MLB Week in Review (September 29-October 5)

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The second season is finally here as postseason baseball has begun with the wild card games over and the division series underway.

In most postseasons for any of the major leagues, the game changes as mistakes become more highlighted and nobody wants to be that person.

More often than not that leads to games being a lot tighter than usual as defence becomes the name of the game.

Offences struggle with the teams knowing everything that they do and planning particularly to stop that.

The MLB is no stranger to that as the defence in the postseason becomes so much more important.

For the teams, they have studied the best players and figured out their tendencies at the plate giving the pitchers a leg up when they decided what to throw and at what time.

More than anything though the MLB’s tendency to favour defence in the postseason is due to the fact that offences are only getting the best.

When pitching staffs are built they are often loaded up front while the bottom of the staffs is a little less dominant.

The top of every rotation is expected to go deep into games and have dominant stuff that can get through three rotations of the same batters.

As the rotation moves to the other pitchers the expectations get less as the bottom of the rotation are those pitchers expected to do their job and get some good innings in but the bullpen will likely be used more.

In the postseason there is no bottom of the rotation as the bottom pitchers in any postseason team are moved to the bullpen.

Teams will see only the best pitchers for everyone and they will see their best stuff the entire time.

That can make things difficult especially with the ability of some of the top pitchers in the game.

Pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke, Corey Kluber, Max Scherzer and Chris Sale will all get a lot of work throughout the postseason.

That can be trouble for batters who are going to have to deal with these big arms on a regular basis.

Add that to the fact that the bullpens of most postseason teams are only getting better and more dominant.

That leaves little room to take advantage of for the batters as they can usually get to a pitcher when they wear down or when teams go into the bullpen.

That isn’t much of an option in the postseason with too many good pitchers that can be overpowering.

The entire year has been different though as there have been more home runs and more runs than ever before in the MLB.baseball-sidebar

It has been a new resurgence of offence throughout the league that has made things a lot different than the year before.

As the postseason began it was expected that the resurgence of offence would take a backseat to that tight pitching dominated postseason baseball.

From the start that was wrong as the wild card games proved that the offensive trend was not about to end in the regular season.

Minnesota and New York got off to a hot start when the first inning saw the Twins go ahead 3-0 and chasing Luis Severino in the after recording only one out.

Not to be outdone, the Yankees put up their own three runs in the first inning and the offences were off to the races.

The Yankees took the win putting up a total of eight runs on the night while the Twins managed to get four runs of their own.

The second wild card game was even more offensive when the Diamondbacks took three innings to go ahead 6-0, including another 3-0 first inning.

The Rockies came back to reduce the lead to two and battled right to the end in a game that finished with the D-Backs on top 11-8.

In the first two days of the postseason teams had put up 31 runs and the top offensive teams in the league had yet to even take the field.

That would happen during the ALDS when the Astros were able to total eight runs against the Red Sox who scored two.

The start of the postseason is clearly showing that the pattern of offensive baseball is going nowhere.

If it can continue and the pitchers remain behind this could be a pretty special postseason where the best offence takes home the title rather than the team with the best pitching.

 

Extra Innings

Controversial Wild Card

The NLDS ended with a big score and the Diamondbacks were moving on to the division series but things got interesting the day after. That is when the MLB announced that they were launching an investigation into the team for using banned electronic devices. The Boston Red Sox were caught cheating using Apple Watches earlier in the year and the D-Backs were caught with the same devices in the wild card game. Whether they were using it to steal signs or anything else the fact is that they will see a penalty probably bigger than the Red Sox received.

Coming Up Short

Giancarlo Stanton was on a tear throughout the entire season leading the charge for the offensive resurgence. In his mind, he was going after the record of 60 home runs in a season despite that not being the official home run record. Because the people above that record have all been accused of using steroids that 60 marks seemed like the real mark to many. Stanton was going after it but the final week of the season didn’t turn out for him. In the final game, he went without a home run leaving him at 59 for the season.

Making an Impact

It became official this week as Derek Jeter was announced as the new owner of the Miami Marlins. He might not be the majority owner but there is no doubt that he is going to be heavily involved in the team and the face of ownership in Miami. He has already made an impact firing some employees in his first week and doing so in person. He takes on this new role as an owner and looks to make his impact to turn around an anaemic team.

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