World Series Weirdness

October 30, 2017 – 6:00 pm

What a wacky World Series this has evolved into. Game 1 started with a great pitchers’ duel between Kershaw and Keuchel, and it looked like we were going to be treated to a great match up of LA’s top-rated pitching versus the Astro’s power hitting. But then the LA bullpen had a meltdown in Game 2, Darvish had a disastrous start in Game 3, and the series gradually became a glorified round of batting practice, culminating in the 13-12 donnybrook in Game 5. Where it goes from here, who knows?

But one of the things that irritates me is how the announcers keep talking about what a great team Houston had this year and how they dominated the league. What a load of crap. Sure, the Astros started out like a house on fire, but by the All-Star break they were just one of several teams that were playing very good ball. If you look at the team stats over the last half of the season, their offense ranked third in R/G behind the Twins (5.57) and the Indians (5.29). And they were pretty much even with the Yankees (5.05 vs 5.01). And in terms of pitching, their RA/G was close to league average, ranking 7th. It was the Indians (2.89) and Yankees (3.70) who led the league. And if you look at the all important runs differential, they were FIFTH in the league over the last half of the year. The Indians were by far and away the best with a 2.40 run differential, and following them in order were the Yankees (1.31), Twins (1.18), and Red Sox (0.71). The Astros run differential over the last half was only 0.46.

So can we stop it with how great the Astros are this year? Yeah, they won the ALCS and there IS something to be said for that, but you have to remember that post-season baseball is much different than the regular season, and five- and seven-game series are pretty much crap shoots.

Girardi Released. Really????

October 26, 2017 – 12:20 pm

Wow, so Girardi is gone. When things like this happen, I suspect that the story line that we get in the media isn’t anywhere close to being all the facts. But at face value, you really have to scratch your head over this one. Sheez, this year the Yankees were projected to be an 80 win team and to finish fourth in the division. But Girardi took them to 91 wins and the ALCS and they would have made it to the World Series had it not been for a total meltdown of the offense, which you really can’t blame on Girardi. And you turn around and fire him? Makes no sense at all. But like I said, I suspect there was a lot of other things going on that we weren’t told about.

So it’s going to be interesting to see who the Yankees hire. They’ve got a ton of young talent and are in a position to be a very, very good team for the foreseeable future. But bring in the wrong guy, and all that could easily go up in smoke very quickly. Make no mistake about it, letting Girardi go is a very high risk move. Let’s hope Cashman and company don’t blow it.

Houston 4, NYY 0

October 22, 2017 – 7:17 am

Too bad such a great season had to end on such an ugly note. Over the last two months of the season, the Yankees were a better team than the Astros, period. But anything can happen in a seven game series, and so the Yankees came up short due mainly to the inconsistency of their offense, which hurt them time and again during the regular season. So no real surprise that they would score all of three runs in the four losses.

But hey, this was a team that was picked to win maybe 80 games and finish fourth in the division. But they made it all the way to the ALCS. So all in all, a great season. And next year looks to be even better. May can’t get here fast enough.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 3 0 11 2
Astros 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 X   4 10 0 4 3
WP: C. Morton (1-1)   LP: C. Sabathia (1-1)   S: L. McCullers Jr. (1)
HR: NYY – None, HOU – J. Altuve, E. Gattis

LOB: NYY 5, HOU 8   RISP: NYY 0-for-3, HOU 1-for-9

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Houston 7, NYY 1

October 21, 2017 – 7:17 am

What in the world was Girardi thinking leaving Severino in after walking the number six and eight batters in the fifth inning? He had clearly lost the strike zone, and with the Yankees getting shut out by Verlander, giving up just one run could be the end. And then after McCann doubles he still leaves him in? Inexcusable. And then after he walks Springer? That’s insane. But then after Altuve gets a hit and the Yankees are down 3-0, hell, the game is over. At that point you start regrouping for game seven. Either leave Severino in to burn innings, or bring in your secondary relievers. But no, he burns Chad Green and then Robertson. You are going to need all hands on deck for game seven. Makes no sense at all.

Oh well, at least we’ve got Sabathia going in the final game, and the Astros will have someone not named Verlander. So the Yankees still have a chance. But sheez, to have such a great season come down to a crap shoot game seven — that’s sad.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0   1 7 1 10 2
Astros 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 4 X   7 8 0 7 5
WP: J. Verlander (2-0)   LP: L. Severino (0-1)   
HQS: HOU – J. Verlander (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR)
HR: NYY – A. Judge, HOU – J. Altuve

LOB: NYY 8, HOU 6   RISP: NYY 0-for-6, HOU 4-for-7

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NYY 5, Houston 0

October 19, 2017 – 7:17 am

Yet another amazing win. Tanaka was incredible, throwing seven innings of shutout ball. And the offense was just as good, getting one critical hit after another, actually getting to the previously unhittable Dallas Keuchel for four runs. The roll this team is on now, you almost wish there wasn’t a day off before game six in Houston. But what the heck — I don’t think anything can stop this team right now!

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Astros 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 4 1 9 1
Yankees 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 X   5 10 1 13 3
WP: M. Tanaka (1-1)   LP: D. Keuchel (1-1)   
HQS: NYY – M. Tanaka (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0 HR)
HR: NYY – G. Sanchez, HOU – None

LOB: NYY 8, HOU 6   RISP: NYY 3-for-13, HOU 0-for-8

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NYY 6, Houston 4

October 18, 2017 – 7:17 am

What an amazing team! Through the top of the seventh, it was a total clown show. Only one hit, three errors, base running blunders, two unearned runs, and down 4-0. Then everyone comes alive, everyone is hitting and hustling and making plays, and voila — an incredible come-from-behind 6-4 victory to even the series. The Astros have to be reeling. And the Yankees are rocking and rolling. So now it’s basically a three-game series, with the Yankees having all the momentum. Onward!

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Astros 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0   4 3 0 9 3
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 X   6 8 3 3 5
WP: C. Green (1-0)   LP: K. Giles (0-1)   S: A. Chapman (1)
HQS: HOU – L. McCullers Jr. (6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR)
HR: NYY – A. Judge, HOU – None

LOB: NYY 5, HOU 3   RISP: NYY 3-for-8, HOU 1-for-6

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NYY 8, Houston 1

October 17, 2017 – 7:17 am
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Astros 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1   1 4 0 7 8
Yankees 0 3 0 5 0 0 0 0 X   8 7 1 6 3
WP: C. Sabathia (1-0)   LP: C. Morton (0-1)   
HQS: NYY – C. Sabathia (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR)
HR: NYY – A. Judge, T. Frazier, HOU – None

LOB: NYY 2, HOU 11   RISP: NYY 3-for-6, HOU 1-for-7

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Houston 2, NYY 1

October 15, 2017 – 7:18 am

That was painful. It’s one thing to get shut down by the likes of Dallas Keuchel, but getting just one run off Justin Verlander is something else. So now it’s a steep hill to climb, down 0-2 with the number three and four starters scheduled for the next two games. The bats are going to have to come alive, particularly those of Judge and Sanchez who both looked totally lost against Verlander. But it’s not like Houston is all that much better a team than the Yankees. Heck, over the last two months of the season the Yankees were better both hitting (5.19 R/G vs. 4.79) and pitching (3.83 RA/G vs. 4.30). So hopefully we can get things turned around quickly back in New York.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Yankees 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0   1 5 0 13 1
Astros 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1   2 5 0 4 3
WP: J. Verlander (1-0)   LP: A. Chapman (0-1)   
HQS: HOU – J. Verlander (9 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO, 0 HR)
HR: NYY – None, HOU – C. Correa

LOB: NYY 4, HOU 4   RISP: NYY 1-for-2, HOU 0-for-2

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Houston 2, NYY 1

October 14, 2017 – 7:17 am

With Keuchel on the mound for the Astros you had to figure that Tanaka would have to be near perfect to even give the Yankees a chance, so when Tanaka gave up those two runs in the fourth that was pretty much it. Oh well, if they can win on Saturday and gain a split in Houston, that should be plenty good. Severino vs. Verlander should be another good pitchers’ duel, but one that is a lot more winnable than this one was.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1   1 5 0 14 3
Astros 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 X   2 6 1 5 1
WP: D. Keuchel (1-0)   LP: M. Tanaka (0-1)   S: K. Giles (1)
HQS: NYY – M. Tanaka (6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 0 HR)
HQS: HOU – D. Keuchel (7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 SO, 0 HR)
HR: NYY – G. Bird, HOU – None

LOB: NYY 7, HOU 5   RISP: NYY 1-for-5, HOU 2-for-4

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NYY 5, Cleveland 2

October 12, 2017 – 7:18 am

What an incredible win! Fantastic pitching — Sabathia pitched a great game, and then Robertson and Chapman came through in the clutch with 4.2 no-hit innings. And how about Didi Gregorius hitting not one, but two home runs off Kluber, the best pitcher in the league! And then “old timer” Brett Gardner coming up with the big hit in the ninth that for all practical purposes sealed the win. Absolutely amazing — down 0-2 the Yankees beat the best team in the league three straight. Just an unbelievable series.

OK, so at long last, I’m a believer. Bring on them Astros! There ain’t nothing stopping this team right now.

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   R H E SO BB
Yankees 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2   5 8 0 16 3
Indians 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0   2 5 3 15 2
WP: D. Robertson (1-0)   LP: C. Kluber (0-1)   S: A. Chapman (2)
HR: NYY – D. Gregorius (2), CLE – None

LOB: NYY 6, CLE 4   RISP: NYY 1-for-4, CLE 2-for-5

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