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The AL Wild Card game features the Twins in Yankee Stadium. Colorado-Arizona is tomorrow.

The Twins are in Yankee Stadium, and a pair of first inning homers off Luis Severino have driven him from the game and staked Ervin Santana to a 3-0 lead. Which he promptly surrendered by putting the first hitters he saw on base and giving up a three-run home to Didi Gregorius. This could be a wild one, folks.
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Gerry - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#349859) #
Last nights game was a good summary of the season. It was a long game with lots of home runs and pitching changes.

In other news there are 4 Jays on the Northwest League top 20 prospects. And Nate Pearson did not qualify.

As you would expect Logan Warmoth and Riley Adams made the list. But Kevin Vicuna and Reggie Pruitt also snuck in, grabbing the last two spots.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#349860) #
They say that good pitching beats good hitting.  Cleveland facing New York is a nice test of the proposition, although the Indians are a slightly better club overall.  Anyways, I think the aphorism is wrong and the Yankees are going to make it past the Indians (in 4 games- if I am right, Francona will be second-guessed forever, wrongly,  for holding back Kluber).  The Astros facing the Red Sox is a little different.  The Astros have a much, much better offence and the Sox have better pitching.  I think that it's going to be the Astros vs. the Yanks in the ALCS. 
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#349861) #
Gutsy call Mike.  That Yankee bullpen is a playoff game-changer though.  I mentioned before that they are the best pen I can remember seeing, despite some hiccups from Betances and Chapman.  9.2 fWAR for the pen as a whole, 0.6 ahead of Cleveland for best in the sport.  (We were 7th at 5.8). 

I hate to pick against Joe Madden, but it certainly looks like a Dodgers / Nats NLCS to me. 

I'm pulling for the Astros in the Series.  The Yanks and Dodgers fans have enough to be happy about.  Does anyone still follow the Nationals due to the Expos connection, or is that too far gone?

jerjapan - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#349864) #
I read the below after posting above about the strength of the Yanks pen.

"The Yankees threw 171 pitches in last nightís game, and Statcast had the average velocity of all their pitches at 93.1 mph. That isnít their fastball velocity; that includes every breaking ball and off-speed pitch they threw. If we exclude all the bendy pitches, the average velocity of a Yankee fastball last night was 97.1 mph. The Twins didnít throw a single fastball that hard all night."

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#349866) #
There is no question that you can leverage a bullpen like the Yankees have better in the playoffs than in the regular season.  The Indians do however have the two best pitchers in the series- Kluber and Miller- and you can equally leverage their talents better in the playoffs.  What happens when Andrew Miller faces Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez?   Statistically, it's 2/3 to 3/4 them and 1/4 to 1/3 him.  Greg Bird is another story, but I think that he's the one who will do the damage to Kluber.   Something seems to have clicked back in place for Bird on or about September 20 (maybe his shoulder?), and it makes a big difference to the Yankee offence.   
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#349867) #
I checked BP and the Yanks were 16 games worse than their pythag record.  With Bird seemingly back, this series could feature the two best teams in the AL.

Chad Green actually beat Miller in fWAR (2.4 vs. 2.3) but Miller has the killer track record.  And the Indians starters are historically good.

What do you think of the decision to start the fully-rested Kluber game 2?

James W - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#349869) #
I'd speculate if Miller faced Judge, we'd see a strikeout 80% of the time. Tried checking their history, and Miller didn't face the Yankees at all this season, so we'll find out soon how it goes.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#349870) #
Actually, Judge has reverse splits so far in his career, and Miller doesn't give away anything to RHB.  So far, Judge has walked more, struck out less, hit fewer homers and for a lower average against LHP.  We'll see if that is actually a pattern with him or a sample size fluke. 

Anyways, over the last 3 years, Miller has struck out 42.5% of RHBs he has faced and Judge does strike out more than the average RHB, so you'd probably be looking at about 45% K, 15-18% BB and about 7.5% HR. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 04:28 PM EDT (#349871) #
I agree with Francona's decision about Kluber.  What it allows him to do is feel confident that Kluber will be able to go 6 or 7 innings in both starts, and work his bullpen efficiently around that. 
James W - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 05:40 PM EDT (#349872) #
That's fair Mike, and surely an overestimate on my part. I was hoping to back it up with "He's 0-for-4 with 4 strikeouts" (which wouldn't even be truly meaningful) but it looks like Miller was hurt when Cleveland played the Yankees this year.
92-93 - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#349873) #
I was more surprised with Francona's decision to go with Bauer in Game 1 and Carrasco in Game 3 than I was with the idea of keeping Kluber on his regular rest for both starts and hoping to not need him twice in the ALDS so he could be maximized in the ALCS. I'm aware of Carrasco's home/road splits, but I probably would've ignored them to try and avoid going down 1-0 in the series. It seems strange to think that you're putting Carrasco in a better situation to succeed by having him start in Yankee Stadium, but the stats certainly agree with the decision.

I like to throw a few shekels on a team each year, so I went with the Red Sox at +900 this year. Looked like the best value to me. Hoping Sale shakes off the late season "struggles" and that Price is an effective weapon out of the bullpen for Farrell.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 09:53 PM EDT (#349880) #
Greinke and Gray were both lit up tonight. Maybe managers in the wild card game should lead with a set-up guy for a couple of innings and then bring on the starter.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 10:02 PM EDT (#349881) #
Roger Angell has a column in today's New Yorker on the AL wild card game. Long may he write.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#349882) #
This is an interesting game.
Shoeless Joe - Wednesday, October 04 2017 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#349883) #
I personally love these wild car games. The Bradley triple and then giving up two homers the next inning is very exciting.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#349884) #
The Yankees bullpen is really, really good. It's a shame for them that they had to "waste" it against the Twins instead of having it fresh for the Indians, but obviously they had to win the WC game at all costs so it is what it is. The Yankees best shot of winning this series is making it a bullpen game. Cleveland is stacked there too but I'd still give the edge to New York in that area. Obviously the starting edge goes to Cleveland so Girardi will have to be very quick with his hooks to keep the games close.

I still say the Indians win the series, but the Yankees have a chance.
Glevin - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#349885) #
"The Yankees best shot of winning this series is making it a bullpen game. Cleveland is stacked there too but I'd still give the edge to New York in that area"

Except Cleveland also added Clevinger and Salazar to the bullpen which makes their long-relief better than the Yanks I think. This is actually the most interesting playoffs in some time I think and while it felt like for a number of years, there was a lot of mediocrity in baseball, this year every team in the playoffs is good and most I would classify as great teams. You look at the playoff teams and you don't see a lot of weaknesses anywhere. Boston is probably the worst team left in the playoffs IMO and they won 93 games this year.
Gerry - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#349886) #
Most playoff series are 60% - 40% odds at best. It just needs a big Archie Bradley type hit or a strikeout with the bases loaded to swing the game.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#349887) #
If you look at the Base Run standings (which show the Indians leading with 107, the Yankees second with 102, the Dodgers third with 101) and the Astros fourth with 99), and then make adjustments for the stronger league, you can argue that the Yankees-Indians series features the two best teams in baseball.  I don't think that's quite right- but I do think that the Indians, Astros and Yankees are the best clubs in baseball, with the Dodgers fast on their heels. 
Glevin - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 12:31 PM EDT (#349888) #
Nats are a pretty great team. 6 position players above 3 WAR including 4 hitters above 135 WRC+ and 3 starters with ERAs under 3.00 including two of the best starters in baseball. 97 wins despite missing Eaton all year, and Harper and Turner missing 1/3 of the season each.
CeeBee - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#349890) #
Seems the RedSox-Astro game is not on TV in Canada. I so wanted to watch Boston lose.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#349891) #
The Nats are in (by far) the weakest division in baseball.  With the severely unbalanced schedule, this becomes an important factor.
mathesond - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#349892) #
CeeBee, it looks like MLB Network is showing the game, if you get that channel.
CeeBee - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#349895) #
don't get it so I guess it's gameday for me.
Magpie - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#349900) #
I've been trying to figure out my rooting interest in this year's post-season. It goes without saying that the Red Sox and Yankees come in 7th and 8th, it's just a matter of deciding which team bothers me more. I suppose it has to be something like...

1. Cleveland - Ending the suffering of one last fan base, now that the Cubs and Red Sox have been relieved. Besides... Edwin and Tito. Easy call.

2. Washington - The franchise has never won a title, Bryce Harper is loads of fun, and a Nationals championship would punch Dusty Baker's ticket to Cooperstown. Watching all the heads explode after that would be worth the price of admission.

3. Houston - Another franchise that's never won a title, Jose Altuve is loads of fun, and it's a terrible time for the city.

4. Los Angeles - I could rank them higher, despite all the past Dodger titles. They're just a fun group.

5. Arizona - I don't much like the team, but I don't mind cheering for Paul Goldschmidt. And Greinke.

6. Chicago - Another fun group, but they won it last year. Sorry.

7. New York - Weirdly enough, this group of Yankees doesn't give off the same stench of money most Yankees just exude. It's the kids you think of - Judge and Sanchez, obviously. And I expect Greg Bird to join them. Oh, I'm going to hate those guys so much. Just not there yet.

8. Boston - I do like watching Rat Boy play baseball, him and the wonderful young outfielders. But mainly - I smell money, money, and more money.
bpoz - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 07:29 PM EDT (#349901) #
Washington. But I want to be analytical. I want to see great pitching win over everything else.
Magpie - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#349902) #
I want to see great pitching win over everything else.

And Verlander delivers - finally - the first Quality Start of the 2017 post-season.
greenfrog - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#349903) #
Houston has such a terrific lineup. Anything can happen in a playoff series, but Boston is really up against it.

Nice job by the Astros to snag Verlander at the waiver trade deadline, too.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#349904) #
Crap. I was itching for the Miller-Judgeneral confrontation. I did like the Gray-Bruce homer though- Ontari-ari-ario.
scottt - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#349905) #
I love a good Yankees beating. That was a splendid one. Basically just Bauer and Bruce.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 05 2017 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#349906) #
That failed Jay Bruce trade two years ago got a lot of flack but he put up nearly a 3 WAR this season and his offense bounced back in 2016 (his defense brought his value down). They guessed right on him turning the corner offensively, much like with Smoak. Maybe there's hope for Morales (wishful thinking, I know).
bpoz - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 08:26 AM EDT (#349910) #
The Division series is a best of 5. I forgot that. I wonder if Sale would pitch on 3 days rest if the Sox are 0-2.
Gerry - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 09:14 AM EDT (#349911) #
Ryan Noda and Mc Gregory Contreras from the Bluefield Blue Jays made BA's top 20 prospects in the Appy League.
andrewkw - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#349915) #
Are these MLB Network exclusives a new thing?  It's not even one series it's select games. Obviously the last couple of years I've been paying more attention to The Jays in the playoffs but I am annoyed that certain games are not on sportsnet. I only pay for all these channels because they air select games on SN360 and SN1 so I need them all for all 162 Jays games. No interest in getting mlb network for a few playoff games but I am surprised sportsnet gave up their rights I thought they were the exclusively network for mlb postseason in Canada?
James W - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#349917) #
Rogers owns the Canadian rights to MLB Network. Seems pretty crafty on their part, when you already have 7 of their sports channels, to put games on yet another channel.
uglyone - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#349925) #
Killer Bs getting killed.
Chuck - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#349927) #
Good pitching beats good hitting. Except when it doesn't.
scottt - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#349928) #
Boston's pitching wasn't that good.

They all got lit up except for Price. That's kinda amusing.
I wonder if a sweep gets Farrell out.

bpoz - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#349929) #
This is serious in Boston.
John Northey - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#349931) #
Frustrating when the 2 I was cheering on were knocked out in the wild card (Colorado & Minnesota). Nice to see Boston getting hit hard though, if both them and the Yankees are knocked out this round I'll be happy. Astros vs Dodgers WS is what I hope for now.
hypobole - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 10:08 PM EDT (#349932) #
Sale and Kluber are the runaway AL Cy favourites. Their total line in the ALDS - 7.2 IP, 16 H, 13 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 5 HR's.
SK in NJ - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#349933) #
I am watching the YES post game show, and Girardi is getting killed by the Yankees announcers. Even after showing his post game interview they were ripping into his decisions, and justifiably so. His explanation for not challenging the HBP was he didn't want to disrupt the pitcher's rhythm (and he didn't have the slo-mo replay in time), even though Gary Sanchez was telling him to challenge it from home plate. Then there is the issue of taking Sabathia out of the game in the 6th after 77 pitches when he was doing well and the Yankees bullpen was still likely tired from the WC game. It's easy to second guess in hindsight, especially since Green has been so great this season and just had a bad game, but that's not going to help Girardi's cause tonight and tomorrow when the game is discussed. Instead of going back home 1-1, they have to win 3 in a row against the best team in the AL.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, October 06 2017 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#349934) #
####### owns the Canadian rights to MLB Network.

Still can't believe we can't get that channel here out west.
bpoz - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#349938) #
Great Starting pitching wins IMO. I don't mind losing Nats and Cubs with great playoff pitching.

Therefore I am very happy with the Jays. Stroman & Sanchez were pretty good in the playoffs. Even Estrada and Happ gave us enough to win. Not great by any of the 4. IMO we have some key playoff ingredients.

Cracka - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#349939) #
Top of the Rotation Starting Pitching has been the story so far this post season. There have been 16 starts so far - 5 of them have lasted 2 innings or less and 8 have lasted 4 innings or less. There have only been 4 quality starts and half of them were in the Cubs/Nats game last night.

Santana - 2 IP, 4 ER
Severino - 0.1 IP, 3 ER
Gray - 1.1 IP, 4 ER
Greinke - 3.2 IP, 4 ER
Sale - 5 IP, 7 ER
Verlander - 6 IP, 2 ER
S. Gray - 3.1 IP, 3 ER
Bauer - 6.2 IP, 0 ER
Pomeranz - 2.0 IP, 4 ER
Keuchel - 5.2 IP, 1 ER
Sabathia - 5.1 IP, 2 ER
Kluber - 2.2 IP, 6 ER
Walker - 1 IP, 4 ER
Kershaw - 6.1 IP, 4 ER
Hendricks - 7 IP, 0 ER
Strasburg - 7 IP, 0 ER

jerjapan - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#349941) #
That sprained ankle is a tough break for EE.  With the longshots out in Colorado and Minnesota, I'm pulling for the best baseball we can get in the 5 game series, and for the ex Jays.  So far, so good.  Lots of drama, SPs getting rocked early - or pitching great games, huge bullpen performances. Nice to see the ex-Jays contributing - Morrow in LA, Liriano (who I thought of as a longshot) made the roster in HOU, Price and Davis in Boston, Smith and Gomes in CLE, Lind in WAS (funny how if deployed properly he is a useful player ...), Mathis in ARI. 

These playoffs may be a game changer in terms of the elite teams building elite bullpens for the playoffs.  

For the WS, it sure looks like CLE, HOU and LA are the faves at the moment.  I like the Stros - I get tired of the same teams winning year after year, and refuse to cheer for Cleveland, even with EE, given that racist name and mascot. 

Chuck - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#349942) #
Lind in WAS (funny how if deployed properly he is a useful player ...)

He hit very well, but it was only the team's numerous injuries that caused him to start 25 games in the outfield. That was certainly not their plan from the outset. He was supposed to be a pinch-hitter and caddy at first base for Zimmerman, who was coming off a down season.

scottt - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#349943) #
Lind has a career OPS of .852 against RHP,. That was always solid. Jays just couldn't accept that he needed to be platooned even when he was basically the only left bat on the team.
scottt - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#349947) #
Boston media seems upset the Red Sox were too cheap to sign a real DH like Encarnation.

Truth to be told, I see a bigger gap between Boston-NYY and Cleveland Houston than between the Jays and the top of the division. Of course, things could look different in April.

John Northey - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#349948) #
jerjapan I'm with you on Cleveland - until that logo at the very least is changed I wish that team nothing but bad luck.

Houston is a team I've lightly cheered on since the mid-80's when they nearly beat the Mets in 1986 thanks almost entirely to one pitcher, Mike Scott. The Mets in game 6 looked desperate to avoid a game 7 vs Scott. A heck of a playoff year even if the Jays didn't come close.

LA has had a long WS draught for a big market team - no appearances since 1988 despite making the playoffs 10 times plus this year in that stretch. Random odds say they should've been there twice with one win in that stretch.

LA-Houston would be a fun WS imo. Just no Boston/NYY ALCS please or Cleveland going all the way.
hypobole - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 03:25 PM EDT (#349956) #
2014 Jays Lind PA's
vs LHP 37
vs RHP 281

2017 Nats Lind PA's
vs LHP 32
vs RHP 269

bpoz - Saturday, October 07 2017 @ 09:46 PM EDT (#349957) #
I have been beating the great SP drum for playoff baseball.

Does anyone see defense as very important in the playoffs? I mean that if the SP makes a couple of mistakes and the defense bails him out.

So offense has the least value, IMO. Sorry WAMCO.
scottt - Sunday, October 08 2017 @ 07:21 AM EDT (#349959) #
Huge spotlight for Lind in game 2.
bpoz - Sunday, October 08 2017 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#349961) #
Boston wins. Bad pitching again.
StephenT - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 01:28 AM EDT (#349964) #
If I remember right, MLB Network started doing 2 playoff games in 2012, when the 2 Wild Card games were added.  At the time, I think TBS had all the Division Series rights, so I assume to not upset TBS that what happened was that MLB offered the 2 prime time Wild Card games to TBS in exchange for 2 afternoon Division Series games back, which they then put on their own MLB Network.  I think in 2014, Fox started doing half of the Division Series, but then sold back some games to MLB Network (I think just 2 games each post-season).

I think Sportsnet used to pick up the MLB Network playoff games until MLB Network started to be shown in Canada (on Rogers at least) in 2014(?).  I think though in 2015 that Sportsnet picked up the Jays-Rangers MLB Network game called by Bob Costas.
Spifficus - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 01:31 AM EDT (#349965) #
Would that be the side that had their starter give up 3 in 2 2/3, or the one that gave up 3 in 1 1/3?

My oversimplified point is simple - that how a team is comprised is largely for style points, The best chance they have is simply being better than their opponent.
scottt - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#349966) #
A 1-0 loss. Sheesh.

No bad pitching here, at least.

jerjapan - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#349968) #
David Price, relief ace?  I like the guy enough to be pulling for him, Red Sock or not - postseason stats are a clearly SSS, but the label of playoff choker still gets placed on some of these star players. 

Nice to see both teams down 2 games to none rally - keep beating the drum for great postseason ball Bpoz, I'm with you.

Happy Thanksgiving folks!

bpoz - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#349969) #
Happy Thanksgiving.

If the Red Sox and/or NYY get knocked out then over 2015,16 and 17 the Jays fans had more to celebrate than their fans.

Something to be thankful for.
Richard S.S. - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#349970) #
Boston eliminated!!!!! Yeah !!!!!
BlueJayWay - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 05:26 PM EDT (#349971) #
Red Sox are done. Hopefully the evil empire is next.
scottt - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#349972) #
Shaky defense again, but Pedroia makes the last out. Nice.

Too much stupidity in the commentaries, though.

Pierzynski about the necessity of hiding signs on the road, because at home, you'd need a guy in the crowd.
Like they do in Toronto. Except they are home and Boston is the team stealing signs.
Of course, this whole originated with the White Sox and didn't stop when Rios went there.

Beltran's home country is Puerto Rico? Is that the right way to say that?
hypobole - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#349973) #
So 28 pitcher starts have come and gone in the playoffs thus far and just one starter - Kyle Hendricks - has been allowed to throw over 100 pitches.

And who was the only manager old school enough to allow that? Joe Maddon. Wait, old school Maddon? Wasn't he the cutting edge guy in Tampa with all that shifting?

Well, yeah, his Tampa teams did shift more than other teams, but apparently this year his Cubs shifted less than any other team.

Interestingly, Hickey is no longer the Tampa pitching coach at least partly due to disagreement over decreased starter/increased bullpen usage dictated from above.
uglyone - Monday, October 09 2017 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#349974) #
indians don't look the same without edwin.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 09:10 AM EDT (#349975) #
The problem with the Indians is poor managerial decisions. Starting Bauer on short rest when his ERA on 2 previous such starts is over 8 and for all pitchers is over 6, When will they ever learn? Using starting pitchers on short rest is a poor strategy. Also, Kipness in CF has hurt them on at least 3 occasions and is a poor managerial decision imo.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 09:16 AM EDT (#349976) #
I think teams have been guilty of assuming that whatever Madison Bumgarner can do, their starters can do too.

Its interesting how a 12 man pitching staff becomes a six or seven man staff in post-season.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#349977) #
Errors hurt Cleveland as well.
lexomatic - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#349978) #
When will they ever learn? Using starting pitchers on short rest is a poor strategy

Well, some can do it. But maybe there was enough history to avoid starting Bauer there. I thought the point was keeping Kluber in his regular slot. So either way you're starting someone short. Your general point isn't wrong. There are tradeoffs for all their decisions. Potential benefits to playing Kipness in CF are all offense. It's good that Cleveland pitchers all strikeout a ton of guys because they aren't nearly as good at getting grounders as I thought.
PeterG - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#349979) #
I don't see any trade off with the pitchers. They could have started Tomlin and still had Kluber for Game 5. Sure Bauer looked good in game 1 but the track record for starts on short rest is not a good one. I agree there is a trade off with Kipness in CF, but so far it has not worked out well. Maybe I am just a defense first guy as I would prefer to see a real OF out there.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#349980) #
His name is Kipnis.  I'll grant that it does almost rhyme with hipness.  It would have been close enough for one of our haiku, senryu or limerick contests of yore.
Chuck - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#349981) #
Maybe I am just a defense first guy as I would prefer to see a real OF out there.

Kipnis is playing CF because Zimmer is injured.

bpoz - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 12:07 PM EDT (#349982) #
I really don't care who wins the WS, except NYY and Boston. I usually feel that way when the Jays are out.

But now I believe in the Jays. The 20 year playoff drought would not have happened if there was a 2nd WC.

As many have acknowledged "playoff baseball" is different. So I want the Jays to build a team to win in the playoffs.

My team would have good SPs, a defense that can steal a few runs rather than give them away. A decent bullpen, which gets a starter or 2 added to it in the playoffs. I sacrifice offense. Also I hope Our manager/Gibby is playing "you be the manager".
John Northey - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#349983) #
Gaston showed what it takes in both regular and post season - he was one of the few managers who had very clearly different ways of running a team in both. Regular season - let them play, see who can do what when given a few games in a row to get settled - even horrible players like Tom Lawless would get their shot at playing for 3 or 4 games in a row.

Playoffs - different creature. Super short leash on everyone. Pinch hit without worrying about hurting a players ego, even use rookies for that purpose (Ed Sprague, Derek Bell) when vets were on the bench. Run for guys (Derek Bell for John Olerud - OK, anyone would've done that), play them out of position (Molitor at 3B when he hadn't played there in over a year) to maximize your chances.

In the end it worked well, 2 WS wins after he was super angry at the end of 1991 when they were knocked out in the first round (just 2 rounds back then) by a team many thought the Jays should beat (Minnesota).
bpoz - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#349984) #
I believe that 1991 was the year that Jack Morris was incredible in the playoffs. Did he pitch 9,10 or 11 innings in a big game and win it? Not against the Jays though.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#349985) #
Game 7 of the World Series vs Atlanta in a battle of the Worst to First (both teams were last in their divisions the year before) - 10 shutout innings (126 pitches, 7 H 2 BB 8 SO) thanks to a baserunning blunder by Lonnie Smith (known to be a poor baserunner who was a good base stealer) - he was on first base and a double was hit by Terry Pendleton and he failed to score as he got confused part way and kept staring into the outfield trying to figure out what was happening while his poor third base coach must have been going nuts. Otherwise he would've lost 1-0 in 9. Didn't change how the media made him into a super-hero over it.

After that post season the Jays signed Morris to a (then) record setting deal (around $10 mil over 2 years) to take him away from Minnesota (he had a players opt-out).
rpriske - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#349986) #
I see a lot of 'anyone but the Yankees'.

For me, here is one of the very few times I DO root for the Yankees. The less of Cleveland's racist iconography that is shown, the better.

Let's see an Astros/Dodgers World Series, please.

SK in NJ - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#349987) #
The Yankees are a fun team to watch and root for. Built via great trades and homegrown talent. I can understand rooting against them because they are the Yankees, but the team as a whole is very good with a young core and more prospects on the way. If the Jays look like that five years from now, we will all be doing back flips.
John Northey - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#349988) #
Agreed rpriske - my first instinct is to always boo the Yankees but if Cleveland is knocked out fast I'm good with that too. Ideally both are gone before the World Series.
scottt - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 06:18 PM EDT (#349989) #
I can always pretend that they're still the Cleveland Naps, or even the Bluebirds, but the Yankees are only likeable when they lose badly.
BlueJayWay - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#349990) #
If the Jays look like that five years from now, we will all be doing back flips.

I hope it's less. Bo and Vlad Jr's ETAs for the majors looks like 2019. With the system getting stronger and and developing, I'm hoping the Jays can look like this year's Yankees team by 2020.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#349992) #
Nice discussion to have NYY Vs Jays in the near future. 2018 to start for me. I propose we bring the Red Sox to this party.

Of the 3 teams it seems a certainty that we will be 3rd in the FA signings.

IMO the Jays will also be 3rd in # times we win the division in this 3 team contest.My bad is that I just put down Bo and Vlad.

IMO both the NYY and Twins deserved to lose this years WC game. So at worst the Jays are as good/bad.

So far only LAD, Cubs and Houston can be pleased with the way the playoffs have gone. IMO.

uglyone - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#349993) #
eyeballing the current projections i'd guess the jays and yanks project to be pretty comparable teams next year.

bpoz - Tuesday, October 10 2017 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#349994) #
Thanks uglyone. NYY of course will be ranked higher. Then everyone will get it wrong .... par for the course.
Glevin - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 04:22 AM EDT (#349995) #
"eyeballing the current projections i'd guess the jays and yanks project to be pretty comparable teams next year."

How??? Yankees won 15 more games and had 28 more Pythagorean wins this year. They scored one run a game more and gave up 0.7 runs a game less. They had the third highest WAR for position players and second highest for pitchers. Jays were 29th and 11th respectively. They have more money to spend, more and better major league ready prospects, and are simply, a younger and much more talented team.

Barring Ohtani coming to the Jays, and maybe even then, I doubt anyone will predict the Jays to finish within 5 games of the Yankees and I think most will have the Yankees around 90 wins and Jays around 80. It's possible of course, the same way the Twins fluked a playoff appearance this year, but it's a very unlikely outcome.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#349996) #
"I hope it's less. Bo and Vlad Jr's ETAs for the majors looks like 2019. With the system getting stronger and and developing, I'm hoping the Jays can look like this year's Yankees team by 2020."

The Yankees have six starters in their everyday lineup that are 27 and under (Judge, Sanchez, Didi, Hicks, Castro, Bird). They combined for a 21.3 WAR this season, and that's with Bird missing almost the entire season and accumulating a -0.4 WAR (he's mashed in the playoffs, though). Their two best SP's according to WAR this season were 23 and 24 respectively (Severino and Montgomery, the latter tied with Tanaka). They have a top 5 farm system that will add even more talent to the roster in the coming seasons, and were able to trade expendable prospects to add big league help for this season and beyond (Gray, Robertson, Frazier).

I mean, it's possible that the Jays could be in a similar spot by 2020 if they get quick development from players like Vlad/Bo/Alford/etc, maybe make some good trades between now and then to add more young players, and draft extremely well, but it's asking a lot. That's why a Donaldson trade makes a lot of sense since it can potentially add 2-3 more pieces to fit that time frame. The Yankees were able to do it, for the most part, without a mass selling spree (except for the last trade deadline when they traded Chapman/Miller/Beltran), so it's doable, but will require a lot of good moves in the same vein as Didi/Hicks/Green/Castro.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#349997) #
You had me going there Glevin. Your analysis was good. So I was depressed for 2018's projected outcome.

Fortunately I realized my aspirations for 2018 was the 2nd WC. Agreed the Twins 85 wins and 2nd WC was a fluke. Regarding the NYY I think the season series was close. That would be a positive.

For me getting from 76 to 87 wins is my goal. 11 more wins. I hope we have better health and that will provide 5-7 more wins.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 08:53 AM EDT (#349998) #
His name is Kipnis.  I'll grant that it does almost rhyme with hipness.  It would have been close enough for one of our haiku, senryu or limerick contests of yore.

There was a young dandy named Kipnis
a fine fielder but prone to slipness,
turning a DP in Crocs
to match his red socks,
he fell and injured his hipness

Jonah Keri calls them the Cleveland Lindors.  Personally, I'd go with the Cleveland Truffles.  Don't trifle with the Truffles, y'all.
uglyone - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#349999) #
Farrell fired.

Still can't believe that guy won a world series.
PeterG - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#350000) #
BA rated the Yanks system at 8, one spot ahead of the Jays and that was before Pearson really took off and raised his profile.

I do agree that a Donaldson trade in the off season makes a lot of sense.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#350001) #
There are 2-4 times that a farm system is rated. Has the final 2017 rating been done? Prospect movement in trades league wide at the winter meetings has a big impact.

If NYY and Boston are already solidly built then they trade away prospects rather than add.

looks like I am spending a lot of time on NYY and Boston. I think that they may be behind Cleveland and Houston by more, than they are ahead of the rest of the AL. Maybe not.
PeterG - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#350002) #
The last BA rankings are post deadline. They now have Boston in the bottom third. I would not be surprised to see the Red Sox move more prospects or lose picks in the off season as Dombrowski is strictly a win now guy who will not worry about future repercussions.
uglyone - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#350003) #
Glevin, i'm sure the projections will change in the offseason, but as of now they still see the yanks as huge overachievers and the jays as huge underachievers.


Judge (26): 133 ----- Donaldson (32): 142
Sanchez (25): 120 --- Smoak (32): 114
Bird (25): 107 ------ Pearce (35): 112
Gardner (34): 103 --- Morales (35): 108
Hicks (28): 102 ----- Martin (35): 103
Gregorius (28): 98 -- Tulowitzki (33): 101
Castro (28): 97 ----- Travis (27): 101
Headley (34): 97 ---- Pillar (29): 88
Ellsbury (34): 92 --- Carrera (31): 88

Frazier (24): 88 ---- Pompey (25): 88
Torreyes (25): 80 --- Goins (29): 67
Romine (29): 71 ----- Lopez (30): 69


(they may be projecting some relief innings for some of these SP. and vice versa. not sure exactly.)

Severino (24): 3.60 --- Sanchez (25): 3.16
Tanaka (29): 3.93 ----- Stroman (27): 3.79
Gray (28): 4.12 ------- Happ (35): 4.13
Montgomery (25): 4.51 - Estrada (34): 4.73

Betances (30): 2.69 --- Osuna (23): 3.00
Chapman (30): 2.72 ---- Leone (26): 3.89
Robertson (33): 3.18 -- Loup (30): 3.90
Kahnle (28): 3.40 ----- Barnes (28): 4.13
Green (27): 3.44 ------ Tepera (30): 4.14
Warren (30): 4.12 ----- Biagini (28): 4.32
Shreve (27): 4.30 ----- Dermody (27): 4.71
Magpie - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#350004) #
Still can't believe [Farrell] won a world series.

Hey, Bob Brenly won one and he made Farrell look like John McGraw.
Glevin - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 10:33 AM EDT (#350005) #
"BA rated the Yanks system at 8, one spot ahead of the Jays and that was before Pearson really took off and raised his profile."

BA after the deadline rated the Yankees 7th and still an elite system. The big difference with the Jays right now in the system is where their top prospects are. Of their top 6 prospects, 5 saw time in AAA last season. Of the Jays' top-6, only 2 saw AA. It is very easy to see Torres, Adams, and Andujar all contributing to the big club next year. The Jays system is still extremely bottom heavy. There's a lot more to like in system than there was a couple of years ago, it's a strong system, but it still will not likely give the Jays much for a couple of years.
Glevin - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#350006) #
"Glevin, i'm sure the projections will change in the offseason, but as of now they still see the yanks as huge overachievers and the jays as huge underachievers."

Then the projections are awful. At which position other than 3B would you bet on the Jays' player over the Yankees having a better year? Maybe Smoak over Bird? They expect every Yankee hitter to be worse for some reason and in some cases, like Judge and Sanchez, they expect them to be much worse. Another example of how ludicrous they are

"Severino (24): 3.60 --- Sanchez (25): 3.16"

Sanchez has a career XFIP of 3.97 and missed the entire year. Severino has a XFIP this year of 3.04 and has the 4th highest pitching WAR in baseball. Is there anyone in baseball who would take Sanchez over Severino? I think the projections are so off because they are going for regression to the mean but that doesn't factor in the difference between rising players and declining players. Do you expect Morales, Martin, and Tulo all to have better years as they move into their mid-30's? It's possible but very unlikely. Do you expect Judge and Sanchez to be much worse at 25 and 26 years old? Very unlikely. Their numbers were justified by secondary stats. It looks like a conservative model that doesn't account for players breaking out or players severely declining. (Maybe it's because it is factoring more 2016 in but as we go towards 2018, it will factor 2017 in and be more accurate but I don't know)

Also, I think it's about 50/50 Tanaka opts out although if he does, I think he'd most likely just re-sign to a longer deal
uglyone - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#350007) #
they do factor in "rising" and "declining", actually.

as for the yanks, they had surprising performances across the board this year, and the projection systems have no reason to believe that so many of them actually suddenly got much better, as opposed to just overachieving. For example, Judge's .357 is likely not gonna sustain. Especially when the Yanks' "young" players aren't actually that young, and don't even really belong on the "rising" portion of the aging curve.

and even then, young players decline all the time.

as for the jays, yes, tulo improving significantly is a safe bet. And martin isn't actually projected to be any different than he was this year.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#350008) #
To be fair to the projections, you need to put projected IP for the pitchers and projected PA for the position players (it would also be useful to make some comment about defence). 

It certainly is possible that the key Blue Jay players (Donaldson, Stroman, Sanchez, Travis, Tulo, and Martin) are healthier in 2017 than they were in 2016.  It also is possible that the young Yankee stars regress to career norms.  In that case, the clubs might be close.  But, it's quite a stretch to project both to happen.  I somehow doubt that is truly what the projection says, once you have the IP/PA. 

uglyone - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#350009) #
Well we don't have a Gleyber Torres as close to MLB as he is, though Vlad and Bo are similar calibre prospects, but then again Torres is recovering from TJ surgery so that sets him back a bit.

Prospects closest to MLB (fv = fangraphs future value prior to the season):

SS Torres (20, 60fv): AAA 96pa, 145wrc+ / AA 139pa, 138wrc+

SS Wade (22): AAA 388pa, 136wrc+
C Jansen (22): AAA 78pa, 172wrc+ / AA 210pa, 121wrc+

3B Andujar (22): AAA 250pa, 139wrc+ / AA 272pa, 126wrc+
CF Alford (22): AAA 13pa, 127wrc+ / AA 289pa, 135wrc+

RH Adams (22): AAA 115.1ip, 4.06xfip / AA 35.0ip, 4.07xfip
LH Borucki (23): AAA 6.0ip, 2.45xfip / AA 46.1ip, 3.25xfip

uglyone - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#350010) #
well those are just the rest of season projections, not next year's projections, so given that there's no more season left, we don't really have any IP/PA projections to go along with it.

in general people place far too much faith in young players' performance trajectory, and health (though weirdly not for our own young players).....which is why so many were shocked to see Boston's young players fall off.

and again, most of these Yanks aren't actually young, at least not in terms of aging curves. the likes of gregorius, castro, hicks are all 28 next year - and these projections actually have them all beating their career numbers anyways.

and of course the projections will project the Jays to be healthier next year. no projection would guess them to be hit as hard as they were this year.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#350012) #
Very good chance that our pitching can be the best or close to it. Injuries to Osuna as closer, Happ, Sanchez, Estrada and Stroman would hurt us a lot. This FO stresses depth. I am confident in out AA prospects providing depth as close to ready players. It is true that they have to take a big step. The pen has an extra arm in C Ramirez and L Campos. The lefties in the pen have to get better. And if a good, experienced 5th starter is found. Liriano for example. But he would have to do better in 2018.

Would there be a bidding war for Liriano? I mean he may get $10 mil. I don't think the Jays would pay that. Biagini, prospects and guys like Latos would contend for #6-8.
jerjapan - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#350013) #
Cashman is an underrated GM in some corners, but the Yanks have been lucky with some of their acquisitions as well - nobody saw Gregorious hitting the way he has, Castro being useful was surprising and Hicks and Green in particular were good acquisitions that broke out in a surprisingly big way. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 02:44 PM EDT (#350015) #
How good are you at recognizing faces?  The BBRef front page has 12 pictures of ballplayers- three are former Blue Jays and one was a member of a Blue Jay broadcast crew.  The names appear if you scroll over the faces- without doing that, can you name the players?
Spifficus - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#350016) #
Unfortunately, I don't think that holds up, Mike. My rogues gallery has only 4 players that are even contemporary with the team, and were 0 for 4. I did get to find out about Lip Pike, though, so not all was lost.
Chuck - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#350017) #
I believe Lip Pike was a broadcaster for the Toronto, Ohio Blue Stockings in the 1890s. Because the wireless radio hadn't been invented yet, he had to yell really loud.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#350018) #
According to Bob Elliott the Jays let go (fired) 23 front office staff today, including Mal Romanin. His son Mattingly could be impacted now too.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#350019) #
Tony Kubek was one of the pictures that popped up yesterday. I remember liking his broadcasts.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#350020) #
When I posted, the pictures included Casey Janssen, he who shall not be named in a White Sox cap, a very young Marco Estrada in a Nationals cap and Gary Matthews.
I guess they change the pictures often.
scottt - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#350021) #
Farewell, Farrell.

When Butter applies for the manager job and doesn't get it, can we have him back?
scottt - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#350022) #
How many front office staff are there and what do they do?
Magpie - Wednesday, October 11 2017 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#350026) #
How many front office staff are there and what do they do?

Here's the front office directory. There must be 200 names there, I dunno. Most of the Baseball Media section walked the plank, and I remember them all well from my press box days. All good people, and of course I remember spending much of the 2009 season talking to Mal about Jose Bautista. I kept saying he's a useful guy but what happened to his power? And Mal kept saying, just wait, he's going to start hitting home runs.
John Northey - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 03:18 AM EDT (#350032) #
Good bye Cleveland. Please change your team logo at the very least for 2018.
Glevin - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 04:04 AM EDT (#350033) #
" For example, Judge's .357 is likely not gonna sustain. Especially when the Yanks' "young" players aren't actually that young, and don't even really belong on the "rising" portion of the aging curve."

I mean, are you seriously arguing that the Jays are about as good as the Yankees? Seriously? It's such a baffling and unjustifiable in every way viewpoint, that it comes across like trolling. If you want to believe the Jays are going to gain 15 wins on the Yankees next year, go for it, but it's not a reasonable belief and it's a belief that nobody outside a few delusional Jays fans will share. The Yankees are much better AND much younger AND have more money to spend. Judge .357 is actually repeatable because he hits the ball harder than anyone in the majors. Highest barrels, highest exit velocity, second hardest hard contact rate. You want to believe that this is all some fluke? That he is going to lose 40 points off of WRC+ next year? Based on what? That you want it to happen? The Yankees had the second best WRC+ of any team from players 27 and under Jays were last. (Actually, they are also 2nd in 25 and under) What you are saying is that it's better to bet on mediocre old players bouncing back to levels of a few years ago then young elite players maintaining production? Better to bet that some washed up 33 YO will be more likely to have better numbers than a 27 year old has legitimately improved? Which Yankee player was much better than their underlying numbers? Anyway, by next year, the projections will all be recalculated I'm sure.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 06:27 AM EDT (#350034) #
After Aaron Judge's first half performance and watching him crush ball after ball at the All-Star game home-run competition I thought he might be baseball's next superstar. He did drop off in the second half of the season, and while there's no question he can hit the ball hard, I wonder how often he's going to make contact.
scottt - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 07:43 AM EDT (#350035) #
They fired the assistant trainer and the strength coach.

Atkins had said that he had let down Sanchez and Travis and that he was frustrated by inefficiencies in their communications and that they need to do a better job in the information and options they give to players...

I don't know about the front office side, but hopefully they come out with something better than "Let's rise!" next time.

scottt - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 08:09 AM EDT (#350037) #
Yeah, Chief Wahoo's got to go. That was the worst part about the 22 game winning streak.

No ring for EE.

uglyone - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#350038) #
glevin, the yanks were the most surprising team on baseball this season, by a good margin, based on their players' track record. the jays were the most dissappponting team, based on theirs.

i'm not sure why you're struggling to understand this.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#350039) #
Who had the better career- Brett Gardner or Vernon Wells? Gardner's career is not done yet, but both bWAR and fWAR give him the edge by a noticeable margin.  I raise this because of a discussion I had about 8 years ago about the best centerfielder in the league- I argued for Gardner.

Anyways, I am not surprised that the Yankees advanced.  I think that they won't make it past the Astros who are exemplars of the '93 Jays method- wear out the opposition with bat after a bat.  I have always been partial to the ruthless destruction path to success.  We might see a 14-12 game though which will drive "traditionalists" nuts. 

Richard S.S. - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 06:20 PM EDT (#350065) #
The Jays last basically 25 men over 31 Disabled Lis t stints missing 1408 games due to injury. CHANGE ONE THING. Aaron Sanchez is healthy.

The Jays are in the Postseason, probably winning the division. Boston a wildcard while New York is eliminated. That was possible with just a healthy Sanchez. So donít think this was a bad team in 2017. You couldnít be more wrong.
lexomatic - Thursday, October 12 2017 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#350068) #
I'm going to have to check afterwards for the Gardner vs Wells.
My guess is that Gardner gets it on defense and consistency.
Wells was a better hitter but he got brutal defensively.

Mike Green - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#350073) #

Here's the front office directory. There must be 200 names there, I dunno. Most of the Baseball Media section walked the plank, and I remember them all well from my press box days. All good people, and of course I remember spending much of the 2009 season talking to Mal about Jose Bautista. I kept saying he's a useful guy but what happened to his power? And Mal kept saying, just wait, he's going to start hitting home runs.

John Lott has a thoughtful article over at the Athletic on the topic.  He points out the firings in the media relations department included 3 Canadians, and that Shapiro/Atkins have not hired Canadians for more senior roles.
Chuck - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#350077) #
Boston a wildcard while New York is eliminated. That was possible with just a healthy Sanchez.

So a healthy Sanchez would have meant 16-18 more wins? Show me the math.

Magpie - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#350079) #
Are the Nationals cursed?

Well, in the decisive inning last night, four consecutive Cubs reached base on 1) intentional walk 2) strikeout/passed ball 3) catcher's interference 4) hit by pitch. has 2.73 million innings in their database, roughly 70% of major league history. That sequence has never happened before, those four things have never before happened in the same inning, and those four events all occur in just five games.

Yep. They cursed.
bpoz - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#350081) #
Are the Nationals the X Expos? I remember the Expos had a bad experience regarding a Monday.
Chuck - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#350083) #
Yep. They cursed.

Two things. One, intentionally walking Jason Heyward is perhaps openly taunting the baseball gods. Two, those of us still seen to be sporting le tricolore shamelessly enjoy a little schadenfreude. So cursed? Could be. Too bad.

Mike Green - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 02:10 PM EDT (#350084) #
So a healthy Sanchez would have meant 16-18 more wins? Show me the math.

Sanchez was worth 0bWAR this year.  The following pitchers have 18+ bWAR in a season: Pud Galvin, Tim Keefe, Old Hoss Radbourn, and Jim Devlin.  I'm sure that, if truly healthy, Sanchez could throw 500-600 innings as these warhorses did while maintaining his velocity and avoiding maladies. 
BlueJayWay - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#350086) #
I somehow doubt Sanchez's blisters robbed him of 15 WAR.
Mike Green - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 03:34 PM EDT (#350087) #
If it wasn't obvious, I was being facetious.  The three top seasons by a starting pitcher with a modern workload- Dwight Gooden 1985, Roger Clemens 1997 and Steve Carlton 1972- were 12 WAR seasons.  Gooden threw 275 innings, Clemens 265 and Carlton almost 350.

Sanchez was a 5 WAR pitcher in 2016 throwing 192 innings (and had never thrown more than 133 innings in a season at any stage in his career before that).  If you want to argue that he might be an 8 WAR pitcher if healthy, that's plausible if a significant stretch.  
scottt - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#350088) #
To be fair, you have to subtract the -WAR from the guys who took Sanchez starts. There's probably at least -1 WAR there.
Mike Green - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 05:10 PM EDT (#350089) #
True enough.  The replacement starts from Blue Jay starts were in fact below replacement level.  Bolsinger, Latos, Valdez, Lawrence, Rowley, Anderson and Tepesch were -1.8 and we can round that to -2. 


hypobole - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 06:36 PM EDT (#350092) #
About 10 starts by replacements had nothing to do with Sanchez. Both Happ and Liriano missed time with injury.
Mike Green - Friday, October 13 2017 @ 07:33 PM EDT (#350093) #
I figured that Biagini took those starts. The upshot is the same regardless.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#350094) #
Impact Arm?
Starting Rotation or Bullpen?
Young controllable Starter or durable and competent Mid-Rotation type?
Top quality Left-Handed Reliever or dominant Right-Hander?

What they get depends on how much they can spend and/or who they are willing to trade. I think they could use both. But the three words Atkins used, ďWishes, Realistic, CostsĒ, makes me think thatís not the plan.
scottt - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#350097) #
Pitching beating hitting so far in this series.
What a performance from Verlander.

scottt - Saturday, October 14 2017 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#350100) #
Sanchez alone would not have made a difference, but they would have been in at at the deadline.
Smith would have been kept. That adds another .3 WAR.
No idea about the Liriano trade or what else they would have done.
Would they have been close enough to pull the trigger on a 2B trade?

bpoz - Sunday, October 15 2017 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#350106) #
I kept wondering what would happen if it was a long extra inning game in Houston.
The NYY pen came into the game in the 5th inning. But extra innings did not happen. With the off day today. The Astro pen has had very little work for a long time, due to the quick exit of the Red Sox.
This could be a big problem.
scottt - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#350134) #
Brutal play by Maybin who gave up a double on a catchable ball. He said it was a long run to get there and he was afraid of giving up a triple. Now, here's somebody who needs to go spend some time in the minors.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#350140) #
When will Sabathia be a FA? My off season interests will include the moves of NYY and Boston.
James W - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#350150) #
Sabathia is a free agent after this season.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 17 2017 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#350167) #
Astros and NYY series tied.
scottt - Wednesday, October 18 2017 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#350172) #
Sabathia is a great fit with the Yankees. It's just a matter of a west coast club willing to pay more for him than a Yankees team determined to squeeze under the payroll luxury threshold.
scottt - Wednesday, October 18 2017 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#350173) #
I don't know why teams feel pressure to bring the bullpen early if it's not stacked.

At least I felt pretty good when the Jays had a lead after 7 this year.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, October 18 2017 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#350175) #
John Gibbons needs to figure out who can usually pitch 7 innings, who can usually pitch 6 innings and who shouldnít pitch more than 5 innings. The worst thing he tries to do is getting another inning from his Starters. Thatís seldom a success. Very few Relievers can come into a game with (a) runner(s) on and come away clean. Until Gibbons shortens his lease on the Starters, I donít think he can consistently good enough Bullpen to deal with the shortcomings.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 18 2017 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#350176) #
Until Gibbons shortens his lease on the Starters

The Manager as landlord?  I guess that's better than dog owner..
bpoz - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 06:01 AM EDT (#350184) #
Figuring out how many innings a SP can go must be hard to do. I remember Morrow and Drabek sometimes were done by the 3rd or 4th inning. Often because of 40-50 pitches in the last inning. Their arm was in danger of being injured.

If your rotation has 1 or 2 of this kind of pitcher the team will have a very bad record.
Chuck - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#350186) #
The Manager as landlord?

As befitting a team once owned by a beer-monger, you don't buy the mound, you only rent it.

christaylor - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#350187) #
I'm having a hard time finding reasons to not root for this Yankees squad. The young players are not only talented but show some great baseball IQ (e.g., Judge coming in to participate in a run-down on Tues). They're not off the charts in payroll. Headly/Frazier are likable vets. Didi is an impressive SS on both sides of the ball and savvy pickup by the FO. CC's battle and recovery from addiction along with his learning how to pitch without being overpowering. Tanaka being brave enough to refuse performance-enhancing surgery. Knocking off the Cleveland team.

Aside from the history (and even there I don't see the Yankees as a rival like I do Det, KC, or the A's given when my fandom developed) and Aroldis Chapman's loathsome off the field (because on the mound... wow)... there's so much to like about this team. If they pick-up Donaldson, Harper, or Trout (or some combination) in the future they'll be hard to root for but this version of the team is very appealing.
Chuck - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#350193) #
I'm having a hard time finding reasons to not root for this Yankees squad.

I agree. Dislike for this squad stems from a fundamental opposition to laundry (not that there's anything wrong with that) more than it does to the personalities on the team, which are far, far less objectionable than the standard issue Yankee roster.

scottt - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 06:25 PM EDT (#350195) #
It's hard to like a team that is the opponent 18 times a year. They would have to be really, really bad for me to like them.

It's not the players that I find admirable, it's the benching of veterans.
I like that part a lot.

bpoz - Thursday, October 19 2017 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#350202) #
The Cubs are on the brink.
scottt - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#350234) #
I literally love Justin Verlander too.
mathesond - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#350236) #
Gotta love a series that goes 7
greenfrog - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#350250) #
It's interesting that there has been very little bludgeoning of opponents in this series. Lots of strong pitching, defence, and execution, though.
bpoz - Saturday, October 21 2017 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#350251) #
Theres no place like home !!!!!!!!!
StephenT - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#350252) #
I like how the Astros pieced together the shutout in Game 7 using 2 starting pitchers.

I'm still upset that the 2015 Jays left Mark Buehrle off their postseason roster.
Spifficus - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 02:30 AM EDT (#350253) #
I loved the Morton/McCullers tandemwork as well, but McCullers doesn't inspire any second thoughts on rostering Buerhle in 2015 for me. Lance doesn't really feel like a starter so much as a reliever that begins ballgames on a schedule. This year, he threw more curveballs than all his fastballs combined. Heck, this game he threw 24 straight curveballs to close it out. 24. Really, this post was just an excuse to point that out, because that's just nuts.
scottt - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#350254) #
The contrast between Srpinger and Maybin is so striking.

Bats are being flipped left and right an nobody cares anymore.

I'm not against Price as a super reliever, but not how Gibby used him in a blown open game.

Feels appropriate to see Trump's Yankees eliminated by a team that features key players from Puerto Rico (Correa, Springer)

Springer and Altuve are very likeable characters. Correa much less, but at least there is some talent there. Gurriel is a great hitter. Hopefully the younger brother turns like that. Bergman plays like an automaton, no hesitation, always racing making accurate throws. Verlander is such a big piece for them. Reddick has completely fizzled.

That was a great series. All they had to do was make CC throw strikes and they did.

bpoz - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 11:45 AM EDT (#350256) #
All NYY fans must realize that their team has a bright future.
John Northey - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#350257) #
It is impressive that the Yankees, in a rebuild/retool/whatever year made it within a game of reaching the World Series. Any of their fans who complain need to quit watching sports.
bpoz - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#350258) #
Both Houston and LAD won 100+ games this year. By the end of the week one of them will have to go home with nothing.

As a fan, that would hurt.
scottt - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#350259) #
It will be interesting to see what going under the luxury tax looks like.
Also, we might see more curveballs specialists and less crazy contracts on 100mph relievers.

bpoz - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#350260) #
Playoff baseball has numerous possibilities.

Farrell is fired but Giradi looks good. Using Sale and Severino were decisions that had to be made. No doubt about it. The hole the NYY climbed out of in the WC game may have saved Giradi's job IMO.

If the Jay's had been the 2nd WC and lost the same way as the Twins I expect that a lot would have been written. Just getting in was an achievement by Molitor.

Regarding the Jays losing that game, if it had happened, the strong possibility was OF defense. If Bautista is the weakest defensive OF, you still have to play him because of his recent playoff heroics. No choice. If he makes a costly error ....

I am not trolling and nobody has accused me of that. But we have some time to kill before Tue when it will be "Play Ball". Anyone feel like chatting?

scottt - Sunday, October 22 2017 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#350261) #
Morton was touching his gum early on and it looks like he stopped after Girardi complained.
Isn't that just spit? Spit is allowed right?
I still wonder why all the opposing coaches let Kimbrel pitch with that hat that has that huge greasy stain on the bill. Can't you ask for him to switch to a clean cap?

We could probably  use a fresh thread for the World Series.

I see Houston as the favorite because the Dodgers are missing a key player.
Verlander's performance could be key. Also they don't lose too much without the DH.

mathesond - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#350269) #
I'm looking forward to seeing Houston's hitters vs. the Dodger starters. I'm especially looking forward to see Kershaw pitch, as I only take advantage of the opportunity once or twice a year at best.

Sounds like Seager will play for L.A., although he might get DH time at Minute Maid. Should be a fun series, here's hoping it goes 7!
scottt - Monday, October 23 2017 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#350272) #
The forecast predicts the hottest World Series game ever, but a team from Houston should be able to handle the heat.

mathesond - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#350279) #
I can see the Astro's earning a split in L.A. (Verlander vs. Hill). Wonder if Morton or McCullers will get the call Friday.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#350280) #
Needless to say, I like the Astros' chances because they are in my view the better club (by a significant margin).  They were better during the year, once you make the league adjustment, and the improvement from Fiers to Verlander is very large.  The Dodgers are a very good club though (obviously).
mathesond - Tuesday, October 24 2017 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#350291) #
Things I want to see in the series:

A Yasiel Puig bat-flip
A dominant start by Kershaw
Springer taking a home run (perhaps on the Puig bat-flip?)
A Verlander complete game (yeah, I know he did it vs. the Yankees, I'm greedy)
Justin Turner attempting a triple in extra innings
Someone - anyone - bunting for a hit against the shift
A Game 7
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