What to watch for in this postseason? Things three standard deviations away from the mean, obviously.
There’s a toy over at Brooks Baseball—well, he probably wouldn’t call it a toy, but I use it as a toy—that I just love. For each pitch thrown by each pitcher, it assigns a “scouting scale” number for certain characteristics and results: velocity, movement, release point, whiff rate, groundball rate, etc. As you know, on the 20-80 scouting scale, 50 is average and each standard deviation represents 10 points up or down the scale. For instance, Aroldis Chapman’s average fastball velocity is a bit more than three standard deviations from the average left-hander's, so, per Brooks, his fastball velocity is assigned an 84 (lol) on the scouting scale. Dallas Keuchel’s groundball rate on his sinker is nearly three standard deviations higher than the typical lefty sinkerl in that specific aspect, it gets a 79. It’s a toy, of course, because that’s not to say Keuchel’s sinker is an 80 pitch, or that a scout would put an 80 on it, or that you should put an 80 on it; it’s just that, statistically, in this one aspect of it, compared to other pitchers, in the period of time surveyed, his was thatfar from normal.
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The Giants and the Pirates play at 8:07 Eastern on Thursday; the winner gets the Nationals.
Thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers’ second-half collapse, the playoff picture was pretty clear in the National League in the last few weeks, the only question being whether the Pirates could steal the division from the Cardinals with a late push. The Cardinals held on, so for the second year in a row the Pirates will host the NL Wild Card game at PNC Park, this time against the San Francisco Giants. (Note: Neither team's Wild Card roster is set, so we'll update the article when the names are officially announced.)
The Dodgers, and Kershaw, put some space between them and their competition; the Cardinals are building a cushion; a Twin struck out more than 10 batters; and baseball happened in all other corners of this great nation of ours.
The Dodgers came to AT&T Park for a three-game showdown with a two-game lead in the West. A sweep would bump Los Angeles from the top of the standings. Any other outcome would keep the Giants in second place.
Looks at Jesse Biddle, Kyle Crick, Angel Villalona and many others.
Extra Explanation:Jesse Biddle (Phillies): It’s been a while since I’ve seen Biddle look the part of a frontline arm, and it’s likely he has already peaked as a prospect, at least as far as status is concerned. The body is good, and I actually like the delivery even though his command is well below average; at times, he’s almost too smooth and easy, with his struggles coming with his finish, as he doesn’t get over his frontside and can’t work low in the zone. The fastball is pedestrian, working mostly in the 90 mph range, and the curveball is too long and soft, and without a setup fastball that will force bats to move, upper levels hitters can keep their weight back and track the offering. It’s not a major-league out pitch on any level, and I’m not sold it will play as anything more than a steal-a-strike offering in the majors. The changeup wasn’t a featured player in this start, but I feel it to be the most promising of his secondary arsenal and a future average pitch.
Have the Marlins figured out how to beat the Giants at their own ballpark?
Buster Posey represented the tying run when he batted in the ninth inning against Miami on Friday night. He got a 1-1 slider in the middle of the plate and drove it into deep right-center, toward triples alley. As soon as the crowd could raise its voice, though, it went quiet: Giancarlo Stanton was standing right there.
Walt Weiss' bunts, Tim Hudson's longevity, Robbie Erlin's future and Trevor Cahill's present are on R.J.'s mind.
A lot happens in baseball every night, and neither man nor Daniel Rathman can keep up with it all. So every few weeks we'll look at some stories within a division that would have otherwise slipped through the cracks. Let's start with the National League West.
Tim Hudson is back from his injury and better than ever. Surprise!
Everybody knows that breaking one's ankle in a gruesome accident, then pitching at age 38 with lingering pain from said injury, is bad for a pitcher. What Tim Hudson's season presupposes is: Maybe it's not?*