Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Wild Card Notes

Things we know after the Astros quietly garroted the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game:

  • Houston had the better starting pitcher. Kuechelangelo on 3 days rest is better than a rusty Tanaka.
  • The game worked as intended - Houston had to burn its best pitcher to get past the knockout game, meaning they'll be at a slight disadvantage against Kansas City. Then again, Houston's rotation's strong enough that McCullers, McHugh, and presumably Macallan, Glenfiddich, and Caol Ila will be able to hold the line until Kuechel is ready to go again.
  • Too bad George Springer nabbed that line drive A-Rod hit into the right field corner. It would have been nice to see the "playoff choker" label reversed.
  • The best thing about the Wild Card game is the excitement of knowing after 162 games, it's suddenly one-and-done. The worst thing is if one team - like, say, the Yankees - forgets to show up.
  • And booing this Yankee team - one that nobody expected to contend, let alone make the playoffs, and that overcame innumerable injuries to make the post-season while the organization was busy sandbagging its 30+ homer DH - is just an exemplar of how thoroughly out of whack Yankee fan expectations are. Try a few years in the wilderness, kids. You might learn something.

Things we know after the Pirates went down in the NL Wild Card game, again:

  • The Pirates really need to stop making a habit of this. They're going to make people pay attention to the Steelers again, and nobody wants that.
  • Jake Arrieta is a monster. There was some rumbling about how his epic second half was built on starts against the Brewers' AAA roster, but tonight, he was up against the big boys and it didn't matter.
  • Speaking of the big boys, what on earth was Sean Rodriguez doing in the starting lineup at first? This is a multi-position guy so bad with the stick that Tampa Bay, which is where bats go to die, didn't bother to hang onto him. 
  • The Cubs were remarkably healthy for a team at this point in the season. The Pirates - it might might have been a much more interesting game with Jung Ho Kang out there for them. Then again, the way Arrieta was dealing, they could have run out a lineup with Dave Parker, Wille Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Dick Groat and both Waner brothers and it wouldn't have mattered.
  • Right now, someone in Baltimore who approved that Arrieta deal is probably getting fired.
  • And the fact that Rodriguez couldn't even take out a dugout gatorade cooler says everything you need to know about tonight for the Pirates.

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