Offensively, Youk was just so-so, going 4-18 with a double, 2 walks, 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored. But man oh man, did he flash some serious leather! As usual, he was stellar at first. In game 1, he snared a duck snort in shallow right, shot to his feet, and threw a bullet to Mike Lowell at third to get Vlad out by a mile. In game 3, he beat Garret Anderson to the bag by sliding into it and nearly getting trampled in the process. Gutsy. But you'd expect that kind of intensity from the guy who holds the MLB record for consecutive errorless games by a first baseman (238 games, Steve Garvey was the previous record-holder). Filling in at the hot corner, Youk had some big gold glove shoes to fill. But he did not disappoint. He charged the ball well. He threw the ball well. And he made a nifty catch in game 2, reaching into the stands in the 9th.
Ryan Braun also did not disappoint in his first taste of the postseason. He went 5-16 (.313) with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs in a losing effort against the Phillies. It might be tough next year for the Brew Crew to repeat the success they had in '08, as they will likely lose some key free agents in the off-season. Hopefully, the Brewers will be able to build around the Braun-Fielder-Hardy-Hart nucleus they have.
Anybody remember what Youkilis did in the ALCS last year? Well, let me refresh your memory. In a tight series that went the distance between the Red Sox and the Indians, Youk played like a man possessed. In 28 ABs, he hit .500 with a .576 OBP and a .929 SLG, had 3 HRs, 1 double, 1 triple, scored 10 runs, and drove in 7.
If last year's virtuoso performance is any indication, we might be in for a treat.