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Friday, October 05, 2012

Grantland AL wild card preview

For the Orioles, the surprise is … everything. They went 69-93 last year, the sixth straight year they lost at least 92 games. They had one of the weaker farm systems in the game. They played in the AL East, which is the SEC West of baseball divisions. Their biggest offseason moves were trading their ace, Jeremy Guthrie, to the Colorado Rockies for Jason Hammel, and replacing Guthrie with Wei-Yin Chen, a Taiwanese pitcher no one had heard of.

Naturally, they went 93-69. In one-run games, they went 29-9, the best record in one-run affairs since 1900. They’re on a streak of 16 consecutive extra-inning wins, the longest streak since the 1949 Cleveland Indians won 17 in a row. They called up 20-year-old Manny Machado to play third base in August, and 19-year-old Dylan Bundy to pitch in September. The world’s largest known oil reserves were discovered directly underneath Camden Yards. Adam Jones won American Idol. Matt Wieters defeated WOPR in tic-tac-toe, thus saving the world from global thermonuclear war.

Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: October 05, 2012 at 09:08 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles, playoffs, rangers

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4254994)
I said it in the prediction thread, I'll say it here. The Orioles are losing in extra innings tonight.
   2. The_Ex Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4255026)
Do we need a preview of a one-off game? Here is mine:

Something random will happen that will allow one team to win.
   3. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4255036)
Darvish has been mostly lights out in September. I can't see the Orioles getting more than a run or two off him.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4255055)
My prediction: OPPA GANGNAM STYLE!!!! HEY SEXY LADYYYY
   5. The District Attorney Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4255060)
My prediction: Pain.
   6. TomH Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4255081)
Who's the HP ump? Darvish can get into wild streaks.
(grapsing at straws for the O's)
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4255102)
Who's the HP ump? Darvish can get into wild streaks.

Gary Darling.

Gary Darling, a 26-year veteran, will have the plate in a Darvish start for the third time this season. In the previous starts, Darvish went 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA. Darvish had 21 strikeouts and only five walks in 14 innings.
   8. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:10 PM (#4255115)
IT'S GONNA BE A BLOODBATH!!
   9. Magnum RA Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4255118)
Adrian to O's: "YOU CAN'T WIN!!!!"
   10. NJ in DC (Now with temporary employment!) Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:27 PM (#4255131)
Oh, the Rangers think October experience is their ally. But they merely adopted the pressure; The Orioles were born in it, molded by it. They didn't win a game by more than 1 run until they had already earned a playoff berth, by then it was nothing to them but DRUDGING!
   11. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4255134)
Prediction: The winners won't really know how to celebrate.
   12. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4255139)
I think it's appropriate to celebrate it the same way you would celebrate clinching the Wild Card on the last day of the season.
   13. BDC Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4255140)
The Orioles are losing in extra innings tonight

Hasn't Adam Jones hit about 15 extra-inning home runs this season? It would seem inevitable he hits at least a grand slam if it gets that far.
   14. Don Malcolm Posted: October 06, 2012 at 02:59 AM (#4256562)
Through working it out so that the opposite of his natural inclination took hold, Rany actually got it right.

Just the way that we used to do it with BP--whatever they say will happen, figure on the opposite.

It certainly seemed that the Rangers just had the wheels come off their wagon in Oakland, and they were simply stunned by it all. They took their best shot in that third inning on Wednesday, when they looked like themselves for awhile.

But the expectations for this team were always too high, in part because they started so hot. Dave Schoenfield drooling about how they were the second coming of the '98 Yankees, for one. They were supposed to win a hundred games. Instead, they blew hot and cold all year, and wound up in the freezer--losing five of their last six, seven of their last nine.

They'd absolutely crushed the O's in the regular season. But such are the vagaries of the game.

Oh, yes--final score: O's 5, Rangers 1.

Oh, and note to Bob--Adam Jones has hit 4 extra-inning HRs this year. Thus far.
   15. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 06, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4256563)
Something tells me the Rangers would have been better if Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis hadn't both gotten hurt. Now, pitchers get hurt--we all know that. But that's still a lot to lose. Surely they would have won a game or two more with those guys starting every fifth day instead of Scott Feldman, Roy Oswalt, Martin Perez, etc. And they really missed the boat by not putting Ogando back in the rotation once they had two starters go down.
   16. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 06, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4256605)
Something tells me the Rangers would have been better if Neftali Feliz and Colby Lewis hadn't both gotten hurt
Yeah, but I'm not really sympathetic to that argument. You can play that game for every team. Pineda and Rivera got hurt for the Yankees, and CC missed some time. Oakland lost McCarthy and Anderson (and Colon, though that's kind of a different thing). Maybe Texas was more hurt by injuries than other teams but injuries are part of the game. It doesn't go 100% for anyone. (Or almost anyone, I suppose.)
   17. BDC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 09:14 AM (#4256635)
They were supposed to win a hundred games. Instead, they blew hot and cold all year, and wound up in the freezer--losing five of their last six, seven of their last nine

Indeed. Vaux nails it in #15. By the mid/late-September, only Harrison and Darvish were pitching well. And they continued to pitch well enough into the final week, last night included, but the Rangers entered one of those phases teams will sometimes, where they don't score for the good starters and they score too few to overcome the bad ones. If things had aligned a bit differently, or more importantly, they'd still had two more good starters … if if if.
   18. BDC Posted: October 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM (#4256680)
And to speak to RB's point, sure, the other teams definitely coped better with their injuries than the Rangers coped with theirs. For much of September I had the weird feeling that one organizational goal for Texas was to get Martin Perez into extended fall training. They either assumed the division was won, thought Perez was truly the best starter left in the entire organization, were determined to match Oakland kid for kid, imagined they'd just score tons of runs no matter what, figured they'd try the genius coaching treatment on the young man, or truly lost the plot, or some combination of all of the above. But it was like conceding three starts, two of them against the A's, with the division on the line. I wish Perez well, but he wasn't ready for this.

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