Sunday, October 12, 2014

MLB Playoff, Day 10

A few years ago, the Powers That Be in MLB instituted a second Wild Card in each league, and also created a one-game playoff between the two Wild Cards.  At the time, MLB responded to criticism that it was watering down the regular season by arguing that the extra Wild Card playoff would give teams a big incentive to avoid that playoff by winning the division.  The divisional winners would also allegedly benefit from the fact that the Wild Card teams would have to use their best pitcher in the Wild Card playoff.

But so far this year, the two surviving Wild Cards -- the Royals and the Giants -- have rolled through the playoffs with remarkable ease.  Since the Divisional Series started, the Royals are 5-0 and the Giants are 4-1.  Yesterday, the Royals continued their outstanding clutch hitting, rapping out two clutch runs in the top of the 9th to break a 4-4 tie with the Orioles.  Their 6-4 victory puts them up 2-0 in the series, and the teams are now headed back to Kansas City for the next three games (all of which may not be necessary).

Then, in St. Louis, the Giants grabbed a 1-0 series lead behind a dominant pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner.  Bumgarner was 18-10 for the Giants this year, and he was lights-out last night:  7 2/3 innings, no runs, seven strikeouts, one walk, and only four hits.  The Giants scratched out three early runs, and those runs stood up for a 3-0 victory.  So far, the Giants have played five post-season games, one of which should count as two games because it lasted 18 innings.  In those games, the Giants have allowed only 9 runs.  Only 8 of those runs were earned, so in those five games the Giants have an ERA of 1.33.  If St. Louis can't start putting up some runs, the Giants will win their eighth post-season series in a row.

American League Championship Series:
Kansas City leads Baltimore 2-0

National League Championship Series:
San Francisco leads St. Louis 1-0

1 comment:

  1. I spent so much of Sunday in church meetings, and I heard the phrases "The Powers That Be" and "Higher Ups" said with derision so often that I twice quit reading this post after the first sentence before coming back a third time and making it to the end. I was glad to see that the Cardinals won last night. I watched for about 10 minutes and saw ex-A Pat Neshek confuse Giant hitters in the eighth inning. After watching Oakland unable to hold its lead against Kansas City in the first round of the playoffs, Harold Reynolds's gushing over reliever Neshek challenged my belief in The Powers That Be and Higher Ups among my Swingin' A's. But then I buttoned down my #GreenCollar, flipped the channel and watched the Eagles close out their shutout of the Giants.