Archive for the ‘Playoffs?’ Category

18-ScreamingRomer-woe

Here’s an idea I’m instantly regretting: instead of empty open thread posts for playoff games, as we’ve done around here in years past, each day I’m going to attempt to have a hopefully-quick look around at some splits and stats and whatever else stands out on a Jays player’s 2013 season, because… what the hell else is there to do for the next month? Or the next week. Or just today– or however long I actually continue to follow through on this exercise.

Tonight:
5:00 PM ET – Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis – A.J. Burnett (1.7 rWAR) vs. Adam Wainwright (6.2 rWAR)
8:00 PM ET – Los Angeles vs. Atlanta – Clayton Kershaw (7.9 rWAR) vs. Kris Medlen (3.3. rWAR)
Get news updates on the game as they happen, and whatever else fun comes along the way, by downloading theScore app for free on your moblie device!

Ricky Romero saw little of the big leagues this year, and it was still probably too much. He pitched 7.1 innings, giving up eleven hits, eight walks, and nine earned runs while striking out five. To call his season at Buffalo uneven is being overly kind, and so you’d almost be inclined to say that his season was defined by whatever happened to his relationship with the club and the looming questions about where it goes from here.

I would go another way, though. For me, Romero’s season was defined by this: .364/.462/.570.

That is, across all levels in 2013, how left-handed hitters fared against him. That’s… uh… that’s more than a shade better Mike Trout’s overall slash line of .323 /.432/.557. So… if you were a left-handed hitter in 2013 against Ricky Romero– himself a lefty– you hit better than the best player (and the second best hitter) in the universe.

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rcturf2

Tonight:
8:07 PM ET – Tampa Bay vs. Cleveland – Alex Cobb (4.0 rWAR) vs. Danny Salazar (1.2 rWAR)
Get news updates on the game as they happen, and whatever else fun comes along the way, by heading to our story stack at theScore.com on desktop, or by downloading theScore app for free on your moblie device!

The turf at Rogers Centre looks like a meth addict’s front lawn. It’s got seams, discolourations, and obvious markings from too many years of being rolled and unrolled. This year we’ve heard more than ever about just how fast the surface plays, and I know I’m not alone in strongly suspecting that’s not unrelated to all the wear and tear that comes from how it is used and how frequently it moved around.

This would be bad enough just for the aesthetics, but the problems only start there– and I don’t just mean how hard the thinning surface and the concrete below might be on the bodies of the athletes the Blue Jays pay millions of dollars to and pin the city’s playoff hopes on year-after year. What’s been worse this season is the impact the fast turf had on defenders– in particular, the Jays’ defenders at second base (or at shortstop and third when those positions weren’t being manned by Jose Reyes and Brett Lawrie)– and how it has led to Ryan Goins being looked on as some kind of revelation when he was promoted to the Majors in late August.

Now, don’t get me wrong: defensively, Goins certainly has been fantastic. That’s inarguable. I mean, you can’t exactly extrapolate from a 34 game sample of UZR data and pretend like he’s going to be almost three times as good as the best fielding second baseman in the game if given a full season to work with (Darwin Barney’s MLB-leading UZR was 12.5 in 2013, Goins’ UZR/150 is 33.1), but he’s passed the eye test with flying colours, and the data backs it up.

This, however, has led to a lot of people seeing Goins as some kind of a solution to the club’s second base problem heading into next year. It didn’t help that he began his big league career with an eight game hitting streak, which, along with his excellent defence, mitigated the media chatter about how pitiful his bat looked once the streak was broken. Even including those hot first eight games, by the end of the season his major league line had dipped to an unplayably-bad .252/.264/.345.

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morrowDET

Here’s an idea I’m instantly regretting: instead of empty open thread posts for playoff games, as we’ve done around here in years past, each day I’m going to attempt to have a hopefully-quick look around at some splits and stats and whatever else stands out on a Jays player’s 2013 season, because… what the hell else is there to do for the next month? Or the next week. Or just today– or however long I actually continue to follow through on this exercise.

Tonight:
8:07 PM ET – Cincinnati at Pittsburgh – Francisco Liriano (3.0 rWAR) vs. Johnny Cueto (1.4 rWAR)
Get news updates on the game as they happen, and whatever else fun comes along the way, by heading to our story stack at theScore.com on desktop, or by downloading theScore app for free on your moblie device!

Brandon Morrow didn’t leave us with a lot of valuable data to dissect this year, as he only made 10 starts, two of which didn’t get through the fourth inning (including one where he recorded only six outs), and really only looked himself for a couple starts in total.

Of course, some fans will tell you that looked utterly like himself– MEUH!– by spending most of the year on the DL. The frustration can be forgiven, I suppose, but the total disregard for reality can’t. In a comment on yesterday’s Playoff Post (Mortem), in response to someone who said he was “so sick of the delusions fans have regarding Morrow,” I rather emphatically corrected the record.

To wit:

I am so sick of people pretending Morrow is the same as fucking Dustin McGowan, when he’s made exactly the same number of starts over the last four years as Clay Buchholz, had two full, healthy seasons in 2010 and 2011 (missed a little time at the start of 2011, shut down because of his innings limit in 2010), and still made 21 starts last year as well.

Yes, he was hurt this year and it’s a concerning arm thing. But last year it was just an oblique injury– it’s not like there’s some kind of recurring thing that he’s not able to recover from. And of pitchers who threw 120 innings in 2012, where do you think his ERA ranked? Twelfth! In all of baseball. Ahead of Chris Sale, ahead of Cole Hamels, ahead of Felix Hernandez, Cliff Lee, Stephen Strasburg, Madison Bumgarner, C.C. Sabathia, and tonnes more.

Yet Jays fans are ready to run him out the door because they can’t wrap their heads around his health history.

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colbycatch

Here’s an idea I’m instantly regretting: instead of empty open thread posts for playoff games, as we’ve done around here in years past, each day I’m going to attempt to have a quick look around at some splits and stats on a Jays player’s 2013 season, because… what the hell else is there to do for the next month? Or the next week. Or just today– or however long I actually continue to follow through on this exercise.

Tonight:
8:07 PM ET – Tampa Bay at Texas – David Price (2.4 rWAR) vs. Martin Perez (1.7 rWAR)
Get news updates on the game as they happen, and whatever else fun comes along the way, by heading to our story stack at theScore.com on desktop, or by downloading theScore app for free on your moblie device!

Earlier today I abandoned a post I was in the middle of writing that made mention of the idiot-empowering discourse-dumbing nonsense spewed by Dave Perkins back on Friday’s edition of Prime Time Sports, including his ridiculous scoffing the Jays focus on adding “talent,” and his saying that Colby Rasmus is “not a winning ballplayer,” or some such garbage. But I didn’t walk away from the post before looking at a few numbers on Rasmus, who had a superb season and should not be anywhere remotely close to a non-moronic conversation about what was wrong with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2013.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy for him to repeat it, but there’s a whole lot to like. By FanGraphs’ WAR, Rasmus was the sixth most valuable centre fielder in baseball, and that’s despite having a hundred fewer plate appearances than anybody else in the top eight. Even if you’re not really feelin’ the defensive component of fWAR, when you isolate what Rasmus did at the plate he’s even more impressive (provided, of course, you can see the number on the leaderboard past the blinding gold shimmer of Mike Trout’s stats). By wRC+, which is league and park adjusted, Rasmus was even with Carlos Gomez at 130, good for fourth among centre fielders with over 400 plate appearances, behind only Trout, Andrew McCutchen, and Shin-Soo Choo.

That’s crazy. That also means he’s crazy valuable– and heading into a contract year. So… I’m sure the Jays loved the five-year $90-million contract the Giants just handed Hunter Pence, who plays in an outfield corner and posted a shade-better wRC+ of 133, right?

But the thing about Rasmus is, his success seems rather tied into spikes in his BABIP. At least, that’s what it looks like on his FanGraphs page. His career BABIP is .298, but it has hardly been an even ride, with the mark during his two excellent years (2010 and this one) being in the .355 range, while the high water mark of his other years is just .282.

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When It Rains It Pours…

buehrleNYY0413

Another day, another loss, another slight creep towards me having to start contemplating revisions to the only sensible position one could possibly take on this 2013 Jays club so far– which, of course, is that there is still plenty enough talent on this club to overcome the poor play, bad luck, and injuries that have plagued it so far, no matter what harbingers of doom we’re supposed to believe lurk in some hopelessly small sample size of a precedent.

On Thursday the Jays opened their series with the Yankees by not quite– through no actual fault of their own, though you’ll surely find fans who’ll tell you otherwise– being able to put their feet on the throat of a struggling Hiroki Kuroda, who eventually settled down. Meanwhile, Mark Buehrle was pitching like Mark Buehrle is pretty much likely to pitch– especially in a joke stadium in the Bronx and with a World Class hitter like Robinson Cano showing up in a fortuitous spot in the third inning– accounting for a 5-3 loss.

If you’d have told Jays fans before this one started that Kuroda, who killed the team in his last start against them, would come out victorious, nobody would have been shocked. But the way that he struggled from the get-go, and the way they weren’t quite able to capitalize enough? Yeah, fuck that.

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Wild Card Threat!

Want to talk today’s Wild Card matchups? Well do it here, if you want to be fucking lame about it. Or come follow the Barves and Cards with me at Getting Blanked, and stay tuned there for a similar roundup of the late game, and all the other games over the course of October. It’s Getting Blanktober! Or… uh… something.