2010 Playoff Predictions
My annual useless guess at how the playoffs will go. To my lucky credit, I did nail 6 of 8 playoff teams this year and all 4 A.L. teams. I was too bearish on the Braves and Reds, and too bullish on the Cubs(as usual) and Cardinals. To the playoff predictions...
Phillies vs. Reds
I'd be pretty shocked like a lot of folks if the Phillies aren't representing the NL in the World Series and I imagine a lot of folks are expecting this to be over in 3 or 4 games. Just to be different I'll take the Phillies in 5.
Braves vs. Giants
Neither put up inspiring performances in playoff-like atmospheres the final weekend, but the Braves trio of pitchers have been logging some real heavy innings just to get the Braves to the playoffs and they'll be without Martin Prado. Plus a a Giants vs. Phillies LCS would be damn fun. I'll take the Giants in 4.
Rangers vs. Rays
I don't know the numbers off the top of my head, but I believe whomever wins Game 1 of a five-game series wins an abundantly high percentage of them. With a Cliff Lee vs. David Price match-up it's a tough call. Normally I'd take Lee but if I heard the radio correctly last night, the Rays beat Lee three times this year. So I'll give the nod to the Rays in 5.
Yankees vs. Twins
I'd love to take the Twins and they seem to do just fine without Morneau for most of the year, but Yanks seem like the better team all-around. Yanks in 4.
Giants vs. Phillies
The Giants will have two lefties in the rotation to try and counter the Phils lineup and probably the best chance to knock-off the Phils besides the Yankees. That being said, the Phils have the bats and experience and some Roy Halladay desperation that I'm going to side with on this one. Phillies in 7.
Yankees vs. Rays
A flip of the coin, mine lands on the Rays in 7.
Rays vs. Phillies
The rematch we've all not been waiting for...I'll take Phillies in 6, just in hopes of curbing some of the A.L. superiority talk.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.
I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.