NL Keeps Coming Through in the Clutch

With the Giants’ impressive sweep of the 2012 World Series, the National League claimed its third straight championship.  The senior circuit has won each of the last three All-Star Games, affording its membership home field advantage in all three World Series.  They’ve then vanquished their cross-newspaper rivals each time, only once playing enough games to render that advantage meaningful.  That’s 15 wins and four losses for the small-ballers when it counts.

The only argument against the Nationals’ dominance is those pesky interleague games in the regular season, of which the burly sluggers have won 53.8% (407-349) since 2010.  The message is clear: the American League is assembling the talent to compete its double-switching counterparts, but the junior circuit lacks the grit, hustle, and determination to win when it matters.

I recommend that the AL trade for Marco Scutaro this offseason.  And see if they can get David Eckstein back.

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61 Comments on "NL Keeps Coming Through in the Clutch"

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Forrest
Guest

If you got back to ’06, the NL has won 5 of the past 7 World Series. Before that, it was very AL dominated… beating the NL in 10 out of 14 series (1991-2005). It does seem like the AL has the better league, but they lack that Charlie Hustle style need to win.

John Autin
Editor

If the NL pulls off 3 more sweeps in a row, they will overtake the non-Yankees AL contingent in all-time wins for both WS games and Series.

AL record in Series: 62-46
– Yankees: 27-13
– Non-Yankees: 35-33

AL record in WS games: 340-285
– Yankees: 134-90
– Non-Yankees: 206-195

P.S. to P-I users — Last night’s game does turn up in a WS Game Finder, but not if you choose “Last game”.

Mike L
Guest

All I can say is that every American League fan, as a matter of league pride, should be grateful for the Bombers….

John Autin
Editor

NL winning the Series 3+ years in a row:

2010-12 – 3 years, 2 teams
1979-82 – 4 years, 4 teams
1963-65 – 3 years, 2 teams
1907-09 – 3 years, 2 teams

no statistician but
Guest
Going by decades—and leaving out the 1903, -05 to -09 startup—the NL in the WS has only won one decade, the 1960s, by a margin of 6-4, and tied one, the 1980’s. The 1910’s saw the AL take 8 of 10, the 1930s 7 of 10. In the remaining decades the AL won 6 each time, including the 1990s when there were but 9 contests. Will the NL break out in the 2010-2019 decade? The 1980s also started with three wins, but the AL came back with five wins by five different teams. My thinking, being an AL fan: the… Read more »
scott-53
Guest

Could Start counting in 1920. The dead-ball era ended in 1919. That would include 92 WS in the live-ball (Clean) era. No World Series played in 1994 strike shortened season.

scott-53
Guest

From 1903-1919 it was common for a ball to be used beyond 100 pitches per game.

no statistician but
Guest

scott:

I don’t quite understand how your comments, though interesting, connect to mine. Styles of play and conditions of play have varied for more reasons than you indicate, but the two leagues have endured. As for playing with clean balls, live or dead, both leagues faced those issues concurrently.

scott-53
Guest

I’m not positive, but the teams may have supplied their own balls to pitch with. Possible league mandate for teams or the league to share the cost of balls. That was after an actual death in 1919 to a batter that was struck in the head by a pitched ball that was hard to see and had a lot of motion because of wear and tear. The batter played for the Cleveland Indians.

scott-53
Guest

@29&30 Just did a search.The actual death and game occurred in august 1920. Ray Chapman was the batter for the Cleveland Indians. He died 12 hours after being struck in the head with a pitch. This came during a game with the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds.

The game took place 8-16-1920.

Larry
Guest

The pitcher was Carl Mays. Ray Chapman was well-liked and respected throughout the league. IIRC he had recently married and was considering early retirement to enter into his father-in-laws business, to add to the tragedy. Carl Mays was not well-liked at all. He was considered a head-hunter. Brief consideration was given to bringing him up on manslaughter charges.

I believe that incident caused MLB to order that baseballs put in play be fresh, or at least fresher than Fido’s chew toy like they used to be. The spitball/licorice ball/tobacco juice ball were banned too, except for a handful of grandfathered pitchers

scott-53
Guest

Larry

Think the balls were already in play. Babe Ruth went from 29 home runs in 1919 to 54 home runs in 1920. There were charges that the ball was juiced in 1920 much like 1987.(Probably brought up by the pitchers).

kds
Guest
Ruth went from Fenway in 1919 to the Polo Grounds in 1920. He hit 9 at home and 20 on the road in ’19. Fenway was a very bad HR park for LHB’s. (It became somewhat better when they moved in the RF wall by putting the bullpens there.) The Polo Grounds were, famously, very short down the lines, c., 250 ft. Also, the schedule in 1919 was only 140 games, in 1920 it was back to 154. He hit 29 of his 54 in ’20 at home and 25 on the road. I don’t think that there is any… Read more »
scott-53
Guest

kds

HOW about the top 10 pitchers and how many home runs were given up. 1918=63 1919=88 1920=118. Almost a 100% increase over 2 seasons.

Source =(baseballreference.com)

scott-53
Guest

This is my biggest gripe. When it counts for these guys for at least the past 10 seasons is contract time.

scott-53
Guest

If you count total salaries for only the top 15 players on each teams roster, who is winning at contract time? You could move Milwaukee back over to the American League to even out the number of teams at 15 teams each. I’ll guess the American league. Do the Royals still send a paycheck to their closer from the 1980’s Dan Q.? Maybe deferred income should also be counted.

Jason Z
Guest

Scott-

Not to shock you, but the fact that you brought up
Dan Quisenberry in the way you did, I am not sure
if you knew that he passed away on September 30, 1998
from brain cancer at 45 years old.

Also, you seem to have an interest in the tragedy of
Ray Chapman.

That being the case, I would reccomend a book called
The Pitch That Killed. It is written by Mike Sowell.

I read it over twenty years ago and it is an outstanding
book.

scott-53
Guest

Thanks Jason did not know or remember about Quisenberry or the book. Both were a long time ago. DO you remember the terms of Quisenberry’s contract. He was set to be paid long after 1998. Yearly for 15 or 20 years after retirement. Maybe longer.

scott-53
Guest

Found it. In 1985 Quisenberry signed 41 year deal for $49.3 million. Bruce Sutter from the Cardnals had a similar deal. George Brett also had a deferred income contract back then.(Yahoo Search)

Hartvig
Guest

I suspect Quisenberry’s wife and two children were very grateful for the way that contract was structured after his untimely death.

bstar
Guest

Scott, from your suggestion about moving Milwaukee back to the AL I am inferring that you are not yet aware that Houston is moving to the AL next spring to even out the leagues at 15/15. There will be an interleague series going on all the time instead of everyone playing their interleague games at specified periods.

scott-53
Guest

Thanks bstar, Had not heard that one. AL West could use another team. Did not hurt the Pittsburgh Steelers when the NFL moved them to the American Football Conference along with the Browns and Colts in 1970.

bstar
Guest

Yep, they’re going to the AL West.

birtelcom
Editor

AL still at 62 World Championships to NL now at 46. In World Series that don’t include the Yankees, it’s 35 AL to 33 NL.

scott-53
Guest

AL was 10-6 during dead ball era. (1903-1919)

That would make it 27 NL to 25 AL in non-Yankee Series.

scott-53
Guest

That would make it 27 NL to 25 AL since 1920.

birtelcom
Editor

Over the past 20 seasons, only two teams have collectively averaged less than 0.5 home runs hit at home during the regular season: the 2012 World Champion Giants, who as a team hit an average of .38 home runs a game in their home games, and the 2010 Mariners (.43 homers per home game) who at 61-101 had a better record than only the Pirates that season.

scott-53
Guest

Giants might 3-peat.

birtelcom
Editor
Sergio Romo became the 87th pitcher to have been on the mound for the final out of a victorious final game of the World Series. Nine men have accomplished this feat more than once: Mariano Rivera has done it four times, and eight pitchers have done it twice. Two of those eight were the great 1960s starters, Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax. Three of the eight became best known pitching in relief for the Yankees in the decades before relief pitching became a widely accepted specialty: Johnny Murphy in the 1930s, Joe Page in the 1940s and Bob Kuzava in… Read more »
scott-53
Guest

Lots of competition for for Giants closer. Romo only had 14 of the 43 Giants right handed saves. Casilla had 25. Maybe.

Mark in Sydney
Guest

Trade for Marco? Hasn’t he spent most of his career tooling around the AL (OAK, TOR, BOS)? Then discarded as a has-been journeyman? Perhaps the obsession with power might be the key. Didn’t Tampa have a lot of success with a small-ball game?

scott-53
Guest

Yes, Tampa still having success with small-ball and young pitchers.

scott-53
Guest

Tampa Rays W-L Record 2008-2012 = 458-352.

Tampa Devil Rays W-L Record 2003-2007 = 327-482.

scott-53
Guest

Averaging 26.2 wins per season more the past 5 years.

Ed
Guest

One other thing I noticed…of the last 6 times that the team with the worse record has won the WS, five of them have been NL teams. Which is a bit surprising. Since the AL has generally been the stronger team in recent years, you’d expect their teams to be more adept at pulling of the upset.

scott-53
Guest

When did the NBA come up with that slogan… It went something like “Lose and you get to go home”. Something like that.

bstar
Guest

I think it may have just been TNT/TBS instead of the NBA, scott. I remember it too, I thought it was simply, “Lose or go home”, and it was around five years ago (just guessing there).

scott-53
Guest

Going by record only. The Tigers came in 7th out of 14 teams in the A.L.

The Giants came in tied for third out 16 N.L. teams.

Stuart
Guest
If it seems like every time the NL wins the World Series it’s been an underdog, that’s because no NL team has been a favorite all the way through the playoffs and won the World Series since the 1986 Mets! Since then, the NL has won 11 World Series, but only 3 times did the NL champ have more wins than the AL champ. Those teams were the ’12 Giants, the ’10 Giants, and the ’97 Marlins. And all of them were underdogs at some point during the NL playoffs. In fact, none of those 11 NL World Series champions… Read more »
Ed
Guest

Ah great addition Stuart to my rather rudimentary post. The one thing I would note is that the ’95 Braves certainly would have won 95+ games in a full 162 game season.

bstar
Guest

You’re right, Ed, and I’m sure you know the Indians DID win 100 games out of 144 in ’95. They could have challenged for the all-time wins record with a full slate of games.

scott-53
Guest

The 1986 Mets were big underdogs to win the World Series at some point during game 6 if I remember correctly.

scott-53
Guest

Yes, I remembered correctly. (baseball reference.com)has a win probability of 99-1 that the Red Sox close out that series in 6 games when they had a 5-3 lead over the Mets in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Mets were batting with 2 outs and nobody on base. The Mets came back and won game 6. Then went on to win game 7 at home.

Exciting game 6. I was watching it in a Hotel room in Ohio with a $50 bet on the Mets to win game 6.

Larry
Guest

Imagine if the Yankees had somehow beaten out the Tigers and the WS ended up at Yankee Stadium in a NYC paralyzed by Sandy. I guess Selig would have just moved the remaining games to Miller Stadium. Worked for tha Astros and Ike, didn’t it?

Mike L
Guest

Bud hates the Yankees. He would have forced them to play all the games in San Francisco.

birtelcom
Editor
Since 1955, the Giants franchise has had an overall regular season win-loss percentage of .517. The Giants over that same period have played 86 post-season games. A .517 winning percentage applied to 86 games would produce 44 to 45 wins. Through 2009, the Giants had played in 55 post-season games since 1955 and won only 23 of them, a terrible .418 win percentage in their post season games, resulting in zero World Series rings. So then they turn around and over the past three seasons win 22 of 31 post-season games, for a total of 45 wins in 86 post-season… Read more »
scott-53
Guest

Or 23-32 + 22-9 = 45-41.
Nice observation birt.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest
#36 – Babe Ruth’s HR explosion in 1920: he explanation is quite simple – Ruth went from a very tough HR park in 1919 (Fenway Park), to a great HR park for him in 1920 (The Polo Grounds). In 1919, Ruth hit 9 of his 29 HR at Fenway (20 HR on the road). That doesn’t sound very impressive, but the rest of the Red Sox hit _three_ HR the entire year! He also hit 4 HR in 11 games at the Polo Grounds. Plus, the 1919 season was only 140 games. SO… 1920 projected ROAD HRs =(20 HR +10%)… Read more »
scott-53
Guest

Not exactly. (See post #40) The top ten home run hitters also did much better in 1920.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

kds –
sorry for duplicating some of your #39,I was just starting/researching my reply.

#43 – Again, I don’t think it had much to do with the ball; I think that many more hitters in 1920 were following the example of Ruth and were deliberately trying to hit HRs, instead of place-hitting.

scott-53
Guest

Still results were the “Live Ball Era”.

Hartvig
Guest

Now is the winter of my discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of Detroit;
And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the San Francisco Bay buried.

no statistician but
Guest

Just so long as you don’t murder the Prince, even if you got a hunch back during the Series, that he was no baserunner. Beware any rookie named Bosworth, especially if he can field.

Hartvig
Guest

I just realized I missed a great opportunity by saying Detroit instead of the new house of York, in honor of old Rudy.

But San Francisco Bay was still more alliterative than my original thought of McCovey’s Cove.

scott-53
Guest

First time AL Central has faced the NL West in the World Series. San Fran might show up again “next year”. The Yankees look doubtful.

Only about 150 days until opening day.

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