to let Francisco Cervelli hold the MVP trophy every five days.

Lee’s phenomenal run will end on a sad note for the Rangers, as he’ll perform very well, but not as well as Andy Pettitte pitches to the Texas lineup. No one will begrudge Lee for his efforts.

Well, almost no one. Down in Washington, DC, Virginia Thomas, planning ahead, will write on her 2029 calendar, “Call Cliff Lee. Ask for an apology.”

2. The Phillies will defeat the Giants tomorrow, 4-2, in NLCS Game 6, tying that series at 3-3, and that will put the notoriously racy Phillies fans in a feisty mood. Since they can’t whistle at Tim Lincecum (because he won’t be pitching), they’ll urge Cody Ross to jump off his great-great-grandmother’s bridge. They'll pull the old "We're not listening!" trick when Ross attempts to explain there's no relation.

In Game 7 Sunday night, the Phillies will prevail, 3-1, to advance to their third straight Fall Classic, setting up baseball’s first World Series rematch since Yankees-Dodgers in 1978.

Roy Halladay will pitch the sixth and seventh innings in relief, working through his right groin injury as well as ailments in his left knee and right elbow and bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome.

"Roy won't be speaking to the media about his performance," Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel will say. "It's not that he wouldn't like to. It's just that he also sprained his tongue."

--Here are my Newsday teammates Jim Baumbach and Anthony Rieber with a video dispatch yesterday from Arlington.

--Baseball might have a seven-day disabled list solely for concussions next year. It's obviously a well-intentioned innovation, but why not just encourage teams to put concussed players on the 15-day DL? It seems to me, just from anecdotal evidence, that many players need more than seven days to recover, anyway. And that the only harm of waiting 15 days is the baseball damage of missing that much time.

--Neil Best spoke with John Sterling as the Yankees were preparing to leave New York following Game 5.

--The Yankees completed the Kerry Wood trade yesterday, and by sending two non-prospects to Cleveland, the Yankees confirmed this was nothing more than a money dump on the Indians' part. A very rewarding money dump for the Yankees, who have benefited greatly from having Wood around.

--Thanks to Islander505 for digging up this story about why A-Rod didn't slide when scoring a run in ALCS Game 5. Good stuff.

--I'll check in later from the ballpark.

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