Author Archives: John Autin

Short Rest in October: The Tipping Point

The Cardinals-Dodgers NLDS finale is feeding the talk of a Cards curse on Clayton Kershaw. But it shouldn’t. No matter what’s gone before in their meetings, this episode was just a pitcher tiring from short rest.

That’s just my opinion, but there’s evidence behind it. Start with the previous five short-rest postseason starts that went beyond 100 pitches:

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Game Notes Sees the Days Dwindle to a Precious Four

The playoff spots are almost locked up, if not the slots, but we’ll let that play out. Meanwhile … Monday’s six shutouts made 340 this year — one more than 1968, and second-most in the live-ball era (1972, 357). But there are many more teams now. This year’s shutout rate as a percentage of all games is 7.3%, ranking 22nd out of 95 live-ball seasons; 1968 and ’72 rank one-two at 10.4% and 9.6%. There really is no basis for likening this season (4.08 runs per team-game) to 1968 (3.42) or even ’72 (3.69). Just don’t try telling that to those who’ve watched the Pirates and Padres of late….

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Game Notes from the Next-to-Last Weekend

(Answers to the “betcha” challenges are at the bottom.)

Games of Sunday, 9/21

@PIT 1, MIL 0 — Crucial gaffes in the late innings put Milwaukee’s postseason hopes on life support. A passed ball and a wild pitch in the 7th set up Russell Martin’s RBI hit, scoring Andrew McCutchen with the only run. Carlos Gomez singled to start the 9th, but he was caught straying from second with no outs after an infield hit. Vance Worley blanked the Brewers on four singles over eight stanzas, leaving for a pinch-hitter after just 82 pitches.

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Game Notes: Coming Down to the Final Ten

A point of interest for some AL contenders: The last ALCS team that ranked below 5th in on-base percentage was the 2006 Tigers. Seattle (15th), Kansas City (11th) and Baltimore (10th) are swimming against that tide. For the World Series, just one of the last 14 participants ranked below league average in OBP.

  • By the way, and stating the obvious — Virtually all my data comes from the essential

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Random Game Notes, through Thursday 9/11

Hey, gang — I’ve been tied up for a bit, getting my house ready to sell … Here’s some scattered game notes from recent weeks:

Thursday, Sept. 11 — After falling to Chris Sale by 1-0, Oakland’s latest 2-7 stretch includes seven one-run defeats … I don’t know if I can add anything to the “what happened?” analysis, better known as “how much do they miss Cespedes?” But I looked into their batting splits before and after the trade, with a focus on high-leverage situations — searching for signs of pressing.

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Game Notes looks back from Monday, 8/25

Monday’s home teams went 2-8. That’s no big deal, but the MLB home win percentage is .520 this year, the lowest full-season mark since 1971. The past 10 years averaged .542 –a two-win difference over 81 games, compared to this year’s figure. Seven of the top 12 teams by overall W% have a better record on the road, including three division leaders.

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