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Thursday, September 22, 2011

AL Wildcard race: September 21, 2011

BOS 88-68 [5-16 in SEPT]
TBR 85-70 [11-9 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)
LAA 85-70 [12-7 in SEPT] (2.5 GB)

MLB.com: Beckett stumbles

For the second consecutive evening, what was shaping up as a much-needed win turned into loss. Playing their final game at Fenway Park this season, the Sox suffered a 6-4 defeat to the last-place Orioles.

Almost stunningly, considering the juncture of the season that it is, Boston lost three out of four to Baltimore to cap a disappointing 3-7 homestand.

MLB.com: Rays miss opportunity in loss to Yankees
MLB.com: Haren wins 16th as Halos keep up in races

NTNgod Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:13 AM | 93 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, game recaps, rays, red sox

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   1. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:18 AM (#3932740)
5-16 in September. 1-16 when they have scored less than 12 runs. 3 out of 4 losses to a 90 loss team at home.

Dead team walking. And they know it. And we know it.
   2. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:21 AM (#3932743)
Francona bolting from the dugout immediately after the final out was especially jarring. He's clearly feeling it at this point.
   3. still hunting for a halo-red october (in Delphi) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:23 AM (#3932746)
I can't believe the Angels are back in this. I gave up after the weekend fiasco in Baltimore.

Baseball is a funny game.
   4. The District Attorney Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#3932747)
   5. Justin T Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:28 AM (#3932748)
####### Rays better ####### win this ####### game.
   6. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:31 AM (#3932751)
They won't. They can't seem to get a god damn big hit in this series.
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:32 AM (#3932753)
Any update on Haren? That was a nasty shot he took off of the wrist.
   8. J. Sosa Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:34 AM (#3932756)
Karma's a !@#$%. In the future the Red Sox might want to actually you know, not start having bullpen tryouts in August on the off chance that maybe, just maybe, something might go wrong.

This edition of the team has really inspired some petty feelings in me. I almost hope the hubris they showed catches up to them. Put your best team on the field and maybe it won't matter if you have a 2-56 month and are reduced to asking how Oil Can's arm is feeling.
   9. John DiFool2 Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:38 AM (#3932759)
1-16 when they have scored less than 12 runs.


That's rather remarkable when you go back and read it again, slowly.

I think I'm done here guys. By turns I've soured on the NBA and NFL, and baseball might be the next to go (and it's not just because of this massive gag-job, it's some other things some personal). If they manage to un#### themselves great, if not whatever.
   10. Daryn Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:38 AM (#3932761)
If the Yanks win tonight, it is a 2.5 game lead on both teams. If the Sox can manage 3-3 the rest of the way, the other teams have to go 6-1 to tie.

The Sox have Lester going twice, Beckett once, probably Bedard once and the Yankees have the division clinched. Plus, if the Angels win over the weekend, Texas will have have something to play for.

If the Rays win tonight, that's a different story.
   11. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:41 AM (#3932763)
Karma's a !@#$%. In the future the Red Sox might want to actually you know, not start having bullpen tryouts in August on the off chance that maybe, just maybe, something might go wrong.

This edition of the team has really inspired some petty feelings in me. I almost hope the hubris they showed catches up to them. Put your best team on the field and maybe it won't matter if you have a 2-56 month and are reduced to asking how Oil Can's arm is feeling.


You know, I actually kind of agree with this. You can add running a 6 man rotation for a month with both Wakefield and Miller in it because they wanted the feel good moment of Wake's 200th win.
   12. Answer Guy. Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:44 AM (#3932765)
You can add running a 6 man rotation for a month with both Wakefield and Miller in it because they wanted the feel good moment of Wake's 200th win.


This.

Francona has to start managing like his job is on the line. This team showed no urgency for most of the season and it is coming back to bite them in the ass something fierce.
   13. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:45 AM (#3932767)
I don't think I've ever rooted against the Yanks before. It feels weird.
   14. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:48 AM (#3932768)
If the Sox can manage 3-3 the rest of the way


uhhh
   15. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:51 AM (#3932772)
Can't believe I have to tune into not only Rays games, but Angels games now.
   16. Daryn Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3932773)
Also, the Rays don't have a rotation starter on full rest for Saturday against Romero -- they have to be big dogs in that game.
   17. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:52 AM (#3932775)
Joe Maddon has morphed into TLR in this inning.
   18. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#3932780)
Jorge Posada wins the AL East for the Yankees. A nice way to end his career.
   19. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:56 AM (#3932781)
I don't ####### believe it. The corpse of Jorge Posada is now a Red Sox hero.
   20. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:57 AM (#3932784)
Well, it'll be all about the Angels after this next half inning. Rays have really crapped the bed in this series.
   21. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:58 AM (#3932785)
And all of Red Sox nation cheers for Jorge Posada!
   22. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:58 AM (#3932786)
Ahh, but there is hope for Tampa in the form of Rafael Soriano!
   23. aleskel Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:59 AM (#3932787)
I was royally pissed at Girardi for riding CC so hard (127 pitches? tonight??!) but damn if he didn't push the right button
   24. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:01 AM (#3932788)
The Rays *have* to win tomorrow. If they do, then they almost *have* to sweep the Blue Jays and hope that the Yankees win 2 of 3 against the Red Sox.

If the Rays can come out of the weekend one game back, they have a realistic shot -- the Yankees should have Home Field Advantage locked up at that point, so they really won't be putting much of a team out there for the last three games.
   25. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:03 AM (#3932789)
#### the Rays. The Angels go to Oakland, while the Sox go to NY.
   26. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:05 AM (#3932791)
Sox go to NY and are starting Lackey and Wakefield in 2 of the games. Winning 2 is a longshot. Possible, but not likely.
   27. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:05 AM (#3932792)
The Rays couldn't win James Shield vs. The Scranton Callups...if they can't win against a team full of hungover, bleary eyed Yanks tomorrow, they don't deserve it.
   28. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:06 AM (#3932793)
The AL Least.
   29. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:08 AM (#3932794)
Bullshit.
   30. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:09 AM (#3932795)
Well, that's that...now please lose every remaining game against the Rays and sweep the Red Sox.
   31. aleskel Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3932797)
Nothing in sports today pisses me off like the players on winning teams immediately throwing on gimmick shirts and caps. Way to sink a nice moment for the sake of marketing, MLB
   32. Dale Sams Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:11 AM (#3932798)
Well, that's that...now please lose every remaining game against the Rays and sweep the Red Sox.


Have fun getting bounced by Haren and co.
   33. Matt Welch Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:12 AM (#3932799)
At this point it's the Angels' to lose....
   34. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3932800)
Coincidentally, Troy Davis was executed at 11:08, the same minute the Rays' playoff hopes may have been, well, you know...
   35. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:13 AM (#3932801)
Nothing in sports today pisses me off like the players on winning teams immediately throwing on gimmick shirts and caps. Way to sink a nice moment for the sake of marketing, MLB
My sister and I watched Super Bowl XXI while wearing "New York Giants Super Bowl XXI Champions" t-shirts.
   36. Bote Man Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:17 AM (#3932803)
There might be a footnote on Bedard, reference his paper service the other day. Watch for it. The plot thickens.
   37. aleskel Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#3932804)
Coincidentally, Troy Davis was executed at 11:08

"Well, that kind of puts a damper on even a Yankee win."
   38. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:20 AM (#3932807)

Have fun getting bounced by Haren and co.


Oh it wouldn't surprise me. But I think the Red Sox are by far the scariest club if they actually make the playoffs.
   39. Hugh Jorgan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:28 AM (#3932812)
RED.SOX.EPIC.FAIL.AGAIN.INCREASE.WILD.CARD.LEAD.OVER.RAYS.

That, my fellow primers, is some f*cked up sh*t.

It's a 3 horse race and two of them have broken legs coming down the stretch. Ugly really is the only way to describe it.
   40. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:41 AM (#3932816)
I sort of can't believe the Red Sox are still up 2.5. It doesn't seem quite right.
   41. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#3932826)
At this point it's the Angels' to lose....


I agree with this. For all the talk about the Sox collapse, the Angels comeback if they can finish it off is going to be remarkable. Not only 10 back on September 1st but to make up that much ground without a single head to head game against the team you are chasing is unfathomable.
   42. Curse of the Andino Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:04 AM (#3932828)
I agree with this. For all the talk about the Sox collapse, the Angels comeback if they can finish it off is going to be remarkable. Not only 10 back on September 1st but to make up that much ground without a single head to head game against the team you are chasing is unfathomable.


Completely lost in the discussion, Showalter's gotta get some points for ending the trend of Baltimore September swoons. He ain't Earl 2.0, but I like how he's kept a disaster of a season (with youthful pitching, injuries and Vlad Guerrero) from becoming a traveshamockery.
   43. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:13 AM (#3932834)
Completely lost in the discussion, Showalter's gotta get some points for ending the trend of Baltimore September swoons. He ain't Earl 2.0, but I like how he's kept a disaster of a season (with youthful pitching, injuries and Vlad Guerrero) from becoming a traveshamockery.


Didn't they do the same thing last year and finish strong?

To Buck's (and the team's) credit, they've ############ the contenders pretty thoroughly.
   44. NJ in NY (Now with two kids!) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:16 AM (#3932836)
If only Buck's #### worked in months other than September.

EDIT: Coke to Jose
   45. Textbook Editor Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:21 AM (#3932838)
Magic number 5 for the Red Sox even with the Angels in this, right?

We may yet have a 3-way tie for the WC... What happens then?
   46. tfbg9 Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:22 AM (#3932839)
Remember boys, there's no such thing as momentum in baseball. Momentum is today's starting pitcher. Err, wait a sec'...
   47. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:24 AM (#3932841)
I know. The Red Sox need to have Francona manage from April through August, and Showalter can take over in September. Then they can win 100+ games!
   48. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:27 AM (#3932845)
Just looking at the box score, they sent Beckett back out for the eighth after he blew through a 4-1 lead and gave up two in the seventh? That's an, um, interesting way to play it.
   49. Shredder Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:28 AM (#3932847)
Maybe I've just never paid attention, but is it normal for the season to end on a Wednesday?
   50. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:32 AM (#3932851)
Just looking at the box score, they sent Beckett back out for the eighth after he blew through a 4-1 lead and gave up two in the seventh? That's an, um, interesting way to play it.


I was at the game and for what it's worth I thought it was the right move. Beckett seemed to pitch pretty well other than two homers by Reynolds and he really hadn't been in trouble much. You hear managers and pitching coaches talk about not just the pitch count but the effort involved in the pitches and Beckett seemed to be having a fairly easy night (again, except for Reynolds and Chris Davis who hit two balls to the track off him).

I tend to be on Tito's side generally though I like Dan's idea in #47.
   51. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:33 AM (#3932854)
Maybe I've just never paid attention, but is it normal for the season to end on a Wednesday?


No, new this year to adjust the playoff schedule. I think the last time it did was 1990 (Red Sox fans will remember that for Brunansky's catch).

Actually, it may have in 2001 also, I don't remember how the 9/11 cancellations moved things and I'm not even checking on 1994.
   52. Textbook Editor Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:34 AM (#3932855)
Just looking at the box score, they sent Beckett back out for the eighth after he blew through a 4-1 lead and gave up two in the seventh? That's an, um, interesting way to play it.


I am quite purposefully avoiding the Chatter for the game, because when I was listening to the game in the car in my travels tonight, and heard Beckett was out for the 8th, I was imagining the Chatter melting down.

But one thought: All year, in the 7th or 8th inning when there was less than 2 outs and guy(s) in scoring position, Tito would go to Bard. Tonight, he uses Aceves, who normally (though not always) comes in for a clean inning.

It would be fun to have a 3-way playoff for the WC in the AL and a tie/playoff in the NL. Would be quite a way to kick off the postseason.
   53. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:36 AM (#3932856)
Maybe I've just never paid attention, but is it normal for the season to end on a Wednesday?


No. Honestly, I didn't realize that was the case until a few days ago. Even as fellow Sox fans were mapping out the final X of games during one of the threads of increasing moisstness, it took me the longest time to realize that the season wasn't ending on a Sunday.

I assume it's the byproduct of starting the season at midweek this year instead of the Mondays and Tuesdays of the recent past (and, probably, with the hopes that a different start time to the playoffs will improve TV ratings).
   54. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 22, 2011 at 04:51 AM (#3932860)
Was I correct in hearing that Beckett going into the 8th inning was the first time a Red Sox starting pitcher has entered the 8th at home since mid-June?
   55. Dan Posted: September 22, 2011 at 05:24 AM (#3932865)
Probably. They haven't had a quality start in 2 weeks. And quality starts are not even a particularly high bar. It's just pathetic at this point.
   56. Curse of the Andino Posted: September 22, 2011 at 06:27 AM (#3932874)
Didn't they do the same thing last year and finish strong?


Yeah, the prior 12 losing seasons were marked by September collapses, save for '03. One year they closed 4-32.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM (#3932887)
Just looking at the box score, they sent Beckett back out for the eighth after he blew through a 4-1 lead and gave up two in the seventh? That's an, um, interesting way to play it.
The bullpen was gassed from throwing something like 18 innings in the last two days. Beckett was under 100 pitches through the seventh.

I can see the case for Bard over Aceves, but I think you've got to send Beckett out there and Beckett's got to do his job.
   58. Dan Evensen Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM (#3932888)
RED.SOX.EPIC.FAIL.AGAIN.INCREASE.WILD.CARD.LEAD.OVER.RAYS.

That, my fellow primers, is some f*cked up sh*t.

It's a 3 horse race and two of them have broken legs coming down the stretch. Ugly really is the only way to describe it.


Welcome to the Wild Card era.
   59. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM (#3932890)
Talk about zinging two birds with one stone. From the Times' game story:

“It’s not often that we’re considered the underdogs, but I understood it with the moves that they had made,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said, and then added, “But this is a special group. This is a group that knows how to win.”

It appears the Red Sox did not share in that knowledge.
   60. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:16 AM (#3932891)
I think it's now over. The chance that Boston can't manage 3-3 vs. a disinterested Yankee team and a not very good (despite recent evidence) Orioles team, has to be basically nil.
   61. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM (#3932893)
I just don't understand why we have these wildcard threads. I have been told plenty of times that the wildcard, especially this season, ends all end-of-season playoff races.

Oh, and #### the Red Sox.
   62. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2011 at 11:51 AM (#3932895)
Well, jacksone, it is a great race on the one hand. On the other, it's two (now three) teams with significant flaws all stumbling down the stretch. Not much of a real race.

I suppose the Angels are playing well. I'd like to see one of these teams go 5-1 to finish it out. Someboy win rather than everybody lose.
   63. escabeche Posted: September 22, 2011 at 12:54 PM (#3932923)
The thing about the Orioles is this. It's true that they're a bad team. But the kind of bad team they are is "team with perfectly respectable lineup, inconsistent but mostly bad starting pitching, and consistently bad bullpen." Which means that any day they get a decent start from Guthrie or Britton and don't have to deploy too many relief innings, they're right there in it, even against good teams.
   64. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:04 PM (#3932932)
I think it's now over. The chance that Boston can't manage 3-3 vs. a disinterested Yankee team and a not very good (despite recent evidence) Orioles team, has to be basically nil.


They just lost 3 of 4 to a 90 loss Oriole team after losing 3 of 4 to a Tampa team that apparently can ONLY beat the Red Sox after losing 2 out of 3 to a .500 Toronto team after being swept 3 straight by Tampa after losing 3 out of 4 to Toronto after...you get the idea.

The Sox have not gone 3-3 over a 6 game stretch in a month. The best they've done is 3 wins in 8 games so I think "basically nil" is either very optimistic or very pessimistic depending on your fandom.
   65. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:07 PM (#3932938)
Boy, imagine how bad Boston would be if they didn't get some flunky to give them Adrian Gonzales for beans.
   66. Matt Welch Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:08 PM (#3932939)
I suppose the Angels are playing well.

Last two days, yes; September, comparatively, but they really #### the bed in Baltimore & then fumbled away a game in Toronto.
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3932950)
The Sox have not gone 3-3 over a 6 game stretch in a month. The best they've done is 3 wins in 8 games so I think "basically nil" is either very optimistic or very pessimistic depending on your fandom.

Concur. Seeing how they're handling TB, the Yankees have a very real chance of sweeping the Sox this weekend. I'm assuming they'd like to "even out" what they did to TB before resting for the playoffs. Wakefield and Weiland in DNYS should be blood baths.
   68. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3932951)
Boy, imagine how bad Boston would be if they didn't get some flunky to give them Adrian Gonzales for beans.

Had they not gotten Gonzalez they would likely have re-signed Adrian Beltre and kept Youkilis at first. Some dropoff but not a huge one.
   69. spivey Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3932957)
Texas quietly becoming the best team in baseball has been nice. I don't like the Angels, but I'd be amused if 2 teams from the AL West made the playoffs.
   70. BDC Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:24 PM (#3932958)
Which means that any day they get a decent start ... and don't have to deploy too many relief innings, they're right there in it, even against good teams

That describes most bad teams, which is why even the bad ones win 60 games. I simply expect the Rangers this year to beat Seattle and Oakland, but Seattle has Felix Hernandez and Oakland has Trevor Cahill. In the latter case, Cahill has struggled overall but beaten Texas three times: sometimes even just the specific matchup is tough for a good team to handle.
   71. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:26 PM (#3932961)
The thing about the Orioles is this. It's true that they're a bad team. But the kind of bad team they are is "team with perfectly respectable lineup, inconsistent but mostly bad starting pitching, and consistently bad bullpen." Which means that any day they get a decent start from Guthrie or Britton and don't have to deploy too many relief innings, they're right there in it, even against good teams.

True, but a big reason they've been playing reasonably well over the 3-4 weeks is that the bullpen has improved overall and Johnson replaced Gregg as the closer.
   72. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:26 PM (#3932962)
Texas quietly becoming the best team in baseball has been nice.

Pardon?

Phil. 98-57 pythag 98-57
NYY 95-60 pythag 98-57
Tex. 90-65 pythag 92-63
   73. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:31 PM (#3932968)
Phil. 98-57 pythag 98-57
NYY 95-60 pythag 98-57
Tex. 90-65 pythag 92-63
The Yankees have had quite a lot of clutch hitting and pitching, the Rangers haven't. If you project on run components rather than runs scored / runs allowed, using BPro's second-order adjusted standings:

Rangers 98-57
Phillies 95-60
Yankees 93-62
   74. BDC Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:32 PM (#3932970)
Yes, Spivey, please don't let's tempt the baseball gods :) The Rangers played very well against LAA when they needed to and have cleaned up against Cleveland, Oakland, and Seattle, but I don't see them as anybody's obvious choice against New York or Detroit. They looked bad last month against Boston, too.
   75. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:33 PM (#3932971)
   76. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:36 PM (#3932975)

Rangers 98-57
Phillies 95-60
Yankees 93-62


By this measure, the Red Sox are 96-60. The Rays, 85-70. Angels, 81-74 (though they always seem to beat this stuff).

Anyone who makes the playoffs can win, and even the "favorites", as it were, are really only slightly that.
   77. spivey Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:37 PM (#3932977)
The one thing that is interesting is the Rangers are 5 up, with another game against Oakland and then 3 at home against Seattle. If the Rangers clinch before the LAA series even starts, they'll be in an interesting boat where they'll probably be trying to win to get the #2 spot and get home field, but by the same token they really have to look at lining up CJ Wilson and Holland as the 1/2 punch in the playoffs. That could maybe come to LAA's advantage.
   78. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3932983)
Texas quietly becoming the best team in baseball has been nice.


Pardon?

Phil. 98-57 pythag 98-57
NYY 95-60 pythag 98-57
Tex. 90-65 pythag 92-63


Pythags are great for judging the season as a whole, but when you note that Pythags also have Boston at 92-64, you can see the inherent limitations of Pythag when it comes to judging a team's current strength.

That's not to say that Texas is as good as the Phillies or the Yankees, but Pythag isn't the way to prove that.
   79. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:46 PM (#3932996)
Pythags are great for judging the season as a whole, but when you note that Pythags also have Boston at 92-64, you can see the inherent limitations of Pythag when it comes to judging a team's current strength.

Well, the Yankees, Rangers and Phillies don't have any significant injuries.

If Boston had Youkilis, Buchholz and Beckett healthy, they'd be as good as any team in the playoffs. They're still dangerous, but having to pitch Bedard and Lackey probably will doom them. They almost have to go 3-man rotation in the 1st round.
   80. The Good Face Posted: September 22, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3933001)
The one thing that is interesting is the Rangers are 5 up, with another game against Oakland and then 3 at home against Seattle. If the Rangers clinch before the LAA series even starts, they'll be in an interesting boat where they'll probably be trying to win to get the #2 spot and get home field, but by the same token they really have to look at lining up CJ Wilson and Holland as the 1/2 punch in the playoffs. That could maybe come to LAA's advantage.


Screw home field... if they clinch before the final series against LAA, I want to see Scott Feldman starts and Michael Young at SS. The thought of LAA taking the wild card from Boston tickles me pink.
   81. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:02 PM (#3933010)
Well, jacksone, it is a great race on the one hand. On the other, it's two (now three) teams with significant flaws all stumbling down the stretch. Not much of a real race.


Oh, right, I forgot. It's a race, but not a "race".


they'll be in an interesting boat where they'll probably be trying to win to get the #2 spot and get home field, but by the same token they really have to look at lining up CJ Wilson and Holland as the 1/2 punch in the playoffs.


What about this then? Isn't the race between Texas and Detroit a good race? You think those two teams wouldn't rather face the Sox or Rays over NY?
   82. spivey Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:14 PM (#3933020)
What about this then? Isn't the race between Texas and Detroit a good race? You think those two teams wouldn't rather face the Sox or Rays over NY?

If the Rangers tanked against LAA, we could get to face Detroit if the Angels made the playoffs. Can't count on that, but it would be amusing.
   83. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:15 PM (#3933022)
Pythags are great for judging the season as a whole, but when you note that Pythags also have Boston at 92-64, you can see the inherent limitations of Pythag when it comes to judging a team's current strength.

That's not to say that Texas is as good as the Phillies or the Yankees, but Pythag isn't the way to prove that.


Well, the Yankees, Rangers and Phillies don't have any significant injuries.

If Boston had Youkilis, Buchholz and Beckett healthy, they'd be as good as any team in the playoffs. They're still dangerous, but having to pitch Bedard and Lackey probably will doom them. They almost have to go 3-man rotation in the 1st round.


All of which is true (heh, heh), but it's also true that Pythag isn't good for much of anything when it comes to predicting the postseason. You point out that the Yanks are 5 games better than Texas in this year's Pythags. Well, last year they were 6 games better....
   84. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3933024)
Just saying, but Baltimore is messing up a lot of other teams' ####, no?

Do you think the Red Sox wish they had traded for Fisher instead of Bedard...or maybe both of them? The race would be over if they Fisher...

Fisher, in his last six starts: 5-0, ERA of 0.81, 44.2 IP, 41 Ks, 4 BBs; OPS against of .426; team has won all six games. He has pitched at least 7 innings in every one of the six starts, and he has allowed no more than 1 ER in the six starts. He's been the best pitcher in baseball over the last month.

If he pitches like this in the postseason, they are going to win the World Series. Period.
   85. Jose Goes to Absurd Lengths for 50K Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:23 PM (#3933033)
Just saying, but Baltimore is messing up a lot of other teams' ####, no?


No. I mean, I know what you are saying so I'm being a bit snarky but in the end you got (in head to head competition vs. Baltimore);

Boston - 1-3
TB - 1-2
LA - 1-2

No real huge changes there. if that had been;

Boston - 3-1
TB - 3-0
LA - 3-0

I don't think anyone would have blinked but you'd be in the same boat you are now standings-wise. I guess for the Angels it matters because that killed their division hopes but for the Wild Card, it has proven to be a non-issue. No team took advantage of their "easy" games.
   86. BDC Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3933040)
Isn't the race between Texas and Detroit a good race?

Literally the only interest I have in that race is that if the Rangers "win," I'll have to give away my Game One ALDS tickets, because I have a big family birthday dinner planned for that night.

Division Series matchups are possibly the least significant thing in baseball. (A) I have no inordinate fear of the Yankees; the Rangers beat them last year. (B) If the Yankees are the best team in the league, the Rangers could (and should, and likely will) have to face them at some point while defending the pennant. Sooner or later, what difference does it really make: and if the Rangers lose in the first round, I will not moan about how they would have had a better chance in a longer series or something.

Home Field Advantage is theoretically nice, but the Rangers went 3-5 at home in last year's postseason, 5-3 on the road. A single game in another park is very little to worry about.

So if the Angels series next week is meaningless to the Rangers, I would prefer they play it as if they were playing Kansas City in the same situation. Don't try to tank and don't worry overmuch about winning, either. Tune up the rotation, give the starting lineup some live PAs, rest guys liberally, and yes, lots of Scott Feldman :)
   87. Kurt Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3933051)
Oh, right, I forgot. It's a race, but not a "race".

Yeah, thank God for the wild card. I can't wait to tell my grandkids about the brilliant race of '11, and what a shame it would have been if all three teams had to stay home.
   88. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:42 PM (#3933059)
Yeah, thank God for the wild card. I can't wait to tell my grandkids about the brilliant race of '11, and what a shame it would have been if all three teams had to stay home.

Let's just have the Yankees, Rangers, and Tigers play a round robin at this point.
   89. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3933061)
All of which is true (heh, heh), but it's also true that Pythag isn't good for much of anything when it comes to predicting the postseason. You point out that the Yanks are 5 games better than Texas in this year's Pythags. Well, last year they were 6 games better....

Wasn't predicting the post-season. Just refuting:

"Texas becoming the best team in baseball".

I think the AL postseason will feature 4 very evenly matched teams. All with strengths and weaknesses.
   90. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3933081)
All of which is true (heh, heh), but it's also true that Pythag isn't good for much of anything when it comes to predicting the postseason. You point out that the Yanks are 5 games better than Texas in this year's Pythags. Well, last year they were 6 games better....

Wasn't predicting the post-season. Just refuting:

"Texas becoming the best team in baseball".


Fair enough, but I think we'd agree that the most meaningless word in the English language when it comes to describing a baseball team is "best". The graveyards are full of Pythagorean champs who punked out when they got to October.

I think the AL postseason will feature 4 very evenly matched teams. All with strengths and weaknesses.

Even allowing for the reverse jinx factor, at this point I wouldn't put the Red Sox in the same category with the Yanks / Texas / Detroit. Those three have got to be considered a cut above a team that's won five games in September.

But one thing I do think is important, and that's getting the HFA for the LCS, because by all measures this year they've been a better home team. With a 5 game advantage over both Texas and the Tigers, that shouldn't be hard to do, but I'd like to see them at least play the A team against the Red Sox and get it out of the way.
   91. bunyon Posted: September 22, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3933084)
So if the Angels series next week is meaningless to the Rangers, I would prefer they play it as if they were playing Kansas City in the same situation. Don't try to tank and don't worry overmuch about winning, either. Tune up the rotation, give the starting lineup some live PAs, rest guys liberally, and yes, lots of Scott Feldman :)

I think this is what all teams should (and, honestly, mostly) do. No out and out days off - position starters start, maybe, if time permits, a day off on a rotating basis for the older or banged up guys. Then get the rotation set, figure out who you're pitchers are on the postseason roster and get them some work/rest as needed. None of that is "punting" the games and the guys on the field should be playing hard.
   92. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 22, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3933212)
Even allowing for the reverse jinx factor, at this point I wouldn't put the Red Sox in the same category with the Yanks / Texas / Detroit. Those three have got to be considered a cut above a team that's won five games in September.
Over 162 games, you're probably right about the (as recently assembled) Red Sox, but over a short series, the percentage of starts they would give to the likes of Lackey, Wakefield and Weiland is going to drop a huge amount. Obviously Boston has other problems right now (you don't go 5-16 or whatever it is just because of SP problems) but a Red Sox team rolling out some combination of Lester and Beckett for a majority of starts in a short series should be written off only at your own peril.

As for the #2 team in the AL, the Yankees Home Field Advantage Magic Number is 3, which they should make pretty easily. Given they will almost surely be facing a team that has time to set-up its pitching--barring a run by the Angels--I don't really care who they play.
   93. Karl from NY Posted: September 23, 2011 at 04:05 AM (#3933801)
Actually, it may have in 2001 also, I don't remember how the 9/11 cancellations moved things and I'm not even checking on 1994.


9/11 rescheduled a week's worth of games and ended on the usual Sunday.

The 1994 strike began on Friday August 12th. I remember the players intentionally picked a weekend since that's where the owners lose more money.

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