Sabermetric analysis of all things baseball - on-and-off the field. Barry Bonds fan club.
World Series Game Two: Why Did It Have to be Snakes?!
The 2023 World Series kicked off with an amazing extra innings victory for the Texas Rangers, a comeback victory at that. The Rangers trailed 5-3, and it looked like the Arizona Diamondbacks would steal Game One, but Corey Seager tied the game with a two-run homer in the 9th, and the 11th (and the game overall) ended with Adolis Garcia walking it off. The Rangers struck first in this year's Fall Classic, moving three wins away from their first championship.
World Series Game One: Even the Home Runs are Bigger in Texas
When this year's World Series matchup became official, I wanted two things out of this year's edition. One, I wanted extra inning games. And two, I wanted a seven-game Series. With a matchup as unorthodox as the Texas Rangers facing the Arizona Diamondbacks, I wanted all of the insanity and chaos that could come from this. I would get my first request; time would tell if the other comes true.
2023 World Series Preview
I always enjoy the World Series, and there are so many reasons. For one, it's absolutely prestigious; there is a lot of history involved, as the Fall Classic's been around since 1903. Another reason is that the World Series marks the end of a very long season with so many games and few days off, but there's also another factor involved: it's the last championship of the sports calendar year. The Super Bowl's in February, the Stanley Cup and NBA Championship are awarded in June, and the World Series occurs in late October/early November.
What Went Wrong: A Taste of Their Own Medicine
I just want to say that I haven't seen a League Championship Series this captivating since 2003. That year also was both LCSes go the maximum seven games. In the National League, it was the Florida Marlins and the Chicago Cubs; the Cubs were up 3-2 entering Game Six, where they had a 3-0 lead, and then...Steve Bartman happened. Marlins came back and won Game Six, and took Game Seven to win the pennant. In the American League, it was the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox; another chapter in that bitter rivalry. We all know how Game Seven went. Boston up 4-0, and then 5-2, they were close to the curse being broken, then Pedro Martinez was left in to give up three clutch Yankee runs. Mariano Rivera pitches a shutout 9th, 10th, and 11th, and in the bottom of the 11th, Aaron Boone (the future Yankees manager) hits a walk-off shot off the legendary knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield.
What Went Wrong: Home Field Disadvantage
As the saying goes, "When the Astros lose in the postseason, an angel gets its wings." Sadly, that angel is not any of the ones who play in Anaheim.
2023 League Championship Series Preview
I always love that final round before the championship in sports. In the NBA and NHL, it's the Conference Finals. In the NFL, it's the Conference Championship. In Major League Baseball, it's the League Championship Series that has served as that penultimate semifinal round since 1969. It was during that year that the wave of expansion and relocation during that decade resulted in the American and National Leagues being split into two divisions: East and West. For 66 seasons, the pennant was decided via the league standings, but with two divisions in each league, the East and West winners faced each other in the League Championship Series, MLB's first official playoff round.
What Went Wrong: "Just Like Rear Ends"
You know, I wasn't expecting this year's postseason to be the forum for déjà vu, yet here we are. For the second straight year, the Tampa Bay Rays offense fizzled in October. For the second straight year, the Los Angeles Dodgers had all of the expectations in the world, yet found themselves humiliated in the Division Series. And for the second straight year, the Atlanta Braves were upset in the National League Division Series by the Philadelphia Phillies.
What Went Wrong: What a Waste
"Mom! The Dodgers are doing that thing again!" You know, I'm not even a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but living in Southern California, that's the team I hear about. Yes, the Los Angeles Angels exist, but outside of Shohei Ohtani, the team is irrelevant. In my story about the 1955 championship, I mentioned that the Dodgers were the ultimate "fool ya team" back when they played in Brooklyn. They always had great seasons, but could not win the Fall Classic. Though, if there was any fair excuse for them, they always ran into the New York Yankees. The Dodgers finally won in 1955, and after moving west, their "fool ya" days appeared to be behind them, though recent years have seen them go back to their Brooklyn days of blowing seasons.
Twins Eliminated by Defending Champs, but Have Reasons to be Positive
You will notice that the words, "What Went Wrong," are not featured in the title. That's because in this case, it's not warranted. "What Went Wrong" is my factual, biting, and (at times) humorous look at the teams whose postseasons came to an abrupt end. Regarding MLB and the NHL, it's a look at the teams who were eliminated during the playoffs, and when it comes to the NFL, it's about teams who were eliminated from playoff contention, usually in the final weeks and usually when they had good chances to get in but blew it. And again, depending on the team and the situation, I'm usually quite blunt when it comes to certain.
What Went Wrong: Orioles' Dream Season Ends in Nightmarish Fashion
A lot of attention was directed toward the Baltimore Orioles entering the 2023 MLB Postseason. There were reasons for that. In the time that has passed between their last postseason appearance in 2016 and now, it had been very rough for the franchise. The seasons were disastrous. The pitching was getting knocked around and beat up. The hitting wasn't coming through. They were paying Chris Davis $23 million/year to strike out three times a game and hit about 40-60 points below the Mendoza Line. It was just terrible all around.
At the Harvey School, Baseball is a Family Affair for the Ortega's
Growing up, Kira Ortega got as many backyard pitches from her father as her twin brother Kirk. They also played baseball on the same teams until the sister opted for softball at age 11. The twins continued their divergence on the diamond at the Harvey School, but when a lack of interest had the school disband the softball team, Kira was left outside the lines. So the senior, three sport athlete did what she has always done. She stepped up to the plate.
2023 Division Series Preview
It took only two of the three days of the Wild Card Series for this year's Division Series matchups to be set, as all four Wild Card Series ended in sweeps. This is the 29th edition of the League Division Series (LDS), not counting the occurrence that took place in 1981 due to a brief work stoppage. When the LDS was created in 1994, the original matchups pitted the best division winner against the league's lone Wild Card (unless they were in the same division), while the other two division winners faced each other. The LDS officially debuted in 1995 (a strike canceled the rest of the season and postseason in 1994), and stood as the opening round of the postseason until the Wild Card Game was introduced in 2012.