Results tagged ‘ San Francisco ’
It’s been very interesting scanning the blogosphere today reading the reactions to Matt Cain’s Perfect Game last night.
The general consensus has been: great game by Cain (maybe one of the most dominate ever), let’s not take anything away from him, BUT….. something is amiss.
Cain’s perfecto was the 5th in the last 3 years (6th if you include Armando Galarraga’s game). Because the number is so high relative to historical president, it has people searching for answers to explain why it is happening. I’ve read a number of theory’s today.
–Increased K rates among hitters league wide over the past 5 years: There is no doubt that strikeouts have increased, and that can help explain why scoring is down as a whole across baseball, but I don’t think you can apply that statistical trend to a single game. In fact, in the previous 4 perfect games, the K totals were 6,6,7, and 7; well below Cain’s 14 last night.
–Best athletes moving to other sports(football, basketball): There is little doubt that baseball is losing some of the sports talent in this country to other sports, but it has been offset in part by the recruiting of talent from other countries. I think a better comment would be that there is an overall dilution of talent if for no other reason than there is more teams in the league (30 now compared to 16 in 1960).
–Smaller parks/Bigger Parks: I’ve read that both are the cause. Personally I discount any talk of park effect. Just like K rates, we aren’t looking for overall sweeping trends in HR’s or Runs Scored, these are single games.
–Scouting: This theory I actually like. It wasn’t just luck that Gregor Blanco was playing a left-handed hitter off the line and over toward the right-center field alley. Every pitched and hit ball is tracked today. We know everything about every hitter and every pitcher. And it’s only through scouting that Blanco was in a position to make that great catch.
Maybe some or all of these theories play a part in the increased Perfect Games, or maybe we are just in a period of statistical oddity, I don’t know.
What I do know is that I was watching the last 3 innings of the game, I jumped off the couch when Blanco made that great catch (yes, I literally jumped off the couch), and I was on the edge of my seat in the ninth inning hoping that Cain could get those last three outs.
Congrats Matt Cain!!
Watching the Cubs get shutout by Madison Bumgarner and the Giants for 8 innings tonight, I was reminded how anemic their offense is.
The Cubs are below league average in runs, home runs, average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and extra-base hits.
The only things the Cubs do better than the rest of the league……….ground into double-plays. They lead with 50.
Then they gave me hope. A single by Starlin Castro, a single by Joe Mather, then a 3-run homer off the bat of Alfonso Soriano. In just a matter of a couple pitches it was the Giants 4 and the Cubs 3. Unfortunately, despite teasing me with 2 more base runners, the Cubs were unable to score the tying run and Chicago’s modest 3-game win streak came to an end.
Soriano’s home run was the 40th that the Cubs have hit this season. It’s not the fewest in baseball (25th of 30), but it’s pretty sad. The 40 homers through 51 games puts the Cubs on pace for 127 HR’s, that would be the fewest dingers the Cubs have hit since 1997. In ’97 Sammy Sosa lead the team with 36 homers, Mark Grace was second with 13.
Speaking of Sosa, it was 14 years ago today that Sammy started the greatest home run month in the history of baseball. On June 1st, 1998 the Cubs were playing the Florida Marlins. Sosa hit the first two of his record 20 home runs. He hit the first one in the first inning off the Marlins pitcher that was making his first career major league start, that pitcher was Ryan Dempster.
Yesterday ESPN.com had an article about possible schedule realignment and inter-league play next season. You can read the short article here.
We know that there will be a change to the schedule next year for sure because the Houston Astros will be moving to the American League. Each league will now have three divisions of five, for an odd numbered total of 15. It makes all the divisions equal in number, but it also creates a situation in which there will be inter-league play on every day of the season, from Opening Day right through to the last game of the season.
Personally, I have no problem with inter-league play every day, if it’s good enough on May 18th, why not September 18th? And I think most people feel the same. However, if I’ve heard one beef about it though, it would be playing against the other league down the stretch of the season all the way to the last game. Most people like the idea of division games that last week, and I do to, but it rarely works out to be the 1st and 2nd place teams playing each other anyway. On the last day of the season this year, Minnesota will be playing Toronto, Atlanta is at Pittsburgh, San Diego at Milwaukee; Not exactly heated division rivalries, but I didn’t hear any complaints about that scheduling when it was posted.
If you read the ESPN article, you know the real gist of it was about the possible reduction in “Rivalry Games” like Mets-Yankees, Cubs-Sox, and Reds- Indians.
Good! I say.
I don’t need the Cubs to play the Sox 6 games each year in a home and home matchup.
MLB has a real opportunity to make the schedule right for the foreseeable future. But because I don’t trust them to come up with the correct plan……….I’m going to give it to them .
Every team plays 18 games against the other 4 teams in their Division: 72 Games Total
Every team plays 6 games against the other 10 non-division teams in its League: 60 Games Total
Every team plays 30 inter-league games. 6 games against each of the 5 teams in one of the three divisions in the other league. All the teams in your division will play the same other league division as you. Each year the division that they play will rotate: 30 Games
That’s a total of 162 games. It’s really that simple.
The only “flaw”, natural rivalry games (Cubs-Sox/NY-NY etc.) are reduced to happening only every three years. And that’s perfectly fine with me. The Cubs went from 1901 to 1997 without ever playing the Sox in the regular season and nobody had a problem with it. If MLB really needs the Cubs and the Sox to play against each other every year, they should have put them in the same division….. then it would REALLY be a rivalry, but until then I’m happy to play against the Cardinals every year and the Sox once every three years.
So there it is, so simple that it will never happen.
But hey Mr. Commissioner, if you are reading this and want to talk about it, just leave a comment down below or feel free to email me.
Side Note: I’m taking WrigleyRegular on the road; I will be in Cincinnati tomorrow. You can look for a trip and game review with pictures coming soon.
Wild Card Edition
1.The first two Wild Card teams were the New York Yankees (79-65, 7GB) and the Colorado Rockies (77-67, 1GB) in 1995.
2. In the 17 post-seasons since the start of the Wild Card in 1995, 10 wild card teams have made it to the World Series. They are 5-5.
3. Wild Card teams have met in the World Series once. In 2002 the Anaheim Angels defeated the San Francisco Giants 4 games to 3.
4. If you have some free time, pick up Submarine at Redbox, it’s one of the better movies you have never heard of.
Bonus. The Florida (Miami) Marlins have never won their division; in fact they have only made the playoffs twice in their 19 year history, both times as a wild card. Both times they won the World Series (1997, 2003).
It’s been a tough two weeks for the Cubs. Since my last update the team has gone 5-8
and now stands at an overall 14-16. That puts them in 4th place, 3
games behind the Cardinals.
And while the first month of the season has been a struggle,
it hasn’t been debilitating. They are just 3 games out of first. I’ll
repeat now what I’ve already said several times before, I believe the winner of
the NL Central will have no more than 87 wins. That’s not a lot.
But it does mean that the Cubs will have to go 73-59 over their last
132 games to reach 87 wins. That’s a .553 winning percentage. To put
that number in perspective, only 7 teams are currently winning at that clip. It
doesn’t mean the Cubs wont, or can’t; it just is not going to be easy.
Now is the time though when they must start winning. The
Cubs have played 21 of their 30 previous games against the NL West and less than
half their games at home. However today marks the start of a 9 game home stand against
two division rivals (Cinn & StL) and last years World Series winner, San
Francisco. Anything less than a 6-3 outcome after these 9 games will really be
Last week I made my predictions for the divisional round of
the MLB playoffs. I was 4 for 4 naming the correct winner, but only 1 of 4 in
guessing the number of games to be played in each series.
So……. This time I’ll only predict the winner on each series.
In the NL I’m going to go with the Phillies. They just have
too much pitching for San Francisco to handle and plenty of offense. I can’t
see any reason why they won’t be going to their third consecutive World Series.
In the AL I’m going with Texas. I think it would be
interesting to see a WS rematch between NY and Philadelphia, but I just think
that the Rangers have a better all-around team and with home field advantage, they
will be playing in the World Series.
So there it is, you’re 2010 World Series matchup will be……
Texas vs Philadelphia
I haven’t checked in for a while. I’m just trying to step
back from the season for a couple days before I begin the post- mortem.
Actually, I’ve been waiting since Sunday night for Chicago
GM Jim Hendry to give me a call so that we can discuss the 2011 Cubs. But since
it doesn’t appear as if he is going to call, over the next couple of days I
will be posting my “If I were GM” thoughts.
In the meantime; even though the playoffs have already
started (and it’s always easier after they start), I will give you my picks for
Texas in 4
Yankees in 4
Philadelphia in 3
San Fran in 5