2019 World Series -- Houston Astros vs Washington Nationals

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The World Series obviously deserves its own thread.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Astros in 5 6
Astros in 6 4
Astros in 4 2
Astros in 7 2
Nationals in 4 2
Nationals in 6 2
Nationals in 7 1
Nationals in 5 0


NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 20 October 2019 04:18 (three weeks ago) link

I've actually switched allegiance: rooting for the Nationals.

clemenza, Sunday, 20 October 2019 04:24 (three weeks ago) link

it's not their fault Brett Kavanaugh and other awful people are fans

Nats in 6

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 20 October 2019 04:48 (three weeks ago) link

this is the nats/expos franchise's first WS appearance right?

ciderpress, Sunday, 20 October 2019 05:15 (three weeks ago) link

Astros in 4

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Sunday, 20 October 2019 06:09 (three weeks ago) link

Nats in 6

Galangal Baker (WmC), Sunday, 20 October 2019 12:40 (three weeks ago) link

538 has it 60/40 Astros; the one betting site I found has it Houston -220/Nationals +180, which if you split the difference means 2/1 Astros.

clemenza, Sunday, 20 October 2019 13:05 (three weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 21 October 2019 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

stros before politicos

i'm not a government man; i'm a government, man. (m bison), Monday, 21 October 2019 00:07 (three weeks ago) link

I Fuckin hate the Astors so DC in 6

calstars, Monday, 21 October 2019 00:13 (three weeks ago) link

no idea who will win, but it seems like the astros' consistent bats and the nats' bullpen issues could give the astros the edge. rooting for the nationals though.

na (NA), Monday, 21 October 2019 14:29 (three weeks ago) link

I know Scherzer is only about 90% right now--although he was awesome last time out--but Scherzer-Cole has to rank with the best WS match-ups ever, at least at the seasonal level. (Which match-ups invariably disappoint.)

clemenza, Monday, 21 October 2019 16:15 (three weeks ago) link

He’s a Negro Leaguer. You should really read this. @nlbmprez https://t.co/Oq99Bcn0vW

— Richard M. Nixon (@dick_nixon) October 20, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 21 October 2019 21:10 (three weeks ago) link

Nat's bullpen is not quite the dumpster fire it was the previous two seasons, but it is still not that good.

Houston is about as all around talented as any championship level team that has been around in the past 20-25 years. Got to win the big ones though to make it stick.

earlnash, Monday, 21 October 2019 23:22 (three weeks ago) link

i think nats are a legit live underdog this series, if i had to id says houston in 7

johnny crunch, Monday, 21 October 2019 23:51 (three weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 00:01 (three weeks ago) link

You're all ignoring destiny and character and clutch-hitting.

clemenza, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 02:25 (three weeks ago) link

And the Ewing Theory--you're ignoring that.

clemenza, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 02:26 (three weeks ago) link

Brandon Taubman making it hard to root for the astros

mookieproof, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 05:07 (three weeks ago) link

also, Texas

they got their one trophy

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 14:42 (three weeks ago) link

Didn't vote but hoping it goes to game 7.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 14:46 (three weeks ago) link

The #WorldSeries Game 1 & 2 starters combined for 1,118!!! strikeouts this year.

Cole 326
Verlander 300
Strasburg 251
Scherzer 243

— Daren Willman (@darenw) October 22, 2019

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 15:54 (three weeks ago) link

How about supporting women reporters by believing them? pic.twitter.com/4wLmm1yzq2

— Miranda Leigh (@mirandale1gh) October 22, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 17:34 (three weeks ago) link

The thing I can't stop thinking about with Brandon Taubman is that he's the big-data guy on baseball's most data-driven team, someone who has every reason to think of a player being accused of abuse as an active plus because it makes him a more valuable asset.

— Tim Marchman (@timmarchman) October 22, 2019

good take

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 17:55 (three weeks ago) link

sexual assault is the new OBP for sick fux

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 17:57 (three weeks ago) link

or physical assault, i guess

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 17:58 (three weeks ago) link

Love Greinke, Springer and Altuve with all my heart and I have Houston roots but also love Strasburg and Scherzer with all my heart so go for Scherzer and Stras they haven’t won it all and so didn’t Washington since the 17th century so I’m pulling for the Nats.

Van Horn Street, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 18:32 (three weeks ago) link

I really like those three guys too, it's hard not to.

Bregman is enough asshole for the whole team though. I hope he twists his ankle on a series-ending error. Go Nats!

The Ravishing of ROFL Stein (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 22 October 2019 18:38 (three weeks ago) link

whatever, dickheads

The Astros have released the following statements from assistant GM Brandon Taubman and owner Jim Crane pic.twitter.com/LWx2iCEBcC

— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) October 22, 2019

mookieproof, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 18:44 (three weeks ago) link

Jack Morris Clubhouse Neanderthal Award winner

Andy K, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 20:30 (three weeks ago) link

@davidfolkenflik
NEWS: Astros assistant GM Brandon Taubman was targeting a female reporter wearing a purple bracelet on domestic violence.

She has tweeted frequently on DV; he complained about her tweets offering info on DV hotlines when Roberto Osuna appeared in Astros games in 2018.

mookieproof, Tuesday, 22 October 2019 21:37 (three weeks ago) link

"Yes, yes, I know this particular bunt-sacrifice attempt didn't work, but --"

Andy K, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 00:16 (three weeks ago) link

I don’t think I’ve seen Rendon and Soto get overmatched like that all season. Wow.

— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) October 23, 2019

Andy K, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 00:18 (three weeks ago) link

I think Brantley won't be bunting here.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 00:23 (three weeks ago) link

u can call him Zimmy

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 00:42 (three weeks ago) link

Nearly 50 pitches for Scherzer through two innings, the Nats are going to need 3-4 innings from their bullpen.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:01 (three weeks ago) link

I have radio-TV feeds perfectly synced and am unnaturally happy about it

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:09 (three weeks ago) link

Bregman and Alvarez must be about 1-50 between them.

clemenza, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:18 (three weeks ago) link

Ha! Did exactly the same thing at a school tournament a few years ago--wrote about somewhere on ILB. (I got called and it cost us the winning run.)

clemenza, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:20 (three weeks ago) link

Exactly my point at the time--my contact was minimal and not intentional.

clemenza, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:22 (three weeks ago) link

should let the coach tackle him imho

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:23 (three weeks ago) link

should be reviewable!

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:44 (three weeks ago) link

unless Scherzer goes 8, I think we see Corbin tonight

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:44 (three weeks ago) link

and I doubt he's going past 5 now

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 01:54 (three weeks ago) link

I don’t think I’ve seen Rendon and Soto get overmatched like that all season. Wow.
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) October 23, 2019

― Andy K, Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:18 PM (one hour ago)

Wow...

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 02:12 (three weeks ago) link

lol

Galangal Baker (WmC), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 02:15 (three weeks ago) link

Unreal piece of hitting by Soto to take that pitch to the opposite field.

Corbin warming up!

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 02:18 (three weeks ago) link

Five innings so Scherzer can get the curly w

timellison, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 02:25 (three weeks ago) link

that's no factor in the WS

it's just when the pitches ran out

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 23 October 2019 02:37 (three weeks ago) link

Wasn't saying it was a factor for crying out loud

timellison, Wednesday, 23 October 2019 02:43 (three weeks ago) link

Anyone going to the victory parade? I happen to be in DC for work and I’m thinking of heading over this afternoon.

na (NA), Saturday, 2 November 2019 10:59 (two weeks ago) link

From a Peter Gammons Athletic piece:

This wasn’t the first time a sitting president was loudly booed at a World Series game. In 1931, at Shibe Park in Philadelphia, with the nation mired in the Great Depression, a former Stanford shortstop named Herbert Hoover was derided and showered with the chant, “We want beer!” Baseball and Prohibition didn’t mix.

I think people should disrupt Trump rallies around the country by chanting "We want beer!"

clemenza, Saturday, 2 November 2019 17:40 (two weeks ago) link

in philadelphia, you say

k3vin k., Saturday, 2 November 2019 19:11 (two weeks ago) link

It could have unraveled either way, but Hinch is going to have to hear about not using Cole to the grave. I'm guessing him not wearing the 'stros hat was Cole letting a bit o'diva out because he did not get to throw.

Shot to win a World Series does not come up very often. I can get why the player might be biting the bit that he did not get the ball, as more than likely Cole won't get that shot again.

Seems to me you should have been planning from the start of the game with the lead in the 5th to start getting Cole ready with the idea he's coming in to bridge from the end if the start works out.

Lot of the baseball writers/talking heads seem to think pulling Grienke was perhaps the bigger error.

earlnash, Sunday, 3 November 2019 00:33 (one week ago) link

Taking out Zack seemed fine. Third time through, he was missing his spots....that’s about when you want to take a starter out

Not using Cole on the other hand, I just don’t get it at all, especially since he said he was available to protect a lead. It is Game 7 of the World Series, there is no reason to save him, even if you’re down 10-2 you still put him in to keep the deficit at 8. If he thought he had a better match up in the moment then fine. But not using him at all is just odd.

frogbs, Sunday, 3 November 2019 01:13 (one week ago) link

Hinch's reliance on Harris after he shit the bed in game 6 is where, if I was an Astros fan, I'd draw the line. There were so many other arms, both bullpen & starting, to go to in game 7. And even after Harris gives up a leadoff hit he keeps him in and then Rendon just finishes him off. Harris is poised to be the next Brad Lidge.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Sunday, 3 November 2019 02:20 (one week ago) link

hinch, on his decisions, asked by jake kaplan:

Two days later, I'm sure you've replayed a lot of Game 7 in your head probably many times already. Are there are any decisions that you regret in retrospect?

Regret is a tough word because any time something doesn't work it's natural to want to have tried it a different way. And I just don't know if other decisions would've been perfect, either. We always assume that the other way would've been perfectly fine.

I don't regret our process. I don't regret our plan. I don't regret trusting the guys that we trusted. I regret the results. And that's hard to explain.

The first major decision point pertained to whether to pull Greinke in the seventh after the homer and the walk. It's the third time through the order, obviously. There's a runner on first in a one-run game. But he's also allowed only two hits. Why (pull him) there?

So going into the game, (the mindset is) it's Game 7. I've been through a lot of them. I remember pulling Charlie Morton at like 60-some pitches in the ALCS (in 2017). I remember pulling Lance McCullers after two-plus innings in the World Series in '17. So, there's a natural feeling of being ready to go to the 'pen early.

When Zack was going through his outing and was doing very well and pitched himself out of any base runners -- he got a couple double plays, he got some big swings and misses -- the game kept extending to the point where you get to the seventh inning and you start counting outs. We have nine outs left. Who's going to get them?

Zack had pitched effectively the second time through, and I remember going over our plan of 'Do we want him to face the middle of the order the third time through? When is that third time through going to be?' The thought was that it was going to be perhaps the fifth inning or even the sixth inning, but it got to the seventh inning.

At that point, you're going batter to batter. You have nine outs left to finish out. You have a two-run lead. When (Anthony) Rendon hit the homer to make it 2-1, it obviously amplified those feelings of wanting to have the perfect matchup in the area of the lineup that we were in. Having him face (Juan) Soto I liked because of his ability to slow the ball down. He can throw the slowest of breaking balls. He can throw the changeup whenever he wanted. He rarely made mistakes with his fastball. And Soto had hit everything the entire series. And I thought Zack pitched him carefully -- near misses, didn't get our calls, didn't execute, the at-bat got a little bit longer and then I'm faced with the (Howie) Kendrick decision.

Will (Harris) was up from virtually the beginning of the inning for Kendrick or (Asdrúbal) Cabrera. I always target somewhere later in the inning. If things start to go south for Zack, I had our best reliever this postseason ready to go. Losing two hitters in a row, Kendrick having had the most history against Zack other than Cabrera on their team led me to go to Will Harris.

Will Harris had struck out Kendrick earlier in the series in a big spot. He was our most effective reliever throughout the postseason. I had given him a little bit of leash, so to speak, of a couple hitters to get the outs and Zack was never going to face Cabrera given their history together.*

And so I went to Will. Will threw a first-pitch curveball, he gets the swing and miss. He throws the down-and-away cutter on the corner as low in the strike zone and as far down and away in the strike zone and Kendrick hits the foul pole. And that was the result. But the process that led me to putting him in, I was extremely comfortable with.

(*Note: Cabrera is 18-for-41 with four doubles and a triple in his career against Greinke. And while almost all of those at-bats occurred in 2012 or earlier, Cabrera was 2-for-4 with a double off Greinke in the World Series.)

You said in your end-of-season presser that Cole wasn't coming in mid-inning no matter what. The clean inning for a starter coming into a game in relief concept isn't new. But in 2017 (in Game 4 of the ALDS in Boston), you did do it with (Justin) Verlander and he gave up a homer. Did that color your feeling about doing that?

And in 2015 with (Dallas) Keuchel. I did the same thing. And (Mike) Fiers, in '15. So I have a lot of memories of starters coming into games on short rest not being optimal. The rest was just as much on my mind as anything. I had just been asked relentlessly two series ago why I would start Justin Verlander with full prep on three days' rest. Now we're looking at a pitcher on two days' rest. There's a health concern with Gerrit entering free agency and having emptied his tank, in his words, after Game 5. There's also the execution issue of 'Is a guy going to be sharp?' I watched JV not have his slider in Tampa. I did watch Fiers and Keuchel come out of the 'pen in '15 and not be able to be at their best. That was certainly in the back of my mind. But I wanted to make sure that I could utilize our other guys and have Gerrit as a backup plan rather than have Gerrit as the primary reason.

Will Harris, Joe Smith, Roberto Osuna were most likely always going to pitch in front of Gerrit on two days' rest. And I felt like they had earned that based on how they had pitched during the World Series.

So do you think the general public discourse around this is underrating the rest component for Cole?

I think in general any decision after the seventh inning that's made gets scrutinized because of the result. Bringing in Will Harris in that type of situation was smart in Game 3, ironically for Zack. He got out of it and that catapulted us to winning that game, being aggressive in that situation. Fast-forward to Game 7 and because of the result it is heavily scrutinized. And it can be and should be because it's the nature of managing and decision-making.

I think the unknown, we just can't assume that everything would've been perfect. I can't operate in that scenario. Because let's be honest, in today's world, right or wrong, I'm always going to be questioned. If Greinke had given up the homer (to Kendrick) than I overextended him. If Cole had come in and not been sharp it was because he didn't have rest. That's what makes managing both beautiful and agonizing.

But specifically back to starters coming in mid-inning, inheriting runners, you just don't want to do that because they've never done it before?

Yeah, I think there is a little bit of pause in that because of the lack of experience in that situation. Relievers are trained to be at their best from the very first pitch. Starters, all I hear about is routine and what they do to get themselves ready to get themselves into an at-bat. It might be as simple as starting from the wind-up. It might be as complex as being able to execute a secondary pitch for the first pitch that you throw that day. I'm not saying it's not possible and it very well can be. But what brings you pause is you're bringing pitchers into unfamiliar territory and asking them to do things for the first time at a physically limited time in their recovery and in their prep. Maybe it works out. It absolutely could have. But it's not as if that had no downside.

So after the top of the fifth, you tell Gerrit to walk out to the bullpen. He immediately starts playing catch, warming up.

That was odd to me, too; I asked (pitching coach Brent Strom) why he was doing that and we called down and it was just that Gerrit wanted to throw a little bit and either get himself loose or warm himself up. It was a cold night. That was on his own. He decided he wanted to play catch and throw a little bit.

So did you ever get him up, per se?

Yes. So, the other part of this is we wanted to give him ample time to get himself ready. These guys are ridiculously good at routine. And so for starters, they don't just get up and in. Ryan Pressly takes five to seven pitches. Will Harris takes 10 to 12 pitches. Osuna takes 10 pitches. Starting pitchers throw generally 25 to 35 pitches to get themselves ready for their start. That's just completely different. When the game moves as fast as it does and decisions change on a batter-to-batter basis, that impacts the starting pitcher (who is pitching in relief), not knowing when you're going to come in. Again, I don't know that that necessarily dictates performance. But that is the dilemma. Gerrit wanting to throw early indicates that exactly.

When the seventh inning started, if Will Harris gets out of that -- he comes in and punches out Kendrick, Cabrera grounds out to first -- I have a decision to make on Roberto Osuna in the eighth or Gerrit Cole in the eighth. And that's why (Cole) was up throwing. Because we still would've had the lead, 2-1.

At the start of the seventh was when he officially started warming up.

Started getting himself ready for a potential eighth inning or ninth inning. We had communicated to him all of the various situations. And within a span of a couple pitches, it went from probable to pitch the eighth or the ninth to a down game.

So there was a chance he was going the eighth and the ninth?

I'm not sure which way I would have ultimately gone with Osuna. The two scenarios were Gerrit goes out (in the eighth) and Osuna protects him in case he's not at his best or Osuna goes out and then I read Osuna's inning to see if it's a two-inning save or do I go to Gerrit Cole in the ninth? Those were the scenarios.

And then as soon as Kendrick hits the homer off Harris, the plan in place unravels.

It changed, yes. It didn't change for Osuna because Osuna was up immediately when Will Harris came in. Because I'm not bringing Gerrit Cole in the middle of an inning. So Osuna got up when Harris came in, for later in the inning. Are they going to pinch-hit (Matt) Adams? Where is (Ryan) Zimmerman? The game changes. You have to be prepared a batter early. So Osuna started throwing and then the inning developed to where I brought in Osuna for Zimmerman.

It's still a one-run game in the eighth and a two-run game to begin the ninth. Why not Cole in either of those clean inning situations?

It's a fair question. I think part of it is trying to balance all that was in play versus Joe Smith in a clean inning facing all right-handed hitters. That's a very fair question. Joe had been tremendous during the World Series. He had pitched the eighth inning of one of our wins. He had been really, really tough to hit. And then he went in and broke two bats and walked a guy. So the results didn't match the matchup. But that certainly played a factor. Am I going to pitch Gerrit in a down game and is him on two days' rest a better option than Joe Smith, who had been incredibly effective during the World Series?

And Osuna for the eighth?

Going back out? Yeah, I liked him (in that spot). Part of the reason that we didn't use Osuna liberally during the series was building up toward that 30 to 40 pitch count possibility. At that point, going to the top of the order, we felt like we have our closer who's fresh who hadn't pitched a ton who they hadn't seen a ton. It just didn't work.

All the talk about the late innings, ultimately the missed opportunities against (Max) Scherzer really loom large. Is that what you think about most?

When you think about Game 7 as one game, we certainly had a lot of opportunities, some we failed at, some we didn't. George Springer hitting a rocket to left field on a 3-0 pitch with second and third that had a little bit of top spin, if he cuts underneath it it's probably a homer. If he hits it a little higher, hits it with a little bit more topspin, Soto might misplay it. That's a huge turn of events. Jose Altuve hitting a rocket to center field with runners in scoring position. Those aren't failures. That's just the game beat us. While there were other opportunities where we just didn't find the ball in play, didn't capitalize.

On the series as a whole, I still think about Game 6. I still think about Game 1. I still think about Game 2. One swing by (Kurt) Suzuki changed that game completely. As a manager, I dwell on it all. I don't just simply pinpoint the decision to go to (Harris for) Kendrick as the end all be all. It's a seven-game series. So many things happened and it will take a long time to process.

One decision early in the game that maybe gets lost is you calling for (Robinson) Chirinos to bunt in the second. It's something you didn't do much in the regular season. I think you were bottom five in bunts. I don't think Chirinos had bunted since April. Do you regret that decision?

Again, I can't regret any decision because when I made it, I made it for the reasons that we believed in. I don't like using the word regret. I regret the result. At that point, we're trying to score one run. We're at a point of our order where it's really hard to hit Max. So, opening up multiple options. If he gets the bunt down, now we have second and third and one out with Josh Reddick up. They have to play the infield in. That increases the likelihood of finding a hole or getting a ball to the outfield. In actuality, if you want to play the 'What if?' game, the hooked ball that (Reddick) hit down the line that was not hard-hit Zimmerman doesn't field if the infield's in. With the infield back, he ran over and caught it for the out. Trying to play for one run there in Game 7 of the World Series, where the impact of run scoring is magnified, was the thought. As we saw in later at-bats, it wasn't a particularly good matchup for Robbie -- the high fastball, the power breaking ball. He ended up chasing later in the game. So not liking the matchup, having an opportunity to try to put a little pressure on them and increase our likelihood of scoring one run was the motivation.

The offseason comes really fast for teams in the World Series. How long do you allow yourself to chew on this series versus turning the page and thinking about the offseason and next year?

I think there's a part of you that will never get over it. And that's OK. I still think about the Red Sox ALCS (in 2018). There is a part of it that always just hangs with you. But I think over time it just happens. Business starts happening fast. Free agency hits. I'll have a meeting with the front office over our roster. The GM meetings, Jeff (Luhnow) will go. The winter meetings come. It happens really fast, so you have to find your balance.

But this will sting for a while because we worked the entire year to win the World Series and we were eight outs away. But I'll be able to turn the page when it needs to be.

mookieproof, Sunday, 3 November 2019 02:26 (one week ago) link

i know this is kind of "damning with faint praise", but i say give the manager of the year award to hinch for being able to consistently form full sentences and make a series of points. it's almost startling to see that

at home in the alternate future, (Karl Malone), Sunday, 3 November 2019 02:41 (one week ago) link

yeah he seems like a pretty sharp guy

k3vin k., Sunday, 3 November 2019 02:48 (one week ago) link

That might be the most detailed account of a manager's thought process that I've ever read. (Can't remember if I read Weaver's book...I've read biographies of Stengel and Durocher, but I don't really read autobiographies from managers.)

clemenza, Sunday, 3 November 2019 05:06 (one week ago) link

That's a really great interview. I read somewhere that Kendrick had been thrown around 30 cutters away this season. Out of those thirty, he had one hit. Harris hit the spot perfectly, the pitch wasn't a mistake. Kendrick had a great swing and hit it out. Maybe Harris was tired after so many appearances and if he'd thrown that cutter one or two MPH faster, it's a foul ball. Not going to Cole in the eighth or ninth is less defensible, but at least he tries to address it.

I have a hunch that the hyper-analytic teams like Houston and LA do too much pre-scripting before the game and it's making them less flexible to in-game strategy moves. They pre-plan for so many scenarios but of course you can't plan for everything, and when something unexpected comes up the game starts passing them by. The Astros probably had two general plans for Cole. If they were winning, he protects the lead in the 8th and or the 9th. If Greinke gets hammered early, then he pitches in the middle innings to keep the game close (although Cole still claims that he wasn't supposed to pitch if they were losing). They didn't consider the in-between scenario where they have a lead and the guy who's supposed to bridge to Cole with the lead doesn't do his job. In Game 5 of the NLDS, I think the Dodgers had a similar plan -- if Buehler goes deep into the game with a lead, Kershaw is next, then Kelly for the save. Unless they have a two or three run lead, in which Kelly can hand off to Jansen for the save. They didn't count on Kershaw choking (how??) and Kelly having to pitch in a tie game. Maybe I'm speculating too much. But I thought about this when LA messed up their pitching decisions in Game 7 of the '17 Series too.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 3 November 2019 10:46 (one week ago) link

I have a hunch that the hyper-analytic teams like Houston and LA do too much pre-scripting before the game and it's making them less flexible to in-game strategy moves.

You mean spontaneous in-game moves like issuing an IBB when you've never issued one all year?!

clemenza, Sunday, 3 November 2019 12:17 (one week ago) link

I don't know that Houston can be accused of "hyperanalysis" now... wouldn't they have the same profile in 2017, when October worked out fine for them? (As it did this month too, through WS Game 5.) And a number of strategies that could be questioned aren't "analytic" at all, like the IBB and the Chirinos bunt attempt (has it been revealed if that was his own idea?).

And the Nationals are pretty damn analytic too.... The NYT just profiled their ass't general manager, Sam Mondry-Cohen, who was immersed in sabermetrics as a 16-yo batboy. (Now it's true that Mike Rizzo is a former scout and they have maintained a strong scouting infrastructure.)

clem, fwiw Durocher's autobio is considered to be heavy on fiction. The two excellent Stengel bios I've read, which include material on his tactical approach, are Steven Goldman's (the pre-genius years) and Bob Creamer's classic.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:03 (one week ago) link

I still have no explanation for the IBB and Chirinos' bunt.

The Nats have their analytics guys too, all teams do. They kept throwing their best pitchers out there, treating almost every game like an elimination game (and in fact 5/17 of them were). Yes, that's in large part because they only trusted maybe six or seven guys. But the Astros' approach to pitching came off as overly scripted. "We like Harris and Smith in those situation" sounds like a plan they came up with in September. For Game 7 of the World Series you need to update the plan.

As for the Dodgers, I'll stick by my point. The higher ups never question his in-game decision making, and there have been plenty of sketchy decisions made the past three postseasons. They fully support him, in part, because some of those controversial decisions came from higher up. Again, that's my opinion, nobody really knows how it works there.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:27 (one week ago) link

"his in-game decision making" ... I'm talking about Dave Roberts here. The Dodgers have made it clear that Roberts is their guy, even if there's a perception that "he" has been outmanaged in the playoffs the past three years.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 3 November 2019 13:29 (one week ago) link

(xpost) I haven't read the Goldman book, but Creamer's Stengel biography is one of my favourites. I don't recall the tactical discussions, but the story, to pick a word at random, is amazing. My copy's boxed up, otherwise I'd quote the chapter ending after the Braves fire him, where it looks like his baseball career is over. Greatest second act ever.

clemenza, Sunday, 3 November 2019 21:22 (one week ago) link

The one thing I get from Hinch re Cole is that--corny and irrational as it may sound--he was genuinely concerned about overextending him. I guess you can argue that if you plan on pitching him an inning or two to save a lead, what's the difference if that inning or two comes earlier in the game. But, in his mind, the only reason justifying any potential risk was protecting a lead; he wasn't, as he puts it, going to take that chance chasing after a win.

You can certainly disagree, but I find that anachronistically admirable.

clemenza, Sunday, 3 November 2019 21:37 (one week ago) link

I think the Greinke decision was the big one, to the point of it feeling like the elephant in the room on this thread. 80 pitches and he'd given up two hits. The Osuna decision feels less relevant - you want to use a starting pitcher out of the bullpen or you want to use one of your best relievers? Besides, they were already behind at that point and they never scored more than two runs anyway.

timellison, Monday, 4 November 2019 01:03 (one week ago) link

I don't recall much of a "What is he doing?" reaction at the time Greinke was removed.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 4 November 2019 11:57 (one week ago) link

the guy who got the biggest cheer in the victory parade was the dude who was holding two beers and bounced the home run ball off his chest

na (NA), Monday, 4 November 2019 14:02 (one week ago) link

yeah no

Trump calls over Suzuki, who dons a “Make America Great Again” cap.

— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) November 4, 2019

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 4 November 2019 19:42 (one week ago) link

oof

Zimmerman seems to be a big chud as well

hell of a time for Deadspin to go down

frogbs, Monday, 4 November 2019 19:44 (one week ago) link

Strasburg left Trump hanging. 😂 pic.twitter.com/LFNQTpCs89

— Rudy Gersten (@DCBarno) November 4, 2019

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:15 (one week ago) link

Anthony Rendon’s fall evolution from most underrated player in baseball to stone cold legend is complete. https://t.co/eGlXBQo0s2

— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) November 4, 2019

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Monday, 4 November 2019 21:26 (one week ago) link

That Strasburg video looks like an unmistakable blow-off, but, unfortunately, he did shake hands him soon after.

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 15:11 (one week ago) link

"with"--I have this uncanny ability to omit exactly one word in 90% of my posts.

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 15:12 (one week ago) link

He can jump in the Potomac.

#FakeNews https://t.co/ovDuHyRUTb

— Stephen Strasburg (@stras37) November 4, 2019

Andy K, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 17:01 (one week ago) link

That's the same video as the one above, though--before or after, they shook hands.

http://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/epa-usa-trump-world-series-baseball-washington.jpg?w=1000&h=667

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 17:05 (one week ago) link

Okay, got it...that's the point you're making.

clemenza, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 17:06 (one week ago) link

but that can't be right, i saw a screenshot from the video yesterday and it was clear that Strasburg **HUMILIATED** Trump in public

at home in the alternate future, (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 17:08 (one week ago) link

hmm, this is a rough moment for all of us evidence-based screen capture-heads. time to rejuvenate by taking it easy, resting for a few hours, then going straight back to looking for another screen capture moment that could attain so many likes and retweets

at home in the alternate future, (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 17:14 (one week ago) link

i saw this one shot of don jr yesterday and it is clear that he actually HATES his father and wants to be far away from his every moment!!

at home in the alternate future, (Karl Malone), Tuesday, 5 November 2019 17:15 (one week ago) link

Maybe I'll regret opening up this bag of worms ... but I don't see a problem with White House visits. The invitation is to the White House as an institution, that's what this represents. It's not about the sitting president, because this tradition pre-dates him. It would be like winning the Nobel Prize and not showing up because you think the head of the Swedish Academy of Sciences is a dick, or you disagree with the Prize selection process and the politics involved.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 09:55 (one week ago) link

the white house as an institution can get fucked too iirc

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 10:03 (one week ago) link

yeah I wouldn't go under any president tbqh

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 11:56 (one week ago) link

Well OK, if you dislike the institution completely then that's different.

I don't think that's the stance of the players who refused to go, seeing as athletes across all sports have generally gone to these things without objections. Verlander skipped the victory parade in 2017 and got married instead. Everyone has their priorities.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 12:04 (one week ago) link

standing on a stage with trump and smiling about it is nagl for anyone, regardless of what institution is technically hosting the event tho! is, i, think, the thing

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 12:05 (one week ago) link

xxp that's okay the mets aren't going either ; )

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 13:28 (one week ago) link

Maybe I'll regret opening up this bag of worms ... but I don't see a problem with White House visits. The invitation is to the White House as an institution, that's what this represents. It's not about the sitting president, because this tradition pre-dates him. It would be like winning the Nobel Prize and not showing up because you think the head of the Swedish Academy of Sciences is a dick, or you disagree with the Prize selection process and the politics involved.

― NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, November 6, 2019 4:55 AM (three hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

uh no. it would be like if the head of the swedish academy of sciences was a fuckin nazi

k3vin k., Wednesday, 6 November 2019 13:42 (one week ago) link

Also it's one thing to go and stand respectfully around because it's part of the traditional post-championship whirlwind.

Quite another to wear a MAGA hat and bro-hug the Bad Orange Man.

Just as it's one thing to Not Go for your own private reasons, and another to Not Go while saying loudly why you're Not Going.

I am okay with three of those four choices.

tempted by the fruit of your mother (Ye Mad Puffin), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 13:50 (one week ago) link

I'm OK with three of the four too. I just said I don't have a problem with anyone who chooses to go. Unless you're wearing a MAGA hat, you're not endorsing anybody or their politics.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 15:17 (one week ago) link

Trump is still an outlier in that regard, he's the one president where it's not about the institution and it's not about the team, it's about him, it's always about him, everything always has to be about him or he has no interest in it. It's why the Warriors and the Eagles were disinvited, because someone was mean to Trump and if you're gonna be mean to Trump then you don't get to meet Trump

frogbs, Wednesday, 6 November 2019 15:26 (one week ago) link

you're not endorsing anybody or their politics

That doesn't mean footage of you will not appear in campaign material, which is reason enough not to go.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 6 November 2019 15:33 (one week ago) link

yeah I really disagree. you can either go or not go, and going is consciously rejecting not going

k3vin k., Thursday, 7 November 2019 02:29 (one week ago) link

The invitation is to the White House as an institution, that's what this represents. It's not about the sitting president, because this tradition pre-dates him.

if the invitation were to the white house as an institution, various NBA teams wouldn't have been uninvited

trump is unlike previous sitting presidents, and taking part in his personal glorification/subsumption of others' victories is a choice. you can't go chill with mussolini on his balcony and claim innocence

mookieproof, Thursday, 7 November 2019 03:50 (one week ago) link

Bringing up Mussolini and the Nazis undercuts the point you guys are trying to make. But I'm going to roll with it.

Yes, the Warriors and I think the Eagles were disinvited because of stuff they said about Trump. They were the winners in that exchange and Trump was the petulant loser.

But that's not the only way to win. If we're insisting on bringing the Nazis, then lots of people (artists, musicians, sports stars) showed up at Nazi-organized or sponsored events because they still wanted to bring class and culture to the people. Sometimes that's what the public likes and respects. And that's what I'm saying I don't have a problem with.

The Nationals going to the WH and continuing that tradition will live on in people's memories (at least for the people who care about this particular tradition), whereas the names of those who decided to stay home will be quickly forgotten. I'm not blaming anyone who chose to stay home. But that's the way it is.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Thursday, 7 November 2019 07:22 (one week ago) link

Come on, you can care about the tradition AND understand that preventing a war criminal his photo-op is maybe more important. It's not like the tradition's going to fall apart or something, like players will just stop going in future years because eh it's no big deal.

I don't know how you arrive at that last point: to the contrary it will be the holdouts who are remembered for doing so decades later. Nobody's going to say at Ryan Zimmerman's funeral, "and he attended the WH event with the rest of his team as per custom." I didn't see a lot of the Nats this year but what I'll take away from a couple concentrated weeks of e.g. Anthony Rendon is 1) excellent baseball player and 2) has principles.

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 7 November 2019 12:01 (one week ago) link

The White House: Home of War Criminals Since Teddy Roosevelt

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 7 November 2019 12:11 (one week ago) link

(I thought it was strange, Hade, that you picked the descrip in which the OG is most like his predecessors)

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 7 November 2019 12:12 (one week ago) link

what's funny is he's lagging in that dept. so far, let's give him another five years

Suggest Banshee (Hadrian VIII), Thursday, 7 November 2019 12:50 (one week ago) link


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