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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dallas Morning News - Adrian Beltre: “We all know we lost the Series yesterday.”

Interesting bit of post-mortem from AB:

“We all know we lost the Series yesterday. We shouldn’t have let it slip away. We came back today to try to win it, but the momentum just took them and they won it. It’s not a nice feeling.

“We had in our mind that we were going to win the World Series. We were one strike away, but it didn’t happen. It would be easier if you lose four games in a row than having the thought that you were one strike away. It’s not easy. That game [on Thursday] will be hard to forget.”

Esoteric Posted: October 29, 2011 at 07:22 PM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals, obituaries, rangers

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bote Man the walk-off king Posted: October 29, 2011 at 08:50 PM (#3982335)
Incontrovertible PROOF of momentum!
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 29, 2011 at 09:03 PM (#3982347)
I suppose if Rangers fans can hang their hat onto nothing else, it's that the team appears to be in a good position to be an annual pennant contender for the next several seasons. The window remains very much open for this group of players.
   3. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 29, 2011 at 09:48 PM (#3982396)
We came back today to try to win it, but the momentum just took them and they won it. It’s not a nice feeling.


Someone should tell Beltre that Ray says that's impossible.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:16 PM (#3982422)
We came back today to try to win it, but the momentum just took them and they won it. It’s not a nice feeling.

That's hard to buy when they put up a 2-spot in the top of the first, and could have done a lot more.

If Kinsler doesn't get thrown out, and they put up 3+ runs and chase Carpenter, where's momentum?

Carpenter pitched well, their guys didn't. Momentum didn't have #### to do with it.
   5. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:21 PM (#3982426)
We came back today to try to win it, but the momentum just took them and they won it. It’s not a nice feeling.


Since Beltre doesn't post here, I trust Jose Can You Seabiscuit will be able to explain what "momentum" is worth if Texas, coming off a heartbreaking defeat the night before, got off the mat to score 2 in the first.

And that's with a CS and without getting their best hitter to the plate in the inning.
   6. WallyBackmanFan Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:26 PM (#3982429)

Carpenter pitched well, their guys didn't. Momentum didn't have #### to do with it.


And if their guys had pitched well, and Carpenter didn't, then this thread would be under an article about how "clubhouse stalwart Michael Young and leader of men Ron Washington show that it takes more than glossy stats and tactical acumen to bounce back from a loss like game 6."

Gotta love it when two false idols face off against one another.
   7. Bhaakon Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:28 PM (#3982430)
I've always heard that "momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher," in which case it was incontrovertibly on the Cardinal's side after game six.
   8. Sam M. Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:31 PM (#3982432)
Momentum equals belief and confidence. A normal team, in normal circumstances, understands the reality (even if they haven't seen the data on the odds of winning after falling behind by X runs) of whether they are likely to win after the other team scores first, particularly if it's by multiple runs.

But after the Cardinals came back the way they did, those rules about what an early deficit meant just didn't apply in terms of their attitude. And the Rangers wouldn't -- as Beltre's comments reveal -- and didn't get the same sense of the expected confidence and relaxed ability to perform that can come with an early lead.

I'm sorry, but you can dismiss psychological carry-over all you want, but the way the Cardinals came back (especially on top of prior returns from the seeming dead) made Game 7 one they could approach with utter confidence, with an attitude the Rangers could not match. We have testimonial evidence of this very phenomenon from a Ranger player. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Fine. But real nonetheless.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:35 PM (#3982433)
Sweet of you to mention me by name Ray, I'm touched.

I'm not going to argue that momentum or any such thing cost Texas the game yesterday, I would agree that's stupid. It was Chris Carpenter at home versus Matt Harrison, I know where my money would go in that case. I will note a couple of things though;

1. The first inning CS is EXACTLY the sort of thing I would expect from a team "pressing" or "trying to do too much" or whatever you want to call it to do.

2. I think noting that Texas scored twice in the first inning then ignoring that they promptly gave the lead away is a bit disingenuous.

Look, I'm not arguing that "momentum" or any sort of "intangible" BS is the driving factor. I think to completely ignore it or dismiss it as impossible is just as foolish as those who want to take Scott Brosius over Alex Rodriguez or David Eckstein over, well, poor A-Rod again I guess.
   10. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:42 PM (#3982438)
1. The first inning CS is EXACTLY the sort of thing I would expect from a team "pressing" or "trying to do too much" or whatever you want to call it to do.


Kinsler was caught 3 of 4 times in the series. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that this was a result of him "pressing" because of Game 6.

2. I think noting that Texas scored twice in the first inning then ignoring that they promptly gave the lead away is a bit disingenuous.


Why?

What the hell is momentum if it's not "came out of the gate to rally and score 2 runs in the top of the first"? St. Louis still had the momentum when they couldn't get any of the first four hitters out?

Yesterday you handwaved away the lead changes in Game 6 because it was just "in-game" and so didn't matter much. You've defined "momentum" so vaguely as to make it impossible to pin down.
   11. Joe Bivens is NOT a clueless numpty Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:51 PM (#3982442)
St. Louis still had the momentum when they couldn't get any of the first four hitters out?

They had offensive momentum. So do you, usually.
   12. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM (#3982443)
They had offensive momentum. So do you, usually.


But at least I know the difference between Billy Sample and Billy Martin.
   13. Joe Bivens is NOT a clueless numpty Posted: October 29, 2011 at 10:54 PM (#3982444)
Ok, I'll bite: What's the difference?
   14. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:11 PM (#3982451)
You've defined "momentum" so vaguely as to make it impossible to pin down.


Yes I have because that's how I feel about it. I know it offends your sensibilities that something can't be calculated to the nth degree but I think momentum and chemistry and all that crap meet that criteria. This stuff matters. It does not trump talent it does not trump today's starting pitcher but it does matter.

To be clear I'll say it again; the St. Louis Cardinals did not win last night solely or even primarily because of momentum. I think to hand wave it away as impossible to be meaningful simply because it is not able to be measured is narrow-minded.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3982452)
Re: #12-13:

Easy. Billy Sample isn't a filthy racist.

(*Unless he is. Somebody start a thread.)
   16. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:21 PM (#3982459)
This stuff matters.


You haven't shown that. You've just asserted it.
   17. PreservedFish Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:22 PM (#3982461)
"I think we showed what we were made of when we came right out and scored two runs," Young said. "But after that, their pitchers settled down and started making pitches."
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:23 PM (#3982462)
To be clear I'll say it again; the St. Louis Cardinals did not win last night solely or even primarily because of momentum. I think to hand wave it away as impossible to be meaningful simply because it is not able to be measured is narrow-minded.

I'd like to add that I'm not dismissing momentum b/c it can't be measured.

If Texas had come out flat and gotten shut down from the get go, I would agree with you that game 6 had crushed their spirits.

But they came right out with single, walk, double, double. That's not a beaten team.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:43 PM (#3982474)
I can believe in momentum up to a point, but momentum yesterday got a huge boost from a bad call that converted a one run deficit into a three run gulch. If that 5th inning pitch to Molina had been called correctly, the Cardinals would have left the bases loaded without scoring a run, and it might well have shifted momentum in the other direction.

I'm not blaming the Rangers' loss on the umpire, because the Rangers pretty much laid down and played dead after the first inning without anyone else's help. But when they were still in an easy position to tie the game with one swing of the bat, Jerry Layne took his boot and stamped on the Rangers' face---forever. (/ducks)
   20. Sam M. Posted: October 29, 2011 at 11:49 PM (#3982479)
If that 5th inning pitch to Molina had been called correctly, the Cardinals would have left the bases loaded without scoring a run, and it might well have shifted momentum in the other direction.


Really? That was a borderline pitch, one for which Napoli had to reach halfway across the plate. It is extremely rare that the pitcher gets that call. Let's not make this into some kind of Eric Gregg/Livan Hernandez thing. I'd put it the other way: that would have been a hell of a call, correct but frankly unusually GOOD on Layne's part if he'd called it a strike.
   21. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:02 AM (#3982486)
Really? That was a borderline pitch,


No, it was not.

one for which Napoli had to reach halfway across the plate.


Who cares where Napoli was reaching?

It is extremely rare that the pitcher gets that call. Let's not make this into some kind of Eric Gregg/Livan Hernandez thing. I'd put it the other way: that would have been a hell of a call, correct but frankly unusually GOOD on Layne's part if he'd called it a strike.


Layne didn't do his job. That pitch was a strike, and we didn't need K-Zone to see it. (Though we had K-Zone to confirm it.) It wasn't a difficult call to make, it wasn't a borderline pitch. The entire pitch was within the strike zone.

Washington was again clueless in ordering the walk of Albert Pujols David Freese, and I have no idea what in the hell Feldman was doing on the mound, but Feldman struck Molina out. And so Washington's decision should have "worked." To not acknowledge that is to be blind to the obvious.
   22. Tripon Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:10 AM (#3982487)

I suppose if Rangers fans can hang their hat onto nothing else, it's that the team appears to be in a good position to be an annual pennant contender for the next several seasons. The window remains very much open for this group of players.


Yeah, but as the Phillies of the 2010-2011 seasons note, that mean bumpkis once you're in the playoffs.
   23. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:13 AM (#3982488)
If that 5th inning pitch to Molina had been called correctly, the Cardinals would have left the bases loaded without scoring a run, and it might well have shifted momentum in the other direction.

Really? That was a borderline pitch, one for which Napoli had to reach halfway across the plate. It is extremely rare that the pitcher gets that call. Let's not make this into some kind of Eric Gregg/Livan Hernandez thing. I'd put it the other way: that would have been a hell of a call, correct but frankly unusually GOOD on Layne's part if he'd called it a strike.


No, it just would have been the right call. Ray's absolutely right that you could see it with the naked eye, and indeed it was confirmed by the K-Zone. It wasn't right down the middle, and I'm not even particularly blaming Layne for a call that often gets called a ball. But the point is whether it was close or not, it was wrong, and by being wrong at that uber-critical moment, it provided a huge momentum shift in the Cardinals' direction.
   24. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:15 AM (#3982490)
#22, and look at the Braves of the '90s. All those times in the playoffs, and just one WS championship.

Same with the Yankees in the '00s, really. Their last 10 playoff appearances have yielded one WS win.

Texas needed to win this year. There are no guarantees of anything, even if you make the playoffs. And have the best team.
   25. Ray (CTL) Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:18 AM (#3982493)
Andy and I agree. The pitch was not right down the middle, but it WAS right on the outer half, and completely engulfed within the strike zone. There is no excuse -- not "borderline," not "Napoli moved his glove" -- for Layne not calling it a strike.
   26. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:20 AM (#3982494)
I don't think "momentum" is necessarily the right word, but I think the concept itself is probably valid. Not necessarily throughout the whole game, but after the walks and hit by pitch fiasco that put them down 5 to 2, it's easy to see how that coupled with a really crushing loss the night before would be capable of taking an edge off their game and making them a bit less likely to mount a comeback.

You have to think emotion does affect performance to some extent, and their emotions at that point had to suck to the nth degree. Beltre seems to be saying as much. He's wrong that they lost the series the night before, but he's right in that such a feeling probably did creep into their minds, and that this feeling probably didn't help matters any. They could have won the game, but losing like they did the night before probably made it more difficult psychologically.
   27. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: October 30, 2011 at 12:31 AM (#3982499)
I don't think "momentum" is necessarily the right word, but I think the concept itself is probably valid.


It's not the right word. I think there's clearly no such thing as momentum when it's applied to sports _ that the simple fact that something or a string of somethings good/bad just happened makes a similar outcome more likely in the future. That's balderdash.

But corresponding changes in confidence or emotion or attitude having a positive/negative affect on future performance? Absolutely.
   28. Sunday silence Posted: October 30, 2011 at 06:11 PM (#3982800)
We have testimonial evidence of this very phenomenon from a Ranger player.


this kind of evidence is very dubious. Psychologists tell us that emotions that we feel, that are indeed real, are actually the brain interpreting what the body is feeling. For instance a cave man sees a tiger in the field, the adrenaline rushes to his legs, a few moments later the brain interprets this as fear. The physical part comes first.

here it might be nothing more than Beltre interpreting the external events that he saw and was part of in game 7. This is how it feels to him now, this might in fact be the way he will always feel about this. However it is also quite possible that this is how his brain interprets it after its over.

In different vein: It would really hurt to be in that TX clubhouse after game 7. To lose it like that and second year in a row. I am not at all sure a team doesnt lose something psychologically from this.

1. The first inning CS is EXACTLY the sort of thing I would expect from a team "pressing" or "trying to do too much" or whatever you want to call it to do.


Well yes, you would "expect" it. I.e. this event fits your theory or your belief or whatever. But superstition and habits et al. are mostly based on this sort of thing. People remember things that fit their reality and conveniently forget what doesn't. No one remembers playing a lottery number and losing but they will always remember the time they saw 7 pigeons on a wire and 717 hit the lottery. Or some such.

think of all the events that happened in the first inning. Was every one of them exactly the sort of thing you would expect from a team that's pressing? Most of them ?
   29. Sunday silence Posted: October 30, 2011 at 06:22 PM (#3982806)


Kinsler was caught 3 of 4 times in the series. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that this was a result of him "pressing" because of Game 6.


Does anyone think this was a thought out plan on the part of TLR? Going for Kinsler appeared to me to be some sort of plan. DOes anyone else think so?
   30. A Random 8-Year-Old Eskimo Posted: October 30, 2011 at 07:06 PM (#3982839)
FWIW, Mike Adams had a similar quote, suggesting that Texas could have benefited from a day off between Games 6 and 7 as he was exhausted after the game, despite throwing only three pitches, saying it was mentally draining.

I wouldn't be surprised LaRussa/Molina had a plan to go at Kinsler. Yadier loves to throw down and it's logical the coaches and LaRussa had identified Kinsler as someone who likes to get a big secondary step while at first base and a good candidate to throw behind.

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