2016 MLB Playoffs

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:01 pm

I was thinking, too, that Lester might be used in late innings in game 7 a la Bumgarner 2 years ago. I wouldn't be at all surprised, though, to see Maddon put in Chapman during the seventh inning--as he has the last two games--and expect to ride him all the way to the end. If that happens and the Cubs win, Maddon is redeemed. If not, he gets derided until the end of time for costing the Cubs their chance to finally win it all. Of course it's also quite possible that one or the other team will have a big early lead and we'll never know.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Bog » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:51 pm

danfrank wrote:The big story in this game, of course, is Maddon's use of Chapman. I'm completely confounded by it. I'm not familiar with Chapman's durability, but I have heard him say he's not all that comfortable in unconventional situations. He threw a ton of pitches in game 5, and you can bet that they'll need him tomorrow. They had a 5-run lead! Then he put him back in the 9th when they had a 7-run lead! I know that the bullpen wasn't warmed up, but why weren't they? If, God forbid, Chapman blows a save tomorrow Maddon will be second-guessed.


As a Reds fan...(who actually fully converted 8 years ago after spending my entire childhood/adolescence and early adulthood as a die hard Cubs fan...Sandberg/Dawson/Caray and WGN abundance-induced)...I can also not attest to his durability as Dusty and/or Price both believe firmly in CF/SS leads off, catcher bats 8th, and closer pitches strictly 1 inning...never before or after the 9th inning. (no coincidence the 2 managers at the forefront of forward thinking and analytics are facing off and playing a full 7 games in the world series.)

All that aside however, and this is me assuming after he stated aloud he trusts only Chapman and Montgomery period in big spots, that his plan is Chapman could be ready (only 20 pitches actually despite appearing in 3 separate innings) but Lester will be his version of Chapman from game 5. My guess is he is begging for 5 innings from road Hendricks, then possibly 3 to 6 tough outs from Chapman/Lackey/Montgomery righty lefty matchup based...then Lester pitches 8 and 9 if they're in a Bochy/MadBum situation. Then they ride off into the sunset with a Series trophy, Manager of the year, and Cy Young.

From what I know about Maddon, despite his poor answer regarding why Chapman pitched to Lindor et al...he is prepared fully to not allow a second guessing at the hands of overusing Chapman. He may use him again...but early enough it isn't 3-2 in the 9th and Santana comes up with a man on and a fatigued Chapman could allow a homer Joe Carter style.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:43 pm

I'm kind of thinking, now that we're to it, that no matter the outcome tonight, I'm going to feel sorry for one team -- the Cubs don't deserve to get this far and be denied just short of the finish line; the Indians don't deserve to be remembered for choking when it was all in their grasp. I thought earlier that the fact one of these so-long-denied franchises would have to be rewarded would make it a surefire joyous occasion...but now I find that sadness for the loser might be more prominent.

I hope, at least, it's the sort of final game -- like 1991's masterpiece -- that leaves you feeling neither team truly deserved to lose.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:50 pm

I'm absolutely thrilled that we'll see a game 7. It felt like this was going to be the Cubs game right from that botched play by the Indians' outfield in the first inning. The big story in this game, of course, is Maddon's use of Chapman. I'm completely confounded by it. I'm not familiar with Chapman's durability, but I have heard him say he's not all that comfortable in unconventional situations. He threw a ton of pitches in game 5, and you can bet that they'll need him tomorrow. They had a 5-run lead! Then he put him back in the 9th when they had a 7-run lead! I know that the bullpen wasn't warmed up, but why weren't they? If, God forbid, Chapman blows a save tomorrow Maddon will be second-guessed until the end of time.

On a positive note, Bryant and Rizzo's bats are getting hot at the right time, and then there's Russell, who may be the series MVP if the Cubs can pull it out. I feel good about Hendricks on the mound tomorrow as he doesn't appear to have any nerves at all. He tends, though, to not go too late in the game, which makes me nervous. All will be revealed.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Nov 01, 2016 11:30 pm

We'll be having our third Game 7 in six years -- this after only four in the previous 22. And a Game 7 between the two most championship-starved franchises in the game? Can't ask for better.

Maddon mumbled some kind of explanation, but no one can figure why he felt the need to stretch Chapman out like that (apart from the obvious, that he doesn't trust anyone else in his bullpen). On the post-game, ARod (who's doing excellent analysis, by the way) said Rizzo's 9th inning homer may have been the biggest hit of the game, because, without that, Maddon would have had Chapman finish the game. As it is, he threw 20 pitches, on top of that half-game he threw Sunday night -- closers just aren't geared to that sort of thing (including the getting up/sitting down of multiple innings). Obviously if Hendricks has a game to match his NLCS clincher and Chapman isn't needed, it won't matter. And if Chapman is forced into the game and succeeds, Maddon can smirk at us all. But, tonight, it feels like he's taking his team into the winner-take-all with a massive bullpen disadvantage, since Miller and Allen are fully rested (and may not need to provide that much, given it's Kluber starting).

But, as is always said, in one game, anything can happen. Glad we'll have the chance for it.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Sonic Youth » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:46 pm

Welp.
"What the hell?"
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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:30 pm

If I were a Cub fan I wouldn't risk jinxing it, but as a neutral, I don't think it's too soon to say, Welcome to Game 7.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:20 pm

Typically wonderful piece from the great Roger Angell, to lead into Game 6. I deeply miss his annual season wrap-ups; for me, they always marked the true end of the baseball year.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting- ... nd-indians

Looking back over the World Series's (is that grammatically right?) I've watched in the past 50 years, I find a few that followed the exact pattern of the first five games -- Home Team win/Away Team win in first park, Away Team Win X2/Home Team Salvage Win in second park.

One of them is actually that 1979 Pirates/Orioles series, which ended with the Pirates getting two road wins to improbably take the title.

A second, less encouraging example for the Cubs, is 1977, which ended in Game 6 when a fellow named Jackson hit three home runs on only three pitches.

The sort-of-middle case: 1993, where the Phillies took a Game-7-inducing lead into the bottom of the 9th, but Mitch Williams (former Cub!) served up the three-run homer that put Joe Carter into the all-time highlight reel.

Cub history would actually make one fear something grisly like that last instance. But maybe it's a new day for the team. As Angell suggests, once we get to a sixth game, we're in anyone-can-win/anything-can-happen territory.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:55 am

Agonizing is the right word. But it's a win! And hope is alive. It seems unlikely that the Cubs will win both on the road, but we've got to take one game at a time. If Arrieta brings it Tuesday they could very well win game 6 and then all bets are off for a game seven. Perhaps Schwarber gives the Cubs the offensive spark they so desperately need. I'm just very relieved it didn't end tonight.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:14 am

The only accurate headline for tonight's game would be "Cubs Survive". Just barely, and agonizingly -- once the team banked its 3 runs, the offense went back to sleep, and Chapman had to dance along the edge for almost 3 innings. It felt like there was a man continually in scoring position, the 1-run lead in jeopardy for the last hour. It had to have been torture for Cubs fans; it was for ME.

But, you know what -- doesn't matter how close it was. Now it's a 3-2 series lead, and the task for Chicago doesn't seem so daunting. Yeah, they'll have to win two on the road, but other teams who've mounted this comeback (Pirates '79/Yankees '58) have managed the same. On to Cleveland; it's a series.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:48 am

Ruh-roh. We're dangerously close to the "wait 'til next year" refrain quite prematurely, especially given the talent of this Cubs team. The Cubs need to win tomorrow just to maintain a little dignity. I hope they do at least that, especially for the Cubs fans. Getting swept at home would be just too cruel. Of course baseball cares nothing about cruelty. Sigh.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:10 pm

I'm always surprised when a pitcher does well on 3 days rest in this day and age. When the Cubs started with that run in the first, I figured Kluber would be a bit below par tonight -- not bad, but soft enough to give up a few runs. Instead, he shut it down, and then the Cleveland hitters took care of the rest.

This is 1) disappointing, because it could make it a short series and 2) shocking, because the widespread feeling is that the Cubs are the stronger team. I guess it's now 31 years since a team rebounded from the 3-1 deficit (Royals/Cards, with an assist from Don Denkinger), and it seems like a heavy lift. But I saw the Pirates do it against the Orioles in '79, as well, and it's hardly beyond imagining that the Cubs could rally to win three in a row.

Let's hope Chicago at least wins tomorrow -- after a 71-year wait, their fans don't deserve the ignominy of failing to win a single home game. Cleveland would probably just as soon triumph in front of their home fans, if it came to that.

The really sad part: if Cleveland does win, without the Series getting any more exciting, outside of Ohio it'll be viewed as a depressing end to a season of hope. A team that's waited 68 years between championships really deserves a better salute than that.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:45 pm

Those little factoids every true baseball fan loves:

Last night saw the first time a pinch-hitter drove in a pinch-runner with the only run in a World Series game.

The Cubs' offense can really do a disappearing act, can't it? Of course, we remember them seeming dead as a doornail against the Dodgers and then rising up to explode. Cleveland has its own worries: for a while there it looked like they were crowding the record for men left on base without a single run scoring. But for the Indians to win this game at all, given their seeming pitching disadvantage, coupled with their "starter goes 2/3 inning, bullpen carries the day" game from the LCS, suggests they have their own mojo going. You've got to salute Francona for getting the team this far.

Of course I'm rooting solidly for the Cubs tonight. A World Series that begins 2-2 is exquisite...the championship suddenly narrowed to a best-of-3, with so much more on the line at every moment.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:43 pm

A friend of mine, who's been suffering with the Cubs since 1969, has been to every Wrigley game this post-season (and all the SF/LA ones, as well). He'll be there this weekend, but could only get standing room for tonight and Sunday.

So far the Series not only is but seems even -- relatively comfortable wins for each team. We'll see if returning home can become a decisive advantage for the Cubs, or if the teams end up evenly matched. It's certainly true that, beyond Kluber, the Indians' starting pitching is inferior, but that was true in their two earlier series, as well, and they were able to use their bullpen to offset that. Speaking of which: in a way, it was lucky for Cleveland to fall clearly behind early enough in Game 2 that there was no temptation to bring in Miller -- he'd have been running on fumes, anyway, given his 45+ pitches in Game 1, and might have been drained for no good reason. Now both he and Allen are well-rested for the games that might turn out to be the fulcrum of the series.

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Re: 2016 MLB Playoffs

Postby FilmFan720 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:50 am

I hope your nephew didn't have to mortgage his house...tickets are starting at $3,000 for standing room only and it only goes up from there. I could send my daughter to college for the price of a premium seat.
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