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ALCS Game 1: Random notes

Posted by Andy on October 16, 2010

Some random notes on Game 1 of the Rangers-Yankees ALCS:

  • This was a huge loss for the Rangers. Beating C. C. Sabathia would have wiped out the purported advantage the Yankees held by Cliff Lee being spent in Game 5 of the ALDS. Instead, Sabathia gets off the hook and the Yankees hold the 1-game road advantage that many assumed they would achieve.
  • gives the Yankees a 70% chance of winning the ALCS after their Game 1 victory, as compared to 56% before Game 1.
  • Darren Oliver has appeared in 18 post-season games, with the first and last coming for Texas against the Yankees 14 years apart:
    Series Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF
    1996 ALDS g3 Oct 4 TEX NYY L,2-3 GS-9 L(0-1) 99 8.0 6 3 3 2 3 1 1 3.38 29
    2010 ALCS g1 Oct 15 TEX NYY L,5-6 8-8 5 0.0 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 8.31 2
    Provided by View Original Table
    Generated 10/16/2010.
  • Rangers pitchers have now made 41 relief appearances in the playoffs (all-time). That includes 4 in yesterday's game as well as 6 in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rays. Johnny Oates once used 7 in a playoff game--Game 4 of the 1996 ALDS also against the Yankees.
  • Alex Rodriguez ran his post-season career RBI total to 38 (in 215 at-bats--pretty damn good.) It just goes to show you, though, how weird baseball is. His 2-run hit was this close to being a double-play grounder.
  • The Rangers defense didn't look very good to me, beyond just the bobble by Hamilton that was charged as an error. This could be a big factor in the rest of the series.
  • Many comments from Yankees after the game mentioned how they never felt out of it, they knew they could rally, etc. I guess I can understand this, as the Yankees have rallied from plenty of deficits in both the regular season and the playoffs in the last 15 seasons, but I wonder whether this helps or hurts them. The fact that this comeback win won't provide much of an emotional lift might mean something, or perhaps their overriding confidence is the more important thing. The fact that the big 5-run rally didn't involve any homers definitely matters, though--it gives both teams the impression that the entire Yankee lineup is a force.
  • The biggest WPA plays is an interesting list. Cano's tying single is tops, followed by A-Rod's 2-run single. Next up, though, is Kinsler's caught stealing against Kerry Wood. That was a huge play. Marcus Thames' go-ahead RBI doesn't even make the top 5.

22 Responses to “ALCS Game 1: Random notes”

  1. Zachary Says:

    That was an extremely depressing game.

  2. Chris Says:

    Ron Washington failed managing 101. You have to have your best pitcher pitching during the highest leverage moments. Not bringing Feliz in sometime in the 8th was inexcusable. There's no reason to be saving him at that point.

  3. Raker Says:

    @1 , depends on your POV. 🙂

    @2 , couldn't agree more. Absolutely ridiculous. When he didn't use Feliz, they deserved to lose.......... The other big play was Michael Young's "ole'". If he knocks that down, he gets at least one. Easy to say when a guy hits a pea at you but you've got to get in front of that. Move to it, not away. Too bad because Young is a great player. He's got to be kicking himself.....Yanks will probably sweep now.

  4. Djibouti Says:

    Put a fork in em, they're done. I'd be surprised if the Rangers even win a game. Maybe they'll take game 4, but they're going to get blown out today, probably lose a close one with Lee on the mound in game 3. I'd predict something like a 1-0 game with the bullpen coming in in the ninth and giving up 3 runs. I was glad to see the Rangers win against TB because I was rooting for them to finally get that one playoff win. On the other hand, I knew the Rays had a chance against the Yankees, and the Rangers didn't. Looks like once again I'll be rooting for whomever wins in the NL.

  5. John Autin Says:

    By now, we've seen hordes of games in which a manager foolishly refused to use his best reliever.
    But I can't recall a situation so glaringly botched as when Ron Washington brought in a LEFTY reliever -- and a mediocre one at that -- to face Marcus Thames with the go-ahead run on 3rd.

    -- Thames has plenty of power either side, but his career BA is 28 points higher against southpaws. The Rangers needed a strikeout; Thames's career K rates are 22% against lefties, 28% against righties.

    -- Derek Holland has allowed righties a .285 BA in his short career, with an 18% K rate. The 2010 AL relief averages were .251 BA and 19% Ks.

    TBS cameras showed a close-up of Washington in the dugout after A-Rod closed the gap to 1 run. Washington looked tight. I suspect that emotion affected some of his moves in that 8th inning. Why bring in the lefty Oliver to face Swisher and Teixeira? The key factor at that moment was on-base percentage:

    -- Swisher's career OBP against lefties is .399 -- 59 points higher than vs. RHP -- thanks to a ton of walks.

    -- Teix has a .397 career OBP vs. southpaws, 29 points above his RHP mark.

    And then, with no outs, tying run on 2nd and Cano up, Washington pulled O'Day and brought in ... Clay Rapada(???), who has 36 IP of MLB experience, just 9 IP this season, and about to make his postseason debut. Yes, Rapada has held lefties to a .182 BA, but it's just an 83-batter sample, and his 22% K rate vs. lefties does not jibe with the BA. Rapada also has a high BB rate against both sides. Above all, Cano himself does not have a significant career platoon split; in fact, he's far more balanced than most lefty batters, and has fanned in just 13% of his PAs against southpaws.

    Where was Alexi Ogando? Where was Neftali Feliz? How in the world can a manager allow this game to be decided in the 8th inning by the arms of Derek Holland and Clay Rapada, instead of his best relievers?

    Don't tell me Feliz can't pitch 2 innings. He was a starting his whole career until mid-2009. He pitched more than 1 inning 6 times this year and never allowed a run.

    There might be things we don't know about the status of certain Texas relievers. But this one sure looks like a botch by Washington.

  6. John Autin Says:

    A-Rod's screamer past Young was an instinct play, and Young's reaction showed that he does not have 3B instincts. The ball was just to his left; a half-step puts him in front of it, with a great chance to knock it down, maybe even get an out, but at least keep the 2nd run from scoring. Instead, he froze in position, tried to play the short-hop on the glove side, but the ball kicked up and over his glove.

    Young had never started a pro game at 3B until last year.

  7. John Autin Says:

    But despite my other comments, I don't see this game as a harbinger of a Yankee romp the rest of the way. We tend to overreact to emotional swings in the postseason. No doubt, the comeback will reinforce the Yanks' already strong confidence level. But today's pitching matchup favors Texas, I think. If they win today, it's a best-of-5, and they'll have the best pitcher in the series ready to start 2 of the 5 games.

    Were the Rangers crushed by dropping games 3 and 4 at home to Tampa, squandering their 2-0 series lead? They sure looked confident in game 5.

    Were the Giants crushed by blowing a 3-run lead in the 8th inning of game 2 against Atlanta? -- or by falling behind 2-1 in the 8th in game 3? They didn't seem panicky as they won games 3 and 4 on the road with late rallies.

    Yes, the Yankees are strong favorites to win the series -- because they're the better team, and because they're up 1-0. But I'm not buying the notion that the particular way in which the Rangers lost game 1 makes a significant difference in the odds.

  8. Phrozen Says:

    Well, the loss doesn't seem to have affected them. They're up 5-1 in the fifth. Again.

  9. Brad Says:

    Ah, the elusive momentum. Guess we'll wait to see Halladay go Vander Meer.

  10. rico petrocelli Says:

    Great read from Red Sox Nation on who to root for. Love thias perspective on who to “endorse” in the 2010 MLB post season.

    Let’s go over the alternatives.

    San Francisco Giants – An intersting choice. Tim Lincecum, poster boy for video game junkies and stoners (not mutually exclusive populations) is one of the more likable superstars in the game, and the team has a bunch of other young, exciting players. Edgar Renteria is a guy I always root for, and it would be nice to see old pal Freddy Sanchez (traded from the Red Sox in 2003) get a ring. However, I saw the Sox play a game in San Francisco earlier this summer, and I found their fans’ inferiority complex annoying. Yes, we invaded your ballpark. Next time, sack up and purchase more tickets. Next.

    Philadelphia Phillies – Maybe the least hateable of the “big market” $125+ million payroll teams (aside from the obvious exception). The average age of their roster is 32, and while that number is skewed upwards by bronze age relic Jamie Moyer, it seems that they don’t have quite the long-term window that squads like Tampa Bay or San Francisco enjoy. Still, given their purchasing power, staying in contention shouldn’t be a major issue. Frankly, it’s no fun watching the same team in the World Series every year, so let’s move on.

    New York Yankees – It’s amazing how the owners of this club are able to assemble such a disgusting group of people year after year. It’s an art form, passed down genetically from George Steinbrenner to his two sons, who instill their core values in Cashman and Levine and the like. They have a profound gift that you can’t teach- the ability to locate and acquire people that just make your skin crawl. Now that the old guard of vomit inducing personalities (Jeter, A-Rod, Pettitte, etc.) had begun to slow down over the past couple of years, the team had the foresight to find a bunch of new players who are just as despicable (Chamberlain, Swisher, Teixeira, etc.). You see, it’s important to maintain a stable level of douchbaggery in the clubhouse, for team chemistry purposes. This organization is the Taliban of American pop culture, and I’m pretty sure I’ve developed a few small brain tumors by glancing at their team webpage this morning.

    Texas Rangers – This franchise as been around for 50 years (as the Washington Senators from 1961-1971 before moving to the Dallas area in ‘72) and they have yet to claim baseball’s ultimate prize. Their manager parties like a 1970’s rock star, their star player used to party like a 1970’s rock star, and their top 3 winningest pitchers are guys who seem to have materialized out of thin air this spring. The likability of this team (in combination with the various reasons to dislike the others) leads me to endorse the Texas Rangers for 2010.

    Full nod to on this

    I have been pulling for Rangers to roll from the start. They are definitely showing up.
    Yanks with a 13.50 starter ERA. What's the worst starter ERA ever for a post-season champ?

  11. vince lepore Says:

    all i know is the first thing i was taught in baseball is fielding a grounder one hopper. keep the ball in front of you . one knee glove on the ground block it from getting past you .so what happend 3rd baseman 8th inning. why is'ent every coach in the world screaming. he slides to the side and tries to catch A ROD'S one hopper. looked to me as if he was afraid of it hitting him. if theres anyone to blame? it's all about the money, what happend to baseball? thats why it's so hard to watch anymore. a bunch of over paid girl's in uniform!

  12. Mike Felber Says:

    WHy all the Yankee hate R.P.? I am not pulling for them, but the amount of projected animus on all these guys is alarming. They are not all phony, mean, hypocritical-I feel it is a being a cliche to fulfill the cliched role of making them the big bad wolf. The assessments of these men is much more complex, unless you reduce them all to a stereotype.

  13. rico petrocelli Says:

    Why all the hate? Hubris, my friend. Overweening arrogance. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for Goldman Sachs. They too have all the chips, a stacked deck, yet think that is meritorious

  14. BSK Says:

    Rico nails it. It is one thing to use your inherent advantages. It is another to act as if those advantages are earned or deserved when they are not. Yankee fans are the ones who felt they deserved the 1998 WS because they won 114 regular season games. In 2001, they felt they deserved to beat the Mariners in the playoffs because the Mariners had the gall to beat their record and win 116. It is attitudes like that that make the Yankees and their fans insufferable.

  15. rico petrocelli Says:

    The )ankees are a team that woke up on third base and think they hit a triple

  16. Neil Paine Says:

    I think #10 is a little over the top in terms of Yankee hate (and this is coming from a Red Sox fan btw), but I too was pretty irritated by their exultations when they came back in Game 1. They spend 3.7 times as much on players as Texas does, they still have to fight & claw just to come back and beat them, and then they have the audacity to act like they're scrappy underdogs when they win... It's like running a race with a massive head start, actually falling behind despite the built-in lead, barely pulling ahead at the finish line, and then taunting your opponent over your victory.

  17. BSK Says:

    I assumed #10 was a bit of tongue-in-cheek hyperbole, no?

  18. The Chief Says:


    #10 as tongue-in-cheek is a little tough to reconcile, considering that *all* of the bile was reserved for the Yankees, and was pre-explained as coming from a Sox fan, whose team needed some ninety years and a decade of wild-card hijinks to finally pull one off. And if you want douchebaggery in the clubhouse, well, the Sox certainly had their share of them in recent years as well. I'd be pissed off, too, if I had had to root for a team with a such a self-absorbed cancer like Manny on it.

  19. rico petrocelli Says:

    Greatest comeback in sports history made it all worthwhile.

    What's "Manny being Manny" Yankee-style?

  20. rico petrocelli Says:

    They have to break Cliff Lee at least once to win the pennant

    If they cannot, they can just buy him for nexy year's team, right?

  21. BSK Says:


    Perhaps "tongue-in-cheek" was not accurate. Rather, how about hyperbolic? Seeing more of what Rico has to say, I may doubt that now though.

  22. rico petrocelli Says:

    Hey -- those comments in #10 were lifted from a very tongue in cheek fan site, deweyshouse.oom
    He was being hyperbolic about why yankees deserve hate (hyperbole: obvious and intentional exaggeration.
    from the Greek hyper- + bolḗ throw -- excess, throwing beyond

    My invectives about Lee in #20 are sarcastic. ( mocking, contemptuous, or ironic language intended to convey scorn or insult -- from Greek sarkasmos, to rend the flesh, from sarx flesh]

    Sorry for the tone -- years of hubris have made sardonic (expressing derision, or skeptical humor variously through comment, gesture or writing) -- from the Greek , the primary reference is to the effects of eating a Sardinian plant which was said to produce facial convulsions resembling horrible laughter, usually followed by death.

    My oonvulsions lightened last night wathing Lee's gem. The word for that is SCHADENFREUDE
    : enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others . From German, from Schaden damage + Freude joy

    May the damage joy continue!!