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Sunday, September 09, 2012

NL playoff race: September 9, 2012

NL Wildcard

ATL 81-60 [7-2 in SEPT]
STL 75-65 [4-4 in SEPT]
LAD 74-67 [4-4 in SEPT] (1.5 GB)
PIT 72-67 [2-6 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)

MLB.com: McCann’s 10th-inning sac fly keeps Braves hot
MLB.com: Craig picks up Motte as Cards walk-off in 10th
MLB.com: Bucs complete rough homestand with loss to Cubs
MLB.com: Zito’s scoreless start widens Giants’ lead over LA

NTNgod Posted: September 09, 2012 at 05:49 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, cardinals, dodgers, giants, pennant race, pirates

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   1. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: September 09, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4231173)
The Braves won nine games in September last year. They've already got seven this September. Throw salt over the shoulder, spit on the ground, knock on wood, etc., but, offensive ineptitude notwithstanding, it looks like the Braves aren't going into sequel mode.
   2. Flynn Posted: September 09, 2012 at 08:16 PM (#4231177)
I would be genuinely sad if the Pirates finished with a losing record, but they turned back into pumpkins a loooong time ago.
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 09, 2012 at 08:17 PM (#4231179)
both hart and braun left the game today with injuries. no word on severity
   4. tshipman Posted: September 09, 2012 at 08:25 PM (#4231182)
It's sort of interesting that both the BoSox and the Braves collapsed last year. They made differing decisions on what to do after. I think the Braves' not overreacting was the correct decision.
   5. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: September 09, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4231191)
Frank Wren got a fair bit of positive press in spring training along those lines, ship. There's a lot of truth in that narrative, but there's a lot of retrospective rationalization of Atlanta's off-season. The Braves had no money this winter and they were locked in to a bunch of contracts. Wren made a decision to bet on healthy comeback years from Prado and Heyward, largely because the organization liked Prado and Heyward, but also because the Braves didn't have the resources to pursue any other plan. They probably wouldn't have replaced Heyward even if they had the money to do it, but they almost certainly wouldn't have gone into the season relying on "starting shortstop Tyler Pastornicky" if they had any other choice.
   6. Sweatpants Posted: September 09, 2012 at 08:55 PM (#4231204)
The Braves had no money this winter and they were locked in to a bunch of contracts. Wren made a decision to bet on healthy comeback years from Prado and Heyward, largely because the organization liked Prado and Heyward, but also because the Braves didn't have the resources to pursue any other plan.
Prado actually spent a good deal of time on the trading block during the offseason. Jurrjens was on the block, too; that one didn't work out as well.

On the subject of reacting to last year's collapse, Fredi Gonzalez has tried to shake things up a bit in his managerial style. Today he used Kimbrel in a tie game on the road, and it worked out - he got the win, and Moylan got the save.
   7. Honkie Kong Posted: September 09, 2012 at 09:32 PM (#4231224)
Prado actually spent a good deal of time on the trading block during the offseason. Jurrjens was on the block, too; that one didn't work out as well.


One of the rumored deals which got shot down was Prado/Jurrjens/prospect for WIl Myers/prospect. That would have been a worthwhile deal.
   8. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 09, 2012 at 09:55 PM (#4231242)
It's sort of interesting that both the BoSox and the Braves collapsed last year. They made differing decisions on what to do after. I think the Braves' not overreacting was the correct decision.

What was the overreaction by the Red Sox? Firing Francona? Their offseason moves were designed around the idea that the same players from 2011 would make them a contender in 2012 as well. And, similarly to what CFBF said about the Braves, the Red Sox had no money and were locked in to a bunch of contracts. I'm not sure what was so different about the two teams other than firing the manager.
   9. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: September 09, 2012 at 10:03 PM (#4231248)
Do we want to include Epstein's departure in the "moves made by the Red Sox" column? I don't know. Either way, it certainly seemed like Boston devolved into an orgy of recrimination while Atlanta stayed relatively quiet. You had the "Tito might be addicted to painkillers" leak, the beer and chicken nonsense, etc. There was none of that in Atlanta.

Of course, I assume a lot (if not all) of that can be traced to the...let's say slightly different media cultures in Boston and Atlanta.
   10. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: September 09, 2012 at 10:30 PM (#4231262)
the phillies are making a run. hamels, lee, and halladay are all starting to pitch as expected, and kendrick is having a pretty awesome stretch run in the rotation, too. and the bullpen is really coming together thanks to the expanded rosters. the phillies have a multitude of quality arms from both sides of the rubber now (bastardo, horst, diekman, and valdes as lefties, and de fratus, aumont, lindblom, and papelbon as righties), and uncle cholly is doing his best imitation of tonyball.

and at the plate, chase utley and ryan howard were significant upgrades from opening day starters freddy galvis and ty wigginton. plus, they've stumbled upon kevin frandsen and erik kratz, with the former hitting .336 since his callup and the latter slugging .589 as a catcher. plus carlos ruiz is getting his feet wet coming back from injury.


as a team, they're 15-6 over their last 21 games, and they've pulled to only 6 games behind the cardinals.


####, that 1-10 stretch leading into the all-star break is a ####### killer right now.
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 09, 2012 at 10:42 PM (#4231267)
as a team, they're 15-6 over their last 21 games, and they've pulled to only 6 games behind the cardinals.
6 back with 22 to play is never "only".
   12. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: September 09, 2012 at 10:56 PM (#4231273)
6 back with 22 to play is never "only".
i don't think it's necessarily likely--the fact that the phillies are below .500, and that they have to jump 5 teams to get the second wildcard slot, but the phillies came from 7 GB with 17 to play in 2007 to overtake the mets for the division title. that same year, the rockies made up 6.5 games in 13 to force a tiebreaker game for the division, which they won. and then, just last year, the cardinals came back from 8 GB with 20 to play to overtake the braves for the wild card.

it's possible. especially considering the talent they have on hand, and that they're finally getting significant contributions from role players.
   13. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 09, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4231280)
it's possible.
Mathematically, sure. But it would be one of the most improbable things in a very, very long time.
   14. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: September 09, 2012 at 11:15 PM (#4231288)
Mathematically, sure. But it would be one of the most improbable things in a very, very long time.
12 months?
   15. cardsfanboy Posted: September 10, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4231329)
It's not likely, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Contending teams record and remaining schedule.
Braves 81-60...they are more or less a lock for the wild card spot..They have 3 vs Mil, Wash, Phil, NYM and Pit along with 6 vs Miami....that is 9 pushover games(Mia/NYM) and 3 wild card wannabes(Pit, Mil and Phil have between 69-72 wins right now) and the best team in the NL. Not going to matter, barring another historic collapse they are in, even if they don't make it as the number one wild card. (3/9/9)

Philly 69-71.... 1 game vs Col, 3 vs Nym, Atl, , 4 vs Hou and 6 vs Miami and Wash....(first place teams/contending teams/poor teams-----6/3/13)

Cardinals 75-65 3 vs Padres, Cubs, Wash and Cincy, 4 vs Dodgers, and 6 vs Houston..... should be an easy schedule, it's one of the things Cardinal fans were pointing out at the beginning of the year was that we were going to have an easy September.....(6/4/12)

Pittsburgh 72-67 3 vs Mil, Houston Atlanta, 4 vs Cubs and Mets, 6 vs Reds.... Fairly tough schedule, the Brewers will pass them in the standings by this time next week. (6/6/11)

Milwaukee 69-71 3 vs Atl, NYM, Pit, Cin, Hou and SD, 4 vs Washington....Looks like a fairly tough schedule, with no remaining games against the Cubs to help them out. (7/6/12)

Dodgers 74-67 2 vs Ari, 3 vs wash, Cin, Sd, Col and SFG...4 vs Cardinals... by far the toughest schedule remaining of the wild card contenders. ( 9/4 /8)

ARi 69-72 2 vs LAD, 3 vs SDP, Chc, 6 vs SFG and 7 vs Col. moderate difficult schedule. ( 6/ 2/13)

Based upon the records and remaining schedule, I like the Cardinals chances. The Braves are going to get the first wild card spot, I think that much is obvious. Dodgers have a tough road ahead of them that it should help the Cardinals out, but it looks like the Philly's have the easiest remaining schedule.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2012 at 01:32 AM (#4231369)
with no remaining games against the Cubs to help them out.

hey, c'mon now, it's not like we're the Astros. We've won a whole 37% of our games since the AS break!

(For those scoffing, that's nearly TWICE the winning percentage of the Astros. The Astros have been outscored by 134 runs in their last 53 games.)
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: September 10, 2012 at 02:21 AM (#4231376)
hey, c'mon now, it's not like we're the Astros. We've won a whole 37% of our games since the AS break!


The only reason I mentioned the Cubs is that all the other central teams have games remaining with both the Cubs and Astros(at least 6 total), except the Brewers who only have 3 games with the Astros.

I don't think there is any debate that the Cubs and the Astros are the two worse teams in baseball.
   18. TomH Posted: September 10, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4231394)
as of this morning, the Phillies are only 6 games out of the 2nd wild card. That is stunning.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: September 10, 2012 at 07:53 AM (#4231395)
I don't think there is any debate that the Cubs and the Astros are the two worse teams in baseball.

Hey now!! There's a distinct possibility we're better than the Indians (15-39 2nd half and their best starter has an ERA+ of 90).

   20. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 10, 2012 at 08:06 AM (#4231400)
In game 2, the Phils started an OF of Ty Wigginton, John Mayberry, Jr. and Dom Brown. MiniMart started at 3B and Stephen "Who?" Lerud was the C. With players like this, making up 6 games should be no problem.
   21. zack Posted: September 10, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4231423)
don't think it's necessarily likely--the fact that the phillies are below .500, and that they have to jump 5 teams to get the second wildcard slot, but the phillies came from 7 GB with 17 to play in 2007 to overtake the mets for the division title.


The part about the 5 other teams is the killer. You can get hot while the leading team goes ice cold, like 2007, but the chances that five other teams also go ice cold is basically nil.
   22. salvomania Posted: September 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4231494)
The Cardinals run last year had them coming from 8.5 down in the Wild Card race with 22 games to play...but only one team above them had to go cold, and they did.

Six down with 22 to play seems pretty much impossible with five teams having to go cold.. If the Dodgers, for instance, lose a bunch of games to the Giants and Cardinals to fall closer to the Phillies, the Phillies won't have gained anything on the Giants and Cardinals, and the sands will be running out...
   23. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM (#4231522)
i just want the brewers to be enough of a nuisance to make cards fans sweat.

   24. cardsfanboy Posted: September 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4231541)
i just want the brewers to be enough of a nuisance to make cards fans sweat.


Our Jekyl/Hyde team is enough of a nuisance to make the Card fans sweat....
   25. salvomania Posted: September 10, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4231581)
i just want the brewers to be enough of a nuisance to make cards fans sweat.


Mission accomplished so far, at least over the past weekend.
   26. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 10, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4231605)
12 months?
See, you've being vastly overoptimistic. A team coming back from 6 down with 22 to play and passing 5 teams is vastly more improbable than the Cardinals or Rays' comebacks last year.

The Phillies finishing ahead of the Cardinals is entirely plausible. They could catch them in a week. The Phillies finishing ahead of the Cardinals and winning the Wild Card would be something they'd write about for years.
   27. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: September 10, 2012 at 12:31 PM (#4231643)
The Phillies finishing ahead of the Cardinals and winning the Wild Card would be something they'd write about for years
good to know.
   28. will Posted: September 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4231663)
This is a 125 to 1 shot, BUT they don't need to pass 5 teams. The assumption is that it only happens if they go 17-5 or better (let's say 86 wins is the target). We assume they don't catch Atlanta ( the first wild card) and assume that SF wins the West. The Phillies are tied with the Brewers, and if the Phillies have a great three weeks, but the Brwers play better, such is life. So, the three teams they need to catch are the Cards, Dodgers and Pirates. Very unlikely, but note that they don't require "five team to go cold". Rather, they need three teams to play no better then .500.

Yes, very unlikely, but you never know.......
   29. bunyon Posted: September 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4231667)
The part about the 5 other teams is the killer. You can get hot while the leading team goes ice cold, like 2007, but the chances that five other teams also go ice cold is basically nil.

Yes, but.

With the ever decreasing bar for entry to the playoffs, the team(s) you're fighting aren't as good. Would you rather have to pass 4 or 5 good to mediocre teams or one very good team? Obviously, one mediocre team is the choice but I think there are reasons we're seeing more big leads blown today than decades ago and that is that the teams blowing them just aren't as good.

If you were 7 up with 25 to play in 1960, you were probably a great team. If you were 7 up with 25 to play in 1985 you were probably a very good team. Being 7 up with 25 to play in 2012 doesn't, necessarily, make you all that good.
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 10, 2012 at 01:55 PM (#4231736)
with the variability from season to season a gm for teams without huge payrolls should target 85 wins as the goal. if things break right you are the reds and you win 91-92 and win the division. if they break wrong you are milwaukee and you finish around .500

but targeting 85 wins versus 95 wins keeps you from spending silly money on trying to get the very best of everything and instead has you being judicious and scrounging for bargains.

as long as you understand that the margin of error is razor thin between being a contender and being a schmuck
   31. zenbitz Posted: September 10, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4232026)

@30 BRIAN SABEAN WUZ RITE!
   32. esseff Posted: September 10, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4232032)
Rather, they need three teams to play no better then .500.


The fact that two of those teams play each other four times this week could be problematic.
   33. AndrewJ Posted: September 10, 2012 at 09:53 PM (#4232128)
Phils win again, now at 70-71. They probably ain't making the playoffs, but still stand an excellent chance of finishing over .500 -- and I would think their excellent second half performance bodes very well for 2013.
   34. starving to death with a full STEAGLES Posted: September 10, 2012 at 10:38 PM (#4232149)
Phils win again, now at 70-71. They probably ain't making the playoffs, but still stand an excellent chance of finishing over .500 -- and I would think their excellent second half performance bodes very well for 2013.
the last time they lost a 9 inning game it was august 17. they're only 16-6 since that game, but if they finish the season 16-6 (which includes tonight's win), they'll be 85-77.

for the phillies to clinch the wildcard with that record, st louis would have to finish 9-13 or worse, and the dodgers would have to finish 9-9 or worse. the phillies record is now better than arizona's, and if milwaukee loses tonight, they'll have a worse record, too. in addition, pittsburgh, while still ahead of the phillies in the standings, isn't likely to be a threat, no offense.


just to explain why i'm kind of giddy about this, despite the admittedly large improbability, if the phillies clinch the second wildcard spot on the final day of the season, and then win the wildcard play-in game, and then win their series in the divisional round, that would mean:

eliminating the cardinals
eliminating the braves
eliminating the nationals

in essentially, the span of one week.

how ####### amazing would that be?
   35. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4232156)
pass

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