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   1. villageidiom Posted: August 26, 2016 at 01:45 PM (#5290528)
Yeah, this trip went about as well as could be expected.

The pitching is what had me the most pleased. These are their RA by game, in descending order:

10 - Owens emergency start for Rodriguez
4 - 11-inning loss
4 - Tazawa implosion in Detroit
3 - Rodriguez injured after 4 IP
1 - only 6 innings

Three of the top 4 in RA were shorthanded games, in a way. An 11-inning game isn't really all that shorthanded, but they had to rely on more of their other pitchers than they'd expected. That's certainly true with the two Rodriguez starts. But even looking at those 4 at the top... When the second-worst RA on a road trip is 4 runs, that's a damn fine job. That is a strong week and a half of pitching.

As for Xander, here are his CPS (cherry-picked splits, the split date chosen specifically to make magnitudes seem significant):

.359/.405/.527 Through June 12
.250/.320/.357 June 14 to yesterday
.305/.363/.444 total

Yeah, that's a big difference between the first two lines. But here's the thing:

.289/.332/.415 ZiPS preseason

If he slumps for another whole month, just as bad as he has since mid-June, he'll be sitting basically right at the preseason ZiPS. That isn't to say we should expect him to continue slumping as much as he has. Rather, it's to emphasize how he had so greatly outperformed his projection for the first 2.5 months of the season.
   2. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: August 26, 2016 at 01:47 PM (#5290531)
That's an interesting point about Xander. Part of it is I am emotionally invested him. I want him to be a superstar. I love Mookie and all but if I had to pick one guy to be the superstar and one guy to be the supporting character I would pick Xander to be the superstar.
   3. SY Ruined School Lunches! Posted: August 26, 2016 at 07:15 PM (#5290668)
its weird, I dont feel like they've been playing great baseball, but if you go back a month, they were about 2 games back and had like a horrible 2:1 road/home split the rest of the way. They have at least survived long enough to have an equal amount of home games going forward. The division is mostly going to come down to who wins enough of the head to head series coming up in September.

I feel pretty good. I'm not sure if they will take the division, but the starting pitching looks solid now, and it seems like they could put together very good teams the next two years even if this team falls short. Definitely a positive year.
   4. Chip Posted: August 26, 2016 at 07:33 PM (#5290677)
Here's a negative based on the first inning against the Royals: it looks like Steven Wright is still broken. When they end up a game out of the playoffs, that pinch running decision by Farrell may well be responsible.
   5. SY Ruined School Lunches! Posted: August 26, 2016 at 07:33 PM (#5290678)
I wrote that comment before Wright gave up a single run, so my bad for jinxing the entire season.

Here's a negative based on the first inning against the Royals: it looks like Steven Wright is still broken. When they end up a game out of the playoffs, that pinch running decision by Farrell may well be responsible.
he was pitching badly for a while before that... Im worried hes just a pumpkin. The starts CB had to give them might have been a net positive.
   6. Chip Posted: August 26, 2016 at 09:35 PM (#5290729)
Well he settled down and gave nothing up after that first inning. So maybe just rust.

The offense, meanwhile, has had an absolutely dreadful night, failing repeatedly with men on base, and capped most recently by Mookie getting picked off first as the leadoff runner in the 7th with Hanley ahead 2-0 on crappy Chris Young. And of course they go down like dogs after that.
   7. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: August 26, 2016 at 11:04 PM (#5290770)
I liked that they put up a fight in the ninth. This is a team that good or bad you have to watch to the end. No deficit is insurmountable and no lead is safe.

Re: Wright you can play all kinds of games with end points but his ERA from July 1 through the Dodger start was 4.95. If you go back to June 1 the ERA improves but he still had QS in 6 out of 12 starts. Still a dumb move to have him run of course.

Forgetting about all that I thought he pitched well except for the first inning tonight (why yes the play was fine, have you seen Mr. Lincoln anywhere?). Oddly the rotation is not really my concern. They probably win two of he last three if not all three with even a modicum of clutch hitting. That will come soon enough. What kills me isn't the failure to hit it's the failure to get runs in. Bases loaded one out in the first, nothing, bases loaded no outs in the third, nothing. Gotta get at least something there.
   8. Chip Posted: August 26, 2016 at 11:17 PM (#5290781)
4 for last 32 with bases loaded. That's ridiculous for the best hitting team in the majors.

Leon and Bradley being the chief offenders tonight.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 27, 2016 at 01:26 AM (#5290816)
Six AL teams within 3.5 games of the 2nd Wildcard. Might be a very interesting September.

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