2014 MLB Playoffs

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Sonic Youth » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:40 am

When I'm not a fan of either team in the World Series, I always root for the best story, which is almost always an underdog story. It didn't happen this year, but we still came away with a pretty good one, Bad News Bears-like. Kansas City should be so proud of their team and the season they gifted their fans with, fighting all the way to the very, very, VERY end. I would love to see what the fans are saying. I hope they're not too devastated, because they shouldn't be. They deserved to win just as much as the Giants did.

Congratulations danfrank. After so many years of lack, it's nice to be spoiled, isn't it? Enjoy the lingering high.

Best of all, now that the series is over, I don't ever have to look at Super Creepy Rob Lowe again.
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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:43 pm

Thanks, Tee. What a great game! My heart was pounding for the last three innings or so, and felt like it would come out of my chest when Gordon made it to third in the 9th. Somehow I knew Bumgarner would have the composure to get that last out, and he did. Favorite play: Panik's amazing double play in the 3rd. If he misses that ball the Giants likely lose the game. I won't call the Giants a dynasty, but it's been quite a run over the last 3 years; an embarrassment of riches after decades of drought. I'm thinking of Damien tonight, wishing he was here to see this. He loved his Giants.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:00 pm

Well, congratulations to danfrank. And we can all celebrate a Game 7 that went down to the final pitch. I actually thought to myself when the final half-inning began, it'd be great if the tying run could at least get to third...and lo and behold it happened. (For about a millisecond, I even thought Gordon might make it all the way to the plate, as that ball was fumbled throughout the outfield -- I wonder if dan helplessly felt the same?) Even before that, it was a game that turned on tiny things: the ultimate winning run got to base because Infante couldn't keep his feet on a ground ball...and it stayed the winning run because the Giants' Perez appeared to catch a ball I thought was falling in easily. This was a 7th game worthy of the designation.

In my youth, pitchers starting three Series games was common -- Koufax, Gibson, Lolich all won MVP awards for doing it (and of course winning). Bumgarner doing it in this era (and he essentially did it: I call five innings a start, regardless of where in the game they occur) seems more impressive, esp. given the mere two-day rest before tonight. Kudos to him.

A dynasty? Weird kind of one, with the non-contending gaps in between (and different star pitchers each time). But maybe it's the closest we're going to get to dynasties in this day of multi-round playoffs and wild cards. In any case, the city that had no baseball championships till 2010 now has three, and they have every right to feel proud.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:12 pm

There are a host of such maybe-misleading post-season stats. Ted Williams hit .200 in his only World Series; I don't see anyone benching him in response. One game is one game. (Something the Royals have to bet on tonight, as Guthrie is not exactly the guy you'd want pitching a do-or-die game for you.)

Because it fascinates me, I went back and looked up the stats on series-length, particularly regarding seven games. They're pretty eye-opening.

The years following World War II were phenomenal for exciting Series. Betwen 1945 and 1987, 23 of 43 Series went 7 games. Another 8 went 6. Fans took it as near-birthright for the Series to last a week or more. And there were only five 4-game sweeps in that entire time (by five different teams, it turns out: Yanks, Giants, Dodgers, Orioles, Reds).

Post-'87, it all came crashing down. This will be just the 6th 7-gamer in 26 tries (in case you think my math is off, there was no Series in strike-deprived '94). There have been 7 6-game Series, but that's somewhat offset by a full 8 4-game sweeps, and another 5 5-gamers. The news is even worse of late: after 1997, 10 of 17 Series have ended in 4 or 5 games, with my team, danfrank's and the Bosox being particularly responsible.

To look on the brighter side: in the 20 years prior to 1945, there were far fewer lengthy series (there, it was my team the chief culprit). So maybe it goes in cycles, and we're in a more competitive phase. Baseball could sure use it.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:21 am

ksrymy wrote:Starting Peavy in a series-winning game knowing he has a postseason ERA of 7.02 was a pretty confusing move. Regardless, I'm glad to see it go to a seventh game. It's madness here. Can't wait to see if the bandwagon fans stay on or die down the next season.


I'm going to strongly disagree with you here. it's akin to saying that the Dodgers, should they get into the playoffs next year, shouldn't pitch Kershaw since HE has a lousy postseason record. I realize that Peavy is no Kershaw at this point in his career, though Peavy statistically was the best starter in baseball down the stretch. The Giants likely aren't even in the postseason without him. There are plenty of players--Barry Bonda comes to mind--that are lousy in the postseason until they aren't. Bochy would have been sending the absolute wrong signal to his team were he to make a panic move in Game 6. Peavy was appropriately kept on a short leash. It just didn't work out.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby ksrymy » Wed Oct 29, 2014 1:03 am

Starting Peavy in a series-winning game knowing he has a postseason ERA of 7.02 was a pretty confusing move. Regardless, I'm glad to see it go to a seventh game. It's madness here. Can't wait to see if the bandwagon fans stay on or die down the next season.
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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Wed Oct 29, 2014 12:28 am

Like I said, anything can happen. Yikes! On to tomorrow and an actual game 7. You're right, Tee, that the misplay on that home-or-first play may have shifted the tide. I blame Peavy more than Belt on that one.

Yes, it's been a close series with only one close game. I'm hoping for a tight, well-played one tomorrow. History favors the home team and the game 6 winner, but what I love about baseball is that you never know. I'll be on the edge of my seat. Go Giants!

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:33 pm

Well, the Royals took the suspense out of this game pretty quick. For just a moment, when Peavy struck out the first batter and had two strikes on the next, it felt like he might escape with only the one run. That little misjudgment on the home-or-first? play might have been the fulcrum. It obviously didn't help that the till-then-reliable Petit came in and basically threw batting practice.

It's pleasing to see the Series go to 7 (only the second time since '02, sadly), but the games themselves haven't offered much excitement -- except for that 3-2 bleeder last Friday night, the margins have been fairly wide.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby ksrymy » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:55 pm

Rumors are swirling that Bumgarner is going to pitch out of the pen tonight.
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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:59 am

It's definitely up in the air, but I'm feeling fairly confident. Even if Peavy falters, or Hudson if we go to game 7, the Giants have a well-rested bullpen with long reliever Yusmeiro Petit pitching as well as anyone of late. Nobody in the entire Giants lineup, including the bench, has been cold. A majority of the team has been here before and have a lot of poise. Anything can happen, but I'm feeling very good about our prospects.

How about that game 5? Madison Bumgarner has officially joined the pantheon of postseason gods, now owning the lowest ERA in World Series history for pitchers with 25 innings or more, a crazy 0.29. My favorite part of the game, however, was Juan Perez's 2-RBI double off the top of the wall in the 8th inning off Wade Davis, widely considered the best relief pitcher in all of baseball this year. Perez is a guy who really struggled this year, in and out of the minors, managing to hit only .170 for the year. Earlier in the game he learned that his friend Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals player considered one of the best prospects in baseball, was killed in a car accident. He left the dugout to go to the clubhouse to cry. He was later called into the game as a defensive replacement, and then gets the biggest hit of his life, and one of the Giants' biggest hits all year. Quite the moving story.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:32 am

So, now we're to Game 6, where one team is by definition facing elimination, the other poised for victory. The Giants may well get their third championship in five years tonight.

But I couldn't help but think, after Sunday night's game, that the Giants needed the win that night more than the Royals. The Giants had their ace going (for presumably the last time); they had to score the win before hitting the road -- going into Royals Stadium down 3-2 would have been a tough hill to climb. I may be forgetting some team, but the last time I remember the road team rallying in Games 6 & 7 was the '79 Pirates.

Even going in ahead 3-2 is hardly cause for cockiness. We've seen many home teams win the last two games & the title, including as recently as three years ago. So, this thing is still very much up in the air.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:34 pm

I was fortunate enough to attend last night's game. My season ticket-holding friends gave them to me and my husband as a gift, and what an incredible gift it was! Pre-game, I watched as childhood hero Hank Aaron was introduced to thunderous applause to hand out his eponymous awards; Little League World Series heroine Mo'Ne Davis throw out the first pitch from the top of the mound (prompted by
Spike Lee) and threw a perfect strike; Carlos Santana and his son sweetly performed the anthem with a backdrop of the gorgeous bay filled with its "armada," including a water-shooting fireboat; and Brian Stow, the Giants fan pummeled nearly to death by a drunken Dodger fan a couple years' back, warmed up the crowd and called "Play Ball!" I was an emotional wreck before the game even started. And then there was the game! The Giants battled back from a 4-1 deficit, claiming a National League record of eleven players with hits in a postseason game. The crowds at the China Basin (I have a hard time calling it by its corporate name) ballpark on McCovey Cove are always spirited, but last night was something special. It will take a few days for my vocal chords to recover.

Madbum is on tonight, and though he tends to pitch better on the road than at home, it looks promising that the Giants will travel to Kansas City with a 3-2 lead. Something tells me this one is going to seven. Yippee!!!

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:42 pm

I was out last night and missed the game, but I love the result: we're guaranteed a six-game series, an all-too-rare occurrence of late (and a first for this Giants team). I'm all in for seven.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Oct 20, 2014 8:59 pm

danfrank wrote: It's pretty amazing how well wild card teams have been since the concept was introduced.

Apropos of which: I'm told this is the first World Series ever where neither team won as many as 90 games.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:12 pm

What a game indeed! That (the NLCS clincher; I haven't been able to post for a few days) was one of the most satisfying games in all my years of watching baseball. One for the books, as they say. This has the makings of a truly terrific World Series. It's pretty amazing how well wild card teams have done since the concept was introduced.
Last edited by danfrank on Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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