SteveMRyan's Blog

July 22, 2013

The Georgia Peach Part 2…

Filed under: Uncategorized — stevemryan @ 2:52 am

Ty Cobb made another out, going two for three with two walks and scored three runs.  That is pretty good.  The Tigers won 8-1 in their second blow-out in a row.  Hooks Dauss (B) scattered eight hits as he tossed the complete game.

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I am listening to my third game today.  The Reds lost 3-2, the Braves lost 3-1 and the Giants game just started.  I am pretty sure this is just about my favorite time if year, besides October.  There are still good pennant races and I am not opposed to the Wild Card races but teams in contention for Wild Card spots still have hope of contending for the division title and avoiding the Coin-Flip Game.  Playing 162 games for a spot in a game that decides who is really in the playoffs is essentially a coin flip.  But if it keeps fans interested in baseball, then that is fine with me.  I am interested anyway.

The Reds won two of three against the Pirates so they gained a game in the standings.  They were a game behind Pittsburgh after the All-Star Game last year and the Pirates collapsed while the Reds ran away with the Division.  The Cardinals won the Coin-Flip Game and beat the Nats to advance to the NLCS against the Giants.  The Nats and Reds had the two best records in the regular season and they both lost in the first round.  Baseball isn’t like football where home-field advantage means so much.  Anyone can win and the best team usually loses their fair share to bad teams each season.  Seven game series usually help determine the better team, but it is still a short series compared to the 162 game season.  It usually comes down to match-ups and which team is playing better at the time.

The Reds are at a disadvantage because their manager likes to give outs to the other team while putting guys on base for the other team without making them try to earn their way on base.  These strategies aren’t so glaring over the course of 162 games when there is so much talent to overcome the occasional managerial blunder.  In a short series it is usually a decision or two that makes the difference.  When each team has 27 outs and needs to score the most runs to win four games first, every inning where you give the opposition an out means scoring runs before the other team earns two outs is a huge disadvantage.  Especially when there is a man on base and giving an out for an attempt to advance one base is not worth the trade-off.

Baseball is a game of inches and close calls.  In order to win four games a team has to score the most runs in nine innings.  Since there is only three outs in an inning, giving an out in an inning means that one team has to score the most runs in eight innings before they get three outs and one inning before they get two outs.  9 to 8 is an 11% advantage for one team.

The same can be said for intentionally walking batters.  The hardest thing to do in baseball is get on base.  Advancing around the bases is also very difficult.  Putting a runner intentionally on base for the other team is another poor strategy.  Once a runner is on base, several things can go wrong and the runner can score without the help of another hit.  A wild pitch can move the runner to second base where a single can score that runner.  A productive out with a runner on second can move the runner to third and there are several ways for the runner to score from third without a hit.

The Reds manager likes putting other runners on base and giving the other team an out.  Yet, he keeps his job because he has several really good players that overcome these strategies.  I believe in accountability, but Dusty Baker has avoided it since he has had the job.  Making the playoffs isn’t good enough.  Winning the playoffs is the goal.

Despite my allegiance to the Reds and their insistence on keeping Dusty, life is good!

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