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Roundtable: NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game One

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Friday October 16, 2009 4:00 PM ET NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game One roundtable.
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Roundtable Administrator (12:12:48 AM PT): Welcome to the NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game One roundtable, where BP authors engage in a live chat during the event and answer our readers questions. This roundtable does not start until 4:00 PM ET on October 16, but you can submit questions for our authors any time before or during the roundtable by submitting them using this roundtable chat interface.

Jay Jaffe (1:09:04 PM PT): Good afternoon and welcome to our roundtable doubleheader, starting with Game Two of the NLCS. It's gorgeous out on LA, and frightful here in New York, about 40 degrees and wet - we'll see if the second leg of tonight's action gos off as planned.

Jay Jaffe (1:13:43 PM PT): ccmonter (Waterloo, Canada): What happened to Torre's quick hook? Kershaw was clearly in trouble and Torre has a full stock in the bullpen.

I wrote all about that issue in today's column. Joe wrote his own piece and arrived at completely the opposite conclusion, which should if nothing else stand as a data point the next time the fanboys accuse us of groupthink.

I simply don't think you can look at Kershaw in that situation after three walks, three wild pitches, 31 pitches in the inning and God knows what else running through his head and think that having the platoon advantage against Howard is alone enough to outweigh the information that the rest of the inning has given you. Elbert may not have been the man for the job, but Torre could have brought in Randy Wolf for a cameo while double-switching Orlando Hudson (who pinch-hit after the damage was done) and Ronnie Belliard (who'd just ended the inning). The difference between a 3-1 game and a 5-1 game proved decisive.

Jay Jaffe (1:14:56 PM PT): And Vicente Padilla gets through the first on nine pitches, with a lone single by Chase Utley the sole blemish. Good start for the Dodgers.

Jay Jaffe (1:17:43 PM PT): Somewhere on the horizon, in the blur created by the heat of his rapid typing, and with a Morricone soundtrack at his back, Steven Goldman looms like the Man With No Name.

Jay Jaffe (1:19:11 PM PT): Attention Chip Caray: line drives do not loop. And that was not a line drive.

Jay Jaffe (1:23:57 PM PT): Pedro sets the Dodgers down in order on 14 pitches.

Steven Goldman (1:25:00 PM PT): Are you ready for some football???

Oops... Wrong song. It's Vicente Padilla, so maybe it should be...

Are you ready for some needlessly hit batsmen?

Steven Goldman (1:29:46 PM PT): I had to fetch a black and white cookie. Unfortunately, I greatly prefer the white half, but it's hard to find white and white cookies. Vanilla is just more my flavor than chocolate. And don't go reading into that.

Kevin Goldstein (1:30:03 PM PT): Not exactly the barn burner expected. Both pitchers very sharp -- both pitchers capable of collapsing at any time as well.

Jay Jaffe (1:30:21 PM PT): I was at that game against the Rangers where he hit Teixeira! It was hella fun razzing him, but he's been a model citizen in Dodger blue. The Joe Torre glare has worked wonders.

Steven Goldman (1:31:33 PM PT): How many people do you know who you would rate as NOT capable of collapsing at any time? Answer honestly.

Jay Jaffe (1:31:59 PM PT): Yes, Kevin, it seems that either of these pitchers could go Pinto hatchback with the right (wrong?) set of circumstances, but so far both have looked sharp.

Pedro vs. Manny. This is what we're paying for.

Steven Goldman (1:32:57 PM PT): Paying for... Five years ago?

Jay Jaffe (1:33:47 PM PT): And it ends with a four-pitch popup. Yeesh.

Steven Goldman (1:34:24 PM PT): Those outfield pavilions really scream 50s architecture.

Steven Goldman (1:35:29 PM PT): When I talked with Don Mattingly, I was always mesmerized by the sheer circumference of his nostrils.

Jay Jaffe (1:36:21 PM PT): Ever been to Dodger Stadium? Even witha few flourishes which kind of date it, it's bliss compared to what we've had in New York, old or new.

Kevin Goldstein (1:37:05 PM PT): Last time I talked to Don Mattingly, I was actually talking to his son Preston, who was right next to him. He looks just like a taller, burlier version of his dad to the point that it's almost creepy.

Steven Goldman (1:37:28 PM PT): Kyle (Portland): Did someone hit the snooze button?

I love to hit the snooze button and have been known to hit it repeatedly. Unfortunately, I have read that the snooze button is pointless, that the sleep you get after you hit it doesn't lower your fatigue level any. So now I just get up... Or turn off the alarm altogether and say, "@$#$# the consequences," before rolling over and going back to sleep.

Kevin Goldstein (1:38:47 PM PT): Wheels (Virginia): Anyone care to lay odds on a 1 to 0 game with both starters around in the 8th inning?

If Pedro pitches into the eighth, I will, in honor of the great Werner Herzog, eat my shoe.

Steven Goldman (1:39:19 PM PT): Jay, yes, years and years ago. I wasn't criticizing it as much as making an observation. Those pavilions remind me of the local drive-in movie theater, demolished at least two decades ago now...

...I should have stolen one of the car speakers before they carted it all away.

Jay Jaffe (1:40:03 PM PT): Popup city for the Dodgers.

adambennett (MD Backgammon Tourney): Abreu for the HoF? A couple more good seasons should do it, right?

Assuming we're talking about Bobby Abreu and not Tony or Winston, he's further away from the Hall of Fame. I looked at this back in August (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9416). By those numbers, which don't account for 2009, he was about 17 WARP short on career and a couple WARP shy on peak, but the real problem is that he's just past 2,100 hits at age 35, isn't close to 300 homers (256), has just two All-Star appearances and has never finished higher than 14th in the MVP voting. Plus there's the fact that guys who walk 80 or 100 times a year are exactly the ones who get kicked in the head by the voters, who prefer hackers like Jim Rice and Ryne Sandberg to plate disciples like Ron Santo, Tim Raines and Bobby Grich.

Jay Jaffe (1:41:18 PM PT): Love that Herzog video. Kids, that's what the internets is for.

Steven Goldman (1:42:33 PM PT): Shouldn't that be a double play?

Steven Goldman (1:44:33 PM PT): Abreu's defense gives back a fair chunk of his offense in this latter part of his career.

Jay Jaffe (1:47:29 PM PT): Wow, a 55 MPH curveball had Victorino falling out of his shoes.

Steven Goldman (1:52:16 PM PT): Hey, Kevin, do the Dodgers have good internal options to replace their free agent second basemen?

Kevin Goldstein (1:57:09 PM PT): Unless you believe in Blake DeWitt there (and I don't), the answer is no. Maybe Ivan DeJesus can bounce back after a lost '09, maybe Hu will get another look -- there's some options, but none of them inspire much confidence at this juncture.

Steven Goldman (1:57:12 PM PT): I don't want to steal a question addressed to Jay, but Dave Parker making the Hall of Fame over about 100 other guys would be a gross miscarriage of justice and good taste.

Kevin Goldstein (1:57:33 PM PT): For the record, I'm pretty sure my curveball comes in at around 55 mph.

Jay Jaffe (1:57:38 PM PT): Toni (Oakland, CA): Padilla DFA'd by Texas and he turns into the Dodgers' ace in the hole? Is there that much difference between the AL and NL?

There's a difference in league quality but you also have to consider the difference between moving from a hitter's haven in Texas and a pitcher's palace in Dodger Stadium. And perhaps from an unhappy situation where he's been the center of distraction to a happier one where he has his, um, stuff together.

Joe Sheehan (2:03:51 PM PT): Wow.

Jay Jaffe (2:03:51 PM PT): Fudge. Ryan Howard jacks one out.

Jay Jaffe (2:04:38 PM PT): Chip Caray: "The Phillies have scored first again." Like last night, when the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead?


Kevin Goldstein (2:05:47 PM PT): That's about as hung as hung can get. If you want to break your curve INTO the strike zone as opposed to out of it, that's a good thing and it takes a lot of guts. If you are right-handed and break it into the top of the strike zone center-cut for Ryan Howard, well you see what happens.

Jay Jaffe (2:07:10 PM PT): And back to the well for another one which Steve already touched upon...

Toni (Oakland, CA): (not about this game) Jay I've been thinking a lot about the 1989 A's (20 year anniversary of Loma Prieta) and do you see any of the players from that team making the HoF outside of Rickey? Dave Parker maybe? And do you think Mark McGwire ever get in?

Well, Dennis Eckersley is already in. Parker - I don't see it. His candidacy is like the canned goods at the Kwik-E-Mart: maybe the official expiration date hasn't been reached yet, but everyone's made up their minds pretty firmly on the subject.

McGwire, I think, will eventually be there. It may take 30 years of genetic mutant 80 homer a year guys, and a 20-part Barbara Walters interview, but i think eventually the voters will have enough perspective to tackle the steroids issue with a bit more rationality than they can muster these days.

Joe Sheehan (2:09:02 PM PT): Padilla's seven starts after the Dodgers signed him: D'backs twice, Giants twice, Rockies twice (one was meaningless game #162), Nats once. Parks: Dodgerx3 (including the #162), Petco, AT&T, Chase, Coors.

I'm not wrting him off. I am saying he saw a crapload of bad lineups and right-handed hitters in pitchers' parks coming down the stretch.

His playoff start against was against a heavily RHB team in Dodger Stadium.

Steven Goldman (2:09:14 PM PT): Shaun P. (Medway, MA): Not a question as much as a comment re: last night's game. I too did not know about Kuo's limitation, but when I saw Sherrill was going to pitch the 8th last night, I was not surprised. Joe Torre ran his bullpen by formula ("Hmm, its the 8th inning, well that means Farnsworth pitches!") for how many years with the Yanks? All that said, with Kuo unavailable, I do think Torre did the right thing.

My beef was that Sherrill was laboring and was due for an over-correction, IE after a bunch of balls, a fat strike.

Jay Jaffe (2:11:08 PM PT): Plus the point that Torre has deviated from formula when it comes to going Broxton/Sherrill in the eighth and ninth a couple times, including once last round.

Steven Goldman (2:12:58 PM PT): Toni (Oakland, CA): To, SG, fair enough. Wasn't trying to be disrespectful to other players. Honest. :) I was just thinking about some of the players from that team, which seems to be a bit lost in history due to Loma Prieta and steriods.

I wasn't calling you out, Toni. Just giving my visceral reaction. I mean, Jim Rice got in at the last minute because he was a supposedly clean slugger, much as all of the White Sox this side of Nemo Leibold got into the Hall. You can't say that about Parker, who maybe didn't do steroids but wasn't clean, fought his weight without enthusiasm, and spent a lot of his career not hitting at the level that his position would require.

Kevin Goldstein (2:12:59 PM PT): James (DC): Kevin: Does Howard have 80 raw power?


Jay Jaffe (2:14:20 PM PT): Joe, within the small samples, Pedro actually faced slightly easier competition than Padilla during their late-season NL tenures:

Pedro: .254/.326/.391/717
Vinny: .248/.319/.407/.726

Joe Sheehan (2:14:24 PM PT): Also for Kevin: can Kyle Blanks become Ryan Howard?

Steven Goldman (2:15:56 PM PT): During the regular season, Ruiz got 27% of attempting basestealers, which I guess you could call "towards the high side of unexceptional."

Joe Sheehan (2:18:14 PM PT): I didn't introduce a comparative.

Both those lines suck. They're basically even (OBP matters more than SLG), and they both suck.

Jay Jaffe (2:20:48 PM PT): Matt (Chicago): Is this Werner fellow related to Whitey?

Wouldn't it be great if they were? A pair of stubborn visionaries in their own fields, for sure.

Here's Werner eating his shoe, no joke. Almost as fun as watching highlights of the '80s Cardinals:


Steven Goldman (2:22:18 PM PT): Those floaty graphics that TBS likes to use make me kinda seasick.

Joe Sheehan (2:23:07 PM PT): Thinking about tonight...they'll play through some nasty stuff if need be. Fox makes its money on Sunday night, they don't want the baseball sliding to then. Given the standard that was set in World Series Game Five last year, we'll need to see a third-base coach with a fishing pole for this game to not be played.

Kevin Goldstein (2:25:54 PM PT): I feel like I'm the only person who wants to playoffs to stay on TBS, as I think their HD picture is better than Fox's.

Steven Goldman (2:27:22 PM PT): Casey once tried to get a game called for rain by coming at the umpire while wearing a yellow rain slicker, and another time tried to get one called for darkness by waiving a railroad lantern to make a pitching change. Ejections ensued.

Steven Goldman (2:29:55 PM PT): Must be weird for the Dodgers to be shut out by a pitcher who effectively retired five years ago.

Kevin Goldstein (2:31:15 PM PT): I need someone to burn me 100 DVDs of this game so every time somebody asks me what pitchability is, I can send it to them with the note "watch Pedro." Stuff is borderline pedestrian, but he's hitting every spot, changing speeds on to the point where his fastball is almost a changeup, and everything cuts or sinks or bores or runs or some kind of combination of the above.

Jay Jaffe (2:31:46 PM PT): Both of these starters have shut down the opposing lineups today. You'd think this was the Hamels-Kershaw game looking at the hitter lines.

Steven Goldman (2:34:08 PM PT): Pedro was always a very creative and intelligent pitcher. It wasn't just the heat. Of course, some creative and intelligent pitchers can't survive the loss of heat -- look at David Cone. It's great that he's been able to adapt despite all the injuries.

Kevin Goldstein (2:36:18 PM PT): One thing I've learned during the post-season, love is all I need to become a really good crumper. Good to know.

Steven Goldman (2:37:56 PM PT): Kevin, that was EXACTLY what John Lennon was getting at when he wrote the song. Little-known Beatles fact.

Steven Goldman (2:40:34 PM PT): jwillie (Mpls): Would the Twins be wise to ship Delmon Young to the Cubs for Milton Bradley in a malcontent swap? Bradley would fit perfectly in the #2 spot for the Twins and he could take turn with Kubel DHing and playing the field. The Twins need more patience and less free swingers.

I am of the firm belief that the Twins should ship Delmon Young anywhere. If the Cubs make that deal, they might as well not bother showing up next year as the blow to their already-shaky offense will be fatal. And their defense. And their beer sales.

Jay Jaffe (2:41:44 PM PT): David (Delaware): How is a "pitchers' duel" where there's been one solo homer through the fourth inning any different from last night's "slugfest," where there was only one solo homer until the fifth inning?

Because we haven't seen another 13 runs added to the linescores yet.

Anybody got first-pitch strike numbers thus far? Home audience, a little help, please.

Joe Sheehan (2:42:43 PM PT): There's a distinct lack of selectivity in this game.

Joe Sheehan (2:44:53 PM PT): Padilla: 16 of 21.

Pete: six of 16.

Phillies are swinging at everything, though.

Jay Jaffe (2:48:16 PM PT): Shaun P. (Medway, MA): Jay, I was as surprised as you to see Torre deviate last week with Broxton - and I have no idea how often he did this season or last - but it will take a lot more than a couple of deviations to convince me he's changed. Not saying its not possible, just that I'm incredibly skeptical. Steven, I think he should have pulled Kershaw when he was laboring - but since he didn't, I'm not surprised he left Sherrill in too.

Actually I wasn't surprised at the Broxton move at all. I know he did it twice this year, once in late April (backed by Will Ohman) and once in late August (Sherrill). Plus he brought Broxton in for a 4 or 5 out save several times as well, just as he did with Mariano Rivera in the Bronx. I've said my piece about last night but bullpenwise, there are managers with much less flexibility than Joe.

Jay "First Pitch Strike" Jaffe (2:51:27 PM PT): Wow on the first pitches, and thanks.

I think when the lack of selectivity is that consistent that you have to credit the pitcher keeping the hitters off balance, rather than the assumption that these guys would as soon be golfing on such a beautiful day.

Steven Goldman (2:52:17 PM PT): BTW, it's only 44 PA and they were awhile ago, but Thome was career .171/.341/.457 with three HR against Pedro.

Joe Sheehan (2:53:44 PM PT): Kemp is going to see that pitch in his dreams.

Jay Jaffe (2:54:27 PM PT): Tweet from MLB.com's Matthew Leach: "According to Gameday, Pedro has now hit 23 different speed readings, including every number from 75 through 92."

Steven Goldman (2:55:46 PM PT): When that pitch came in I shouted "Uh-oh," but Kemp surprised me by not doing anything with it. The main result was the cat looked at me funny.

Jay "Not a Cat Man" Jaffe (2:56:49 PM PT): As opposed to the wizened looks the cat usually gives you?

Steven Goldman (2:57:57 PM PT): Usually he just dispenses with looks altogether and just flips me off.

Joe Sheehan (3:01:24 PM PT): Big, complicated speeches about why you'd get relievers up behind Pedro.

No one says, "because with a runner on first and no one one, there's a half-decent chance that you'll have to hit for Martinez this inning."

Steven Goldman (3:04:10 PM PT): Seventy-seven pitches for PM after the last inning. Did he REALLY get up to 130 against the Mets in mid-September? Who thought THAT was a good idea?

Jay Jaffe (3:05:24 PM PT): Wow, Padilla just made Ibanez look silly on that strikeout. Seven innings, one run, six K's, hell of a showing for a guy that was supposed to be meat for this lineup.

Kevin Goldstein (3:07:55 PM PT): How the hell can an every day player (Andre Ethier) be a good luck charm?

Steven Goldman (3:09:33 PM PT): Because he's magically delicious?

Jay "Lucky" Jaffe (3:09:50 PM PT): He keeps a leperchaun in his back pocket when he bats.

Kevin Goldstein (3:10:43 PM PT): I'm suddenly wondering what my show will taste like.

Kevin Goldstein (3:10:53 PM PT): or shoe.

Joe Sheehan (3:12:04 PM PT): The world's better when Pedro Martinez is playing baseball.

Steven Goldman (3:12:37 PM PT): I'm waiting for a fast food chain to respond to an e.coli scare by offering single-source beef patties.

Jay Jaffe (3:13:25 PM PT): Aaron W. (Somerset, KY): Can Pedro hold up like this for a few more years? Because he could do some good work in the back end of a rotation in the AAAA League.

It would certainly be fun to see if he could make it through a full season like this, or even be like a second-half pitcher, but you're talking about a guy who's made just 57 starts over the last four years. He'll keep getting chances if he pitches like this, though. Beautiful job today.

Steven Goldman (3:13:29 PM PT): At least on a peak level, I don't think there can be much argument that he's not the greatest starting pitcher ever.

Kevin Goldstein (3:20:20 PM PT): On peak? He's easily the greatest starting pitcher for me. And now with Dobbs pinch-hitting, my shoe is safe from consumption. I also like the Dodgers to score once Pedro is out.

Joe Sheehan (3:20:23 PM PT): Can't push this. Great start, but don't let him blow this open. Kuo time.

Jay Jaffe (3:20:57 PM PT): If you're confining peak to a two-consecutive year period, sure. But If you look a longer stretches to call peak, such as the seven years I use in JAWS, Clemens and Maddux have MUCH higher scores.

Steph Bee (3:21:58 PM PT): And Pedro holds two of the top three VORP years since 1954. Only Roger Clemens intrudes in his dominance.

Jay Jaffe (3:22:33 PM PT): Hats off to both pitchers. From a storyline perspective, this has already been a great matchup.

Jay Jaffe (3:24:49 PM PT): A year out of date, but compare the peak scores of these then-active pitchers:


Roger Clemens: 83.9
Greg Maddux 86/0
Randy Johnson 77.3
Pedro Martinez 68.8
Curt Schilling 65.9
Mike Mussina 64.3
Tom Glavine 63.7
John Smoltz 58.5
Avg HoF SP 67.2

Steven Goldman (3:26:41 PM PT): Why does PM rate so low given how dominant he was?

Joe Sheehan (3:28:54 PM PT): Gotta be innings, even at his peak he didn't throw innings the way the other guys did.

Steven Goldman (3:31:08 PM PT): As I alluded to yesterday, Chan Ho has a career ERA of 2.95 at Dodger Stadium.

Jay Jaffe (3:32:13 PM PT): Innings, mostly. Those other guys had more of them in their peak years.

Worth a closer look with updated numbers when there's not a nailbiter in session.

Steven Goldman (3:32:49 PM PT): Holy cow. Talk about your seeing-eye singles.

Kevin Goldstein (3:33:57 PM PT): Man I feel smart right about now . . .

Jay Jaffe (3:33:57 PM PT): Wow, Park misses the bunt and the Dodgers are in business with two on and no out. Trainer out for a hammy check.

Joe Sheehan (3:35:10 PM PT): I don't think it was the hamstring. I think he just overran it. That ball was bunted very hard.

Steven Goldman (3:35:39 PM PT): About that play in the first when Loney intentionally drooped the popped up bunt, MLB.com has written that the reason they didn't get the double play was, "Belliard did it in the wrong order. He stepped on the bag first, which meant Martinez was out. Then he tagged Ruiz. But at that point, Ruiz was once again legally entitled to the base and was ruled safe."

Joe Sheehan (3:36:08 PM PT): Why are you bunting 2-0? Let him miss.

Joe Sheehan (3:37:32 PM PT): See also, 3-1. ARGH.

Jay "Airmail" Jaffe (3:39:17 PM PT): Holy footwork, Batman. That's the second time Utley has gone Knoblauch.

Jay "Airmail" Jaffe (3:39:18 PM PT): Holy footwork, Batman. That's the second time Utley has gone Knoblauch.

Kevin Goldstein (3:39:25 PM PT): Chase's throws have looked funky all post-season.

Steven Goldman (3:40:00 PM PT): Last night it was somewhat justified by the bad feed from Rollins. This time it didn't seem like he was under any real pressure.

Steph Bee (3:40:30 PM PT): Wow, that's the second botched DP attempt by the Phillies late in the game in two days.

Joe Sheehan (3:40:36 PM PT):
You bunt 2-0, you bunt 3-1, and then you swing 3-2.

I really don't understand baseball.

You can see the ball tail right off of Utley's fingertips, and his arm never really come down through the throw. He's really been in the middle of a ton of plays the last two postseasons, good and bad.

Steven Goldman (3:42:06 PM PT): Manny Trillo would have had that.

Jay Jaffe (3:43:54 PM PT): Finally Thome gets a hit to justify the airfare from Chicago.

Steven Goldman (3:44:52 PM PT): I love it when platoon managing goes awry.

Joe Sheehan (3:46:16 PM PT): Eyre scuffled Monday against the Rockies. Wonder if he's not completely healthy, just trying to help out. Gonzalez, Helton, Thome...very unspecialist. Or not special.

Steven Goldman (3:50:16 PM PT): As I mentioned at the tail end of last night's conversation, Madson threw 31 pitches last night.

Joe Sheehan (3:56:02 PM PT): The lineup change, flipping Ethier and Kemp, forced Manuel to work a lot harder in this inning. (As did the miscues by Utley and Feliz, of course.)

Is there anyone who wants their money back for these first two games? We've had such weak postseasons for a few years...maybe we're finally getting a good one.

Steven Goldman (4:01:20 PM PT): Time for a fifth pitcher? At some point just leave it alone.

Jay Jaffe (4:02:27 PM PT): Ethier works the leadoff walk against Happ, who was brought in for the express purpose of facing him. And we're onto Chad Durbin, the creamy nougat center of the Philly bullpen.

Steven Goldman (4:02:47 PM PT): You really don't want Chad Durbin with the bases loaded. Despite the platoon, you'd rather a good lefty like Happ pitch to Manny than a bad righty like Durbin.

Joe Sheehan (4:03:30 PM PT): No way. Leaving in a southpaw for Manny and Kemp is a bad idea in a one-run game. If it was a bigger lead, I'd agree with you, Steven, but it's a one-run gap. This team scored three in the ninth to win about 15 minutes ago.

Kevin Goldstein (4:04:36 PM PT): Anyone have actual clock on this half inning?

Jay Jafe (4:05:20 PM PT): $#@#&%$$@#!!!

Steph Bee (4:06:05 PM PT): I think that half inning clocks right around 30 minutes.

Jay Jafe (4:06:05 PM PT): About 35 minutes according to the chat transcript, Kevin.

Steven Goldman (4:06:13 PM PT): Well, Durbin made my point moot, but you're talking about a guy who walked 6.1 per nine this year. That the cosmic dice would find the walk spot on Durbin's strat card before it found something worse on Happ's seems likely.

Dan Wade (4:07:11 PM PT): Kevin - no actual clock, but guessing by the time stamps, I'd put it at a shade under 40 minutes.

Steven Goldman (4:09:57 PM PT): Hey, everybody, don't forget that we'll be continuing on with the Yankees-Angels game. More baseball, more BPish nattering, and best of all, it doesn't cost a dime!

Joe Sheehan (4:12:57 PM PT): Pretty sure the 3-0 to Martin was outside the 0-1 to Utley.

Kevin Goldstein (4:14:38 PM PT): Fantastic game -- I have no idea how anyone can prefer a slugfest.

Steven Goldman (4:14:59 PM PT): It's not saying anything deep to observe that the Phillies played down to their weaknesses in this one.

Jay Jaffe (4:15:16 PM PT): w00t! A clean ninth from Broxton and the series is even. Joe Sheehan with the win for having predicted the Philly pen would cost them at least one game in this series.

Steven Goldman (4:16:41 PM PT): A shame they couldn't hold onto that beautiful start by Pedro.

Joe Sheehan (4:16:43 PM PT): Kevin, I like that with baseball, you just don't know. Might be a slugfest, might be a pitchers' duel. I like both.

Utley's getting pegged with goat horns, but does Feliz get off completely? Need to rewind and take a look.

Steven Goldman (4:17:59 PM PT): It looked like Feliz had some trouble getting it out of his glove, but he still got it to Utley in plenty of time.

Jay Jaffe (4:18:11 PM PT): On the replay the feed from Feliz looks clean.

Steven Goldman (4:21:43 PM PT): Once again, because we just can't help ourselves, we'll be chatting some more as soon as they kick that one off.

Jay Jaffe (4:23:49 PM PT): In the meantime, the Zamboni will resurface your screens.

Will Carroll (4:53:34 PM PT): I've watched it over and over and I can't figure out what's wrong with Utley's throws. Initially, it looked like footwork, but it's also on the easy throws that he's making from his normal slots. I'm not enough of a fielding observer or have enough Phillies tape to figure it out, but "flying open" is the best explanation I have. If I hear that his hip's sore, it wouldn't surprise me a bit - Utley had less rest than Lowell or Rodriguez this year and didn't seem to have any problems with his surgically repaired hip, but ...

Will Carroll (4:54:38 PM PT): Here's the other big question -- after seeing Pedro Martinez today and through his time with the Phillies, I understand what the Phillies scouts saw in him. I don't understand what all the other teams that got a look at him didn't see. He looks like Pedro Martinez should look - a little older, a little off the fastball, but enough control and guile to get the job done.

Will Carroll (4:59:28 PM PT): On Vicente Padilla, I realize his time with the Dodgers defines small sample size, but someone explain his BIP numbers. The Rangers had a very solid defense, Padilla had the same stuff, it's not like the Rangers weren't in a race. There's just no explanation I've heard that is anything other than *shrug*.

Steven Goldman (5:00:20 PM PT): And I return to find the game getting underway and Mr. Will Carroll already underway, both pleasant developments.

Steven Goldman (5:01:58 PM PT): Melky has a "fair" arm in center field, Tim? He has an excellent arm. And I swear that's a line of dialogue from "Boogie Nights."

Kevin Goldstein (5:02:06 PM PT): Wow, I thought the game was on TBS and was totally confused as to why Family guy was starting. I missed one out.

Jay Jaffe (5:02:26 PM PT): I just looked at Fangraphs and Padilla's average fastball comes in at 93.2 with LA compared to 91.6 with Texas. Minor mechanical tweak?

Jay Jaffe (5:02:38 PM PT): Kev, I did the same thing.

Kevin Goldstein (5:04:59 PM PT): 1.6 mph explained by just being jacked up for the NLCS game?

Kevin Goldstein (5:05:27 PM PT): If we were doing picks to click, I'd take Kendrick.

Jay Jaffe (5:06:46 PM PT): Those were regular season numbers, Kevin.

Also, Dodgers had a 15 point Defensive Efficiency advantage, and about 1.5 percent advantage in PADE.

Jay Jaffe (5:06:57 PM PT): Over Texas, that is.

Kevin Goldstein (5:10:42 PM PT): Jay, you're in NY, Steven, you're almost in NY. Is it just rain? It almost looks like sleet.

Jay Jaffe (5:12:06 PM PT): It's wet on the ground here in downtown Brooklyn but not really raining at the moment, 46 degrees. Nicer here than at the stadium, by the looks of things.

Jay Jaffe (5:12:44 PM PT): And Tim McCarver gets his first "I told you so" regarding Jeter hitting to right field with two strikes.

Steph Bee (5:14:47 PM PT): After going 1-for-12 in the ALDS, Damon gets a single in his first AB.

Steven Goldman (5:17:27 PM PT): Light rain here in central NJ, but I am shockingly dry.

Steven Goldman (5:18:04 PM PT): Seemed like the wind pushed that back in a bit.

Kevin Goldstein (5:18:30 PM PT): Tynan (Livermore, ME): Any chance of a getting a BP audio feed for any games in the future

We'd love to, but to quote the great Dwight Gooden, "Hey Catfish, that's illegal."

Steph Bee (5:18:38 PM PT): Steve - The wind pushed it back because A-Rod is not clutch.

Steven Goldman (5:19:23 PM PT): Hopefully our Tynan is not noted anti-semite jokester Ronan Tynan.

Steven Goldman (5:20:19 PM PT): Oh my gosh. And A-Rod didn't even say "HA!" this time.

Dan Wade (5:20:35 PM PT): What a clutch lost pop-up by Matsui, he's such a gamer.

Jay Jaffe (5:20:48 PM PT): Holy cow. Aybar and Figgins look at each other, watch the popup drop, and the run scores. John Lackey could be excused for punching both guys in the junk.

Kevin Goldstein (5:21:35 PM PT): Remember back in little league when you did those pop up drills and the coach would have you yell "MINE MINE MINE!" really loud and it seemed kind of dumb?

That's why he had you doing that.

Steven Goldman (5:21:53 PM PT): I've never spoken with Aybar, but his minor league SB/CS numbers always seemed to imply a less-than brilliant player. He just ran into an obscene number of outs.

Will Carroll (5:22:07 PM PT): Jay - the velocity difference can be explained by the extra rest between his last Texas start and his Dodgers starts.

Steph Bee (5:22:10 PM PT): Once Aybar and Figgins looked at each other, you knew that was going to drop. But wow, what a miscue by the Angels. Damon was halfway home by the time the ball hit the ground.

Kevin Goldstein (5:22:41 PM PT): bflaff (Phila., PA): At this rate, Utley won't even be on the list of top 10 worst defensive plays of the day.


Jay Jaffe (5:24:03 PM PT): Maybe they couldn't hear each other through the earflaps?

Kevin Goldstein (5:25:21 PM PT): Quick lesson on Aybar's SB/CS numbers (which were never good). Minor league SB/CS numbers are really hard to learn from. It's the minors, and player development is more important than winning. The Angels wanted Aybar to learn how to steal bases better, so he often got the super duper green light, where he HAD to go -- a lot of players get that, thus some higher than expected CS rates for many. Still, that play is firmly on him -- he's the shortstop, and that's his play to make or call off.

Steven Goldman (5:25:48 PM PT): Sabathia's plus-plus sized uniform has bloused out so much around the thighs they look like jodhpurs.

Steven Goldman (5:29:13 PM PT): I keep thinking about Luis Tiant in the '75 World Series. He made three starts that October. Did well against the Reds the first time through, but the third time they had his number. I wonder if that's possible with Sabathia.

Jay Jaffe (5:31:02 PM PT): McCarver says Matt Holliday lost it in the lights? That's the first time I've heard that excuse called upon. Looked like he couldn't decide whether to keep the glove up or turn for a basket catch.

Steven Goldman (5:32:07 PM PT): jintman (NY): jodhpurs?

Old-style riding pants that were tight from the ankle to the knee, then flared out around the thighs.
-- The BP Answer Man

...And nice play for Cano. Defensively, Sabathia is like the Ryan Howard of the mound.

Jay Jaffe (5:33:54 PM PT): A steel cage match between Sabathia, Howard, Prince Fielder and Jonathan Broxton would be fun.

Steven Goldman (5:35:17 PM PT): With that mask on, how do we know that's REALLY Robinson Cano?

Dan Wade (5:35:28 PM PT): Given Sabathia's comments to the media regarding teams bunting against him when he was in the AL Central (hint: he was not pleased with them), I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the Angels try to drop down a few.

Jay "Lost it in the Lights" Jaffe (5:35:48 PM PT): sroney (Orange County, CA): http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/commishs-hot-stove/commishs-hot-stove/2009/10/matt-holliday-i-lost-it-in-the-lights/

Fair 'nuf.

Kevin Goldstein (5:36:29 PM PT): Wow, Yankee fans responding like Cub fans to a pretty standard F8

Jay Jaffe (5:38:08 PM PT): Pretty common, Kevin, especially with the early-season conditioning from all of those extra homers.

Steven Goldman (5:38:24 PM PT): In the 30s, some very good Cardinals teams were pressed into going with Pepper Martin, primarily an outfielder, at third base. It was obvious that he wasn't comfortable there and it was natural for teams to want to take advantage of that. However, Martin had a very good way of dealing with that. Prior to a game, he would wander down to the first batter and say, "If you bunt on me, I'm gonna punch you in the nose." And that seemed to work to keep bunts down.

Jay Jaffe (5:38:49 PM PT): Also, it's because the Legends Seats are filled. Bunch of shriekers.

Jay Jaffe (5:39:36 PM PT): Steve, or those of you playing along at home, is there a definitive book on the Gashouse Gang?

Steven Goldman (5:39:44 PM PT): How do they shriek with their mouths full?

Steven Goldman (5:40:48 PM PT): There have been about a half-dozen, including a recent one that I should have read already and have not. One of my favorite bits on them, though, is a long chapter in Dan Okrent's Ultimate Baseball Book. Every library should have that one.

Will Carroll (5:41:44 PM PT): I got asked the steel cage question earlier this season and it was decided that Jonny Gomes would be the winner. His pro wrestling experience made up for any size disadvantage.

Steven Goldman (5:42:46 PM PT): Erick Aybar's listed 5'10" seems a bit generous.

Will Carroll (5:43:54 PM PT): It is not possible for me to care less about the history of baseball. My knowledge of the game matches the presence of cable television in my home.

I see the ad for "The Box" with Cameron Diaz and just snicker like a teenager.

Jay Jaffe (5:44:22 PM PT): The seats come with their own shriekers, included in the cost.

Kevin Goldstein (5:47:13 PM PT): I'm pretty sure when he was coming up in the minors, he was 5-8 and 5-9. So that's NBA height.

"Daffy" Jaffe (5:50:11 PM PT): BBBill (Hamilton, Ohio): Re. the Gas House Gang: The Gas House Gang by John Heidenry was a good, balanced account with interesting information on origins of "gas house gang" term. Dizzy and the Gas House Gang by Doug Feldmann was also a good account, but centered more on Dizzy Dean. The chapter on the Gas House Gang in Leo Durocher's Nice Guys Finish Last is very entertaining and informative, as I recall.

Nice Guys kicks ass. Easily one of the greatest baseball books ever. I need to re-read it, having just gotten a promo copy upon its reissue.

Will Carroll (5:51:32 PM PT): Is there not heat in the Fox booth? Cmon.

Kevin Goldstein (5:51:37 PM PT): Baseball Reference has Derek Jeter walking 158 times for Low-A Greensboro in 1993.

That's not right.

Steven Goldman (5:53:11 PM PT): I've read Nice Guys in whole a couple of times and in part dozens more. One of my favorites. It has in common with another of my favorites, "Veeck As in Wreck," Ed Linn as collaborator. He was great at capturing his subject's voice.

Steph Bee (5:53:56 PM PT): Baseball Reference added the 1 by accident. The Baseball Cube has Jeter at 58 for Greensboro.

Jay Jaffe (5:56:49 PM PT): B-Ref added the 1 because Jeter is clutch. You should see what it did to A-Rod's minor league walk totals.

Jay Jaffe (6:04:36 PM PT): And Vlad impales one that looks like it's gotta be out, but no... just a double. Must be some serious wind.

Steven Goldman (6:07:16 PM PT): Juan Rivera went sorta cold in August and arctic in September. Might have been his hammy. Still killed lefties, though.

Steven Goldman (6:10:18 PM PT): BBBill (Hamilton, Ohio): Regarding Bill Veeck, have any of you read Peter Schilling's The End of Baseball? Fascinating "What If" concerning Veeck's proposed purchase of 1944 Philadelphia A's and integration with Negro League Stars.

I haven't, in part because I've always been half-convinced that the Phillies story (not the A's) was just a yarn of Veeck's. There's not a whole lot of evidence that it was ever seriously pursued.

The Phillies were in play during the war because the owner fired his manager, Bucky Harris, and Bucky Harris said, "Not only is he an idiot, he bets on games, and ... Oops, did I say that out loud?" So the owner went bye-bye.

Jay Jaffe (6:12:18 PM PT): And Morales plates the run with a blooper to left, 2-1.

Which gives me a chance to point out that his right field experience in the minors, of which McBuck spoke regarding the contingency of the Angels signing Teixiera, consisted of 10 games last year, and judging by the stats, they weren't even 10 full games.

Steven Goldman (6:13:54 PM PT): Still, Jay, this crew is much superior to their TBS counterparts.

Jay Jaffe (6:17:38 PM PT): Perhaps, but my loathing for them runs much, much deeper. You've heard of the Grand Canyon, right? Put a Grand Canyon in that, then drill down a few hundred miles and you're about halfway there.

Steven Goldman (6:18:42 PM PT): Every time Nick Swisher reaches base, remember that if the Yankees had had their way, you would have been watching Xavier Nady making an out.

Jay jaffe (6:21:47 PM PT): Steve, you say that as if you think there would have been no chance for Swisher to play or to ultimately win the job with a superior performance. Do you really think Girardi would ahve been that inflexible given

Jay jaffe (6:22:04 PM PT): ...the flexibility he showed with the center field situation?

Steven Goldman (6:24:22 PM PT): If Nady had just cooked along at, say, .275/.330/.440? There would have been just enough good in there for them to have overlooked the bad. There's no way of knowing, of course, but when you make the misjudgment in the first place it's hard to know what to expect.

...And the clutchy, clutchy Captain strands two.

Jay Jaffe (6:30:58 PM PT): I don't buy that. At worst it would have gravitated towards a platoon, with lefty-masher Nady drawing the shorter straw.

And yeah, I know Swisher hits lefties better than righties too, but still.

Kevin Goldstein (6:32:19 PM PT): Boy, after the first, I thought this would be a blowout, and while that hasn't happened, it still just kind of feels like the Yankees are still in control -- I might be crazy as well.

Steven Goldman (6:34:26 PM PT): GhostOfTonyKubek (Haunting OYS): How much longer are you going to ride the Nady hobbyhorse? You're preaching to empty choir stalls, trying to make a point about how the Yankees almost did something you didn't like but then it turned out to be moot, but it COULD have happened!

Well, it DID happen, and then Nady got hurt. I think it's important because it goes to the way the organization thinks about things, which is sort of what I'm all about, and to a large extent BP too. That the Yankees got something good out of RF is one of those "There but for the grace of God/fortune favors the foolish" moments, but that's all, and that decision can provide context to any other decision they might be faced with (they transferred some of the same incorrect thinking to Melky Cabrera). Or to put it another way, the first words Brian Cashman ever said to me, in November of 1996, were, "I don't know, Mariano Duncan did a really good job for us this year." The only hobbyhorse I'm trying to ride is the one that Bob Dylan was on when he said, "Don't follow leaders/Watch your parking meters."

Steven Goldman (6:37:36 PM PT): I don't know if it's just my local cable system or everyone has this little fringe benefit, but the broadcast keeps self-muting itself. It's not bad.

Kevin Goldstein (6:37:45 PM PT): Since Jay is here, Johnny Damon's HOF chances exist at all? 2425 hits, turns 36 in November, but I could see him with a pretty slow decline and finishing close to 3000.

Steven Goldman (6:41:40 PM PT): One HR in 28 regular season ABs against Lackey for Matsui.

Jay Jaffe (6:43:05 PM PT): I haven't looked that closely at Damon. From last year's JAWS set, it looks like he's about 8 WARP shy on peak over a seven-year period, which isn't a good start, and about 20 WARP shy on career coming into the year. Two All-Star appearances, no top 10s in the MVP voting, short on black ink and monitor scores, though he did get the ring with Boston.

He looks to be a 3000-or-bust guy - if he gets there, he'll get his plaque, if not, he'll pay admission like the rest of us.

Kevin Goldstein (6:44:37 PM PT): Quick other baseball alert:

Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg's first AFL inning goes 6-3, K, K -- last K was Phillies semi-uber OF prospect Dominic Brown.

Will Carroll (6:44:43 PM PT): Mathis never tagged him. Watch the glove. Throw beat him by a mile, but he never tagged him.

Steph Bee (6:45:35 PM PT): Well, the umpires wanted to keep the streak of at least one bad call a game alive.

Dan Wade (6:45:58 PM PT): You'd think A-rod would have learned from Nick Punto's mistake that running through a stop sign is usually a poor decision.

Jay Jaffe (6:46:15 PM PT): Wow. What the hell was Rivera doing in the outfield there? Did A-Rod ever touch the plate? Did Mathis ever tag A-Rod? Did Brian Cashman faint at the sight of the $300 million man colliding like that?

Steven Goldman (6:47:55 PM PT): Still a bad decision by A-Rod. If you look at our Eq baserunning report, you'll see he's in negative territory despite having a good SB year. He runs into a lot of outs.

Steven Goldman (6:52:15 PM PT): Perhaps a bad call, but still Stuffy McInnis Award to Teixeira for a heckuva split.

Will Carroll (6:54:47 PM PT): Love how McCarver saw the replay, which showed the ball in Teixeira's glove and sticks with his opinion despite evidence. And again, with a better angle and closeups! And then he thinks Torii Hunter had a better angle, one the ump thinks should carry any weight. Just a ridiculous sequence.

Hunter was out on a great play by Sabathia and Teixeira.

I also liked that Mike Scioscia pushed Laz Diaz, knowing he wouldn't get run.

Steph Bee (6:57:54 PM PT): Did Bobby ever get that close to the outfield wall when he was in pinstripes?

Steven Goldman (6:59:58 PM PT): No, but he had a good excuse what with Babe Ruth's Moat of Sharpened Spikes in the old building.

Jay Jaffe (7:02:15 PM PT): Joe D. (Inland Empire): Gotta love how McCarver claims he'd count Hunter's reaction as evidence that Hunter was safe. 'Cause -- y'know -- that's a pretty objective opinion right there. Officially muting the announcers. Going with an mp3 of a recording of a dentist's drill.

Steven Goldman (7:02:42 PM PT): Still only 80 pitches for Sabathia. He's just getting warmed up. Will, does the cold temperature make a high pitch count any more dangerous than it would normally be?

Dan Wade (7:02:43 PM PT): I always felt like that moat should be considered in Park Factor, but couldn't sell Clay on it.

Will Carroll (7:03:53 PM PT): Never seen any research on it either way. My guess is that keeping warm in between is probably the bigger issue, which shouldn't be an issue in any modern stadium.

Steph Bee (7:05:29 PM PT): But if you don't trust the player's judgment of a play, whose judgment can you trust?

Just a brutal game for the Angels defense.

Steven Goldman (7:05:33 PM PT): Just one error for Torii Hunter in the regular season... For what that's worth.

Kevin Goldstein (7:05:38 PM PT): With the way Sabathia is pitching and the Yankee bullpen, 4-1 feels like a blowout.

Will Carroll (7:05:38 PM PT): Jeter's clutchiness made Hunter miss that. No question about it.

Steph Bee (7:08:01 PM PT): Angels ranked 17th in defensive efficiency this year with .689. PADE was -.92.

Steven Goldman (7:15:32 PM PT): One wonders if the Yankees wanting to pitch CC on short rest in G4 plays into their calculations on when to pull him in this game.

Steph Bee (7:17:45 PM PT): I'm sure that's weighing on Girardi's mind at some point. Sabathia may have been able to do the 3-days-of-rest thing in Milwaukee for a month, but based on how carefully the Yanks handled him during September, I think that Girardi would probably look to pull Sabathia when he hits 100-105. They've got Hughes, Chamberlain, and Rivera who can all shut it down for the rest of the game.

Steven Goldman (7:17:55 PM PT): Who WAS that masked man?

Jay Jaffe (7:19:55 PM PT): I have to think so, Steve. He won't see the eighth from the mound.

Steven Goldman (7:20:27 PM PT): .330/.417/.606 for Napoli vs. lefties this season.

Steven Goldman (7:22:09 PM PT): Still under 100 pitches, believe it or not.

Will Carroll (7:22:27 PM PT): Sabathia should stay in until he's ineffective. The tyranny of the count is just ridiculous at this point. They rested him in September so he could do this in October.

Steven Goldman (7:23:10 PM PT): Correct, Will, but how does the short rest before Game 4 play interact with that?

Steven Goldman (7:24:46 PM PT): Olinkapo (Inland Empire): Re: .330/.417/.606 for Napoli vs. lefties this season. Whew, it's a shame the Yankees didn't start a lefty today...Hey! Wait a second!

To borrow a word Will just used, it's the tyranny of personal catchers. Mathis is about the same hitter Jose Molina is, but he throws half as well.

Kevin Goldstein (7:25:17 PM PT): I'd certainly pull him here because of that. They should be perfectly comfortable with the bullpen getting six outs without allowing three runs.

Steven Goldman (7:26:42 PM PT): My wife (Mississippi native) is psyched about Giants-Saints on Sunday.

Steph Bee (7:26:53 PM PT): Especially since the Yankees' bullpen is nowhere near as volatile as the Angels' bullpen is.

Steven Goldman (7:28:47 PM PT): Mike Harkey: At 6'5", tallest bullpen coach ever?

Steven Goldman (7:35:08 PM PT): ddanyc (NYC): Girardi will want a lefty to face Figgins and Abreu so CC will stay in

That does seem to be the case, so all credit to you for the first-guess, which came in like ten minutes ago. Mr. Figgins hit .246/.325/.305 against lefty-type pitchers this year.

Steven Goldman (7:37:00 PM PT): I wonder if there are people out there that think that Thurman Munson was a better hitter than Jorge Posada.

Jay Jaffe (7:37:20 PM PT): Mike K (Athens, GA): In a world without the concept of "closers," which would make more sense from a strategic standpoint: pitching Hughes (or Joba) for two innings and not using Mo at all, or giving them an each an inning?

Assuming there's little difference in the quality of the two pitchers, going one inning apiece so they could pitch again tomorrow would probably be the optimal situation.

Steph Bee (7:37:44 PM PT): And Abreu hit .267 against southpaws.

Steven Goldman (7:39:04 PM PT): If Robinson Cano gets a hit here with Matsui on second, it will be his first with a runner in scoring position this year.

Steven Goldman (7:40:10 PM PT): Bill (New Mexico): Harkey may not even be the tallest bullpen coach of the post-season. Jim Wright, bullpen coach at Colorado, is also listed at 6'5".

That settles it. We need a new sortable stats report for bullpen coach vital statistics.

Jay Jaffe (7:43:46 PM PT): And yet I am blanking on the names of both the Dodgers' and Yankees' bullpen coaches, and I've watched parts of about 250 games of theirs this year between the two.

Steven Goldman (7:44:45 PM PT): Xavier Nady wouldn't have swung at that pitch.

Kevin Goldstein (7:45:40 PM PT): Other baseball news:

Strasburg AFL debut done. 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. 50 pitches, 32 strikes, The non K outs (8) were all on ground balls.

Steph Bee (7:46:02 PM PT): I believe the bullpen coach for the Dodgers is Howell. Don't remember the first name off the top of my head.

Kevin Goldstein (7:49:17 PM PT): Isn't Gheorghe Muresan the Nationals bullpen coach?

Steph Bee (7:50:56 PM PT): Still nobody up for the Yankees. Looks like Sabathia is going to finish this inning at least.

Jay Jaffe (7:51:12 PM PT): Ken Howell. Former Dodger reliever. Lost a toe a few years ago. I can't remember why.

Jay Jaffe (7:51:41 PM PT): And I know Tony Cloninger is no longer the Yankees bp coach.

Steven Goldman (7:51:49 PM PT): Ken Howell for the Dodgers... Randy Knorr of all people for the Nats.

Steph Bee (7:53:17 PM PT): Ah, that's right. Wasn't it because of diabetes or something?

Jay Jaffe (7:53:18 PM PT): Speaking of Gheorghe Muresan, it's Manute Bol's 46th birthday today, or so I was told. Happy Birthday, Manute!


Kevin Goldstein (7:56:23 PM PT): So are all Beatles songs this bad lyrics wise? All you need is love just reminds me of the awesome Silent E song from Electric Company.

Jay Jaffe (7:56:49 PM PT): Mike K (Athens, GA): Jay-do you make that assumption? Is Hughes really as good a Mo?

No, I was merely speaking in hypotheticals, though Hughes is good enough that it still makes sense to do one and one.

Steven Goldman (7:58:00 PM PT): No, not really. Not John's deepest lyric, but it was composed for one of the first international satellite broadcasts, so the idea was to send a simple message of peace around the world.

"Silent E" was written and performed by the great Tom Lehrer, whose three main albums are well worth owning. And one of them includes "Silent E."

Jay Jaffe (7:59:21 PM PT): According to Joel Sherman on the Twittermaphone, CC has thrown first-pitch strikes to 17 of 29 Angels, with one walk and one three-ball count. Yowzah.

Steven Goldman (7:59:21 PM PT): There's a line in "All You Need is Love," not in the commercial, that I quite like -- "Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time."

Kevin Goldstein (8:00:43 PM PT): There was a fantastic special on the Electric Company like two years ago on PBS. When I could read at five, it was because of that show.

Steven Goldman (8:02:06 PM PT): The first couple of seasons are out on DVD. I have them, but my kids don't appreciate them as much as I do. If you don't have the Lehrer stuff, remind me to send it to you. Hilarious.

Jay Jaffe (8:03:34 PM PT): Electric Company was the bomb. That and Schoolhouse Rock, which had me rocking my multiplication tables on the day a new number would be introduced. 8, 16, 24, 32...

And then there was the time that we were given a week to memorize the Preamble of the Constitution, and two-thirds of the class offered to do it right there on the spot because of that bit. We the people...

Steven Goldman (8:04:10 PM PT): From the point of view of compelling viewing, this game has suffered a bit in the sense that the Angels haven't really been in it. Sure, it's been fun to see CC put on a clinic, but there's no tension. We'll see if that changes in the ninth, assuming the Yankees don't score a few here.

Jay Jaffe (8:05:29 PM PT): I also kind of think that Sesame Street and Electric Company subconsciously seduced me to move to New York City about 20 years later.

Jay Jaffe (8:10:31 PM PT): drawbb (SoCal): Height of bullpen coaches...the Electric Company...I can't think of a more telling commentary on how awful this game has been. Thanks for at least making the chat worthwhile tonight, guys. Horrible, horrible day.

We are fonts of arcana here. Glad you've enjoyed it. I don't know if I'd say that it was a horrible day unless you're a Phillies fan - that first game was a thing of beauty for seven innings. If we never see Pedro pitch that well again, we have the memory of that outing.

Kevin Goldstein (8:12:42 PM PT): Is Mariano going to make things interesting? Curse of the '09 playoff closer?

Kevin Goldstein (8:14:54 PM PT): Guess not. The mic'd exchange between Girardi and the ump was one of the more entertaining moments of the game.

Steven Goldman (8:18:37 PM PT): We've got baseball going on, and thanks to you guys, all I can think of is "Jennifer of the Jungle."

...As I said above, this game was not compelling, but Sabathia just pitched one of the best games in Yankees postseason history, and earlier today we saw Pedro really work magic on the Dodgers. I don't think you can complain about today's baseball games.

Steph Bee (8:18:50 PM PT): Mo continues to defy the closer curse and shuts the door.

Jay Jaffe (8:20:03 PM PT): Start spreading the news...

Not the world's most compelling nightcap but a solid win for the Yanks and a big gold star for CC Sabathia.

Steven Goldman (8:20:12 PM PT): Johnny Damon looks like he's about to go into hypothermia.

Steph Bee (8:21:17 PM PT): Perhaps this will turn the reports of Sabathia's inability to pitch in October around...

...that is, until he has a bad start.

Steven Goldman (8:22:09 PM PT): On behalf of Jay, Kevin, Will, Steph, Dan and myself, I want to thank you all of you who spent your evening with Baseball Prospectus.

Steven Goldman (8:24:13 PM PT): I'm not sure when the Inner Circle of the Secret Society of the Baseball Prospectus has scheduled the next one of these get-togethers, but no doubt we'll be back before the round is out. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

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