FanDuel - WFBC

September 29, 2011

Rays, Cardinals Win Wildest Wild Cards: The Tampa Bay Rays came back from a 7-0 deficit in the eighth inning to beat the New York Yankees 8-7 in the 12th as the Boston Red Sox lost in the bottom of the ninth to the Baltimore Orioles 4-3, giving the Rays the AL wild-card berth. After the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Houston Astros 8-0, the Atlanta Braves fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 in the 13th inning, earning the Cardinals to the NL wild-card berth. The Red Sox and Braves become the first and second teams to lose eight-game leads for a playoff spot in September.

posted by rcade to baseball at 12:49 AM - 84 comments

I've never seen the Yankees lay down in a game.

Did Dellin Betances win a 'So You Think You Can Pitch?' contest at Yankee Stadium? Anyway, I have no problem with Girardi's mentality: you might not want your hitters getting bored in the dugout, but with the expanded roster, the pitching staff can take a rest.

posted by etagloh at 07:48 PM on September 28

Rays are currently in the process of imploding. There are literally tens of fans sitting in shock.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:12 PM on September 28

posted by MeatSaber at 08:33 PM on September 28

Rays are currently in the process of imploding.

I blame myself. I forgot to wear a Durham Bulls t-shirt today. Oh well, go Tiges.

posted by NoMich at 09:05 PM on September 28

Craigslist jokes aside, the Red Sox were contemplating trading for a pitcher before the end of the day if there's a playoff tomorrow.

posted by etagloh at 09:07 PM on September 28

Rain delay is going to kill the suspense for a little bit. That's all right though, that leaves enough time to see if Kimbrel can close it out one more time.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:48 PM on September 28

The Yankees are 8 pitchers deep through seven innings, and have only given up two hits. Interesting plan of attack.

posted by dfleming at 10:00 PM on September 28

And now Rivera is likely to get a legitimate night's work.

posted by etagloh at 10:28 PM on September 28

Holy crap. I stopped watching after it was 7-0. That's patently ridiculous.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:43 PM on September 28

Baseball is fun.

posted by tommytrump at 11:45 PM on September 28

My oh my.

posted by etagloh at 12:09 AM on September 29

Well, that was a hell of a night for baseball.

posted by grum@work at 12:20 AM on September 29

Do you believe in miracles?

YES!!


(With apologies to Al Michaels)

posted by tommytrump at 12:26 AM on September 29

Ugh. I stopped watching at the rain delay. Sports fan fail.

posted by tron7 at 12:31 AM on September 29

Well, looks like its suicide for me again.

posted by hincandenza at 12:45 AM on September 29

And cue the rioting in Boston in 5...4...3...2...1...

So does anyone get fired for this?

posted by Bonkers at 12:58 AM on September 29

Wow. Just an incredible night of baseball. Yes, no bonus baseball tomorrow, but not sure whether anyone (except for maybe Sox and Braves fans) will complain much after tonight.

Couple of thoughts:

- Hats off to the Phillies and Baltimore for playing out the string and not just mailing it in. Especially the Phillies, who had absolutely nothing to gain (and arguably had something to lose) by playing many of their regulars deep into extras. Yankees? Not so much, but defensible nonetheless.

- As a Cardinals fan, I was more tuned in to the Phillies-Braves game than the AL games, and Martinez in CF for the Phillies saved the game with a great catch of a rope hit by Chipper Jones into the gap that absolutely would have won the game (don't recall if it was in the 9th or in the early extras and too lazy to look it up) with a runner on and going on a 3-2 count.

- Would love to see the win probability for the Rays and playoff probability for the Sox going into the 8th inning of the Rays game (I'm sure it's already out there and someone, probably grum, will post it below -- but again, too lazy at this point).

- Yes, it was against the lowly Astros, but Chris Carpenter was an absolute beast tonight for the Cards (CG, 2H, 1BB, 11K). Wish he could go earlier than Game 3 of the NLDS against the Phillies, but may be better that he is not matched up against Halladay or Lee in any event (hope the Cards can steal one of those in Philly).

- Hard pressed to believe something like this will happen again in my lifetime.

posted by holden at 01:01 AM on September 29

Those AL games ended three minutes apart. Both the O's and Rays were down to their final out in the ninth.

I thought Crawford had that last catch. I was at his final game in a Rays uniform in the Trop. They showered him with applause at the end, even amid the disappointment of losing the ALDS to the Rangers. It's bizarre he played such a big role in tonight's crushing Sox loss.

posted by rcade at 01:11 AM on September 29

Wow, was flipping back and forth so often I got a blister on my thumb.

Love the come from behind win for the Rays, and that Boston/Baltimore game was crazy. Fitting end for Boston's season, they had imploded for all of September, why should tonight be different? Had to be an ugly locker room, especially once the Rays put them out of their misery.

Glad to see the Cards make it.

Would love to see a Cards-Rays World Series, just for the improbability of it all.

posted by dviking at 01:13 AM on September 29

Both the O's and Rays were down to their final out in the ninth.

Their final strike.

posted by cl at 01:20 AM on September 29

Those AL games ended three minutes apart.

The news of the tying and winning runs in Baltimore came through the crowd at the Trop while the ESPN announcers were trying to get confirmation from the studio. Longoria stepped up knowing that he had the big prize in his grasp.

As holden suggests, who needs a tiebreaker when you have three of the critical games come down to the wire and two go into extras? Sucks for the Red Sox, but I'd sooner see a team enter the playoffs on an upward curve than briefly arrest a plummet.

Perhaps the Rays will get people in to watch them now -- including those who left at 0-7.

posted by etagloh at 01:21 AM on September 29

It's bizarre he played such a big role in tonight's crushing Sox loss.

If you had seen him play all year you would have predicted it.

posted by justgary at 01:30 AM on September 29

Perhaps the Rays will get people in to watch them now -- including those who left at 0-7.

Not that I'm excusing it, but Rays fans living in Tampa have a terrible drive back up the water to get home from the Trop. I can see why they'd be tempted to bolt at 7-0.

Can you imagine being one of them, though? That may be the biggest comeback in their history.

posted by rcade at 01:33 AM on September 29

Gary Thorne's call of the Orioles tying the game was great. His call of the walk-off win was up there with the best. Pure joy, emotional outburst, and then let the scene speak for itself.

So fun to see a cellar dwelling team take it to their division powerhouse like that. A fun win in Baltimore, to say the least.

posted by cl at 01:38 AM on September 29

His call of the walk-off win was up there with the best.

I'm going to pass on watching his call, but maybe he was inspired. Because he is normally a terrible baseball announcer.

(edit: or I should say, often seems clueless about baseball)

posted by justgary at 01:40 AM on September 29

Can you imagine being one of them, though?

Oh yes. Five years ago, I was in the stands, two weeks apart, at two UEFA Cup matches that required four goals for victory. I'm sure that a few people left. But if you leave, then you give up the prospect of being there for a comeback, and a glorious, improbable comeback is memorable in ways that a blowout isn't. (As Red Sox fans know from 2004.)

Baseball has both more blowouts and more big comebacks than many sports: managers with big leads will pull out the starters, and it doesn't take much from the side that's down to transform things. But this was a special one.

posted by etagloh at 01:50 AM on September 29

That was fucking terrible, but somehow an apt ending to September for the Red Sox.

Pisses me off. What a waste.

posted by jerseygirl at 01:56 AM on September 29

Just an incredible night of baseball all around. The HR to tie the Rays game was special from a guy who hadn't homered since sometime in April and was hitting .108 or something like that, I've heard. Now, how well do these hot streaks carry into the postseason?

posted by boredom_08 at 02:41 AM on September 29

I don't care who was pitching for the Yankees, that 8th inning still bothered me. Walks, hit-batters, etc. I had to keep reminding myself that New York wasn't in a must-win situation like the Rays. Crazy night, though. Even with how horrible Boston was recently I never thought they'd lose that game. And no, a manager change in Boston wouldn't surprise me at all.

posted by dyams at 05:41 AM on September 29

That was amazing. I can't believe the Rays came back from 7 down, and that they even needed to with Price starting.

posted by bperk at 06:03 AM on September 29

I don't want them firing Francona. The guy is 8-0 in the World Series.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:39 AM on September 29

OK, I guess I'll burn all of my Bulls t-shirts.

posted by NoMich at 07:46 AM on September 29

Now, how well do these hot streaks carry into the postseason?

Are the Rays that hot? They feasted on a Red Sox team that could beat no one, and a Yankees team that had no interest in beating them.

The Rays had a great comeback last night. But look closer. The Yankees started a minor league pitcher. They got a quick lead, but that didn't change the way they played. They went through pitcher after pitcher until they reached the bottom of the barrel (8th inning: 2 walks, 1 hit batsman).

The Yankees used a pitcher with a 9.00 era for the last 3 innings. They pinch hit for Cano in the 11th. The Yankees reacted (according to reports) as if they had made the playoffs when Baltimore won.

Don't get me wrong. Down 7 in the 8th you're typically going to lose even against a bad team. But the Yankees had no reason to win the game, didn't want to win the game, and strategically made no moves TO win the game. Miracle win? Please. It's a miracle the Yankees came close to winning the game.

And that's all on Boston for playing horrific over the last month, not a hot Rays team. Now if the Rays can bring momentum (if you believe in such a thing) into the playoffs, maybe they have a chance.

posted by justgary at 07:56 AM on September 29

Last time the Sox won back-to-back games?

A doubleheader against Oakland on August 27th

posted by kokaku at 08:05 AM on September 29

"I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll," Showalter told the magazine. "You got Carl Crawford cause you paid more than anyone else, and that's what makes you smarter? That's why I like whipping their butt."

- from a pre-season interview

I'm thinking Showalter's pretty damn happy.

posted by grum@work at 08:37 AM on September 29

Now if the Rays can bring momentum (if you believe in such a thing) into the playoffs, maybe they have a chance.

The Rangers have won 14 of 16, so they're facing a pretty hot team too.

posted by rcade at 08:39 AM on September 29

Now, how well do these hot streaks carry into the postseason?

It depends. Do you think that cold streaks also carry into the post season? If so, then it probably means nothing.

The 2000 New York Yankees went 5-16 to finish the season. They won the World Series.

posted by grum@work at 08:41 AM on September 29

So does anyone get fired for this?

If you believe the Boston media, everyone and their brother. Of course, the poll about firing Tito is running 2-1 against on the Globe site next to an article by in-his-glory Dan Shaughnessy about "The greatest choke in baseball history ended the only way it could have ended, with the Red Sox gagging one last time."

Meh. I just can't get excited about it. The local media wants to roll the clock back to 2003, but it's never going to happen. The local vultures who follow sports just to bitch about how their team sucks will always bitch. Anyone else around here crying about this is spoiled rotten. The horrible truth is I stopped watching the games as soon as the Pats' season started. The Sox were in free-fall then and having sat through the opening of the season*, I didn't feel like I owed them anything.

"I'd like to see how smart Theo Epstein is with the Tampa Bay payroll,"

I'd like to see how the Orioles would have done if they lost 5 of their Opening Day starters for long periods of time, including two starting pitchers and a regular MVP candidate. Fuck that loudmouth.

* The talk of a collapse is a nice narrative, but if they'd managed to do something better than 2-16 or whatever it was out of the gate, this would all be a huge "What If?" story.

posted by yerfatma at 08:46 AM on September 29

Oh, just for context:

How bad of a hitter was Dan Johnson?
His OPS+ was -3.
Yes, that's a negative number.
Only Roy Halladay had a lower value for anyone with 90 PA this year.

How bad of a hitter was Dan Johnson?
He had the lowest OPS (.334) of any non-pitcher (with at least 90 PA) in the past 20 years.

posted by grum@work at 08:49 AM on September 29

They feasted on a Red Sox team that could beat no one, and a Yankees team that had no interest in beating them.

Exactly. Look at their record in September:

Boston - 6W - 1L NYY - 4W - 2L (Losing the series that the Yankees actually cared about and sweeping the last one.) Tex - 2W - 2L Bal - 3W - 3L Tor - 2W - 1L

I wouldn't exactly call that playing hot against good teams at the top of their game.

posted by dfleming at 08:58 AM on September 29

Would love to see the win probability for the Rays and playoff probability for the Sox going into the 8th inning of the Rays game (I'm sure it's already out there and someone, probably grum, will post it below -- but again, too lazy at this point).

No one has married the win probability of the individual moments of the game with the playoff probability of a one-game playoff (yet), so the best I can do is the win probability of the Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays from last night:

Boston Red Sox win probability chart:

Tampa Bay Rays win probability chart:

posted by grum@work at 08:59 AM on September 29

Not so fast, Dan Shaughnessy.

posted by rcade at 09:06 AM on September 29

I'd like to see how the Orioles would have done if they lost 5 of their Opening Day starters for long periods of time, including two starting pitchers and a regular MVP candidate.

Tissue?

posted by tommytrump at 09:08 AM on September 29

Don't get me wrong. Down 7 in the 8th you're typically going to lose even against a bad team. But the Yankees had no reason to win the game, didn't want to win the game, and strategically made no moves TO win the game.

I'd disagree with the "had no reason to win the game". Who would you rather face in the postseason, the Rays or the Red Sox? I'd say they had incentive to want to knock out the Rays and let the Red Sox in.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:35 AM on September 29

Who would you rather face in the postseason, the Rays or the Red Sox?

The Sox, without a doubt. But I think that the Yankees still led the Rays 7-0 by the time the Rangers beat the Angels. So anyone Machiavellian in the Yanks dugout knew the wild card winner wasn't playing them.

I don't think the Yankees did anything exceptional in the final game. They earned the right to sit some people. They could have sat a lot more.

posted by rcade at 09:51 AM on September 29

I'd like to see how the Orioles would have done if they lost 5 of their Opening Day starters for long periods of time, including two starting pitchers and a regular MVP candidate

I'd like to see how the Orioles would do if they had a regular MVP candidate.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:57 AM on September 29

What would the Orioles do with the Rays payroll, which is less than half their own? I love the Rays success, but it is even more amazing that they are able to do it with the way they shed payroll and lose their best players to teams with bigger bankrolls.

posted by bperk at 10:28 AM on September 29

Tissue?

Really? That constitutes crying in your book?

Miracle win? Please. It's a miracle the Yankees came close to winning the game.

Just look at that win probability chart! I say miracle.

posted by tron7 at 10:28 AM on September 29

I love the Rays success, but it is even more amazing that they are able to do it with the way they shed payroll and lose their best players to teams with bigger bankrolls.

The Rays front office have a real eye for talent and developing that talent. Their AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls, have been a great team over the past decade. The Rays lose a player, that's OK, they've got the talent in waiting in their farm system.

posted by NoMich at 10:34 AM on September 29

I love the Rays success, but it is even more amazing that they are able to do it with the way they shed payroll and lose their best players to teams with bigger bankrolls.

An underappreciated part of their success is that players they shed become sleeper agents who can be activated at any time to sabotage their teams.

posted by rcade at 10:43 AM on September 29

Don't know what they could fire Francona for - hitters that made plays all year choked, relievers who carried them all year choked, and starting pitching that sucked all year, well, sucked worse in September. It's not as if he made a Madden-like move (pinch hitting Johnson) with a statistically huge probability of failure.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:43 AM on September 29

Are the Rays that hot? They feasted on a Red Sox team that could beat no one, and a Yankees team that had no interest in beating them.

Yankees threw that game last night squandering a seven-run lead? Wouldn't surprise me in the least if that's indeed true. However, shame on the Red Sox for putting themselves in that position in the first place.

posted by NerfballPro at 11:00 AM on September 29

How about a word for Pujols, who absolutely carried the Cards all month. In the end, the Braves bullpen just ran out of gas. They were so good for so long this season, but had to pitch way to many innings.

posted by flannelenigma at 11:03 AM on September 29

I'd like to see how the Orioles would do if they had a regular MVP candidate.

The Sox have like 4 of them. So you're saying the Red Sox have a better GM?

posted by yerfatma at 11:21 AM on September 29

It's not as if he made a Madden-like move (pinch hitting Johnson) with a statistically huge probability of failure.

Absolutely. Theo Epstein, on the other hand, might have some explaining to do, as this is a very expensive team with a number of immovable parts (Lackey, Matsuzaka, Crawford) that he signed which have been complete duds and mean the ownership probably has to spend more money to make this team better. If you look at their potential FA list:

- David Ortiz, $12.5M
- Marco Scutaro $5M (has an option year)
- Jason Varitek $2M
- Mike Cameron $7.2M
- JD Drew, $14M
- Tim Wakefield $1.5M
- Jonathan Papelbon $12M
- Dan Wheeler $3M
- Jacoby Ellsbury $2.4M
- Hideki Okajima $1.75M
Total: $61.35M (a few smaller contracts as well, including Daniel Bard and Jason Saltalamacchia, so figure $65M coming off the books)

Adrian gets a $15.5M raise next year. Crawford $5.5M. Pedroia $2.5M. Buchholz $3M. Lester $2M. That's $28.5M in raises for existing players; with Ellsbury needing a big raise (and Bard/Salty probably coming back at more money), there's really not a lot of money to keep the payroll as is and improve the team significantly without another investment by Red Sox ownership.

posted by dfleming at 11:32 AM on September 29

Sox are in for a world of financial hurt when Ellsbury's contract is up ... can't think of any team that he wouldn't be an upgrade at leadoff hitter or center field.

Lackey, Matsuzaka, Crawford

The list of bad contracts is starting to rival the Yankees.

posted by cixelsyd at 12:40 PM on September 29

It's 2013 before the team no longer controls his arbitration rights, so they have two more seasons at a balanced cost increase, but come 2014, if he's still playing at this level he'll cost a mint.

posted by dfleming at 12:52 PM on September 29

Yankees threw that game last night squandering a seven-run lead? Wouldn't surprise me in the least if that's indeed true.

If you were going to throw a game, would you do it by:

1)Building a 7-0 lead in the first five innings

2)Holding it for another three innings

3)Giving up six runs in the bottom of the 8th

4)Going into the bottom of the 9th with a 1 run lead

5)Giving up a home run to a pinch hitter with an average barely above .100 -- with one out left, and then

6)Playing two more complete innings before finally giving up the winning run?

Doesn't seem like a very likely scenario when you put it that way, does it?

To get into the playoffs, you need to win. You need to win your own games. You need to not expect other teams to win or lose for you.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:19 PM on September 29

The Yankees are very cunning like that, l_b_b.

posted by NoMich at 01:38 PM on September 29

You need to win your own games

Quite correct.

And why would the Yankees try to help the team (Boston) they had a .333 winning record against this year anyways? NY was 6-12 vs Boston and 9-9 vs Tampa Bay, with 3 of Tampa's wins coming after NY had nothing to gain. Would seem to me they did a good job of controlling their own interests ... this may be the one and only time I ever agree with anything Yankee.

posted by cixelsyd at 02:41 PM on September 29

As Pap got two outs, then two strikes, I literally covered my eyes because I knew what was coming next. Their body of work for September told me it would. And it did.

posted by smithnyiu at 02:55 PM on September 29

Really? That constitutes crying in your book?


Pretty much.

Blaming injuries?

Every team has to endure players being hurt, players missing time.


Where would the Blue Jays have finished this season if Brett Lawrie hadn't suffered 3 different injuries costing him significant playing time at different points in the season, they also lost Jose Bautista, one of (if not the leading MVP candidate for the A.L. for 13 games? Yunel Escobar for 28. (I use the Blue Jays as an example as they are the team I follow most closely), but every club in MLB deals with this every season).
Different Blue Jays pitchers missed time as well.


It should be easier for Boston, with the 3rd highest payroll in the game to cover for their injured players.

Blaming the failure of the club to make the playoffs on injuries is weak and simplistic.

posted by tommytrump at 03:16 PM on September 29

Don't know what they could fire Francona for -

You are right in this, cixelsyd, but one thing Francona did on repeated occasions this year left me screaming. Francona was guilty of failing to use a key player (pitcher or position player) in a clutch situation on the excuse that "it is a marathon, not a sprint" and claiming that he had to keep his team ready for 162 games. Do not losses in June count the same as losses in September? They do, but they are a lot less noticeable - until you get to September and realize that you might really have needed that game in the standings. As for keeping his team "fresh" for the stretch run and the playoffs, well, how's that working out for ya, Tito?

Maybe he'll learn something from this, but if he's not fired, he'll be on a mighty short tether.

It's really not all Tito's fault, it's really not the fault of all the injuries, and at least some of the team was busting its butt. There was a fatal combination there, which was compounded by a very few who thought they could throw their gloves on the field and win it all. Note I do not include Carl Crawford in this group. He was clueless, but at least understood what his part was in the debacle.

posted by Howard_T at 03:20 PM on September 29

Blaming injuries for the Sox collapse, and horrible start, is most certainly crying. Surely, you can agree that they choked away at least one game, and that is all you need at this point.

Any talk of the Yankees throwing last night's game is crazy talk. They took it extra innings...unless you're trying to tie it to some Vegas line payout, I don't see how you can say they threw the game. Did they sit some people? Absolutely, they earned that right, however, they fielded a good team, and tried to win.

Great night for baseball!

posted by dviking at 03:28 PM on September 29

Every team has to endure players being hurt, players missing time.

Some teams endure more than others, though. Writing this off as "tough, deal with it" is just as simplistic.

posted by dfleming at 03:34 PM on September 29

And why would the Yankees try to help the team (Boston) they had a .333 winning record against this year anyways?

Why would they have any cause to fear a team based on wins and losses that happened four or five months ago? It makes just as much sense to talk about last year's win-loss record, i.e., no sense at all. Then was then, and now it's now. As the saying goes, it doesn't matter what you did when the leaves were green, it matters what you did when they were turning brown.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:43 PM on September 29

dfleming:

Some teams endure more than others, though.

Do you really think that was the case for the Red Sox this season? Last year, sure, but this year they seemed to me to be no more or less healthy than any other team.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:45 PM on September 29

Blaming the failure of the club to make the playoffs on injuries is weak and simplistic.

It was yerfatma's comment so I feel weird telling you what it meant but I took it as a "fuck off" to Buck Showalter... because it actually said "Orioles" and "Fuck Off" right in the comment. What I didn't read was anything saying the Red Sox didn't make the playoffs because of injuries.

On edit: Thought about it a bit and I might be simply reacting to your "tissue?" comment because I think it was a dick move.

posted by tron7 at 04:15 PM on September 29

On edit: Thought about it a bit and I might be simply reacting to your "tissue?" comment because I think it was a dick move.

I believe the dick move is blaming the failure of a team on injuries and situations that happen to varying degrees with every ballclub.

My Tissue? comment was the most succinct way of expressing that sentiment.

posted by tommytrump at 05:03 PM on September 29

I feel weird telling you what it meant but I took it as a "fuck off" to Buck Showalter

My comment had everything to do with Buck and nothing to do with the Sox. Sorry for not being clearer. He's been a loud-mouth since riding into town and he has yet to back up a word of it.

As for crying . . . I dunno what to tell you: the truth is far worse: I couldn't have cared less about this season. For whatever reason, it was a tough team to love: Drew, Matsuzaka, Lackey and the struggles of Crawford and Andrew Miller, the torturous insistence on getting Wakefield his 200th win (and now he wants to come back to haunt us over another milestone/ millstone!), I was happy when the NFL and EPL came back. Guess I'll have to hide my shame under a Bruins Stanley Cup hat. It's rough to have not seen an MLB championship in 4 whole years. I went 3 decades without one, I think I can wait another year or two.

The Patriots are the ones I'm getting frustrated with.

posted by yerfatma at 05:09 PM on September 29

I believe the dick move is blaming the failure of a team on injuries and situations that happen to varying degrees with every ballclub.

Also, if that's a dick move, what am I allowed to talk about with sports teams? What else would you ascribe wins and losses to, the moon & stars? The only worthwhile words in your sentence are "varying degrees": that is exactly what controls a lot of a team's success. When the Sox won in 2007, they lost 0 starts to pitcher injuries. Is it a dick move to ascribe some of their success to that? I'm sorry Your Favorite Team Sucks, but don't take it out on me for a happy accident of geography.

And please don't confuse succinctness with wit.

posted by yerfatma at 05:12 PM on September 29

Also, if that's a dick move, what am I allowed to talk about with sports teams? What else would you ascribe wins and losses to, the moon & stars? The only worthwhile words in your sentence are "varying degrees": that is exactly what controls a lot of a team's success. When the Sox won in 2007, they lost 0 starts to pitcher injuries. Is it a dick move to ascribe some of their success to that? I'm sorry Your Favorite Team Sucks, but don't take it out on me for a happy accident of geography.

You can talk about whatever you wish.

Just don't expect your words to be accepted as gospel. The Red Sox failure was not caused by injuries any more than any other MLB's team's success or failure. The fact is that the players on the field for Boston last night, and in the past month during their epic collapse did not get the job done. My Favourite Team Does Not Suck but thanks for the witty snarky comment, and I wasn't taking anything out on you for your fortune of living in New England.

I'll try to get by in life having a difference of opinion with you on the relative wit (or lack thereof) of my comments, somehow, some way.

posted by tommytrump at 05:48 PM on September 29

A New York Times reader's comment on the game:

I'm SICK..I'm just crying..seriously I am crying -- The Red Sox are part of my psyche since I was 3 years old and could remember wanting to play hardball. They said I couldn't cuz i was a girl, so I said I want to be a rabbi instead --- 1953 -- Nope they said can't do that so this little girl had to be satisfied watching from the bleachers...the two stories have no relation except my heart was and is broken -- The Red Sox, our beloved Red Sox -- I wore a Red Sox uniform to sleep when I was a kid. Boston my loved to the core Boston--I LOVE that city and this state SO much I would not care if it seceded from a union that does not work for me and so many others.

So I am sad on many levels. I never became a rabbi, I never got to play baseball and now now again my heart is down to my toes as my country sinks to the bottom fast and elects a president I thought was going to be FDR -- FAR from it. I prayed this am.. I never pray not because it's Rosh Hashanna, the Jewish high holiday, maybe that is unique but I just prayed because I am SO sad. Life's dreams get shattered and you don't know why except maybe god if there is one has other plans!

Please god can't you choose me to be on the lucky team just ONCE -- only once. Lucky are they who strike life's lottery. I didn't and the clock is running out on my game. If not now when?

posted by rcade at 05:57 PM on September 29

I honestly cannot tell if that comment is satire or written in 2003.

posted by NoMich at 06:34 PM on September 29

At least she seems to have a healthy sense of perspective.

And grum -- thanks for posting the FanGraphs link with the win probabilities and playoff probabilities.

posted by holden at 06:42 PM on September 29

Not a big fan of Harold Reynolds, but his reaction to the Longoria homer is pretty good.

posted by holden at 06:46 PM on September 29

No excuses from this Red Sox fan - this collapse didn't just happen yesterday. Very honestly, had they made the playoffs, they'd have been knocked out in short order the way they've been playing. Breakdowns on almost every level.

I knew in my heart the Sox were done when I started reading that some players ere publicly saying they were scared. What? Man, as they say in Dune, "fear is the mind killer." If you're scared that you might not make it, you've just signed your proverbial death warrant.

That's sign of a very serious breakdown somewhere. There's a line between admitting that you need to work harder and being frightened. Its good to honestly look at your chances, but bad to start panicking about your chances, you know?

Anyhow, we've won two series in recent memory and will be a contender again next year, assuming we can get our house in order. I won't say I'm not disappointed, but after last month, I wasn't in the least surprised.

And this has nothing to do with a curse - that meme is dead, buried and sprouting flowers.

posted by Joey Michaels at 07:12 PM on September 29

Not so fast, Dan Shaughnessy.

I said he jinxed them on Facebook right after the curly headed bastard said it, too.

posted by jerseygirl at 07:51 PM on September 29

Awesome Reynolds reaction, as it almost matches mine when I was sitting in my chair last night.

posted by grum@work at 09:09 PM on September 29

Summary video of the entire night (from MLB).

posted by grum@work at 10:46 PM on September 29

The fact is that the players on the field for Boston last night, and in the past month during their epic collapse did not get the job done.

Sure, but I was never defending that. Clearly it wasn't obvious to all, but my complaint was strictly with Showalter, who made that weird and unprompted complaint about another team just to generate some press and look tough at the beginning of the season. Who insults another team, pre-season? And who insults a GM who's not going to be on the field? It's not as though the Orioles are well-managed but lacking cash. At best, it comes off as an excuse for what promises to be a shitty season.

So given all that, why am I a dick for complaining about Showalter?

posted by yerfatma at 09:07 AM on September 30

Also:

via deadspin

posted by yerfatma at 09:08 AM on September 30

I'm thinking Showalter's pretty damn happy.
posted by grum@work

I'm curious why he picked on the Red Sox when the Yankees payroll is even higher? Oh, that's right, he use to manage the Yankees. I'm guessing he didn't complain about having the leagues highest payroll in 1995.

Perhaps instead of taking cheap shots at Theo Epstein he should try and keep the Orioles from falling out of contention by the all star break one of these years.

I'd disagree with the "had no reason to win the game". Who would you rather face in the postseason, the Rays or the Red Sox? I'd say they had incentive to want to knock out the Rays and let the Red Sox in.
posted by lil_brown_bat

I don't think the Yankees thoughts necessarily match yours. I don't think you throw out the Red Sox numbers against the Yankees because of one bad month. And if the Red Sox had made the playoffs and eventually faced the Yankees, it wouldn't be in the first round. It would be in the second, meaning the Red Sox had either beaten the Tigers or Rangers. In other words, a team winning again. Add to that the dislike between the two teams, and I think they're quite happy to have the Red Sox gone.

But even if you're right, that the Yankees would rather have had the Red Sox in the playoffs than the Rays, the desire was so little that it had no effect on the Yankees strategy.

My point was not that the Yankees didn't try to win. They did. It was that strategically nothing they did on the field was geared to winning the game. Effective pitchers were taken out, ineffective left in, 6 regulars taken out in the 7th inning, Cano pinch hit for in the 11th. This was an easily winnable game for the Yankees, and if it had any importance to them, they would have won it.

They earned the right. I put no blame on the Yankees.

Just look at that win probability chart! I say miracle.
posted by tron7

Apples and oranges. The chart show the odds of coming back different situations. It doesn't show that the Yankees started a minor league pitcher, nor that when the comeback happened (8th inning on) the yankee lineup was unrecognizable to most baseball fans.

Put it this way, if that was a miracle win, then I guess you need to come up with a different word describing the same outcome against Roberston and Rivera in the 8th and 9th.

Some teams endure more than others, though. Writing this off as "tough, deal with it" is just as simplistic.
posted by dfleming

I don't get the aversion to bringing up injuries. Losing one of the better hitters in the game was huge. Losing 2 relievers you counted on for the year hurts. Losing your #3 and #4 pitchers is devastating to any team, no matter the payroll.

That's not saying every team doesn't face injuries, or blaming the collapse on injuries, so much more to it than that. But if we're going to talk about what went wrong with the Red Sox, injuries are definitely part of the equation.

Meh. I just can't get excited about it. The local media wants to roll the clock back to 2003, but it's never going to happen.
posted by yerfatma

So do fans of other teams. Whatever. This was nothing compared to 78, 86, 2003. And 2003 was the starting point of 2004. The Red Sox will compete again next year. Most teams won't. Bring on 2012.

posted by justgary at 04:52 PM on September 30

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