Game Notes from the ALCS Opener

ALCS Game 1: Royals 8, @Orioles 6 — That’s eight straight postseason wins for the Royals since 1985. A five-and-oh postseason start would have left a team two wins from the title in 1984; to put that another way, KC is still seven victories from shocking the world, which was a full champion’s portion that year. But don’t bet against them. The Royals don’t know it’s a damn show; they think it’s a damn fight.

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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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Joe Smith: no ordinary Joe

One of the nice things about playoff baseball is the opportunity to watch teams that you don’t see that often and, in so doing, see some players that may have flown under your radar. One such player is the Angels’ Joe Smith, a pitcher with a profile as anonymous as his name, but with a very different pedigree.

More after the jump on an anything but ordinary Joe.

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Let’s Play Two (Games Worth of Innings)

The previous record for most post-season innings pitched by a staff in one game, while allowing no more than one run, was 14 innings, in the famous Game 2 of the 1916 World Series. As many HHS readers will know, the “pitching staff” that held that record was 21-year-old Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox, who restrained Brooklyn to one run (an inside-the-park-homer in the first inning) over fourteen innings. Ruth also drove in the only run the Red Sox scored until they finally recorded the game-winner in the bottom of the 14th off Brooklyn starter Sherry Smith (Bio). Continue reading

Post-Season Cornucopia

Four post-season games today, after two yesterday, and the weekend’s just beginning. Here’s your chance to comment on the autumn harvest-time activities. A few tidbits to start you off:

–So far as I can tell, no team has ever won three post-season extra-inning games in a row before. Here’s your chance, KC.

–Until the Tigers did it last night, no AL team in 2014 had hit three homers in a game in which they scored only three runs.

–The Orioles franchise has now had, after the early game today, five games in the post-season in which their starter has produced a game score of less than 35. The O’s are now 4-1 in those five games.

Quiz – Triple Triumvirate (solved)

This season marks only the fifth time in major league history that three active players have had three or more seasons with a particular batting accomplishment. The players involved on those occasions are shown below. What is this unusual batting feat?

Congratulations to Richard Chester! With some help from others, he correctly identified that only in the years indicated were there three active players who had then compiled  3 seasons of 6 WAR, 35 home runs and 100 walks. Three such seasons is quite rare, with only two players achieving that feat in addition to those above. At no time have more than 3 active players concurrently achieved that distinction. More after the jump.

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