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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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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
Marcell Ozuna Atlanta Braves

Ozuna is about to get rich. Leads the NL in HRs -- pace was 48 homers, 720 PAs.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Randy Arozarena Tampa Bay Rays

This factoid from Jonathan Mayo at MLB:

A total of 16 of the projected 28-man World Series roster came to the Rays via trade/Rule 5 and they had more trade acquisitions on their roster than any of the four teams that were in the League Championship Series this season.

Are any of the other three even close?

https://www.mlb.com/news/rays-scouting-of-randy-arozarena

Alex Patton Alex

Fox proudly tells us Game 7 on Sunday night outdrew every game of the NBA finals. Obviously, great news for baseball.

10.2 million viewers is impressive.

How does that compare to the Sunday night football game that I went to between innings? 

Alex Patton Alex
Wander Franco Tampa Bay Rays

Here's Wander. I assume, if he's on the 40-man, he's still working out in Port Charlotte.

Alex Patton Alex

A page for Wander Franco? He might debut ... tonight? :-) ... no ... but wouldn't that have been fun!

Howard Lynch LynchMob
Peter Fairbanks Tampa Bay Rays

Colin Whitchurch at BP:

Outlook And Prediction

Oftentimes a matchup billed as a pitchers’ duel doesn’t live up to the hype, but Game 1 should be the real deal. Neither Kershaw nor Tyler Glasnow were their sharpest their last time out, but the former’s ability to work on the edges of the zone will make it difficult for the Rays to get to him early, and Glasnow still employs the best swing-and-miss stuff in the game. This one will get into the late innings with the score both low and tight, and the Rays’ bullpen advantage will help them take the opener.

Alex Patton Alex
Dustin May Los Angeles Dodgers

Robert Arthur at BP:

The gun always lights up in October—that’s been a rule of postseason baseball since the PitchF/X era began—but this year’s playoffs have been special... Not only is the average fastball velocity far and away the highest on record, but the gap between the regular season and the tournament is also the biggest in the last 12 years... 

There are all sorts of reasons velocity might have increased so much this postseason, from the shorter regular season to the particular teams that made the tournament (though which teams are playing is partially a product of the arms they fielded). Some strange patterns unfolded with fastball speeds this season, despite it normally being a remarkably stable statistic. For example, older hurlers seemed to defy their normal aging curves and toss extra quickly. Clearly, the pandemic-modified year had some unusual effects on pitchers’ arms.

But the pitchers generating this velocity are familiar names. Dustin May leads the pack, averaging almost 3 mph more on his fastball than anyone else. Tyler Glasnow and Walker Buehler are up there, alongside (of course) Aroldis Chapman. The sauce comes from all the teams, albeit some more than others—the Dodgers lead the way. Between May, Buehler, and Brusdar Graterol, they have plenty of arms capable of touching the centennial mark.

Overwhelming pitch velocity also contributes to (but does not fully explain) some of the eye-popping exit speeds we’ve seen this postseason...

The connection between speed coming and going out does help to explain the all-or-nothing nature of scoring this postseason. It’s felt like nearly every run comes from a homer and indeed, a remarkable fraction of the scoring this year has been done via long ball...

Past postseason trends have often presaged shifts in the following regular season. With years of velocity gain under MLB’s belt, there’s little doubt that it will keep increasing in future seasons. But this October may suggest a further acceleration in that increase, over and above what we’ve seen recently.

baseballprospectus.com

Alex Patton Alex
Jamie Moyer Colorado Rockies

He could collect a reduced annuity immediately upon retirement, or had he retired 4 years earlier.  

From the Summary Plan Description:

You can start receiving benefits before your normal retirement age, beginning as early as the first day of the month following your 45th birthday, if you are no longer employed by a Major League club or its affiliates (including a Minor League club owned by a Major League club) in any capacity. However, the Pension Plan pays benefits for your lifetime, so the younger you are when payments start, the longer the Pension Plan expects your benefits to continue, and the smaller your monthly benefit will be.

If you continue in active service past your normal retirement age, your retirement benefit is calculated to reflect any additional benefit you may have earned during the plan year that just ended or that you are entitled to receive.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Randy Arozarena Tampa Bay Rays
Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers

Joel Sherman goes a wee bit overboard, comparing Mookie Betts to Willie Mays, but he's right in seeing similarities between Mookie's catch in Game 5 and The Catch in 1954.

His full-flight racing forward shoestring catch in the third inning of Game 5 changed the series...

The play has been replayed quite often since. If you have a chance to look at it again ask yourself this: How many players would have been able to keep their feet after making that catch? And how many players could have regathered themselves, struggled initially to find the ball in their glove and still made an on-line, no-bounce throw home that if Ozuna even would have tagged legally he might have been out? It is where athleticism meets an intuitive understanding of the game. Betts talked afterward about how his full focus was on not falling. How many players in the heat of that moment on such a tough play to just catch the ball have the serenity under pressure to also know: Don’t fall?

And I suspect most of us here agree with Sherman's observation at the end.

Betts is a reminder of what the sport could be, electric on both sides of the ball. We get this from the Rays defense as well and everything their quick-twitchy emerging star Randy Arozarena does on a field.

After so much doubt, especially early in this abbreviated season that we would get to the end, MLB had two terrific league championship series and now an intriguing World Series. I hope it continues to be a showcase for what the game could be in skill and enthusiasm. I hope it encourages the warring players and owners to find common ground to keep working at ways to get the ball in play more and to play faster pitch-to-pitch plus within the actual game action and to recruit the best athletes to this sport.

https://nypost.com/2020/10/19/mookie-betts-world-series-showcase-is-just-what-baseball-needs/

Alex Patton Alex

Mookie belongs on this list with another sterling catch. He actually loafed a little bit on his double, thinking it would be caught.

Cody BellingerDansby SwansonEnrique HernandezMookie BettsJulio Urias

Yesterday's Top Performers

Batters:

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

Dansby Swanson* (ATL): 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R

Enrique Hernandez* (LAD): 1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R

Mookie Betts* (LAD): 2-4

Chris Taylor (LAD): 2-4

Ozzie Albies (ATL): 0-2, 1 R, 1 SB

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
Hal Smith Cincinnati Reds

Second on the preceding list.

Alex Patton Alex
Bill Mazeroski Pittsburgh Pirates

We all have different favorites on this list. For me it's not even close.

Stathead Spotlight: Cody Bellinger

Go-ahead home runs in the 7th inning or later of a Game 7

DateSeriesBatterTmOppInn
2020‑10‑18NLCSCody BellingerLAD ATLb7
2019‑10‑30WSHowie KendrickWSN@HOUt7
2006‑10‑19NLCSYadier MolinaSTL@NYMt9
2003‑10‑16ALCSAaron BooneNYY BOSb11
2001‑11‑04WSAlfonso SorianoNYY@ARIt8
1986‑10‑27WSRay KnightNYM BOSb7
1960‑10‑13WSHal SmithPIT NYYb8
1960‑10‑13WSBill MazeroskiPIT NYYb9
1925‑10‑15WSRoger PeckinpaughWSH@PITt8

See the list at Stathead.com's Postseason Batting Event Finder

Alex Patton Alex
Blake Treinen Los Angeles Dodgers

What I find especially neat about the five perfect innings spun by the Doder duo: no strikeouts.

Cody BellingerDansby SwansonEnrique HernandezMookie BettsJulio Urias

Yesterday's Top Performers

Pitchers:

Julio Urias* (LAD): 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 59 GmSc

Blake Treinen (LAD): 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 56 GmSc

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
Cody Bellinger Los Angeles Dodgers

Cody knows how to pick his moments. In his career in the postseason (179 AB), he's batting .196.

Yesterday's Biggest Play

Batter: Cody Bellinger (LAD)

Pitcher: Chris Martin (ATL)

Situation: Bottom 7th, 2 out, 2-2 count, Bases Empty

Score:  LAD 3, ATL 3

Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF)
1 run scored on the play, and LAD's win probability increased 21% points, to 73%
LAD went on to win the game, 4-3

View the full game Boxscore at Baseball-Reference.com

Alex Patton Alex
Jamie Moyer Colorado Rockies

Jamie Moyer. Going strong, or at least going, until eight years ago.

He probably played long enough to start collecting his pension right away.

Alex Patton Alex
Charlie Morton Tampa Bay Rays

He'll need to transform himself to do so - Morton is still getting guys out with heat, his average FB the last couple years better than it was in his age 25-33 seasons.  

But there's a limit on how long that'll continue.  Moyer's late career studliness came as he developed unhittable junk.

Phil Ponebshek Texpope

Jamie Moyer had one season with a 105 ERA+ before age 30.  Most of the other seasons were in the low-mid 80s. Then, he came to Baltimore and became solid. 130 ERA+, 105, back to 92, and he left.  He didn't have another sub 100 ERA+ until age 37 and then again at age 41, 44, and 47-49.


Morton's first solid season was at age 29, but he fell back again.  He was good from 32-35.  Do you think he's got another 14 years left in the tank?

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed

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