Monday, October 18, 2010

A few thoughts on the post season

I've managed to watch parts of all the ALCS games so far. Thanks to the fact I've been sick, most of them end past my bedtime (current favored diagnosis: mono!), so I can't claim to have watched every pitch, but I thought I'd weigh in with a few thoughts.

I know they're both left handed and occasionally throw a cutter, but anyone who calls CJ Wilson a mini Cliff Lee is insane. CJ Wilson led the AL in walks this year, with 93. Cliff Lee walked 0.76 batters per nine innings this season, meaning it would have taken Cliff Lee over 1,100 innings or about 5 seasons of pitching, to walk 93 batters.

This isn't the most advanced baseball analysis, but why does Ron Washington have left handed pitchers face Marcus Thames? In limited playing time this year Thames did not have an appreciable split, but over his career he's been mediocre against righties (.236/.296/.480 - note the very weak OBP) while he's hit lefties well (.264/.333/.505). Playing the splits is old school baseball, and there is no reason Washington should be ignorant about that. I know that one of those appearances was as a pinch hitter, but it doesn't take Nostradamus to predict that bringing side arming lefty is going to cause the opposing manager to turn to his lefty mashing bench bat.

The Rangers bullpen really shit the bed in game 1 after I went to bed. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed they managed to blow a 5 run lead going into the 8th. Just how bad was it? At one point the Rangers had a win expectancy of 86.5%. It was hardly historic though. If you need a little cheering up, look back to game 5 of the 2008 ALCS. With the Red Sox trailing 7-0 and the Rays threatening to pile on with two runners on and none out in the 7th inning, the Red Sox had a win expectancy 0.07%. For those unfamiliar with the statistic, it means that based on historical games, teams in that situation game back to win the 7 times in 10,000.

It is now my bedtime, so I can't comment on anything that happened after the 6th inning of Game 3, but Cliff Lee is pretty damn impressive. Coming in to the 6th he had given up a questionable walk to Teixeira and a broken bat single to Posada. As amazing as Cliff Lee's regular season was, his numbers are even more impressive in the post season. He struck out 28 before walking a single batter and currently has a 31:1 K:BB ratio in only 22 innings. The one knock against him tonight is that he's already thrown 96 pitches in 6 IP, so he'll probably only go 7 IP tonight, but that's a minor quibble.

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