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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

AL playoff race: September 25, 2012

AL East

NYY 89-65 [14-9 in SEPT]
BAL 88-67 [15-9 in SEPT] (1.5 GB)

AL Central

CWS 82-72 [10-13 in SEPT]
DET 82-72 [12-11 in SEPT]

AL West

TEX 91-63 [13-10 in SEPT]
OAK 87-67 [13-10 in SEPT] (4 GB)

AL Wildcard

BAL 88-67 [15-9 in SEPT] (0.5 GA)
OAK 87-67 [13-10 in SEPT]
LAA 85-69 [13-8 in SEPT] (2 GB)
TBR 84-70 [13-9 in SEPT] (3 GB)

MLB.com: Yanks’ prime opportunity turns into a missed one
MLB.com: O’s blanked, but don’t lose ground as Yanks fall
MLB.com: White Sox fall into first-place tie with Tigers
MLB.com: Anibal’s shutout lifts Tigers to first-place tie
MLB.com: Baker’s delight: Price fans 13, picks up win No. 19
MLB.com: Rangers’ chase stalls as A’s win in extras
MLB.com: Angels 5, Mariners 4

NTNgod Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:25 PM | 58 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. Gamingboy Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4245843)
The Twins actually saved what little chance the O's still have of the division. Go figure.
   2. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4245847)
The Twins actually saved what little chance the O's still have of the division. Go figure.

With an assist from Boone Logan.

Cano had a good game though!
   3. Bruce Markusen Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4245848)
This was not a good night for Girardi. He pulls Hughes after 99 pitches, even though he is pitching well and just blew away the last hitter he faced. Instead, he calls upon an overworked Boone Logan, who was simply awful.

The lineup made no sense either. Cano is the DH, and so Jayson Nix ends up playing second base and goes o-for-4. It's ridiculous that he's still resting players with the division and a playoff spot on the line. The time for rest is over; resting is for July and August.
   4. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:43 PM (#4245855)
One more...

Balfour is killing me. He must get paid by the pitch or something.
   5. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4245858)
A's win!!!!

Let's go Mariners!
   6. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4245859)
Whew. Balfour drove me nuts too, but that was an important win.
   7. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:46 PM (#4245861)
He's not killing you that much!
   8. Chokeland Bill Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM (#4245862)
13 Ks in 5 innings for Greinke. 109 pitches, so he's probably done for the night.
   9. Danny Posted: September 25, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4245864)
Hero.
   10. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4245884)
Would somebody watch the clip of Barton's RBI double & explain WTF Beltre is doing as Moss rounds third to score?
Out of the way, dude!
   11. Morph Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:39 AM (#4245888)
Torii Hunter has a higher on-base than Albert Pujols on September 26th. I don't think that's how the Angels drew it up.
   12. Dr. Vaux Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4245892)
He pulls Hughes after 99 pitches, even though he is pitching well and just blew away the last hitter he faced. Instead, he calls upon an overworked Boone Logan, who was simply awful.


I thought just the opposite. He should have started the 7th with the bullpen, because Hughes is a disaster waiting to happen.
   13. Mayor Blomberg Posted: September 26, 2012 at 12:57 AM (#4245897)
10 - Moss took what looks to me to be a strange route. Compare how deep he is (perhaps because of his hesitation) compared to Kinsler in the previous clip.
   14. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: September 26, 2012 at 01:13 AM (#4245901)
Give me a word, any word, and I show you how it spells Kottaras.

Oh, and Brandon Moss...we were playing community softball, an opposing guy hit a ball to right field, and our right fielder Matt <somebody> just watched it go over his head and turned around and stood there. So I know the feeling. GAH!
   15. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 26, 2012 at 01:16 AM (#4245903)
10 - Moss took what looks to me to be a strange route. Compare how deep he is (perhaps because of his hesitation) compared to Kinsler in the previous clip.

Thanks, yes, it's the hesitation that does it: Moss is dancing off the bag in line with is lead, waiting to see whether the fly is caught; Kinsler goes straight toward third on the hard grounder.
It still looks weird that Beltre seems so surprised to find a runner coming toward him, but the A's won, so, whatever.
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 26, 2012 at 01:19 AM (#4245904)
13 Ks in 5 innings for Greinke. 109 pitches, so he's probably done for the night.


Mariners end up with 20 strikeouts.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: September 26, 2012 at 01:44 AM (#4245910)
By the way, a little Walt shout out to Torii Hunter -- that dude has aged WAY better than I thought he would. That deal worked out very well for the Angels which raises the possibility (possibility mind you) that I was wrong.

And Albert ... the one thing that gave me pause in all my bold predictions about Albert's future this past offseason was that weird drop in his BB rate last year. I know a lot of it is the drop in the IBB due to reduced power but I can't recall any other good, much less great, hitter whose walk rate collapsed at this age.
   18. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 07:52 AM (#4245943)
Wow, the orioles had about as bad a day as you can have I'm the playoff race. They lose and all the teams chasing them win. Only a Yankees loss prevents it from being a worst case. This is how all the nightmare scenarios start.

But they are still in the drivers seat for the wild card. It is getting harder to be optimistic about a team that just went 1-3 against four of the worst starting pitchers in the major leagues.

But you're never as bad as you look when you lose, right? Just win tonight, take the Red Sox series, and then knock Tampa out of it in game 1 of that series, and finish out the division clinch with a sweep.
   19. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4245955)

Tigers back in a tie for first!

That was more what DD had in mind when he traded for Anibal Sanchez. He threw a gem last nite.
   20. BDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4245981)
The Rangers went through another parade of pitchers last night, and one of them eventually stumbled. They're 13-10 in September and aren't establishing themselves as a dominant team for the ages, but I'm impressed by the fact that they are sometimes beaten but very, very rarely seriously outplayed. Their games are usually solid wins, or close wins and losses. I don't know whether this bodes well for them in the postseason or not: they could be swept in close games, but I doubt they'll be blown out three straight or anything like that.
   21. JJ1986 Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:15 AM (#4245982)
What happens if the Orioles, A's and Angels all end up tied?
   22. shoewizard Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4245984)
By the way, a little Walt shout out to Torii Hunter -- that dude has aged WAY better than I thought he would. That deal worked out very well for the Angels which raises the possibility (possibility mind you) that I was wrong.


I was thinking the exact same thing today. I just happened to be looking at FA outfielders and was surprised to see his triple slash and OPS+ looking so robust.

Looking a little closer just now, his bb/k rate is his worst since 2002 and his power has declined...his XBH % and XB/H % are the lowest of any full season of his career. But thanks to his .380 ! babip he has that nice BA, and it keeps his OBP and SLG up.

Don't get me wrong, his 5+ WAR season at age 36 is really impressive to me. In fact, for his age 30-36 seasons he's averaged nearly 4 WAR and a 120 OPS+.

But I think someone is going to get burned by being fooled by his 2011 triple slash and overpay a guy who the bottom is about to fall out of. I can see Tori dropping all the way to .250-.260 with barely 15 HR next year.
   23. Shredder Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4245992)
Looking a little closer just now, his bb/k rate is his worst since 2002 and his power has declined...his XBH % and XB/H % are the lowest of any full season of his career. But thanks to his .380 ! babip he has that nice BA, and it keeps his OBP and SLG up.
It's funny that he and Trout both have high BABIP, but Angels stadium has become an extreme pitchers park, though that might not reflect numbers from this year yet. I wonder if the Angels decided that they had speed and a pretty good defensive infield and decided to speed up the infield grass.
   24. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4245998)
What happens if the Orioles, A's and Angels all end up tied?
EDIT:

A Jayson Stark article explains:

If these three teams end up deadlocked, the Angels would get to pick whether to play one road game or two home games. That's because they had the best head-to-head record among those three. We're guessing they'd opt to play just once. But they might want to reconsider, unless they want to risk another frequent-flier-mile extravaganza.

If they choose the one road game, then there's an A's-Orioles game Thursday, in Oakland. But if the Orioles win that one, it means (theoretically) that both the Angels and Orioles would have to fly to Baltimore for the wild-card game THE NEXT DAY. So would the Angels choose two home games over one road game? Interesting question.

   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4246018)
If they choose the one road game, then there's an A's-Orioles game Thursday, in Oakland. But if the Orioles win that one, it means (theoretically) that both the Angels and Orioles would have to fly to Baltimore for the wild-card game THE NEXT DAY. So would the Angels choose two home games over one road game? Interesting question.
I'm having trouble following Stark's logic. Just taking the most basic HFA, teams are about 54% to win a home game, so say the Angels would be .54*.54 = 29% to win back-to-back home games. Why would they be under 30% to win a single road game after both teams had to fly cross-country? Why does the cross-country flight matter if both the Angels and the Orioles are taking it?

And, further, I think that 54% to win the second game is way too optimistic. A depleted team which just won a one-and-done playoff is going to be at a disadvantage for personnel against a team that just took a day off.
   26. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4246026)
I think today's Yankee game is, arguably, the most important one of the season thus far. It is a game they absolutely should win--CC Sabathia pitching against a lousy team, whose strength (such as it is) is left-handed hitting. If they win, and before the O's game starts, they'll be up 2 full on the loss side, with each team having 7 left to play. No matter the outcome of the Battle of the Birds, the Yankees would be in a situation where their magic number is down to six. That's a pretty good place to be in.

All of which is the long way of saying they really, really need to win today.
   27. JJ1986 Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4246031)
I'm having trouble following Stark's logic.


So is Stark. Of course they take the one game.

   28. Danny Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM (#4246095)
If these three teams end up deadlocked, the Angels would get to pick whether to play one road game or two home games. That's because they had the best head-to-head record among those three.

That seems unfair, given that the A's won the season series against both the Angels (10-9) and Orioles (5-4).
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: September 26, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4246119)
I'm having trouble following Stark's logic. Just taking the most basic HFA, teams are about 54% to win a home game, so say the Angels would be .54*.54 = 29% to win back-to-back home games. Why would they be under 30% to win a single road game after both teams had to fly cross-country? Why does the cross-country flight matter if both the Angels and the Orioles are taking it?

And, further, I think that 54% to win the second game is way too optimistic. A depleted team which just won a one-and-done playoff is going to be at a disadvantage for personnel against a team that just took a day off.


Stark seems to be saying the prospect of cross-country travel makes it a more difficult choice for the Angels. That ignores the fact that the travel schedule is probably a net benefit, as the O's would have to make their second cross-country trip in as many days.
   30. Loren F. Posted: September 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4246148)
But I think someone is going to get burned by being fooled by his 2011 triple slash and overpay a guy who the bottom is about to fall out of. I can see Tori dropping all the way to .250-.260 with barely 15 HR next year.


Unless the Giants sign him, which would guarantee that he'll be so egregiously productive that many BTFers are frustrated by another Sabean move that shouldn't have worked out.
   31. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 26, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4246290)
Unless the Giants sign him, which would guarantee that he'll be so egregiously productive that many BTFers are frustrated by another Sabean move that shouldn't have worked out.

I think of this as more the Cardinals M.O., but I don't follow the NL all that closely.
   32. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4246373)
Off to a swell start!
   33. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 02:09 PM (#4246380)
Well, that’s probably ballgame.

Thanks for taking one win off the Yanks, Twinkies.
   34. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4246418)
Well, that’s probably ballgame.
After last night, I'll believe it when I see it.
   35. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 26, 2012 at 02:59 PM (#4246429)
I'm having trouble following Stark's logic.
From a pure business perspective, wouldn't a sold out home regular season game followed (if they win) by a sold out home playoff game make more money for the Angels than a single road playoff game?

I know that this doesn't come into the real equation, but I'm curious.
   36. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 26, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4246438)
After last night, I'll believe it when I see it.
Now that's ballgame.
   37. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 04:09 PM (#4246500)
Not to overstate the importance of a single-game (for the second time today, thank you #26!) but tonight's game is a very big one for the O's. If they lose, they're looking at a situation where unless the Yankees total fall to pieces, the O's basically have to be perfect to win the division.
   38. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 26, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4246549)
It's nice that when the Yankees really need a win over the last few years, the Twins are often there to help.
   39. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 26, 2012 at 05:09 PM (#4246572)
That seems unfair, given that the A's won the season series against both the Angels (10-9) and Orioles (5-4).


Yep, but that is the way that the rule is written, and the Angels owned the Orioles this year (7-2).

-- MWE
   40. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 26, 2012 at 06:06 PM (#4246639)
Not to overstate the importance of a single-game (for the second time today, thank you #26!) but tonight's game is a very big one for the O's. If they lose, they're looking at a situation where unless the Yankees total fall to pieces, the O's basically have to be perfect to win the division.


But even if they win they're probably losing the division anyway, so how important is it really?
   41. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: September 26, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4246704)
Given their position, I think one could argue that the better result for the Orioles is to lose tonight and therefore begin the rotation-setting and planning for the play-in game.
   42. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 26, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4246738)
But even if they win they're probably losing the division anyway, so how important is it really?
Well, in that sense, it isn't important. But if the division is the goal--and it is, I assume--it is important. Plus, I'm a Yankee fan, so my paranoia reigns!
   43. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 26, 2012 at 08:47 PM (#4246743)
Orioles smack three HRs in the bottom of the 5th to take the lead from Toronto.
   44. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4246747)
How cool is it to see Thome and Machado homer in the same inning?

Jim Thome MLB debut: September 4, 1991
Manny Machado DOB: July 6, 1992
   45. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 26, 2012 at 08:51 PM (#4246748)
Glorious runs!
   46. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4246751)
Unfortunately, John Lester imploding against the Rays tonight means that the Os won't get to face him this weekend...
   47. Squash Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4246756)
I'm just glad the A's are fielding a lineup tonight that approximates a team trying to win the game. Last night's was a predictable debacle, they were lucky to get out with the win.

I never thought I would say this for many reasons, but Coco Crisp needs to get over his freaking pink eye and get back on the field.
   48. Athletic Supporter can feel the slow rot Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:02 PM (#4246759)
I'm just glad the A's are fielding a lineup tonight that approximates a team trying to win the game. Last night's was a predictable debacle, they were lucky to get out with the win.


It's all about setting expectations appropriately. For me, whenever Tyson Ross doesn't get in the game, I consider that a success from a personnel usage standpoint.
   49. Squash Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:08 PM (#4246764)
Whereas Jarrod Parker seems to want desperately to give us a lesson on how to blow a five run lead in as few batters as possible.
   50. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:13 PM (#4246766)
Lets go Rangers!!! Cash this in!
   51. Spivey Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4246768)
Josh Hamilton is on pace to put up a legendary negative WPA.

He's a good player, but I look forward to next year when I don't have to root for his ###### ass.
   52. Squash Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:18 PM (#4246773)
Wow I was almost 100% certain that Parker-Hamilton matchup was going to come to no good.
   53. Spivey Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4246776)
Josh Hamilton should never scare you against a guy that consistently can locate his breaking ball out of the strike zone.
   54. Squash Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:28 PM (#4246781)
Wow this is a really ugly game.
   55. Danny Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4246783)
@#44...Buster Olney:
ELIAS: Age gap of Thome, Machado (22 years) hitting HR in same inn. is 2nd-largest ever for teammates. 1st: Franco, K.Johnson in 2005. .
   56. Squash Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4246791)
Four-run lead. Back in the good ol' days of the 1980s, this is when Jack Morris would start throwin' fastballs down the middle and give up three runs cause who gives a ####.
   57. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:46 PM (#4246793)
#55, so this is the largest gap ever for two future hall of famers.

In all seriousness, the Os needed this game. A loss by the As, Rays, or Angels would be some nice icing on the cake.
   58. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4246794)
Wow, another HR for Machado!

Os run differential down to -1.

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