MLB Week in Review (October 23-29)

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The talk over the last few years around the MLB is the arrival of the second dead ball era that has come quickly throughout the league.

The offence in the 1990s was exciting and impressive but it turned out to be a massive fantasy with the best offensive players using PEDs to get ahead.

A new focus on getting PEDs out of the game brought the offensive numbers down significantly, despite that there are still a handful of teams that score runs in big numbers.

With the offence taking a step back from before many team are looking to find that one great offensive bat that can help them out.

That is great for teams looking to just make the postseason but when the postseason begins that focus shifts to the other side of the ball.

Pitching has become so important in the postseason as the last few years have shown that great offensive teams aren’t necessarily the teams to be feared in the postseason.

The most dominant team in the past few years, the San Francisco Giants, have never ranked in the top ten of runs produced in each of their three title-winning years.

The Kansas City Royals ranked below the Giants last year and this year were ranked seventh behind two teams that they beat to get to the World Series.

For two of the more dominant postseason teams in the last few years it has been about the pitching.

The Giants were ranked the top ten of team ERA in all three of championship seasons and although the Royals did not have great overall team ERAs in the last two years their relievers made the top ten in both years.

It doesn’t mean that a team can’t win with a powerful offence, the Cards and Red Sox did it in 2011 and 2013, but sustained success seems to be linked to having good pitching, whether it be the starters or the relievers.

This year the two teams in the World Series built their teams around that philosophy as both have great pitching staffs.

Where they may differ the most though is that the Royals a bullpen that ranked second in ERA this year and the New York Mets built the team with the league’s 4th best starter ERA in the league.

The Royals have the 22nd best starter ERA while the Mets ranked 11th in reliever ERA this season.

The idea behind their strategies are very different as the Mets look to dominate from the start of the game with great starters that try to give the Mets a chance to get just

They then turn to their limited bullpen that is not deep but has great pitchers like Jeurys Familia.

The Royals look to try to get as much from their starters as they can, sometimes they have great outings and sometimes they have terrible outings, then turn it over to the relievers to shut it down.

They don’t necessarily need great performances from their starters because they have no concerns over putting anyone from their bullpen into the game.

Two teams with two different attitudes towards building their pitching staffs are facing off in the World Series.

The fact is that it is two teams that have focused on the pitching staffs rather than their offence.

They both have enough offence to score the runs they need but there is no doubt that the concentration is on the pitching above the offence.

In an era where offence is not as easy to come by it seems like the way to win in this age is to build a pitching staff that can shut down the other team.

That is what is happening in the World Series as two teams with good staffs are fighting to take home a title.

The first game of the World Series truly tested the staffs of both teams as the game went 14 innings.

That meant that all of the bullpen pitchers and more than one starter was involved in the game.

It spread the teams out to their limits and gave a view of the best parts of these teams. In the end it was the frustrating offence of the Royals that took the win against Bartolo Colon.

The second game was another one where pitching took focus as Johnny Cueto pitched a complete game to rest the bullpen while Jacob DeGrom couldn’t get the usual dominance.

Both pitching groups continue to fight and the one that performs best will take home the title for their team as the era of pitchers continues into the World Series.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Changes in Toronto
A disagreement on the division of power in Toronto seems to be the reason that the Executive of the Year, Alex Anthopoulos, has left the team he brought to the postseason as changes have already began under new President Mark Shapiro

New Man in Miami
Don Mattingly sometimes frustrated Dodgers fans and never brought them to a World Series but his style enticed the Miami Marlins who are looking for new blood in South Florida and hired Mattingly as their new manager

First Awards Released
The award period is beginning and the first awards were handed out this week as Andrew Miller of the New York Yankees and Mark Melancon of the Pittsburgh Pirates were named the Relievers of the Year for both leagues


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