MLB Week in Review (October 5-11)

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The MLB Postseason is through the first two rounds as four teams are ready to fight for the league championships and their spot in the World Series. The postseason has had surprises and great performances like any other postseason but one theme seems to be making itself known. Pitching in the regular season has been one of the hottest topics of debate with teams consistently limited pitch counts. Throughout the regular season managers would be wary of letting their top pitching talent put too much wear on their arm. They would limit their starters to pitch counts and would rarely let them pitch complete games. It is a trend in baseball that has plenty of people standing on either side of the debate. On one side are people who believe that pitch counts help pitchers to last longer by not wearing down their arms and preventing the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. Others believe that only letting pitchers pitch will prevent these injuries as more innings and more pitches will build up arm strength and will prevent injuries. The debate has been one of the biggest in last few seasons as both sides have made their voices known. The pitchers and the teams seem to throw these rules out the window as the top pitchers in the rotations double their workload. When teams enter the postseason their pitching staff shrinks as five man teams can sometimes turn into three-man rotations as only the best pitchers get to step on to the mound. The ones left over move to the bullpen where they serve as long relief pitchers in case something goes wrong. It is a curious sight and a sight that might justify one end of the argument. The pitch count in the regular season now has a stronger justification as teams may be looking to save their best pitchers for the postseason. Of course the other side of the argument could say that the best pitchers can be saved but the teams have to get into the postseason first and not using their aces is a sure way to fall behind in the postseason race. If the teams can get into the postseason whether using a pitch count or not they look to their top pitchers to help them even more in October. The aces on the staff begin to pitch 9 innings regularly and get only a few days off in between games unlike the usual 4 days. For some like Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw they would take even less time when he would pitch twice in three days. That is one of the strangest moments of the postseason as Kershaw would pitch 7 innings of Game 1 and would shut down the Braves. Then in Game 4 Kershaw would go back at it and pitch 6 innings in the clinching game of the series. Kershaw’s efforts were just some of the many this postseason with David Price pitching 9 innings in the wild card game and Adam Wainwright going 9 in Game 5 of the NLCS. Even more pitchers have gone far into the games this postseason showing that the pitch count is none existent in the postseason. No matter what side you might be on when debating about pitch count there is no doubt that seeing these performances in the postseason is something special. The best pitchers in the world are going head to head to show who can be more dominant when it matters most. The pitching duel may not be the favorite of most fans as offence is always king for the fans in sports. Although everyone loves the long ball watching these pitchers work is something unique as Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Jon Lester, and Max Scherzer will continue to put on great performances in the NLCS and hopefully in the World Series. When the next champion is determined the difference could very well be the pitchers in the shortened rotation who are willing to do what it takes to help their team win.

 

Extra Innings:
(Thoughts on the past week in the MLB)

One Down One to Go
Among the thrill of the postseason thrills and stories the New York Yankees remained in the headlines this week when they would sign Joe Girardi to a new 4-year contract as the leadership in New York stays solid as they begin the negotiations with Robinson Cano

Quickly the Enemy
Chipper Jones would appear on an Atlanta radio show before their game in the NLDS and he would pick the Los Angeles Dodgers to win and that would not go over well with his former team as nobody would volunteer to catch when he threw out the first pitch later that day

Price’s Time up?
David Price would put up a gem in the AL Wild Card game proving that he is truly the ace of the staff but his time in Tampa bay be coming to an end as the Rays seem to be ready to trade him this offseason and try to retool

Return of The Ironman
With so many managerial positions open this year many names have surfaced including the man with the record for most consecutive games played as Cal Ripken Jr. has stated that he would like to be a manager If the opportunity came up

 

MLB Postseason

NL Division Series:
Pittsburgh Pirates 2 – 3 St. Louis Cardinals
Game 1: STL 9 – 1 PIT
Game 2: PIT 7 – 1 STL
Game 3: PIT 5 – 3 STL
Game 4: STL 2 – 1 PIT
Game 5: STL 6 – 1 PIT

Los Angeles Dodgers 3 – 1 Atlanta Braves
Game 1: LAD 6 – 1 ATL
Game 2: ATL 4 – 3 ATL
Game 3: LAD 13 – 6 ATL
Game 4: LAD 4 – 3 ATL

AL Division Series:
Tampa Bay Rays 1 – 3 Boston Red Sox
Game 1: BOS 12 – 2 TB
Game 2: BOS 7 – 4 TB
Game 3: TB 5 – 4 BOS
Game 4: BOS 3 – 1 TB

Detroit Tigers 3 – 2 Oakland Athletics
Game 1: DET 3 – 2 OAK
Game 2: OAK 1 – 0 DET
Game 3: OAK 6 – 3 DET
Game 4: DET 8 – 6 OAK
Game 5: DET 3 – 0 OAK

 

NL Championship Series:
Los Angeles Dodgers 0 – 1 St. Louis Cardinals
Game 1: STL 3 – 2 LAD (13th)
Game 2: LAD @ STL (Saturday October 12th; 4:00 pm ET)
Game 3: STL @ LAD (Monday October 14th; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 4: STL @ LAD (Tuesday October 15th; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 5: STL @ LAD (Wednesday October 16th; 4:00 pm ET)
Game 6: LAD @ STL (Friday October 18th; 8:30 pm ET)
Game 7: LAD @ STL (Saturday October 19th; 8:30 pm ET)

AL Championship Series:
Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox
Game 1: DET @ BOS (Saturday October 12th; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 2: DET @ BOS (Sunday October 13th; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 3: BOS @ DET (Tuesday October 15th; 4:00 pm ET)
Game 4: BOS @ DET (Wednesday October 16th; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 5: BOS @ DET (Thursday October 17th; 8:00 pm ET)
Game 6: DET @ BOS (Saturday October 19th; 4:30 pm ET)
Game 7: DET @ BOS (Sunday October 20th; 8:00 pm ET)

Game Played if Needed

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