Let's talk some baseball ...
Who wins today?
I'll go with Reds and A's. Homer Bailey's ERA at home isn't good but his major weakness -- home runs (21 of 26 have come in Cincy) -- is the one thing San Fran doesn't do. I like Brett Anderson to pitch well, the A's bullpen to pitch better and Coco Crisp to catch all the fly balls hit to him.
Dave: If Anibal makes his pitches tonight in Oakland, is this series over?
Sanchez is certainly capable of throwing a great game, like that 10-strikeout gem against the Royals late in the season. He throws strikes, but the A's will have to be patient against him. They did score six runs off him in a game in September, so they know what to expect.
I'm a little surprised we haven't heard the drumbeat of "Nationals miss Strasburg" stories yet, especially after Zim got hammered last night. Can we count on that if the Nats lose tonight?
Definitely. I wonder Nationals fans feel now about not having Strasburg? The Cardinals rate the edge in all three pitching matchups the rest of the way, no? Carpenter over Jackson, Lohse over Detwiler (a tough matchup for the righty-heavy Cards) and Wainwright over Gio (based on Gio's poor performance in Game 1).
I hear a lot of people talk about the "late" infield fly rule. How come nobody talks about the late time out that negated a strike out?
Not sure it's the same thing. Ross probably heard the ump call time right before he made his swing. PLUS, Lohse still had a chance to get Ross out. The Braves didn't get a chance to see what would have happened with the bases loaded.
Have the O's reached the Tug McGraw "Ya Gotta Believe!" level yet?
Why not? They went 9-9 against the Yankees in the regular, outscoring them by two runs. A-Rod's bat looks slow and the Yankees are suddenly relying on ... Ichiro? Three games. Anything can happen.
And Miguel Gonzalez pitched well against the Yankees in two starts: 4 R and then 0 R. Doesn't mean he won't have postseason jitters, but having pitched well against the Yankees should help his confidence.
The rangers need to create room for Profar and could use some starting pitching. The Cardinals need help in the middle infield and have a lot of very good young pitching with Miller, Lynn, Rosenthal, etc. Would the Rangers be willing to deal Andrus for some of the Cards young pitching, and which pitching prospects would the Cards be willing to part with?
Furcal is signed for one more year at $7M, but I guess the Cards could move him to second base or even deal him (the salary isn't so prohibitive). They way Miller finished the season, sometimes tells me he's pretty untouchable at this point.
David, virtually every baseball analyst picked against the Cardinals against Atlanta. The same with the Nats. Last year, the same thing: every series was predicted to go against the Cardinals. Ditto 2006. What have you learned, Dorothy?
That baseball is not predictable.
Speaking of catching fly balls, how about Jon Jay's catch last night? Any chance he wins a gold glove this year?
Hey, remember when I went on the podcast earlier this and raved about Jay's defense? And Karabell sort of made fun of me. That's right, I'm calling you out, Karabell! I think Michael Bourn wins the NL Gold Glove for CF, but Jay is a good one.
Hey Dave, this is my first chat. I'm a huge fan of your work and all the other MLB writers on ESPN, so keep up the good work. Anyways, I'm a huge Red Sox fan and would love Felix Hernandez like any other person in baseball. I know he's untouchable, but is there any way they could get him? Would you trade him for anyone being an M's fan yourself?
He's untouchable. I wrote back in June that the M's should consider trading him (knowing they won't), but I'm not quite so sure, especially with top prospects Danny Hultzen and Taijuan Walker struggling a bit in the second half. And with the Mariners moving the fences in, their offense should improve and maybe they can lure a free agent or two to Seattle.
Can Shelby Miller be named as an injury replacement if he is added to the 40 man roster?
He's on the 40-man roster, so the Cardinals can name him to replace Garcia, yes.
I'll answer on behalf of Nationals fans that I know...we don't even think about Strasburg as an option. We've known about this since Spring Training (since last season even!). We're not sitting around saying, oh man, Strasburg would shut them down right here. We are hoping Jackson and Detwiler can do well in games 3,4. So, if you're wondering if we have changed our minds, the answer is no. We believe in the shutdown (a majority of Nats fans), believe it was the right thing to do, and unfortunately, if they get beat because of it, that's life. We accepted that a long time ago, but we like the guys we have. I know far more Nats fans that are saying "Think about how great we're gonna be next year" than are saying "Dang, we blew it this year if we lose without Strasburg." We already won in terms of having a great season. We're happy.
Thanks, Adam. I guess Nationals fans haven't yet learned how *hard* it is to win the World Series. Next year may be great ... but it may not be. You never know is all I'm saying. That said, no reason they can't win 2 of 3. Carpenter is a wild card, tough as he is. But I suspect Davey will need to get some innings from his bullpen each of the next two games.
Who do you think the Reds start in games 4 and 5 if the series comes to them and Cueto isn't ready? Arroyo and Latos on 3 days rest? Leake as an injury replacement for Cueto?
The trouble if replace a player -- he has to sit out the next round. I think they would be more apt to use Latos in Game 4 and then Arroyo on three days' rest in Game 5. With the Cincy bullpen, you don't need a lot of innings from the starters.
The Reds would be set up perfectly for the NLCS with a win tonight. Gives Cueto some extra rest, and they can keep the same rotation without having to pitch Latos on three days rest in Game 4 (assuming Cueto can't go). What are your thoughts?
Right. Same key goes for the Tigers in wrapping up their season in four games (or tonight), so Verlander goes in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Dave, simple question: When all is said and done, is Buck Showalter in the Hall of Fame?
He's gotta win at least one title before we even start the discussion.
One man's view of the infield fly - the ump saw the pop and waited watching the SS move. when he got under it and raise hands, the ump called IF. So far that seems in keeping with the rule, though it might not have happened quite so far out if the ump is the 3B ump.Then I speculate that kozma heard the call and moved away, also not expecting an ump more or less behind him.All in all a weird play but not a terrible call on par with denkinger, as I have read in places. Isn't it just the strangeness of the play that gets so much attention?
Sure, the strangeness and the result. The problem is the rule as written is really so vague that there is no clear "right" or "wrong" answer here. Well, there is: If you consider the intention of the rule and why it's there in the first place, there is no option for the fielder to deke the runners from that spot in the field. Trouble is, the rule itself doesn't explicitly say why the rule exists. Will be interesting if the rule is re-written (I suspect not).
I was thinking put Leake in for Cairo? That way they would have Cueto for the NLCS if they get there. Cairo is more expendable.
You can't do that. You can only sub a pitcher for a pitcher and hitter for hitter, and Cairo isn't injured anyway.
I can no longer abide by the flat-earth convention that in-game managing is easier in the A.L. than it is in the N.L. It's no different than judging player value using counting stats. Most decisions made in N.L. games are action-driven. Every decision made in AL games is manager-driven, even the obvious moves. It's just not that hard to look two innings into the future and figure out who you might double-switch. Because an A.L. manager probably makes fewer moves, every individual move will have a greater effect on the outcome of the game. An N.L. manager makes many more changes in a game (as does his opponent), which decreases the value of a single event, i.e., there's more margin-for-error. In the A.L., there's more flexibility and more choice with the pieces you move, so there are more ways to go wrong. Also, the opportunity cost of an A.L. change is often greater in future innings because somebody else has to play shortstop for the shortstop you just pinch-hit for, whereas if you pinch hit for a pitcher you don't have to worry about where that guy plays in the field or who he's replacing. The reason why we think Joe Maddon is a genius is because he is one - he's figured out how to exploit a far more complex, flexible system. It takes a higher level of cognitive thinking to alter a blueprint than it does to follow one.
Absolutely agree. Somehow the conventional wisdom arose that simply because you make *more* moves, it's a more complicated decision-making process. Of course, then we get a guy like Ron Washington trying to manage an NL game ...
I'm not a believer in ESPN having an east coast bias but how is it the team with the best record in all of baseball and the defending champs can't get one game in primetime? Noon? Are you freaking kidding me?
The games aren't on ESPN so I'd suggest asking TBS. But I'll answer for you: The Yankees get better ratings.
The Rockies are a total mess, discuss
Yes they are.
Does Tillman pitch in Game 4 for the Orioles?
Tough call for Buck. If I had to guess, he'll stick with Saunders after his outing against Texas. And the Yankees certainly do a lot of Chen, although he throws harder than Saunders.
Will there ever be a hall of fame coach that is not a manager i.e. pitching coach Dave Duncan?
I wish they could consider it, but doesn't seem much traction for that. Duncan and Leo Mazzone would be great choices.
Hey David, does it make you laugh that Yankee fans want to bump A-Rod from the 3 spot. Okay, do you put Tex there, no wait they wanted to bump him as well. How about .240 hitting Granderson. This is your team folks, deal with it.
Jason (St Louis) and people in NYC just deserve better things than you all in Stl. Just trying to poke the bear.
disagree with you on AL vs NL managing - it is clearly true that more decisions doesn't equate to harder ones necessarily, but more on the plate does make the overall tactical approach more complicated.As I recall larussa screwed the pooch with those easy double switches when he first came to the nl and - as you mentioned - wash still does.
How many years/$$$ should the Sox ante up for Ortiz? I always got the impression that money wasn't an issue but moreso that he is a DH and viewed risky - yet the talk out of Boston seems to negate that this year (despite him being older and injured this year). What is your take?
2 years, $30M? Not sure I'd want to stretch it to three, but that's what Ortiz will seek.
I think Bobby V should go to the Rockies and Jim Tracy to the Red Sox. Hilarity would ensue.
David, what are your thoughts on the hiring of Terry Francona? It's definitely great to have a proven winner at the helm, but do you think that the Tribe's front office and ownership will provide him with the necessary resources to be successful?
I like the hire, but you're right: If the front won't spend some money, the turnaround won't be easy. There IS a base of talent here -- Santana, Kipnis, Cabrera, Choo, Brantley -- but Choo is a free agent after 2013 and is unlikely to sign before he hits the market. They need to sign some low- or medium-cost veteran starters (like they tried with Derek Lowe) but not sure ownership wants to do that, especially the problematic attendance figures this year.
Steve from Amsterdam's analysis is flawed as follows: the idea that there is more "flexibility" and "choice" in the American League is totally incorrect - when was the last time a double switch was made in the AL? Further, even if we assume that each AL manager decision has a greater impact on the game, the fact that the AL manager has fewer of those decisions to make does not make things necessarily more difficult, as he attempted to suggest.
But he's arguing that a lot of the NL moves are automatic. You hit for the pitcher (usually an obvious choice, although don't tell Mike Matheny) and if you have to double-switch, that's usually an obvious move as well.
Encouraging that the Tigers have managed to win these last two given how poorly they've shown up offensively, or discouraging because they have too many flaws defensively and bullpen-wise not to hit?
I'd still be worried about the bullpen. They may escape this series since the A's bullpen also blew it on Sunday, but you're not going to win the ALCS with some blown saves. Benoit just gives up too many home runs to be your primary setup guy. They also match up well with the A's since Oakland strikes out so much you got fewer balls in play for the defense to mess up on.
Hi David,make a gues please: who will be the Red Sox next manager?
Move has been made....Garcia out, Miller in. Per Derrick Goold, STL beat writer on Twitter....
Thanks, Jon. No surprise there, I guess.
Did you see the video of Maddux's slide from the 90's? Funny thing is I recognized Bob Walk as he went into his delivery. Man, that was a bad name for a pitcher.
I did see that! What a play.
Considering that the Reds won 97 games with their best player missing 7 weeks, their bullpen had the best ERA in the league and the starting staff never missed a start - shouldn't Dusty Baker be in consideration for manager of the year?
Isn't it EASIER to manage if your rotation never misses a start? OK, I know you're saying to give credit to Dusty for keeping his pitchers healthy, but come on: Nobody abuses their starters any more.
Second Adam from Arlington. If you had told me before this season we were going to sneak into a wild card -- much less have the best record in baseball -- I would have taken it in a second. Stras will be back, and I'm just happy to be in playoffs.
Wasn't Ichiro out of play last night. The rule states that the runner must be in a line in between the bags. He ran in a circle, definitely not a line or semblance of one,
You get three feet to avoid a tag. Looked close to me. But they never call that play at home plate. Just like they never call an infield fly rule on a play 80 feet into the out--
Wait, why should Dusty Baker be getting credit for his starting staff never missing a start? Isn't that on the trainers and medical staff?
October 9th, looks like a Tigers vs Reds WS. October 16th it will look like two different teams going to WS. Love October baseball.
That would be known as the Sparky Anderson World Series.
Hi David- Because they are rebuilding anyway, do you think the Twins should bring up Arcia and Hicks and let them play? Try to get some pitching for Span. Revere is only a fourth outfielder in my opinion he doesn't walk enough and has "0" power. Thanks!
I think both could benefit from at least half a season in Triple-A. Saw both play a couple times at New Britain. Hicks still has some swing-and-miss in his game -- almost TOO patient at times and gets into pitcher's counts. Arcia is young, just doesn't have much time about Class A. But I think trading one of Span or Revere is inevitable, yes.
Do not agree at all with Baker comment. He was rough on Prior and Wood, but has changed dramatically with the Reds pitchers. Yeah high innings but thats what happens when you only through 105 pitches and go 8 innings. He cant help if they have been dominant. Go Reds and Dusty Baker!
Lester & Ellsbury for Farrell and Bautista?
Ha ... nice one.
Terrible play by Weiters though, completely out of position and he should have waited for Ichiro instead of lunging at him.
Not sure I agree with that. Wieters was stationed perfectly, right on the line, if I remember. Just amazing agility by Ichiro.
Just happy with the playoffs? These Nats fans really don't understand how difficult winning a World Series. Although it's unlikely but don't they know they aren't now guaranteed to make the playoffs every year. Guess that's what is to expect from bandwagon happy to be here fans who can barely fill 75% of their stadium. #Natitude.
Bob Walk is a bad name for a pitcher. So is Grant Balfour. The best one is Josh Outman.
Has John Farrell done anything in his time in Tor to suggest to you he will be a solid manager? Just asking, i haven't seen to much good come out of the Jays recently.
Hard to say. So many injuries this year. But he's familiar with the Red Sox and the Red Sox are familiar with him. So no, umm ... wild card. And reports seem to indicate the Jays would be willing to let him go for the right price.
Tigers are in good shape in A's series and I think they match up well with either winner in the next series. Tigers are the front runnet for American League Reps. Agree??
Well, I want to see how Sanchez pitches and if Scherzer is healthy before I say that. It's still a team with a bad defense and bullpen issues. BUT ... yes, this team is constructed well for a short series, where their lack of depth isn't much of an issue. Even with Verlander though, I'm not sure I'd declare them the clear front runner of the Yankees or Orioles.
The throw was slightly up the line and Weiters was standing upright when he reeived the ball, for some reaosn he dropped to a knee and lunged. It was a weird play.
Speaking of bad names for pitchers, how about Homer Bailey?
Stop with the Andrus trade talk. He's not going anywhere. All you espn writers keep trying to put Andrus in some kind of trade that makes no sense. All these teams want Andrus well guess what? So do the Rangers and they're not trading him period. I'll be back on here next month to eat my crow after he's traded to the Diamondbacks for Upton.
I've actually been suggesting they won't trade him. Upton is certainly the one that is intriguing though ...
If the Tigers can win one in Oakland, do you see any changes being made to the roster for the ALCS? Boesch for Don Kelly, or another reliever for Porcello and keep Smiley as the emergency starter?
Kelly seems like the good-luck charm. No reason to have Boesch on the roster if he isn't going to start and right now Leyland seems to like the Garcia/Berry RF/LF platoon. Do they have another reliever option? They may need Smyly out of the pen to match up against some of the lefty hitters for the Yankees/Orioles, so Porcello probably sticks as the long man.
The question no one seems to be asking is who says Farrell wants to deal that mess in Boston.
is Tom (PA) a Phillies fan? If so, talk about a bandwagon base and I hope he's enjoying this October.
Can we have an opinion on what Nats fans will think if they lose the NLDS because of no Strasburg, they don't make the playoffs the next 4 years, and he leaves as a free agent?
Please explain why you hate Dusty Baker so much? Seems kind of irrational.
What makes you say I hate Dusty Baker? Because I don't think he's the best manager in the league?
Red Sox fan here. If the O's beat the Yankees I'm buying one of those "Thanks Buck" t-shirts. Go O's!!
David, if infield fly gate happened in Boston or NY, we would have Espn 30 for 30 specials playing once a week on the subject.
Wade Davis for Logan Morrison, who says no? And even if you say Marlins I think the Rays say no cause their standards are too high sometimes.
I think the Rays say no. Morrison has bad knees, seems like kind of a pain in the --- to have around. And he didn't hit this year. But other than that, he's great.
Everyone is counting out the A's. This is exactly what they want!! Last time they needed three in a row at home they swept the Rangers...
or explain to Nats fans what it felt like in 06 when the Mets lost and we all assumed we'd be back in the playoffs next year and would win it all then.
David, I'm just kidding you. You're always complaining on the Podcast about people ragging on Dusty during your chats - yes, I'm guilty of it - and I was just taking the opposite tact today ... in truth, I actually think he's terrible. (But the results so far this year have been great.)
Haha. Hey, at least he finally figured out that Brandon Phillips should be his leadoff hitter. I wouldn't mind seeing him at all. Man has had some heartbreaking defeats in his career.
Tom from PA (obv. bitter Phillies fan) doesn't get it. DC hasn't had a winning baseball team since probably all in this chat were born. The team has only been hear since 2005. We're stoked to unexpectedly be in the position we are in, hope we go all the way, confident in management's handling of our players, know we're building for long-term success, pleased our brand continues to grow despite never previously having a winning season and realistic in our 2012 expectations. Maybe you should worry about the Phillies plummeted TV Ratings and talk to me about filling your stadium next year... Enjoy watching my team still playing. #realNattitude
Of course the infield fly rule won't be re-written. That would be admitting there was something wrong with it before and MLB under Selig never admits mistakes.
David, just joined, and you may have answered this already, if and when the Reds get to the NLCS which of the other two teams do you see as the best matchup for the Reds to get to the World Series?
I think the way to beat the Reds is with right-handed starting pitching, which would favor the Cardinals (Lohse, Wainwright, Carpenter, Lynn or Miller, now that Garcia is out). Nationals will be ogligated to throw two lefties at them (although Gio is tough against righties). I'd like to see a Reds-Nationals NLCS: Two best teams in the NL over the regular season.
I myself love Dusty Baker. In the opposing team's dugout of course.
Rays can't say no to a Morrison trade? Then we can finally have the Maddon, Scott, LoMO Podcast!
Os won 6 of 9 games at Yankee Stadium. That's 2:1. Looks good for a 3 game series. Cya in Detroit (O's split series 3-3)!
Now that's confidence!
Strasburg would look good in Pinstripes
Peter Bourjos for Tyler Clippard and Henry Rodriguez seem like a fair trade to you?
I think the Nationals are pretty happy with their current center fielder.
People seem to assume Strasburg would guarantee a win in all his playoff starts, too. He had a 4.14 ERA in 54 innings in his last 10 starts this year. He very well may have been wearing down.
Yes, that is a good point.
Still feeling Yankees in 4, or have your thoughts changed?
I like the Yankees in Game 3 -- Kuroda over Gonzalez. I was surprised how long Showalter went with Chen last night and it cost him a run in the seventh. Does it seem like he only trusts O'Day, Matusz and Johnson right now? Strop was wild in September (10 BB, 9 SO). I guess I'm getting that I think Buck may leave Gonzalez in a batter or two too long in Game 3.
And Game 4 ... hard to predict until we know who starts. I'll say Orioles win it. And then CC takes Game 5.
There's no way Bryce Harper can stick at CF long-term. Have you actually watched the routes he takes? I always thought RF was where he was supposed to play long-term.
I think he's fine for at least a few years, maybe into his mid-20s. Some bad routes but he's learning, has good range and great arm. His defensive metrics are good. I don't think they're in a market for a CF.
Nats still don't have a leadoff hitter. Pick up the option and then trade LaRoche, move Harper to RF, Morse to first and get either Bourn or Upton for CF.
B.J. Upton isn't a leadoff hitter either. Check his OBP.
Orioles fans have been gaining in trust in Buck all season long, but the one area most fans agree he's not spot on is him leaving starters in for a inning or batter too long. So it wasn't a surprise with Chen.
And let's face it: Buck has a history in the postseason of making some shaky calls. Black Jack McDowell over Wetteland in '95, leaving in a tiring Randy Johnson in too long in '99 ...
It blows my mind that attendance is used to mock other teams. "[Insert team] has fans?" Is that still a real insult? You'd think after this many decades of baseball, jealous insults would have at least become more original. And Justin (Redlands, CA), Harper is actually an elite defensive CF by sabermetrics. Not bad for a kid who was catching in JUCO less than 2 years ago. So bascially, he's learned and become one of the better defensive CF in the game in less than 2 years. Harper can play wherever he wants to play. Good thing you don't have to worry about it.
Molina said postgame that he heard the ump grant Ross the TO before Loshe released the pitch. Why is that even an issue for people?
The Nats will do all they can to resign LaRoche to a 3 year deal. That means keeping Morse in left, Harper in CF and Werth in right. After LaRoche's contract is up, then they'll see where they are. They have Brian Goodwin in the minors and Rendon coming up soon to worry about. In 2-3 years they will have to make some contract decisions, but I don't expect them to make any major moves like acquiring a CF until then. In my mind, they value LaRoche over a true leadoff CF. Many think Goodwin will be up by the end of next year and definitely by 2014.
The Reds are 65-47 versus righties. Not too shabby. Only the Nationals have won more in the NL.
What's their record against righties who didn't start for the Cubs or Astros? I kid, I kid. Sort of.
Reds' OPS was .770 against LHP, .710 against RHP.
I definitely think the Angels would be aiming way too low asking for Clippard-Rodriguez for Bourjos anyway, though the Nats might say no to that. Two relievers, only one who has proven himself effective, for an everyday player? I dunno about that...
I agree. Do the Angels go with a Trout-Bourjos outfield next year and just say goodbye to Vernon Wells?
Buck might not have a history of good pitching decisions, but he earned a ton of rope from me with his gutsy start of Saunders.
Strop has 37 walks in 66 innings this year. Not really a good matchup against a patient Yankees team. And it showed late in the season, at least twice.
Rangers trade Andrus to Az for Upton to take over for Hamilton, who signs with Detroit....bank on it!
Miggy-Fielder-Hamilton-Victor Martinez ... I'll take that middle of the order.
Do you ever see MLB shifting to just one division in each, and taking the top 5 records from each league? It seems a bit silly that a team like the Tigers can win the AL Central when they would have finished in 4th place in the AL West.
It is silly, but won't happen. Six teams can market themselves in the offseason as "champions."
How does Fredi G not get tossed from the game in that situation? Cox would've probably had an aneurysm... which is actually helpful to us Braves fans. Fredi has no fire.
I was wondering how far the umps would have let Fredi go there? I'm guessing a punch in the face would have merited a toss, but anything short of that? He should have pulled a Piniella and threw a base or kicked some dirt.
I hope O's Yanks series goes 5 games. Friday night temp is suppose to be 39-42 Degrees in NY! The cold weather may finally make new yankee stadium not a band box.
40 degrees? My least favorite aspect of October baseball.
I was never a Dusty fan because of his horrendous lineups and weak game-time decisions (why all the sacrifice bunts?!)This year though, I've really warmed up to him. There's the thing you always hear about him - he's a great manager of personalities, he knows his players, and people love to play for him. But then there's also the fact that he was very smart with how he gave his players periodic rest throughout this season. I think that's a big part of the Reds not wearing down late like the Pirates, and being the perfect combination of fresh and sharp for the playoffs.And honestly, I can't complain about a single decision he's made so far this postseason. And he's had to make some tough ones.In Dusty We Trusty.
The best postseason structure baseball has had in determining the best team is probably the 1985-93 system (2 divisions, 7 game LCS). Although, that was the time frame in which the 1987 Twins won...
Suck it up David, I once played a softball game in October and it was 20 Degrees. Granted all that beer drinking during the game made it feel like it was 40 degrees.
I should say, best system in terms of combining the "best team" with "fairness"
Seriously though, imagine Cox in that spot. He would've weaved a web of curses unsurpassed in recent history. Spit balls would've been flying from his mouth. It would've been an epic outburst.
OK, time to run ... thanks all my loyal chatters. Great time of year! Enjoy the games ... even if your team isn't playing the prime time game.