Archive for the ‘#YOLOrioles’ Category

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles

Sometimes, simpler is better. Sometimes, mathematically gymnastics are required to extract good from evil and separate the informational wheat from the noisy chaff. Joe Lemire of has a great article today, on a simple measure for a different type of win expectancy: batters faced.

Lemire leans on the work and experience of former Orioles pitching coach and current director of pitching development Rick Peterson in unveiling the mystical properties of the number 39 – as in 39 total batters faced for a pitching team is often the difference between winning and losing.

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It was a tremendous, fun, occasionally infuriating, thrilling season for the Baltimore Orioles and their long-suffering fan base, but unfortunately it had to come to an end tonight, as they ran into the New York Yankees and CC Sabathia, who, not to be outdone by Justin Verlander last night, went the distance, despite a shaky eighth inning, to close out a series that could equally be described by all the adjectives above with a 3-1 win.

True to the established form of the series, we had a tight pitching battle early on in this decisive Game Five, but the series turned on its ear in the bottom of the fifth, when Mark Teixeira (of all people) singled, then stole second (!!!?!??!), scoring the game’s first run when Raul Ibanez– playing this game only because Alex Rodriguez, DNP -Coach’s Decision, has looked so awful of late– singled to centre.

No, really. Teixeira (of all people) stole an absolutely key base– something he did only twice this season, and has done only 21 times in his 1497 career games.

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The row-upon-row of Rogans, Turtles and Swishers who populate 95% every single crowd shot of Yankee Stadium must still be giddy after what transpired last night– the heroics of Raul Ibanez, the all-knowing binder of Joe Girardi, and the second meltdown in three games of Jim Johnson, who had been one of the most reliable, dominant relievers in the Majors all season– as the resilient Yankees snuffed out enough of the pixie dust glow of the Baltimore Orioles to finally dim it almost to black.

The Orioles and their magical season are on the brink tonight in Game Four, and only Joe Saunders– no, really– stands in the way of the Yankees and a Saturday meeting with whoever wins tonight’s late game out in Oakland. And why not? Why not have Joe Saunders on the hill with the most improbable of improbable seasons on the line… again? Why not believe that there might still be some otherworldly good fortune still left for the Orioles?

It isn’t difficult to imagine this series being already over, with the Orioles home and resting, given how close these teams were in games One and Two, and given Baltimore’s excellent record in close, and extra-inning games this season. But surely they’ll still have some fight left.

And if you believe such empty cliches of narrative, perhaps you’ll also believe that the Yankees have something extra to play for themselves, as it’s with heavy hearts that they’ll take the field tonight, knowing that this skipper, Joe Girardi, has not only lost his father, but has been suffering in silence since Saturday, choosing not to acknowledge the news, until it became public earlier this afternoon.

Our thoughts are with the Girardi family– and unable to help but wonder whether someone was smiling down last night, when Joe made the stunningly prescient decision to pinch hit Raul Ibanez for Alex Rodriguez.

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Courtesy of Fangraphs and a few personal touches, we get a¬†quantitative¬†idea of what tonight’s extra inning loss for the Baltimore Orioles meant in terms of Meme Probability Added. For a more complete complete picture, check out the live updates of tonight’s game in New York.