Baseball has been trying to figure this problem out since free agency began. Baseball players are free actors and may sign with whomever they choose—and that usually corresponds to whoever happens to offer the most money. Some teams have more money than others. How to keep the big money *cough*Yankees*cough*Dodgers*cough* teams from simply buying championships and ruining all the fun for everyone else?
Exploring how much a bad outing affects a reliever the next day--and whether managers should be changing their routines based on it.
Watching a playoff game should count as aerobic exercise. You should seriously be able to go to your doctor and said “I know that you told me to go run a couple miles per week, doc, but it’s October and I’m a baseball fan.” And your doctor should simply nod. Everything is so important. Things that wouldn’t even register during the regular season get picked apart and rehashed and they get your heart racing, particularly if you’re a fan of one of the two teams playing. And there’s good reason for that. Because we’ve now entered the League Championship Series section of the competition, one little decision might be the difference between a trip to the World Series and a trip to the trivia challenge bin. (Quick, name the two losing teams in 2013's LCSs without looking…)
In the eighth inning, the Astros seemed to be daring them—and the Royals are not noted for their baserunning timidity.
Something strange happened in yesterday's Astros-Royals game—well, a lot of strange things probably happened, but one of them particularly caught my attention. Astros' closer Luke Gregerson entered the game in the eighth inning after Houston's bullpen blew a four-run lead, bringing with him a glacially slow delivery.
For fans, the value added to the MLB playoff structure by the Division Series is in the buildup of drama. The best stories have fairly gradual rising action, not a sudden surge to an unearned peak of excitement. Sometimes September can provide a pitch-perfect buildup to the grand finale that is the World Series, but when September doesn’t cooperate, early October can pick up the slack. In other words, before the hero of the season’s story finishes off its final opponent in the Series, we get to see them overcome a few of their lesser foes--mini-bosses, so to speak. Certain matchups and moments can be not only terrifically exciting and important in their own right, but a priming of the pump so that the discerning fan feels the cumulative drama of the season.
The two teams that made #process famous square off in a battle of #product.
Last year, while the Royals and Tigers were battling for the AL Central crown, Russell Carleton noted a bit of doublethink that many of us successfully maintain: The veteran Tigers had the advantage because they’d been there, because they had age and wisdom and leadership and experience; or the Royals did, because they were young, loose, didn’t know enough to be scared. The piece got to a truth that is particularly applicable to this series, in which one team hits homers while the other hits singles; in which one avoids whiffs while the other wears them like teardrop tattoos; in which one club is run by unmanned computers while the other is run by a farmer sending his orders in by telegram; in which one platoons and the other hot-glues its players into the lineup; in which one is young and loose and doesn’t know enough to be scared, while the other has been there, has age and wisdom and leadership and experience.
The Astros manager makes three big pitching decisions, and they all work out.
Heading into this year's edition of the American League Wild Card Game, you had to appreciate that the upstart Astros' first postseason opponents were the Yankees, the team that for much of the past two decades has served as the American League's gatekeeper; the narratives about new versus old spread themselves. Another contrast you had to appreciate was the out-of-style starting-pitcher matchup. On the eve of Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole trading flame-emoji heaters, the Astros and Yankees started two pitchers who in the game combined for one pitch clocked above 95 mph, according to PITCHf/x data.