Having Starters Can Finish Off an Opponent

The Red Sox hung just a lonely vertical white line under their “H” column on the old left field scoreboard in Game 1. The pattern of this punchless postseason continues.

Comments: 11

  1. This is the most interesting baseball postseason I can remember, but my gut says it's been hell on gamblers.

  2. Nerve wracking, electrifying, second guessing, extreme emotional swings. This is was makes post season baseball awesome. The raw emotion of watching your teams closer try and preserve a great pitching performance can be nauseating but we still love every moment. My voice is still horse from game four in the D but I can't wait for the next game four. Go Tigers.

  3. "Pitching always beats batting — and vice-versa." Yogi Berra

  4. Baseball is like theatre with close one run games.
    An error or the failure to make a play is so often the difference
    Is playoff baseball.
    A 10-9 can be fun too but nothing like a low scoring tight game
    Oh, by the way, both of these games were well under three hours
    Unlike many other playoff games

  5. Actually, the Tigers vs Red Sox game was almost four hours in length.

  6. Thanks Chris. I don't think the Red Sox are capable of a game under three hours -- what with the manner in which their batters work the count.

    That is why they were able to chase a dominant Sanchez after 6 innings. (His pitch count was way up there, notwithstanding strike outs in the double digits.)

    In this way, the Red Sox have a good chance to chase the Tiger's formidable starting pitching and probably win the series.

    But, I hope not, Leyland is a throw back -- he manages more on feel than solely by the numbers and he smokes to boot.

  7. Chris is right. Just over 4 hours. I was there and still couldn't answer a friend's question: How does a 1-0 game last 4 hours. Best I could do is say Fox Sports, lots of strikeouts, and lots of walks.

  8. Friday night's Cardinals-Dodger games was fantastic, for those who like great pitching and timely defense.

    Saturday's Fox pre-game show for the ALCS had one of those "up-close and personal" segments, which featured many of the Red Sox players talking about their grooming habits. I can't imagine theYankees doing that. But, then again, the Yankees aren't in the play-offs.

  9. I think I must disagree with the premise of this article. Sure, there were two 1-0 games today. But the Red Sox didn't make the playoffs on their pitching. They made the playoffs by leading all of baseball in wRC+ and offensive WAR, with an explosive lineup that led the AL in runs.

    The Tigers should have been the favorite to win the World Series after the regular season ended. The media loves to make sports into a narrative, but really if you use math and logic the Tigers were the best team this season. They had one of the best pitching staffs in the history of baseball, with a combined FIP of 3.12 worth 25.3 wins above replacement level, more than 9 runs ahead of the second place Rangers.

    Hitting wise, the Tigers were the second best team in all of baseball, compiling a 113 wRC+ second only to the Red Sox. Fielding wise, they were one of the worst teams in baseball, but overall their position players were worth 26.5 wins, the 6th highest total in all of baseball, brought down by being the worst at base-running and fielding among playoff teams, with their base-running actually the worst in all of baseball.

    The Dodgers were the popular pick entering the postseason, as pundits simply discarded their first half and assumed that their insane second half record represented their true team. The best team was clearly the Tigers, followed by the Red Sox, yet the Dodgers were given credit for their "improvement" from first half to second half. (Stats per fangraphs)

  10. What happened yesterday was simply the amazing day to day fluctuations in baseball that are unparalleled in any other sport, making baseball the hardest sport to predict on a day to day basis. Picking the best teams, however, is not quite as hard, and the Tigers and Red Sox were clearly in a class of their own following the conclusion of the regular season.

  11. Jim Leyland is heading to Cooperstown, while I fidget on my living room couch...however his mismanagement of the bullpen in the fateful eighth is worth a second guess. I am not sure why he used Smyly, his only reliable left handed bullett, on singles hiiter Jacoby Ellsbury. Surely Smyly would have been more productively employed, against Big Papi batting with multiple base runners on board later in the inning. While Ellsbury is a fine hitter, Ortiz can and did turn the game around with one swing.