2014 MLB Playoffs

Mister Tee
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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:15 pm

Downside: no more baseball till next Tuesday.

Upside: hee-ha, what a game.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:17 am

Mister Tee wrote:
Now we'll see if the Giants can finish off the Cards, and set up an interesting World Series. They said on TV last night that St. Louis has never come back from a 3-1 deficit in the post-season (they have FALLEN from a 3-1 lead on at least two occasions I can think of: 1968, and 1985, against these same Royals). But every year is new until the last out is recorded.


They also lost a 3 games to 1 lead just two years ago against the Giants in the NLCS. Let's hope that Bumgarner continues his run toward postseason sainthood today against the faltering Wainwright. If it goes back to St. Louis, who knows?

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:23 am

To follow up on what ksrymy posted: Cain was voted the MVP of the series.

Now we'll see if the Giants can finish off the Cards, and set up an interesting World Series. They said on TV last night that St. Louis has never come back from a 3-1 deficit in the post-season (they have FALLEN from a 3-1 lead on at least two occasions I can think of: 1968, and 1985, against these same Royals). But every year is new until the last out is recorded.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:42 pm

Sabremetrics was more or less invented by Bill James, a diehard Royals fan, and promulgated by a number of others whose hearts also lie with KC.

This post-season, the Royals are somewhat wreaking havoc with the principles of sabremetrics, or just plain defying them.

In Sabremetric World, teams shouldn't be able to rely on one close win after another -- the 1-run margins should tip the other way once in a while; law of avearges. A team shouldn't be able to go on an 8-game winning streak where four of the wins are by 1 run, another 2 are by 2; where I've already forgotten how many of them were in extra innings. If Bill James were to be honest with himself, he'd have to say the Royals have been unbelievably lucky.

But it sure is amazing to watch (even if it's resulted in boringly lopsided series). "Team of Destiny" and "Playing with Heart" are phrases the sabremetricians have done their best to banish from official baseball language. But it's hard to see how you avoid them right now.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby ksrymy » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:49 am

Who would we say, with it all drawing to a close, is the MVP of the playoffs so far?

Without trying to look like a homer too much, I have to say that Lorenzo Cain has been astounding on D these last so many games and Mike "Moooooose" Moustakas has been incredibly clutch in the late innings.
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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:46 pm

Yes, it was a quite enjoyable game with all the back-and-forth, the highlight being pinch runner Matt Duffy scoring all the way from 2nd base on a wild pitch to tie the game in the 9th. The agonized looks on the faces of the Cardinal fans were priceless. But alas, those agonized looks quickly became triumphant ones as Kolten Wong hit it over the fence in the bottom of the same inning. It looks to be a close series, which is good for entertainment value but not so good for my nerves. The Royals, rained out tonight, will need to lose a couple of games to make it interesting. Right now they look like the team of destiny.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:35 pm

I presume danfrank is disappointed in last night's outcome, but I hope even he would concede it was a most entertaining game. It was also a rare thing for this post-season: a win for the home team.

I'm definitely rooting for Royals/Giants, but I wouldn't mind getting to six or seven games to set it up.

Odd thing: the Orioles have played in 6 World Series, against 5 diferent teams, yet have never matched up to the Giants or Cardinals (even though both were among the eight "original" teams). Whereas the Royals have made the Series only twice, but once was against a possible opponent this year.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Wed Oct 08, 2014 8:16 pm

Thanks, Tee. Boy, October baseball is a strange animal. Somehow the Giants find themselves in the LCS despite getting almost no hits with runners in scoring position. Once again it was about good pitching, a lot of guts, and a fair amount of luck. I just read through a bunch of "experts'" predictions, most of whom had Nats-Dodgers in the NL while Angels-Tigers was the most common prediction on the AL side. Would that Oscar predictions could be that fallible. I have no clue what's going to happen from here on. It's all gravy for me at this point; I'm just hoping for some exciting games and close series.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:55 pm

Obviously I can't take back my already-expressed ennui over the match-up, but congratulations to danfrank for his team's advance to the LCS. You will absolutely have my support in this next round; I may be a bit tired of the Giants, but I'm mortally sick of the Cardinals (I honestly like the Giants fine -- rooted for them in previous years; I just hoped for newer blood).

There is of course new blood on the AL side. The Orioles are probably a bit miffed at the media swarm over the Royals -- I'm sure they'd like to say, ahem, OUR last championship was two years before the Royals'. But the O's, by virtue of a trip to the ALCS in '97, and a playoff appearance as recently as 2012, lose the spanking-fresh contest to the KC batch.

Both Wild Card teams are still alive, while the teams to which they fell short in their divisions have gone home. The playoffs are a different animal. Someone at another site opined that those Cleveland teams of the 50s, who almost never caught the Yankees for the pennant, would have qualified for numerous Wild Cards, and, with their almost-unmatched Feller/Lemon/Garcia/Wynn pitching staffs, might have run through the post-season a few times the way a pitching-rich team like the Giants has. (Then again, you have Kershaw for a counter-example: given two late-ish leads and failing to win either time -- not a great showing for a guy viewed as today's Greatest Pitcher Alive)

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby ksrymy » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:45 am

You have absolutely no idea how huge a thing like this is for Kansas City. This is the first time in my 16 years here that the majority of its sports fans have been genuinely nice and excited. Years and years of bitterness does something to a town, and so to see how a simple game can reface an entire metro area astounds me.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Oct 05, 2014 6:55 pm

danfrank wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:It's early yet, but, please, don't let the NL pennant come down to St. Louis/San Francisco -- apologies to fans of either team, but it's 2009 since we saw another NL team in the series; it's way post old.


I'll more than tolerate redundancy if it involves my Giants, as I imagine you did, Tee, when it was the Yankees year after year. For freshness i'm rooting like crazy for the Royals, who seem to have a lot of heart.

Naturally. When it comes to one's own team, any hypocrisy is tolerated.

I gave up on that game after the 15th -- had a DVD I wanted to watch, and just couldn't stick with it any longer.

As far as Zimmerman being taken out...well, there's always the chance a starter loses it suddenly, in which case a manager is flayed for not bringing in a fresh arm, especially a closer. I was actually thinking, as we got toward the 9th and the Nationals couldn't seem to add to their 1-run margin, of a game the Yankees played in that stadium sometime around 2006-7 -- Chien Ming-Wang carried a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 9th (Mo was unavailable), and gave up a two-run homer to lose it. If you lose, there's always something you should have done differently. (Not being an NL watcher most of the year, I don't know how good/bad the Nationals closer is supposed to be. Was coughing up the lead totally out of character for him?)

The Dodgers, at least, are making a series of it, and we'll see if the Angels can make a show over the next few hours. The Tigers have already expired (after a brief flash of life in the 9th). We've had better first-round series in recent years, but this time it's shaping up as potentially dull (not the games, which have largely been good, but the lopsidedness of the series).

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby danfrank » Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:30 pm

Mister Tee wrote:It's early yet, but, please, don't let the NL pennant come down to St. Louis/San Francisco -- apologies to fans of either team, but it's 2009 since we saw another NL team in the series; it's way post old.


I'll more than tolerate redundancy if it involves my Giants, as I imagine you did, Tee, when it was the Yankees year after year. For freshness i'm rooting like crazy for the Royals, who seem to have a lot of heart.

I somehow survived the 18-inning, 6.5-hour marathon last night. I'm traveling on the East Coast and am not accustomed to these games that go into the wee hours. Matt Williams, whose career I've been following since he was a minor leaguer, made a bonehead move taking out Zimmerman in the 9th. One of the Giants was quoted as saying he would have been relieved to see Sandy Koufax come in after watching Zimmerman so totally dominate. That one move could have cost the Nats the series.

So far I'm quite pleased with how all the series are going. I would have been more happy to see Kershaw get beaten up if he wasn't such a good guy. He looked completely devastated. You're right, Tee, that it's a whole new ballgame come October.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Oct 04, 2014 1:51 pm

So, I think we've got an answer to How can a team with a Cy Young rotation and a multi-MVP fall so short in the post-season? -- My god, Detroit's bullpen sucks.

Kershaw in the post-season is like Cinderella at midnight. Blowing a five-run lead after the 6th? That can't happen in more than 5% of games, worst teams included.

It's early yet, but, please, don't let the NL pennant come down to St. Louis/San Francisco -- apologies to fans of either team, but it's 2009 since we saw another NL team in the series; it's way post old.

Given LA's best AL record status, I can't discard the possibility they'll come back...but losing the first two at home in a five-game series is really putting yourself behind the eight-ball.

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:53 pm

Maybe you guys had the same feeling I did during last night's game: when the Giants loaded the bases with nobody out in the 4th, I thought, if they put across 1 or 2 runs here, the game might be over. Bumgarner wasn't just pitching at squelching level, he'd only thrown about 9 pitches an inning -- well on his way to the complete game he ultimately got. When it turned out 4 runs scored, I quite comfortably went off to do other things: this one was in the bank.

The Pirates took a gamble in the waning days of the season and lost. Like the Royals, they were close to the division lead -- close enough they opted to throw their best pitchers over the weekend in an attempt to gain the significant advantage of the title outright. This left them with a less-than-stellar pitcher for last night's elimination game -- Volquez against Bumgarner is a pretty lopsided mismatch.

Many of us had been annoyed, over the past two decades, by the number of Wild Card winners who'd seen no penalty for losing the division -- who went on to win the Series with basically the same opportunity as the division champ who'd finished as much as 5-10 games ahead of them. This recent tweek to the system -- the creation of the one-game play-in -- created just such a penalty, and it bit the Pirates hard last night. (The fact that SF was far enough behind the Dodgers to have no legitimate shot at the division in the final weekend ironically played to their advantage)

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Re: 2014 MLB Playoffs

Postby FilmFan720 » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:19 am

As Tee said, it is a quiet year here for our teams. I have to admit that I'm having a hard time getting overly excited about my Tigers this year...I've been burned too many times in the past few years by teams that seemed so much stronger. We have Miggy, but he wasn't quite Triple Crown this year (although still one of the best in the game); we have that Cy Young staff, but none of them are really contending for that prize this year; we have the two Martinez's, but can either of them really carry us through a post season? I'll be following the team closely, but I just don't seem as passionate (or optimistic) as I have in the past.

Nice game last night Giants, although I was rooting hard for the Pirates.
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