I don’t get what you mean by this.
The Rays have never won a championship in 22 years. The Braves haven’t won one in 24 years (since 1995), and the Dodgers for 31 years (since 1988).
If the Rays play the Braves, the two teams will have a cumulative 46 years without a championship, while if they play the Dodgers it will be a cumulative 53 years. (I counted wrongly and said 47 and 54.)
Ah. It was the cumulative thing that threw me off.
Fuck me, the Braves runners blew that big time. Runners on second and third, with no-one out, and they lose both runners trying to advance on a hard-hit ball to the left infield.
Dodgers 4-3 final. So it’s Dodgers-Rays in the Series. As weird as the season was, and as strange as the results could have been, the best team in each league will meet in the Series.
Delightful isn’t it? There will always be an unofficial asterisk on the season but it would have been WAY bigger if a team like the Astros or Brewers had made it to the Series.
This was a reply to the bit about playoff performance, but in the context of the people we’re talking about, it’s kind of an odd position to take, isn’t it? Joe Morgan hit .182 in the playoffs and he was on one of the most loaded lineups there ever was; there is a pretty good case to be made that the 1975-1976 Reds were actually the best lineup, ever. His teammates hit just fine in playoff games; Pete Rose was a career .321 hitter in the playoffs, for instance. Morgan’s .182 was buoyed by a lot of walks, though, so they were not pitching to him to avoid his teammates.
Teams DON’T pitch around elite hitters quite that much. Well, maybe Barry Bonds. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to walk a guy nonstop and teams don’t issue many intentional walks anymore.
Didn’t we have a conversation, some years back, which concluded that a player who literally never once put bat on ball, but who walked in every plate appearance, would be easily the most valuable player ever to put on a uniform?
Such a player would be amazingly valuable. If you led the guy off and he got 650 plate appearances and walked every time, I would guess - and this is a rough guess - he could *increase his team’s scoring by at least 300 runs, making him easily the greatest offensive force of all time.
There’s a reason teams use so few IBBs now.
I’m not talking necessarily intentional walks, but cautious pitching approach in which the location is down or away enough that a mistake is a called ball instead of a line drive in the gap or over the fence.
A lot more thought goes into pitching approaches in the postseason than in the regular season. John Smoltz sorta touched on this in his analysis last night, basically saying that a regular pitcher would be mentally worn out if he though through every pitch in the regular season the way it’s done in the playoffs.
That’s almost equivalent to a guy who who could hit a single, and only
a single, every time. So batting and slugging 1.000. That guy too would be a Force for the Ages.
I lived in STL for more or less the entire Tony La Russa era. Much of which was built on the “beat them to death with singles” approach to baseball inherited from the earlier “Whiteyball”. Admittedly that wasn’t the only way the Cards did it; some years they had McGwire or Pujols knocking holes in the cheap seats.
Nobody can beat a team that just keeps slapping singles to reliably put men on base then advance them around the bases. So far nobody has figured out how to train such reliable hitters though.
Well, everyone tries to, it’s just that you can’t have all the batting champions on your team at the same time.
The 1976 Reds were close though. Of course, the Reds were better than anyone at everything. They led the NL in hits, double, triples, homers, walks, stolen bases, batting average, slugging, and OBP. They scored 37 percent more runs than the average NL team (not including them, just the other teams) which is, I am pretty sure, unmatched in NL history. The 1950 Red Sox were that good, but aren’t remembered because they didn’t win.
Julio Urias was badass. After watching our $100 million “closer” barf up home runs in our last two elimination games, that was really impressive. He just calmly slammed the door, making those high-pressure nine outs look routine. Also, it’s fun to watch Mookie Betts out of the hideous red and white uniform. Man, what an outfielder.
True; they were a legend in their time.
But I’m talking about a team that leads in singles & sucks at every other sort of hitting. Not batting champions at all.
It would be kinda hard to lead the league in singles and not run the risk of having a batting champion
I guess if you went back in time you could find a team that was heavily contact hitting but I cannot think of any. The 1982 Cardinals are famously a good team that couldn’t hit homers but they walked a lot and stole bases too. Some of Rod Carew’s Minnesota Twins teams were unusually batting-average-dependent too, in large part that was just Rod Carew though.
That had to be the worst postseason screw-up since Bill Buckner.
2015 Royals were 14th (out of 15) in the AL in home runs, but they were second in team batting average and second in total hits. They were also 15th in drawing walks. Only one of their starting 9 batted over .300 for the season (Lorenzo Cain, .307).
That’s a fairly good example, though they were not an especially impressive run scoring team as championship squads go.
They were just 6th in the AL in runs scored that year. They won with timely hitting and the best bullpen in the majors.
Kershaw looked good tonight. Bellinger played like the regning mvp and Betts made him look average. When the Dodgers are clicking I don’t think anyone can run with them.
I think the most interesting story line will be Kershaw getting pulled with only 74 pitches. I’m sure it was partially due to the long time on the bench but it may be Dec trying to keep him fresh for 4.
World Series Game 2 - Rays 5, Dodgers 2, top of the 6th, and Joe Buck and John Smoltz are talking… football.