October 19, 2018
By: Dan Fremuth
I wrote a blog a few weeks back about how immensely excited I was for the Major League Baseball playoffs to be getting underway. A ton of great teams and a plethora of the game’s biggest stars all set to duke it out on the game’s grandest stage. Well, two weeks later, I find myself now immensely frustrated with how the postseason has gone to date.
Here are a few observations from the MLB Playoffs so far.
- I really thought the American League portion of the Division Series and Championship Series was going to provide some of the most compelling baseball we’ve seen in recent memory. Instead, the Indians were swept in the blink of an eye while the Yankees were bounced with little more than a whimper as well. Okay, well surely the ALCS between the 108-win Boston Red Sox and defending champion Houston Astros would make up for it, right? Wrong! The Stros didn’t win a single game in Houston and Boston advanced Thursday evening in a 5-game victory.
- Speaking of the Astros, Jose Altuve’s “home run” in the 1st inning of Game 4 should have been a home run. Fan interference?? Are you serious?! Those guys did nothing wrong. Mookie Betts is a superhuman athlete to have even made that a point of conversation but if you don’t want players colliding with fans on plays like that then the walls need to be high enough so it’s not an issue. But that will never happen because then guys wouldn’t be able to mash mad dingers all day.
- Which leads me to my next frustration. The game’s current obsession with analytics and gargantuan contracts has led to the conclusion that going 1-for-4 with a home run and 3 strikeouts is somehow more valuable than going 1-for-4 with an RBI single and 3 hard-hit outs. As such, players are constantly swinging for the fences but more often, swinging and missing. The Astros struck out a dozen times Thursday evening in an elimination game. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers combined for 23 strikeouts in pivotal Game 5 (both teams had double-digit punchouts) just hours after the two sides combined for 32 strikeouts in 13-inning Game 4, including 17 Ks from the Dodgers, who somehow won the game!
- I went into the postseason rooting for the Brewers. It’s good to see a baseball team from the Midwest make some noise in the playoffs but after Manager Craig Counsell pulled “starter” Wade Miley after just five pitches and one batter in Game 5, I’m officially rooting for the Brewers to be ousted as quickly as humanly possible. I get that Milwaukee doesn’t have an ace like Clayton Kershaw to throw out there but that was an absolute joke. Start one guy just so the opposing team trots out a specific lineup, only to yank him after one batter? This isn’t some episode of Columbo where we’re all waiting for the “gotcha” moment, it’s a baseball game. Go Dodgers!
- Manny Machado is a dirty player and he’s never going to hustle. Period. That said, I still hope he’s in a Phillies uniform in six months.