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Game Four Thoughts

Posted by Sean Forman on October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween! Our house sits right at the start of the local parade route, so I've already given out 350 pieces of candy tonight. Best costume Animal of the muppets and a box of popcorn.

I like Lyle Lovett, but that seemed a touch morose.

Little Ron Washington is not quite in Baby Mangino territory, but is pretty good.

Over/Under on how many Halloween-related shots of the crowd (18 innings * 2/inning) = 36 separate camera shots. Top of the first, Dumb and Dumber, Construction Worker are the only two I counted the top half. (Rules note, Brian Wilson costumes do not count.)

Fourth double play turned by the Giants in six innings. It's looking like Grich and Belanger out there right now.

There's Waldo!

"Rangers have the best outfield arms in baseball." We have Jeff Francouer #1 in right field, Hamilton #6 in CF (BTW Peter Bourgos deserves the Gold Glove just for the value added in just 2/5ths of a season), and Cruz around average.

With Ishikawa, Uribe, Andrus and Young starting in this game, I'm really disappointed Ogando wasn't starting and no one signed Jim Edmonds to play center. For those of you curious, no WS game has seen a player with a last initial of A, E, I, O, U and Y start the game. The only postseason game ever with six such starters was Game 3 of the 2008 ALCS. Name those six starters.

Aubrey Huff was number two among active players in games played without a postseason appearance. Adam Dunn is the new #2 behind Randy Winn.

Giants are up to 6 DP's turned. World Series record appears to be 10 set in 1951 and 1955. The Indians turned 14 in the 2007 ALCS.

After Posey's home run, FOX caught Hensley Meulens saying "Wow" to Bochy. Agreed.

Do the Rangers really not have a better option to send out there against Bumgarner than Moreland? He doesn't appear to have much chance against lefties (.603 OPS during the year). And if not, why not?

FOX just listed Bumgarner as the fourth youngest to win a WS game. Should have used they Play Index, they missed K-Rod.

17 Responses to “Game Four Thoughts”

  1. ian Says:

    Moreland hit a bomb off a LHP last night to win the game -- there's no way he's not starting tonight against Bumgarner. (I'm not saying that's the RIGHT move, but that's how Washington played it.)

  2. Arom24 Says:

    Aybar, Ellsbury, Iwamura, Ortiz, Upton, Youkilis

  3. Tom Says:

    Glad you got to give out so many treats. We were shut out on trick-or-treaters -- like the Rangers.

  4. Mike Felber Says:

    Better to give treats to strangers than to be tricked like the Rangers. The danger is they will never leave their metaphorical pitching manger, thus be reborn a World Series game winning rearranger...Oh I am poetry incarnate.

  5. Rich Says:

    SFG may have turned a bunch of double plays, but the first base ump got at least two wrong in Game 4.

    I bet the umpires can't wait for the playoffs to be over because they have been terrible.

  6. Tmckelv Says:

    Not that it explains why Moreland was in there, but he did get 1 of the 3 hits.

  7. John Autin Says:

    The theme of the Giants as "misfits & castoffs" has been worked to death by the media; in today's NYTimes, Ben Shpigel referred to SF's "ragtag lineup."

    This concept has a basis in fact, but it gets more overplayed with every Giants win. And the description fits Texas just as well:

    - C, Bengie Molina -- Traded (salary dump) in July for a setup reliever who didn't make the postseason roster.
    - 1B, Mitch Moreland -- Rookie made his debut on July 29, and was mostly platooned.
    - 3B, Michael Young -- Rangers tried to trade him a couple years ago, but no one would take on his contract (which still has 3 years and $48 million to go).
    - LF, Nelson Cruz -- Didn't play a full MLB season until age 28; had an OPS+ of 72 in his first 2 trials with Texas.
    - CF, Josh Hamilton -- Was out of baseball (and occasionally homeless) from age 22-24, and at 25 was let go in the Rule 5 draft.
    - RF, Jeff Francoeur -- Traded (salary dump) in August for a utility infielder.
    - DH, Vlad Guerrero -- Let go by Angels after playing just 100 games last year; took a $10 million pay cut this year.
    - P, Colby Lewis -- 30-year-old began the season with a 6.71 career ERA; was released or waived by 4 teams in a 1-year span.
    - P, C.J. Wilson -- Converted to SP this season, which he began with a career 4.30 ERA.

    It's also worth noting that, for most of this Series, the Rangers have featured the 2 worst hitters, Molina (67 OPS+ this year) and Elvis Andrus (75). Jeff Francoeur (85) has started twice.

  8. John Autin Says:

    Sean's note on Peter Bourjos led me to check his fielding stats. Wow! -- ten outfield assists in 51 games, and RF/9 almost one full chance above the league average. Too bad he didn't hit a lick.

  9. JD Says:

    Why in the world would you not start Lee in game 4. Texas should of started Lee in 4 and Wilson in 5 to try and win those games at home. That would of given them 2 chances to win one in SF

  10. John Autin Says:

    @9 -- Reasons not to start Lee in Game 4:

    -- In his 9-year MLB career, he has never started on 3 days' rest. That includes the postseason -- particularly last year's WS, when the Phillies started Blanton in Game 4 while trailing 2 games to 1.

    -- C.J. Wilson also has never started a game on 3 days' rest. Also, this is his first year as a starting pitcher since 2005, and he has already exceeded his previous season high by about 80 innings.

    In any case, Texas has been shut out in 2 of 4 games, and their bullpen has been putrid. It's hard to see how Lee could have made a difference in Game 4, given that the Rangers mustered 3 hits and no runs.

  11. John Autin Says:

    "FOX just listed Bumgarner as the fourth youngest to win a WS game. Should have used they Play Index, they missed K-Rod."

    Indeed they did. Maybe they meant that he was the fourth youngest starter to win a WS game.

    P.S. Kind of cool that Fernando Valenzuela and Jim Palmer, the 2nd & 3rd youngest SPs to win a WS game, were the exact same age at the time of their wins.

  12. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The all-time median age of a SP to win a WS game is 29 years, 64 days. Of a losing SP, it is 29 yrs, 266 days.

  13. DoubleDiamond Says:

    I had already started my vowel initials list with Chase Utley and trying to recollect who was on the Dodgers in 2008 when I re-read the sentence and noticed that the game in question was in the American League Championship Series.

    Costumes of the night were those two guys dressed as recent ex-Presidents sitting up front near the Rangers' on-deck circle. What? Those weren't costumes? Never mind!

    The Rangers used a total of three relief pitchers with last names that start with "O". The other two, in addition to Ogando, were Oliver and O'Day.

    When I see lefthander Derek Holland on the mound in uniform #45, I keep looking for the MUL at the beginning of his last name. Terry Mulholland pitched for 11 different teams, including multiple stints with the Giants, but the Rangers were one for whom he never pitched. He wore #45 for most of those teams at one time or another.

  14. Richard Says:

    @ 7
    They may have tried to trade Michael Young, but that hardly makes him a misfit/castoff.

    Josh Hamilton was just a great trade. Reds got a good starting pitcher for him.

    Guerrero wasn't "let go" by the Angels. He was a free agent. He made less money because GMs thought one poor season meant he was finished. They were wrong.

  15. David Varet Says:

    In Fox's defense (saying that makes me cringe), they did say the 4th youngest to start and win a WS game - not just win.

  16. John Autin Says:

    @14 -- Only the first of your three points is a reasonable counterstatement to what I wrote. You are right that Michael Young does not neatly fit the "misfits/castoffs" tag just because Texas tried (but failed) to dump his contract.

    On your other 2 points:

    -- The fact that Hamilton was a good acquisition does not preclude him from wearing the "misfit/castoff" description. As I said before, he was out of the game for three whole years, then was exposed in the Rule 5 draft. If he's not a castoff, there's no such animal.

    -- The fact that Guerrero was a free agent does not contradict the idea that he was "let go" by the Angels. When you make no effort to re-sign your own free agent, you're letting him go.

    You note that other GMs were wrong to think Vlad was finished -- well, sure. But that just emphasizes my own point about a guy like Aubrey Huff. We've heard a dozen times during postseason broadcasts that Huff was SF's 3rd choice to play first base last offseason, and they were able to get him for about $3 million because no one else wanted to pay him more. And why was that? Because a lot of GMs are just like fans; they can't see past what the player did last year. Huff has had many good seasons, and in 2008 he hit .304/32/108 and led the league in extra-base hits. Huff's fine 2010 season is no more of a surprise than Vlad's.

    Huff, Ross, Uribe, Burrell (33 HRs in 2008), F.Sanchez -- they were all "castoffs" in a sense, but mostly because of other teams' money decisions. They've all had good major-league careers, and there was no reason to think any of them were washed up heading into this year. The "castoffs" concept was just a storyline that sounded good for the media.

  17. DoubleDiamond Says:

    This topic is about to go to the 2nd page, but I just wanted to comment on the remark about the Reds getting a good starting pitcher for Hamilton. That pitcher, Edinson Volquez, now joins Sal Maglie as the only two pitchers to be the losing pitchers in postseason no-hitters.