FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. It’s funny to me because when I look at the Tigs and the As, they have similar weaknesses that make you think, these teams don’t belong in the playoffs. Then you see the performances both clubs got out of their starters in the first two games, and you realize that is the great equalizer. You can survive with Delmon freakin’ Young as your #5 hitter when you can count on Verlander, Fister, and Scherzer.

    Comment by Nathan — October 9, 2012 @ 8:14 am

  2. Benoit’s performance on Sunday was particularly blameworthy. When Cespedes stole 2nd, it was a close play, and Laird seemed to look at the dugout with some judgment for seemingly failing to alert him of the steal attempt. That all is fine. When he stole third, however, Cespedes got such a good jump that Laird, with a left-handed batter, didn’t even have a chance to gey a throw off! That’s Benoit’s fault, and that mistake in that situation, with one-out, is inexcusable. Add to that the wild pitch and giving up a home run on (I think) a 1-2 count with no one on base, and you have one of the worst relief performances in the postseason so far. Just an all-around disgusting outing.

    Comment by Brandon — October 9, 2012 @ 9:52 am

  3. I’d like to add to the above post that, when the tigers entered the 8th inning they had a 74.7% WE, and by the time Reddick homered, they had a 27.6% WE, a 47.1% shift. More specifically, Cespedes stealing third was a 6.9% shift, the wild pitch was a 8.5% shift, and the Reddick home run on the terrible, unnecessary inside pitch was a 27.1% shift. On two pitches not touched by a bat, the WE shifted by 15.4%! Add to that the home run pitch, and three terrible pitches (lumping the lack of holding the runner on into a pitch) shifted WE by 42.5%. Like I said, one of the absolute worst postseason performances.

    Comment by Brandon — October 9, 2012 @ 10:14 am

  4. Sigh.

    Comment by David Wiers — October 9, 2012 @ 10:40 am

  5. I was one of those people in the left field bleachers, trying to explain that Leyland is not an idiot for taking Verlander out after 130 pitches. How do you try and explain what’s going on with Benoit? He’s fallen behind more hitters than usual and grooved a lot of fastballs, but his home run rate is through the roof.

    Comment by Zach — October 9, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  6. Great synopsis. Thanks for this.

    Comment by Dave Wagner — October 9, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  7. I had some mixed feelings about the Albuquerque thing. At first I was kind of embarrassed, as a Tigers fan watching in a bar near my home in Oakland, but I think I’m just sort of primed for that by Valverde, whose antics are an absolute abomination, to say nothing of the absurd amount of time it takes him to pitch. I believe that he should be penalized for this. It’s circus nonsense, and it doesn’t belong in baseball, particularly when we’re talking about a pitcher who is not even that good.

    Anyway, he bugs me, and the Albuquerque thing bugged me, too. I thought, “Quit fooling around, you idiot. Our pitchers made 5 errors in the 2006 Series, so let’s just play it by the book, shall we?”

    But then I realized that this is the sort of thing I’d think was cute and had personality if I read about Dizzy Dean or Luis Tiant doing it, so to heck with it. No big deal. I can see how Reddick would be annoyed though.

    Comment by Dan — October 9, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  8. The Sequel:

    Three Days in Oakland: It Ain’t Over Yet

    Comment by BX — October 9, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  9. Verlander was basically given an extra foot outside to pitch in. He’s a great pitcher, but he wouldn’t have to be with that much lenience from the home plate umpire.

    Comment by rory — October 9, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  10. This sounds like sour grapes to me. I thought the umpires have been excellent in all three games thus far. I noticed the strike zone seemed a little shifted, but it wasn’t just when Verlander was on the mound, so hard to be too upset.

    Bottom line, as game three has shown us yet again, both of these teams are wholly mediocre, but are riding that great equalizer of starting pitching that is on fire.

    Comment by Nathan — October 10, 2012 @ 7:31 am

  11. How exactly are the A’s mediocre? They barely allowed 600 runs, and they’ve got a 100-run differential (for a Pythagorean record of 92-70), and that’s playing in a division with the Angels and the Rangers. I wouldn’t call that mediocre, let alone “wholly mediocre”, whatever that means.

    The Tigers are mediocre. They have a Pythag. record of 87-75, and a third of their schedule was the Indians, the Royals, and the Twins. Their big rival was the White Sox, who would have finished 4th if you added them to the AL West.

    The A’s are legitimately good, and the Tigers are “meh”. I know because I am a Tigers fan. This team has no business beating a real contender.

    Comment by Dan — October 10, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  12. That sounds like confirmation bias.

    Seriously, go over to brooks-baseball and check it out.

    Verlander was getting calls a full twelve inches off the plate, and the Parker wasn’t.

    By the end of the game they were trying to protect out there, and swinging and missing a lot. It was complete bullshit.

    Comment by rory — October 10, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

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