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Jim Furtado
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Playoffs Newsbeat

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Joe Torre Confirms Nationals Hurt By Blown Call In NLDS Game 5

The Nats bizarre, bewildering and sometimes-Byzantine Game 5 loss to the Chicago Cubs included more than a bit of controversy, most of it taking place during Max Scherzer’s disastrous four-run fifth inning. And the controversy concerned whether, with two outs and two strikes, Javier Baez should have been allowed to run to first on a passed-ball swinging strike three, since his bat made contact with catcher Matt Wieters.

The rule book seemed clear:

  If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.

Wieters felt the same way; “I believed I was protected under the rule,” he said, and the Nationals did not think there was space for umpire discretion. (Read Kilgore’s breakdown from that night. See also, Jorge Castillo’s breakdown of the entire inning.)

Let the second-guessing resume!

Bote Man Posted: October 26, 2017 at 05:03 PM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: nationals, playoffs, protests, umpiring

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Astros beat Yankees to force Game 7 in ALCS |

The Verlander trade has worked out well for the Astros.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Friday, October 20, 2017

Astros have plans for Ric Flair if Yankees series goes to Game 7 - Houston Chronicle

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message.
Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:54 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Must C: Hernandez’s trio of HRs |

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2017 at 09:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, kiki hernandez, playoffs

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka take 3-2 ALCS lead |

How quickly things can change in the playoffs.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2017 at 07:01 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Cubs hold off Dodgers in Game 4 of NLCS |

These 9 PM East Coast starts are a killer. I fell asleep around the third inning. It looks like I missed a good game.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2017 at 06:59 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ALCS Notebook: Cashman on Yankee Analytics, Luhnow on Hiring Hinch | FanGraphs Baseball

He might actually be the perfect fit in Boston after all.

On Monday, Hinch called Alex Cora (a former infielder) “the hottest managerial candidate on the planet and deservedly so.” Shortly before he shared that hard-to-argue-with opinion, Carlos Beltran weighed in on the Astros’ bench coach:

“Alex brings a lot to the table. He’s a guy that always is looking for information that he could use against the opposite team [and] he provides that information to the players. He has good communication with the guys, he respects the guys. He’s always in the clubhouse getting to know the players, getting to know which buttons he could push on each player to make them go out there and play the game hard.

“Sometimes managers draw a very defined line between players and the manager. Sometimes they get caught up not going to the clubhouse because they don’t want to feel like they’re invading their space. But as a player, I love when managers come to the clubhouse, sit down, talk to us, get to know us, ask about our family, about everything. That, for me, means a lot. Alex does that real well.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2017 at 01:29 PM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Dallas Keuchel embraces the ‘calmness’ of being Yankees killer | New York Post

The Astros will have the right starter on the mound to kill the Yankees’ momentum.

Three years after knocking them from the playoffs — and less than a week removed from dominating them again — Astros ace Dallas Keuchel will be asked to stop the Yankees from inching closer to another improbable playoff comeback Wednesday in Game 5 of the ALCS.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2017 at 11:44 AM | 66 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, yankees

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Cubs could really use 2016 Javier Baez right about now - Chicago Cubs Blog- ESPN

Will Almora’s play push Kyle Schwarber out of Chicago? Schwarber really should be a part-time catcher/full-time DH.

“You’re not going to be perfect,” teammate Albert Almora Jr. said. “You’re going to have your week or two that you’re not feeling at your best. I know I went through it. The way he’s handling it, he’s not bringing anybody down. On the contrary, I actually saw—one of the first guys I saw when I looked into the dugout when I hit the home run [in Game 1] was him cheering.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:47 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Astros’ Lance McCullers will start Game 4 of ALCS - Houston Chronicle

Hinch chose McCullers over Brad Peacock, who had the superior regular season on the whole. Essentially, the Astros are betting on McCullers’ upside. Peacock also has experience out of the bullpen and can be the first pitcher warm if McCullers encounters trouble.
“He’s a really good pitcher,” Hinch said when asked about McCullers. “He’s got really electrifying stuff, some of the best stuff in the big leagues.
“Getting him in a normal routine, normal warmup into the game, big-time breaking ball, the whole league knows it, he’s got a really good fastball. He had a really good bullpen (session) in between his last outing and the next outing (Tuesday).”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2017 at 08:26 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: houston, playoffs, yankees

Frazier’s three-run homer | (video)

I’ve read some complaints about the homer. It’s happened before. It will happen again. Ballparks matter.


Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2017 at 06:21 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, todd frazier, yankees

ALCS Game 3: The mistake pitch that led to the Aaron Judge of old for one at-bat

Judge had a great all-around game. He did a great job getting to the inside fastball on his homer. It was a good job of hitting.

Finally, in his second at-bat of the night, he got it: 93 mph, high for most but right at his belt, inside but not so far he couldn’t whip around the head of his 35-inch, 33-ounce bat, the kind of pitch that can change a series. And not because the three-run home run Judge topspun into the left-field stands at Yankee Stadium had a particularly profound effect on the ultimate outcome of New York’s 8-1 victory over the Astros in Game 3. It didn’t. In case Judge needed a reminder, though, that this hack-a-thon in which he’d participated over the previous two weeks didn’t render moot his ability to play this game as well as anyone still alive in this postseason, well, this was a push notification that went off at the exact right time.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2017 at 06:04 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron judge, astros, playoffs, yankees

Monday, October 16, 2017

OTP 16 October 2017: Sorry, Yankee fans: Trump’s claim that he can ensure victory simply isn’t true

As is sometimes the case with Trump’s tweet’s, his claims don’t hold up. We identified 14 games that Trump has attended since 1988, including two preseason games and the game above. Of those 14 games, the Yankees won eight and lost six — 57 percent of the time during seasons when the Yankees won 60 percent of their games overall.

In other words — Trump might be a jinx.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: October 16, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 1967 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, politics, yankees

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cleveland Indians season ends with sounds of silence—Terry Pluto (photos) |

The Indians had three chances to win one game, three opportunities to keep what was once such a wonderful season alive.

The last chance was at home with ace Corey Kluber on the mound.

And they failed ... again.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2017 at 07:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, playoffs

Didi Gregorius no longer in Derek Jeter’s shadow | Newsday

Ah, the vagaries of postseason. Plus, a new anointed one.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2017 at 07:04 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: didi gregorius, indians, playoffs, yankees

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Dodgers are dominant in sweep of Diamondbacks - LA Times

Yes they were.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 10, 2017 at 09:41 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, playoffs

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Once the broom, Arizona Diamondbacks in danger of getting swept

My preseason wager is in real danger.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2017 at 07:34 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, playoffs

Joe Girardi takes blame, ‘feels horrible’ for Yanks’ Game 2 loss

It really sucked when he gave up the grand slam.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 08, 2017 at 07:20 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, playoffs, yankees

Friday, October 06, 2017

Three homers by Jose Altuve highlight Astros’ Game 1 win - Houston Chronicle

Astros beating Red Sox hitter up in the zone. Altuve just beating baseballs.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2017 at 07:16 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, red sox

Cleveland Indians have a night where everything goes right—Terry Pluto |

The Indians look awfully tough to beat.

For the Cleveland Indians, it was a night for fans screaming until their throats were raw.

And for standing and stomping and waving red towels.

And for Trevor Bauer to throw 6 2/3 scoreless innings ... and then leave the game to a standing ovation.

Tip your cap, Trevor!

And he did just that.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2017 at 07:14 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: indians, playoffs, yankees

Nine Innings: The Red Sox looked bad, but that doesn’t mean it’s over - The Boston Globe

Sox down one. That Verlander guy is pretty, pretty good.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2017 at 07:10 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, playoffs, red sox

Thursday, October 05, 2017

MLB Playoffs: Key relievers to watch for each team - Beyond the Box Score

I still see Musgrove as a starter. The problem I saw was he was in the strike zone too much. The confidence gained in the bullpen might be the jump he needs to become an effective starter. Next year.

Joe Musgrove, RHP, Houston Astros

Musgrove underwhelmed as a starter early this season, posting a 6.12 ERA over 72 innings. But a move to the bullpen has invigorated Musgrove, as he’s posted a 1.44 ERA with a 21.7 percent strikeout-minus-walk rate in 31.1 relief innings.

Struggling starter turned shutdown reliever: it’s a story seemingly as old as time itself. But just because this is a trite tale doesn’t make it any less impactful. The reliever version of Musgrove is adept at getting strikeouts and groundballs, posting a 51.9 percent groundball rate as a reliever. And, you guessed it, can do it over multiple-inning stints.

The Astros bullpen is one of the best ones remaining, despite their inability to find a reliable left-hander. Having an option like Musgrove to pitch in front of Chris Devenski and Ken Giles makes the Astros bullpen a formidable one, lefty or no lefty.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 05, 2017 at 11:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: playoffs, relievers

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cubs beat Cardinals, clinch NL Central title |

How confident are Cubs fans in the team’s pitching heading into the playoffs?

Jim Furtado Posted: September 28, 2017 at 09:01 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, playoffs

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