The Bump and The Grind
This might be a random collection of events, but taking the mound against the Cubs has had it's risks. It dawned on me that we've seen some season ending injuries happen to our opponents pitchers. Coincidence? Or Death Cab for Cutie?
Follow the link to the pitchers who've risked entering the valley of shadows:
Tom Glavine -- He's had two rough starts against the Cubs and immediately landed on the DL each time. His diagnosis is a strained left pitching elbow, supposedly a tear in flexor tendon origin. This second episode occurred after two months of attempted nonsurgical rehab. It almost definitely ends his season and possible starts his 5 year clock to make it to the Hall of Fame. If he ops for surgery at age 42, who knows what else will break down. Glavine had never been on the DL before this season. Father time has finally caught up with him.
Chris Carpenter -- Reinjured his pitching arm last sunday (video link) and is again on the DL. He was matching pitches (with his signature low pitch count) through 5 innings against Ryan Dempster (with his signature high pitch count). The diagnosis is triceps strain which is the muscle/tendon on the back side of the arm. Basically, it's not his reconstructed collateral ligament but all the anatomy around the elbow is closely related. Given his history the Cardinals need to be very worried about a quick return with only 6 weeks left in the season. This was his third start back after a 1-1/2 years of rehabbing two elbow surgeries including an elbow scope for arthritis followed by a "Tommy John" ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction procedure when it was clear the first surgery had not helped. The Cardinals were counting on their one time "ace" to give them the boost to make the playoffs after the team has played incredibly well given that everyone had written their season off in preseason polls. Now back on the DL, it looks like the redbirds last pitching hope is limited to Adam Wainright's recovery as Carpenter, Mulder and Matt Clement are ticketed for the land of #22 and perpetual rehab.
Yovani Gallardo -- Ripped his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) on this play during the game May 1st, it was a major blow to the Brewers rotation for at least May and June. The injury subsequently cost the Brewers last years first round draft pick, Matt LaPorta, to replace him with someone even bigger than Prince Fielder. Prince has said that he is Sabathia's "mini-me". Or Fielder at least thinks of Sabathia as one very big potato. Gallardo's injury was a significant timeline change, thus Capt Kirk and Mr. Spock are still looking for McCoy and Joan Collins to rectify things. Gallardo just started light tossing and won't resurface until next spring.
BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).
TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.
TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.
Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.
Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.
Think Baby Maddux.
Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.
Kyle is on the far left.
I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.
Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.
That was good!
Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.
My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.
Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.
Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.
How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?
Call me lost.
Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.
I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:
Carl Crawford $20MM
Brandon McCarthy $17MM
Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
Darwin B $2.2MM
Dan Haren $10MM
Matt Kemp $18MM
Brian Wilson $10MM
Ryan Webb $2.2MM
Dee Gordon $2.5MM
So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.
And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):
i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.
there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.
I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.