Tag: Major League Baseball Playoffs

2012 AL Division Series- Tigers at As, Game 5

So, gritty bailed out Automobile City or Occupy gassing fascists.

Hmm… do like that song.

Allow me to remind you of Lesson #1– stay away from Verlander (17 – 8, 2.64 ERA).  Against him the As oppose Parker (13 – 8, 3.47 ERA).  One is a 130 pitch game winning machine, the other is pleased with his performance against the core of the Tigers’ line up.

And that latter story is what will control the Tigers’ fortunes tonight.  Their offense has been uncharacteristically poor this series.  Fielder has hardly hit at all and Triple Crown Winner Cabrera hasn’t had any runners to score.

Like the first game I expect a low scoring snoozefest the Tigers can easily lose if their bats don’t wake up.  I suspect Richard will hardly be able to stay awake until the final out even with the promise of Yeongam practice to follow.

This game will be broadcast on TNT.

2012 AL Division Series- Orioles at Yankees, Game 4

Well, forget the Orioles and the Playoffs because now it’s starting to get personal.

Just the way I like it.

Among my Yankee rooting friends and relatives the reaction to Ibenez’ substitution for ARod and subsequent hitting of both the game tying Home Run, boosting his formerly losing team into extra innings and game winning Home Run on the very first pitch of his next at bat has not only been universal, it has been unanimous.

Why is ARod playing for the Yankees?

Ok, so I’ve cleaned it up a little, seven letters divided into two words beginning with ‘t’ and ‘f’ usually are inserted between “Why” and “is”, but we try and keep it clean for the kiddies and I think you get the picture anyway.

Those people (aka Yankee fans) tend to focus on the depressing statistics- 12 post season at bats so far this year with 1 hit and 7 strikeouts to show for it.  ARod’s defenders, and there are a few, point out his regular season OPS (yes, I had to look it up) is 116 points higher tha Derek Jeter’s and over the stellar .900 or higher that “puts the player in the upper echelon of hitters.”  Even in post-season ARod is .011 ahead.

One of the flaws of this metric is that it doesn’t mention that the average OPS for all of Major League Baseball is .749 so ARod is a mere .196 better at all than just some random player.

Another flaw is that it ignores what every Yankees fan instinctively knows.  The Yankees are not a team built for succeeding in the regular season and making the Playoffs.  That is a given.  The Yankees are a team of greatness built to win World Series, and over time they’ve been remarkably good at meeting those expectations.

This is what George Steinbrenner, for all his faults, understood that the corporate beaureaucrats at CBS did not.  He was willing to do what ever it took within the rules of the game to deliver a consistently winning product.

And that is why ARod is still playing for the Yankees.  At the time of his acquisition he was an offensive force that in the hands of any other team would increase their competitive advantage against the Yankees.  As a Yankee he may be no asset or even a liability, but at least he’s not out there being a thorn in their side.  They paid and will pay way too much for any marginal contribution he has made and they’ll never be able to trade him because no team will take the contract of this washed up has been off their hands and because doing so would be to admit they made a mistake.

Did they make a mistake?  Perhaps, but if so one they can easily afford financially.  The question is whether the fans can stand to have him around anymore.

The Yankees also buy pitching and tonight they’re sending Phil Hughes (16 – 13, 4.23 ERA) against the Orioles Joe Saunders (9 – 13, 4.07 ERA) but it’s not about the Orioles, it never is until you beat the Yankees.

ARod will bat 5th.  Jeter will bat 1st as DH due to leg injuries from a foul tip.

2012 NL Division Series- Cardinals at Nats, Game 4

You see?  The Rally Squirrel is not merely magical thinking.  It actually reaches through the screen and inspires and motivates the team.

We get to see Lohse (16 – 3, 2.86 ERA) for the first time since the Cardinals faced the Braves.  Detwiler (10 – 8, 3.40 ERA) of the Nationals we’ll see for the first time this post season.

Lohse was pretty dominant as I recall and went down with Verlander as a pitcher you didn’t want to face.

Davey Johnson is facing a lot of heat over what is being called ‘The Strasburg Shutdown’ (much of it coming from Fox Sports, in particular the Washington branch).  To me it’s a no brainer.  If a player is injured or potentially injured they sit.

And, as a few people have pointed out, a player is not a team.  Where is the offensive support?  The other pitchers?  If all you have is Strasburg maybe you don’t deserve to be in the playoffs, best record in the Majors or not.


I’m probably not going to be available to watch this. If TheMomCat is not around to provide updates go to The New York Times Live Scoreboard and push the teeny tiny Gameview button for play by play commentary.

2012 NL Division Series- Giants at Reds, Game 5

This is it, the decider.  The Giants have clawed themselves back into a tie with the Reds and have a chance to join the historic 9% ever to come back from 2 games down in a short series.

Now if you happen to be a Reds fan they do have some advantages.  They’re playing at home.  They’ll probably start Mat Latos (14 – 4, 3.48 ERA) who has a rubber arm and did a good job for them in Game 1.  He’ll probably be facing Matt Cain (16 – 5, 2.79 ERA) who was unimpressive.  I suppose the Giants could start Bumgarner (16 – 11, 3.37 ERA) but he pitched more, more recently, and wasn’t any more impressive.

On the other hand the Giants have momentum and as I said at the start of Game 4- in a deciding game, the pressure would be on the Reds since they have the better record and home field advantage.

Not that they’re under ARod pressure of course.

If the Giants and the Cards advance I’ll be able to root Senior League whichever team makes the World Series.  Maybe the Giants will even make a stupid video on their break to replace this one.


I’m probably not going to be available to watch this. If TheMomCat is not around to provide updates go to The New York Times Live Scoreboard and push the teeny tiny Gameview button for play by play commentary.

2012 AL Division Series- As at Tigers, Game 4

What can I say?  I like the Bernie Lean.

But I’m done with the As.  The Tigers’ can win it any time as far as I’m concerned and while last night didn’t have any particular urgency, it’s not generally a good idea to face elimination on the road and you should avoid it if possible, more so since the Tigers have a terrible record Away.

If Tigers starter Max Scherzer (16-7, 3.74 ERA) is healthy again there are those who say he’s as good as Verlander though I’ll have to see it to believe it.  He’s opposed by rookie A.J. Griffin (7-1, 3.06 ERA) who will start for the A’s. His only loss came against the Tigers on September 18.

What’s been sputtering here is the offense.  The Tigers are batting .268 and the As marginally worse.  You would expect that against ‘great’ pitching, but neither team has shown much of that.

If the Tigers take it to tomorrow Verlander comes riding in on his white horse.  I’m sure Leyland would rather not have to and set up a proper rotation for the Championship Series.

This game is being carried in it’s entirety on TNT.  Don’t forget to change the channel when the Yankees are done.


I will be temporarily unavailable during the day tomorrow.  I will put the Playoff Diaries on pre-post and TheMomCat will update as her time allows.  I think at the moment that we’ll cover the VP Debate with an Open Thread and some analysis Friday.

My thinking is that I can always catch the repeats if it seems sufficiently interesting.

2012 AL Division Series- Yankees at Orioles, Game 3

Well, now that everybody’s blood pressure is back down after Pettitte’s start and we’re safely back in the Stadium the truth is that the Yankees should have little difficulty closing this out.

Unless what Lola wants is a way out of ARod’s contract.

He’ll be batting 3rd as DH which at least keeps his error prone ass out of the field.

The Yankees will be pitching Hiroki Kuroda (16 – 11, 3.32 ERA) who is the best on their team on paper.  The Orioles will counter with Miguel Gonzalez (9 – 4, 3.25 ERA) who’s a rookie but is 2 – 0 at the Stadium and beat Kuroda head to head August 31st.

Of course all anyone wants to talk about is Rodriguez and the Yankee offense which is the same as it’s always been.  What I find particularly frustrating is that no one took the time to list Kuroda’s vital stats without breaking them into Home/Away WHICH IS COMPLETELY USELESS!

I had to look them up on a stats page and by the way, you can shove your stupid stinking malware ads too.

2012 NL Division Series- Reds at Giants, Game 4

I should really be more careful.  Now that the As have eluded elimination I no longer feel like a Left Coast jinx and if the Giants go down to the Reds today it means one less thing I need to worry about tomorrow.

Sigh.  If only I didn’t hate Pete Rose quite so much.

I must say that after the first round of games the Reds and the Tigers looked pretty invincible.  Now that they have been beat they can be and I wonder if the Giants will pull one out.  That would tie the series and force a deciding game in which the pressure would be on the Reds since they have the better record and home field advantage.

The Giants would have momentum.

On the other hand they did just barely eek out last night’s victory, so perhaps I’m reading too much into it.

The Reds finally had to put Cueto on the disabled list, this means he will be ineligible for the Championship Series should the Reds make it that far.  They’ll pitch instead Mike Leake (8 – 9, 4.58 ERA) against Barry Zito (15 – 8, 4.15 ERA).  On paper Zito crushes Leake like a bug.

Reds will sit Rolen and Hanigan.  Giants sit Belt and move Posey to 1st so Sanchez can catch.

2012 NL Division Series- Nats at Cardinals, Game 3

First of all, here are the links TheMomCat found for me so you can share the game if you don’t happen to get MLB Network.

The live scoreboard is pretty interesting, we were playing around with it last night.  I had played around with it before, what I discovered that’s new is the Game View button underneath the Diamond.  MLB Network is all happy that they were able to get Bob Costas to call the game.

I root too good.

I must admit when I was hoping for extended series I was not considering what a pain in the ass it is to have to cover 4 games a day, and there’s every prospect it will happen again tomorrow and I have some afternoon appointments.  TheMomCat is filling in to the best of her ability, but she has stuff to do also.  I guess we’ll just do the best we can same as always.

Nationals Park is conveniently un-corporately named and the Cardinals come to the field tied at 1 which, while not the very best position to be in, is about what can reasonably be expected.  I was gratified to see flashes of last year’s champions after becoming needlessly discouraged by their initial loss which seems much less decisive in retrospect after they thumped the Nationals in Game 2 12 – 4 (and it was much worse than that, 3 of those were pity runs).

Chris Carpenter is 0 – 2 with a 3.71 ERA in three starts since coming back from left side nerve problems.  It’s hard to say how well he’ll pitch, he does hold the best record in Baseball for playoff performance.  Edwin Jackson (10 – 11, 4.03) is the Nationals’ only pitcher with playoff experience.

Last year, with the Cards.  Go figure.

2012 AL Division Series- As at Tigers, Game 3

At least the As are on the right side of the Home/Away equation which means their task is not as hard as the team across the Bay, but it’s still a historical 9% chance they get to teach NYC the Bernie Lean.

Still, they are the favorites to win tonight among those with investments in sports futures and if they manage to eek out a win with Brett Anderson (4 – 2, 2.57 ERA) the prospects aren’t nearly so bleak at 2 – 1 they are at 2 – 0.

They’ll continue to face elimination though even if the manage to get around the Tigers’ lefty Anibal Sanchez (9 – 13, 3.86 ERA) who’s a better pitcher than that and isn’t coming off ligament-replacement surgery and a strained right oblique (ironically coming in a start against the Tigers at Comerica).

It would certainly be easier on me if there were 2 fewer games tomorrow, but I don’t want to be accused of putting on some Bay area jinx.

Since we’re in Extra Innings with the Giants and Reds, they’ll be starting out on TNT.

Back on TBS.

2012 NL Division Series- Reds at Giants, Game 3

So the Giants at Great American Ball Park for the duration, down 2 and facing elimination.

I’m hard put to find a happy face for that, so how about a fight song from 2010 instead?

On the positive side, pitchers very rarely throw 2 No Hitters 2 weeks apart and if you’re a Chicago School Whitewater Economist you have your rattles and dances and expectations that the Giants’ offense will revert to the mean after under performing the first two games.

Also the Reds’ Homer Bailey (13 – 10, 3.68 ERA) is not as good on paper as the Giants’ counter Ryan Vogelsong (14 – 9, 3.37 ERA).  He’s good enough to win though he was better before the All-Star break than after.

And September 28th was so long ago.

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