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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

AL playoff race: September 11, 2012

AL East

NYY 79-62 [4-6 in SEPT]
BAL 79-62 [6-4 in SEPT]
TBR 77-64 [6-3 in SEPT] (2 GB)

AL Central

CWS 76-65 [4-6 in SEPT]
DET 74-67 [4-6 in SEPT] (2 GB)

AL West

TEX 84-57 [6-4 in SEPT]
OAK 81-60 [7-3 in SEPT] (3 GB)

AL Wildcard

OAK 81-60 [7-3 in SEPT]
BAL 79-62 [6-4 in SEPT]
NYY 79-62 [4-6 in SEPT]
TBR 77-64 [6-3 in SEPT] (2 GB)
LAA 77-65 [6-4 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)
DET 74-67 [4-6 in SEPT] (5 GB)

MLB.com: Walk-off loss puts Yanks back into first-place tie
MLB.com: O’s increase AL Wild Card lead, also tied for first
MLB.com: Tigers trim deficit to two behind Fister, HRs
MLB.com: Early outburst boosts Harrison in 16th victory
MLB.com: Moss sticks it to Angels in 11th straight road win

NTNgod Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:27 PM | 65 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, athletics, orioles, pennant race, rangers, rays, tigers, white sox, yankees

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   1. JJ1986 Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM (#4233270)
I don't understand why you would bring Francisco Liriano into a close game.
   2. Bull Pain Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4233274)
The AL Central is brutal. Robin Ventura is in way over his head and Jim Leyland seems to have checked out entirely. There is definitely an incentive to be the #2 team and not the #1 team to get the Central winner and not whoever makes it out of the wild card pile.
   3. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4233279)
Hey, this spoiler stuff ain't bad.

Cue Mike Francesa, from today's show: "The Red Sox have nothing to play for. If the Yankees only take 2 of 3 it will be a disappointment."

8 hours later, a stream of red comes flowing from the Fenway dugout.

How can someone be so clueless about what motivates professional athletes, 30 years in to covering them professionally?

   4. escabeche Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM (#4233280)
And every Orioles fan who spent the winter playing the clip of Andino's game-winning hit again and again is keenly aware that the Red Sox will not have "nothing to play for" in their upcoming series with us.
   5. Bull Pain Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4233282)
Trying to sac bunt with Youkilis with Dewayne Wise on deck is certainly a major league caliber thought. I think the White Sox would be better off with Terry Bevington.
   6. GregD Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4233284)
Cue Mike Francesa, from today's show: "The Red Sox have nothing to play for. If the Yankees only take 2 of 3 it will be a disappointment."

8 hours later, a stream of red comes flowing from the Fenway dugout.

How can someone be so clueless about what motivates professional athletes, 30 years in to covering them professionally?
It's Francesa's job to keep people listening, not to avoid motivating rivals.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4233286)
WFAN caller: "1-11 in their last 12 games. They are going to lay down like a call girl, Mike."

Francesa: "Ok, we got it, we got it already, we got the idea."
   8. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:05 PM (#4233287)
#6, there isn't a doubt in my mind that he believes it. It's not exactly an uncommon contention. There are plenty of people even on this board who believe nonsense like this. (Cue last year's collapse.)
   9. JJ1986 Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4233289)
I do not understand why anyone would listen to Francesca.
   10. Curse of the Andino Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4233290)
And every Orioles fan who spent the winter playing the clip of Andino's game-winning hit again and again is keenly aware that the Red Sox will not have "nothing to play for" in their upcoming series with us.


I don't think the Red Sox hate Baltimore the way we do them... but we'll see :)
   11. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:13 PM (#4233294)
On Ichiro's throw attempt where he failed to gun down Ciriaco to end the game:

I thought the actual throw itself was great. Strong, accurate, on-line.

But watching carefully, Ichiro didn't really charge the ball at all. He kind of pulled up and allowed it to come to him. I am not saying his approach was wrong, necessarily -- perhaps he has a better chance to get off a more accurate and stronger throw this way, or, more likely, has a better chance to field it cleanly so that he can at least get off an attempt. But his approach seems to be _different_ from what I typically see major league outfielders do.

If he charges AND gets off the same throw, he may well nail Ciriaco, but the key there is that he would have to field the ball cleanly and get off the same throw. I am happy to cede to his judgment on this, as he knows how to play the game and I don't; I'm not criticizing him, just wondering if others had the same thought.
   12. Orangepeel Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4233295)
I'm just embarrassed to be a White Sox fan after that "managing" by Ventura. I don't think I've ever seen a worse bunt decision in my life. Man.
   13. Dale Sams Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:18 PM (#4233297)
How can someone be so clueless about what motivates professional athletes, 30 years in to covering them professionally?


That took a ton of luck.

edit: *and* Ellsbury and Pedroia playing up to their abilities.
   14. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4233299)
Also: Michael Kay criticized Nick Swisher for not going back to first on Ellsbury's infield single (which Swisher fielded even though Cano was right there). But isn't it Swisher's job to go for that, and allow the pitcher to cover first? Wasn't the screwup Boone Logan's, and not Swisher's?
   15. Bruce Markusen Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM (#4233302)
The Yankees have no one to blame but themselves. They had chance after chance after chance to knock Lester out, but no one on the team outside of Jeter was capable of getting a hit with a man on. I mean, how do you draw eight walks in a game at Fenway Park and score only three runs? You go 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, that's how.

Kuroda didn't help matters either, twice giving up leads against an undermanned Red Sox lineup.

The Red Sox showed up tonight. The Yankees, I'm not so sure.
   16. escabeche Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4233307)
Coolstandings now has the Orioles at over 50% to make the playoffs, I think for the first time this season. I don't think I believe it, especially if Hammel is gone again on top of the Markakis injury.

The great thing about this WC race is that, with so many teams still in the running, there are inevitably going to be a couple who stay hot through the rest of the month; which means anybody who has a bad week is probably done.
   17. Dale Sams Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:31 PM (#4233309)
Tons of teams and in the NL are making this second WC look like the greatest idea ever.
   18. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM (#4233310)
Trying to sac bunt with Youkilis with Dewayne Wise on deck is certainly a major league caliber thought. I think the White Sox would be better off with Terry Bevington.

Can't overstate how awful this decision was. Sox down three, but start the inning off with three hits, have Benoit on the ropes and Ventura calls for his third (~) best hitter to bunt in front of a AAAA-outfielder who they grabbed off waivers a month ago(why said outfielder is hitting third is another question to ponder). Youkilis, who apparently does not have even ONE sac bunt in his major league career, predictably falls behind 0-2 before flailing at a pitch three feet outside. Absolutely killed the inning. Add that to Ventura's decision to bring Liriano into a one-run game, despite having a rested bullpen, and you've got an atrocious night from the skipper.
   19. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:41 PM (#4233319)
Tons of teams and in the NL are making this second WC look like the greatest idea ever.


These AL races would also be really great without the second wild card. Or, the first.

   20. Morph Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4233320)
This Yankees team is very frustrating to watch. The future isn't looking too assured, either. I'd rather be in the Yankees' position than Boston (who have to make a series of solid moves to get back into contention) but the Yanks are in a more perilous long-term position than the casual fan may understand. It is amazing what the A's are doing. If the Yankees fall out of the mix, I will certainly be pulling for the A's to go all the way. Remember the four game sweep? Two teams heading in opposite directions, though I would have never believed it at the time. It was certainly a bad sign for the Yankees that they couldn't win one of those close games against a capable opponent. Certainly a harbinger.
   21. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:47 PM (#4233324)
On Ichiro's throw attempt where he failed to gun down Ciriaco to end the game:

I thought the actual throw itself was great. Strong, accurate, on-line.

But watching carefully, Ichiro didn't really charge the ball at all. He kind of pulled up and allowed it to come to him. I am not saying his approach was wrong, necessarily -- perhaps he has a better chance to get off a more accurate and stronger throw this way, or, more likely, has a better chance to field it cleanly so that he can at least get off an attempt. But his approach seems to be _different_ from what I typically see major league outfielders do.

If he charges AND gets off the same throw, he may well nail Ciriaco, but the key there is that he would have to field the ball cleanly and get off the same throw. I am happy to cede to his judgment on this, as he knows how to play the game and I don't; I'm not criticizing him, just wondering if others had the same thought.


I couldn't say, because by that point I was cowering in a closet with a pair of pillows strapped to my ears. When the Yanks' biggest "clutch hit" of the night was a ####### 250' popup that bounced over a low fence in front of the Pesky pole, it's not as if I was exactly expecting a happy ending.
   22. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4233330)
But isn't it Swisher's job to go for that

Haven't seen the play but this is one of the toughest decisions while playing 1B. If you _know_ the 2B can get it, you definitely don't go for it and cover first. It's pretty common to see 1B screw up by going for balls they clearly should leave for the 2B. But if you only _think_ he can get it, then ouch!

Regardless the pitcher should move to cover first but whether it's the 1B getting a ball with momentum towards second then turning and finding the pitcher or it's the 2B on the move making a throw to a moving pitcher, this is a tough play.

If there's a force at second, go for the ball if you think you can reach the ball.
   23. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 12, 2012 at 12:02 AM (#4233331)
Thanks, Walt. I do see 1B break back to the bag on this.

Either way, as you note, Logan should have been covering.
   24. BurlyBuehrle Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:06 AM (#4233363)
I'm just embarrassed to be a White Sox fan after that "managing" by Ventura. I don't think I've ever seen a worse bunt decision in my life. Man.


Agree. Sox fans have been *begging* RV to bunt at Cabrera these past two series - he can't field when he's healthy, and he's got two bum wheels...but in a lineup with De Aza, Wise, Ramirez, and Beckham (not to mention "grindy" guys on the bench), I'm not sure Youkilis - he of the zero lifetime sac bunt Youkilises - is the guy we had in mind.

Also, starting Viciedo against Fister was bad, but letting him face Valverde in the 9th - Viciedo is 223/266/348 career against RHP - was inexcusable.

And what was with Liriano coming out of the 'pen to start the 8th?

Ugh.

To be fair to RV re Dewayne Wise, he's riding the hot hand. And with Dunn's injury, I'm not sure he has any better options on the roster. But he probably shouldn't be hitting 3rd.
   25. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4233370)
A's choking away a game in Anaheim right now.
   26. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4233372)
Or not. All hail Blevins!
   27. Squash Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:26 AM (#4233374)
I had forgotten what a merry brand of hell it is to root for a contending team.
   28. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:30 AM (#4233375)
25. Athletic Supporter leads the nation in drifters Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4233370)
A's choking away a game in Anaheim right now.
26. Athletic Supporter leads the nation in drifters Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:23 AM (#4233372)
Or not. All hail Blevins!

I would challenge you to a DUEL, sir... if I wasn't so ####### happy, right at this moment.
   29. The importance of being Ernest Riles Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:40 AM (#4233378)
What a great, great victory for the A's. I haven't been this high on baseball in a long time.

Ken Korach was in fine form tonight. What a treat this season has been.
   30. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 12, 2012 at 02:00 AM (#4233382)
I would challenge you to a DUEL, sir... if I wasn't so ####### happy, right at this moment.


I would mind being beaten up if I weren't so happy right at this moment myself. Totally worth it for the reverse jinx effect.
   31. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: September 12, 2012 at 02:20 AM (#4233386)
There are plenty of people even on this board who believe nonsense like this. (Cue last year's collapse.)


Care to elaborate on this, RDP?
   32. clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right Posted: September 12, 2012 at 02:52 AM (#4233390)
2. Bull Pain Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4233274)
no ####### way, right?
   33. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:03 AM (#4233394)
Ken Korach

Ummm ... what is a Ken Korach?
   34. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:12 AM (#4233395)
What a great, great victory for the A's. I haven't been this high on baseball in a long time.
#### EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.
   35. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:59 AM (#4233399)
Ummm ... what is a Ken Korach?

A's broadcaster (TV and radio). Pronounced "CORE-ack." He does good work.

#### EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.

Apparently, Brandon McCarthy called it first.
   36. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: September 12, 2012 at 05:34 AM (#4233404)
Ummm ... what is a Ken Korach?

He's probably my favorite radio broadcaster out of the guys who haven't been there a thousand years since radio was new. I also like Jon Miller.
   37. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 12, 2012 at 06:26 AM (#4233411)
I also like Jon Miller.

You, sir, are clearly a man of refinement and excellent taste.
   38. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 07:19 AM (#4233416)
Whew! Kid of relieved I was fast asleep for the end of the game. And now the A's get to throw AJ Griffin and Brett Anderson at the bad guys. The A's are now 3 games up on the Yanks, too, in case that factors in at some point. Crazy, crazy year, but 18 of the last 21 games are against teams in the playoff hunt so I am counting no chickens.
   39. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 07:58 AM (#4233432)
His tears are like a 18 year old Port-casked single malt scotch.


Here is the number they are highlighting on the insipid postgame show: 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Shocked it was that high. This game was winnable twice: early and late. Sloppy swings by Kendry and Howie and Albert Pujols (who had a little redemption in the 9th but who is grandfathering it badly these days) added up to a turkey. And the only people giving thanks are the drum-beating hippies in green and gold up in Occupyland.


Nyum nyum nyum.
   40. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 12, 2012 at 08:10 AM (#4233439)
i couldn't reconcile the yankees having a 10 game lead earlier in the year because the roster didn't strike me as being that much better than their competition.

but i sure as heck didn't think it would evolve into them having to scrap it out with baltimore. what??

and the angels have to be frustrating. you a core of great players and then so much dreck it's dragging down the whole season

   41. bunyon Posted: September 12, 2012 at 08:27 AM (#4233449)
I would think it was obvious there would be a "good" race for the second wild card. Don't we almost always have a lot of teams clustered around a mid-80s win pace in September? Not that that means I'm not excited about it, but I feel bad for the A's (or Rangers) who are going to end up with the second best record in the league and have to play a team with the 5th best in a one-off to advance.

Okay, that's a lot of jinx I threw out there. Hope everyone can handle it.
   42. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 08:32 AM (#4233454)
Okay, that's a lot of jinx I threw out there. Hope everyone can handle it.

I am now looking for you and I will find you and you will die screaming like a little girl who just saw a spider crawl out of her vagina.

And yes, I stole that last line verbatim from Louie. Sue me!
   43. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2012 at 08:54 AM (#4233469)
A's broadcaster (TV and radio). Pronounced "CORE-ack." He does good work.

The old sidekick from Space Ghost: Coast to Coast? He was awesome.

That MLB.com headline on the O's game is just whack.
   44. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 08:57 AM (#4233471)
This is dedication.

Did he actually do it? I believe he did.

edit: In the comments someone referred to this as a Green and Golden Shower, which is all kinds of awesome.

edit edit: Just one more edit...by WPA, Blevins' save last night was the second toughest in the last 10 years.
   45. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 12, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4233599)
Crazy, crazy year, but 18 of the last 21 games are against teams in the playoff hunt so I am counting no chickens.
You can go ahead and do that. The Angels won't mind.
   46. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4233602)
You can go ahead and do that. The Angels won't mind.

NO COUNTING OF CHICKENS! THE CHICKENS, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BE ####### COUNTED!
   47. Depressoteric Posted: September 12, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4233682)
His tears are like a 18 year old Port-casked single malt scotch.
Hilariously, I knew who you were linking to before I ran my cursor over your link: the redoubtable Rev Halofan.

And yes, yes, I agree. Such a rich, substantial, delightful taste to these tears. And I'm not even an A's fan, just a guy who cordially dislikes the Angels.
   48. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4233686)
Go ahead. That was the ultimate choking dog performance by the Angels last night. It's really pathetic, because after going 5-13 (with some incredible losses mixed in there), they play themselves back into an opportunity... and come up with an invisible performance on Monday and follow it up with a real F-U game. I would be shocked if they didn't go ahead and lose at least one of the next two games to Oakland, if not collapse altogether and get swept at home to kill of any hope.

And the A's get 16 of the last 21 against playoff contending teams, not 18. The Angels aren't playoff contenders.
   49. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4233693)
And the A's get 16 of the last 21 against playoff contending teams, not 18. The Angels aren't playoff contenders.

You guys get really down on your team--it's baseball and there's always another day. After getting swept at home and almost having the team's most popular player almost get killed on the field, the A's have won 5 in a row. I'd wait at least a couple of weeks before writing off a team as talented as the Angels.

Hilariously, I knew who you were linking to before I ran my cursor over your link: the redoubtable Rev Halofan.

He is quite the drama queen/troll.
   50. Depressoteric Posted: September 12, 2012 at 11:38 AM (#4233695)
A's broadcaster (TV and radio). Pronounced "CORE-ack." He does good work.
He's one of the better radio guys I've heard on my occasional trawls through other teams' broadcasts (and I strongly prefer to listen on the radio rather than TV, it's just a function of how I grew up plus my computer habits). Because of the relative obscurity of the Oakland market nobody outside of there has heard of him, but he's quality.

I will take this moment to put in the obligatory plug for the Nationals' radio team, Charlie Slowes (who's been calling games on the radio since Day 1 in '05) and Dave Jaegler. I know I'm a homer and all, but outside the Hall of Fame Legends (Scully, Miller, Uecker, etc.) I really think they're in absolute upper tier of announcers. Great -- GREAT, especially Slowes -- radio voices, skilled game-calling, and obvious chemistry. Also, an excellent and thorough post-game show.

Bonus: one of my favorite Charlie Slowes calls of all time, it's one of those sad moments that hardcore Nationals fans remember from the Bad Old Days: the Nook Logan debacle.
   51. bunyon Posted: September 12, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4233786)
I thought the actual throw itself was great. Strong, accurate, on-line.

But watching carefully, Ichiro didn't really charge the ball at all. He kind of pulled up and allowed it to come to him. I am not saying his approach was wrong, necessarily -- perhaps he has a better chance to get off a more accurate and stronger throw this way, or, more likely, has a better chance to field it cleanly so that he can at least get off an attempt. But his approach seems to be _different_ from what I typically see major league outfielders do.


Ray, like you, I probably shouldn't question how Ichiro! played the ball, but I think you're right. I think he dind't charge fully because he took a bad line to it. It looks like the ball got to him quicker than he thought so he was in danger of over-running it. So he slowed up and adjusted to his left.

Either way, I'm not sure he could have played it in such a way to get the runner. He might have made it close and, hey, you never know, but I don't think he was getting the runner either way.

And, of course, I could be way off on what he was doing/thinking.
   52. BDC Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4233797)
Meanwhile the Rangers improve to 17-8 in their last 25 games … during which stretch, they've lost three games of their lead on the A's. This is like trying to resist the zombie uprising.
   53. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:14 PM (#4233811)
by WPA, Blevins' save last night was the second toughest in the last 10 years.


What was the toughest?
   54. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4233814)
Meanwhile the Rangers improve to 17-8 in their last 25 games … during which stretch, they've lost three games of their lead on the A's. This is like trying to resist the zombie uprising.

Ya know it!
*moves like Bernie*
   55. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4233828)
This game, I guess, was a tougher 3 out save.

According to BB Ref. Honestly, I don't understand WPA enough to know how it's calculated. Here's the all time list someone else generated so I can't completely vouch for it's accuracy.

Belvins' WPA for the game was 0.651 which, thankfully, overcame Grant Balfour's -0.615.
   56. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: September 12, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4233905)
Speaking of announcers it is time once again to vote for the candidates for Ford C Frick award for the Baseball Announcing Hall of Fame. Local candidates for the Bay Area include Ray Fosse, Bill King, Hank Greenwald, and yes Krukow and Kuiper.
   57. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4234019)
This game, I guess, was a tougher 3 out save.

According to BB Ref. Honestly, I don't understand WPA enough to know how it's calculated.


I don't know how WPA is calculated either, but it looks like Sonnanstine came into the game in the exact same situation as Blevins: 1st and 3rd, nobody out, up by one run. But check out who Sonnanstine had to face:

1. Brian Barden - Backup shortstop, 26 OPS+ in 2010, 52 OPS+ for his major-league career.
2. Anibal Sanchez - A pitcher pinch-hitting for another pitcher, and he's a bad hitter even for a pitcher (for his career: .245(!) OPS, 1 extra-base hit, 105 K in 276 PA).
3. Dan Uggla - OK, Uggla was very good in 2010.

Gaby Sanchez, not a particularly fast runner, was on first. (He did steal a base in the inning.)

Blevins, on the other hand, faced:

1. Kendrys Morales - Good power hitter; career line of .282/.334/.490 (slightly worse this year but his OPS+ is better).
2. Howie Kendrick - Career .291 average, doubles power, reasonably fast (but does ground into a lot of DPs).

The runner at 1B was Peter Bourjos, maybe the fastest guy in the league.

I'd say Blevins' save was more difficult. Sonnanstine had two near-automatic outs before Uggla came up, and Uggla batting with two outs is easier to survive than Morales with no outs or Kendrick with one out.

The best save I can remember was not actually a save because the game was tied (which is even tougher, really): John Rocker in Game 3 of the 1999 NLDS against the Astros: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU199910080.shtml

Bottom of the 10th, tie game, Russ Springer loads the bases with no outs and Rocker is summoned to replace him. The first batter he faces (Carl Everett in his best season) hits a grounder to first base; the runner is thrown out at home. The next batter (Tony Eusebio, decent hitter for a catcher) hits a grounder to shortstop; the runner is again thrown out at home. Rocker then strikes out Ricky Gutierrez to extend the game. His WPA, however, was "only" 0.587. But given the circumstances (extra innings, playoff game) I'd say Rocker out-Blevinsed Blevins.
   58. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4234024)
Speaking of announcers it is time once again to vote for the candidates for Ford C Frick award for the Baseball Announcing Hall of Fame. Local candidates for the Bay Area include Ray Fosse, Bill King, Hank Greenwald, and yes Krukow and Kuiper.

King and Greenwald both deserve it.
   59. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:33 PM (#4234025)
The best save I can remember was not actually a save because the game was tied (which is even tougher, really): John Rocker in Game 3 of the 1999 NLDS against the Astros: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU199910080.shtml

Bottom of the 10th, tie game, Russ Springer loads the bases with no outs and Rocker is summoned to replace him. The first batter he faces (Carl Everett in his best season) hits a grounder to first base; the runner is thrown out at home. The next batter (Tony Eusebio, decent hitter for a catcher) hits a grounder to shortstop; the runner is again thrown out at home. Rocker then strikes out Ricky Gutierrez to extend the game. His WPA, however, was "only" 0.587. But given the circumstances (extra innings, playoff game) I'd say Rocker out-Blevinsed Blevins.


Am I remembering right that Walt Weiss made a spectacular diving play on the grounder that he fielded? I remember Weiss doing that with Atlanta in a big spot, not sure if this was the one.
   60. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4234041)
You guys get really down on your team--it's baseball and there's always another day.
THIS was their day. THIS was the series they had to win. If you're always dropping games against the teams that you have to beat, AND you're dropping games against teams you're supposed to beat, then a few things become obvious:

1) They're better than you.
2) You're not as good as you thought.

Both are true for the Angels. Given how high the expectations were for them before the season, I'll say it again: this season hurts more than 1995.
   61. Good cripple hitter Posted: September 12, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4234043)
Am I remembering right that Walt Weiss made a spectacular diving play on the grounder that he fielded? I remember Weiss doing that with Atlanta in a big spot, not sure if this was the one.


According to a game report "the second out was courtesy of a shortstop Walt Weiss, whose diving, game-saving stab permanently etched his name in the lore of Houston Astros infamy."
   62. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 12, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4234126)
According to a game report "the second out was courtesy of a shortstop Walt Weiss, whose diving, game-saving stab permanently etched his name in the lore of Houston Astros infamy."

Oh, he'd have to do some steppin' to catch up with Garry Maddox or Jesse ####### Orosco in 'Stros infamosity.
   63. bunyon Posted: September 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM (#4234368)
Nate McClouth wins it for the Orioles with Manny Machado making a hell of a defensive play in the top of the 9th and then scoring the winning run.

Amazing.
   64. escabeche Posted: September 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4234370)
This team! This incredible *%$%&#$ing team!
   65. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: September 12, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4234387)
This team's starting to play the kind of baseball that Orioles fans from the 70's and early 80's were taking for granted. What's even more amazing is the thought that the Orioles, the Ravens, the Nats and the Redskins could all actually be in the postseason. The Redskins and the Colts both made the playoffs in 1971 and 1976, but only the '71 Colts even made it out of the first round.

(Well, the Redskins still have 15 games to go and I hope they lose all 15 of them, but that new kid at QB was a wonder to behold down in New Orleans, and they've got an easy schedule.)

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