Roy Halladay and Don Larsen: Two Totally Different Pitchers Forever Linked

October 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Roy Halladay and Don Larsen are two pitchers who couldn’t be more different, but after Halladay tossed his no-hitter against last night, the two will forever be linked.

Last night was Halladay’s first ever playoff appearance. The fact that it took him 13 seasons to get that far has nothing to do with his abilities and more to do with the consistently bad Blue Jays teams he played on.

On the other hand there is Larsen, who only pitched for 14 seasons and never once made an All-Star team or even got a single vote for the Cy Young.

On a team with three potential aces, Halladay was the unquestionable No. 1 starter in the playoffs for Philadelphia. On the other hand, Larsen was lucky to even get a start in the game that made him famous. He started Game 2 of that series for the Yankees and couldn’t even make it out of the second inning. He faced 10 batters that day and only managed to record five outs while walking four batters.

But on a single day they each put forth probably the best and second best pitching performances in playoff history.

On October 8, 1956 Larsen faced 27 Brooklyn Dodgers and retired them all. He needed just 97 pitches and 71 strikes to get seven strikeouts. It was even more a masterful performance because he was pitching on just two days of rest.

On October 6, 2010 Halladay faced just 28 Cincinnati Reds hitters and only walked one, Jay Bruce, in the fifth inning. He threw 104 pitches, 79 of them for strikes, while striking out eight.

Just the previous winter he left the Blue Jays, a team he loved, for a chance to pitch in the playoffs. In his first ever meaningful October game, nobody would have blamed him if he had some nervous jitters, but instead he was just masterful.

Halladay was just a single batter off from putting up the perfection that Larsen achieved, but the performance is just as memorable because it happened in October—a time where hitters reign supreme and big achievements with the bat are much more commonplace than on the mound.

Halladay and Larsen: two entirely different pitchers forever linked together in baseball lore.


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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

2010 MLB Playoffs: And Here We Go, Mission 28 Begins Tonight

October 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News


Less than two hours away from the beginning of the Yankees 2010 postseason, I’ve officially decided I’m not going to do any predictions. Last season, I was wrong in every single series the Yankees weren’t involved in (which is fine, since I WAS right about the Yankees winning the World Series). I like to think it’s not just that I’m bad at predictions though; the postseason is meant to settle the question of “who’s best,” but it requires luck. The best team all year does not often win the World Series. In fact, only three times in the past 15 years has the team with the best record going into the postseason actually won the World Series. The Yankees did it in 2009 and 1998, and the Red Sox did it in 2007. That’s it. (And for a visual of this, check out this graphic from FlipFlopFlyball.)

The postseason is exciting because it’s so random. It’s frustrating because it’s so random. The best you can do as a fan is try to enjoy it—at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

All that said, here are some relatively superficial questions.


When Did the Phillies Become the Clear Favorites?

ESPN posted its usual list of predictions, and I cannot believe the amount of love for the Phillies. Surely, the Phillies are the favorite in the NL, but considering the disparity in talent between the two leagues, I would say Philadelphia is still behind New York, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota. Every team of course has a shot, and given my prognostication skills, I’m not going to judge any individual prediction. I’m just surprised that the Phillies are seemingly such a clear-cut favorite. I think most people are pointing to the Phillies top-3 starters (and as I type this, Roy Halladay is dominating Cincinnati) but how many times did the Braves win the World Series with all those great pitching staffs? Everyone says pitching wins in the playoffs, but I don’t think it’s that simple.


Who Will Get Hot?

It will be interesting to see how players carry over momentum from the regular season. Curtis Granderson had a great September, while Mariano Rivera had a pedestrian one. Derek Jeter has been pretty bad all year. Do these trends continue?


Will I Actually Miss Michael Kay?

I know I’ll miss Kay when the games move to Fox, as we’ll once again be subjected to perhaps the worst announcing team in sports: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. Last year, I was amazed at how bad the TBS coverage was as well. A lot of the blame fell on Chip Carey though (who apparently only knows the verb “fisted”), and he’s gone this year. So we’ll see.


How Real Are the Yankees Pitching Problems?

Much has been made of the “mess” the Yankees rotation is in. And don’t get me wrong—there are major issues. But there are question marks on every team. The Phillies best area is their starters, which is why I guess everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but their lineup and bullpen both have issues. And look at the starters filling out the rotations of other teams. If some of those guys were lined up to go for the Yankees, people would still be saying their rotation is a disaster. In New York, the good seems great, and the bad seems terrible.


Really, No Prediction?

Fine. Yankees over Giants. (Sorry Giants fans.)

Feel free to follow the game with me on Twitter @burkhartb.

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Jayson Werth May Hire Scott Boras

September 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Fan News

Via Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk:

On Friday, Jerry Crasnick tweeted that Jayson Werth has parted ways with agent Jeff Borris.  Werth was cagey about it when asked over the weekend, denying that he has left Borris and Beverly Hills Sports council.  That’s likely a matter of semantics, however, because Crasnick’s source says Werth is “shopping” for new representation. I’m hearing the same thing.

What else I’m hearing: the front-runner is Scott Boras, with whom Werth is “way down the road,” according to my sources, and it’s looking like he will sign with him.

This is bad news for Yankee fans hoping that they sign Werth this off-season. The Yankees do have a history of signing Boras clients, but that was more back in the day when The Boss was in charge.

Lately, Brian Cashman and company have not have as much success when dealing with Boras. It started when Alex Rodriguez opted out of his last contract with the Yankees, and of course there was last off-season and the whole Johnny Damon debacle.

Dealing with Boras also means that the Yankees would have to pay top dollar for Werth’s services. It was certainly possible the Yankees would have tried to go after Werth this off-season, but not if he’s likely to demand upwards of $20 million per season ,and will probably ask for at least seven years.

Many of you might be saying, so what, it’s only money and the Yankees have an unlimited supply. Even if that were true, it isn’t, they still have an attractive option in Brett Gardner at a much cheaper price.

If Werth signs on with Boras, it all but closes the door on the possibility that he will end up in pinstripes.

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