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And then there were eight. First team to win three games advances.

All four series begin today.

The NL continues tomorrow, takes Thursday off for travel and resumes Friday.

Philadelphia at Atlanta

Tue 11 Oct - Suarez (10-7, 3.65) vs Fried (14-7, 2.48)
Wed 12 Oct - Wheller (12-7, 2.82) vs Wright (21-5, 3.19)

This one's underway, and the Phillies have jumped out to a 7-1 lead

San Diego at Los Angeles

Tue 11 Oct - Clevinger (7-7, 4.33) vs Urias (17-7, 2.16
Wed 12 Oct - Darvish (16-8, 3.10) vs Kershaw (12-3, 2.28)

The AL takes tomorrow off, resumes on Thursday, and uses Friday as their travel day.

Seattle at Houston

Tue 11 Oct - Gilbert (13-6, 3.20) vs Verlander (18-4, 1.75)
Thu 13 Oct - Castillo (8-6, 2.99) vs Valdez (17-6, 2.82)

Cleveland at New York

Tue 11 Oct - Quantrill (15-5, 3.38) vs Cole (13-8, 3.50)
Thu 13 Oct - Bieber (13-8, 2.88) vs Cortes (12-4, 2.44)

The Division Series | 93 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#423700) #
Interesting results so far today. Philly won big and Houston is down big to Seattle as Verlander got hammered.
Kasi - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#423702) #
Sorry not won big but got out big. At least they managed to hold on barely.
bpoz - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#423705) #
Playoffs is a crapshoot?
Magpie - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#423707) #
Kasi - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#423708) #
Kasi - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 07:31 PM EDT (#423709) #
Seriously who pulls their closer for Ray who is a notorious gopher ball pitcher. Did they really think Ray is suited for this kind of work? Wow desperate move that I canít understand the logic at all.
lexomatic - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#423711) #
Wow this game might be a morale buster for Seattle. I'd stil rather they win than Houston. Maybe Cleveland can beat the Yankees
Magpie - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#423712) #
Ray who is a notorious gopher ball pitcher.

But so is Sewald. I guess Servais thought he was at least getting the platoon advantage. (Not that Alvarez even has a platoon split.)

I dunno. Firmly tell Sewald not to give Alvarez anything he can put in the seats, and don't worry about walking him? Take your chances with - gulp - Bregman?
Magpie - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 07:51 PM EDT (#423713) #
The history of starting pitchers being asked to come out of the bullpen and function as closers - a long, and often very sad, story. Am I right, Expos fans?
dalimon5 - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#423714) #
Is it best of 5 or 7?
BlueMonday - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#423715) #
The history of starting pitchers being asked to come out of the bullpen and function as closers - a long, and often very sad, story. Am I right, Expos fans?

Yes indeed. Do you mean Dave Stieb?
Chuck - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#423716) #
Nice to hear Bob Costas again.
99BlueJaysWay - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#423717) #
Best of 5 dalimon
John Northey - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#423718) #
Best of 5 this round.

Neat that Houstons odds of winning went from 4.4% before the home run to 100% (obviously) after it. Quite the single swing of a bat.
Magpie - Tuesday, October 11 2022 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#423719) #
Do you mean Dave Stieb?

Steve Rogers to Rick Monday.

Clayton Kershaw to Rendon and Soto was pretty memorable.
DavidtheDeuce - Wednesday, October 12 2022 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#423741) #
Recently Madison Bumgarner and Chris Sale have closed out WS championship clinching games.
Magpie - Wednesday, October 12 2022 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#423757) #
Julio Urias, too. It's not always a sad story.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 12 2022 @ 05:27 PM EDT (#423761) #
Randy Johnson is one of my favorites - 3 times used in relief in the playoffs - 8 2/3 IP total 4 H 1 R 3 BB 9 K 2 wins. His team lost one of those but that was when he was with the Yankees and he just ate some innings that time. I'm sure if we go back further we'd find more both good and bad. My rule with starters is not to use them in unfamiliar situations unless no other option exists - extra innings, staff totally drained, stuff like that and even in those cases try to have him start a clean inning.
Cracka - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#423776) #
Speaking of Randy Johnson - did you know that he's now a professional photographer and has worked for the NFL as a sideline cameraman? His webpage is and his logo is both absolutely amazing and horrible at the same time (it's a reference to the "bird incident" from March 2001).
Magpie - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#423777) #
We appear to have two enormous mismatches in these series - Houston (106-56) won 16 more games than Seattle (90-72) and of course Los Angeles (111-51) won 22 games more than San Diego (89-73).

As far as I can tell, this has happened... quite a bit more often than I originally thought. When I first skimmed through the list of post-season series, I only noticed about a dozen of them. I tallied them up, noticed that the team with the most regular season wins had also won all but one of the post-season meetings. Cool. And then I looked more carefully, and we've actually had 24 of these meetings. Still, the team with the most regular season wins has won the series 21  times in those 24  tries. That's got to be good news for Astros and Dodgers fans, as if they needed any.

Here is my list. Winners are in bold...

1907 WS - Chicago Cubs (107-45) vs Detroit (92-58) - 15 games
1927 WS - NY Yankees (110-44) vs Pittsburgh (94-60) - 16 games
1932 WS - NY Yankees (107-47) vs Chicago Cubs (90-64) - 17 games
1944 WS - St. Louis Cardinals (105-49) vs St. Louis Browns (89-65) - 16 games
1961 WS - NY Yankees (109-53) vs Cincinnati (93-61) - 16 games

1973 NLCS - Cincinnati (99-63) vs NY Mets (82-79) - 17 games
1975 NLCS - Cincinnati (108-54) vs Pittsburgh (92-69) - 16 games
1984 ALCS - Detroit (104-58) vs Kansas City (84-78) - 20 games
1988 ALCS - Oakland (104-58) vs Boston (89-73) - 1 5 games
1990 ALCS - Oakland (103-59) vs Boston (88-74) - 15 games

1995 ALCS - Cleveland (100-44) vs Seattle (79-66)  - 21 games
1997 NLDS  - Atlanta (101-61) vs Houston (84-78) - 17 games
1998 NLDS - Atlanta (106-56) vs Chicago Cubs (90-73) - 16 games
1998 ALDS - NY Yankees (114-48) vs Texas (88-74) - 26 games
1998 ALCS  - NY Yankees (114-48) vs Cleveland (89-73) - 25 games.

1998 WS -   NY Yankees (114-48) vs San Diego (98-64) - 16 games
2001 ALDS - Seattle (116-46) vs Cleveland (91-71) - 25 games
2001 ALCS - Seattle (116-46) vs NY Yankees (95-65) - 21 games
2005 NLDS - St.Louis (100-62) vs San Diego (82-80) - 18 games
2009 ALDS - NY Yankees (103-59) vs Minnesota (87-76) - 16 games

2016 NLDS - Chicago Cubs (103-58) vs San Francisco (87-75) - 16 games
2018 WS -   Boston (108-54) vs Los Angeles (92-71) - 16 games
2021 NLWC - Los Angeles (106-56) vs St.Louis (90-72) - 16 games
2021 NLCS - Los Angeles (106-56) vs Atlanta (88-73) - 18 games
2022 NLDS - Los Angeles (111-51) vs San Diego (89-73) - 22 games

2022 ALDS - Houston (106-56) vs Seattle (90-72)
bpoz - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#423780) #
Seattle is due it seems.
John Northey - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#423784) #
Interesting - a rare event then 2021 and 2022 happened - 4 times (so far) this year. Could it happen again in later rounds? Cle 92 is 14 wins shy of Houston for the most extreme AL set possible after this round. NL has Dodgers vs Phillies possible (111 vs 87). WS could be Dodgers vs Cleveland (19 win spread) or Dodgers vs Seattle (21), or Houston vs Philly (19), Houston vs SD (17). Padres vs Seattle (89 vs 90) is the closest possible WS matchup in wins, and also the US networks nightmare (2 minor media markets on the west coast). The US networks would LOVE a Dodgers/Yankees WS, at this point I'm kinda cheering on Houston for Dusty Baker (25 years managing only made it to the WS twice but did win it as a player in 1981 (with the Dodgers). At 73 this is probably his last chance as one has to figure he is ready to retire again. It would make nice bookends on his managing career - his first year he won 103 games, this year 106 - his only 2 teams to crack 100 wins.
soupman - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#423786) #
what's the opposite of a crapshoot?
James W - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#423787) #
what's the opposite of a crapshoot?

A certainty.
scottt - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#423790) #
Due to go home?
dalimon5 - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 08:12 PM EDT (#423791) #
We've all been talking about a LHH to help balance out the line up but hot damn Alvarez is a beast on another level. 98MPH off the edge of the strike zone and he hits it out of the park opposite field. That's what I always thought/heard Vlad could do.
John Northey - Thursday, October 13 2022 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#423793) #
Phew, looks like Seattle is going to be a 3 and done in round 2 and end up with just 1 game at home despite playing in 2 rounds. Ouch.
BlueJayWay - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#423794) #
I had no idea Randy Johnson is now a professional photographer. Cool website (although yeah that logo could use a change).
Jonny German - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 07:09 AM EDT (#423795) #
Confused by MuŮoz' struggles against Houston. I was led to believe that swing-and-miss is infallible in the postseason.
dalimon5 - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#423796) #
We will see who made the smarter move when Toronto has Tiedeman and Moreno in the line up next year and Seattle doesnít have any prospects to replenish their roster.
bpoz - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#423798) #
Very nice speculation dalimon5 regarding prospects for Toronto and Seattle. I also wonder about SD. Dipoto and Preller are my 2 favorite GM when wondering who will make a big splash via trades.
Mike Green - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#423799) #
Munoz' intentional walk to Alvarez with a runner on first spoke volumes.  A great hitter with the platoon advantage will generally do very well against a great pitcher even one who throws very hard.  When Sandy Koufax threw a 2-hitter at the Twins in the 1965 World Series, the two hits were Harmon Killebrew singles.  Goose Gossage threw very hard, but George Brett was quite pleased to face the added velocity. 

When your best left-handed hitter is Raimel Tapia, you are vulnerable.  This was incidentally also true of the 2015 Blue Jays and probably the reason why Anthopoulos rued the decision not to send Tellez off in a package for Ben Zobrist. 
DavidtheDeuce - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#423804) #
Interesting Twitter exchange between Chris Black and Joe Siddall.
Mike Green - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#423805) #
Black's comment isn't really helpful.  You can put in to Fangraphs leaderboards a listing of league leading hitters by wRC+ for 300+ PAs.  #60 is Hunter Renfroe with a wRC+ of 124.  Among the top 60, you've got names like Daniel Vogelbach, Anthony Rizzo and Joc Pederson along with a raft of very good left-handed or switch-hitting players that you know well.  There are 22 such players in total among the top 60.   If you take it down to the top 90, you've got names like Josh Bell, Andrew Benintendi, Jorge Polanco, Ian Happ and a bunch of others.  If you want to compete, it helps to have at least one of them.  There aren't left-handed hitting centerfielders that I can see, so that would be something that you'd need to work on in a trade. 
John Northey - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#423806) #
It does look like the key get for the Jays this winter would be Nimmo - played for the Mets this year, 274/367/433 for a 130 OPS+ in CF batting left. Fangraphs on defense has him 9 of 12 at 1.8 between Trout and Alek Thomas (one of the Arizona guys I'd love the Jays to get). Entering his age 30 season and has just twice played over 100 games in a season despite a lifetime 130 OPS+. I suspect he'll be in high demand this winter though as the other top outfielders are Judge, Benintendi, Haniger (Seattle), Conforto (no one signed him last winter), Brantley, Gallo, and Pederson. Kiermaier might be one (assuming the Rays don't pick up his $13 mil option/$2.5 buyout).

Right now I suspect the Jays will be digging in deep for the trade market trying to get a guy who is young and controllable for years instead of spending $100+ mil on Nimmo unless his injury history leads to a cheaper deal (I am not betting on it especially with Boras as his agent). Wouldn't be shocked if he waits until Judge signs first to hopefully get a feeding frenzy.

The more I look at the free agents this winter the more I think the Jays will strike fast with a trade or a signing. Trade is my bet to set things up in CF and the rotation, then wait on relievers.
bpoz - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#423807) #
NYY are losing 4-2 in the 10th inning.

It hurts for us to lose but there is compensation for NYY and Boston fans suffering.
Magpie - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 05:13 PM EDT (#423808) #
The Yankees brought Jameson Taillon into the game in the tenth inning. He faced three batters, allowed three hits, and two runs.

Taillon had made 233 professional appearances and all but one of them were as a starter. The other time he pitched in relief was AA Altoona in 2013.
92-93 - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#423809) #
What point is Black even trying to make? 3 of those guys signed as FAs last offseason, and 2 were acquired in trade. Devers and Ohtani could easily be on the block this winter if they don't sign extensions. It's utter nonsense to suggest that the Jays can't find competent LH hitters, they just have to be willing to shake things up.
John Northey - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#423810) #
Great to see the Yankees lose - the toughest division in baseball could all be eliminated after 2 rounds. With Philly leading 6-0 we could see all 100 win teams eliminated outside of Houston very soon. Mets gone, Atlanta might be down 2-1 soon, if SD wins then LAD would be down 2-1, NYY were just 99 game winners (slackers) and are down 2-1 as Judge is cutting his value down a bit with an 0-8 with 7 K's so far (1 walk) for an OPS of 111. Yikes. They might as well be playing Zimmer.

FYI: Tapia's 0-6 was the worst for any Jay, Vlad 1 for 8, Merrifield 1 for 5 were next worst (JBJ 0-1). Every other Jay who batted had 2 or 3 hits each. Hernandez, Espinal, and Chapman all with 1000+ OPS while Kirk & Jansen were 800+. So basically no Jay batter had as bad a 2 games as Judge has had in 3.
John Northey - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#423811) #
Doh! Why did I think NYY/Cle had played 3 games, when it has been just 2. 1-1 in that series right now. DOH!!!!
dalimon5 - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 07:17 PM EDT (#423812) #
Go get Jazz Chisholm. Trade from Kirk, Espinal, and Orelvis. Other option is to trade Vlad or Bo with Kirk to get Chisholm and Alcantara.
John Northey - Friday, October 14 2022 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#423815) #
The trade simulator says Jazz Chisholm is roughly equivalent in value to Moreno. Would you do a 1-1 deal there? Jazz has 2 years of ML experience now so just 4 left before free agency vs Moreno's 6 years. He also missed most of last year due to injury. He has averaged 4.0 WAR per 162 games so far and could easily be a star for those 4 years. But he hits the expense part in 2024 (arbitration) and would be upgrading 2B where we already have 3 decent players (not stars even if one made the AS team last year, and another led the league in hits twice). Alcantara is listed at 140 in value - Manoah is at 153, both are the only players on their teams over 100. Guys like that are VERY hard to trade for unless a Soto situation happens (player refuses to sign a long term deal). Btw, Carroll for Moreno is a slight underpay for the Jays according to the simulator (Carroll 78 vs Moreno 61) but if you add Gurriel and Espinal you get a deal (net of 80 for the Jays). That could make a lot of sense for both teams, although the Jays then would need to sign a backup SS as Otto Lopez is the only guy on the 40 man other than Bo who can play SS, while Orelvis Martinez and Addison Barger are known more for their bats than their glove at SS. But defense first infielders tend to be a dime a dozen (much like OF'ers like JBJ and Zimmer are) so the Jays should be able to find one cheaply.
Magpie - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#423824) #
A catcher just hit an inside-the-park home run. Wow.
Leaside Cowboy - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#423826) #
A catcher just hit an inside-the-park home run.

Rare as a hen's tooth!

If Houston can eliminate Seattle, then I might switch over from college football.

I am starting to believe that the single wildcard format used from 1995-2011 was best.

Magpie - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#423827) #
The Mets are already gone, the Braves are on life support, and the Dodgers are in mortal peril. Winning 100 games just doesn't do you much good any more.
Kasi - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#423828) #
Iíd love for none of Braves, Yankees or Dodgers to make the next round. Good to see Atlanta gone. I canít get both AL West teams to lose so hopefully Cleveland gets through and knocks them out.
Mike Green - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#423829) #
Which makes the loss to the Mariners more painful. The 2022 Blue Jays had a decent chance against any of these teams, Astros included.

Oh well. Water under the bridge.
Magpie - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#423830) #
Hey, in a short series everybody's got a decent chance against everyone.

Atlanta-Philadelphia probably wasn't the mis-match 101 wins to 87 made it look like. The Phillies played at a 95 win pace after the managerial change. And Brandon Marsh turned out to be a very nice pickup. It cost them Logan O'Hoppe (who's kind of like Gabriel Moreno with power) but when you already have J.T. Realmuto...
Glevin - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#423832) #
This is what expanded playoffs is. Doesn't matter if you were great over 162 games, if you have a mediocre three game stretch, you're out. Braves won last year with a not great team but out this year with a great team. The extra playoff spot has changed baseball and not for the better. The long, glorious meaningful season has become 162 games to make the playoffs and hope you get hot/lucky at the right time.
John Northey - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#423833) #
A shame to see Atlanta out, I keep cheering AA teams on. Houston is looking stronger and stronger (up 2-0 and in a scoreless game in the 6th now). Dodgers could be kicked out tonight (down 2-1), and the Yankees are tied 1-1. If Dodgers and Yankees go down it is Houston (106 wins) vs Cleveland (92) and SD (89) vs Philly (87). Meaning each round Houston faces weaker and weaker teams. Well, Seattle was 90, so a bit weaker than Cleveland in wins. Still, this could be the easiest route possible for Houston to give Dusty Baker a WS win and probably the biggest break between being on winners (1981 as a player, 2022 as a manager = over 40 years. Connie Mack's biggest was 1913 to 1929. I can't think of anyone else who has a shot at that long a break.
Chuck - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#423834) #
The extra playoff spot has changed baseball and not for the better. The long, glorious meaningful season has become 162 games to make the playoffs and hope you get hot/lucky at the right time.

Could not agree more. Any team making the playoffs with 80-something wins, let alone winning the whole damn thing, is something I find aesthetically offensive. The Braves are crently paying the fee demanded of the universe for last year's unlikely outcome.

bpoz - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#423836) #
I think some of YOU have to consider accepting that your thinking is flawed. I accepted that of myself a while back. I made that journey!! It will be a painful journey grasshopper because I know.

NYM out!! Atlanta out!!

jerjapan - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#423837) #
Wow, Matt brash. High drama in seattle
John Northey - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 07:27 PM EDT (#423838) #
Fun game in Seattle. I'm cheering on the Astros in this one.
Mike Green - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#423841) #
So that's the movie Vladdy was talking about at the start of the year- Scoreless in Seattle.
John Northey - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 10:15 PM EDT (#423842) #
Oh yeah - 18th inning scoreless game. And finally a home run. C'mon Houston. Lets end it tonight. You have played 4 games now, 2-0 with a 0-0 tie and now a 1-0 game maybe. At least that is what it is the equivalent of.
John Northey - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#423843) #
Boy that must hurt - 18 innings being shut out at home. Jays got more home playoff games (2), but the exact same number of innings - 18.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 10:35 PM EDT (#423844) #
The Astros/Mariners game, which started sometime back in the Reagan administration, has come to an end.
christaylor - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#423845) #
This. We watch 162 and get sufficient evidence to know the good teams from the mediocre and bad teams. Then we watch a playoff of roughly matched teams do weighted coin flips for the playoffs. Don't get me wrong, I believe there's a beauty in the dissonance.
dalimon5 - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#423846) #
I think the results have been consistent. Phillies as mentioned by others were really good after the new manager was hired and they got their best player back to help push them into the playoffs. The Braves lost their best player from last year.

Iím watching the Dodgers and Iím not impressed with them. Tyler Anderson in a deciding game? Perhaps teams like the Phillies played their cards better.
Magpie - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 11:01 PM EDT (#423847) #
As fourth starters go, a guy who went 15-5, 2.57 is pretty decent.
Magpie - Saturday, October 15 2022 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#423848) #
The Yankees were 167-0 in the post-season when they go into the ninth inning ahead by at least 2 runs.

So I guess now it's 167-1?
AWeb - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#423849) #
Postseasons have always seemed like a crapshoot, but then I start remembering ~1985, when an inferior Royals team won. 1987 a not so great Twins team wins. 1988 Dodgers. 1990 Reds. 1991 Twins? Then obviously the best team won the next two years. But pre-wildcard era wasn't exactly a string of titanic winners (until 92-93).

What annoys me is that the dodgers and astros have been the best or 2nd best team in their leagues since 2017. Not counting 2020 Houston...that's a long stretch of dominance from two teams, and I find that more boring.
Glevin - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 01:52 AM EDT (#423850) #
The big issue is that the regular season has been made pretty meaningless. Dodgers finished 22 games ahead of the Padres. Atlanta, 14 ahead of the Phillies. What did it matter? Why pay attention during the year? Make the playoffs and hope for the best. This year's pennant race was also one of the worst I remember with so few interesting races and in retrospect it's even worse because seeding barely mattered. Expanding playoffs doesn't create more or better races, it just creates worse teams in the playoffs. The fifth and sixth best team in the league playing for the league championship is just dumb and goes against the fundamental nature of what baseball is but it is fitting for a league whose sole interest is squeezing every extra penny they can no matter what.
Kasi - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 02:13 AM EDT (#423851) #
Happy to be wrong on true Padres. Nice to see them sit down the Dodgers this year. Rooting for the Phillies in that side though.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#423852) #
" The big issue is that the regular season has been made pretty meaningless."

I'll be the contrarian and say I like the new playoff format. It gives hope and playoff excitement to more fans in more cities. Baseball still has the lowest percentage of teams making the playoffs, the teams with the best records are rewarded with first round byes, and the supposedly worse teams making the post season average around 90 wins in regular season play.

Where is the incentive for the smaller market teams if there are, say, 4 teams in each league qualifying for the playoffs and teams like the Yankees, Dodgers and now the Mets can flex their financial muscle and finish first? If a team like the Dodgers has 111 regular season wins and can't make it to the World series, well, boohoo. The playoffs are a different animal and they didn't win when it mattered. There is no reason they should have a coronation to the World Series because they won a lot when it didn't matter.

And, finally, I'm under no illusion that MLB owners didn't expand the playoffs to make more money but the byproduct is that it gave fans in a city like Seattle playoff excitement. If you are a fan in a city with a good team that is stuck in a division that has a perennial big spender and are continually out of the playoffs by August 1, then that is my definition of a meaningless season.
bpoz - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#423853) #
Everyone has their own interpretation of how good/enjoyable the regular season was.

LAD had a boring ride to 1st in the NL with 111 wins. SD at 2nd in the NL West 89 wins and were in danger of missing the playoffs. SD and Philadelphia squeezed in and Milwaukee did not. So an exciting race until the last game of the season.

In the AL Houston was good all year as expected. NYY had that incredible 1st half and then fell apart. The NYY fans would have been anxious which always stimulates interest. There was a lot of talk by Jays fans about the last series against Baltimore being relevant. Cleveland fans had a great ride which was probably unexpected. Their payroll is probably in very good shape with so many rookies. Seattle had a very good playoff race and playoffs.

The AL had many disappointing teams which led to firings. The NL had many rebuilding teams with only Arizona making the jump to "we are ready for the next step".

The NL off season will be interesting. Y Molina was not good this year and is retiring which means a big change for ST Louis. Milwaukee was too close to making the playoffs to start a rebuild. Miami had good pitching but the 2nd worst RS in the NL. There are other NL teams plans for next year that I find interesting.
Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 09:34 AM EDT (#423856) #
I don't mind a lot of teams in the playoffs, but I have deep reservations about best-of-five and best-of-three after six months of play. And getting five days off didn't seem to help the Braves, Dodgers, or Yankees very much.

These playoffs may not have been the best display of the modern managerial philosophy of pulling the starter at the first opportunity and putting all your faith in your bullpen.

The Dodgers are certainly not going to offer Cody Bellinger arbitration this winter. He's still only 27, he still hits LH, he still plays a very good CF. And there's got to be some talent still buried in there, if it can just be unlocked once more. I think his MVP year was a fluke, but he's a very good player if he can hit .250.

dalimon5 - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 09:41 AM EDT (#423857) #
W-L record is very misleading.

If the Phillies and Padres had the same roster in the playoffs as they did in their regular season then I could understand the general point that the season is meaningless but the truth of the matter is that these two teams drastically improved later in the season. Phillies got back Harper, hired a good manager and made some other moves. The Padres traded for the best LHH and best closer in baseball. If they had those players for a whole year do you really think the Dodgers would finish with the same record while the Padres remain way behind them?

Regular season canít be meaningless based on the idea that a W-L record during the season should represent the talent and skill of a completely different roster during the playoffs.

Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 09:52 AM EDT (#423858) #
What this particular format does, I think, is it takes away the incentive to be great. Because what's the point? There's no reward for being great. And if there's no reward, and no incentive, why would anyone bother? And I think the game - all games - require great teams. They make everyone better. They set the bar for everyone to try to match.

The new bar is good enough to keep playing.
Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#423859) #
The Phillies definitely got better after the managerial change, but the Padres actually played worse (.534) after their big trades than they'd been playing before (.558), mainly because Soto and Bell were not as productive as Hosmer and Voit. Strange, but true.
dalimon5 - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#423860) #

A few days ago I thought the same and believed that the division series should be changed to best of 7 but after a few more games itís clear that the best teams won. I think the Padres win best of 5 or best of 7 against the Dodgers. I donít think the Braves win best of 7 against the Phillies.

Dodgers and Braves became exposed during these playoffs where depth wasnít as big an advantage as in the last few years since all contenders have that now.

Cleveland has been outplaying the Yankees who again are showing major flaws.

I actually think that the only team that has had some bad luck and who could have changed the narrative of it was best of 7 vs best of 5 would be the Seattle Mariners.

After a week since the Blue Jays were eliminated it looks to me like almost every team has issues and flaws similar to the Blue Jays:

Tier 1
Houston Astros (flawless)
San Diego Padres (flawless)

Tier 2
Seattle Mariners (near flawless, line up)

Tier 3
LA Dodgers (bullpen, line up could be better)
Toronto Blue Jays (bullpen, LHH balance)
Atlanta Braves (Starting Pitching overrated)
Philadelphia Phillies (bullpen)

Tier 4
Cleveland Guardians (missing offence)
NY Yankees (line up aging, bullpen)


*Guardians benefitted from their division
*Blue Jays and Mariners dealt tough draws against each other and Astros
*Aaron Judgeís season put the Blue Jays in a tough spot for the wild card playoffs
*Atlanta and LA are not the best teams in baseball and in my books not top 3
* Dipoto and Aj Preller are winners while Friedman, Atkins and AA under delivered imho
*Houston is the real dynasty not LA or Atlanta

Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#423861) #
The best team won? That's definitely true if one week means more than six months. If that's the measure, Jake Cronenworth is the best baseball player in the whole National League. Well, him and Bryce Harper.

We know the playoffs will always be a different animal. We know that depth doesn't matter nearly as much in the playoffs. We know that a hot team, or a lucky team, can always beat a great team. That's always been the case. But I still think there needs to be some kind of reward, some kind of incentive, to build a great team that can win more than 100 games. It's hard to see one right now.
Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#423862) #
I suppose the Dodgers lineup could be better, but the lineup they did have scored quite a few more runs than any other team in baseball. How much better do you need it to be?
Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#423863) #
Houston is the real dynasty not LA or Atlanta

What's a dynasty? Houston has one championship in the last ten years. So do the Dodgers. So do the Braves. So do the Kansas City Royals.

The Astros, the Dodgers, and the Braves are always in the mix. They're always in the post-season. Is that a dynasty? I don't know. Maybe it is now.
bpoz - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#423864) #
I think St Louis makes the playoffs almost always. Only LAD and NYY make the playoffs more. Actually I am not sure of St Louis.

I would be happy if the Jays made the playoffs 80-100% of the time, now that 6 teams are in. Houston and Seattle should be strong contenders for 2 playoff spots. 1 spot for the AL Central. That only leaves 3 spots for the 5 AL East teams. Next year all 5 AL East teams should play over .500.
jerjapan - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#423866) #
100% agreed with Mags on all points re: the new format.  It's just not right by the gods of baseball, or something.  feels wrong to me that the dodgers are out.  the only way 162 games makes sense is if they get you something.  you want a bunch of teams just aiming to get into the playoffs who count on their relievers and hope to get lucky?
Bellinger is an interesting option for CF.  I'd look at him.  And I keep coming back to Alek Thomas, one of John Northey's suggestions, in a deal for moreno and peripheral pieces.  we need a legit CF who can play a lot of games in a 3rd / 4th OF role. 

crazy game last night in Seattle.  I tuned in late, but that was some display of playoff pitching. 

Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#423867) #
I think St Louis makes the playoffs almost always.

Well, here's a handy little list of how often everyone's gone to the post-season these last ten years:

LA Dodgers   10 (3 pennants, 1 championship)
Houston  7 (3 pennants, 1 championship)
St Louis 7 (1 pennant)
NY Yankees 7
Atlanta 6 (1 pennant, 1 championship)

Cleveland 6 (1 pennant)
Boston 5 (2 pennants, 2 championships)
Chicago Cubs  5 (1 pennant, 1 championship)
Oakland 5
Washington 4 (1 pennant, 1 championship )

Tampa Bay 4 (1 pennant)
Toronto 4
Milwaukee 4
San Francisco 3 (1 pennant, 1 championship )
NY Mets 3 (1 pennant)

Minnesota 3
Texas 3
Pittsburgh 3
Kansas City 2 (2 pennants, 1 championship)
Baltimore 2

Chicago WS   2
San Diego 2
Cincinnati 2
Colorado 2
Detroit 2

Seattle 1
LA Angels 1
Philadelphia 1
Arizona 1
Miami 1
This year's pennant and championship is still to be determined, of course.
lexomatic - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 01:05 PM EDT (#423868) #
The playoffs have always favored stars and players getting hot. It's maybe more extreme now, but the key to a dominant regular season recently seems more about depth, which is less important in a short series. I'm not really concerned about the  winningest teams getting eliminated. Sometimes upsets happen. I think they're still rare.
Anyway, if Seattle had advanced, that would have been my ideal result .  I really dislike Houston, and don't care about rooting against the team that defeated "your" team.

Magpie - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#423869) #
the key to a dominant regular season recently seems more about depth

Absolutely. An obvious key to the Dodgers regular season dominance is the fact that their fourth starter (Anderson) was better than most teams' number one guy. But on one random weekend, if Trent Grisham plays better than Mookie Betts... wackiness ensues.
bpoz - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#423870) #
Thanks for the playoff list Magpie.

Tanking hurts but you get high picks. Too bad our bad 2019 only got us 5 rounds and Martin got most of the draft budget. The 5th pick in 20 rounds would have been sweet.
John Northey - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#423871) #
Given pre 2022 it was (outside of 2020) a 1 in 10 shot at winning this chart seems pretty much random odds. 1 in 10 for the Dodgers, 1 in 7 for Houston, 1 in 6 for Atlanta with Boston the only 2 time winner (2 in 5). Slightly unlucky are St Louis-NYY-Cleveland-Oakland with 0 in 5+, slightly lucky are Washington-SF-KC with a win despite fewer than 5 times in. But with 12 teams with 1 or 2 times in random odds are one would win a title and that was KC. 5 3 timers says 1 or 2 should've won and 1 did (SF). So nothing weird here vs random odds.

Unlike hockey & basketball MLB teams haven't found a formula for playoff success (much like the Leafs). But I suspect there is something that would work better than random odds. Building up your 4th/5th starters isn't it as they have minimal influence in the playoffs vs your top 3. I see lineup depth, bullpen depth as both being FAR more important especially given the long scoreless games we've seen (18 inning 1-0 game yesterday, 15 inning 1-0 Rays/Cleveland). The Dodgers scored just 12 runs in 4 games (3 per) which killed them. Allowed just 15 (3.75 per game) which should've been enough for more than 1 win. Freeman and Turner hit (over 1000 OPS) but Smith, Betts & Turner didn't (sub 500 despite 120 OPS+ each in the regular season). FYI: for the Jays hitters doing great Hernandez, Espinal, Chapman. 800/900's Kirk & Jansen, Bo at 708, Springer 661, Vlad 347. Generally the best come to life in the pressure but 2 of our big guns didn't (Vlad & Springer) with a 3rd being 'meh' in Bo.

So for the Jays for 2023 the pen has to be a top priority if they want a deep run, as does more lineup improvements and/or defense (as that killed them - OF defense in particular). Will that change everything? Probably not. But adding more starting depth probably won't help in the playoffs, but would help get there (see Dodgers, top 8 starters all over 100 ERA+ over 7+ starts, 2 more in the 90's then 2 more in the 100+ category - you don't get deeper than that). I fully expect the Dodgers to now be more active than previously planned - Judge might now have 3 big bidders in NYY-NYM-LAD plus others like the LAA who have cash but aren't as competitive. Jays would be very smart to lock up Vlad & Bo before Judge signs (he will set a new benchmark for pay in ones 30's). Top relievers will see big pay jumps this winter too I suspect so they should decide who they want and chase hard fast on him/them.
Mike Green - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#423872) #
The Dodgers' record might be a bit deceptive due to strength of schedule issues.  Their interleague opponents were the AL Central and the Angels.  Against the other teams in the playoffs, they went 29-19 and were below .500 against the teams other than the Padres.  Houston's interleague opponents were the NL East  and Arizona.  They went 7-5 against the Mets, Phillies and Atlanta. 

Jeremy Pena was the #72 prospect in baseball prior to this year according to BA and #16 according to BP.  Score one for BP.  He ended up just a little less valuable than Carlos Correa.  Always good to be deep at shortstop...

bpoz - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#423873) #
Seattle has very deep SPs. They got an injured Matt Boyd from SF at the trade deadline for basically nothing. I think SF signed him as a FA to a 2 year contract. Probably cheap. They definitely have 6 guys for the rotation unless someone is a FA and them about 3 more. Hancock should be ready soon.
John Northey - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#423874) #
Checking who the Dodgers played who the Jays also played we get a record of 41-19 Dodgers vs 36-25 Jays - very simplistic comparison plus it is how they did vs CHC, CHW, CIN, CLE, DET, KCR, LAA, MIL, MIN, PHI, PIT, STL - 3 playoff teams there in Cleveland, Philly, and St Louis. I could adjust for times played each team, but really it wouldn't serve much. The best record was LAD vs Cubs 7-0, and LAD vs Reds 7-0. The Dodgers were also perfect vs the Angels at 4-0 and the Twins 4-0. Jays swept the Pirates 3-0 for best vs this group of teams. Much like how the Jays fattened up on the Red Sox the Dodgers did so vs the Cubs/Reds/Angels/Twins (all sub 500 teams) by going 22-0 against them. Remove those games and the powerhouse Dodgers drop to 89-51 (a 103 win pace so not that bad but not historic).

Not sure what I draw from that beyond the Dodgers being a damn fine team for 162 games but not built for a 5 game set (no one really is). In the old days pre-wildcard we saw teams have 2 great starters win the WS (Twins 1987) by having the ace do 3 starts, #2 guy gets 2 starts, leaving 2 for the rest of the staff and starters then went 9 regularly. In that environment a team like the Jays have now would've thrived. Manoah & Gausman both would've been expected to go 7-9 innings and the pen would've been 6 guys, maybe. With a deeper bench hopefully Tapia wouldn't have seen time in LF, Springer pulled faster in CF. Ah well. That isn't how it is nowadays and it ain't going back.
scottt - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#423877) #
The Jays didn' t lose to stars and hot players.
Manoah was intimidated by the crowd and pitched poorly.
There is some hope that he does better next time.
The Jays' pen didn't get it done.
Part of it was not having enough relievers Schneid trusted against lefties.
Ironically, he burned Richards and Mayza the night before in a losing cause.

John Northey - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#423878) #
Ooookay scottt. Manoah, who has shown tons of grit in front of hostile crowds in NY and the like was intimidated by the crowd. That is why he lasted 5 2/3 innings after a bad first where he allowed 3 runs (crap happens) then just 1 over the next 4 2/3. This compared to future HOF'er Justin Verlander who despite 31 previous playoff starts allowed 6 runs in 4 innings - guess he was intimidated too then? Or Max Scherzer who had 26 previous playoff starts then allowed 7 runs in 4 2/3 IP.

It is past time for everyone to figure out it was 2 bad games at the worst time. The first was NOT on Manoah but on the offense that scored 0 runs (again, it happens, the 1931 powerhouse Yankee team (scored over 1000 runs in 154 games) was shutout 3 times and didn't make the playoffs despite having Ruth & Gerhig. I can come up with hundreds of other examples of clearly great players who had a bad day on the biggest stages. It means nothing. Alek Manoah is a great player and will be a great Jay for years to come. He will have great playoff moments. Just because his first game in the playoffs wasn't Halladay level (no hitter) doesn't mean he is a failure or was intimidated. Remember, Halladay's next start in the playoffs after the no-no was 7 IP 4 R (a loss) then a 6 IP 2 R game. That first one was the only time he went 9 or allowed 0 runs in the playoffs - doesn't change he was a great player who had clutch ability.
John Northey - Sunday, October 16 2022 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#423879) #
As top the pen - basically everything that could go wrong did that game. That ball between Springer and Bo should be caught 75% of the time according to the numbers, if the Jays had played like they did all year and put in JBJ in CF and shifted Springer to RF and Hernandez to LF it might not have dropped in. Maybe Frazier and/or Suarez doesn't get their hits that inning either so the fly to CF never happens and we go to the 9th with a 3 run lead still. If, like all season, Garcia is left in for the 8th despite the 4th run he doesn't allow any hits and Bass is still in the pen along with Romano for the 9th. If Mayza walks Santana once 1st is open (remove the power RH hitter to face the 2 LH) saving 2 runs. I'm sure I could come up with more situations that a small change would've flipped the result. None of it says 'so and so can't handle pressure', Bass had bad luck with catchable balls going to Tapia's area (a guy who shouldn't be in a playoff game except as a runner), Romano was asked to go longer than he had all year, etc. But even with all of that they lost by 1 run. ONE. By all studies 1 run games are almost purely luck based. Yeah, they should've won easy when up by 7 (as they did all year) but again, crap happens.

For a bigger example, in 1993 Joe Carter had a negative cWPA (championship win percentage added) during those playoffs (-4.82%) before game 6. He was only a positive force in 4 out of 12 games that playoff year. But no one calls him a choker or did before that game 6. Why? Because he wasn't. Like all players he had good and bad games. In 1992 Pat Borders was the World Series MVP but in 1991 he hit for a 579 OPS in the ALCS, and in the 1993 ALCS he hit for a 542 OPS. Did he just magically become clutch after being intimidated the year before, then fall apart the next year? No. He just played really well for 6 games at just the right time.

Yeah, it is fun to talk about clutch and guts and all that stuff, but it doesn't exist. Reggie Jackson was 'Mr October' with 5 rings between 2 teams, but his overall playoff figures? 278/358/527 - decent but not "WOW" by any stretch. In the ALCS he only hit 227/298/380 vs WS 357/457/755 so was he clutch in the WS but a bum in the series to get there? No, just dumb luck as to when he was hot and not. His 1977 season strongly influences both (9 for 20 with 5 home runs WS after a 2 for 16 both singles ALCS).

I see the regular season as what really matters. The playoffs are a fun thing with oversized importance but it is just a fun second season where being hot is all that matters. Pat Borders can be more valuable than Roger Clemens, a player can have a horrid early round then come through like mad in a later one. Vlad was 0 for 4 the day before he hit 3 HR's, then 0 for 4 the next day. All 3 games in NY vs the Yankees. 1 or 2 games means nothing in baseball, but for the playoffs it is everything. HOF'ers can flop, no-stars can shine.
John Northey - Monday, October 17 2022 @ 12:20 AM EDT (#423882) #
Yankees live for one more day - Judge just 1 for 4, while Cole went 7 allowing 2 while Bader hit a 2 run homer for the difference in a 4-2 game. So Sunday baseball is a thing still. And Houston has to be smiling as whoever has to face them will be tired for game one on Tuesday.
scottt - Monday, October 17 2022 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#423886) #
Manoah hit a batter twice. He scored both time.
This also contributed to the Blue Jays getting beaned in the series, no doubt.
The  2 hits in the first innings were pitches over the heart of the plate.
There's nothing easier to hit than a ball that moves from a corner to the center of the plate.

This was the most important game of his life in front of the loudest crowd he's experienced.

I can't wait to see what he does next time he's in that spot.

Castillo was better, though, and any pitcher who shuts down a top offense should get full credit for that.

The Jays shift more than anybody else.
They trade extra base hits for singles and they got burned by that.
Sometimes you can see guys cut their swings, work the count and push the ball in the holes.
These Mariners had high OBPs and didn't chase much.

Romano pitched  2 innings and gave up an earned run in both.
That is not good. That's like 2 blown saves.

Houston's pen was really good against those Mariners.
Could be luck. Could be better scouting.

John Northey - Tuesday, October 18 2022 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#423907) #
Ick. Yankees to ALCS. C'mon Houston!
bpoz - Tuesday, October 18 2022 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#423911) #
Cleveland had a fantastic year!!
lexomatic - Tuesday, October 18 2022 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#423912) #
I guess I'm cheering NL. Can never support any of the remaining AL teams
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