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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Yankees Screwed Up A's in the Post Season Again 

and without playing them this time.

根據 New York Times 的 Jack Curry 在 ALCS 第三戰之後的報導 "With a Roar in Detroit, Rogers Pushes the A’s to the Brink",Kenny Rogers 在 playoff 的第二場好投有部份原因是 Yankees 的『激勵』。下面原文部份是 Curry 的報導摘錄:

Indirectly, the Yankees also motivated Rogers against the A's. Todd Jones, Detroit's closer, said Rogers was perturbed because some Yankees said Rogers had pitched the game of his life against them. Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Damon were at least two of the players who uttered something like that about Rogers.

"It made him mad when he beat the Yankees and they said he pitched the game of his life," Jones said. "I guess, in back-to-back starts, he's pitched the game of his life.

Rogers acknowledged that the comments irritated him.

"I think I was a little disappointed,” he said. “I don't like to minimize anyone's effort."

簡單的說,Damon 和 A-Rod 在輸球後說 Rogers 投了 "game of his life",這個我不知道怎麼翻比較妥當,應該去翻一下熱血的日本甲子園野球漫畫,那裡一定會有很生動的說法。這個談法觸怒了 Kenny Rogers,讓他對 A's 帶著滿腔熱血上場,再度投出了一場好球。

對於一個生涯投過完全比賽的投手說他除了那場之外其他的球賽是 "game of his life" 通常不太恰當,可是知道 Rogers 過往季後賽記錄的人,應該對這種說法不會有嚴重反彈。他不僅過去不是個大比賽投手,他穿著 pinstripes 時特別不是個大比賽投手。1996 年他在 ALDS 第四場投不完三局被打下來,ALCS 第四場投不完第四局,WS 在第四場也在第三局被打下來,那一場因為他才使得 Jim Leyritz 的三分全壘打那麼重要,他一個人丟了五分,第三局沒有製造出任何一個出局數。

1999 的『苦主』是 Mets,我就不再翻老帳了。2003 他在 Twins,沒有多少上場機會。

然後是今年。Randy Johnson 和 Barry Bonds 也曾經有過季後賽狗熊的日子,不過只要一個季後賽成功就可以把這些印象給通通扭轉回來。我從來不是 Kenny Rogers 的球迷,不過他之前得到的季後賽評價也許太不公平了,今年他找回了這個面子來。

這個我並不特別驚訝,不過他怎麼找回 93 mph 的 fastball 來,我到現在還是想不通。他對 A's 這一場就沒有 93 mph 的 fastball,球速只到 89 mph 左右。熱血並不會讓球速變快的,雖然我日本棒球漫畫看得很多,不過還是不相信那一套。

Tigers 證明給大家看球季末表現如何不重要,只要進去季後賽就好。恭喜他們進入了 WS,希望這幾天的休息不要讓他們鬆懈下來了。

Umpire Is the King

NLCS 這邊到現在為止我還沒有好好的完整看過一場比賽。這兩隻球隊的投手深度都不夠,在一場比賽因雨延後了以後問題就更為嚴重了。Joe Sheehan 在第一場比賽之後嚴厲的批評了該場的主審,說他不但好球帶比較寬,同時連高度都放鬆。人的眼睛並不是設計來觀察移動速度達到 80+ mph 的物體是否通過一個虛擬沒有可視邊界的長方形空間的,一般主審總是有自己的缺陷。有些人喜歡較寬的好球帶,有些人喜歡較高的好球,但是同時有這兩種偏好的人很少,所以對於比賽的影響也不小。Sheehan 的看法是那一場讓 Weaver 撐過比想像中更久的局數,對於 Cards 來講長期比較有利。如果他第二局就被打下去,那麼連續五天的賽事就會讓 bullpen 無法承擔。

這個看法不完全正確,因為如果真是那樣,今天在 Suppan 這場球裡面 Cards 的 bullpen 也可以得到適度的休息,只有 Kinney 投了一局,不需要全體動員。目前戰績是 2-1 St. Louis,他們還要連續再打兩場,如果 Cards 沒有在家裡封王的話,才需要移動到 New York 去打最後第六甚或第七戰,那個移動日是這個 series 裡面唯一的休息日。

相較於 Cards 得到 Suppan 八局好投的好運氣,Mets 除了輸球以外,今天其實也並不糟。Darren Oliver 居然投了六局沒有失分,丟的兩分都算是 Trachsel 的。Trachsel 丟五分並不意外,只有三出局就丟掉五分才是。我本來以為他可以撐個三局丟掉五分的,他失分的效率比我想像要好一些。

NLCS 戰局比 ALCS 膠著,不過演員並不令人十分感動。接下來這第四戰非常的重要,Mets 再輸就是 1-3,第六戰要面對 Carpenter,所以第五戰就算過了關也不看好。不過他們能派出來的先發投手是 Oliver Perez,生涯 ERA+ 89,今年 ERA+ 68 的左投手。幸好我不是 Mets 的球迷,這絕對不是我在季後賽的重要關頭希望看到的投手。他面對一般右打的成績是 .300/.394/.496,在客場的成績是 .353/.446/.604,而他將要在 Busch Stadium III 面對 Albert Pujols。在生涯 26 PA 交手中,Pujols 對他打出了 .375/.444/.917 的成績,那個 .917 的確是 SLG,不是 OPS。Cardinals 這邊情況也沒有好太多,他們推出的先發投手是 Anthony Reyes,生涯大聯盟投球局數還沒有破百,他今年的 ERA+ 是 87。他沒有明顯的左右 splits 差異或是主客場差別,而且沒有跟 Mets 碰過面。

這是那種太明顯會成為打擊戰的比賽,如果要預測結果的話,我可能會因為情勢太明顯而反向去猜這場球成為投手戰。看到這種對決我不知道 Randolph 和 LaRussa 兩個人晚上怎麼能睡得著,不過他們就算睡不著還是得把 lineup card 交給主審的。

這兩個人加起來能不能撐過六局?預測單場比賽結果是不智的行為,我也真的不知道誰在這一場比較有可能贏球。以過去幾天的情況來看 Cards 的 bullpen 可能情況稍好一點,就這一點我給他們優勢。

Pitcing Match-ups...

The pitching match-up is not as bad as it first seems.... in fact, I would not be surprised at all if the game ended 1-0.

Especially late in the season, Ollie has had a few games where he showed flashes of brilliance, displaying the form he had in 2004. I will always remember that lefty with the quirky delivery that threw 239k in less than 200ip. He has regained some of his lost velocity (Stupid Piarates pitching coach were trying to make him a finess pitcher) since coming over to the Mets, and I wish the best for him.

On the Stl side, Reyes is one of the most highly touted rookies out there, suere there were some rough patches this season, but he too also had starts that showed why he was ranked one of the best pitching prospects. Remember those two 9k/1bb (in 5 to 6 ip) starts in September?

I am not saying that the game WILL end up being a pitcher's duel, b/c I do admit that both of them are inconsistent and can get shelled any time. However, I am just saying they are both kids with great potential and have on occasion showed flashes of brilliance, and you never know, tonight might just be one of those nights.
Yes, and that's why I said I might want to guess it's a pitcher's duel if I'm forced to make a bold guess.

However, that's the guess I'd make without anything important on the line. If I have to put money or more important stuff on it, then I'll still guess both of them are out of the game before either one can claim the victory.
Now, one quick question.

Do you feel that the Mets should have traded Milleadge for Zito at the deadline???

Yes, hindesight is 20.20... but I am fairly sure they regret not pulling the trigger on that one...
Talking about hindsight 20-20, the Mets might find they don't need a Zito after all if they can hit like what they are doing in the NLCS game 4.

Yes, I agree they need one more or even two more starting pitchers who can give them a chance to win. Most teams in the playoff except Tigers and A's can say the same thing.

Does this playoff feature the thinnest pitching staff in the recent memory?
Well, everyone will probably be talking about Delgado & Beltran today, but I really feel the biggest differnce is in the 6 to 8 hitters providing 5 hits.

I always felt that the Mets line-up is a bit top heavy, and can be pitched around. For example, in game one, when Delgado got a hit, STL simply chose to walk Wright and pitch to Endy Chavez. This places a lot of pressure on the heart of the order to produce.

Well, as for not trading Milleadge, it's also that how much his stock has fallen after falling flat on his face in his MLB debute. (Almost kinda like Andy Marte of Cleveland/Atlanda/Boston) I just think that Zito would have been a good fit for the Mets, b/c being at Shea, many of his would be HRs would instead stay in the park.

As for thin pitching, I 100% agree with you. There is definitely no Houston team (04) that could push out Celemens/Oswalt/Petite. Even the As and the Tigers can be a bit thin. Harden is not 100%, and Haren faded at the end of the season. (I had him on my Yahoo Fantasy team... glad that I traded him before his implosion) Kinda the same for the Tigers, Zumya, Verlander and Bonderman all faded a bit at the end of the season. Well, had Liriano been 100%, the Twins would have been pretty scary, having Johan and Liriano starting 4~5 games in a series. It's almost like the 2001 Diadmondback model, where they basically rode two pitchers to the top.

I don't think it's that the league lacks pitching, b/c there has been more good young pitchers emerging in the last few years than ever. Just this year, Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, Olsen etc etc.... hahaha... too bad none of them play for play-off teams.

Speaking of fading though... I think the Tigers fading and losing the series to the Royals at the end of the season to fall to the wild-card was a blessing in disguise. Hey, if you are going to play a strong team (The Yanks), you are much more likely to come out on top in a short series (5 games) than a long one (7 games).

Side note, I know you studied in Columbia... but damn, your English is the most fluent of anyone I have ever met in Taiwan.......
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I think the main problem for trading Zito is that the A's were still in a very tight race by the end of July, it's a reoccuring theme that the A's get hot in August while the Rangers fade. but because when taken the timeline into consideration at the deadline the A's were still in a close race and Harden's hurt and Loaiza was still not all that good. it made trading Zito much tougher to pull the trigger on.

As for Milledge, we shall see how it goes eventrually, though no one really woulda thought Melky Cabrera ended up having the better year of the two.
To Rolling Wave,

Oooops, forgot about that, yes, now the decision to not trade Zito makes much more sense.

It's just that Milleadge reminds me of another former Mets prospect Escobar, another athletic OF with no plate discipline who then proceeded to struggle. It's funny how whenever teams have an athletic yet undisciplined prospect, they always assume that they will end up getting another Soriano or Vlad, when in reality, they would be lucky to get a Juan Encarnacion.

Speaking of surprises, who else was a pleasant surprise for you this season? I would say Billy Hall is probably the biggest surprise, coming out of nowhere to lead all SS in HR.
Bill Hall was surprising, but people expected a lot out of the Brewers this year but they didn't deliver the goods even when their whole division sucked (badly)

From a Taiwanese stand point obviously Kuo's amazing turn around in the last month was the best pleasent surprise. he went from a wild reliever with slightly above average stuff to a Koufax like starter in the last month was just amazing.

In overall baseball term though I think there just wasn't that much excitement overall except for the Tiger's break out season (which I'm still rather surprised at, consider how they're a big whiff and no walk team offensively with a staff of kids and Kenny Rogers.)but overall there was just far more dissapointments, one division utterly sucked (NL central) two division was highly mediocare (AL and NL west) and the NL East was boring also as the Mets ran away and the Phillies and Braves both dissapoints.

I suppose I was a little surprised at the Rockies, they played better than I expected. espically with Todd Helton now turning into a very slightly above average 1B.
To Rollingwave:

Well, no Mets game... Glavin gets another day of rest, the Mets got lucky here.

For sure the Brewers were a huge disappointment. Many of their players under performed. (B/c I had Lee/Prince/Turnbow/Capuano/Hall on my Yahoo Fanatasy team, I watched many of their games). Koskie and Jenkins were expected to combine for 50 to 55 hrs, and came nowhere close. Turnbow self imploded, and forgot how to throw strikes. Doug Davis regressed and went back to being a crappy pitcher, instead of the 200k guy. Weeks and Hardy were never healthy. Their whole season was just a disaster.

I don't know, maybe I expected too much from Kuo, but I wasn't so much surprised by his performance. Afterall, his first minor league start in A ball has become stuff of legends in the LA minorleague system. 3IP, 7k, no balls out of the infield. Lets just say I have been waiting for this for a loooong time.

Surprisingly how geography can skew a fan's point of view. (same for fantasy baseball). Since I am from Toronto, and my Jays broke the BoSox's stranglehold on 2nd place in the East, the season was fairly exciting for me.

Also, I saw this as a ncie season for young players, especially young pitchers. Olsen, Sanchez, Billingsley, Hamels, Cain, Haren, Papelbon, Broxton, Zumaya, Verlander and on and on..... all these good young pitchers just seem to emerge out of nowhere. Sizemore, Morneau, Maur, Howard and Johny Gomes (pre-imjury) were all exciting for me.

Hmm...a few more disappointments. King Felix (I blame Johima) was probably the biggest one. The two SS of Peralta and Lopez too, both regressed a bit. Hank Blalock and Texeira both had subpar years too....

Any young players you look forward to seeing next season? I can't wait to see Alex Gordon (KC) and Delmon Young play full time.
Speaking of Toronto, I'm interested in seeing how Lind and Rios would do next year... it is kind of exciting year for Jays fan I suppose but still they were pretty far from the wild card. and I'm not sure a healthy season from Chacin and Burnett was all it takes (and you have to remember the Yankees and other teams like the Twins were far from 100% the whole year anyway.)

Chacin is an enigma to me, he was great as a rookie, was pretty terrible this year (but the Jays miraculasly won most of the games he started) I wonder what he would do next year? for the sake of the Jays let's hope he's doesn't go down the road of Josh Towers.

yeah I agree that these two years probably saw the strongest young player class in quite a few years (guess it's time for a new era again) and next year seem to promise more. (Hughes... Gordon .. Young.. the whole D-back team..)

I'm always intrigued by Tampa, a group of very exciting young players but never materializes to anything. I think Johnny Gomes is a healthier version of Pat Burrell. a very solid righty slugger. but the healtheir part is being put to the test.

Delmon Young is interesting, espically that he walks even less than Cano... then again, practically the whole Tampa team doesnt' seem to understand the concept of walks ...espically after Huff and Lugo was traded. with the possible exception of Ty Wigginton and Greg Norton anyway (both of whom probalby aren't in their long term plans.. or even mid term plans)

I think the Jays could keep beating Boston for second next year espically considering the mess that is the Boston pitching right now, but to contend for a spot in the playoffs will still require a perfect storm and maybe more. though I suppose once you get there anything can happen, except Joe Carter hitting another walk off homerun off Mitch William again :P (damn I was in Philly in 93 ouch)
I hope CCLU doesn't mind, b/c this is almost turning into a private conversation.

Now, where are you from? Because your English seems a bit tooo fluent for someone living in Taiwan.

Well, Chacin's K/bb was never that great, so his rookie yr success was quite surprising to me. Also, I am quite biased in the sense that I love high K pitchers (give me Cole Hamels...), so even as a Jays fan, I have very little faith in Chacin. My biggest concern is that we actually won't be able to keep Wells.

I am quite excited about Lind, as he is the first good rookie to come up in a loong time. The Jays have not been the best talent evaluators of talent in recent years, and basically, we have had 1 good prospect come through (Rios) in like the last 6 years.

It's scary how quickly people forget the people who were formerly considered phenoms. It wasn't that long ago when people said Hudson/Mulder/Zito would anchor the Oakland staff together for 10 years and win 500 games together. Just as I was talking about all those young pitchers, who still remembers Wood and Prior?

Young pitchers break your heart... Harden, King Felix, Prior, Wood, Perez, Sheets...... damn it. I miss the 04 Ben Sheets. I would put that season up against any of Johan's.

As for Gomes..... lets hope he stays healthy, for the sake of my fantasy team. The bad k/bb thing might be a T-bay farm philosophy thing. The wierdest part is, they manage to develop players who can hit, in spite of their lack of plate discipline. Cantu is another perfect example of the refusing to walk yet will hit 30 HR thing. Maybe they watch Alfonso Soriano tapes....hahahaha (I said Soriano, but not Vlad/Ichiro, b/c at least Vlad and Ichiro keeps their Ks down....so their K/bb is actually decent...it's just Soriano who is the big statistical anomoly)

Philly huh? Don't tell me you are a Wharton grad.... hahahahahaha
No no, i lived in Philly when my dad studied in U-Penn for his PHD when I was very young. I am from Taiwan though. and only lived in the States for 4 years kepted up my English after returning to Taiwan (through chats like these lol!!)

You can blame JP Ricardi's crazy college drafts for the likes of Russ Adams (then again, Yankees is the same at this until recent few years)

Your right that young pitchers are hard to really forsee, who'd thought Chien Ming Wang has been the best overall pitcher for the 05 class so far o_O and if you look at the top 10 SP prospects over the course of the last decade the list is scary.. in that most of those guys never amounted to anything.

Gome's plate discipline is fine, he's walk total and isolated power this year was excellent, if he hits for solid average (270+) he'd be a fine fine player already this year.

I'm not so confident in Cantu, while Cano (remember the two of them were often compared last year) proved that he could improve on almost all aspect of his game this year (except for walks.. and he still improved a little.. ) Cantu didn't, his still atrocious with his glove.. they need to move him to the corners, and with that OBP of his he better his 30 HR every year to stay a effective corner guy.

If I'm the Rays I'd trade Cantu now to some dumb GM for a pitcher.

Still though, the Rays can't go on without at least spending a little money. with revenue sharing it's hard to justify not being able to spend at least close to 50M of total payroll... the Rays are in the low 30s
Phily is good, they are actually one of the teams that I like more. COLE HAMELS!!!!!!! and Chase Utley too. Lets put it this way, Chase is in my opinoin, by far the best 2B in MLB....(of course, I am biased)

Yes...and also, the Jays had not had spending money until the last couple of years, so we often drafted player on "likelihood of being able to sign him" as opposed to talent.

Well, 05 was more of a year of the hitters, with Howard, Gomes, Sizemore, Mauer etc.

I actually have not watched that many Tbay games (only when they play the jays), so I can't comment on Cantu's defense. His year was ruined a bit by that foot injury suffered at the WBC. but for sure, if he can't play 2B, then that 30HR but low 800 OPS becomes a bit more pedastrian. I don't think he is tradable though, because the GM will likely want to see his value rebound a bit as opposed to selling at the low.

30M is a bit ridiculous, I personally think that there should be a salary floor too.....
Philly is one of those perinial "close but no cigar" team in the last few years....(in fact that may sum up all 4 of their pro teams... ack, Phillies havn't had a pro champ team in like what.. 20+ years? that's with competitive teams in all 4 sports!!)

I'm not sure how the Jays could spend this off season, lock up Wells now is a good idea. a middle infielder is a good idea. (though I wonder if it's worth it to get Lugo...) and maybe a good gamble on a pitcher...
Well.... King Albert did it again tonight.....

But nah, philly fans have nothing to complain about... they have been home of some of the most exiciting players in all the leagues through the years...like Iverson and McNabb

Well, how much did Jayson Bay sign for? Wells should go for around the same rate.... and please no, I do not want Lugo on my team...hahaha
True that Philly had a lot of great players through these decades of frutless pursuits .. Eric Lindros for example.. or Curt Schillin and Scott Rolen.. ack .

Pujols actually havn't been much of a factor in the series until that HR .. what's perhaps more surprising is Jeff Weaver getting it done, if the Cards advance the Yankee fans must face the horror of at least one of the pitchers that's screwed them in the playoffs before (Rogers and Weaver) getting a ring... ack
WTF is with all these mediocare guys comming up huge in the post season ack....

next thing you know we would be trading A-rod for Spizio Taguchi and Molina hah

if the Cardinals end up winning...they might just have the lowest wiining % ever for a WS champ

Dont worry though...det pitching will shut them down

and show them that...there is a different b/w MLB (AL) and AAAA League (NL)
or maybe just teams that actually spend more money and/or generally spend them more wisely (AL) beating the league that spend less and often spend in sillier fashion (NL)
I think that "encourage" thing is full of cr*p. Kenny "God of McAfee Coliseum" Rogers doesn't need that sh*t to beat the relatively weak lineup of A's. We are one of the worst hitting teams in the playoff, and Rogers has had great success against us in his pitching career, especially in McAfee Coliseum.

I believe that cr*p is just the reporter trying to find the excuse for Yankees' elimination of the postseason. Yankees players don't make excuse, so media is creating that on its own.

Just like what FOX did on Rogers' hand. This guy cleaned his dirty hand and still threw scoreless innings afterward. Fox did that to him simply because this old pitcher screwed them for a no-Yankees(equals to low rating) World Series.
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