Tag:MLB playoffs
Posted on: March 2, 2012 2:24 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 3:16 pm
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MLB makes expanded playoffs official

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Major League Baseball will officially expand the playoffs to 10 teams starting this season, it announced on Friday.

MLB Playoff expansion
The announcement has been expected for a couple of days, if not weeks. The new format will add another wild card team, with the two wild cards to play each other in one game with the winner moving on to face a division winner.

However, there is one catch that ramrodding the legislation in for 2012 created. Because of the set day for the end of the season and the start of the World Series, for this season only, the division series will begin at the home of lower seeded teams and the first two games will be played there, followed by a possible three home games for the team with "homefield advantage."

For 2013 and beyond, the division series will return to the 2-2-1 format that has been used.

"The enthusiasm for the 10-team structure among our clubs, fans and partners has been overwhelming," commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "This change increases the rewards of a division championship and allows two additional markets to experience playoff baseball each year, all while maintaining the most exclusive postseason in professional sports."

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Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:11 am
 

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

By C. Trent Rosecrans

This time of year, pitching can carry an otherwise flawed team all the way to a title, we saw that last year when the Giants rode their starters and a shut-down closer to a World Series championship. So which teams have the best rotations heading into this postseason? Glad you asked…

Here's our ranking of the eight playoff rotations:

 

1. Philadelphia Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt

Like there was a doubt? Halladay started last postseason with a no-hitter. It'll be tough to top that, but we'll see what happens when the National League's best pitching staff takes on the National League's best offense. 

 

2. Tampa Bay Rays: Matt Moore, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, David Price

Joe Maddon is taking one heck of a chance giving a rookie with fewer than 10 big-league innings under his belt on the hill to start Game 1, but Moore is amazingly talented -- and he's never lost a start for the Rays (small sample size alert!). 

 

3. Milwaukee Brewers: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf

Gallardo is perhaps the least-heralded of the Brewers' starters, but that could just be that unlike the other members of the team's rotation, he's spent his entire season in Milwaukee. The 25-year-old right-hander has gone 44-29 with a 3.69 ERA over the last three years. There's also former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke who wanted to be traded from Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs. Now he's here and it's time to deliver.

 

4. Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello

Call them top-heavy, and even heavier at the top since Fister joined the rotation. Fister, acquired at the deadline from Seattle, has gone 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts for the Tigers. Add him to Justin Verlander and you have a heck of a 1-2 punch. It's the 3-4 that lacks punch.

 

5. Arizona Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders

It looks like Arizona will go with a three-man rotation in the playoffs, which will certainly help the bullpen with the addition to Josh Collmenter. Kennedy was the breakout star of the Diamondbacks' rotation, winning 21 games, while Hudson and Saudners have also pitched well.



6. Texas Rangers:
C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison

Sure, they don't have Lee this year, but they do have Wilson, who has established himself as an ace, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA this season, striking out 206 batters in 223 1/3 innings. Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) is the only right-hander in the rotation.

 

7. St. Louis Cardinals: Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia

The Cardinals' two best pitchers are pitching Games 3 and 4, but everyone has contributed down the stretch. St. Louis would be higher on the list with Adam Wainwright, but he's not coming back this season. Jackson has pitched well since joining the team and Lohse, a former Phillie, has had a bounce-back season.

 

8. New York Yankees: CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia

Sabathia's as good of a big-game pitcher as there is in the game, but Nova is a rookie and Garcia is anything but. The fact the team is going with a three-man rotation tells you what you need to know about the guys not in the rotation. Garcia's the team's third-best starter -- I guess $196 million doesn't buy what it once did.

For more postseason coverage.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:11 am
 

Phillies have the best rotation in playoffs

By C. Trent Rosecrans

This time of year, pitching can carry an otherwise flawed team all the way to a title, we saw that last year when the Giants rode their starters and a shut-down closer to a World Series championship. So which teams have the best rotations heading into this postseason? Glad you asked…

Here's our ranking of the eight playoff rotations:

 

1. Philadelphia Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt

Like there was a doubt? Halladay started last postseason with a no-hitter. It'll be tough to top that, but we'll see what happens when the National League's best pitching staff takes on the National League's best offense. 

 

2. Tampa Bay Rays: Matt Moore, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, David Price

Joe Maddon is taking one heck of a chance giving a rookie with fewer than 10 big-league innings under his belt on the hill to start Game 1, but Moore is amazingly talented -- and he's never lost a start for the Rays (small sample size alert!). 

 

3. Milwaukee Brewers: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf

Gallardo is perhaps the least-heralded of the Brewers' starters, but that could just be that unlike the other members of the team's rotation, he's spent his entire season in Milwaukee. The 25-year-old right-hander has gone 44-29 with a 3.69 ERA over the last three years. There's also former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke who wanted to be traded from Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs. Now he's here and it's time to deliver.

 

4. Detroit Tigers: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello

Call them top-heavy, and even heavier at the top since Fister joined the rotation. Fister, acquired at the deadline from Seattle, has gone 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts for the Tigers. Add him to Justin Verlander and you have a heck of a 1-2 punch. It's the 3-4 that lacks punch.

 

5. Arizona Diamondbacks: Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders

It looks like Arizona will go with a three-man rotation in the playoffs, which will certainly help the bullpen with the addition to Josh Collmenter. Kennedy was the breakout star of the Diamondbacks' rotation, winning 21 games, while Hudson and Saudners have also pitched well.



6. Texas Rangers:
C.J. Wilson, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison

Sure, they don't have Lee this year, but they do have Wilson, who has established himself as an ace, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA this season, striking out 206 batters in 223 1/3 innings. Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) is the only right-hander in the rotation.

 

7. St. Louis Cardinals: Kyle Lohse, Edwin Jackson, Chris Carpenter, Jaime Garcia

The Cardinals' two best pitchers are pitching Games 3 and 4, but everyone has contributed down the stretch. St. Louis would be higher on the list with Adam Wainwright, but he's not coming back this season. Jackson has pitched well since joining the team and Lohse, a former Phillie, has had a bounce-back season.

 

8. New York Yankees: CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia

Sabathia's as good of a big-game pitcher as there is in the game, but Nova is a rookie and Garcia is anything but. The fact the team is going with a three-man rotation tells you what you need to know about the guys not in the rotation. Garcia's the team's third-best starter -- I guess $196 million doesn't buy what it once did.

For more postseason coverage.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:25 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Teixeira not a fan of expanded playoffs

Mark TeixeiraBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Mark Teixeira nearly gave us a preview of the new playoff format, but the Yankee first baseman is happy with the way the system works now.

Teixeira hit two homers, including a grand slam, to give the Yankees a 7-0 lead against the Rays on Wednesday, and had his team been able to keep that lead, we would have had a play-in game for the American League wild card.

Starting as soon as next season (but more likely in 2013), we'll have that anyway, as Bud Selig has championed an extra wild card team and a one-game playoff between the two wild card teams. Count Teixeira against it -- pointing to Wednesday night's excitement as exhibit A.

Full Playoff Coverage

"Last night proves that over 162 games, you still have (games that matter)," Teixeira told Brendan Prunty of the Star-Ledger. "You still had 4-5 games that meant a lot to each of those teams. The baseball fan gets to turn on the TV and watch that at once. It's pretty cool."

Teixeira joked that if MLB needed more excitement, "we can just have home run derbies in extra innings. Starting pitchers can go out and box for a couple of innings."

Of course, in the end, he hit the nail on the head -- "I guess if we can get one extra game on TV and make a couple of extra bucks -- I guess that's what it's all about." 

That said, plenty of people said the same thing when Selig introduced the wild cards -- and that's worked out pretty well.

For more postseason coverage. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: September 29, 2011 9:04 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:12 am
 

Rays to start rookie Moore in Game 1

Matt MooreBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Matt Moore has thrown just 9 1/3 innings in the big leagues. And now he'll be a Game 1 starter in the playoffs.

The Rays announced they would start the rookie left-hander in Game 1 of the American League division series against the Rangers on Friday.

Moore, 22, will be making just his second big-league start on Friday. He started last Thursday against the Yankees and announced his presence with authority, striking out 11 batters, walking one and allowing four hits in five scoreless innings. In all, he's appeared in three games, going 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA. Moore hadn't pitched above Class A before the season, but in Double-A and Triple-A this season, he went 12-3 with a 1.92 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 155 innings.

Moore debuted in a loss to the Orioles on Sept. 14, allowing two runs on three hits in just 1 1/3 innings. However, he's gotten better in each subsequent appearance, allowing two hits and a run in three big relief innings against the Red Sox on Sept. 17 and then last week's lights-out start against the Yankees.

The Rays had been debating starting either Jeff Niemann or Moore in the first game and picked the rookie. James Shields will start Game 2. The Rays didn't release their entire rotation, but it appears they will have Jeremy Hellickson lined up for Game 3 and David Price for Game 4, if needed. .

Moore will face Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson in the first game of the series. Wilson is 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA and was 1-2 with a 3.70 ERA in four postseason starts in 2010.

It's yet another aggressive move by the Rays, who often take a little too long to get their top pitching prospects to the big leagues, but they certainly don't hold them back once they get there.

More Rangers-Rays ALDS coverage

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Posted on: August 10, 2011 6:49 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 6:58 pm
 

MLB gets postseason schedule right

By Matt Snyder

One thing that has long annoyed many fans about baseball's playoffs is the unnecessary off-days. During the regular season, each team plays at least six games a week and sometimes all seven days in a given week. Then they'd get to the playoffs and take about nine days to play a five-game series. One example that still sticks out in my head is the Yankees-Angels 2009 ALCS, when there was an off-day with no travel. Game 4 was played in Los Angeles, the following day there was no game, and then Game 5 was played in Los Angeles. Angels manager Mike Scioscia mentioned how stupid it was during the winter meetings that offseason.

So when the press release arrived with the 2011 postseason schedule, let's just say I wasn't expecting much. And I was wrong, thankfully.

Major League Baseball has announced the following dates (* indicates "if necessary" games):

NLDS, both series: October 1, 2, 4, 5*, 7*.
ALDS, both series: September 30, then October 1, 3, 4*, 6*.

ALCS: October 8, 9, 11, 12, 13*, 15*, 16*.
NLCS: October 9, 10, 12, 13, 14*, 16*, 17*.

World Series: October 19, 20, 22, 23, 24*, 26*, 27*.

Every single off-day is a travel day. Otherwise they're playing games every night. No wasted days in the name of TV or whatever else was happening. What a thing of beauty. It's even finishing a whole four days before November ... at the latest.

Now, this actually does hurt some teams and help others. If someone like, say, the Yankees or Tigers are looking to rely heavily upon one starting pitcher, they won't be able to do so without having him come back on short rest. On the flip-side, the Giants and Phillies, for example, will be rewarded for having deep starting rotations, should they make the playoffs. We should also consider bullpens, as the Braves, for example, heavily rely on Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel at the back-end. With fewer off-days, the young duo might have to stay in the bullpen a few times when they'd normally get the ball. Or maybe the Braves run them out there and either Kimbrel or Venters doesn't have his good stuff due to fatigue. Hitters should benefit in general, as the off-days are a break in their routine.

The bottom line, however, is that this schedule is much more like the regular season and that will likely make everyone happy.

I know it's totally uncool to ever admit Bud Selig does something remotely correct, but it happened here. Of course, the weird off-days thing shouldn't have been happening in the first place. So have at it, Selig haters.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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