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How big is “routine” when it comes to getting wins in the MLB playoffs?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
October 10, 2023 3:35 pm

How big is “routine” when it comes to getting wins in the MLB playoffs?

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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October 10, 2023 3:35 pm

Ryan Fagan, SportingNews.com, on the MLB playoffs and if the system is as efficient as it could be.

What are the reasons for teams like the Diamondbacks, Phillies, etc that are getting easier wins? It appears that the bye weeks aren’t beneficial to the teams who get them in MLB. Is there any other way to do this that might not impact those teams as much? Adam brings up a scenario that Ryan hasn’t heard of before, so would this be something that’d work out better for teams or cause more problems? What was a brilliant move for THIS team in the Phillies vs Braves matchup? What are the key takeaways for Ryan after watching the first two games between the Phillies vs Braves; especially now that they’re even? Also, the Arizona Diamondbacks knock the LA Dodgers out. What happened in this series to end with this result?

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Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News is joining us here. Baseball playoffs underway. He will open up a pack of baseball cards and then tweet it out, and I will have my mentions filled with that for the next three days.

I appreciate his time. Let me ask this question. Big picture about the baseball playoffs.

I know it's a short sample size, but the buys don't seem to have benefited by the buys in the two years of this format. One and one, or two and two in series last year. It looks right now at the very least, at best, we're probably looking at two and two with both the Dodgers and the Orioles trailing their series, 0-2, going on the road.

Is there a better way to do this? Not without blowing things up. What does blowing things up mean? Expanding the playoffs. Because, look, the truth is that baseball is never going to take wild-card teams away, right? They're never going to shorten the number of playoff teams.

And to do that, to get it so that there's not a scenario where there has to be a buy. You have to have a, you know, either six or, you know, you'd have to have eight teams, right, to make sure everyone's playing in the first round. So, that would be adding, you know, a couple wild-card spots. And that, I mean, look, we already had two teams get in this year with 84 wins, right?

I mean, how much more do we need to go down? And, you know, baseball loves the idea that more teams are involved, more fan bases are engaged for a longer time. I get that. And I do like that in a way. But if you're going to, you know, quote-unquote, fix the problem, that's probably what it's going to have to do. And that's what we'd have to do.

And to be honest with you, I don't know that I'd buy it a whole lot. You know, I mean, there have been through baseball history, you know, there have been times where, you know, one team will sweep the LCS and the other team goes seven games and then they face off. And so, it turns out where one of those teams has had four or five days off, three or four days off.

And, you know, sometimes it matters, sometimes it doesn't. I just, look, I look at these games and there are reasons that you can see that why the Diamondbacks won. There are reasons you can see why the Phillies won that first game and then why they were up so big in that second game. There are reasons that the Rangers went into Baltimore and won two games there. Reasons that aren't because the other team sat around for a couple days. And I think it's, to me, it's, I don't want to use the word coincidence, but there are other factors that are probably more important than the fact that those teams had a couple days off. Yeah, well, I mean, look, and I've talked to former players about this, baseball is about rhythm.

And these guys are used to playing every day. And you could be 100% right. It could have zero to do. And I allow for that because I'm not bullheaded.

I allow for the fact that there could be absolutely no reason for it. It's just circumstance and that the Rangers just beat the Orioles twice in Baltimore. The truth of the matter is, and people don't want to seem to really acknowledge this anyway most of the time, is that the difference between the best team and the worst team is a lot less than people think in any other sport. Best team in baseball probably wins 60% of the time. Worst team, with reasons, within reason, wins about 40% of the time. So that's really not that big of a spread. And now when we're talking about playoff teams, there's very little separating the two teams. It usually comes down to a pitch. But when it's about routine, there is no other scenario apart from an all-star break when teams have five days off.

And I can't, for the life of me, think that that's good for those teams, those players. So what if we concentrated? I'm on a warpath about this, Ryan, and then we'll talk baseball. Why can't we concentrate the wildcard? I realize you have to leave Monday free for whatever happens. But if the wildcards, if they're going to pile all the wildcards on Tuesday, why don't we do a doubleheader Tuesday to see if we need Wednesday and then start everything on Thursday? That's interesting. I haven't heard the doubleheader idea. I do like getting rid of the the extra day between them.

I think John Smoltz talked about this on the broadcast a couple of days ago. Just go straight from the wildcard to the division. Yes.

You know, make it make it a date. You'd have to make them all day games. Right. Which I know TV doesn't like.

That's right. Make them all day games. And then you're taking out that rest.

And then the day of rest, the day off between games one and two of the end of division series is ludicrous because that really hurts. You know, I mean, that that has to go away if there's some sort of competitive element to this. But we all know that TV gets what TV wants. And that's the big reason that that's there. But yeah, there should be more reason. I mean, the Phillies, look, it shouldn't be a scenario where they throw their best pitcher, Zach Wheeler, twice in a three game stretch. Right.

If you're trying to have when he didn't go in game one. Right. Right. Right. Yeah, exactly. So I mean, it's it's it's a scenario where, like, there are ways to fix this without expanding the playoffs massively or doing something along those lines. Ryan Fagan, the Sporting News is joining us.

All right. Let's talk baseball now. The little things add up to the big things. As I was watching the Braves and Phillies last night, Trey Turner's second error of the game was a lot bigger.

When I when I saw it in real time, I'm like, huh? The Braves just scored a run because of his lack of focus. And I think that matters because suddenly the Braves just got on the scoreboard when they hadn't at any point in that series.

Like, again, don't know if it really mattered. I felt like it did. Maybe the Braves felt like it did. Yeah, and that's what matters is the Braves, they just needed something because you just need anything. I mean, even sitting there when when Wheeler walked Acuna, when Acuna earned that walk, I thought to myself, you know, sometimes it's the little stuff like that that you won't expect it to out walk.

Couldn't be a big problem. But, you know, this Braves team is so dangerous. And, you know, then that obviously came up with that line drive and, you know, Turner tries to backhand that thing doesn't feel that cleanly Acuna very aggressively, very alertly is watching the play looking for any sort of way he can take advantage of a tiny mistake. And boom, there it was, he didn't hesitate.

He went in and scored. And it's a different game, right? If it was seven to one, or seven to nothing at a time, maybe it doesn't matter. But you know, that Braves team, we've seen all year can put up runs quickly. You know, and if you're Philly, if you're the Phillies, you were looking at a scenario, or you're up to Oh, going back to playing in the best home field advantage in baseball, right? Yeah. Atlanta's great.

The crowd there is great, no doubt about it. Phillies at another level. Right now, you're looking at going back there up to Oh, with Aaron Nola on the mound. All of a sudden, it's one one things look a lot different.

You're just a it's a disappointing trip back home. Things change. You know, I mean, they had Atlanta down, and they let them back up.

Doesn't matter. Philly still good enough to win two of these three, take the series. But it's a lot taller task than just having to win one of these last three games.

I got one more thing. It's been such a long time since I have watched a baseball game with interest and dissected strategy. But if you know that you're bringing in a left handed pitcher Ryan Fagan of the sporting news to pitch to Matt Olson, why is Austin Riley getting with first base open? Why is he getting anything that he can barrel up? Because I thought pitching around while you don't want to put the go ahead run on base, I get it with two outs, right? But you've got first base open, you don't have to give in.

Why is there anything that Riley can barrel up? I thought, especially when it got to three and two, you throw a high fastball if he chases, okay, if not, you know, ball four, and you're bringing a lefty in the pitch to also anyway, which I don't even know matters. Like there are left handed batters where it doesn't matter bringing a left handed pitcher. I was curious about that from Robbie Thompson. Yeah, you know, I mean, the game one game plan and execution for the Phillies was just absolute perfection, the way they use their staff and the relievers and knowing they have the off day, following that up, so everybody could be healthy and ready to go.

It was brilliant. That was a move that, you know, I think at some point, though, you're looking at that brave lineup. Yeah. And you're just thinking they're going to get you.

It never ends. But at some point, you have to pitch to somebody. Right.

So challenge with what you feel is the best. But I mean, that's why Atlanta is so dangerous. Like you have to pick your poison.

And the poison is going to get you sooner or later. Right. And I think that's just kind of what happened there.

It's true. Look, again, this a lot of this is going to sound like hindsight. But I realize when I'm watching the game on YouTube at home, right, YouTube TV, I'm a little behind. So I don't want to seem like I'm. So anyway, I'm not live tweeting a game like that anymore anyway. But that's the thing that stuck in my head is like, you don't have to pitch to him.

You don't have to give in to him here. You have the base open, even though you don't want to give up. You don't want to put the go ahead run on base for free. The Dodgers starting pitching doesn't look like the Dodgers starting pitching. Clayton Kershaw got absolutely destroyed in game one. Their starters have given up, I believe, nine runs in the first inning of their O2 deficit. How does that get better?

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Okay. They're going to be in the postseason. Just wake me up when we get there and tell me what the rotation looks like and then I'll tell you whether they have a chance to go deep into October and this year the rotation didn't look good.

Yeah, right, you know, because of some of the injuries and other issues they've had. They had Clayton Kershaw who was healthy as healthy as he's been in any October in recent memory. He was really good down the stretch at two two-year 2.23 ERA in August and September. They were carefully working him.

He was getting five to six seven days off. Yeah, clean every start and then they had him and then they weren't sure right about the young kids who throw the ball really hard have great stuff but just haven't been on that stage and when Kershaw got lit up like that and then they had to go to Bobby Miller and you know, Bobby Miller has the type of stuff. I remember the first time I watched Bobby Miller on TV was in spring training a couple years. He was wearing like number 97 or something and he blew a fastball by Shohei Ohtani and I tweeted out the Dodgers are so deep. They have guys wearing 90s striking out Shohei Ohtani and a bunch of Dodgers fans like that's Bobby Miller. He's going to be amazing, right?

So he can be that guy. He was not right in that first ending and he didn't make it out of the second ending and now the Dodgers are in trouble. I mean, their season basically is relying on Lance Lin.

Amazing. He's been very hit and miss in his time with the Dodgers. I mean, you feel better as a veteran guy that maybe he's ready to step up to that challenge but yeah it is not a good situation for the Dodgers right now.

It feels like to me that Lance Lin was old 10 years ago but I could be wrong about maybe there's another Lance Lin for all I know. All right, real quick, Astros and Twins today Rangers at home to the Orioles. Look, I've already talked to Orioles fans that believe that well, you know, it was fun while it lasted and that's fair. I hope they'll be around for a long time but that Astros-Twins series to me that seems a lot more even than I think most people think.

Yeah, absolutely. Minnesota's a really good team. I mean, everybody kind of forgot about them because they went into the postseason with the fewest wins of any division winner but I mean that's because they started out pretty slow this season. You look at the records in the second half in the last couple months of the season, they're right up there. Not the best record in the AL but they're right up there in that conversation and you look at that rotation. We've seen what Pablo Lopez can do. We've seen Sonny Gray. They've got five guys who could legitimately start a playoff game and you feel pretty good about it but then you put some of the other guys back in the bullpen and you have a line up that, you know, Royce Lewis has been arguably my favorite story coming out of the postseason so far.

You have a high pick who's had issues with injuries and whatnot coming in and just looking like he's going to be a future All-Star MVP candidate if he stays healthy. Now the Twins are legit. I look at these teams that are in the American League, the four teams that are left and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Minnesota representing the AL in the World Series.

No, it wouldn't either. Ryan Fagan, Sporting News, at Ryan Fagan on Twitter. I appreciate your time, my friend. Go open up a pack of baseball cards and talk to you soon. I'll enjoy it, Adam. Thanks.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-22 09:38:45 / 2023-10-22 09:45:56 / 7

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