MLB play-offs braindump #5 – Five things I’ve learned about post-season baseball this week
And then there were four. Later this week we’ll have the Angels vs Yankees and Phillies vs Dodgers in best-of-seven series for a place in the big one, the World Series. The Red Sox, Rockies, Twins and Cardinals have all gone home, season over.
But what have I learned from the first round of play-offs?
1. The best teams went through
I think it is safe to say that the strongest teams went through. There might have been bad calls from umpires and huge mistakes that you just can’t legislate for, but all in all, there were no unlucky losers. There have been close games, but three sides were swept three games to none, and the other side, the Rockies, only won the one game. You’ve got to be ruthless at this stage, and the best teams were. Could the Red Sox, Rockies, Twins and Cardinals have done better than one win between them? I think we all the answer to that one.
2. It’s not all about heroics
There have undoubtedly been some good performances, but the game-changing acts have generally been self-destructive ones. Running errors, dropped catches, poor pitching. Which brings me on to…
3. You need a good closer
How many games have swung in the final inning? The teams that have won have had steady, reliable pitching in the ninth inning. When the closer has had a meltdown, his team has lost. Unless you somehow manage to rack up a massive lead beforehand, you’ve got to be strong in the later innings.
4. I don’t like the TBS coverage
I’m a creature of habit. I don’t like change. I’m no baseball media expert, but TBS coverage just isn’t the same somehow.
5. There’s not enough hours in the day
Believe me, in this, ahem, “current economic climate”, I’m very, very happy that I’ve got a job. But because of my pesky job I just haven’t got the time to watch all this wonderful baseball, especially with the time-difference (I live in London). I’m not complaining, though, about this embarrassment of riches. I’m just wondering what I’ll do after the season ends. Aha! Watch other sport, that’s what! Problem solved!
You’re right about the best four teams making it through. Arguably if that continues we’ll have a Dodgers-Yankees World Series, with Torre taking on his former charges and Manny possibly returning to haunt the Yanks (which will no doubt lead to some conflicted thoughts among Red Sox fans). A Phillies-Angels World Series would be worth watching just as much though. Neutrals can’t lose from here.
The TBS coverage does hurt things a bit though. I like some of the co-commentators when they are on their normal patch (Bob Brenly with the Cubs, Ron Darling with the Mets), but the coverage as a whole just doesn’t click for some reason.
here here on the coverage. It would be a good experience if announcers got rated like umpires, and there was a merit system for calling the playoffs. It would be cool to hear some color commentary from some of the local guys who call the games all year long…not the station who bids the most.
Hi Matt – I agree, at this point neutrals can’t really lose. I’m just hoping we don’t get any further sweeps, and a game seven or two would be brilliant.
Matt and Nathan – it’s a real shame that the TBS coverage doesn’t work. After a whole season with regular announcers and style of coverage, it really jars for it to change in the post-season. And it can’t be easy to bed-down new production teams and commentary teams so quickly. But money talks, I guess. Hopefully TBS will get into its stride soon.