MLB: September 2015

I don’t get to watch the Cards much these days. I finally got a chance to catch a few innings last night. Luckily one of them was the 7th. After spotting the Nationals two outs, the Cards piled up 5 runs with a collection of two walks, three singles, and a double. If they had just managed a stolen base, it would have been a throwback to Whiteyball. Anyway, the Cards continue their 105-win pace, which they’re going to need since the bastards in Pittsburgh aren’t giving up any time soon. Elsewhere in the Central, the Cubs are playing well – 18 games over .500! Too bad that’s just good enough for 10.5 out of first. Sorry, guys.

Are you sure it’s September now?

I thought it was September a little over 8 hours ago, but it turned out that August had about 45 more minutes to go…and they sucked.

Is there anything worse than spending 5+ hours watching a night game loss?

You could be on east coast time and have fallen asleep before the end of a very important 14 inning rivalry game that your team won? :cool: No, yours is worse.

If LA sweeps I think that closes the door on SF’s post season. They probably won’t, but that would be a nice way to start the month. For LA fans. Bad news for people on the other side I suppose.

The Red Sox might suck this year, but I still love watching them beat the Yankees. And David Ortiz is raking. Reminds me of my post back in June when people were saying he’s washed up.

And after that first couple of crappy months, his BA today is up to .267 and he’s got 29 home runs. I attributed some of that low BABIP to defenses getting even smarter with their shift on Papi, but I think there was also a bit of plain old bad luck.

There’s no chance that LA sweeps this series.

Because you’re right; that would close the door on the Giants’ playoff hopes. Which would be merciful. But the Baseball Gods aren’t going to let us off that easy. The Giants will win one of the next 2, then pick up that half-game somewhere during September, so that they start the 4-game series at the end of September exactly 4 games back…for maximum ‘entertainment value’.

Yeah, that sounds about right. CURSE YOU BASEBALL GODS!

“It is the best of games; it is the worst of games”

Go Giants! And failing that, go Cards!

Meh. The pressure to win is off. When it mattered, these same guys choked. *Especially *the highest paid ones they got last winter. So I’m not impressed a bit. A spoiler is simply a team that couldn’t get it done when it mattered.

I also am not at all sold that either Bradley or Castillo can play at this level long-term, given their histories. Or that Hanley can be any better at 1B than at LF (how do you fuck up at *that *position?). There have to be more changes than to hope that essentially the same roster that got you into last place can somehow contend next year, or to hope that all your rookies are going to be good.

The Sox need pitching, although there has been improvement lately. I’m with you on Bradley, but Castillo has potential. Did you see Hanley in LF? Complete debacle. He can’t be worse at 1B, although Shaw has shown some upside, too.
I wish they could unload Sandoval, but that ain’t happening. I think they need 2 legit starting pitchers and one or two good relief arms to be seriously considered contenders next year.

I understand some defensive stats show Hanley has been the worst defensive player in all of baseball, including *all *positions. How the hell do you do that in LF, except by luxuriating in your big new contract? Sandoval is showing some interest in fielding his position like he used to, at least.

Maybe they can eat Hanley’s contract, trade him for young pitching somehow, and open up 1B for Shaw. If Shaw can’t do it, hell, it’s 1B, anybody can play there if they actually want to.

You’re right about the pitching. Right now the '16 rotation would be Porcello, Buchholz, Rodriguez, maybe Owens, then who the hell knows. Not an ace among them. Koji will be 41 and there better be a closer in waiting.

Madison Bumgarner vs. Zack Greinke in LA tonight. According to ESPN, not only are the No. 1 & 2 hitting pitchers in the league, they are the only starters that have not given up a hit to an opposing pitcher all season.

Greinke wins that one and the Giants face Kershaw tonight. The Dodgers are trying to get the division sewn shut.

As Braves fan, I am no longer entitled to participate in a thread about actual MLB teams. We are currently fielding a team that might not have a winning record in AAA.

I went to a game Monday night at Turner Field, sitting in my usual section in the left field bleachers. One other fan in the entire section. We eyed each other suspiciously.

About freaking time! They should have had the Giants tagged and bagged by the middle of August. But the lack of Dodger offense and the mess that is the bull pen will keep things dicey until at least November.

I just had this experience for the first time. I actually didn’t even try to start watching, because I’m not a damn night person. BUT, I woke up at 3:15am, decided to check the score on my phone, saw they were still playing, and got to watch the final inning, thanks to MLB.TV!

As much as I hate to say it, even if the Giants come out of this series 6.5 back, there are still four games left between the two teams, with a lot of opportunities for the Dodgers to play poorly in between. I refuse to count the Giants out until they are mathematically eliminated.

Of course, if your team would like to just forfeit the rest of the season, we would be amenable. :slight_smile:

Left field in Fenway is weird and, I suspect, leads to weird statistical glitches.

But I suppose it is possible Ramirez really is the worst fielder in baseball. Why not? 1. It’s a new position for him
2. He’s not in the best of health
3. Unlike most terrible fielders they keep running him out there. I have seen Chris Colabello play left field and I assure you he makes Hanley Ramirez look like Willie Mays. His analytical numbers are actually WAY worse than Hanley - per game - but since he only played half as many games, and was pulled from a fair number of them late in the game, he didn’t do as much overall damage to his team.

I’ve seen Ramirez out there a few times and he looks very bad; his jumps and routes are abysmal. Everyone seems to think you can take a guy and just stick him in left field and not worry about it, it’s easy, but playing MLB caliber outfield is really, really hard. It’s a completely different from the infield, a totally unique discipline, and until this year Ramirez had never played a single inning in the outfield in his career. He can hardly be blamed for being bad at it.

On top of that I don’t think teams actually do just stick guys in left field for the hell of it as much as they used to, so Hanley is being compared to a pool of left fielders that is more comprised of actual professionally trained outfielders than it used to be. I am not going through every team to verify that (and, again, poor Chris Colabello played 33 games out there) but it seems to be my impression that MLB defense is WAY better than it used to be and expectations are correspondingly higher. I have no evidence to prove this, it’s just my observation ,and in an era where coaching is more important than ever and is supplemented by more information than ever it would make sense. For the most part I am really struck these days by the quality of defense displayed in MLB. I think it’s the best it has ever been, which would make a guy playing out of position stand out worse then he would have in 1985.

A lot of July and August felt like the Cards were cobbling together wins out of a few offensive oddities and stellar pitching. It’s weird when the team has the best record, but a 2-run deficit seems insurmountable. The Cards currently have the 18th most runs and the 11th best batting average; they don’t look great in any of the offensive statistics. Fortunately, they’re rocking a team ERA of 2.66. All that aside, the recent series against the Diamondbacks, Giants, and Nationals have seen substantially more offense. It’s nice to listen to a game with runs in multiple innings!

While we’re on playing left field at Fenway, I’ll take this opportunity to say that while he certainly had his issues, Manny Ramirez was unfairly evaluated and underrated as a Red Sox left fielder. He knew exactly how to play that wall and I don’t know that anyone since has really mastered it.

And the common factor of much of that pitching has been Yadier Molina behind the plate. I don’t know how much difference that makes, or how you would measure it, but I think it counts for more than Yadi often gets credit for outside the Cardinal organization.

I remember feeling that way in July too. I kept expecting their luck to run out. I guess it wasn’t luck after all.

Joe Strauss over at stltoday.com has an article arguing that Matheny should get some attention for Manager of the Year voting. Strauss points out that last night the Cards, “produced their ninth win in 10 games, improving to a preposterous 86-46 despite missing their opening day starter, No. 3 bat and cleanup hitter for most of the season.” Strauss also notes that the Cardinals racked up 275 wins in Matheny’s first three seasons and haven’t had a losing record over any month since June 2012 (Matheny’s third month at the helm). Strauss writes:

I’m largely ignorant of what baseball managers really do on a daily basis. But whatever it is Matheney’s doing, I want him to keep at it.