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  1. #1
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    Baseball 2012 - Post-Season Thread

    The regular business is all done and now we're on to the stuff that counts. Post your playoffs discussion here.
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  2. #2
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    I'll start - does it seem weird to anyone else that the team with the best record in each league gets rewarded for its troubles by playing on the road for the first two games? Obviously, they also get the benefit of playing a wild card team that just used its best (maybe) starter, and having 3 at home to finish the series is nice, but has there ever been a post-season series in any of the 4 major sports where the team with the higher seed started on the road?
    Just be you. You is enough. - K, 4/5/10, 0:13.8 to play, 60-59 Duke.

    You're all jealous hypocrites. - Titus on Laettner

    You see those guys? Animals. They're animals. - SIU Coach Chris Lowery, on Duke

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    I'll start - does it seem weird to anyone else that the team with the best record in each league gets rewarded for its troubles by playing on the road for the first two games? Obviously, they also get the benefit of playing a wild card team that just used its best (maybe) starter, and having 3 at home to finish the series is nice, but has there ever been a post-season series in any of the 4 major sports where the team with the higher seed started on the road?
    An unfortunate circumstance resulting from the late addition of the second wild card. It will get sorted out next year.

    The match-ups, home-field advantage team listed first:

    Washington vs Atlanta/St Louis
    Cincinnati vs San Francisco

    Yankees vs Baltimore/Texas
    Oakland vs Detroit

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    I'll start - does it seem weird to anyone else that the team with the best record in each league gets rewarded for its troubles by playing on the road for the first two games? Obviously, they also get the benefit of playing a wild card team that just used its best (maybe) starter, and having 3 at home to finish the series is nice, but has there ever been a post-season series in any of the 4 major sports where the team with the higher seed started on the road?
    Apparently, it's for this season only, but I find it weird as well. The worst part is that the best teams could only possibly see 1 game at home as opposed to a guaranteed 2 in the 2-2-1 format. I'm sure the Yankees, Nats, A's and Cincinnati aren't too happy about that lost guaranteed revenue.
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  5. #5
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    The other strange thing is that the Wild Card team is quite often going to be better than the worst of the division winners. That is most certainly the case this year (unless the Cards beat the Braves, the other 3 wild card teams are quite good, IMO). So, as reward for having the best record in your league, you get a stronger opponent, one with momentum and excitement having already vanquished one foe. Sure, they used one of their top pitchers but that pitcher is going to go in game 3 or 4 of the series anyway. Plus, you have the strange home field disadvantage early in the series. Some reward!!

    I would much, much rather be the 2nd best record team. You are all but assured of facing the worst team, one that may not even be playing all that well (limping to a division title is far more likely than limping to a wild card). No brainer.

    -Jason "then again, I am not sure that the powers that be in baseball have a brain" Evans
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    The other strange thing is that the Wild Card team is quite often going to be better than the worst of the division winners. That is most certainly the case this year (unless the Cards beat the Braves, the other 3 wild card teams are quite good, IMO). So, as reward for having the best record in your league, you get a stronger opponent, one with momentum and excitement having already vanquished one foe. Sure, they used one of their top pitchers but that pitcher is going to go in game 3 or 4 of the series anyway. Plus, you have the strange home field disadvantage early in the series. Some reward!!

    I would much, much rather be the 2nd best record team. You are all but assured of facing the worst team, one that may not even be playing all that well (limping to a division title is far more likely than limping to a wild card). No brainer.

    -Jason "then again, I am not sure that the powers that be in baseball have a brain" Evans
    As a Yankee fan I'm not looking forward to playing the Rangers in the 1st round. I guess they are kind of stumbling into the playoffs but they are a dangerous team. I will be rooting for the Orioles in the 1-game playoff. That will take a bit of the sting out of playing "on the road" for the 1st 2 games as well (Camden Yards being a sort of home away from home for the Yanks). I'm not sure if playing Detroit was a better alternative though.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I would much, much rather be the 2nd best record team. You are all but assured of facing the worst team, one that may not even be playing all that well (limping to a division title is far more likely than limping to a wild card). No brainer.
    Be careful what you wish for an all that, but I would much prefer the yankees face the Orioles than Verlander and Scherzer in a 5 game series. (Texas maybe not so much, but even if it's them, facing Darvish only once is a nice plus of being the top seed).
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    I'll start - does it seem weird to anyone else that the team with the best record in each league gets rewarded for its troubles by playing on the road for the first two games? Obviously, they also get the benefit of playing a wild card team that just used its best (maybe) starter, and having 3 at home to finish the series is nice, but has there ever been a post-season series in any of the 4 major sports where the team with the higher seed started on the road?
    When mlb started the league playoffs in 1969, it was 2-3 until they made it a 7-game series in 1985. Home field alternated every year, as the WS used to, so although the higher seed didn't necessarily start on the road, they sometimes did.
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  9. #9

    this year

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    I would much, much rather be the 2nd best record team. You are all but assured of facing the worst team, one that may not even be playing all that well (limping to a division title is far more likely than limping to a wild card). No brainer.
    Jason, while I agree with your general point, I think the balance this year makes the point moot.

    For instance, the "worst" division winner in the AL is Detroit. But they finished strong -- certainly much stronger than the Rangers, which DID stumble into the playoffs. And while I fear a short series with the Rangers, I'd much rather get them in a series than the Tigers with Verlander and Scherzer lined up and ready to go -- Verlander in position to pitch game five if it comes to that.

    And in the national league, both the Giants and the Reds look as strong or stronger than either wild card team. Indeed, the division winner that struggled the most down the stretch were the Nats, which finished with the best record.

    I do agree that the home-road issue was messed up this year. It should go two (at the top-seeded team)-two (at the lower seeded team)-one (at the top seeded team).

    Not sure why they have to abandon that. Think of the problem for the Nats and Yankees -- both have to sit at home Friday and wait to see where they are flying Saturday.

    Let's focus on the wild card games for now.

    I think there is an interesting contrast. Both the Braves and Cards are set up well with their ace rested and ready to go.

    On the other hand, I'm not sure how much of an ace Darvish is. Although he's pitched well lately, Matt Harrison (a guy they got from the Braves in that infamous Mark Teixera trade) has their best ERA and most wins. But he pitched Tuesday in Oakland. At least if they win Friday, he'll be ready to open the series with the Yankees. The Orioles don't really have an ace. I've been looking on-line and haven't found a designated starter yet. Anybody from Baltimore got that info? Will be it be Sanders? How about Hammels (supposedly he's ready to pitch again)?

    The deal for the Orioles is that they have great pitching depth, so they're better set up for a long series than a short one. That could hurt the Yankees, in that there is no ace to burn out in the wild card game. And if the Rangers win, they'll have their ace (Harrison) set up to go twice and they'll still have Darvish, their No. 2 man, available for a start later in the ALDS.

    Not complaining ... we have Sabathia, coming off three very strong starts (including one against the red-hot A's) ready to go twice.

    Can't wait until Friday night!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    The other strange thing is that the Wild Card team is quite often going to be better than the worst of the division winners. That is most certainly the case this year (unless the Cards beat the Braves, the other 3 wild card teams are quite good, IMO). So, as reward for having the best record in your league, you get a stronger opponent, one with momentum and excitement having already vanquished one foe. Sure, they used one of their top pitchers but that pitcher is going to go in game 3 or 4 of the series anyway. Plus, you have the strange home field disadvantage early in the series. Some reward!!

    I would much, much rather be the 2nd best record team. You are all but assured of facing the worst team, one that may not even be playing all that well (limping to a division title is far more likely than limping to a wild card). No brainer.

    -Jason "then again, I am not sure that the powers that be in baseball have a brain" Evans
    Not so sure about the 2nd best record thing. Look at the A's. Their reward for sweeping Texas and winning their division, is they get to go on the road and face the Tigers twice before coming home (hopefully tied 1-1). Compare that to the Rangers. For losing, they get a one game playoff at home against Baltimore, then if they win, they get 2 games at home against the Yankees. Even Baltimore, the 5th seed, if they win against Texas get two homes games next.

    Not much difference in the NL. The Reds have to go play two games in San Fran, while the Braves get a home game against St. Louis, and if they win, get 2 in a row at home against Washington. Yeah, the one game thing is nerve racking, but I would almost rather be the Rangers/Braves than the A's, Reds.

    And as for the Braves....wouldn't you almost have rather had Medlen lose in his last start? They've now won 23 games in a row that he's started. That streak has to end sometime...like a player that keeps making free throws, or a ball player with a 30 game hit streak. The pressure builds up. (go Braves!)

  11. #11
    I don't really mind the higher seed starting on the road so much. I think there's more pressure on the home teams and the road teams can think about just taking 1 of 2. The home team really needs to win both or they are put in a tough spot. I'm sure this makes no sense... but that's the way I look at it .

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    ... The Orioles don't really have an ace. I've been looking on-line and haven't found a designated starter yet. Anybody from Baltimore got that info? Will be it be Sanders? How about Hammels (supposedly he's ready to pitch again)?
    In the post-game interview last night on tv, Gary Thorne (tv play by play guys) says to Buck "so it'll be Saunders on Friday?" and Buck said "well, we're not sure yet, we've got some options" [all paraphrased] ... so Thorne, who is astute, thought it would be Saunders, but Buck was either being coy, or still mulling over everything ... Buck is so detail-oriented and one who turns over every stone, so I bet it is the latter.

    That said, it seems in this 1-game winner take all, who starts seems a bit immaterial. Will be interesting to see when folks go to the pen. You give up 2 runs in the 2nd and there's a man on 1B w/ 1 or 2 outs ... are you pulling the starter?
    Last edited by Reilly; 10-04-2012 at 02:09 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    For instance, the "worst" division winner in the AL is Detroit. But they finished strong -- certainly much stronger than the Rangers, which DID stumble into the playoffs. And while I fear a short series with the Rangers, I'd much rather get them in a series than the Tigers with Verlander and Scherzer lined up and ready to go -- Verlander in position to pitch game five if it comes to that.
    Don't forget Fister, who has come on of late as well. In a 5 game series, I'm glad that my team has the best pitcher in the world (Verlander) and the best hitter in the universe (Cabrera) on it.
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reilly View Post
    In the post-game interview last night on tv, Gary Thorne (tv play by play guys) says to Buck "so it'll be Saunders on Friday?" and Buck said "well, we're not sure yet, we've got some options" [all paraphrased] ... so Thorne, who is astute, thought it would be Saunders, but Buck was either being coy, or still mulling over everything ... Buck is so detail-oriented and one who turns over every stone, so I bet it is the latter.

    That said, it seems in this 1-game winner take all, who starts seems a bit immaterial. Will be interesting to see when folks go to the pen. You give up 2 runs in the 2nd and there's a man on 1B w/ 1 or 2 outs ... are you pulling the starter?
    Likely either Joe Saunders or Steve Johnson is what I've heard.

    Pros of Saunders: veteren, good last couple starts
    Cons of Saunders: Rangers have destroyed him in his career.

    Pros of Steve: Never faced Texas. New look for them. Pitched well in his starts so far
    Cons of Steve: Young. Only made a handful of starts so far this season.

    I think you go with Steve and try and get 5 quality innings out of him, then go with the pen. Whatever Buck decides, I trust his decision.

    Hammel should be good to go if the O's make it to the ALDS
    Last edited by dukebsbll14; 10-04-2012 at 02:20 PM.
    Pratt '14
    I was in Tent #1 all 4 years.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    I'm glad that my team has the best pitcher in the world (Verlander)...
    Kris Medlen over the past couple months would disagree

    -Jason
    Don't ask me why, but my mother is making me Tweet. Says it will be good for my career. So, follow my ramblings, mostly on the film industry, @TVFilmTalk

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazindw View Post
    Don't forget Fister, who has come on of late as well. In a 5 game series, I'm glad that my team has the best pitcher in the world (Verlander) and the best hitter in the universe (Cabrera) on it.
    As the (only?) A's fan here, I must say that the Tigers are a formidable opponent. Here's link which points out the A's difficulties:

    [The two teams have only played 7 times this year, splitting (4-3)]: Oakland is the only AL playoff team that the Tigers have a winning record against this season. In addition to that, the A's have been one of the hottest teams in baseball in September, yet the Tigers took two of three from them during the middle of that hot streak. The A's look to be a good matchup for the talented starting rotation for the Tigers. Detroit pitchers are second in the American League in strikeouts. No team in the majors has struck out more times than the A's. That could make it tough on Oakland to string together hits.
    It is certainly true that the A's are vulnerable to the strikeout, setting a league record for that number. At the same time, however, they have been scoring the second-most runs and have 100+ HRs since the All Star break.

    Assuming Verlander starts, his stats against the A's are small. He did win his only game against them, on May 13. That was a two-hitter v. an early non-competitive A's team. It was against A's rookie Jarrod Parker who pitched pretty well himself and has now blossomed (13-8).

    In fact, when it comes down to pitching staffs, the A's all-rookie starting staff is also quite formidable. The team ERA is 3.50, second best in the league. There are, depending on how you count, five of them: Milone, Parker, Griffin, Strailey and Blackley. (Or even six, if you throw in Scribner.) These are led by Brett Anderson who may appear for the Detroit series (held out for two weeks due to an oblique strain). Anderson is 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts since returning from Tommy John surgery. The entire staff has a collective ERA of about 3.50. When the A's get a lead, the bullpen is even better, at about 2.50, with Doolittle, Cook and Balfour. If you saw the Texas series, you'd know that they gave up no runs over those three games, each pitching an inning. All use gas and have terrific control. And all have other effective pitches. As a whole, the staff has the second best ERA in the league.

    The starters generally only go 100 pitches or six innings, so their W-L records do not stand out. But don't be fooled, they are really good.

    So, will the Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, have success against them? Josh Hamilton, Cabrera's closest competitor, did not.

    Will the A's hitting find a breakthrough? Verlander is a big hurdle to clear. Fister is pretty good, too.

    This series is very tough to predict. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

    Add: There is a rumor (reported by SF Chron writer Susan Slusser) that ace Brandon McCarthy might return later in the post-season. He suffered a serious head injury on September 5 when a line drive hit him near the temple. The injury required cranial surgery. If he does return it would be remarkable, but I see no reason to believe the rumor. He's been walking around the dugout sporting a long, winding scar. I can't imagine the doctors would allow him to throw, yet.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukebsbll14 View Post
    Likely either Joe Saunders or Steve Johnson is what I've heard.

    Pros of Saunders: veteren, good last couple starts
    Cons of Saunders: Rangers have destroyed him in his career.

    Pros of Steve: Never faced Texas. New look for them. Pitched well in his starts so far
    Cons of Steve: Young. Only made a handful of starts so far this season.

    I think you go with Steve and try and get 5 quality innings out of him, then go with the pen. Whatever Buck decides, I trust his decision.

    Hammel should be good to go if the O's make it to the ALDS
    It's Saunders. I too trust in Showalter. Time to BUCKle up! Let's Go O's!!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    As the (only?) A's fan here, I must say that the Tigers are a formidable opponent. Here's link which points out the A's difficulties:



    It is certainly true that the A's are vulnerable to the strikeout, setting a league record for that number. At the same time, however, they have been scoring the second-most runs and have 100+ HRs since the All Star break.

    Assuming Verlander starts, his stats against the A's are small. He did win his only game against them, on May 13. That was a two-hitter v. an early non-competitive A's team. It was against A's rookie Jarrod Parker who pitched pretty well himself and has now blossomed (13-8).

    In fact, when it comes down to pitching staffs, the A's all-rookie starting staff is also quite formidable. The team ERA is 3.50, second best in the league. There are, depending on how you count, five of them: Milone, Parker, Griffin, Strailey and Blackley. (Or even six, if you throw in Scribner.) These are led by Brett Anderson who may appear for the Detroit series (held out for two weeks due to an oblique strain). Anderson is 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts since returning from Tommy John surgery. The entire staff has a collective ERA of about 3.50. When the A's get a lead, the bullpen is even better, at about 2.50, with Doolittle, Cook and Balfour. If you saw the Texas series, you'd know that they gave up no runs over those three games, each pitching an inning. All use gas and have terrific control. And all have other effective pitches. As a whole, the staff has the second best ERA in the league.

    The starters generally only go 100 pitches or six innings, so their W-L records do not stand out. But don't be fooled, they are really good.

    So, will the Triple Crown winner, Miguel Cabrera, have success against them? Josh Hamilton, Cabrera's closest competitor, did not.

    Will the A's hitting find a breakthrough? Verlander is a big hurdle to clear. Fister is pretty good, too.

    This series is very tough to predict. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

    Add: There is a rumor (reported by SF Chron writer Susan Slusser) that ace Brandon McCarthy might return later in the post-season. He suffered a serious head injury on September 5 when a line drive hit him near the temple. The injury required cranial surgery. If he does return it would be remarkable, but I see no reason to believe the rumor. He's been walking around the dugout sporting a long, winding scar. I can't imagine the doctors would allow him to throw, yet.
    Oh, please don't mistake my post...I think the A's are tough. I believe the season series was Tigers 4-3, with both teams engineering a couple blowouts of the other in May and September. It's gonna be a hard-fought series. I think the Tigers have to keep the momentum they have through their two games at home. It will be very difficult to take 2/3 in Oakland.

    Both teams are hot at the right time...which unstoppable force will move the immovable object? Best of luck to you, sir!
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    I'll start - does it seem weird to anyone else that the team with the best record in each league gets rewarded for its troubles by playing on the road for the first two games? Obviously, they also get the benefit of playing a wild card team that just used its best (maybe) starter, and having 3 at home to finish the series is nice, but has there ever been a post-season series in any of the 4 major sports where the team with the higher seed started on the road?
    One of the aspects of this decision that I've seen get little traction is the financial impact to the better teams. The teams in the best record will start on the road. If they sweep those games, they could be facing a first round series when they only get one home gate. Something tells me MLB won't stand very long for that...
    JBDuke

    Andre Dawkins: “People ask me if I can still shoot, and I ask them if they can still breathe. That’s kind of the same thing.”

  20. #20
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    TV for Today's Games

    Both appear to be on TBS.

    St. Louis at Atlanta at 5:07 ET.

    Baltimore at Texas at 8:37 ET.

    sagegrouse

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