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spiritof66

ALCS Game Two and Baseball 2019

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For me, most of the excitement of a baseball game comes from resourceful hitting, great fielding and, most of all, base hits when runners are on base that pit the offense (baserunners) against the defense's fielding, throwing and decision-making at a breakneck pace. practically every ballgame will show you something you haven't sen before. I also enjoy unexpected plays that bring tom ind the adage that  I don't care for the explosion of pitching changes, home runs, strikeouts (sorry, punchouts) and walks that characterize the recent game.

Tonight's Game 2 of the ALCS, which the Astros won,, 3-2, on a Correa HR in the bottom of the 11th, presented a strong example of what baseball has become, and it was pretty much a snore. The game lasted 4 hours and 49 minutes. There were 15 pitchers. Three HRs accounted for four of the five runs. There were 26 punchouts, 9 walks, and just 10 inside-the-park hits (only one for extra bases). The game was intense, with some gripping pitcher-hitter showdowns, and held my interest because of the importance of the outcome. But very little happened. In almost five hours there was only one play that I would call remotely exciting, Correa's pickup of a deflected line drive and throw to home that nailed the runner by 10 feet or so, and it sure wasn't a close play.. I didn't see anything new (and that includes the commercials), though the nonsensical ground rules about batted balls that hit the roof girders are still unfamiliar to me. The highlights shown on Fox after the game went real quick -- Correa's play and a couple of homers.

And what's the deal with bringing in Zack Britton with the score tied in a postseason game? Is that allowed now?  🙄

 

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I couldn't make it up for the end of the game, but through Game 1 and the first half of Game 2, I couldn't help but wonder why Houston is struggling so much to actually plate runs.  This is a good offense, right? The Cardinals are having the same problem, only scoring one run in two games because of a misplayed fly ball in center.  I get that these are good pitchers, but they actually had ERAs during the season.  It can't be that suddenly every pitcher is unhittable in the playoffs....especially not against good teams that have good hitters.  Maybe it is a case of hitters trying to do too much, but the strike-outs are awful.  Teams' refusal to play small ball and advance runners are going to eventually cost someone a playoff game. 

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1 minute ago, Can_of_corn said:

They changed the ball.

So maybe that reduces the number of homers, which I can understand.  But why would singles and doubles go away just because the ball changed a little?  Couldn't hitters still get those?  Isn't the bunt still available for advancing runners?  Shouldn't the sac fly (or even a ground out to the second baseman, wherever he is positioned) still be an option with runners on 2nd and 3rd with less than 2 outs? 

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8 minutes ago, JR Oriole said:

So maybe that reduces the number of homers, which I can understand.  But why would singles and doubles go away just because the ball changed a little?  Couldn't hitters still get those?  Isn't the bunt still available for advancing runners?  Shouldn't the sac fly (or even a ground out to the second baseman, wherever he is positioned) still be an option with runners on 2nd and 3rd with less than 2 outs? 

It doesn't just effect homeruns, lower exit velocity and all that.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was effecting the break on pitches.  As for sac bunts, they mostly lower scoring 

If you optimize your team for a certain environment it is to be expected that performance will suffer if it suddenly changes.

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Will be interesting to see how this series plays out with three in New York.  It helps that the Astros already have a championship pedigree because Yankee Stadium can be a very intimidating and loud place to play.  Astros just need to make sure they win one and then they would have Verlander and Cole in Games 6 and 7.  Tanaka I suppose would go for Game 5.  His 82 mph strikes were baffling hitters on Saturday, but maybe they will figure him out by Thursday.

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6 hours ago, JR Oriole said:

I couldn't make it up for the end of the game, but through Game 1 and the first half of Game 2, I couldn't help but wonder why Houston is struggling so much to actually plate runs.  This is a good offense, right? The Cardinals are having the same problem, only scoring one run in two games because of a misplayed fly ball in center.  I get that these are good pitchers, but they actually had ERAs during the season.  It can't be that suddenly every pitcher is unhittable in the playoffs....especially not against good teams that have good hitters.  Maybe it is a case of hitters trying to do too much, but the strike-outs are awful.  Teams' refusal to play small ball and advance runners are going to eventually cost someone a playoff game. 

The shadows really affected game 2 of the Nationals/Cardinals game.  That’s an extremely tough situation to hit in.

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1 hour ago, JR Oriole said:

Too bad the shadows had zero impact on the Cardinals when they hammered Atlanta in Game 5.  

Different stadium.  Different effect.

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