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TuesdoLinks: NL a blast, Red Sox a bust

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The Cubs and Giants put on a barn-burner of a game last night, after the Indians burned the Hopes of Fenway into the ground. The Dodgers? They just got burned.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Fun day yesterday! Nearly 11 solid hours of playoff baseball.

The Red Sox got swept off to the same dumpster the rest of us are nesting within. And saying "swept" is being gracious. Dustin Pedroia batted .167 for the series. Mookie Betts batted .200, and David Ortiz existed with a .111 average for the series. In fact, over all three gmes only 1 player from Boston get even as many as 4 hits (Brock Holt). Their pitching staff? David Price: 13.50 ERA. Rick Porcello: 10.38 ERA. Drew Pomeranz: 4.91 ERA. Vlay Buchholz: 4.50 ERA. And not any Boston pitcher lasted longer than 13 outs. (By the way, did Coco Crisp luck his way out of Oakland, or what?!?)

Boston was humiliated right off the national stage.

With the (fairly substantial) Dodgers loss yesterday and now facing elimination, let's see how manager Dave Roberts deals with his rotation. The Hurricane Matthew postponement of Game 2 made Roberts shuffle away from Clayton Kershaw in order to protect blister-prone Rich Hill from too much duty. But, really? Roberts goes with Julio Urias instead of Clayton Kershaw in order to not have to go to Rich Hill??? Just keep watching, though. The Nationals have Dusty Baker at the controls, and it's only a matter of time before Dusty does one of his Dusty things..........

Bryce Harper found a way to punk the Dodgers fans AND become a hero to Dodgers fans, all at the same time..........

I suppose Roberts' reasoning is more acceptable than that of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, who wanted to avoid his ace if his series had continued, David Price, because Price sucks..........

There seems to be some disagreement about the conclusion of the Rangers/Jays series, which was the first in MLB history to end on an error. Some folks really don't want it to be an error. I just looked at the MLB official box score. Yep. Still ruled an error..........But let it be said, keeping the Blue Jays around makes for exciting baseball. No error in that.........

And, ending the amazing day, the Cubs/Giants slugged it out in an amazing duel last night. Check out this insane Win Expectancy chart, the very definition of a roller coaster! For those of you in the Chicago area, who could not stay up to 2AM, Joe Panik (who went 3 for 4 with 2 walks and the most important RBI) ended it all in favor of the Giants in the 13th by driving in Brandon Crawford, who had doubled to lead off. The crowd went wild. Mike Montgomery took the loss in 4 innings of long relief. The series continues. More NL fun to be had by all, in California............

(Side comment: I have upgraded to a new laptop and it comes with Windows 10. MLB Gameday no longer works. I only see video highlights when using Chrome, and only the top video will play, and only if I go over to MLB.com and play it there first. The other highlights just state back at me. Worse, when trying to use IE 11, which came with WIndows 10, MLB Gameday doesn't even offer up the Video click button to display any video highlights at all. Anybody else seeing Gameday crap? Anybody else noticing that MLB highlight videos are as short as 5 seconds each?)

Have more Playoff Links:

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2016 PLAYOFFS ON DECK

Today's games: whatever remains unsettled


Washington Nationals @ Los Angeles Dodgers - Dodgers Stadium, Los Angeles, CA.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Tuesday, 10/11/2016

2:00 PM PDT TBD vs. Julio Urias (5-2, 3.39 ERA) FS1

Chicago Cubs @ San Francisco Giants - AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Tuesday, 10/11/2016

5:30 PM PDT John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) vs. Matt Moore (13-12, 4.08 ERA) FS-1


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Everywhere In Baseball

Quickly: I know I need to set your mind at ease, so let me hurry up and get right to it. A.J. Achter and Nick Buss both amazingly cleared waivers and were assigned to Salt Lake. I know, right? Nobody else wanted either of these guys? How lucky are we?! I now return you to your regular day, worry free..........

Minor News: Continuing on with all things below Anaheim, FanGraphs give us their farm report for the Angels. The TL;DR version - Jefry Marte up, Jahmai Jones rising, Taylor Ward really was a 3rd round talent after all, and Matt Thaiss should make the Anaheim roster the year after next..........But Fan Graphs made no mention of Jaime Barria, LAA Pitching Prospect of the Year..........

Replay: Seriously, MLB, you guys really suck at Instant Replay. You know you really suck at it when you have to have some spokeshole reach out to the television broadcast crew and attempt to explain some hair-splitting reason why all of America is not seeing the obvious of Anthony Rizzo pulling his foot off the bag on this play. Not that it changed anything other than the public's confidence in your...uh..."system"..........

Umpiring BS: Robot umpires might never fix mistakes like this. In yesterday's game between the Nats and Dodgers, Danny Espinoza literally let himself be hit by a pitch that was a strike. A frikkin' strike! And the umpire (Ron Kulpa) awarded him first base. Other than Kenta Maeda having to throw 6 more pitches, no harm done. Or was there? This is the kind of crap that bleeds baseball slowly. Look at the Nationals roster and notice the HBP column. Espinosa practically leaps off the page. he was second most batter HBP in the NL for 2016. And it works for him because he is playing the long con, sloiwly manipulating the umpires into granting him free bases instead of following the rule book. The umpires have chosen to ignore the book. And when the umpires ignore the book, the umpires re-write the book. I mean, really, if the umpires are not going to call it, why not just lean all the way over the plate so that there is no way for the pitcher to get the ball to the catcher, and take the base every time?? I hate the umpiring brotherhood making up shit like this and then defending their asshattery. It is such bullshit..........

Man versus Unfood: This is brilliant! One dude, maybe some Dodger fan who reads too much Halos Heaven, made a public bet against Joe Blanton's signing with the Dodgers. He bet that teh $4 million Blanton would not pitch 75 inning of replacement value baseball. If he lost, he would eat one of everything on the menus at Dodger Stadium. He lost. Joe frikkin' Blanton actually pitched pretty well. 80 innings, 2.48 ERA, 1.013 WHIP, and an ER+ of 158. So the dude agreed to publicly fulfill his end of the bet. You can follow along on his twitter feed. The deal, though, is that he went to GoFundMe to pay for his seats and all the food. In other words, he didn't actually "pay" He "suffered", but he got free field level playoff tickets and all the free food he could order...........And, to top it all off, this guy got to watch Joe Blanton himself come into the game in the 7th inning, was used for 4 outs, striking out 3 and allowing 1 hit with no runs scored. The Dodgers lost but Blanton certainly did not............

WTF?: The Rangers players are blaming their being swept out of the playoffs on the fact that they got had to rest and did not have get to play in the Wild Card play-in game??? Holy balls that's some serious crapola whining, right there.............

Slide Rules: Dave Cameron wants to change the rules regarding slides, because instant replay is finding microseconds of time when a runner is not quite in contact with the bag. It's a new thing to worry about because of the speedy frame rates of Instant Replay cameras. I say bullshit. That stuff happens because the runner was going too hard at the bag for him to control himself as necessary. If the runner has to slow down a bit to maintain control, and slowing down means getting tagged out, so be it. The defense made that play...........

Range WARs: Is the window sliding shut on all that Texas Rangers farm system and talent pipeline? Maybe...........Unless you are CBS Sports, and then everything is awesome in Arlington!. (conveniently ignoring how Profar and Gallo might not actually be 'elite prospects' after all).........

TJ Trends: Oh, cool. Get this. Tommy John surgeries are on the decline throughout Major League Baseball. Apparently, they are now only happening in Anaheim. In that article, ther eis a table that lays out all the stem cell injection, plasma-rich injection therapy recipients and how they have fared. To date, Garrett Richards is the first to undergo only stem-cell therapy and track back towards complete rehabilitation, avoiding TJ surgery. The table lists Andrew Heaney, but we know how that ended up.........

Arlington Blues: I am surprised by this. Jonah Keri, normally pretty sharp on analysis, writes about how the Blue Jays toppled the Rangers and sticks to the Lyle Spencer eyeball stuff. I think Bill Baer at Hardball Talk kills it with his observation concerning pitch counts. The Rangers rotation was murdered, and the most obvious way to destroy a starter is to burn him out with pitch counts.I think we should think less about the big names on the Toronto roster and pay more attention to their use of pitch counts in their at-bats going forward through these playoffs. And I would look to see opposing staffs increase the rate of strikes they throw at the Blue Jays in response...........But Grant Brisbee is scared. Scared of the Blue Jays. Fortunately for Grant, his Giants are not going to have to worry about facing the Blue Jays this offseason.........

Big Poopi: Hey Matt Snyder, defender of David Ortiz, you are a proud member of the same community that happily ignored all the obvious evidence of PEDs usage a little more than a decade ago in order to laugh and dance and celebrate the rash of offense that baseball was attracting. You do NOT claim to be an international expert on drug testing protocols. you do NOT claim to be an expert on the specific test regimen as applied to David Ortiz. You do NOT claim to be an expert on biochemical research and development. You do NOT claim to be an expert on human biology or the metabolic profiles of known or designer performance enhancement drugs. You do NOT claim to know any damned thing about medical practices or drug access or testing laws while players reside in foreign countries. But you DO know how to ignore how it is that a broken down old man can put up the highest OPS+ of his career, at the age of 40. While he makes for good MLB publicity. And good sports copy. Yeah, you do know how to do that. Thanks for playing...........


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The Duffle Bag

Baseball, and sports fanaticism, are a lot older than you think..........The Braves might be doing something daring with their open managerial position. Closing it with the guy they already have staffing it. No Bud Black, who would be just another white guy. Instead, sticking with interim Brian Snitker and naming him permanent. Thus going with just another white dude..............Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry had great seats at Rogers Centre the other night, and we now know that Josh Donaldson did not even break from the 3B bag until AFTER Mitch Moreland dropped Rougned Odor's wild throw..........h/t reddit (because I had forgotten): Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox pitcher, fine and upstanding citizen..........What? Throw back a home run ball? Hell no. Here you take it. YOU throw it back. I ain't gonna get escorted out of Wrigley Field in a playoff game for throwing shit onto the field! Oh. now YOU want to keep it? Sure............In a sanity driven MLB Front Office, where baseball decisions are made by baseball people, avoiding your team owner blow $200 million on an albatross contact is a thing that actually can happen..........h/t UniWatch: Dodger fans, unclear on the concept of how baseball caps actually work.  And people really want to get all that fussy about the proper uniform of a Christmas tree ornament?..........Warning to Dodger fans: the Diamondbacks might be serious about actually getting to be good............

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