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The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers

What you missed with the mute button was Clayton Kershaw (the subject of an irrelevant interview in the middle of an inning of a game that he wasn't pitching) having to tell Joe Buck that there was a pitching change happening. I don't see how it is in the interests of Rob Manfred or Fox to have two announcers who aren't interested in the World Series. And don't get me started on how there seems to be no interest whatsoever in regular season stats, even though they are a better predictor of the future than post-season numbers. i can't think of a World Series when I have hated the announcers more than this year. 

Walter Shapiro WShapiro

I like it when Jos Pos ventures onto thin ice ... THANKS for the link!

And ... I'm much more of a radio guy than TV guy ... I've been enjoying the ESPN radio folks this post-season as they can be heard for free via ESPN ap ... so ... I just offer that as an option to "mute" ... though I'm sure they'll be delay'd relative to the TV feed ... so pro's & con's.

In general, I'm not worried about anything that might make baseball less popular ... I just see them as an opportunity for cheaper tickets! ... they certainly do not appear to be existential threats, right?

Howard Lynch LynchMob

Joe Pos shakes hands, or bumps elbows, with Joel Sherman today. Mookie is to Mays as Trout is to Mantle.

https://theathletic.com/2154645/2020/10/22/posnanski-look-out-mike-trout-mookie-betts-is-now-the-best-player-in-baseball/?source=dailyemail

Just trying to start a good conversation, he writes.

To that end...

And finally, we must talk about something else, something that will infuriate many people but simply cannot be ignored: Betts is in the World Series for the second time in three years, and he’s doing wonderful things — winning the nation tacos, displaying his defensive and baserunning genius — while Trout misses another October. Do not misunderstand: I do not believe for one second that it is Trout’s fault that the Angels have never found a way to put a good team around him. That’s an Angels problem. I believe with all my heart that Trout is a winner, that he plays winning baseball, that he is the victim of failed management.

But as beautiful as baseball’s statistical world might be, it is not the real world. Circumstances do matter...

He's right, I think. It can't be ignored. Joe mentions Bob Gibson -- I would add Lou Brock in the same three World Series.

Lots of conversational fodder sprinkled throughout. And then Joe Pos goes on a tangent at the end that I missed watching the current World Series.

So much of baseball these days feels unfamiliar, there’s no way around that. There’s the pandemic background, obviously. But even on the field, Game 2 of the World Series featured 12 pitchers, 22 strikeouts, five home runs, and it lasted three hours and 40 minutes. The game failed to entirely hold the interest of the actual game announcers, Joe Buck and John Smoltz, who at some point in the middle went on a long discourse about the NFC East. You rarely hear announcers in the third quarter of an NFL game talk at length about the relative merits of the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers.

I agree! Too many homers, strikeouts, pitching changes. Too little action spread over too much time.

But still, the game for me was completely absorbing.

Probably because I had the sound on mute.

Alex Patton Alex
Matt Strahm San Diego Padres

Matt Strahm (P) SD - Oct. 22

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=761234

Strahm will undergo surgery to repair the patellar tendon in his right knee, Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Strahm was bothered by a knee issue for much of the 2020 season, but he's expected to be ready for spring training following his surgery. He underwent a similar surgery on his left knee in 2017.

Alex Patton Alex
Nestor Cortes Seattle Mariners

Nestor Cortes (P) - Oct. 22

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=761231

Cortes (elbow) became a free agent Thursday after refusing an outright assignment to Triple-A Tacoma.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Cortes made five appearances this season, posting a 15.26 ERA and 2.35 WHIP in 7.2 innings of work. He suffered an elbow impingement in mid-August and missed the remainder of the year.

Alex Patton Alex
Matt Magill Seattle Mariners

Matt Magill (P) - Oct. 22

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=761233

Magill (shoulder) became a free agent Thursday after refusing an outright assignment to Triple-A Tacoma.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Magill struggled in his 11 relief appearances this season, posting a 6.10 ERA in 10.1 innings. He strained his shoulder in late August and wound up requiring surgery. Those two factors don't bode well for his prospects in free agency this winter, though his  respectable 3.94 ERA over the previous two seasons could give teams reason to bet on a bounceback.

Alex Patton Alex
Carl Edwards Seattle Mariners

Carl Edwards (P) - Oct. 22

https://www.rotowire.com/baseball/player.php?id=761232

Edwards (forearm) refused an outright assignment to Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday and became a free agent.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Edwards was looking to have a bounceback season in Seattle after struggling to an 8.47 ERA in 2019. While he did post a 1.93 ERA and 0.64 WHIP with the Mariners, that came in just 4.2 innings. He developed arm problems early in August and never returned to the mound.

Alex Patton Alex
Freddie Freeman Atlanta Braves

Back on the Fourth of July, Freddie wasn't fantasizing about being Baseball America's Player of the Year.

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/2020-mlb-player-of-the-year-freddie-freeman/

Alex Patton Alex
Joey Wendle Tampa Bay Rays

Does Joey Wendle know he's the featured player today at Baseball-Reference?

Yesterday's Biggest Play

Batter: Joey Wendle (TBR)

Pitcher: Dustin May (LAD)

Situation: Top 4th, 2 out, 0-1 count, Runners On 1st and 2nd

Score:  TBR 1, LAD 0

Double to CF (Line Drive to Deep CF-RF)
2 runs scored on the play, and TBR's win probability increased 18% points, to 78%
TBR went on to win the game, 6-4

View the full game Boxscore at Baseball-Reference.com

New Feature Spotlight: Pivotal Play Finder

Last month, we added Championship Leverage Index (cLI) and Championship Win Probability Added (cWPA) to Baseball-Reference. These stats measure how much of an impact each player had on their team's chances of winning the World Series. Now on Stathead, we are launching the Pivotal Play Finder, which measures the impact that each individual play had on a team's World Series win probability. This tool allows you to customize your query using a number of different filters to find the most impactful plays in a given situation.

You can read more about the tool at the Sports-Reference blog.

Stathead Spotlight: Joey Wendle

Most Championship Win Probability added by a Tampa Bay Rays batter in a single event

DateSeriesGm#EventInncWPABatterTm
2020‑10‑17ALCSGm 7HRb18.46%Randy ArozarenaHOU
2020‑10‑09ALDSGm 5HRb87.34%Mike BrosseauNYY
2008‑10‑19ALCSGm 72Bb47.19%Evan LongoriaBOS
2008‑10‑27WSGm 5HRt75.76%Rocco BaldelliPHI
2008‑10‑25WSGm 3SB*t85.68%Evan Longoria*PHI
2020‑10‑21WSGm 22Bt45.66%Joey WendleLAD

* - event is Melvin Upton Jr. stealing 3B and scoring on a throwing error while Longoria was at bat

See the full list at Stathead.com's Pivotal Play Finder

Alex Patton Alex
Marcell Ozuna Atlanta Braves

That should work both ways though.  It could be that the East had all the best hitters and the Central had the worst.

Gary Cruciani Megary
Blake Snell Tampa Bay Rays

The Covid Dreams are playing right through the World Series. One more out by Snell would have had a big impact on the top and bottom of the standings.

Brandon LoweCorey SeagerChris TaylorManuel MargotBlake Snell

Yesterday's Top Performers

Pitchers:

Blake Snell* (TBR): 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 9 K, 57 GmSc

Aaron Loup (TBR): 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 55 GmSc

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
Brandon Lowe Tampa Bay Rays

With the baseball they use now, Lowe knows the first one is going out but even he is surprised by the second. The reaction by Dustin May says it all.

Brandon LoweCorey SeagerChris TaylorManuel MargotBlake Snell

Yesterday's Top Performers

Batters:

Brandon Lowe* (TBR): 2-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R

Corey Seager* (LAD): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R

Chris Taylor* (LAD): 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R

Manuel Margot* (TBR): 2-3, 1 R, 1 SB

Will Smith (LAD): 1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R

Joey Wendle (TBR): 1-3, 3 RBI

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
Marcell Ozuna Atlanta Braves

I wonder if the unbalanced schedule will factor in any?  As a whole the 2 East divisions(which Ozuna faced) had weak pitching( 2 teams better than league average plus 6 that allowed over 5/game).....the 2 Central divisions(which Ozuna didn't face) had strong pitching(8 teams better than league average including 7 that allowed less than 4.5/game)..

van wilhoite LVW
Diego Castillo Tampa Bay Rays

Just before midnight he throws three perfect pitches.

Alex Patton Alex
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers

Just read it. Joe Pos is right, but... Kershaw did have it last night. He cruised through the sixth on nine pitches. I would have sent him out to start the seventh. If he mows them down -- great, you've saved your bullpen. (The Dodgers had one day off before this series, the Rays two: big difference.) If any batter gets on, you go to your pen with one runner on and an 8-1 lead.

Alex Patton Alex

Matt Moore is having a solid year in Japan. He has kept the walks down and thus far he has only allowed five homers in 60 IP. Might we see a return to MLB in 2021? https://npb.jp/bis/eng/players/83785151.html

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers

Happy to but need a better link.

Alex Patton Alex

Alex - you need to read Joe Pos on Kershaw ... Posnanski: How can we make sense of Clayton Kershaw’s postseason woes? (link fixed, oops, sorry 'bout that)

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers

I doubt the Rays were amused by the foot bumps but I was.

Mookie BettsKevin KiermaierMax MuncyCody BellingerClayton Kershaw

Yesterday's Top Performers

Batters:

Mookie Betts* (LAD): 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB

Kevin Kiermaier* (TBR): 2-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R

Max Muncy* (LAD): 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R

Cody Bellinger* (LAD): 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R

Chris Taylor (LAD): 2-3, 1 RBI

Justin Turner (LAD): 1-4, 1 R

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers

I would have had him pitch one more inning, he was that efficient.

Mookie BettsKevin KiermaierMax MuncyCody BellingerClayton Kershaw

Yesterday's Top Performers

Pitchers:

Clayton Kershaw* (LAD): 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 8 K, 71 GmSc

Joe Kelly (LAD): 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, 54 GmSc

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex

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