Your thoughts? Here are a few of my disordered brainwaves:
The LDS series begin later this week. After the jump, a quick look at the players who have historically fared the best and the worst in the LDS round.
Also, a look at which teams match up best and worst with which other teams, based on this season’s play.
All of the players in today’s quiz were active before the end of World War II. Except one, who needs no introduction. But, what season feat have only these players accomplished in the history of major league baseball?
Congratulations to Bix! He correctly identified that only the players in today’s quiz have played every inning of every game at one position, including the post-season, for a World Series winning team. Only Billy Johnson did this to start his career. Among this year’s playoff teams, only Prince Fielder and Joey Votto played every game, but neither played every inning (resting your regulars for the post-season is evidently a more recent strategy).
ERA+ has issues. This was brought to my attention awhile ago by Sky Kalkman (see the Storify for lots of gruesome details). I’ve written about some of the issues with ERA+ as they relate to Rick Reuschel. But today I want to bring up something different.
I was looking at the ERA+ career leaders (you know, because Mariano Rivera). I found this:
Only 40 pitchers have an ERA+ of 130 or better (1000+ IP). 174 hitters have an OPS+ of 130 or better (3000+ PA).
— Adam Darowski (@baseballtwit) September 30, 2013
While attention was focused on the sprint to the finish for the AL wild card contenders, Miami quietly completed a weekend sweep of the AL Central champion Tigers with a 1-0 walk-off win in the first no-hit game pitched by Henderson Alvarez.
In the first ever season-ending inter-league game, Alvarez required only 99 pitches to retire the Tigers who reached base only 3 times, on a 1st inning hit by pitch, a 5th inning error and a 9th inning walk, all with two outs. No Tiger would reach second base.
The players in this quiz are the only pitchers since 1916 to achieve a certain game feat. What is this unusual pitching accomplishment?
Congratulations to Chris C and Insert Name Here! They teamed up to identify the players in the quiz as the only US-born pitchers who, in a regulation 9-inning (or longer) game since 1916, suffered a 1-0 CG loss on a home run, despite allowing no walks and no more than 3 hits. Cliff Lee and James Shields are the most recent additions to this club, with starts in the final week of this season and last. More after the jump.
Take a look at Fangraphs’ Wins Above Replacement leader board for position players since 2010 and you’ll notice plenty of familiar suspects among the top 10. There’s Miguel Cabrera sitting on top of the pile, followed closely by Robinson Cano and Joey Votto. Andrew McCutchen and his long flowing locks sit in the middle, as do a pair of popular AL 3rd basemen. Baseball’s next legend Mike Trout sits near the bottom of the list of 10, despite having spent what equates to an entire season in the minors. Suspended slugger Ryan Braun rounds out the bottom of the group. Tucked in among those perennial All-Stars and highlight-making machines is one of the last guys you would ever suspect: Ben Zobrist.
The Rays’ super-utility All-Star has carved out a highly valuable, highly important role on Joe Maddon’s roster by acting as the franchise’s Swiss army knife. Do you need someone to cover 3rd base in order to give Evan Longoria a day off? Call on Zobrist. Do you need a right fielder until Wil Myers is good and ready for the big leagues? Zobrist. How about a middle infielder who can make all the plays? Zobrist, Zobrist, Zobrist. He affords Joe Maddon a level of flexibility that few other players in baseball history can match and he’s been doing it for years now.
Hello everybody! Over the next few days I am going to be doing a series of articles previewing the playoffs. Since predicting 5 or 7 game series is a pointless endeavor, I am instead going to rank the remaining teams in particular areas. These are somewhat subjective, due to the fact that teams change over the course of a season, I can’t just go simply by WAR. I am well aware these articles are somewhat cliche, but they are fun and pretty much the only way to do a playoff preview that is worth a damn. A few notes before we begin; until we have a more clear picture as to what teams are going to be in the AL wildcard I will be including 11 teams instead of 10. The 11 teams are BOS, DET, OAK, CLE, TBR, TEX, ATL, STL, LAD, PIT, and CIN. Once one of the 11 is eliminated I will no longer include them. Also these rankings are just based on current starters, I will be doing a bench rankings later, but players don’t get rest days in the postseason. One final note, I am including catcher in the middle infield list. You may feel it should be it’s own separate category, but you aren’t writing this are you? Sorry, that was uncalled for, anywho off to the rankings. Continue reading
Have you been keeping up with our podcast? You can get to it on the podcast page, listed above, or just click here.
On Episode 11, Gary Thurman Family Reunion, Adam and I sit down to discuss the Veterans Committee Hall of Fame voting process, the SABR Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legends commitee, the Gary Thurman 1988 Topps blog post I made 5 years ago, playoff format and timelines, as well as delve into a bit of trivia about Rockies and Marlins managers.
Enter in our free contest by doing this:
– Listen to Episode 11 of the HHS podcast
– In between the segments, there are some brief audio clips from a historical game or series. Listen to those clips, and identify the game or series the clips are from.
– Email in the answer to email@example.com
We’ll randomly pick one winning entry to receive a $15 iTunes giftcard!
John was at the Stadium tonight for the home sendoff for Mariano. So, a few quick notes on tonight’s abbreviated schedule from your pinch-hitting reporter.
You have to hand it to the AL wild card hopefuls. Down to the last week and all three have gone into refuse-to-lose mode. The Rays and Indians have now both won seven straight and the Rangers have won their last four. But, the playoff chances for Texas have now dipped below 20%, while the Rays and Indians are both north of 80%.
Only 9 games on the sched, but 6 were decided by just one run, including two walk-off wins. More after the jump.