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01 Oct 2014 15:07

gregod wrote:did my beloved a's screw up? i haven't followed major league baseball in a while, but the a's will always be my team.

i'll have to check the sports news.


You have no idea. They were on top of their division for most of the season, smacking runs like they were going out of style, lots of homers, a positive run difference over 150!!!! - and then - they started choking, lost their lead to the Angels, and were never competitive again.

Last night they became the first team ever to lose a play off game with a four run lead in the 8th, what you might call a choke for the ages. It must really suck to be an Oakland sports fan when you consider what kind of awful the Raiders have been for years.

But, to any neutral fan, last night's game was an absolute classic, and a wonderful way to kick off the playoffs.
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01 Oct 2014 19:03

Amsterhammer wrote:You have no idea. They were on top of their division for most of the season, smacking runs like they were going out of style, lots of homers, a positive run difference over 150!!!! - and then - they started choking, lost their lead to the Angels, and were never competitive again.

Last night they became the first team ever to lose a play off game with a four run lead in the 8th, what you might call a choke for the ages. It must really suck to be an Oakland sports fan when you consider what kind of awful the Raiders have been for years.

But, to any neutral fan, last night's game was an absolute classic, and a wonderful way to kick off the playoffs.


They also traded away super hot prospect(although not everyone can turn out like Mike Trout:) ) Addison Russell and they traded their best major league hitter (Yoenis Céspedes) for 3 months of Jon Lester who'll be filing for free agency after the WS.
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03 Oct 2014 15:31

So the Angels lets the Royals take the first game. No problem in 2002 the Angels lost the opening game of each postseason series and ended up World Champs. #clutchingatstrawsorasurefiresign
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03 Oct 2014 18:44

Amsterhammer wrote:It must really suck to be an Oakland sports fan when you consider what kind of awful the Raiders have been for years.


Thanks. Thanks a lot. :mad:

I heard Billy Beane's comments on the trade of Lester for Céspedes and he brought up some valid points. First is that they were going to lose Cespedes anyway to free agency in a yaer, and he felt pitchers were catching up to Cespedes somewhat late in the season. The team's run production had already dropped some by then. This turned out to be only partly true. He felt Lester were their best chance to get into the playoffs with a marquee pitcher. He also felt that both Kasmir and Gray were not likely to sustain pitching at their level, due to the amount of innings they were throwing due to weak middle relief. Doolittle's late season injury sure didn't help.

But in the end, the A's just ran out of gas. They don't have the budget, and sabermetrics will only take you so far. But it's nice to see a club with so little money do so well. Same with Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, let's talk about the games we have left.

I too still like the Angels chances against KC. It seems to me the Royals had to win game 1 to even have a chance. Now, it may be even, but I'd still pick the Angels. Though not having Garrett Richards may make it harder for them to take it all. Also count me in as one who thinks Mike Scioscia is maybe the best manager in all of baseball.

The other AL series should be really interesting. The last time a team faced three former Cy Young winners back to back to back was when the Mets faced off against Maddux, Glavin and Smotlz some 15 years ago. The Braves won all three of those games. Game 2 on now, and Tigers up 5-3. If they can survive this with the hot/cold Verlander on the mound, next up they have Price. But their bullpen is very shaky. And the Orioles are good across the board.

In the NL I would love to see Washington win it all, and today's game with Strasburg is going to really be a bellweather, as I'm sure many fans remember his past. But the Giants are dangerous. Lots of playoff experienced players.

I'm also hoping that the Dodgers can upend the Cardinals, who I am sort of tired of seeing. Plus, Kershaw can't possibly pitch as bad as he did in last year's playoffs.

I'm still sticking with my prediction of Washington over Baltimore. Though it won't surprise me if the Angels can beat anyone, same with the Dodgers, really.
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03 Oct 2014 19:09

Alpe d'Huez wrote:Thanks. Thanks a lot. :mad:

I heard Billy Beane's comments on the trade of Lester for Céspedes and he brought up some valid points. First is that they were going to lose Cespedes anyway to free agency in a yaer, and he felt pitchers were catching up to Cespedes somewhat late in the season. The team's run production had already dropped some by then. This turned out to be only partly true. He felt Lester were their best chance to get into the playoffs with a marquee pitcher. He also felt that both Kasmir and Gray were not likely to sustain pitching at their level, due to the amount of innings they were throwing due to weak middle relief. Doolittle's late season injury sure didn't help.

But in the end, the A's just ran out of gas. They don't have the budget, and sabermetrics will only take you so far. But it's nice to see a club with so little money do so well. Same with Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, let's talk about the games we have left.

I too still like the Angels chances against KC. It seems to me the Royals had to win game 1 to even have a chance. Now, it may be even, but I'd still pick the Angels. Though not having Garrett Richards may make it harder for them to take it all. Also count me in as one who thinks Mike Scioscia is maybe the best manager in all of baseball.

The other AL series should be really interesting. The last time a team faced three former Cy Young winners back to back to back was when the Mets faced off against Maddux, Glavin and Smotlz some 15 years ago. The Braves won all three of those games. Game 2 on now, and Tigers up 5-3. If they can survive this with the hot/cold Verlander on the mound, next up they have Price. But their bullpen is very shaky. And the Orioles are good across the board.

In the NL I would love to see Washington win it all, and today's game with Strasburg is going to really be a bellweather, as I'm sure many fans remember his past. But the Giants are dangerous. Lots of playoff experienced players.

I'm also hoping that the Dodgers can upend the Cardinals, who I am sort of tired of seeing. Plus, Kershaw can't possibly pitch as bad as he did in last year's playoffs.

I'm still sticking with my prediction of Washington over Baltimore. Though it won't surprise me if the Angels can beat anyone, same with the Dodgers, really.


Big loss for us, but thankfully Shoemaker is 'fit' and starting tonight for us and hopefully for game 3(series tied at 1) the good CJ Wilson turns up to pitch for us.
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03 Oct 2014 19:45

LOL-ing at the Tigers "blowpen" takes me back to the days when the Angels handed the ball over to guys like Ernasty or Rodney.
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04 Oct 2014 13:47

Still waiting for the Angels "hitters" to turn up for the postseason.
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04 Oct 2014 16:13

Wow. I may be an A's fan, but I'm still a west coast guy and in a bit of shock that the Angels are down 0-2, and lost the first two games at home none the less. The way KC manufactures wins still seems unsustainable to me, but I felt that way when the season ended.

The way the Cardinals hammered Kershaw was just astounding. Two years in a row, only this year worst than last. I have to wonder if that one inning didn't break the back of the Dodgers. I'm not a huge Cardinals fan, but they have to be considered one of the best run organizations in all of sports, top to bottom.

And as I worried, the Giants are a force to be reckoned with. You look at their schedule, some of their guys, and think they're not going to win. But they have a lot of guys with big game experience. Peavy is the perfect example. Boston couldn't get rid of him fast enough, but they couldn't produce runs for him either. Now, he looks like the same pitcher that helped the Bosox in the playoffs and WS last year, and won a Cy Young a few years back. And we still haven't even seen Cain, Hudson or Lincecum, let alone Bumbgarner yet.
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04 Oct 2014 17:41

When it comes to postseason there seems to be a switch that the Giants flick and they become some sort of machine.

It was good seeing Kershaw getting smacked around, hoping the Cards take the series in 3.
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05 Oct 2014 05:49

Some crazy good games on today. MLB has to be very happy with this year's season, at least so far. I have to admit I was really pulling for the Nats in the marathon game tonight, but what a pitching clinic by the Giants.

Now, the two top seeds from each league have their backs against the wall. I still have some faith the Angels can claw back. After losing this game to the Giants, I fear the Nats though are done.
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05 Oct 2014 16:15

Image

Image

I can't choose between them.

A Dodger/Angel Series would be a childhood fantasy come true.
It was all I could do to submit this comment I don’t know where the inspiration came from…
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06 Oct 2014 02:01

Congrats to the Orioles. Beat three former Cy Young winners back, to back to back.

Angels backs really to the ropes. Does not look good.
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06 Oct 2014 19:09

Alpe d'Huez wrote:Congrats to the Orioles. Beat three former Cy Young winners back, to back to back.

Angels backs really to the ropes. Does not look good.


I didn't realize that you were a Bay Area fan, Alpe. My previous comment about the 'Chokeland A's' and the Raiders was not intended as a dig at you!

I expect that we will see Foxxy's "Immutable Law #1 of US sports playoffs" confirmed again tonight, when I expect the top NL team to follow the top AL team out of the playoffs after a 3-0 sweep by a "lesser" team. :mad:

I've got plenty of beer in to help me survive the expected embarrassment in both tonight's games. :o
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09 Oct 2014 00:29

How many days until catchers and pitchers report?
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09 Oct 2014 12:00

Down to four teams.

I just can't see the Royals beating the Orioles. Then again, I thought the Angels would beat them in 4 games without much of a problem.

In the NL, both of these teams know how to win, and have plenty of experience in the post-season. I'm going to go with SF though, they seem to be playing just a little better.

I'm mostly hoping for no sweeps. I'd love to see each series go at least 6. Worst would be one team sweeping, the other series going 7, and then the WS be one team too rested (like the Tigers a couple years back).

Yes Amsterclog, I'm a west-coast guy. Ignore my location. You should know from the NFL thread I'm a Raiders guy, but tend to like all west coast teams (and don't like the Patriots, Jets or Giants much in football).
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10 Oct 2014 02:35

Alpe d'Huez wrote:

I just can't see the Royals beating the Orioles. Then again, I thought the Angels would beat them in 4 games without much of a problem.


Amazingly, FanGraphs not only favors the Royals, but has their win probability for this series as 63%. That is a very large margin for baseball.

Their basic argument is that some of the Royals hitters, like Butler and Moustakas, underperformed during the regular season, and are better than their regular season stats indicate. This is the tricky part of using stats. There is a natural tendency to weight heavily recent performance, whereas a lot of studies show that you have to go back several years (when the data are available) to gauge the value of players. With the two aforementioned players, the argument is strengthened by the fact that their BABIP--% of balls put into play that go for hits--was much lower this season than their historical average, which suggests some bad luck.

In the saber view, stats are like coin flips. It doesn't matter if the last five tosses have been all heads or all tails, the probability of the next one remains 50/50. The weighting of the coin is determined by several years of data, and once that has been determined, the odds are unaffected by anything that has happened in the past few weeks, or even very much by the past few months.

The larger point, and my pet peeve, is that the playoff system is woefully inadequate for determining a seasonal champion. Chance plays far too large a role in a short series. The best team--as determined by the long haul of the season, and not by wins, really, but by run differential, or even better, by weighted on-base average differential--frequently loses out. If one team is gauged to be a 55 vs. 45 favorite to win a single game, based on the strength of its seasonal record, it still has only about a 60% chance of winning a best of seven series.

We've talked in the NFL thread about the problem of expanded playoffs, and teams with losing records having a shot to win the SB, so this is a problem with all sports. But it's especially a problem with baseball, which requires a very large sample size to even out most of the random variation.
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10 Oct 2014 20:48

Alpe d'Huez wrote:I just can't see the Royals beating the Orioles.


Why not? Offense vs defense/pitching. Pitching prevails. Royals in six, HR leading team goes home...
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10 Oct 2014 21:08

Merckx index wrote:.
The larger point, and my pet peeve, is that the playoff system is woefully inadequate for determining a seasonal champion.


You bet. They play 162 games, and then some clever idiot came with the idea of a 1-game "wild card" game... Wow!
And then the LDS goes max 5 games. So for what after all slugging it out for 162 games?
Roll a dice before and skip the whole regular season theatre.
MLB became a joke inch by inch. First the millionaires 1994 strike, then the roid records, then the absurd 250 M $ contract for A-Roid, and then this grotesque playoff "format"...
Amazing how this great game got made kaputt...
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11 Oct 2014 00:30

Good posts guys. Agree with what you wrote Merckx on sample size especially.

The single game game playoff resulted from the league trying to cut down on wild card teams winning the World Series, and making late season games more competitive. They figured by having the extra game they could get more revenue for the league, plus slow down one of the wild card teams by messing with their pitching rotation. As you can see from KC and SF, that didn't matter. The only, and I mean ONLY thing keeping MLB from expanding the season longer is weather. Playing baseball in the north in March or November would be just way too risky, and way too tough on the players, and fans. Cold weather and storms could cause the World Series to never be completed.

I personally would like to see the league reduced back to 148 games, like it was 50+ years ago, and expand the playoffs a little. But that's not going to happen because MLB is in love with statistics (even though the steroid era ruined them), and of course money.
The money is even more obscene than in the NFL. The Yankees have to pay A-Roid over $20m a year for three more seasons. Robinson Cano had a great year for Seattle, but the back-end of his career is loaded. But the most insane contract now is Albert Pujols, who will make $30m in the year 2021, when he's 41 years old.

As to "not seeing" KC beating Baltimore, season wide it didn't make sense, but watching now, I won't be surprised at all if they do beat the Orioles in six games.
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11 Oct 2014 01:17

Reduce the season by a little, 154 games is fine.
16 team playoffs. I think NFL should do this too.
First two rounds can be best-of-5 if they are afraid of the playoffs going too long.
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