Peeking inside the narrative

We live in an age of instant data. Numbers are at our fingertips in an instant. And we can often build a case for just about any narrative we want to make. Post season statistics, especially offensive ones, have to be taken with two very strong reminders. The first is that the offensive statistics are extremely small sample sizes. Orioles’ fans and writers could be blasting Adam Jones right now because he is batting .091 in this post season. But if you are reminded that Jones’ post season is only thirteen or fourteen plate appearances deep, what conclusions can you actually draw from that?

The second reminder is that batters have to hit against pitchers. That sound simplistic but it is amazing how much that simple fact is overlooked. The Jones in our example has had to face some of the best pitching in baseball. The teams that make the playoffs would not (in most cases) be there if they did not have strong pitching.…

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Orioles Edge Yankees 3-2, Series Tied Heading Back To New York

Tonight’s game, when it finally began after yet another rain delay, started off well with the Yankees scoring first.

How did they do it? Let me walk you through it.

Derek Jeter led off the game with a single, Ichiro followed that up by reaching on a fielding error by Mark Reynolds. Poor...

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Orioles grind out 3-2 win to even series

Oddly enough, things actually felt pretty good for the Yankees early in the game, as they caught most of the breaks. Ichiro Suzuki scored in the first inning on a circus move, and Andy Pettitte was generally solid, though he did hit one rough patch in the third inning. After retiring the first eight men he faced, Pettitte allowed the next five Orioles, though only two would score thanks to a fortuitous event in which J.J. Hardy failed to score from second on a slow ground ball that rolled into the outfield because he saw neither the ball get past Derek Jeter nor his third base coach waving him home. After that Pettitte would more or less settle in, and gave the Yankees a chance to break through at multiple opportunities.

Things really began to go bad in the fourth inning, however, when the Yankees loaded the bases with one out but failed to score even a single run. Curtis Granderson actually lined a single into center field but a gimpy Mark Teixeira had no chance of making it home against Adam Jones‘ arm, and then Eduardo Nunez flailed a weak pop up to the shortstop position, dampening the Yankees’ chances severely before a Jeter ground out stomped them out completely.…

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ALDS Game 2: Please be Dandy, Andy

New York Yankees Baltimore Orioles
Derek Jeter, SS Nate McLouth, LF
Ichiro Suzuki, LF J.J. Hardy, SS
Alex Rodriguez, 3B Chris Davis, RF
Robinson Cano, 2B Adam Jones, CF
Nick Swisher, RF Matt Wieters, C
Mark Teixeira, 1B Mark Reynolds, 1B
Russell Martin, C Jim Thome, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF Manny Machado, 3B
Eduardo Nunez, DH Robert Andino, 2B
Andy Pettitte, SP Wei-Yin Chen, SP

The first pitch is scheduled for 8:00...

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ALDS Game 2 preview: Yankees @ Orioles

Andy Pettitte:

The winningest postseason pitcher in MLB history makes his return to October tonight, pitching in a stadium in which he owns a 16-4 career record and a 4.11 ERA. Of course, most of those games came against Orioles teams that weren’t as good as this one, so it’s safe to say that the hitters he’ll be facing tonight won’t put much stock in that past performance. This will be the first time Pettitte has faced Baltimore this season, though here’s a fun fact that could work in his favor: the Orioles were the third worst team in the American League at hitting the cutter, which Pettitte has been using as his put away pitch this year.

Wei-Yin Chen:

Buck Showalter’s string of making starting pitching decisions I wouldn’t have made in his position officially reaches three consecutive games tonight when left-hander Wei-Yin Chen takes the mound for the O’s. Chen was certainly the Orioles most consistent, durable starter this season (the only Oriole to make more than 20 starts, actually), but the playoffs are very much a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately endeavor, and Chen certainly didn’t play his best baseball down the stretch.…

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