Blog Entry

On Deck: Wild cards hinge on final day

Posted on: September 28, 2011 12:57 pm
 


By Evan Brunell


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AL wild card: It's the final game of the season, and we've got two races currently tied. The first of them is the American League wild card, where the Red Sox and Rays are knotted at one apiece. Boston will send ace Jon Lester to the mound in the hopes of downing the Orioles. Lester has never lost against Baltimore, running up a 14-0 record. On the year, he has a solid 3.49 ERA but that mark is 6.97 over his last four starts, so there's concern there. He'll be opposed by Alfredo Simon. Meanwhile, down south, the Rays offer up their own ace in David Price to take down the Yankees. New York is already in the playoffs, so they could choose to rest some players and give the Rays a weaker opponent to play against. To that end, even the Yankees don't know who will be starting Wednesday night. Red Sox vs. Orioles, 7:00 p.m. ET | Yankees vs. Rays, 7:00 p.m. ET

NL wild card: Over in the NL, the Braves are new to this. The Red Sox have had an extra day to get used to the idea of falling into a tie, but Atlanta woke up Wednesday knowing the final game of the season was crucial to the playoff hunt. After all, if they lose and the Cardinals win, they're out. Fortunately, they have a pretty good pitcher heading to the hill in Tim Hudson, who will oppose Joe Blanton in what figures to be a bullpen game for Philly. On paper it's a mismatch, but the way the Braves has been playing lately is the complete opposite of St. Louis. Meanwhile, the scorching Redbirds offer up Chris Carpenter against the hapless Astros, who will send Brett Myers to the mound. Phillies vs. Braves, 7:00 p.m. ET | Cardinals vs. Astros, 8:00 p.m. ET

StrasburgNo walks: Stephen Strasburg has a very good chance to accomplish an incredible feat in his fifth and final start of the year. So far, he's walked absolutely zero batters in his 18 innings, striking out 14. That's a K/BB ratio of infinity. Thanks to the magic that is Baseball Reference's Play Index, I ran a query of all starting pitchers who had at least five consecutive starts with no walks in the millennium. There's been plenty of streaks of no walks allowed, most namely the amazing Greg Maddux who racked up two separate nine-game streaks of no walks allowed. If Strasburg gets through the game, he'll be tied with 15 others for five consecutive starts. Interestingly, Kevin Slowey accomplished the feat earlier this season, but before that you have to go back to Cliff Lee in 009, then Curt Schilling in 2006. Strasburg himself went six straight starts without a walk last season. He's opposing Chris Volstad in Jack McKeon's final game as Marlins manager. Nationals vs. Marlins, 4:10 p.m. ET

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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:23 am
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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 3:59 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 6:22 pm
 

On Deck: Wild cards hinge on final day

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Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: September 28, 2011 7:07 pm
 

On Deck: Wild cards hinge on final day

If Strasburg gets through the game, he'll be tied with 15 others for five consecutive starts. Interestingly, accomplished the feat earlier this season, but before that you have to go back to in 009, then Curt Schilling in 2006. Strasburg himself went six straight starts without a walk last season.
I'm really not trying to sound like a know-it-all, but I'm trying to figure the logic of these sentences. If Lee in '09 was the last guy before Slowey this year with at least 5 games without a walk, how did Strasburg do it just last year, in 2010?


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