Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
Nice trick, Smiling Jack. But can The Gambler do it twice? Game 3 of the ALCS kicks off later this afternoon in a very chilly Motor City.
The Gambler folds in the 5th.
Gotta get out of this funk. Time to pop in videos of 2003 ALCS. Nothing like a little Posada bloop double to wash away the bad taste of Kenny Rogers domination.
The big mook loves to goof on the Yanks, but he cracks me up.
In the Joe Torre era, the yanks have scored an average of 5.51 runs per game in the regular season. in the postseason, they have scored an average of 4.39. they score 1.12 fewer runs per game. So because of facing better pitching staffs, not facing 5th starters, colder weather, pitchers hitting in NL WS games, and choking under pressure, no matter whether they win the World Series or get bounced early, they almost always significantly underperform.
In the same time, the yanks have allowed an average of 4.59 runs per game in the regular season. in the postseason, they have allowed an average of 3.92. they allow 0.68 fewer runs per game. In the years they went to the world series:
During the last 4 humiliations:
Due to colder weather, not using thier 5th starter, facing pitchers in NL WS games and opposition offenses choking under pressure, their pitching can be vastly superior to what they did all year.
For whatever mixture of reasons, the offense ALWAYS underperforms, regardless of their makeup. The pitching, may or may not underperform. If the pitching shows up, they go deep or win the series. If the pitching doesn't show up, they get bounced early. I have my theories, but I wonder what BB thinks...?
If the Yanks hitters get stymied because they are facing playoff pitchers, why do the pitchers actually improve while facing playoff lineups?
Also, even though it is not very popular around here, I think you need to be able to play "small ball" in the postseason. If you are relying on your "great" lineup to get hits in crucial situations they will probably get shut down by good pitching. That's when you need a few guys who can bunt, hit behind the runners and drive in that guy from 3rd with less than 2 outs.
IMO, sometimes you can have "too" good of a lineup since no one would ask those "great" hitters to just move the runner over (like they would a .250 hitter). In the postseason, when runs are at a premium, you should do the little things to get that run in, especially when you are facing great pitching.
I guess I am just surprised that not once in 11 years has the Yanks offense, almost always the best or 2nd best offense in baseball, carried the team. They've never "gotten hot" on offense. They've always won by scoring less than they did all year and by preventing more. I get the scoring less, the opposition is better. I don't get the preventing more, the opposition is better.
What I wonder, though, is if looking at RS/RA is the best way to measure results. Small sample size (19 max postseason games vs 162 regular season games) jumps out at me, especially in the years the Yanks played 5 PS games or less ('97, '02, '05, '06). As do park factors - the RS/game numbers might go down because the Yanks played many games in parks that tend to suppress runs scored, like Yankee Stadium.
I am curious to see the triple slash stats (AVG/OBP/SLG) for the team in each postseason series. That might give a better indication of the offense being hot or not than runs scored/game. Just my two cents.
Thanks for coming up with a very interesting question!
I'd be interested in knowing those numbers, but not enough to do it myself.
Of course the two lines that really stand out above are the Angels in '02 and the Tigers this year.
I'm surprised that the Yanks' best division series OPS came in '02.
And even if you do ask one of your stars to just move the runner over...will he able to? It's not like Jason Giambi or Gary Sheffield has a lot of experience bunting. I can't help but remember that botched hit and run in Game 5 last year. Bernie completely missed the signal, and IIRC, it wasn't the first time that season. Bernie is not used to being asked to hit and run.
But then again, how the heck did the Yankees take it to 7 games in 2001 (OPS of .528)?
Interesting to look back at these numbers, thanks for posting Bama.
I love Cano and I thought he would slap one down in the corner and score both guys, but he did not come through. IMO, a weak hitter that can get the bunt down in that situation would be successful more often than letting the guy swing away who makes an out 65% of the time. I realize that we don't play the game that way, but maybe we should.
There was also that situation--maybe in Game 2--when Jorgie came up late with a runner on first and I wished that he had been able to bunt, especially since you're supposed to play for a tie at home.
Instead, he made an unproductive out, though I can't recall how.
And you said it, Randy, even if such a guy were asked to play small ball, he'd not be able to.
This is my deepest concern--we have all these players that simply can't execute things that every major league baseball player, without exception, should be able to.
If you have the winning run on second base with nobody out, then I think it's insane to not bunt and then take two whacks at it, whoever's up.
Every player should be able to do what's needed according to the situation. And in certain situations players should learn how to choke up and make contact, as if their lives depended on it.
Here's a serious question: do the even teach guys to play pepper anymore?
Also, can someone tell me why they evidently don't teach every single major league baseball player how to bunt?
Seriously, why can't a guy like Melky bunt? It's really not that hard to do, it doesn't require some kind of magic touch.
Why don't they teach those things?
Even the numbers posted above tell you how random success is. In 2003, we had better numbers in ptching, offense and defense... yet the fish still won.
In 2001, Arizona had better numbers, and the loss was basically on Rivera's throw to 2nd. He makes that throw, and at worse they tie.... but we probably win.
I remember a recent game when Jetes hit a bouncy ball in the hole. The 1st basemen JUUUUUUST missed it, and the second baseman JUUUUUUST missed it.... and we're are all like:
The ARod CREAMS a line drive just over the pitchers head. I'm sure it's a single, but somehowit ends up in the CF's glove (and he didn't even come in much). The stitching was probably knocked loose, and yet we all say
Baseball is SOOOOOOOOOOOO much a game of luck. Of course there is tremendous skill involved, and the best ultimately rise to the top (like over 162 games).... but any one game... one series... has so many factors that can turn the tide.
Look at Cano's shot to 3rd. 2 feet to the right, and we have a big inning... and may still be playing.
And as poor Cory has showed us, fate is terribly, terribly random.
Up 3-0 in the 7th, Tiggers fans chant:
Stay classy, rest of country.
29 I've been convinced... bunting = bad, unless you're planning on having a reduced chance of scoring one run. Teams with a runners on first and second and no outs score, on average, 1.62 runs per inning. Teams with runners on second and third and one out score 1.17 runs per inning. And of course there's che chance that the bunt fails: runners on first and second, one out: 1.02 runs/inning. I think that's pretty clear...
What the Tigers just did, plaing for one run while up three runs at home... was unbelievably stupid, however. It's too bad the A's bats have been frozen by the undead Kenny Rogers.
NEW YORK CBS 2 has learned that a private plane carrying seven passengers, including New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, has skidded off a runway in Burbank, Calif.
Media reports in Southern California have confirmed Rodriguez was on the plane.
It is believed no one was injured.
Though I wonder. IIRC, you can expect to return to mean eventually, but it can take a lot longer than most people realize. This is one of the reasons casinos stay in business...
More on A-Rod's plane adventure
And Wright was soo out at second. Grrrr...
I'm brand new to this site. I have been reading and enjoying for awhile now and I just registered a few minutes ago so I could join in on the discussions. waves hello to all my fellow Yankee friends
Hmm. The Mets could be in trouble here. If they get out of this one unscathed, we'll know they made a pact with the devil...
Whatever he was on the postseason roster for, it wasn't for his pinchrunning skills. ;-)
Finally, the Cardinals strike back.
BTW, to reference a post just put the number in brackets... [#]
My brother-in-law (not a big baseball fan, as you will see) saw me wearing my 2000 Subway Series t-shirt the other day and he asked seriously, "What's the train for?" I replied (thinking he was joking), "Hellooo, you think it might be for the subway?". His reply was a classic (he was dead serious) "I thought it might have been sponsored by the sandwich joint Subway, you know like the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl". Football is definitely king down here in Alabama...
But if it's any consolation, I don't think we hate him as much as Mets fans do.
Anyway, you maximize your chances of winning many games by doing that which gets you the most runs on a consistent basis. And gobs of statistical research show that getting on base (and not making outs) is what matters the most for a hitter. The 2006 Yankees are an excellent example of this: all season, people were grumbling about how the Yanks "didn't do the little things," and "A-Rod sux" but the team ended up winning 97 games, and A-Rod probably provided 8 of those above a "replacement player."
But as for one game, the sample is so small that a given player is going to get a hit at a certain time. In general, you win baseball games by getting on base more than the other team. To me, playing "small ball" and giving up outs for uncertain runs is a lot like playing roulette: every so often you're going to hit big, and you'll remember that, but you won't remember all the times you lost. But over time, you are going to lose money playing roulette.
That was probably the worst way to explain the statistics, so I apologize.
I was sure that after those changeups he'd go high heat but instead he went down and in.
Anyone have any idea why?
Alcohol was involved, I'm sure.
Also, Scott Spezio scoffs at my idea that there's no such thing as "clutch":
14 for 20 in the postseason with runners in scoring position, including 2 for 2 with 3 RBI in this game. That, my friends, is pretty impressive.
Here's to Mariano "First Ballot HOF" Rivera.
Thinking about ya, Mo. Hope all is well ;-)
There was no excuse to leave Mota in in that spot.
In my opinion, if your pitcher puts the tying run on first base on four pitches, you get his ass out of there posthaste.
What do they keep Heliman around for, anyway?
What a pig. ;-)
Last 3 yrs
Giovanni Carrara, age 38, minor league contract
vs. left, 239AB .201/.299/.318
vs. right, 339AB .265/.327/.422
Mike Myers, age 37, $1.2M/yr
vs. left, 268AB .213/.272/.321
vs. right, 149AB .315/.425/.497
Carrara is perfect to help Torre-proof the bullpen. He's a good garbage time guy with the potential to form a battery with Sal Fasano that will be as popular in Bay Ridge as Matsui is in Tokyo. And he doesn't throw batting practice to righties in mop up time like Myers.
Certainly in a long season we're confident that you'll score more by getting more runners on base and preserving your outs. And in a short series, luck will rule the day.
But, all you can do with your strategies, post-season or regular, is increase your chances of winning. And the very same strategy that will win you more games in the long run will also increase your chances in the one game or the short series.
So it can't be that the best strategy changes in October. At least, not for that reason.
(Imagine if someone said: Well, if we're going to be betting on dice all afternoon, I'll bet on seven every time; but if we're only going to roll five times, I'll bet on eight.)
You're out west, right? Have you seen Carrara pitch? He seems to have good stats but I can't remember seeing him pitch. He doesn't seem like a bad 11th or 12th pitcher in the bullpen for the price. On ongoing theme here in the comments at Bronx Banter is how to Torre-proof the bullpen. I just thought a cheap veteran like Carrara would be just the kind of reliever to eat innings. His stats vs. lefties are very good - I'm wouldn't be suprised if he gets used as a LOOGY by somebody in '07.
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