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Cano’s slam off Alburquerque a reminder that the playoffs are a whole new season

Posted by John Autin on October 2, 2011

[And that's why superstitious folks hate to carry a long streak into the postseason....]

If you've been to this blog a few times, you likely know that Detroit's rookie RHP Al Alburquerque did not allow a home run all year (43 IP), and had been touched for just one extra-base hit, a double back on May 11, yielding just 16 singles in his last 30 IP. He had also stranded 28 of 31 inherited runners this year; he had entered twice with the bases loaded and emerged with a clean slate each time.

21 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Berkman’s bomb a reminder that the playoffs are a whole new season

Posted by John Autin on October 1, 2011

-- Lance Berkman crushed the first pitch he saw from Roy Halladay for a 3-run HR in the top of the 1st. The Cards lead 3-1 in the 5th (at this writing).

The blast followed a 4-pitch walk to Albert Pujols with a man on 2nd and 1 out. Despite appearances, I highly doubt that the walk to Albert was intentional.

41 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Now the Tigers-Yankees series is all messed up

Posted by Andy on October 1, 2011

The Tigers took a big hit last night when rain suspended Game 1. Now Justin Verlander won't pitch again until Game 3 and will make just one appearance in the division series even if it goes 5 games. The same is true for CC Sabathia, but given Verlander's excellent season, this figures to hurt the Tigers more than the Yankees.

Now the Game 2 starters will resume Game 1 today, with Ivan Nova and Doug Fister taking over for the aces. These same two guys would match up in a Game 5 if necessary.

So a couple of weird things about Game 1 when it resumes today--it's a lot like starting a fresh game in the sense that the score will be tied (though at 1 instead of 0) and the home team (the Yankees) will bat first since the Tigers already made out in the top of the second, so the game will resume from the bottom of the second. Another weird thing is the obvious one, that two starting pitchers are both coming in relief early in a close game.

38 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Prince Fielder’s Rare Season Ending Walk

Posted by Steve Lombardi on October 1, 2011

Prince Fielder became the first player in the last 25 years, batting .299 in his final at-bat of the season, to talk take a walk.

Jon Wertheim has the story. (H/T to BBTF.)

14 Comments | Posted in Season Finders

Youngest with 7 scoreless IP in a postseason game

Posted by John Autin on September 30, 2011

Matt Moore, Johnny Damon and Kelly Shoppach led the Rays to a 1-0 lead in their ALDS with Texas.

At 22 years and about 104 days, Moore becomes the 9th-youngest pitcher to throw at least 7 shutout innings in a postseason game, slotting in between Waite Hoyt and Gary Nolan on the following list. Number 2 should ring a bell:

18 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Matt Moore’s first post-season start

Posted by Andy on September 30, 2011

If I did my quick math correctly, Matt Moore earned a 77 game score by going 7 innings with 2 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts (and no runs).

Among pitchers making their first career post-season start, Moore ranks only tied for 56th-best.

However, check out where he ranks among those pitchers making their first career post-season start in the first game of a post-season series:

Rk Gcar Player Date Series Gm# Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc
1 1 Tim Lincecum 2010-10-07 NLDS 1 SFG ATL W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 2 0 0 1 14 0 96
2 1 Roy Halladay 2010-10-06 NLDS 1 PHI CIN W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 1 8 0 94
3 1 Mike Scott 1986-10-08 NLCS 1 HOU NYM W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 5 0 0 1 14 0 90
4 1 Bob Forsch 1982-10-07 NLCS 1 STL ATL W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 0 6 0 87
5 1 Johnny Sain 1948-10-06 WS 1 BSN CLE W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 0 6 0 85
6 1 Christy Mathewson 1905-10-09 WS 1 NYG PHA W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 0 6 0 85
7 1 Don Sutton 1974-10-05 NLCS 1 LAD PIT W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 1 6 0 84
8 1 Dave Stieb 1985-10-08 ALCS 1 TOR KCR W 6-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 3 0 0 1 8 0 83
9 1 Bill Donovan 1907-10-08 WS 1 DET CHC T 3-3 CG 12 12.0 10 3 1 3 12 0 83
10 1 Carl Hubbell 1933-10-03 WS 1 NYG WSH W 4-2 CG 9 ,W 9.0 5 2 0 2 10 0 81
11 1 Howard Ehmke 1929-10-08 WS 1 PHA CHC W 3-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 8 1 0 1 13 0 81
12 1 Dick Rudolph 1914-10-09 WS 1 BSN PHA W 7-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 5 1 0 3 8 0 80
13 1 Don Newcombe 1949-10-05 WS 1 BRO NYY L 0-1 CG 9 ,L 8.0 5 1 1 0 11 1 79
14 1 Mordecai Brown 1906-10-09 WS 1 CHC CHW L 1-2 CG 9 ,L 9.0 4 2 1 1 7 0 79
15 1 Mike Norris 1981-10-06 ALDS 1 OAK KCR W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 3 2 0 78
16 1 LaMarr Hoyt 1983-10-05 ALCS 1 CHW BAL W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 5 1 1 0 4 0 77
17 1 Nick Altrock 1906-10-09 WS 1 CHW CHC W 2-1 CG 9 ,W 9.0 4 1 1 1 3 0 77
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/30/2011.

He'll be tied with Hoyt and Altrock and on a list of very impressive pitchers.

9 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Oldest players with a multi-HR postseason game

Posted by Andy on September 30, 2011

Having homered in his first plate appearance, Johnny Damon has a chance to become one of the oldest players to have a multi-HR post-season game:

Damon is about a month shy of his 38th birthday.

6 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

‘Vedi Napoli e poi muori’

Posted by John Autin on September 30, 2011

See Naples and die.

That famous line may have been coined by Goethe to express the opulence of 18th-century Naples -- Napoli -- but it's acquired another meaning this year for AL pitchers, who may wonder if Mike Napoli has struck a Faustian bargain.

21 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Poll: 2011 American League MVP

Posted by Andy on September 30, 2011

Two polls...one for who deserves it and one for who will actually win it.

156 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Matt Moore (3 games in the major leagues) will start Game 1 for the Rays

Posted by Andy on September 30, 2011

 

The Rays have opted to have rookie Matt Moore start Game 1 of the Division Series against the Rangers. (h/t to LoHud Yankees Blog for the link)

Holy wow! Moore has made only 12 appearances above double-A in his career, including 3 in the last few weeks at the big-league level.

With Moore about 22 years and 100 days old, there have been roughly 70 starts in the post-season by younger pitchers. Very few of them have been in Game 1 of a series, with notably exceptions such as Fernando Valenzuela in Game 1 of the 1981 NLDS, Rick Ankiel in Game 1 of the 2000 NLDS, as well as starts by Clayton Kershaw, Ralph Branca, Don Gullett and, of course, Dwight Gooden.

But I wonder how many pitchers have made a post-season start with so few appearances in the big leagues?

This event relates, I think, the the Rays having such a stockpile of young pitching. If Moore does well and the Rays make it far in this post-season, it will be remembered as his coming-out party.

I'm starting to think that the 2011 playoffs are going to be the best we've seen in a long time. The way I see it, a very strong case can be made that any of 7 teams have a great shot at making the World Series, with the Cardinals being the only exception. The American League, in particular, is wide open.

44 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

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