Monthly Archives: October 2017

Some of that has to do with the Cubs pitchers being slow to third base.

Let’s pause here to give it up for TCU’s pen, which shut down Florida’s bat through the middle-late innings. There’s no need for an actual phone to the pen when your guys are throwing lights-out stuff.

TCU scored their ninth run on a sac-groundout to bring it up to 9-2, and the Gators had nothing to say after that, so a Saturday rubber match to decide the other party in the CWS final two was needed.

The average pop time (from the catcher’s mitt to the mitt of the infielder covering second base) is between 1.9 and 2 seconds. Montero got one throw off to second that was under two seconds, and that one came in at 1.96.

Some of that has to do with the Cubs pitchers being slow to third base. But four of the runners reached when Montero dropped the ball or couldn’t handle the pitch. To be fair, one of those pitches was in the dirt and would have been a wild pitch if the runner wasn’t running, but the other ones were fumbles and drops.

One big upset of the day occurred in the Tallahassee regional, where No. 4 seed Tennessee Tech which slapped the most home runs in the NCAA this year upended the hosting Seminoles, 3-1. The Golden Eagles required just two pitchers on the day, with Michael Wood and Travis Moths splitting the work of six and three innings, respectively. Now, FSU will have to fight its way out of the losers bracket.

But the biggest upset of the day went down in Chapel Hill, where Davidson topped No. 2 overall national seed North Carolina, 8-4. The Tar Heels were never in it, and the Wildcats needed just two arms to get the job done. A full five Davidson players notched RBI, and UNC’s bats fell dead asleep until a three-run seventh inning.

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My thesis today is that the Astros might be better than they’ve been so far this season.

It’s nearly impossible to improve on a .724 winning percentage, so I’m not going to argue that this is a true .800-winning percentage team. I think it’s likely they will win fewer than three-quarters of their remaining games. So I’m using rhetorical chicanery to suggest the Astros might be better. When that definition of better translates roughly to but they’ll start losing more games, you can take it with a grain of salt.

But when I’m confronted with a surprising team either a surprise contender, or an expected contender that’s blowing away the rest of the competition I like to play a game called Should They Be Doing This? It’s fun for the whole family. Minutes to learn, lifetime to master. It goes like this:

When they do the same because no one can score runs off Eric Hacker, perhaps you should reserve a little skepticism. That sort of thing.

Thanks to the last week of events, it’s about time we adjust their Villainy Score.

Anthony Rizzo slid into Padres catcher Austin Hedges on Monday night. He didn’t have to slide into Hedges, but he chose to do so: For Rizzo and the Cubs, it was merely an out. For Hedges, it was an injury, as he limped away from the play and is not expected to be in the Padres’ lineup on Tuesday.

If you ask Rizzo, it was open season on Hedges he thinks colliding with the catcher is what you’re supposed to do in that situation, as he shared in his response to the Padres’ criticism of the play:

I don’t by no means think that’s a dirty play at all, Rizzo said. I went pretty much straight in, he caught the ball and he went towards the plate.

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