December 17, 2017

Playoff and World Series Observations – 2016

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It doesn’t seem right when a team battles through a 162-game season to receive a wild card, that it can be eliminated in one game.  However, the wild card games are among the most interesting in the post-season.

Buck Showalter’s reputation as a manager took a serious hit when he failed to use Zach Britton, the best reliever in the major leagues in the wild card game.

Replacing a tiring ace (Madison Bumgarner, Max Scherzer) with a string of relievers doesn’t always work.  Bruce Bochy and Dusty Baker have all winter to think about it.

I agreed at the time with the moves Dodgers manager, Dave Roberts, made in NLCS game 1 when he walked two batters to get Aroldis Chapman out of the game.  Unfortunately, it blew up in his face when Joe Blanton insisted on throwing hanging sliders.

Dave Roberts should have a long and successful managerial career with the Dodgers.

I thought that Terry Francona removed Corey Kluber too soon in Game 1 of the World Series but it worked.

Who would have guessed that Roberto Perez and Jose Ramirez would be the hitting stars of WS Game 1?

The Indians are going to have to find a pitcher other than Kluber that can beat the Cubs to have any chance of winning the Series.

It occurred to me that probably 95% of the fans who attended Game 3 in Wrigley Field weren’t born when the last World Series game was played there in 1945.  I listened to that game on the car radio while the family was traveling home from Florida to Colorado after World War ll.

I was disappointed that Fox did not show Julianna Zobrist singing “God Bless America” before Game 2.  Thanks to Google, I did get to see it.

The insights on pitching from John Smoltz are a big plus in the broadcasts.

When the Cubs lost Game 3, it eliminated the possibility that they could win the clinching game at home.

Terry Francona has an uncanny ability to use the right players at the right time.  Michael Martinez and Coco Crisp for the winning run?

My impression of Corey Kluber on short (3 days) rest after the first inning – velocity down a tick, location not as good, Cubs getting some good swings, won’t last more than 5 innings.  I was wrong.

Francisco Lindor is a better player than Carlos Correa at this point.

I was surprised when Francona gave the Cubs another look at Andrew Miller when the Indians had a 7-1 lead.

Pete Rose was a great hitter.  As a baseball analyst and commentator, not so much.  I’m surprised that Fox brought him back for another year.

In Game 6, I was surprised that Joe Maddon took Arrietta out so soon with a big lead which eventually led to the use of Aroldis Chapman.  That could be a factor in Game 7

The Cubs are finally hitting the way they did all season.  It will be interesting to see if it will continue against Corey Kluber in Game 7.

This will probably be known as the “quick hook” World Series.  Only 3 of the 14 starting pitchers made it past the 5th inning and none made it past the 6th.

Chapman was obviously tired and less effective in Game 7, giving up his first home run since last June.  Fortunately for the Cubs and Maddon, the rain delay in the 10th inning stifled the momentum that the Indians had captured with the Rajai Davis home run.

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