2018 ALCS: “Just well enough” and “effective enough”?

Okay, so a guy gives up four runs in the first three innings of a playoff start. After a 1-2-3 fourth inning, he walks two batters in the fifth and gets pulled.

THAT is being referred to as the guy pitching “just well enough” and “effective enough” for his team?

Whoa… I wonder what guys from a different era – such as Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax – would think.

And yet there it is in an article titled “David Price turns around postseason narrative in Red Sox’s Game 2 win” on ESPN.com, this pitcher was essentially praised for his performance because it evened the 2018 ALCS and was his first “team win” in 11 career postseason starts.

Yes, that guy is David Price. Here’s a little quote from that ESPN.com piece:

It was while departing in the fifth inning of Game 2 of the American League Championship Series that the Boston Red Sox starter received an ovation from appreciative fans. After 4⅔ innings of five-hit ball, the Fenway faithful recognized that although he wasn’t going to factor in the decision, Price pitched just well enough to keep his team in the ballgame. About four innings later, the Red Sox earned a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros, evening the ALCS at 1-1.

And, there’s more.

“That’s my first team win as a starter,” Price said, smiling.

That’s a big deal. Entering Sunday’s game, Price’s teams — he has pitched in the playoffs with Tampa Bay, Detroit and Toronto in his 11-year career — had gone 0-10 in the 10 career postseason starts he had made.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was by far the most consecutive losses for a pitcher’s team to start a postseason career in major league history. Vida Blue’s and Doyle Alexander’s teams went winless across each pitcher’s first six career postseason starts.

For the Red Sox on Sunday, Price was effective enough. After allowing four runs in his first three innings, he settled down for a 1-2-3 fourth.

With the Red Sox up 5-4, Price got two quick outs in the fifth, then surrendered a pair of walks. After the second walk, manager Alex Cora pulled Price from the game to the adoring affection of the fans.

But I digress.

Yes, I know the fact that Boston won changes the narrative of his performance. I would still call it “gutless,” though. I wouldn’t call it an “effective” outing by any means.

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Playoff Controversies: MLB postseason 2018 edition

Two weeks ago on TSN1040, I mentioned that it’s possible – perhaps not likely – but certainly possible that a manager on a playoff team could get fired if his team performs poorly in the postseason.

We’ve seen it before with Grady Little, most notably, being let go after his 2003 Red Sox blew a Game Seven lead at Yankee Stadium in the ALCS. In 2017, it was Joe Girardi who was heavily criticized in Game Two of the ALDS after he failed to challenge a hit-by-pitch call that changed the momentum of the game against Cleveland. (The Yankees fell 2-0 but stormed back to win the next three and moved into the ALCS, where they lost to Houston in seven.)

Let’s look at this year. Again, I’m not saying anyone deserves to be fired or should be fired. I’m not predicting that they will. But look at how the Indians again went out in the first round. And the way they did it this time around – getting swept 3-0 by Houston and getting blown out in the finale – does at least deserve the question to be asked.

Tonight is the fourth game of the Yankees-Red Sox ALDS. And what happened on Monday night at Yankee Stadium? New York lost 16-1 and there was controversy about Luis Severino’s warmups. Two former players (now broadcasters) raised questions about Severino not having enough time to warm up prior to the game. Now, this is New York, where fans expect the Yankees to win the World Series every year. To lose a big game like that – the worst loss in Yankees postseason history – and to have such a controversy… don’t you at least raise the question about who might lose his or their jobs?

So, going to the playoffs doesn’t mean people’s jobs are safe. You have to go out and be ready, be competitive, and basically win.

Just my two cents.


Ahhh… playoff baseball. Boston, as of now, is ahead 2-1 in the Division Series and now people are saying the Yankees are done.

Interestingly, when David Price struggled for the Red Sox in Game Two, people were saying the Red Sox were dead.

It just goes to show how momentum changes in a short series like that, often from game to game. …


And, speaking of managers losing their jobs… Jason Garrett has been heavily criticized for the decision to punt on 4th-and-1 in overtime on the Houston 42-yard line. I mean, this is what I’ve been talking about… People could lose jobs over decisions that are regarded as the “wrong” ones in big games.

Speaking of big games, what a big night for Drew Brees. He has been such a class act. Breaking the all-time passing yards record on Monday Night Football… Unfortunately, there are analysts who refuse to put Brees on their list of Top 5 QBs of all-time, citing the fact that he has never been regarded as the top signal caller of his era the way other top guys have been or were.

But Brees has definitely been one of the best and what a great NFL moment on Monday night…

NFL: The 4th-and-1 controversy on SNF

Regarding the Dallas Cowboys’ decision to punt on 4th-and-1 in overtime against the Houston Texans… a decision that Cowboys owner has questioned publicly…..

…you gotta love the passion shown during the ESPN panel discussion, but I personally thought the use of the words “cowards” and “gutless” was a bit over the top.

Lots of drama in the NFL in recent days, whether it’s the New York Giants (Odell Beckham Jr.’s candid ESPN interview about his team and QB Eli Manning) or the Green Bay Packers (with QB Aaron Rodgers seemingly questioning his coaching staff’s conservative play calls)…

Here’s another edition of “don’t post crap”…

Anybody can write stuff online because anyone with access to the Internet and some sort of smartphone, computer, or similar device can do so! But of course, not everything you read online is true… Here’s yet another edition of “don’t post crap”!

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Nice try!!!! Justin Verlander, as any baseball fan knows, is a right-handed pitcher. Yet, according to this former Dartmouth student-athlete, Verlander is a LHP. Well, at least he went to an Ivy League school… Okay, moving on…

According to ESPN.com, there will be seven NL wild-card teams this year. Look at the GB column:

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That’s the last thing you’d expect out of ESPN.com! Unless, of course, there was a bug in the programming… but geez… the Phillies, despite being under .500 on September 26, holds the last wild-card spot!

Do some research before posting crap…

The Internet has its obvious advantages – which I don’t have to tell you about. It, however, has its disadvantages as well, and one of the biggest is that anybody can post things online.

Take this guy who “tried out for the Phillies in 1987.” He was commenting on whether or not Barry Bonds would have broken the major-league home run record….

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If this guy was a baseball fan as he suggests, then how come he didn’t realize that 1994 was the strike season? Read the following excerpt:

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Now, the guy clearly was referring to 1994 as one of the seasons Bonds went on the DL. Uhm, no. That year, the Giants played 115 games before the strike hit. Bonds appeared in 112 games. So, nice try.

Learn to do proper research – heck, none was needed to begin with because most baseball fans remember ’94 as the strike year – before posting crap.

Gutless.

Why insult people…?

I’ve been listening to ESPN Radio the last couple days and during commercial breaks they have this Stephen A. Smith promo where Smith is blasting Dallas Cowboys COO/Executive VP/Director of player personnel Stephen Jones (and also owner Jerry Jones).

Smith calls Stephen Jones “irrelevant” in his rant during his show promo because Jones had apparently referred to Hall of Fame and former Dallas pivot Troy Aikman as an “armchair quarterback.” In that promo, there was also a reference to Jones having a silver spoon… just basically personal attacks.

I get it if a radio or TV personality is hyping his show or whatever, but to take personal shots, make personal attacks on another human being? Calling him “irrelevant”? That’s gutless.

Stats and numbers that don’t make sense…

Recently overheard in a break room: “Pretty soon, all Canadians will be homeless because nobody will be able to afford to pay rent.”

Uhm, no, I don’t think so. I didn’t argue with the guy, though. No point. If someone is that negative, there’s nothing you can say that will change his or her mind.

THIS guy, meanwhile, is seen almost daily outside Renfrew SkyTrain Station asking people for money to feed his brother and him. It’s always, “Hey. Hey. Can you spare some change for me and my brother so we can get food?” Always. The same thing. Almost every day, if not every single day (literally).

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I am sure I am not the only one, but I don’t feel sorry for him. I’ve heard others tell him (nicely) to go find a job instead of asking people for money.

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Moving on to sports… I just learned this week that in some places, it’s legal to start gambling when you’re as young as 12 years old!

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this – but there was the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach talking about how he hasn’t watched a Super Bowl – live or on tape – since he was allowed to bet on the sport (ie. when he wasn’t a coach at any level yet)… and proceeded to throw out the number 12 in terms of age. I would think he was exaggerating about that part, though I guess I believe he hasn’t watched a Super Bowl for many years.

And who are those people talking about the Ravens defense? They allowed the Bengals’ Andy Dalton to throw for four TD passes in the first half on Thursday Night Football in Week 2!

Then there’s also the NFL Power Rankings by ESPN.com… some head-scratchers on this one… The Jets blew out the Lions in Week 1 while the Giants lost their game… and yet the Giants (#25) are ahead of the Jets (#26) on the rankings? The Titans (#22) are ahead of the team they lost to – the Dolphins (#24) – for crying out loud! There were others, but those ones were the ones that jumped out…

Finally, the Red Sox in MLB reached 100 wins this week – the first time the franchise has reached that mark since 1946… Wow… That’s a long time. Prior to being a writer, I rooted for the Red Sox. But THAT is woeful. Of course, if they don’t win the Series this year, the season will be regarded as a failure.. .We shall see.