September 29, 2013

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 14 comments

So... anyone going to comment on that crazy Marlins no-hitter? Knotted 0-0 after 8.5 innings, we get a walk-off, wild-pitch no-hitter with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. The only way it could have been more perfect is if Henderson Alvarez (the pitcher) had been at-bat instead of in the on-deck circle.

This has been a great weekend of baseball; I don't know how anyone could be opposed to WC baseball, with this kind of action. Fernando Rodney is in danger of giving up the winning run in Toronto in the eighth and now ninth, and potentially ending the Rays' playoff hopes.

Cleveland is (so far) getting it done by winning out the weekend and almost certainly securing the home field for the WC game. Happy to see Terry Francona make the playoffs in his first year in Cleveland, although since Boston will face the WC winner, not so sure I want them to even make the ALDS. :)

And poor Yu Darvish- currently losing 1-0 for the Rangers through 5. Someone on Sons of Sam Horn pointed out that Yu has already lost four 1-0 games this year with Texas. If Texas had those as wins, they'd currently be one back of Oakland right now, with today being a game to potentially decide the AL West division (where the loser is guaranteed to host the WC game) instead of what it is: the Rangers in danger of seeing their season end on a 1-0 loss.

posted by hincandenza at 04:30 PM on September 29

Somebody explain to me the NFL regulation that prevented CBS from showing the last two minutes of the Baltimore/Buffalo game and force me to watch bumbling idiocy.

posted by phaedon at 04:30 PM on September 29

Ah- well, despite Toronto clawing back, and even having the tying run on, Rodney eventually closes the door, sealing the 7-6 win for Tampa.

Cleveland and Tampa are both now guaranteed to be playing another game this year. If Cleveland holds on to win (currently up 5-1 in the top of the 8th), then the Rangers will play their last couple of innings knowing they have to win today... just to force a one-game playoff tomorrow against the Rays... just to force a one-game playoff against Cleveland, just to get a chance to play in the ALDS against Boston.

So yeah- as a Boston fan, I'm rooting for the Rangers hard right now, so there's a clusterfuck of playoff games to exhaust everyone's #1 and #2 pitchers before the ALDS even starts. :)

On Preview: Texas has scored two, to go up 2-1 as we head into the sixth. Go Rangers!

posted by hincandenza at 04:37 PM on September 29


posted by Etrigan at 04:57 PM on September 29

Cleveland wins handily, Tampa edged it out, and the Rangers are up 3-2 after 6 in Arlington. Cleveland's hosting the WC game on Wednesday, so the only question is whether the Rangers can pull off the win, force a one-game tomorrow against Tampa to face Cleveland. They're still up 3-2 after 6.5, so six outs away from the playoffs.

By the way, for Texas fans: is Yu Darvish somehow disproportionately disliked in Texas? I've been watching this game on with what I guess is the home feed, and the announcers were pretty dismissive about Yu getting pulled, saying snidely "Darvish fails to get out of the sixth... AGAIN" as if he's some subpar pitcher. The guy has the #4 ERA, #4 WHIP, #5 WAR among pitchers with 5.7, and leads the majors in strikeouts.

He's really a good pitcher, so I didn't get the snark from the home town announcers there.

posted by hincandenza at 05:15 PM on September 29

By the way, for Texas fans: is Yu Darvish somehow disproportionately disliked in Texas?

Yes. Short version: If his stats are so great (and expensive), how come the Rangers aren't better? The usual complaint when the complainers can't actually complain about anything but really want to complain about something.

posted by Etrigan at 05:30 PM on September 29

L. C. Greenwood passed away earlier today. He was 67.

posted by Bonkers at 07:46 PM on September 29

Halfway through their scheduled games, the AFC West is 7-1 vs. the NFC East

posted by LionIndex at 07:54 PM on September 29

So Texas wins, and they will host Tampa Bay for the right to earn the right to face Boston. At least I think that's right. Supposedly, it will be David Price against Martin Perez tomorrow. How do the rotations shape up for a game in Cleveland? In any case, Texas will have their #1, Darvish, available for a game on Friday in Boston, while almost anybody in Tampa Bay's rotation is a decent choice for the series. Should Cleveland survive Tuesday, Ubaldo Jimenez would be on 4-days rest for a Friday game. No matter who survives and who is pitching, the 5-gqame series will be no cakewalk.

posted by Howard_T at 08:23 PM on September 29

"Halfway through their scheduled games, the AFC West is 7-1 vs. the NFC East"

To be fair, the NFC East is atrocious. I was watching the Redskins/Raiders game (the 1 in this case). I wouldn't say the Redskins won as much the Raiders lost it more.

posted by Bonkers at 08:31 PM on September 29

To be fair, the NFC East is atrocious.

Yes, but the AFC West was supposed to be even more so. Pretty much nobody saw this coming. But, aside from the Chiefs and Broncos, it may just be a competition of who can lose more effectively, and people just underestimated the NFC East's proficiency there.

posted by LionIndex at 08:33 PM on September 29

Tangentially related, but Adrian Beltre hit his 30th HR on the final day of the season in that Texas win; looking at his career stats at age 34, and with (to my knowledge) not a whiff of controversy or scandal around PED or anything else... is he quietly becoming a rock solid HoF candidate in ~4-5 more years? He's been a fantastic 3B for ages (surprised he's only got 4 GG), he's got solid 25-30HR power, and his other stats are very impressive.

posted by hincandenza at 08:51 PM on September 29

saying snidely "Darvish fails to get out of the sixth... AGAIN" as if he's some subpar pitcher.

Most starts, 6+ innings, 2013 AL (before today's games)

Rk             Player Year            #Matching
1       James Shields 2013        30 Ind. Games
2      Jeremy Guthrie 2013        30 Ind. Games
3         R.A. Dickey 2013        30 Ind. Games
4       Ervin Santana 2013        29 Ind. Games
5        Max Scherzer 2013        28 Ind. Games
6     Hisashi Iwakuma 2013        28 Ind. Games
7         Doug Fister 2013        27 Ind. Games
8         C.J. Wilson 2013        26 Ind. Games
9          Yu Darvish 2013        26 Ind. Games
10   Justin Verlander 2013        25 Ind. Games

Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/29/2013.

I think the issue they have is that he's (now) failed to get out of the 6th innings in his last three starts. But given that he did pitch at least 6 innings in 81.25% of his starts this year, that seems really short-sighted nit-picking.

posted by grum@work at 10:05 PM on September 29

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