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Thor'sLinks: AL Divisional Series' Open

The full slate of American League playoff teams opens their campaigns to reach the World Series.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine if the road to the World Series was nothing but single game elimination tournaments??? That would be great!

In a fantastic pitcher's dual where we saw the antithesis of the pitcher parade through the AL Wild Card game, a single mistake over the plate to the wrong guy in the wrong situation at the wrong end of the game meant everything. The Mets go home and the Giants go to Chicago. The Giants should just pitch Madison Bumgarner every inning of every game and see what happens.

Noah Syndergaard will now get his wish, and will now spend a lot of time watching the Chicago Cubs. On TV. Playing the Giants.

And are you noticing the huge info graphics on the game broadcasts? I am. And I was not mistaken. They are huge on purpose.

And another thing, something I asked my son last night: why do Wild Card game winners do the champagne shit right after doing the champagne shit to celebrate getting into the Wild Card game?

One more thing about last night. Did you catch this? A guy brings his pooch to an MLB playoff game? That's one lucky dog, and one unlucky girlfriend


Playoff Links:



Today's games: American League Divisional Series Games

Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers - Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, TX.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Tuesday, 10/4/2016

1:30 PM PDT Marco Estrada (9 - 9, 3.48 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (15 - 5, 3.32 ERA) TBS
Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians - Progressive Field, Cleveland OH.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Tuesday, 10/4/2016

5:00 PM PDT Rick Porcello (22 - 4, 0.10 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (12 - 8, 4.26 ERA) TBS


Everywhere In Baseball

Trout Anti-Porn: This link come to me from RubixsQube, my oldest son. It's published on Slate, asking why nobody cares about Mike Trout? Do not be fooled about how the article leads off. It will soon turn on you, and not end well. The author takes the typical cheap and ignorant swipes at everything possible about Southern California in general and Anaheim specifically. This is a guy who is forced to live in LA, probably somewhere on the west side, and knows nothing about Orange County beyond the cliches his wife packed into The O.C., for which she was a writer. He doesn't know where to eat. He doesn't know where to rock. He doesn't know where to party. He doesn't know where to hang. Therefore none of those things could possibly exist, and none of that is his fault. He disses on Anaheim because of the weather, when Anaheim has superior weather to 2/3's of the entirety of LA County. He slings a Mouse joke. He slings the "of Los Angeles" jokes. He blames OC for all the LA County traffic that he has to drive through to get to OC. And he undermines his own meme by noting how baseball everywhere is a localized phenomenon and in the localized are of Orange County the Angels and Mike Trout are hugely famous and draw as well as pretty much anybody. It's important to note that the author, Michael Shur (of FireJoeMrgan and The Office and Parks and Recreation) is a huge Boston Red Sox fan. My bet is that he is being just another pissy ex-Northeasterner who is upset that there is even a risk Mike Trout could wint eh AL MVP away from his Mookie Betts...........

Chacin a Roster Spot: Yeah, Jhoulys Chacin had his ups, downs, and then ups again. It's tempting to think that there might actually be something there...........

Eppler at his Desk: Billy Eppler is not taking off any time during the playoffs. If nothing else, he is in the office and making sure that the travel admins are keeping busy shuttling A.J. Archer back and forth. And Eppler is gonna make sure he snatches up the likes of Blake Parker and Kirby Yates before anybody else can grab 'em!...........

Open Desk: That I.T. development spot with the Angels looks like it is still open. The technology in use is pretty dated but it still pays real money to be an IT guy for Eppler...........

MVP!: Mike Trout was named AL MVP yesterday. Not by the BBWAA, but by Rum Bunter. If only Knew what a Rum Bunter was..........

Zapruder Baseball: Deadspin goes deep into the video evidence in an attempt to identify the Blue Jays fan who tossed their beer at Hyun Soo Kim Tuesday night. It was a pretty impressive bit of work, about on par with aliens on Mars investigations. We can agree that their efforts direct us to what is most probably a woman, and it sure looks like that woman bolted as soon as she realized how exposed she was. And then we find reality. Police have the suspect as one MISTER Ken Pagan. It looks like the Mounties sure think they have the right guy. This Ken Pagan dude (a member of the MSM, by the way), however, says he has an alibi, backed up by video evidence. And this, folks, is why we have alien hunters...........

Sho-Man: A million articles have been written about Buck Showalter and Zack No-Sho Britton. Some of them full of anger, some of them full of math.  In Jeff Sullivan's piecewe are reminded that it wasn't Showalter who lost that game, but the Orioles players themselves. "Buck Showalter didn’t lose the game for Baltimore. The players lost the game. The lineup had four hits in 11 innings. There’s no guarantee the Orioles would’ve won even had Britton been used." Yep. And then Dave Cameron follows up with the truth that Showalter needed to intervene there in the 11th immediately and not doing so merely put his players in a position to lose.  One of the things I have thought about, beyond the reasoning I gave yesterday for why I would have used Britton for the 11th just based on the place in both batting orders we were at then, I think that had Showalter used Britton even in one of those earlier innings or two, he would have had his other bullpen guys for that 11th and not had to use a starter. Showalter didn't lose the game, but he didn't put his players in the best position to win it............

Replay: Commissioner Manfred spends more time beating down objections to the Instant Replay system than he does thinking about how ridiculous he appears defending all the silliness of the Instant Replay system. He needed to push back on the Cincinnati fiasco and hides behind "the system". Well, here is the real question: if the goal is get calls right, why is the critical path for getting calls right forced to go through the opinions of a guy in the dugout who already has a shitload of other things to be worrying about?...........

Flipping Out: Take a break from all this baseball playoff drama. Go enjoy some Korean Bat Flip. Because baseball needs to be fun.........

Commitment: One man's quest to document baseball's Hall of Fame inductees. With a single baseball............

Sports Biz: Hmmm. The worst viewed baseball teams are all the ones which are also the losingest, PLUS the one which is under the worst TV package coverage. I wonder if there is any relationship there?............


The Duffle Bag

Rod Carew was honored, being named as one of a pair of MLB principals to be named 2016 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award recipients. That is supposed to be LAA news because Carew played for a while with the Angels. But he qualified for the award because of his HoF membership, and that membership is as a Twin...........Here you go, ANgel fans. Catch yourself a foul ball and be a hero..........Blue Jays win the WC game, players go crazy, do crazy stupid things. Things like giving high fives so hard they need stitches...........The Nationals are saluting their more popular former players by inviting them to toss out the first pitch. Game 1 gets Livan Hernandez. Game 2 gets Adam LaRoche. And Adam LaRoche is still forcing his boy on everybody............This turned out to be a lot of good work for nothing. Noah Syndergaard can't stop the running game, increasing the Giants' chances at winning. The Giants won, and it had nothing to do with Syndergaaard..........Tim Tebow is drawing props bets for his spin in the AFL...............A Baseball Life. Being a stadium usher for 80 years. Really. Not a typo. EIGHTY YEARS. That's old enough to have seen Walter Alston in uniform, AS A PLAYER............