What is the sweetest way to win a game of baseball against your closest rival? Is it dominating your opponent in their own backyard? Maybe it’s through an impressive individual performance, perhaps coming from an unlikely source. Or is it a gutsy come-from-behind win, culminating in a walk-off hit in front of a full house of partisans?
If it’s the latter, then it’s difficult to imagine a happier set of fans than those of the Los Angeles Dodgers in June of 1974 after one dramatic series versus the rival San Francisco Giants.
Andrew Benintendi had the most excruciating plate appearance of last night’s World Series Game 2. It wasn’t because he was over-matched against Ryu Hyun-jin’s pitching; there were no Stanton-esque hacks at diving curveballs. Nor was there the nervous tension of accumulating foul balls, piling on the pressure for batter, pitcher and fan alike.
No, the at bat merely took an absolute age.
These two “original 16” franchises renew their post-season “rivalry”, a mere 102 years after their only previous World Series matchup. A look back and a look ahead to this year’s Fall Classic are after the jump. Continue reading
This month began with all three NL races hotly contested, as no division leader held more than a 3½ game lead, with 8 of the 15 teams within 4 games in their division and two more within 7½ games. With two wildcard spots up for grabs, there should be many twists and turns before the five post-season berths are finally determined on or about September 30th.
This post takes a look back at some similar Septembers since the three division league alignment was introduced in 1994. Specifically, I’ll be looking at seasons when a league’s three division leaders all had no more than a 5 game lead as September play began. More after the jump.
Brandon Belt last Sunday turned in a 3 for 5 afternoon, including a home run, to lead his Giants to a 4-2 win over the AL West-leading Angels. But, the talk of the game was not Belt’s three hits or his home run, but rather his first inning line out on a 3-2 pitch, the 21st pitch of that AB. That is the most pitches in a single plate appearance since MLB started officially recording such things in 1988. More after the jump on marathon plate appearances. Continue reading
The Fall Classic starts Tuesday matching two up-and-coming young clubs with just enough veteran presence. The Astros make their second World Series appearance, but first as the AL champion while the Dodgers carry the NL honors for the 19th time in the modern era and 22nd overall. Both teams reached the century mark in wins, the Dodgers on the strength of league leading pitching results, and the Astros with firsts in nearly every offensive category. More after the jump.
That NL wild card game was a doozy.
There are just SO many stats from unusual things that happened. See below for a long list. Continue reading
The post-season is here, beginning with the wildcard round and its one game winner-take-all contests.
Yesterday, I looked at the AL match-up. Tonight is the NL’s turn. More after the jump.
These two NL West teams seem destined to face each other in the one-game crapshoot known as the wildcard game. The Rockies were division leaders as recently as Jun 20, then lost eight straight to drop down to third where they’ve remained since (aside from a few brief forays into second place, the last on Aug 20). The D-Backs haven’t led since Jun 1 and have mostly held down second place since then. This three game set is the final series between these two, with Arizona holding a 9-6 season edge going in. More after the jump.
The front runners in the NL Central squared off last weekend in Milwaukee. The Brewers had held down top spot for 60 straight days until the Cubs caught them last week, with the Baby Bears holding a 1½ game lead entering this series. The Northsiders were riding high with an 11-2 run since the All-Star break while Milwaukee had hit the skids with a 2-9 swoon.