Special Event: 2021 MLB baseball playoffs: wild card and division series
October 4, 2021 6:31 PM - Subscribe

Let's get ready for some baseball!
posted by LobsterMitten (64 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by not_on_display at 10:44 PM on October 4, 2021 [1 favorite]

Come ON, Brewers! Just one World Series! Then you can go another 50 years without winning. Just give me one! (Also rooting for everyone and everything that is not St Louis.)
posted by silverstatue at 5:56 AM on October 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Go Giants!
posted by chavenet at 7:23 AM on October 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Just a reminder of an early prediction that (so far) ran true.
posted by chavenet at 11:47 AM on October 5, 2021

Go Brewers!
posted by drezdn at 12:46 PM on October 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Bogaerts homer. Yanks already down, 2-0.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:32 PM on October 5, 2021

If the Red Sox beat the Yankees tonight, I'll be okay with whatever else happens this postseason.
posted by synecdoche at 6:02 PM on October 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Every time Kyle Schwarber came up as a Cub, I called him Sluggo. Because gawd help me, he looks just like Sluggo from the Nancy comics. I made this joke all the time and almost no one got it.

Anyway, Sluggo just homered.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:11 PM on October 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Geeeeeerrrrritttt. You hate to see it.
posted by bixfrankonis at 6:13 PM on October 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

I too am here. C'mon Sox.
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:29 PM on October 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Say what you will, but Clay Holmes was clearly the right choice there.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:35 PM on October 5, 2021

Kiké, Xander, and Kevin saved Analytics Cora’s ass there.
posted by bixfrankonis at 7:07 PM on October 5, 2021

If you need a reminder that the world is a big place and generalizations don't hold, check out pale ginger Mexican Alex Verdugo.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:20 PM on October 5, 2021

Speaking of defying expectations, I think Joc Pederson of the Atlanta team may be awesome.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:25 PM on October 5, 2021 [1 favorite]

Good night, New York.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:25 PM on October 5, 2021

Well that was not the Red Sox I’d expected to show up tonight.
posted by bixfrankonis at 8:26 PM on October 5, 2021

omg ok now i can comment without jinxing it gaaaaaaaaaaaah go sox!!
there is a deep dark part of my spirit that is gloating as aaron boone walks down those dugout stairs.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:27 PM on October 5, 2021 [3 favorites]

Ok Yankees fans yelling at Boone on twitter have officially made me feel bad for the guy.

In the name of dispelling the lingering bad vibes, here is Dan Szymborski's AI generated nicknames for the players in tonight's game (note: this is silly nonsense, skip if you're not in that kind of mood).
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:13 PM on October 5, 2021 [2 favorites]

Dying at “Mr. Bungle”.
posted by bixfrankonis at 9:17 PM on October 5, 2021

.... o_< ... the sox won? OKAY WHO'S NEXT
posted by not_on_display at 11:31 PM on October 5, 2021

Cardinals vs. Dodgers tonight. Solid cases to be made for rooting for/against either. Cards have a famously toxic, often nakedly racist fanbase. But that is the fans not the players and they also have several veterans it's hard not to respect: Wainwright, Lester, Molina. Dodgers have a simply appalling amount of money, just a jaw-dropping, obnoxious amount of money. Plus they just won last year. But eesh, they spend that money well. Such a great team.

Were I not a Cub fan and contractually obligated to root for St. Louis to fail, I'd root for the Cardinals to bounce the Dodgers in the Wild Card game then get swept in the NLCS. Maximum trauma for both.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:45 AM on October 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

SFGate: "Giants fans are already nervous about umpire assignments for NLDS matchup vs. Dodgers or Cardinals"
On Tuesday, the NLDS umpire assignments were announced, and Hernandez is among the chosen crew. The full roster is Ted Barrett, who'll be the crew chief, plus Hernandez, Doug Eddings, Pat Hoberg, Gabe Morales and Carlos Torres.
Eddings matched Hernandez's poor accuracy, and Barrett wasn't too far behind (92.7%). A 2019 Boston University study also identified Barrett as a bottom-10 umpire in 2018.

Meanwhile, Hoberg was the tied for second-best in all of baseball (95% accuracy), according to Ump Score Cards, Morales was borderline elite (94.6% accuracy) and Torres was above-average (94%).
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 2:48 AM on October 6, 2021

Good grief. Is that LA’s farm club on the field tonight?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:22 PM on October 6, 2021 [1 favorite]

I can't think of anything more sublime in sports than the walk-off home run.

Giants/Dodgers starting Friday. After that series, I'm not sure I'll care much about the rest of the post-season.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:32 AM on October 7, 2021

Oof, this is not going well for the White Sox.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:17 PM on October 7, 2021

Settling in to be swept by the Rays.
posted by bixfrankonis at 5:28 PM on October 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Ah, ground rules. When you don't have the Green Monster in your favor, they can go the other way.
posted by mollweide at 6:17 PM on October 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

We’re just so outclassed here.
posted by bixfrankonis at 7:48 PM on October 7, 2021

Thorzdad: "Giants/Dodgers starting Friday. After that series, I'm not sure I'll care much about the rest of the post-season."

QFT. It's like this matchup is the real World Series, anyway.

Go Giants!
posted by chavenet at 4:32 AM on October 8, 2021

I think at this point, I'm hoping for a Rays-Dodgers rematch with the low budget team soundly thrashing the big budget team this time.

The secret to the Rays' success is depth. They don't have the number of top of the line stars some of the other contenders have. But the Rays gave only 64.1 innings pitched and 282 plate appearances to players with negative WAR. Even the most random pinch hitter/defensive sub/mop up guy they throw out there is at least decent. No dead spots on the roster, ever.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:16 AM on October 8, 2021

From last night, Randy Arozarena steals home. Not. Even. Close.

♬ There's a guy who hits, his name's Randy Arozarena ♬
♬ Every time he takes a swing, it is a thing, it's cosa buena ♬
♬ Roundin' the bases, he's as fast as a hyena ♬
♬ Aaaaaaarozarena! Ay ♬
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:48 AM on October 8, 2021 [2 favorites]

I don't know if this is an intentional sale or some kind of weird glitch, but blank, full-on, MLB official team jerseys for about a half dozen teams are on Fanatics.com right now for like $15-19 each. That's $100 off... so I wonder if they will call it an error and decline to honor these, but I am going to find out. Here's the link.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:27 AM on October 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Well, at least the Braves-Brewers game is actually a game.
posted by mollweide at 3:43 PM on October 8, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ive been holding my breath for hours! One more inning!
posted by silverstatue at 4:25 PM on October 8, 2021

So yeah Chris Sale, despite NESN announcers’ incessant fawning during the year, is not the second coming.

Tanner Houck, though…
posted by bixfrankonis at 6:37 PM on October 8, 2021

I’ve just discovered that I have no way to watch Sunday’s game from Fenway because it’s on MLB Network which isn’t in my cable package and apparently also doesn’t stream via mlb.tv unless it’s in your cable package, and I am most displeased.
posted by bixfrankonis at 7:52 PM on October 8, 2021

MLB Network is clueless. Literally no way to get it except via a cable/satellite/full-on-digital-TV-package. I'm a cord cutter who would cheerfully pay $10-15 a month but they have no way to take my money. Nonsensical as hell.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:05 AM on October 9, 2021

I thought MLB Network was on Pluto, so all you'd need is a Roku or equivalent. Has that changed?
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 8:29 AM on October 9, 2021

Holy cow it is. I wonder if for any reason the game itself will be blacked out there. I guess I will find out tomorrow. Thanks for the tip, CheesesOfBrazil.
posted by bixfrankonis at 2:35 PM on October 9, 2021

Just woke up to the SF-LA rout. Arrgh. Hot bats.
Go Giants!
posted by chavenet at 2:01 AM on October 10, 2021

I think MLB Network had a fake ghost network on Pluto.

Pluto has a bunch of those. Like their "CNN" which shows some CNN content but is not at all the real channel and usually everything on it is at least 24 hours old.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:05 AM on October 10, 2021

Yeah, Pluto is playing random stuff. But it looks like Xfinity is among the carriers giving a free MLB Network preview this weekend.
posted by bixfrankonis at 1:16 PM on October 10, 2021

I really did think this Sox/Rays ALDS was going to be boring. Tempted the baseball gods, I guess.
posted by bixfrankonis at 6:34 PM on October 10, 2021

I've watched baseball for 45 years, and I can't recall ever seeing a play like that ground rule double in the Red Sox game last night. It seems like the rulebook is pretty explicit that if a bounding fair ball is deflected over the fence by a fielder, it's two bases from the time of the pitch. Umps made the right call, but it doesn't feel right, even to this Red Sox fan. Maybe baserunners have gotten faster and more aggressive since the rules were written, but it seems like scoring from first on a double is fairly common? I guess there is always going to be some level of arbitrariness to ground rule double rules, given that there are a multitude of factors that play into baserunning: pitch count, number of outs, fielder positioning, type of hit (A high fly that might get caught vs a liner to the gap).
posted by Rock Steady at 5:50 AM on October 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

The suggestion I've seen in a couple of places is to have all baserunners score on two-out ground-rule doubles, with the assumption that a baserunner on first with two outs is going to be running on contact and would probably score if the ball stayed in play.

As a White Sox fan, I'm still recovering from last night's craziness. Not sure if it's a good thing or not that today got rained out.
posted by bassooner at 10:13 AM on October 11, 2021

I like the ground rule double rules. Frustration should remain a part of baseball, and the entire idea is the ball is out of play so let’s split the difference: defense doesn’t get the chance to get an out, and offense doesn’t get the chance to score.
posted by bixfrankonis at 2:28 PM on October 11, 2021

posted by LobsterMitten at 7:40 PM on October 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Well…huh. Just not the series I had expected to be watching.
posted by bixfrankonis at 7:44 PM on October 11, 2021

Last night we were watching and watching while visiting family, but finally it got too late and had to leave with the game still tied... and they got the walk-off HR when we'd been on the road about ten minutes. And then tonight getting to watch this, man this has been a hell of a run.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:45 PM on October 11, 2021

I haven't watched a ton of Red Sox baseball over the past few years, partly due to moving out of the Greater NESN Area, partly due to cancelling our cable subscription, and partly due to *waves hands*, but I caught a few games here and there this year, and I have really enjoyed getting back into this year's playoffs. It's true, though, that the feel of the game has changed appreciably with the rise of the Three True Outcomes and a real change in the pitching strategy. It used to be pitchers wanted to keep the fastball low in the zone, with the occasional high heat reserved for a 0-2 count against a poor slugger. Now the high fastball seems to be a staple, and pitchers seem to be much better at locating it for strikes, instead of wasting it out of the zone. Hitters are swinging for power constantly, though that bunt (I think the first one I've seen all series) worked out pretty well for the Sox.

I'd love to see a Bosox/Chisox ACLS, let's go South Siders!
posted by Rock Steady at 6:54 AM on October 12, 2021

Uff da. That was brutal. Almost makes me glad for the awful mid-workday scheduling -- I could only follow the gamecast rather than actually watch.
posted by bassooner at 3:55 PM on October 12, 2021

LAD @ SF game 5. THE game. Can't not watch, time zone be damned. \m/ BEAT L A \m/
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:38 AM on October 13, 2021

CheesesOfBrazil: "LAD @ SF game 5. THE game. Can't not watch, time zone be damned. \m/ BEAT L A \m/"


A reminder that SF / LA is the World Series this year. The rest is going to be much less exciting.

Go Giants!
posted by chavenet at 9:48 AM on October 13, 2021

I listened to the Sox/Rays Game 4 on the radio BECAUSE I JUST COULDN'T WATCH! (Actually I was in the car.)
posted by not_on_display at 4:29 PM on October 13, 2021


what a game though.

worth it?

Go Giants!
posted by chavenet at 6:13 AM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Robot umps, dude. Robot fuckin' umps
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 7:28 AM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Did they change the rules since the last time I looked? (Entirely possible, I haven't really kept up with baseball.) How was that not a check swing?
posted by praemunire at 8:25 AM on October 15, 2021

They've been calling checked swings extremely tight in this particular series (definitely tighter than they've been calling the strike zone ffs) In any regular-season game, that was unquestionably a checked swing. That's baseball.

At least we got five games with these two teams. I'm ok with whoever won the series, though I preferred it be the Giants. Hopefully, the Dodgers can knock-out the Braves. Enough of that racist damned war chant bullshit already. Ugh.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:52 AM on October 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

I think I'm rooting for the Braves to make it to the World Series, simply because rooting against their racist bullshit could be the most engaging possible scenario left.

And TBH, as ecstatic as I was when the Cubs finally won in 2016, watching players and fans in Chief Wahoo gear sobbing definitely made it even better.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:52 AM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh no it’s Joe Buck o’clock. Good thing I’ve gotten the WEEI audio feed reasonably in sync.
posted by bixfrankonis at 5:24 PM on October 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

Belatedly I've put up a post for these next serieses:
Fanfare post for the ALCS and NLCS serieses
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:02 PM on October 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh no it’s Joe Buck o’clock.

I know.
I tried to watch some of the Boston/Houston game last night but, ugh, Buck.

And what is up with Fox's gawdawful scoreboard graphic and the funky animated bases? It looks like the scores are wearing a bad bow tie. The dopey base-popping-up animation is bad enough, but could they maybe use an even lighter shade of yellow for the bases, to make them completely indistinguishable from the background? It's like the exact opposite of quickly-scanned and easily-read graphics. Data doesn't need to be (shouldn't be?) entertaining, Fox. That's the ball game's job.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:21 AM on October 16, 2021

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