Archive for October 2010

Lee v. Lincecum: Part 1

October 28, 2010

Since tonight is Game 1 of the World Series with an epic pitching match-up, I want to do a little live blogging. Just some thought updates every so often. I’m a little late, but oh well. I wonder how Lincecum will do on three days rest, after pitching in relief during game 6 of the NLCS on just one day of rest. Lee hasn’t thrown in over a week.

And Lee just hit a double! Lincecum hasn’t looked good so far. Also, what’s up with the crowd? I’ve long felt San Fran had one of the more, if not the most underrated fan bases in the game. But they are QUIET right now. C’mon, it’s the World Series!

Day baseball is so cool. Not saying I always like the atmosphere better than night games, but it’s a nice change of pace. Yes, the game started at 8 on the east coast, but it’s still day on the west coast. Cool to see a World Series game in the day for once.

2-0 Texas right now. That could be all they need with Lee on the mound.

Update 8:59: See New York, is it really that hard to score runs off Cliff Lee?

Game tied 2-2 now. Hopefully the back and forth continues. This may not be a pitchers duel, but it can still be a very exciting game.

Update 9:58: Wow, what an inning! I don’t even care that the pitching duel just exploded. That inning was awesome. Six runs on five hits. Now the fans are into the game. I’m going crazy in my dorm room and I don’t even have a rooting interest.

Update 11:07: LOL at Vladimir Guerrero right now. Just play Francouer or Murphy tomorrow. Vlad’s negative defensive value is going to outweigh his offensive contribution.

Update 11:49: What a very sloppy game. Six errors? This ended up not being a good game at all. Also, nice bullpen management in the ninth Bruce Bochy. A seven run lead and you used how many relievers? I’m speechless.

Ted Lilly signs with the LA Dodgers

October 21, 2010

In non-playoff baseball news, Ted Lilly signed a contract extension with the Dodgers, worth $33.5mil over three years.

It’s too early to know what the cost of 1 WAR will be this upcoming season, but lets estimate it at $4.5mil. Lilly is coming off a 2.3 WAR season, and has posted a WAR above 2 every season going back to 2003, with the exception of a shortened 2005 campaign. So Lilly has been a reliably average to above average pitcher the past several seasons. He will be staying in a pitchers park and the NL West, a division currently known for its light hitting teams compared to the rest of baseball. However, Lilly will be 35 years old next season, and 37 years old when the deal is up. So lets examine whether its a fair contract, and whether its a worthwhile contract for the Dodgers.

Lilly finished 2010 with a 4.27 FIP and 4.16 xFIP over 193 innings pitched. His K/9 was 7.71, his BB/9 was 2.04, and his HR/9 was poor 1.49. His K and BB rates are in line or better than his career norm, but he gave up more homers than usual. The reason could be contributed to his career low GB% which was 29.5% and a FB% over 50%. Pitching in Dodger Stadium compared to Wrigley Field might help that, but Lilly has always been prone to the long ball.

His fastball velocity hasn’t dipped noticeably and the only change in his pitch values is his slider. Per 100 pitches, his slider has been worth 0.87, but in 2010 it dropped to -2.30 and was his worst pitch, which is even worse when you consider he threw the pitch 20.5% of the time in 2010. Is his slider on the decline, or was it an off-year?

Either way, lets project Lilly to throw 200 innings next season and be worth 2.5 WAR. Decreasing that by 0.5 each season and over the contract his total WAR would be 6.0 WAR. At $4.5mil per win, that’s a total dollar value of $27mil. Eeesh, so the Dodgers come out in the red.Even if he pitches better than my projections, he won’t exactly give the Dodgers a surplus of value.

Moreover, the Dodgers aren’t a very good team right now. They are kind of old, don’t have a great system, and their ownership is a mess. I highly doubt the Dodgers will be contenders in 2011, for sure, and I don’t think they will contend in the years after that as well, but who knows with the NL West. To me, spending $33.5mil on Lilly is a waste. He is an average, 35 year old pitcher. He won’t make a difference between the Dodgers being a playoff team or not. For a team in financial dire because of the ownership issues, spending $33.5mil on an old pitcher is not smart. Put that money towards a younger player who will have a bigger impact, or put that money into the farm system.

For Teddy Lilly, congrats on the payday. For the Dodgers, better luck next time.

 

Joe G managing like he doesn’t want to be in New York anymore

October 20, 2010

I could count down a number of problems the entire ALCS, but I’ll stick to the past game and today (when the game hasn’t even started yet!)

– Intentionally walking David Murphy. You NEVER put the winning run on base. NEVER. You pitch to him. Whether it’s with AJ or Logan, you pitch to him.

– Leaving Burnett in to face Molina. Yes, Molina sucks and even I should be able to get him out. But we were lucky to have gotten that much out of AJ. He is prone to the big inning and big hit. Take him out while you can. A fresh reliever should be able to destroy Molina.

– Letting Boone Logan face Josh Hamilton. Never let your worst pitcher face a team’s best hitter in a critical situation. Never.

– Pitching Mitre in the ninth. If that isn’t a white flag, then I don’t know what is. At the point, we were still one swing away from a tie game. With an off-day Thursday, you do everything you can to keep the score 7-3. That means pitching Mo in the ninth.

– Today’s lineup. Why is Berkman in over Kearns? Berkman is a black hole against righties. His defense isn’t great. By playing Kearns, you have a better bat in the lineup to face CJ Wilson AND your defense is better with Kearns in right and Swisher at first. Moreover, why are two lefties, Grandy and Gardy, bunched together in the 8 and 9 spot. From the 6 spot on down, wouldn’t it make more sense to have Posada, Granderson, Berkman, Gardner to break the lefties up? Yes. Yes it would.

 

I would used to stand up for Girardi since I do like his regular season bullpen management. But enough is enough. Once late season and October games roll around, he completely changes his managerial style for the worse.

Gerry Davis, bullshit artist

October 20, 2010

His take on the Swisher HBP no-call last night:

Quote:

“We looked at it. Obviously in Angel’s judgment the ball had not hit him, and we looked at the replay, and even from different angles, it’s inconclusive.”
Um, what? Look, I know MLB is paying you and they like to cover stuff up so you must feel inclined to do the same, but you’re really just going to lie to America like that? Really?

That’s not conclusive? Okay.

Do I believe that call possibly changed the whole game? Yes, yes I do. After the HBP the score is 7-4 and the bases are still loaded. The Berkman AB would have been completely different. He could have homered, or he could have GIDP. But the game would have been totally different. Maybe the inning ends 7-4, but Mitre doesn’t pitch the ninth in that case.

Oh well. I know it wasn’t Davis who made the call last night, but we all remember this safe call…

RIP Freddy Sez

October 18, 2010

Freddy “Sez” Schuman, the New York Yankees undisputed #1 fan, died yesterday at the age of 85.

Damnit.

Really, that’s all you can say at this point. George, Bob, Hank, and now Freddy. He may have “only” been a fan, but he was arguably the biggest fan of any team in America and IS a Yankees icon. Hell, I’d say he’s a big enough name in Yankee folklore to put a patch on the cap or another black band on the uniform.

It’s a shame the man didn’t get to live longer to see another possible World Series in the Bronx, but he went out while the Yankees were still on top of the universe as defending champions. I’m sure he wouldn’t have it any other way. And hopefully he’ll get to meet up with some other Yankees legends up there in the sky somewhere.

Hey Freddy, say hello to George, Bob, and the rest of the fellas for us.

Brian McCann: Baseball’s Mr. Underrated

October 18, 2010

If you’re a reader of the blogosphere, you already know the unofficial most underrated baseball is Shin-soo Choo. Choo is an awesome player and quite underrated by the MSM. But if there is one All-Star caliber player who the press loves to ignore, it’s Brian McCann.

Since becoming a full-time catcher for the Atlanta Braves in 2006, McCann has posted three seasons of 5+ WAR and has a career WAR of 23.9. Oh yeah, did I say he is only 26 years old?

He has a career line of .289/.360/.489/.364/125. Not too bad for a catcher. Moreover, he is one of baseball’s best bargains as Atlanta will be paying him just $15mil over the next two seasons combined. Considering he won’t turn 27 until next season, the best is most likely yet to come from McCann. He’s had an outstanding start to his career, and if he can keep it going- which doesn’t always happen for catchers- then we could be looking at a potential Hall of Famer. Yes, I know forecasting that far ahead is risky, but the guy has been a rock behind the plate.

He has everything you want from a franchise player. Offensive ability? Check. Defensive ability? Check. Affordable contract? Check. Age on his side? Check? Valuable position? Check.

Brian McCann is awesome and it’s about time the MSM starts to recognize him as one of the game’s best players. Period.

 

Playoff baseball delivers

October 16, 2010