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Archive for the 'World Series' Category

Red Sox-Cubs

20th May 2011

As the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs kick off a 3-game interleague series tonight at Fenway Park, I am reminded of just how close we came in 2003 to what would have been a dream World Series. Two historic clubs, a pair of infamous curses, nearly 200 years of combined futility... how could this not have been one of the greatest Fall Classics ever?

It could very easily have happened, if not for two blunders -- Steve Bartman interfering with Moises Alou's play on a foul ball in Game 6 of the NLCS, and Grady Little leaving Pedro Martinez on the mound for the 8th inning in Game 7 of the ALCS. The Red Sox had a 91% chance of advancing to the World Series in the middle of the 8th, leading 5-2 with 6 outs remaining. And at the time of the Bartman incident, the Cubs had a 92% chance of closing out the Marlins and going to their first Series since 1945. By all rights, the WS matchup for the ages should have happened.

And what if it had? Who would have won a hypothetical 2003 Cubs-Red Sox World Series? Vote below:

Posted in Postseason, World Series | 39 Comments »

Bloops: Most Valuable World Series HRs

10th November 2010

Consider this a retro-bloop, since I didn't catch it the first time around, but here's a great piece at ESPN about the most valuable World Series HRs of all time by "series WPA".

What's series WPA, you ask? It's basically like regular WPA, except it also take into account the probability of winning the series (using a process similar to this). In essence, these home runs are the blasts that most swung the probability of winning the entire World Series, rather than just changing the probability of winning a given game.

As for the #1 HR? Well, it came in this famous game... but it might not be the exact homer you're thinking of.

Posted in Bloops, History, Home Runs, Stats, World Series | 34 Comments »

Home Field Advantage in Sudden Death WS Games

4th November 2010

In 1979  the Pittsburgh Pirates  defeated the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.  It wasn't easy. Not only did the Pirates have the Herculean task of   coming back from a three games to one disadvantage, they had to do so  with the last  two games on the road. The Pirates persevered,  and in the 30 years since,  no road team has won game 7 of the World Series. There have been 8 World Series game 7s since the Pirates victory, but each time it has been the home team that walked away with the hardware.

The entirety of my baseball fandom spans those thirty years and that fact combined with a constant media barrage about the difficulty of winning game 7 on the road has led me to accept that game 7 at home is a significant advantage. However, it wasn't always so. In fact, after the Pirates successful comeback vs. the Orioles, road teams held a  17-10 advantage in sudden death World-Series games. It wasn't until 2002, the last World Series game 7, that the home teams retook the overall historical edge.

Here are the results of all the sudden death World Series Games.  The home teams are in red:

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Posted in Game Finders, Postseason, World Series | 10 Comments »

Game Five Thoughts

1st November 2010

I'm always a little sad when we come to the end of the baseball season.

Also, I'm laying down a marker that I WILL NOT stay up until 1am watching the World Series of Poker. I WILL NOT stay up until 1am watching the World Series of Poker. Of course it isn't on 12-1, so that will help.

As long as Freddy Sanchez is in the game, I will remain unconvinced that amphetamine testing is effective.

With George Bush and Nolan Ryan sitting in the front row each game, where is Chuck Greenberg sitting? He was the actually money behind this summer's bid, right?

Congrats to the Freaking Freaks on keeping their website up during a shoutout during the World Series. Or perhaps that is just an indication of how poor the ratings are for this series.

Charles Komanoff shot me an e-mail about my note from last night about all of the DP's the Giants have turned. The Dodgers turned ten in the 1955 WS while beating the Yankees. Irv Noren filled in for an injured Mickey Mantle for four of the games and had perhaps the worst World Series ever put up a 1 for 16 with five GIDP's.

I won't have game 5 WPA until tomorrow morning, but so far the WPA leaders for the series are for the batters.

| name_common    | wpb   |
| Mitch Moreland | 0.258 |
| Andres Torres  | 0.189 |
| Edgar Renteria | 0.147 |
| Freddy Sanchez | 0.129 |
| Aubrey Huff    | 0.126 |


| name_common       | wpb   |
| Matt Cain         | 0.495 |
| Madison Bumgarner | 0.477 |
| Colby Lewis       | 0.269 |
| C.J. Wilson       | 0.145 |
| Alexi Ogando      | 0.095 |
| Neftali Feliz     | 0.083 |

I'm guessing if Lincecum wins tonight he's the MVP.

"Posey is standing just a few feet from his mentor." I'm not quite sure how much mentoring Bengie Molina did for Posey this year. They were in San Francisco together for about a month this year.

Last consecutive shutouts in the World Series was in 1966 when the Orioles ended the 1966 WS with three straight shutouts.

Lead owner of the Giants Bill Neukom made his money as the lead counsel for MicroSoft. Started with them when they had 12 employees and stayed with them for quite a long time.

So is Zach Grafnakakalakis playing the same role in Due Date as in the Hangover and Bored to Death or does he have no range?

I feel like I should say something about Renteria, but I've got nothing. OK, here's one. Renteria is the third oldest SS to homer in a World Series. Teh Jeter is #1. Who's #2?

Neftali Feliz for six outs or more....but, but, he never does that?!

"You've got to walk Renteria and pitch to Rowand there." Are they really saying that Renteria is too dangerous to pitch to? Four home runs all year and you really are concerned about him?

Just about a third bad baserunning play by Kinsler there nearly picked off first.

Does McCarver realize that the Huff bunt had no impact on the run scoring in the seventh inning? If Huff, say strikes out. Then Burrell strikes out for two outs and Renteria's home run scores the runners from first and second.

"And Bruce Bochy was six months old when the Giants last won the World Series." And he vowed then and there to win the next one as their manager.

"I don't agree with taking out Lincecum here. He is just at 101 pitches." Tangotiger is yelling at Tim McCarver right now about how the starter is much less effective the 4th time through the lineup.

Congrats Giants. Let's hope the offseason goes quickly.

And now my major pet peeve. Let's cover up the ultra-classy giants jerseys with $10 t-shirts to schill for MLB. Do the players get a cut of that? Is that why they wear them? I guess I just need to let it go.

I always get a kick of how the players congregate on the field and the coaches all hug in the dugout.

Nice interview of Bruce Bochy there.

Posted in World Series | 32 Comments »

Game Four Thoughts

31st October 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.

Posted in World Series | 17 Comments »

Game Three Thoughts

30th October 2010

I had no thoughts for game two because, well. I didn't watch it.

Bottom Second, Cruz went back to third on a ball hit to third with the infield back, a poor baserunning play. I always wonder how much practicing of that sort of stuff the teams do. I assume it gets covered in spring training, but probably never again.

Another question, do the managers ever time their batters and pitchers to first base or first to third to see who would be the best pinch runners.

McCarver noted that Moreland attended the same school as "Giant great Will Clark." He did play a bit for the Rangers as well.

"His FATHER'S THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY!!", "It's a trap!", "Kid chewed a heckuva chalupa today."

Glad to see Ken Rosenthal is sporting the bowtie again. I think he should stick with that. George Will turned a bowtie into a pretty lucrative career.

Great jump there by Hamilton on Freddy Sanchez's fly ball. If the outfielder isn't moving by the time the camera is on them, they got a bad jump.

Regarding Hamilton hitting well in Rangers' wins. Check out the splits of any better and they hit and pitch better in team wins. I need to get a split finder done so we can quickly tell who plays better in losses than in wins.

Aubrey Huff's grandma would have left grandpa for Jeff Huson. I was more of a Jeff Frye man during my time in Texas. Frye could draw a few more walks.

45,000 beers and just 2,688 sodas (and why is that the only one not rounded to hundreds?). That just can't be credible can it? They must not have draft beer and are not counting fountain sodas.

I spent a couple of summers in in Dallas and went to about 30 games at the Ballpark back in 1994 and 1995. It's a pretty nice ballpark. I liked it a lot.

At the O'Reilly Makers Faire in Queens I bought a very good brownie from the woman in the Treats Truck who appears in the blackberry torch commercial. I did not use twitter to locate the truck. My son enjoyed his sugar cookie with yellow sprinkles as well.

Ron Washington thinks Andrus will be a Ryne Sandberg like hitter. Sandberg hit for a good deal more power at the same age, albeit in AA and AAA. A SS who could hit like Sandberg would be a pretty good player, wouldn't he?

What's with the rubber gloves on the hats in the stands?

The double play in the bottom of the fifth is about as good of an illustration about why strikeouts aren't that bad in the major leagues. If they can turn a double play on that, you really shouldn't put it into play unless you hammer it. And hammering it requires swinging really hard. No DP by Young also means a two-run homer by Hamilton.

I love Vlad Guerrero, but he is terrible at the little things. Bad at baserunning, bad at hitting cutoff men. Last four years, he is 13 of 25 stealing bases and made 40 outs on the bases or ten a year. Average team makes 55 or so a year.

If ESPN showed the World Series, would we get crowd shots of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, and Jon Gruden?

I've never understood why it would matter what where the series stands in deciding to use a pitcher on three days rest or not. The question is what gives you to the opportunity to win four of the next five games? Does that mean Lewis, Hunter, Lee, Wilson and Lewis or Lee, Wilson, Lewis and Lee?

I agree with McCarver that you should use your three best starters exclusively in the postseason, but he stated there haven't been any studies. There have been, J.C. Bradbury linked to one last week.

Do fans really believe that faking a throw to second is a balk? Or is it just a tradition at this point?

Neftali Feliz has thrown more than four outs during the season four times, so I'm not sure if Washington just doesn't remember or if they don't count because they were all extra-inning games.

I was at game one of the NLCS, and about five seconds before Ross hit his first home run, I turned to the guy I was sitting with that I wouldn't be shocked to see Ross hit 30+ homers some year. I just didn't expect it to be in a single postseason.

San Fran gave us Tony Bennett and Fox sticks Texas with Martha Plimpton, whose voice work as best I can tell entails "Martha Plimpton Sings?" a one-woman show from January 2010 and a couple of duets.

Colby Lewis was not the first Colby in the major leagues. Also, five players from Colby College.

Twelfth postseason game with 2 5-4-3 DP's by a single team.

Pat Burrell's golden sombrero was the 13th in World Series History.

Posted in World Series | 22 Comments »

Game One Thoughts

28th October 2010

I was on duty to write for the New York Times this morning, so I took some notes. a la Peter King here are some thoughts I think I think.

Sports Reference needs to spare no expense so that we can provide a Bat Breaker leaderboard next year.

Elvis Andrus has been horribly overrated by the announcers this postseason. A .301 Slugging Percentage means that he had the 14th most WAR for the Rangers this season. They win more games with Wilson Valdez as their shortstop.
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Posted in World Series | 41 Comments »