Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Congratulations to the Yankees. I think (hope) that it will be a great series and go 7. They've fared pretty well over the years facing the defending champs, although most of those times they were simply getting revenge for getting beaten the year before:
Monday, October 19, 2009
Teams who have been down 2-0 in a 7 game (or greater) series and won, since 1903:
1921 World Series 5-3 NY Giants over NY Yankees (Yankees won Game 1 at on the road and game 2 at home)
1955 World Series 4-3 Brooklyn Dodgers over NY Yankees
1956 World Series 4-3 NY Yankees over Brooklyn Dodgers
1958 World Series 4-3 NY Yankees over Milwaukee Braves
1965 World Series 4-3 LA Dodgers over Minnesota Twins
1971 World Series 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates over Baltimore Orioles
1978 World Series 4-2 NY Yankees over LA Dodgers
1981 World Series 4-2 LA Dodgers over NY Yankees
1985 World Series 4-3 Kansas City Royals over St. Louis Cardinals
1985 ALCS 4-3 Kansas City Royals over Toronto Blue Jays
1985 NLCS 4-3 St. Louis Cardinals over LA Dodgers
1986 World Series 4-3 NY Mets over Boston Red Sox
1996 World Series 4-2 NY Yankees over Atlanta Braves
2004 ALCS 4-3 Boston Red Sox over New York Yankees
The Yankees have done it 4 times and had it done to them 4 times. It doesn't really happen anymore, for some reason, while it happened 6 times between 1978 and 1986.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Jason Marquis: 65 Wins, 4.65 ERA
10 wins, .540 W-L%, 4.75 ERA, since 2005 (Active):
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
1977: Dodgers over Phillies 3-1, Yankees beat Dodgers in WS 4-2
1978: Dodgers over Phillies 3-1, Yankees beat Dodgers in WS 4-2
In 1976, the Phillies had made the playoffs, and been swept by the Big Red Machine, who were on their way to a 2nd consecutive World Championship (first playoff appearance since 1950).
It was the Yankees first World Series in a long time (1962, 15 years - at least by their standards).
It was the first time since 1952-53 (Yankees over Brooklyn Dodgers) that a team has won 2 consecutive World Series, both over the same team.
1936-37: Yankees over NY Giants
1921-22: NY Giants over Yankees
1907-1908: Cubs over Tigers
I would gladly take a World Series that goes 6 games,which has not happened since 2003. The playoffs are more interesting with the Yankees involved, and it will get really interesting if a Joe Torre-led Dodgers team faces them in the World Series.
There are some great story lines set up: Can the Phillies do the improbable and repeat? Can the Dodgers make it to the World Series for the first time since 1988? Will there be an all LA series? Yankees-Dodgers? The most exciting matchup, I think, would be the Phillies vs. the Yankees, with the chance for the Phillies to repeat while being the underdog.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Previous 12 Appearances: 10.1, IP, 10.45 ERA, 6 SV, 3 BL SV,
ERA by Month
October: 0.00 (2.1 IP)
The Phillies knew they had a problem with Lidge for a long time, but the problem wasn't fixed. It is possible, however unlikely, that he has brought himself back to 2008-form. He was brought in to face one batter tonight, and he struck him out to end the series, which is a positive sign.
The series figures to be a fairly close one, and Lidge could be the crucial player. If he pitches like the Lidge of April 5-September 25, it could be a very long series for the Phillies. If he pitches like the Lidge of September 28-October 12, the Phillies have a great chance to get back to the World Series.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Division Series Sweeps in consecutive seasons
Atlanta Braves: 1996-1998 (Dodgers, Astros, Cubs)
New York Yankees: 1998-1999 (Rangers)
LA Dodgers: 2008-2009 (Cubs, Cardinals)
Multiple Division Series Sweeps
4 Braves: 1996-98, 2001 (Dodgers, Astros, Cubs, Astros)
4 Cardinals: 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005 (Padres, Braves, D-Backs, Padres)
2 Yankees: 1998-99 (Rangers)
2 Dodgers: 2008-09 (Cubs, Cardinals)
2 Red Sox: 2004, 2007 (Angels)
If the Phillies and the Dodgers face each other this year in the NLCS, it will look different than it did last year, when the Phillies won 4-1.
2008 NLCS - Starting Pitchers
Phillies: Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Jamie Moyer, Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels
Dodgers: Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley
Derek Lowe went to the Braves in free agency; Brett Myers and Joe Blanton will be pitching out of the bullpen; Jamie Moyer had surgery and won't pitch at all in the postseason; Hiroki Kuroda is injured and his status is uncertain for the NLCS. Chad Billinglsey will now be the 4th starter, and will not get more than 1 start in the NLCS. Cole Hamels will be in the rotation.
2009 LDS - Starting Pitchers
Dodgers: Randy Wolf , Clayton Kershaw, Vincente Padilla
Phillies: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, (announced) J.A. Happ
Pedro Martinez might be the 4th starter for the Phillies, since he was initially announced as the game 3 starter before it was postponed, and it was switched to Happ.
So far, the only starter on either team who hasn't pitched well in the postseason was Cole Hamels, the 2008 NLCS and World Series MVP. Cliff Lee was unbelievable in his 1st postseason start (2009 version of Cole Hamels?).
Randy Wolf isn't exactly a great #1 starter, Kershaw is young and unproven, and Padilla was actually released by another team (Rangers) just a few months ago, but it is hard to pick against the Dodgers right now, after their impressive sweep of the Cardinals. Of course, they had an impressive sweep of the Cubs last season before losing to the Phillies 4-1. Their starting rotation is unconventional and might not scare anyone, but they will be tough to beat, whether they face the Phillies or Rockies.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Phillies v. Dodgers 1977-78, '83, '08 (Phillies won in '83, '08, lost in 77-78)
Red Sox v. Yankees 1999, '03-04 (Red Sox won in '04, lost in '99, '03)
Angels v. Twins 2002 (Angels 4-1)
Potential World Series Rematches
Red Sox v. Phillies 1915 (Red Sox 4-1)
Yankees v. Cardinals 1926, '28, '42-43, '64 (Yankees won in 1928, '42, lost in '26, '43, '64)
Yankees v. Dodgers 1941, '47, '49, '52-53, '55-56, '63, '77-78, '81 (Dodgers won in 1955, '63, '81, lost a lot)
Red Sox v. Cardinals 1946, '67, '04 (Red Sox won in '04, lost in '46 and '67)
Yankees v. Phillies 1950 (Yankees 4-0)
Twins v. Dodgers 1965 (Dodgers 4-3)
Twins v. Cardinals 1987 (Twins 4-3)
Red Sox v. Rockies 2007 (Red Sox 4-0)
Other possible rematch
Yankees v. Angels 2002, 2005 – LDS: (Angels won both series)
Cardinals v. Dodgers 1985, 2004 (Cardinals won both series)
Twins v. Yankees 2003-04 (Yankees won both series)
Phillies v. Rockies 2007 (Rockies 3-0)
Red Sox v. Angels 1986, '04, '07-08 (Red Sox won all 4 series)
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Cliff Lee was unbelievably good for his first 5 starts with the Phillies after being traded from the Indians on , but the last 7 have been miserable.
First 5 starts: 5-0, 0.67 ERA, 39 SO, 6 BB
Next 7: 2-4, 6.20 ERA, 35 SO, 4 BB
His walks and strikeouts have remained good, and the home runs allowed have stayed the same too. He started allowing a lot of hits:
August: .226, 3 HR
September: .320, 3 HR
There is something in his favor, though. Despite Colorado's fine play this season, they only hit .235 on the road (vs. .287 at home), which was 2nd worst in the league. They were 21st in runs scored on the road vs. 2nd in runs at home.
Breakdown of Lee's last 7 starts:
3 Home: 1-2, 4.05 ERA (including complete game shutout vs. Nationals on Sept. 15)
4 Road: 1-2, 8.10 ERA
His most recent 4 starts were much better than the previous 3 in allowing hits:
(Sept. 15-Oct. 1: 4 starts) 27 H, 24.2 IP
(Aug. 29-Sept. 9: 3 starts) 29 H, 15 IP
Prediction: In the first postseason start of his career, Lee is solid, but not dominant (3 ER over 7 IP) and gets the win.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Rick Porcello (Tigers): 14-9, 4.04 ERA, 81 SO, 50 BB
Scott Baker (Twins): 15-9, 4.36 ERA, 160 SO, 46 BB
Pre All Star Break
Rick Porcello: 8-6, 4.14
Scott Baker: 7-7, 5.42
Post All Star Break
Rick Porcello: 6-3, 3.92
Scott Baker: 8-2, 3.21
Since August 1
Rick Porcello: 5-2, 3.21
Scott Baker: 7-2, 3.52
Since September 1
Rick Porcello: 3-1, 3.22
Scott Baker: 3-2, 3.97
Away: Rick Porcello: 6-6, 4.21
Home: Scott Baker: 6-5, 4.55
vs. Min: Rick Porcello: 1-2, 3.09
vs. Tigers: Scott Baker: 1-1, 6.75
Porcello: September 29th (6 days rest)
Baker: October 1st (4 days rest)
Ground Ball/Fly Ball
Sunday, October 4, 2009
1.044 Matt Holliday (A's/Cardinals (1.019 OPS w/Cardinals) 2nd Overall - ML
1.042 Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies)
1.018 Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
1.003 Ryan Howard (Phillies)
.998 Joe Mauer (Twins)
.996 Kendry Morales (Angels)
.994 Mark Teixeira (Yankees)
.992 Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies) 10th Overall
.962 J.D Drew (Red Sox)
.954 Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 15th Overall
Most of the names are very familiar and expected (Pujols, Mauer, Howard, etc.). The only real surprise to me is Carlos Gonzalez (Rockies).
After a disappointing 2008 with the A’s, where he only hit 4 HR in 302 AB with a .242 BA, he was traded to the Rockies, along with Huston Street, in the Matt Holliday deal in November 2008. He was also one of the many players traded by the D-Backs to Oakland for Dan Haren in December 2007. His good performance in the 2nd half has probably earned him an offseason without being traded, but we'll have to see.
He didn't even get an at-bat this year until June and was only hitting .202 with 1 HR at the All-Star Break, which was before he started getting regular playing time. He eventually batted all over the lineup, although ended up hitting most often in the leadoff spot. He played about an even amount in LF and CF (putting up his best numbers in CF), although he sometimes played both positions in the same game.
The Rockies are loaded with outfielders, including Brad Hawpe, Seth Smith, Ryan Spilborghs and Dexter Fowler. Gonzalez shares playing time with Fowler and Smith. Fowler was once considered a top ROY candidate (at least by some) this year before he went on the DL. Eventually Gonzalez will be an everyday starter, but he seems to be getting some kind of playing time every game, with a good number of starts.
Gonzalez's lofty 2nd half numbers are mostly the result of a monster August, where he posted the 2nd highest OPS in entire league, behind only Matt Diaz: .370, 6 HR, .714 SLG, 1.146 OPS. His September numbers were respectable too: .277, 5 HR, .543 SLG, .885 OPS. The Rockies were winning before the emergence of Gonzalez (21-7 in June), but he gives them another weapon and could be a factor in the playoffs.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
With 5, Abreu is the ML leader going back to 1934. It happened a lot during the 1920's, with Hall of Famers Harry Heilmann and Goose Goslin the all-time leaders with 8. Heilmann's seasons were from 1921-1929 and Goslin from 1925-1934.
7 players have had 7 seasons, none of which were after 1939. They are all well-known (and Hall of Famers): Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Pie Traynor, Al Simmons, Tony Lazzeri, Charlie Gehringer and Joe Cronin. 2 players had 6 seasons, both early 20th century: Hall of Famer Sam Crawford (the all time leader in triples) and Bobby Veach. Crawford once had 120 RBI and 5 HR, in 1910, which was at the height of the dead ball era.
This is also the 4th season in a row that Abreu has done this. When was the last time anyone did that? Charlie Gehringer from 1931-1936.
This is just one component of Abreu's career, but it is an interesting one. I have nothing against home run hitters, but it is good to see someone who can consistently drive in runs even if they don't hit a lot of home runs. There have been 221 combined seasons of 100 RBI since 2003 (244 from 1960-1980), and Abreu is basically by himself in this category.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
1990's: Ken Griffey Jr., Albert Belle, Juan Gonzalez, Barry Bonds, Frank Thomas, Rafael Palmeiro
In 1987 the Tigers were 11 games back in May, but fought their way way to be enter the final weekend trailing the Blue Jays by 1 game and facing off with the Blue Jays in a 3 game series at Tiger Stadium. They proceeded to sweep the Blue Jays to take the AL East.
That was 7 years before the Wild Card was created and the Braves have won 14 Division Titles in that span and the Yankees have now won 10. 14 different franchises have won the World Series since 1987 and virtually every other team has won a Division Title. Which other teams have not won a Division Title since 1987?
Teams that existed in 1987
Kansas City Royals (last Division: 1985)
Milwaukee Brewers (last Division: 1982)
Teams that did not exist in 1987
Colorado Rockies (Wild Card: 1995, 2007, clinched at least a tie 2009)
Florida Marlins (Wild Card: 1997, 2003)
The Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals franchise has not been to a playoff series since 1981, when they won the 2nd-Half of the 1981 Strike Season, but they did technically win the 1994 NL East before the season was called off. It's a little confusing because it is often claimed that the Braves won 14 consecutive Division Titles, but they get credit for it.