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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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Royal Relief: the end of the drought

Kansas City’s 29-year absence from the post-season has ended with a bang. But, this is not your typical playoff team.

More after the jump.

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A Few First-Round Game Notes

NLDS Game 3: Nationals 4, Giants 1 — The Nats’ offense was in doubt, to put it mildly. But anyone who expected a pitching mismatch hasn’t watched the last few AL Octobers.

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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). Read the rest of this entry

Where Donnie DID Go Wrong in the 7th

Don’t count me among those who think Don Mattingly rode too long with Clayton Kershaw in this NLDS opener. If there’s a career split that shows Kershaw vulnerable in that 7th-inning situation, I can’t find it:

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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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Circle of Greats: 1913 Part 2 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 73rd round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round completes the addition to the eligible list, begun in the previous round, of those players born in 1913. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

Before this round, Craig Biggio had been eligible for our votes in each of the last 68 rounds of balloting. In last week’s round, he tied for 6th in the voting. But this round he received some strong early support, which seemed to encourage others to jump on a bandwagon that Biggio rode to triumph. Craig becomes the 72nd inductee into the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Biggio and the voting after the jump. Read the rest of this entry

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