26 September 2009

Brave New World

Well, the Dodgers lost, but everyone else lost again, everyone that matters. Except the Rockies, who I suppose maybe still matter since they are 6 games back ( counting the tie-breaker ), with that series with the Dodgers at the end of the year. The Rockies would have to gain three games on the Dodgers while the Dodgers are playing five against the Pirates and the Padres, then sweep the final series. Doesn't seem to likely. I think the Rockies are more concerned about holding off the Braves at this point.

I rarely watch anything but sports on ESPN, but I did see Baseball Tonight or Sportscenter a week or so ago and witnessed Steve Phillips declare that the Braves were going to win the wild card. "There he goes again," I thought. But he may end up being right. That would be something! Probably not --- the Braves are still a longshot, but they are the only team left that looks like any kind of threat against the Rockies. The Marlins and Giants are both five back and mostly dead. The Braves, though, are three back in the loss column and, as they say, "hot" right now. I think most people realize that baseball heat can turn to cold in an instant, but there it is. They are hot, winning 8 of 10, coming from back of the pack to be the only alternative left to the Rockies. The Braves have a nearly 10% chance right now, according to the Baseball Prospectus postseason odds. That might be higher if you believe in "heat".

Should the Dodgers root for the Braves? The Braves winning last night prevented the Dodgers from clinching, but that's okay, since the Dodgers should be able to win one more game of the 8 remaining, right? The point is that if the Braves take the wild card and the Dodgers can hang on to best record in the league then they avoid either the Phillies or the Cardinals in the first round. Instead they would get --- the red hot Braves! Instead of Carpenter and Wainwright, or Hamels and Lee, the Dodgers would get Jurrjens and Vazquez! That's nearly as scary, though people don't usually talk about them that way. Also, even though the Braves have a much worse record than the Phillies or the Cardinals, I think they're almost as good as those teams ever since they filled up most of their offensive holes that dragged them down earlier in the year.

So root for the Braves to unseat the Rockies? Maybe, but there are no free passes in the postseason.

Game 154 Unfair Win Shares ( Pirates )

Veal -- 1
Chavez -- 1
Capps -- 1

It's all relievers getting the unfair win shares for the Pirates. I never thought I'd see that, and if I did, that it would be the Dodgers doing it. But the Pirate pitching was why they won that game. That, and some Dodger errors.

Game 154 Unfair Loss Shares ( Dodgers )

Loney -- 1
Ethier -- 1
Ramirez -- 1

Garland wasn't that good either, though none of the runs he gave up were earned. He's the kind of pitcher who doesn't seem as likely to overcome an error in an inning, though I don't know the numbers on that for him, so I don't really know.

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