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Monday, September 10, 2012

AL playoff race: September 10, 2012

AL East

NYY 79-61 [4-5 in SEPT]
BAL 78-62 [5-4 in SEPT] (1 GB)
TBR 77-63 [6-2 in SEPT] (2 GB)

AL Central

CWS 76-64 [4-5 in SEPT]
DET 73-67 [3-6 in SEPT] (3 GB)

AL West

TEX 83-57 [5-4 in SEPT]
OAK 80-60 [6-3 in SEPT] (3 GB)

AL Wildcard

OAK 80-60 [6-3 in SEPT]
BAL 78-62 [5-4 in SEPT]
TBR 77-63 [6-2 in SEPT] (1 GB)
LAA 77-64 [6-3 in SEPT] (1.5 GB)
DET 73-67 [3-6 in SEPT] (5 GB)

MLB.com: Rios, A.J. go back-to-back; White Sox up three
MLB.com: Parker pitches A’s to 10th straight road victory

NTNgod Posted: September 10, 2012 at 11:05 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, athletics, orioles, pennant race, rangers, rays, tigers, white sox, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: September 10, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4232165)
I think the Tigers are done.
   2. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 10, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4232171)
Yeah, they are pretty much out of the wild card picture at this point. They can make it up against Chicago, however.
   3. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM (#4232212)
Angels, A's in a tight one.
   4. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:36 AM (#4232216)
A's WIN.... just three games back.
   5. Squash Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:51 AM (#4232225)
Here comes three weeks of agony.
   6. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4232229)
It has been a very bad week for the Tigers. :(

I don't see a post for the NL races, but it seems the Brewers and Phillies have very quietly crept back into the playoff race, thanks to the second wild card. If the Cardinals lose tonight, which appears very likely, both the Brewers and Phillies will be only 5 games out, despite being under .500.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4232241)
I've got to admit that all season I've just been figuring the Tigers would get it together and overtake the White Sox but it sure doesn't look like it. It must be very frustrating for them (OPS+ and ERA+):

Det 104 109
CWS 97 107

And looking back, I still don't get the idea of moving Cabrera to 3B. He's handled the position well enough it seems so in that sense it worked and was genius. But it was done to get the bats of Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch and Quentin Berry and Andy Dirks (who at least has hit really well) into the lineup. Surely they'd have been better off finding a good defensive 3B and Cabrera/Fielder at DH.

Det LF: 742 OPS
Det RF: 628 OPS
Det DH: 709 OPS

Inge has been terrible this year and has still out-OPS'd the Det RF by 30 points even with most of his playing time coming with the A's.

The gamble paid off ... and the Tigers did nothing to take advantage of it.

Also although Infante had to be better than what they had, he's still put up only a 77 OPS+ in Detroit -- bad luck on that move.
   8. Squash Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:19 AM (#4232271)
From the article:

The A's have hit a Major League-leading 81 home runs since the All-Star break.

Over 54 games (i.e. exactly 1/3 of the season). The season grows weirder.
   9. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:30 AM (#4232274)
I've got to admit that all season I've just been figuring the Tigers would get it together and overtake the White Sox but it sure doesn't look like it. It must be very frustrating for them (OPS+ and ERA+):

Det 104 109
CWS 97 107


The Tigers are 17-24 in one-run games, second worst in the AL. Through Aug. 23, they were a typical 17-16 in one-run games, but since then, 8 of their 10 losses have been by one run.

For a Tiger fan, should that be good or bad news? Is it bad luck that's about to turn around? Is it a sign of something wrong with the bullpen/manager/clutch-ness?
   10. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 11, 2012 at 03:02 AM (#4232279)
It's bad news, because losses are losses. Since 1987, if it's close race and the Tigers are in it, they're the ones that fold down the stretch.
   11. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 11, 2012 at 04:01 AM (#4232285)
It's bad news, because losses are losses. Since 1987, if it's close race and the Tigers are in it, they're the ones that fold down the stretch.

*Sigh.* You're probably right. Even in 2006, when they made it to the World Series, they sputtered into the wild card with five straight losses (12-16 record in Sept./Oct.) after being in first place every day of the season since May 16.

Now I'm even more depressed.
   12. steagles Posted: September 11, 2012 at 04:28 AM (#4232287)
And looking back, I still don't get the idea of moving Cabrera to 3B. He's handled the position well enough it seems so in that sense it worked and was genius. But it was done to get the bats of Delmon Young and Brennan Boesch and Quentin Berry and Andy Dirks (who at least has hit really well) into the lineup. Surely they'd have been better off finding a good defensive 3B and Cabrera/Fielder at DH.
i believe that, at the time it was decided to move miguel cabrera to 3B, the planned DH was going to be victor martinez, who was coming off of a year where he hit .330/.380/.470. i think he tore an ACL, though, and he hasn't played all season.

AL Central

CWS 76-64 [4-5 in SEPT]
DET 73-67 [3-6 in SEPT] (3 GB)

AL Wildcard

OAK 80-60 [6-3 in SEPT]
BAL 78-62 [5-4 in SEPT]
TBR 77-63 [6-2 in SEPT] (1 GB)
LAA 77-64 [6-3 in SEPT] (1.5 GB)
DET 73-67 [3-6 in SEPT] (5 GB)


also, if i'm reading this right, if the season ended today, there would be 3 american league teams who don't make the playoffs despite having a better record than a team who will.
   13. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: September 11, 2012 at 05:09 AM (#4232288)
The Tigers is dead.
   14. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 11, 2012 at 05:50 AM (#4232289)
i believe that, at the time it was decided to move miguel cabrera to 3B, the planned DH was going to be victor martinez, who was coming off of a year where he hit .330/.380/.470. i think he tore an ACL, though, and he hasn't played all season.

Victor Martinez got hurt before Fielder was signed. That was one of the driving reasons for signing Fielder -- they suddenly needed another hitter.

It is strange, though, as Walt and many others have pointed out, that instead of giving the DH slot that opened up when Cabrera agreed to move to 3B* to another hitter, they used it for the likes of Delmon Young, Ryan Raburn, Brennan Boesch, Quintin Berry, Brandon Inge (irony?), Gerald Laird, and Don Kelly (I sh!t you not on those last two -- both had 2 games at DH, as many as Fielder).

I guess after they signed Fielder there wasn't much on the free-agent market, but anything would be better than... nothing. Tiger DHs are hitting an anemic .263/.295/.413 this year, while their third basemen (mostly Cabrera, of course) are hitting .335/.398/.586. Like Walt said, there's a big missed opportunity there. Even if they had made the Bizarro World move of keeping Inge, a good defensive player, but playing him exclusively at DH with Cabrera staying at 3B, they would have been better off.

* I give Cabrera major credit as a "team player" for doing this. Not only did he not complain about moving to third, he seemed excited about it and has ended up being pretty average over there -- which is obviously much better than most people expected. Not too many superstars are willing to cheerfully move to a new position, especially to allow an inferior (offensively and defensively) player to take theirs. Take a hint, Michael Young.
   15. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 11, 2012 at 06:12 AM (#4232291)
Even in 2006, when they made it to the World Series, they sputtered into the wild card with five straight losses (12-16 record in Sept./Oct.) after being in first place every day of the season since May 16.


Yep. It was a gut punch even though making the playoffs at all felt wonderful on top of it. Under the new rules, I'd have been despondent. I don't particularly remember them resting anyone much down the stretch, either, so there's no reason to think it wouldn't still happen the same way.
   16. RollingWave Posted: September 11, 2012 at 06:43 AM (#4232295)
I must say this is one of the most interesting playoff picture I've seen... that second wild card really adds a much deeper dimension here.
   17. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:21 AM (#4232361)
I don't know what's worse as an irrational Tigers fan, this or 2007. This was a long, slow, painful death. 2007 was seeing light at the end of the tunnel and finding out it was a semi-truck at the very last second.
   18. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:25 AM (#4232368)
I don't know what's worse as an irrational Tigers fan, this or 2007. This was a long, slow, painful death. 2007 was seeing light at the end of the tunnel and finding out it was a semi-truck at the very last second.

Hey, how do you think Illitch feels? He's paying for all these guys and Death is a-comin'!

Also, don't give up. It ain't over 'til it's over and all that baseball wisdom. Yogi wouldn't say it if it wasn't true.
   19. SG Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4232383)
I've got to admit that all season I've just been figuring the Tigers would get it together and overtake the White Sox but it sure doesn't look like it. It must be very frustrating for them (OPS+ and ERA+):

Det 104 109
CWS 97 107


The Tigers have given up a lot more unearned runs than the average AL team (1.12 R/ER vs. 1.08 R/ER for everyone else) which is something not captured in ERA+. According to Baseball Reference they're also the worst base running team in the league at -8.

Conversely, the White Sox are at a 1.05 R/ER ratio and at +3 for baserunning.

So you've got about a win on the bases and about four wins in runs/earned runs between the two.
   20. Shredder Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM (#4232435)
I have a bad feeling about this series. Angels snap a long A's winning streak - go on to sweep the series. A's snap a long Angels winning streak - .....
   21. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4232446)
I have a bad feeling about this series. Angels snap a long A's winning streak - go on to sweep the series. A's snap a long Angels winning streak - .....

I'm just hoping for a split. That said, I like the pitching matchups for the A's the rest of the series. You guys missed Griffin and Anderson in the games at Oakland and I like Straily more than Williams in today's game. Of course, the A's don't have a Pujols or a Trout. Just give me my split!
   22. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4232451)
also, if i'm reading this right, if the season ended today, there would be 3 american league teams who don't make the playoffs despite having a better record than a team who will.
The only team ever screwed out of a playoff berth was the 1981 Reds.
   23. Danny Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4232574)
AL fWAR leaders for the past 30 days:

1) Adrian Beltre, 2.1
2) Josh Donaldson, 1.7

What a difference a half makes. Donaldson's splits:

1st Half: .153/.160/.235, 100 PA, 26:1 K:BB
2nd Half: .326/.398/.609, 103 PA, 13:9 K:BB
   24. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4232587)
What a difference a half makes. Donaldson's splits:

1st Half: .153/.160/.235, 100 PA, 26:1 K:BB
2nd Half: .326/.398/.609, 103 PA, 13:9 K:BB


He's really figured something out. Maybe just going back to Sacramento and mashing for a while gave him the confidence he needed. I've been pleasantly surprised by his fielding, too. The Rich Harden trade finally pays off!
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4232594)
The only team ever screwed out of a playoff berth was the 1981 Reds.


What about the 1981 Cardinals?

   26. BDC Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4232616)
What about the 1981 Cardinals?

1972 Red Sox weren't unscrewed, either.
   27. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4232618)
What about the 1981 Cardinals?
They didn't have the best record in baseball.

If you have the best record in your league, you should be in the playoffs. Anything else, and you're only in because of the structure of the playoff system.
   28. Jim Wisinski Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4232625)
that instead of giving the DH slot that opened up when Cabrera agreed to move to 3B* to another hitter, they used it for the likes of Delmon Young,


Hell, putting Delmon Young at the DH spot for the majority of the games is the smartest thing they've done with this situation, he's a garbage fielder. That's just making the best of their own dumb mistakes though, bringing him back for a full season in the first place is the real problem.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4232632)
If you have the best record in your league, you should be in the playoffs. Anything else, and you're only in because of the structure of the playoff system.


You were the one who specified playoffs, which in baseball involves activity beyond simply the World Series. Thus a team that had the best record in its division that didn't make the playoffs (while teams below it did) would also have to qualify as getting screwed. If a league is just taking the team with the best record, then you ain't go no playoffs.

   30. esseff Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4232652)
Since the introduction of the wild card, 17 teams have missed the postseason despite having better records than at least one playoff team from their league.

The high for one league is four teams -- the Cardinals, Astros, Mets and Marlins in 2008, though the Marlins deserve an asterisk, since they might not have made the grade if not for an unplayed makeup. The 2008 Yankees also qualify, for a total of five teams that season.

The list (I could well have missed someone; it was a quick search. Also, I didn't include teams that only tied the record of the lowest playoff team, and didn't include teams cross-league, e.g., the 3 AL non-playoff teams that had records better than the 82-80 Padres in 2005):

1997 Dodgers and Mets
2000 Indians
2001 Giants
2003 Mariners
2005 Phillies, Marlins and Mets
2006 Phillies
2007 Mets and Padres
2008 Cardinals, Astros, Mets and Marlins; Yankees
2009 Rangers

In the pre-wild card divisional era (1969-1993), there are 38 such teams, including the absolute mess of 1981. As mentioned above, the top two teams in the NL that year didn't make the eight-team playoff. And in the AL that season, there were six teams (out of 10 total non-playoff teams) that fit the description.

Five teams from the two leagues did it in 1987. Four did it from just the AL in 1984.

   31. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:40 PM (#4232664)
The Rich Harden trade finally pays off!

I got to see a couple innings of last night's game and noticed something I had not in my previous glimpses of Parker, but he really reminds me of Harden in his pitching motion. I'm not saying it's a harbinger of anything, just that it really jumped out at me how similar it looked.

Parker doesn't wear his pants so tight that he has to pick them out of his taint after every pitch. That's the only real difference I could point to.
   32. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:58 PM (#4232695)
I think the 1994 Expos got screwed out of the playoffs pretty royally. In fact, you can make the case that this team's Incomplete grade for that year killed baseball in that city completely, where a playoff run (like the Mariners of the mid-Nineties) might have resulted in a different outcome.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: September 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM (#4233029)
I must say this is one of the most interesting playoff picture I've seen... that second wild card really adds a much deeper dimension here.

Which is a bit surprising given that a month ago it looked dull as dirt. The good thing about the new WC setup is that it provides a real incentive to win the division to avoid the 1-game play-in. Not so long ago, the Yanks and Rangers had big leads and it looked like the playoff chase would be for a 1-game play-in and maybe a AL Central battle between two mediocre teams. Now not even the Rangers can sit too comfortably.

Things are pretty dull in the NL though as the only "race" is to see which mediocre team gets a chance to screw the Braves over in the 1-gamer. That team will of course go on to win the Series.

The Tigers have given up a lot more unearned runs than the average AL team

ERA, R/G

Det 3.86 4.23
CWS 4.08 4.24

It's still the same. There is a massive difference in park factors this year but it's only 3 points in the multi-years so take your pick. The problem is they've been outscored by the Sox by .25 R/G despite the substantial edge in OPS+. But, yeah, nobody's gonna nominate Detroit as the defensive team of the year.

   34. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 11, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4233083)
The good thing about the new WC setup is that it provides a real incentive to win the division to avoid the 1-game play-in. Not so long ago, the Yanks and Rangers had big leads and it looked like the playoff chase would be for a 1-game play-in and maybe a AL Central battle between two mediocre teams. Now not even the Rangers can sit too comfortably.


That both the Yankees and Rangers have to play hard to finish this year is no change from last year. If this year's AL was being conducted under the one WC set-up, they both would have had to keep playing hard as well.

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