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Friday, September 28, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-28-2012

Chicago Day Book, September 28, 1912:

Horace Fogel, president of the Philadelphia National League team, in signed statement, accuses the New York Giants of having won the pennant by “fixing” umpires. He says that there were at least 21 games that the Giants won that they should have lost had the umpiring been on the square.

Fogel also predicted that President Lynch would not remain long at the head of the National League.

I predict Fogel will not remain long at the head of the Phillies.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:09 AM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, horace fogel

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:20 AM (#4247867)
Today's Birthday Team has a weird abundance of relief pitchers and a dearth of starting pitchers. Four of the five starters made more MLB relief appearances than starts.

Not much on offense other than the corner infielders and the fourth starter.

C: Al Evans
1B: Jack Fournier
2B: Mike Massey
SS: Mario Guerrero
3B: Ryan Zimmerman
LF: Dick Gernert
CF: Whitey Witt
RF: Wilbur Good

SP: Grant Jackson
SP: Dick Barrett
SP: Pete Filson
SP/PH: Micah Owings
SP: Leon Chagnon
RP: Todd Worrell
RP: Mike DeJean
RP: Todd Frohwirth

Umpire: Jerry Layne
Play By Play: Matt Vasgersian
Fun Name: Hank Grampp
Fun Guy: Charlie Kerfeld
   2. Mike Webber Posted: September 28, 2012 at 09:23 AM (#4247904)
oops week early
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4248069)
The Rockies need one more win to avoid losing 100 games for the first time in franchise history. Trivia time: Can you name the only other franchise that has never had a 100-loss season?

Hint: It's not the Yankees, who lost 102 games back in 1912.
   4. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:56 PM (#4248081)
Trivia time: Can you name the only other franchise that has never had a 100-loss season?

I guessed Toronto, but that wasn't even close.
   5. Dag Nabbit at Posted: September 28, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4248084)
   6. JJ1986 Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4248088)
I'm pretty sure it's the Angels; every other expansion team has had a period of real badness and I can't imagine it's an original franchise.
   7. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:05 PM (#4248093)
The Reds have only lost 100 once, and that was in their 100th anniversary season.
   8. Moe Greene Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4248122)
From Rob Neyer's twitter feed...

Ring Lardner's "You Know Me Al" is available for $0.99 today on Kindle.
   9. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: September 28, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4248125)
From Wiki:

Fogel was also the owner/president of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1909 to 1912. As owner, he was banned in 1912 for publicly asserting that the umpires favored the New York Giants and were making unfair calls against his team.

OK, you don't want owners b!tching about the umps, but banned? How do you ban an owner, anyway? Force him to sell the team? What if he doesn't want to sell? Can you say "illegal trust", boys and girls?

Hell, Mark Cuban says stuff like this every day, and twice on Sunday. If the NBA tried to ban him, he'd drag their @sses into court. (Bad publicity, anyone?)
   10. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 28, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4248255)
Fogel was also the guy who had the bright idea to convert Christy Mathewson into an outfielder/first baseman.
   11. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: September 28, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4248374)
If Chipper Jones plays in all six of the games the Braves have left, he'll finish with exactly 2500 games played.
   12. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 28, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4248421)
Game of the day (yesterday): Rays 3, White Sox 2. Jake Peavy and James Shields is supposed to be a really good pitching matchup, but we've all seen any number of really good pitching matchups that didn't work out that way.

Fortunately, some of them do.

Peavy set the Rays down in order in the top of the first, while Shields allowed only a Kevin Youkilis single in the bottom of the inning. Jeff Keppinger and Luke Scott both singled with two outs in the second before Peavy stranded them, while Dayan Viciedo's two-out hit also failed to produce any scoring. Peavy was perfect again in the third, while Shields issued a walk to Alejandro de Aza, but then got a double play ball from Youkilis.

The game's first runs scored in the fourth. Ben Zobrist led off the top of the inning with a double and moved up a base on each of two flyouts, scoring on the second. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko started the bottom of the fourth with walks, and Alexis Rios singled to load the bases. After AJ Pierzynski struck out, Viciedo was hit by a pitch to force in the tying run. Alexei Ramirez popped up, and Gordon Beckham lined out to end the inning with three runners on.

The teams traded runs again in the fifth. Luke Scott led off the top of the inning with a home run; in the bottom, Chicago once again loaded the bases with none out on a de Aza single, a Youkilis HBP, and a Dunn walk. Konerko hit into a double play, bringing in the tying run but also defusing the rally with remarkable immediacy. Peavy then threw a perfect sixth, while Shields allowed a single-and-steal to Ramirez with two outs before stranding him at second.

Peavy was once again spotless in the top of the seventh. Shields allowed a one-out single to Youkilis and was pulled in favor of Jake McGee; McGee walked Konerko with two outs, but retired the other two Chicago hitters he faced to end the inning with no scoring. Tampa's Sam Fuld drew a one-out walk from Peavy in the eighth, but Brett Myers relieved and recorded the remaining two outs quickly. Pierzynski led off the bottom of the inning with a hit against Joel Peralta, but a strikeout and a double play combined to leave the Sox with another scoreless effort.

With one out in the ninth, Evan Longoria homered off of Myers, and Fernando Rodney allowed only a two-out single to Youkilis in the bottom of the ninth.

Not a spectacular game necessarily, but a good one, and between two playoff contenders. Of particular note is the fact that, despite scoring only two runs, the White Sox did not go down 1-2-3 in any inning (at least not in the conventional sense; they had two three-batter innings, but both of them featured double plays). And a late-inning, tiebreaking home run is never something that sends a (nonpartisan) fan home disappointed.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: September 28, 2012 at 07:39 PM (#4248489)
My first guess was the D-Backs but they did have one terrible season. My second guess was the Dodgers who have not lost 100 since 1908!
   14. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:01 PM (#4248502)
I think multiple owners were banned back then. Usually for gambling. This case seems less severe, but in a climate where gambling and fixing games was a real concern Fogel was banned for "improper conduct", basically recklessly bringing baseball in general into disrepute because of his spite toward other owners. Since he was just the frontman for a syndicate anyway, they kicked him out and he went back to being a sportswriter.

Here's a great piece about Fogel.
   15. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:03 PM (#4248503)
Fogel was also the guy who had the bright idea to convert Christy Mathewson into an outfielder/first baseman.

Also to change the name of the Phillies to "Live Wires".
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:15 PM (#4248516)
Highly honorable mention game of the day (last year): D'Backs 7, Dodgers 6 (10). The teams exchanged single runs in the seventh, and went to extras at 1-1. Then the skies opened and the flood poured down from the heavens: The Dodgers tenth went double-sac bunt attempt with run-scoring error-RBI single-groundout-RBI single-walk-two-run triple, bringing in five runs before the second out. Arizona's first two hitters in the bottom of the inning made outs, and then it went single-single-walk-ROE to score one-walk to score one-Ryan Roberts grand slam.

I was all set to at least consider overruling my system and declaring this one the winner just from sheer awesomeness until I encountered the actual...

Game of the day (last year): Reds 5, Mets 4 (13). New York's Chris Capuano walked Drew Stubbs with one out in the first. Joey Votto then hit into a force, and Jay Bruce proceeded to open the scoring with a two-run homer, which happened to be the 100th of his career. Cincinnati's Bronson Arroyo also put a runner on with one out, hitting Ruben Tejada with a pitch. Willie Harris grounded out, moving Tejada to second, from where he scored on David Wright's single. After both starters worked perfect second innings, Capuano allowed a single to Brandon Phillips and a double to Stubbs with one out in the third. He rallied, however, fanning Votto and getting Bruce to fly out and leave both runners in scoring position, which allowed Jose Reyes's solo homer in the bottom of the inning to tie the score at 2.

Capuano worked a 1-2-3 fourth, Arroyo allowed only a two-out single in the bottom of the inning, and Capuano worked around a leadoff hit in the fifth. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Reyes hit his second solo homer of the game to give the Mets their first lead, but Votto led off the sixth with a homer of his own to draw the Reds back even. In the bottom of the sixth, Nick Evans doubled with one out and Josh Thole singled him home; the Mets would eventually get Thole as far as third before the inning ended with him stranded there, but they'd still reclaimed the advantage.

The New York bullpen took over the pitching duties at that point. Despite allowing a single to Paul Janish, Pedro Beato recorded the first two outs of the seventh via the K, and Tim Byrdak came on to finish the striking out of the side. Arroyo erased a Tejada single with a Harris double play in the bottom of the inning, and the Reds mounted a rally against Manny Acosta in the eighth when Stubbs and Bruce singled. Stubbs was thrown out stealing third, however, and Chris Heisey grounded out to leave Bruce at second. Arroyo worked around a Thole single in the eighth, giving his teammates one more chance in the ninth.

Bobby Parnell started the inning by retiring Todd Frazier. Devin Mesoraco singled, but Yonder Alonso struck out. Edgar Renteria singled, moving the tying run into scoring position and prompting the Reds to replace Mesoraco with Dave Sappelt on the bases. Juan Francisco then fought off an inside pitch, dumping it up the left field line for a double that scored Sappelt and tied the game. Stubbs popped up to leave the go-ahead runs in scoring position.

Aroldis Chapman entered to attempt to send the game to extras, and quickly retired the first two Mets he faced. Reyes reached on an infield hit, however, and took second when Chapman made a throwing error on the play. He then stole third, but after Tejada walked and took second on defensive indifference, Harris lined out to leave the winning run ninety feet away.

Danny Herrera came on for the top of the tenth, and served up a one-out double to Bruce. Ryota Igarashi replaced Herrera and intentionally walked Heisey. Frazier then grounded out, advancing both runners, and Ramon Hernandez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With Chapman's spot in the order up next, Cincinnati put in a pinch hitter: Dontrelle Willis. Willis struck out in what ended up being the last appearance of his major league career; the list of pitchers who served as pinch hitters in their final game cannot be too terribly long.

Nick Masset set the Mets down in order in the bottom of the tenth, and the Reds went right back to work in the eleventh. After Igarashi recorded the first two outs, Stubbs tripled. Votto was given an intentional walk, and Bruce an unintentional one, loading the bases for the second inning in a row; Heisey grounded out to leave them that way. Bill Bray walked Justin Turner with two outs in the bottom of the eleventh, but kept the rest of New York's hitters off the bases, and the game continued.

Josh Stinson allowed a leadoff hit to Frazier in the twelfth, but erased him on a double play, and Sam LeCure worked a spotless bottom half of the inning. After Dale Thayer coaxed a foulout from Renteria to open the thirteenth, Francisco launched the ball into the right-center field gap. The throw reached the cutoff man shortly after Francisco rounded second, but Reyes's relay was just far enough off the base that Francisco slid into third safely.

The next batter was Stubbs, who is not famous for his contact hitting skills. So naturally, the Reds called for the suicide squeeze - and of course, it worked beautifully, bringing Francisco home without a throw. Francisco Cordero was then summoned to preserve the newfound lead, and started inauspiciously by walking Evans. Evans thoughtfully tried to steal second, and was thrown out. Not one to have his generosity outdone, Cordero countered by walking Thole, balking him to second, and then walking both Jason Bay and Josh Satin to load the bases with one out. Up next was Turner, who hit a line drive - but it was a soft one, and right to second baseman Frazier, who caught the ball and stepped on second for the unassisted double play.

Thirteen innings. Three game-tying rallies in regulation, the last one coming with two outs in the ninth; both teams leave the go-ahead run at third that inning. Road team loads the bases in both the tenth and eleventh before taking the lead in the thirteenth; home team loads the bases with one out, but doesn't score. The system sees that, and lists this game as the 12th-best of 2011.

What the system doesn't see: Jay Bruce's 100th career home run. Jose Reyes's 2-homer, 3-hit day all but wrapping up the batting title. Dontrelle Willis's last hurrah. Cordero managing to walk four batters in an inning without allowing a run. And the game-ending double play being made by a second baseman with all of eight career innings at the position. If anything, I think I'm underrating this one.

Side note: 2011 gave us some of the best season-ending drama ever in terms of pennant races. What we didn't know at the time is that it also gave us a surprise ending in the most-exciting-team race; the Reds' participation in this one vaults them ahead of the Royals, who led all season long, usually by a giant margin. There's now one game to go, and Cincinnati's lead is probably insurmountable. But I'll let you know officially tomorrow. (On the last place end of things, Texas trails the 29th-ranked Rays by a pretty healthy amount, and everyone else by far more. I wonder which of those two teams had the more exciting last game...)
   17. Gch exhales the vast drunken folly of Epicurus Posted: September 28, 2012 at 08:22 PM (#4248520)
Also to change the name of the Phillies to "Live Wires".

This makes more sense than it might seem, given that just ten years before that the Phillies were caught transmitting stolen signs from the outfield clubhouse to the third base coach using a live wire.

Plus the article claims that "Fogel even came up with a new “logo,” which featured an eagle grasping sparkling wires."

The world is a lesser place because this plan did not go beyond the drawing board.
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 29, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4248978)
Game of the day (yesterday): Reds 1, Pirates 0. It takes a fairly special game to beat a no-hitter, especially a close one, and there wasn't one of those yesterday. The Pirates had two runners reach - Clint Barmes on an error in the third, and Andrew McCutchen on a walk in the seventh; McCutchen stole second, and was then caught stealing third. If he'd been safe (there was one out at the time), then things might have gotten really interesting. Cincinnati's run, meanwhile, came in the top of the first on two hits, a walk, and a sac fly.

I'd expound more here, but I really just want to get to the other game I have to write about today...
   19. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 29, 2012 at 06:12 PM (#4249001)
Before we get to the actual choice, a side note: The entire AL schedule on 9/28 was quite good (the NL one was not, with one notable exception). Of the seven game played, five of them had the decisive runs score in the ninth inning (or later), and another was decided in the eighth. The two best games of the group, however, were the ones you'd expect.

But which do you choose? The one in which one team trailed through much of regulation before staging a late-game rally to force extras, then hung on through multiple extra-inning threats by their opponent before finally coming out with the win, or the one in which a team fighting for its playoff life overcame an early deficit to take a one-run lead, then turned it over to their seemingly-invincible closer only to watch him blow the game and end the season in heartbreak?

The real question: Why choose, when there's one game that has all of those things?

Game of the day (last year): Phillies 4, Braves 3 (13). The Braves started Tim Hudson, who retired the first two Phils in the first before Hunter Pence walked and Ryan Howard doubled him in with the game's first run. Philly countered with Joe Blanton, who allowed a leadoff single to Michael Bourn in the bottom of the first; Bourn stole second, took third on a groundout, and scored on Chipper Jones's sac fly to tie the game. Hudson worked a perfect second, while Blanton allowed a ground-rule double to Freddie Freeman and an infield hit to Matt Diaz, but struck out the other three Braves he faced.

In the third, Hudson retired all three Phillie hitters on groundouts. One of them was Brandon Moss, who came on as a pinch hitter for Blanton. Cole Hamels took Blanton's place to start the bottom of the third; his outing began the same way his predecessor's did, with Michael Bourn grounding a single up the middle. Bourn stole second, and stayed there as Martin Prado reached on an infield hit to third. The Braves then went for a double steal, and Bourn was thrown out at third; Jones followed by striking out, but on an 0-2 count, Dan Uggla hit a 2-run homer to put the Braves in the lead.

The Phils didn't exactly roll over; Pence and Howard opened the fourth with consecutive singles, putting the tying runs on. John Mayberry Jr.'s forceout moved Pence to third, and that was where he stayed, as Raul Ibanez whiffed and Placido Polanco grounded out. Brian McCann led off the bottom of the inning with a single, and the Braves proceeded to manage the unusual feat of hitting into three consecutive forceouts at second. Hudson and Hamels were both spotless in the fifth, and Hudson erased a Chase Utley leadoff single with a Pence double play in the sixth, keeping the score at 3-1.

Vance Worley replaced Hamels in the bottom of the sixth, and walked both Uggla and Freeman to start the inning. McCann and Diaz then struck out; Jack Wilson singled to right, and Uggla rounded third with what looked like a useful insurance run, but Pence made a magnificent throw home to get Uggla on a very close play. With one out in the seventh, Hudson allowed a double to Ibanez and a single to Polanco. Carlos Ruiz then hit a hard grounder right to Wilson at short, which would very likely have been an inning-ending double play had Wilson fielded it cleanly. Instead, the ball ricocheted into shallow center and Ibanez scored to cut Philly's deficit in half. Hudson was pulled for Eric O'Flaherty, who induced a successfully-turned DP from Shane Victorino to mitigate the damage.

Brad Lidge worked a perfect seventh for the Phils, and Jonny Venters came on for the eighth. Utley walked with one out, Pence grounded out to move him to second, Howard was hit by a pitch, and Mayberry walked to load the bases. Representing the go-ahead run, Howard was removed for pinch runner Michael Martinez, but Ibanez struck out to leave the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. Ryan Madson worked a 1-2-3 eighth to keep his team within striking distance, but that's a relative term when Craig Kimbrel is set to pitch the ninth.

Polanco greeted Kimbrel with a single to right, and was replaced by pinch runner Pete Orr. Carlos Ruiz worked through seven pitches before striking out; Ben Francisco and Jimmy Rollins saw six and seven, respectively, before both of them accepted ball four, moving the tying run to third. Utley then flied to left, easily deep enough to score Orr. Pence walked, reloading the bases, and Kris Medlen replaced Kimbrel and got Martinez (who had fatefully replaced Howard an inning earlier) to fly out. Michael Stutes retired the Braves in order to send the game to extras.

Wilson Valdez managed a two-out single against Medlen in the tenth, and Bourn picked up a one-out hit against Michael Schwimmer in the bottom of the inning, but neither runner advanced past first (largely thanks to a fine running catch by Martinez on a long two-out fly by Jones). After Anthony Varvaro retired the first two Phillies in the eleventh, Utley walked and stole second, prompting an intentional walk to Pence that brought Martinez to the plate. He flied out, keeping the game tied. Schwimmer didn't allow a baserunner in the bottom of the inning, and the game continued.

Mayberry led off with an infield hit against Cristhian Martinez in the twelfth, but Ibanez erased him on a double play ball. In the bottom of the inning, Jason Heyward greeted Justin De Fratus with a single, and took second on Wilson's sac bunt. Brooks Conrad struck out, Bourn was intentionally walked, and Heyward took third on a wild pitch. Martin Prado then grounded to third, ending that particular threat.

Scott Linebrink was the next man out of the Atlanta bullpen. He walked Brian Schneider with one out, then allowed a two-out hit to Utley that moved Schneider to third. Pence then dropped the ball softly just out of Freeman's reach at first; Uggla made a diving stop, but had no play, and Schneider scored the go-ahead run. David Herndon came on for the bottom of the thirteenth; he struck out Jones, walked Uggla, and induced a season-ending 3-6-3 double play from Freeman.

There have been enough pages written (and film segments shot, and all that stuff) about this game, and these games, and this day, that what I write about it isn't going to add much. You already know it's awesome. Combining a 94th percentile game, a 95th percentile game, and a 99th percentile game involving three teams right on the edge of playoff berths on the season's last day, and having two of them be decided in highly improbable fashion with remarkable simultaneity... that's never going to happen again. (Incidentally, the fourth game in the group, Cardinals 8, Astros 0, grades out as the 13th-worst game of the season; I suppose the unbelievability has to balance out somehow.) It is, at least, worth pointing out that as tremendous as the combined endings of the Sox and Rays were, the third game, the one that tends to get lost just a little in the narrative of the day, was probably the best one on its own.

Final seasonal report for 2011: The Reds take the top spot in excitement for the year, edging past the Royals; St. Louis finishes in third. On the bottom end, you have the Rangers by a pretty good margin, then the Rays; both of these teams would probably be considered pretty exciting in common terms (certainly the Rangers would, I think), but both of them had bullpens that were way too good to be involved in a significant number of blown leads.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 30, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4249385)
Game of the day (yesterday): Royals 7, Indians 6 (14). The Royals threatened against Jeanmar Gomez in the first, as Irving Falu doubled and Alex Gordon walked, but Billy Butler hit into a double play to end the inning. Cleveland also put two runners on with one out, thanks to Jake Odorizzi walking Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana, and Lonnie Chisenhall managed a better result than Butler, doubling in a run. Russ Canzler and Travis Hafner were retired without further scoring, but the Indians still had the lead, and despite allowing a two-out double to Jeff Francoeur in the second, Gomez held onto it.

Cleveland threatened again in the second, as Brent Lillibridge led off with a walk, stole second, and moved to third on a groundout. A second groundout kept him at third; Shin-Soo Choo walked and stole second behind him, but Kipnis popped up to leave both runners in scoring position.

Gomez notched two quick outs in the third... and then the roof caved in. Falu singled, and took second on a wild pitch. Gordon walked. Butler singled to bring home the tying run, and Salvador Perez reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Mike Moustakas then doubled to score two and put the Royals in front, and Francoeur followed with a three-run homer to make the lead five runs.

Nathan Adcock took Odorizzi's place on the mound in the bottom of the third; that seems odd, considering Odorizzi wasn't doing that badly, but he did rack up 65 pitches in the first two innings, which is extremely impressive. By contrast, Adcock worked a brisk ten-pitch inning, and Cleveland's Chris Seddon (relieving Gomez for a much more obvious reason) used only eleven tosses to retire Kansas City in the top of the fourth. In the bottom of the inning, Adcock allowed a single and steal to Lillibridge, who ended up advancing as far as third before being left there. Seddon and Adcock both worked perfect fifths, and Seddon matched that effort in the sixth. Adcock struck out two of the first three hitters in the bottom of the sixth, hitting Hafner with a pitch between them. He then gave up a single to Thomas Neal, moving Hafner to second; Everth Carrera grounded back to Adcock for what would have been an inning-ending out had Adcock not thrown it away, allowing Hafner to score and prompting his own removal in favor of Francisley Bueno, who induced Choo to ground out to end the inning.

Tony Sipp and Bueno were both spotless in the seventh, and Frank Herrmann worked around a single in the top of the eighth. Aaron Crow came on for the bottom of the inning; he walked Hafner with one out, and with two away, allowed a single to Michael Brantley and a walk to Carrera to load the bases. Crow was pulled for Tim Collins, whose second pitch was hit into right field by Choo for a two-run single. Collins recovered to whiff Kipnis to end the inning. Esmil Rogers coaxed three consecutive groundouts in the top of the ninth, and the Royals sent in Greg Holland to preserve their two-run advantage. Santana started the inning with a walk, and Chisenhall singled him to second. Casey Kotchman bunted the runners over, and pinch hitter Cord Phelps fanned for the second out. Asdrubal Cabrera worked a full count, then unleashed a double to center, scoring both runners and tying the game. A pair of walks (one intentional) loaded the bases, but Choo flied out to send the game to extras.

Vinnie Pestano worked a perfect tenth, the fifth spotless inning in the last six for the Cleveland bullpen. Tommy Hottovy walked Santana with one out, but held the Indians scoreless. Cody Allen walked Perez to start the eleventh; Jarrod Dyson pinch ran, and was immediately picked off of first. Moustakas drew a walk of his own, but his teammates failed to advance him. After a quick pair of outs in the bottom of the inning, Brantley singled and Carrera doubled, putting the winning run at third, but Hottovy retired Choo to strand it there.

Scott Barnes worked a perfect twelfth for the Indians. Vin Mazzaro walked Kipnis to start the home half of the inning, then gave up a one-out single to Chisenhall, putting runners at the corners for Kotchman, who promptly hit into a double play. Barnes and Mazzaro traded spotless thirteenths. Scott Maine entered for the top of the fourteenth, and started the inning by walking Moustakas. Francoeur and Brayan Pena both struck out, but Moustakas took second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Tony Abreu.

Kelvin Herrera came on for Kansas City's second save chance of the day. It did not begin auspiciously; Carrera reached on a bunt hit, Choo singled, and Kipnis walked to load the bases with nobody out. Despite the fact that they were trailing, Cleveland was now not just favored to win the game, but heavily so (WE of 73%). Santana swung at the first pitch and flied out, with Carrera remaining at third. Chisenhall lined to right, with Carrera again staying parked on his base. And Kotchman grounded out 3-1, ending the game.

This is not just an excellent game (although it is that, #13 on the year and giving the Royals a very healthy lead over the Brewers for the first spot in the excitement race for the year). It's also a distinctive one, in that nearly 2/3 of the drama occurred with the Indians at the plate. Kansas City took the early, large lead; the Indians staged a multi-inning rally to come back (leaving the tying runs on in the eighth, then tying it in the ninth and loading the bases). Then, in the five extra innings, KC only put one runner in scoring position, while the Indians had one in the tenth, two in the eleventh, one in the twelfth (with one out), and two in the fourteenth (with no outs and down by a run). The Royals had 6 runners left on base and 7 at bats with runners in scoring position; the Indians had 20 and 21. That all adds up to the largest excitement imbalance between the top and bottom halves of the game's innings that we've seen so far this year.
   21. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 30, 2012 at 04:20 PM (#4249387)
Game of the day (last year): None! The 2011 regular season is done, and I don't intend to write up last year's playoffs as I expect you all remember those anyway. Once this year's postseason starts, I'll run the excitement scores for those games, and will probably post about them in some form, though likely not recapping, as again, you should all be paying attention anyway.

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