He won 3 Gold Gloves and a National League Batting Championship in his 7 years with the Rockies, but he is now packing his gloves and bats and moving to New York to play for the Yankees. He reportedly signed a two year, $24 million dollar contract for the next two years after making $8.5 million last year.
Update: Pomeranz did not deliver, leaving the game in the third inning trailing 4-1 with no outs and a runner on first after giving up a homer, double and RBI single without an out in the inning. Boston needs a comeback in a series where there bats have been surprisingly lifeless.
The Boston Red Sox are counting on Drew Pomeranz, who compiled a 4-14 record while pitching for the Rockies in 2011 through 2013, to pull them even with the Houston Astros in game two of the best of five series in Texas. Pomeranz had a great year, with a record of 17 wins against only 6 losses on an ERA of only 3.32. The Rockies traded Pomeranz and Chris Jensen on December 10th, 2013 to Oakland for Brett Anderson and cash. Anderson left the Rox via free agency in 2014 and now pitches for Toronto. Jensen is currently in Oakland's minor league system.
Update: Pomeranz did not deliver, leaving the game in the third inning trailing 4-1 with no outs and a runner on first after giving up a homer, double and RBI single without an out in the inning. Boston needs a comeback in a series where there bats have been surprisingly lifeless.
Again, no ex-Rockies player played on the Mets and they lost not only the game, but the World Series. If the Mets had started Uribe at third base instead of David Wright, he certainly would have hit at least one homer, and they would have won in 9 innings instead of being tied and going to extra innings. Big mistake. The Royals had a great season from wire to wire and deserved to win anyway. The Royals may be back for many years to come, but the Mets blew a once-in-lifetime opportunity. They are not likely to benefit again from their entire division having a down year, including an inexplicable (but gratifying) collapse by the front-runner Washington Nationals.
The Royals preyed on New York's relief pitching once again, winning to take a commanding lead in this year's World Series, three games to one. It was obvious that the Mets were going to lose when they announced the lineup for the game that did not include ex-Rockies Juan Uribe and Michael Cuddyer. The Mets have won every game in which an ex-Rockies player has gotten a hit in the 2015 World Series, and have lost every time no ex-Rockie had a hit. You would think they would learn. The Royals, on the other hand, lost every World Series game (1) in which ex-Rockie Franklin Morales pitched.
By the Baseball Observer
Tuesday, October 31, 2015
How do you beat a more-talented, better-coached team? Shocking them out of their game by making them angry is one way. And that is what the Mets did last night by having their starting pitcher, Noah Syndergaard chuck a hundred mile an hour fastball at the head the Royals' leadoff hitter. After that, the angry Royals struck out an atypical 7 times and were beaten 9-3 by the gloating Mets. Will the strategy backfire, making the Royals more determined? Or will it continue to prey on their minds and make them forget how they won so many games and just play angry? Tune in for tonights episode at 6 PM MDT.
Ex-Rock Juan Uribe made his first appearance in the World Series as a pinch hitter and produced an RBI single and scored a run. Ex-Rock Franklin Morales pitched for the Royals in the 6th inning with the Mets leading 5-3 and left with them ahead 9-3. He faced 5 batters, hit one of them, retired one, and gave up 4 runs on 2 singles (one to fellow ex-Rock Uribe) and a failed fielder's choice, where Morales fielded the ball cleanly, then couldn't decide what to do with it. That left the bases loaded when Morales left, and his replacement did not pick him up, letting all three inherited runners score. Franklin's ERA for the World Series now stands at 108.0.
Some other ex-Rockies are making news these days, particularly in the management ranks. Matt Klentak and Scott Servais, Los Angeles Angels' Assistant General Managers and ex-Rockies hired by fellow ex-Rockies pitcher Jerry Dipoto when he was the General Manager, have both moved to other teams. Dipoto left the Angels due to some differences with other staff members (see below) and is now the General Manager of the Seattle Mariners. Klentak is the new General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, and Servais is the new Seattle Manager.
The Angels also announced that former Rockies Coach and Manager Don Baylor would no longer be the club's Hitting Coach, though they left the door open to another position in the organization. Baylor's nonchalant approach to hitting has frequently been blamed for disastrous results, much like the Angel's 2015 season.
Fearing the consequences of having no ex-Rockies on their staff, the Angels hired Billy Eppler as their new General Manager. Eppler began his MLB career as scout with the Rockies from 2000 to 2004.
By the Baseball Observer
Tuesday, October 30, 2015
The Mets can prove the Baseball Observer wrong tonight by beating the Royals, but the odds are heavily stacked against them. You see, the Mets are the high school bullies of Major League Baseball - they got to the World Series by beating up on the weaklings of the National League. Now that they are confronted by a team that won't back down and actually has the goods, they are losing their nerve and are on the brink of total collapse. The Met's strength is their trio of strong-armed starting pitchers, but they have serious flaws that they have been getting away with due to the level of competition they have faced. In their division, the Phillies, Marlins, and Braves are bad teams stocked with young players and undisciplined power hitters who play right into the strengths of the Mets young power pitchers, who routinely strike out these types of hitters effortlessly. In the playoffs, they faced two more teams with the same essential makeup - the Cubs and the Dodgers and breezed past them with little difficulty. Although, if Mattingly had played proven Mets killers Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley instead of two rookies, the Dodgers would be in the World Series and Mattingly wouldn't be gazing into the ugly future of managing the Marlins for the next two years or so. But I digress... The Royals play baseball the way it was meant to be played, as a team. Kansas City has few go-for-broke sluggers, but instead has patient, disciplined hitters that so far have driven the Mets power pitchers crazy. Harvey and DeGrom could not get the Royals batters to swing for the fences, which usually results in strikeouts, and resorted to trying to throw fastballs by them, with devastating results. If the same thing happens to Syndergaard tonight, you can turn out the lights, the party is over. Its unlikely that the Royals will suddenly forget what brought them to World Series the last two years, so they should be celebrating by the time the weekend is over. But Met fans should feel good about the free baseball lessons being provided by the Royals, it may turn those young throwers into pitchers, which bodes well for the franchise's future.
By the Baseball Observer
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Juan Uribe, a familiar face in the postseason since leaving the Rockies in 2003, has been placed on the active roster of the New York Mets. Uribe played in two previous World Series, with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and the San Francisco Giants in 2010. He also played in the postseason with the Dodgers in 2013. Even though his career postseason batting average is not high at .204, he was the hero in several crucial victories with his 5 homeruns and 24 RBI. Unfortunately, another former Rockies player, Matt Reynolds (2010 - 2012) was removed from the active roster to make room for Uribe. The only ex-Rockies player on Kansas City is pitcher Franklin Morales, who played in Colorado on two different occasions, from 2007 through 2010, and again in 2014. Morales appeared in 67 games during the regular season for the Royals, but has only pitched twice in the postseason so far and has not appeared in the World Series.
By the Baseball Observer
Saturday, October 24, 2015
Toronto eliminated themselves last night by carelessly allowing a Royals baserunner to score from first on a single. Ex-Rockies Troy Tulowizki's throw was too late and the Blue Jays lost to the Kansas City Royals by a single run, 4-3. The Royals will be in the World Series for the second year in a row, and will be facing the New York Mets, who are riding an amazing streak of good fortune which they hope will continue through the Series. If it doesn't we will be subjected to a deluge of whining even worse than when the Dodgers' Chase Utley broke their second string shortstop's fibula on a routine play earlier in the Playoffs.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Ex-Rockies and current Chicago Cubs Dexter Fowler and Jason Hammel are probably home by now, after being dispatched in humiliating fashion by the New York Mets in a four game sweep of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), ending yesterday. Hammel may have had the worst day of his entire career, after being entrusted with the task of saving the Cubs season. All he needed to do was win the game so the Cubs could live to fight another day. Unfortunately, Hammel was horrible, giving up 5 runs on 4 hits (2 homers) and departing with one out in the second inning and the Mets leading 4-0, after walking the leadoff batter who scored a few batters later. The Mets went on to win 8-3. The other xRock, Fowler had one hit, a single, in five at bats. Ex-Rockies playing for the Mets didn't do much better, with Michael Cuddyer pinch hitting and striking out and Kirk Nieuwenhuis (not actually an ex-Rock, but from Lakewood, Colorado) going hitless in two at bats in the later stages of the game as a defensive replacement. I'm sure neither of them mind, though, since they will be going to the World Series.
On the American League side, xRock Troy Tulowitzki helped the Toronto Blue Jays stay alive with another 3 RBI day. In fact, Troy has to knock in three runs in order for Toronto to win. In game 3, Tulo hit a 3-run homer and Jays won 11-8. In game 5, Tulo knocked a bases-loaded double, plating 3 runs as the Jays won 7-1. They lost games 1, 2 and 4 in which Tulo knocked in a grand total of one solitary run. Fellow ex-Rockie LaTroy Hawkins is not helping the cause, with his latest performance consisting of facing 3 batters and giving up 2 hits and a walk without getting a single out. All 3 runners scored, saddling Hawkins with a 37.80 ERA in the ALCS.
By the Baseball Observer
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Barely ex-Rockie Collin McHugh (4 games in 2013) will be starting tonight for the Houston Astros in the deciding fifth game of the ALDS against the defending American League champion Kansas City Royals. McHugh started and won the first game of the series, going 6 innings and allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk in the Astros' 5-2 victory. Collin only struck out 1 and both of the runs he surrendered were on solo homeruns by Kendrys Morales. Another former Rockies pitcher worked in the first game, too - Will Harris (20 games in 2012), who got two quick outs in the eighth inning before giving up two singles and being replaced. Will's replacement got the third out, preventing any runs from scoring that time, but he wasn't so lucky in Game 2, which he entered in the bottom of the 7th inning and promptly gave up a triple and what turned out to be the winning run-scoring single before getting two outs and exiting with the loss. Harris pitched again in Game 4, and again got two outs, this time closing out the seventh inning with Astros leading 3-2. His teammates increased the lead to 6-2 before he came back to pitch in the 8th, but apparently two outs is Harris' limit because he couldn't get any Royals out, giving up 4 straight singles, before eventually leaving with two runners on base. He ended up being charged with 4 runs, 3 earned, but at least he didn't end up with the loss. With his 0-1 record and 12.00 ERA in 3 innings, we may not see Harris much more in the playoffs, even if the Astros beat the odds and survive the ALDS, which primarily up to McHugh.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Ex-Rockies were a bust in the Met's failure against Kershaw and the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLDS at New York. Michael Cuddyer (2012 - 2014) struck out as a pinch hitter in the 5th inning, and other xRock Kirk Nieuwenhuis did not play.
Ex-Rock Jason Hammel (2009 - 2011) was the starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs today, and got off to a bad start, giving up a single to Matt Carpenter and a homerun to Stephen Piscotty to stake the St. Louis Cardinals to a two run lead in the first inning. He righted himself by striking out the third batter, fellow ex-Rockie Matt Holliday (2004 -2008), and got out of the inning without further damage. Hammel had a chance to eliminate the Cardinals, as the Cubs lead the best of 5 National League Division Series (NLDS) two games to one. Hammel's fortunes looked better after he knocked in a run with a single in the bottom of the third, then scored on a three run homer as the Cubs assumed a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately, after he walked the first batter in the top of the fourth inning, he was removed for a relief pitcher, denying him the chance to get the win. Chicago came out ahead by a 6-4 score to win the NLDS, clinching a postseason series at home for the first time in Cubs' history, and giving ex-Rocks Hammel and Dexter Fowler more chances to contribute in the postseason. Fowler was hitless in 4 at bats on the day, though he did draw a walk, and is hitting a measly .188 in the postseason. Hammels, on the other hand, is hitting 1.000 with a run and an RBI. Maybe they should switch positions.
In the American League Division Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers, ex-Rockies are making some major contributions, both positive and negative. The Jays' shortstop and former Colorado star from 2006 to 2015, Troy "Tulo" Tulowitzki, has had an up and down playoff. While virtually invisible on the offensive side in Games 1, 2, and 4, Tulo almost single-handedly won Game 3 by going two for three with four RBIs in Toronto's 5-1 victory. Troy's 3-run homerun in the 6th was the clincher on the road in Arlington. Tulo has contributed mightily with his superb defense in the field as well. The other xRock on the Blue Jays, LaTroy Hawkins, has probably not endeared himself to the Canadian team's fans, however, as he blew Game 2 in the 14th inning by giving up two runs after getting the first two batters out. Hawkins played for the Rockies in 2007 and again in 2014 and 2015, and at 42 is the oldest player in the playoffs. He may have the highest ERA, too, at 27.00.
Ex-Rockies and current Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle’s team was hosting the Wildcard game for the third straight year. The Pirates lost four to nothing to the Cubs this time, largely due to the efforts of an ex-Rockie who played for Hurdle in Denver. Dexter Fowler, Hurdle’s center fielder in Colorado beginning in 2008, is now playing that role for the Chicago Cubs, and scored three of the four runs plated by Chicago last night. Fowler singled in the first inning and promptly stole second to get in scoring position for a single from Kyle Schwarber that gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Next time up, he singled and scored again when Schwarber homered. Dexter hit his own homer in the fifth to close out the scoring. It had to be a frustrating year for Clint, whose team has been playing extremely well and won 98 games this year which is more than all of the teams that are in the playoffs, except for the Saint Louis Cardinals, of course, who beat Hurdle’s Pirates for the NL Central Division Championship with 100 victories.
Jerry Dipoto, former Rockies relief pitcher and Scouting Director, was named General Manager by the Seattle Mariners after resigning from the same post with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Dipoto resigned on July 1st, 2015, reportedly disappointed with Manager Mike Scioscia’s use or lack of use of the baseball metrics generated by Dipoto’s team.
Billy Eppler, a former scout with the Rockies, and current Assistant General Manager with the New York Yankees, was named General Manager by the Angels, replacing Dipoto.
The next few seasons in the American League West division will be very interesting, because not only are the Mariners and Angels bitter rivals and front runners in the division, and both being run by ex-Rockies, but it may be seen as an opportunity for Dipoto to prove that his scientific method would have been better for the Angels than former Dodgers catcher Scioscia’s “seat-of-the-pants” method.
By the Baseball Observer, May 8, 2015
Chris Iannetta's antics in the eighth inning on the evening of May 7th, 2015 would have been comical, if they didn't probably cost his team, the Los Angeles Angels, the game. Iannetta, hitting .091, walked and moved over to second on an RBI single by Kole Calhoun that made the score 2-0. Then he failed to tag up and move to third on a deep fly ball by Mike Trout that should have put both runners in scoring position. But that wasn't the worst of it. The next batter, Albert Pujols, hit a line drive toward the gap that would have certainly put the Angels up 4-0 with both runners going with two outs. But the ball never made it to the outfield because it hit Iannetta on the leg for the third out. "I just felt like it was following me" Iannetta was quoted as saying by MLB.com. Don't look now, Chris, but that might be the end of your career gaining on you, particularly given the hot start by Angel's rookie catcher Carlos Perez.
By the Baseball Observer, April 29, 2015
Ubaldo Jimenez is pitching today in the first game in history with an attendance of zero, zip, nobody. Due to the violence in Baltimore, where Ubaldo is now situated with a lucrative 4-year contract at around $50 million, fans were not allowed into today's ballgame, making for a pretty strange scene. Anyway, Ubaldo is cruising currently, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits over 6 innings so far, leading 8-2 and heading for his second win against one loss with an ERA of 1.66. Those of us who have seen Ubaldo pitch know how good he should have been if not mismanaged by the Rockies' (lame) brain trust, so hopefully he will put together a few good years and remove all doubt.
Matt Holliday, now starring for the St. Louis Cardinals, is continuing his hot early start, going 3 for 5 last night and raising his average to a gaudy .383.
Jeff Baker, former Colorado Third Baseman, is having trouble getting started this season with the Miami Marlins, where he is 0 for 8 in the early going, but does have a .375 OPS and four runs scored in 8 games, which is pretty good for someone with no hits.
Michael Cuddyer is also a bit slow getting out of the blocks this year, while playing for the high-flying New York Mets. In 20 games, "Cuddy" has only one homer, but 9 RBI and a .656 OPS to go with his paltry .233 batting average. But, if you know anything about Cuddyer, you know he is playing like his hair is on fire and inspiring the rest of the team, which probably contributes significantly to their 15 and 6 start, leading the NL East by 4.5 games.
By the Baseball Observer, April 6, 2015
Matt Holliday knocked in the first run of the season, then added another, going 2 for 4 in the Cardinals Opening Day victory over the rejuvenated Chicago Cubs. Former Rock Dexter Fowler started in Center for the Cubs and went 1 for 4.
Seth Smith, another ex-Rockie, carried Seattle to a 4-1 triumph over the defending AL West Champion Los Angeles Angels, going 3 for 3 with a triple and two doubles, knocking in half of the Mariner's runs while playing right field. Former Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta went 1 for 3 for the Angels.
By The Baseball Observer
In 2003, the Factor seemed infallible in the early rounds, but it crashed and burned in the Division Series.
|Morales||Franklin||Boston Red Sox||L||L||1|
|Mortensen||Clayton||Boston Red Sox||R||R||1|
|Lindstrom||Matt||Chicago White Sox||R||R||1|
|Carroll||Jamey||Kansas City Royals||R||R||2|
|Guthrie||Jeremy||Kansas City Royals||R||R||1|
|Field||Thomas||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||R||R||1|
|Hawpe||Brad||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||L||L||1|
|Iannetta||Chris||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||R||R||1|
|Nelson||Chris||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||R||R||3|
|Ellis||Mark||Los Angeles Dodgers||R||R||1|
|Hernandez||Ramon||Los Angeles Dodgers||R||R||1|
|Uribe||Juan||Los Angeles Dodgers||R||R||1|
|Brown||Andrew||New York Mets||R||R||1|
|Hawkins||LaTroy||New York Mets||R||R||1|
|McHugh||Collin||New York Mets||R||R||1|
|Quintanilla||Omar||New York Mets||L||R||1|
|Torres||Carlos||New York Mets||R||R||1|
|Young||Eric||New York Mets||B||R||2|
|Brignac||Reid||New York Yankees||L||R||2|
|Daley||Matt||New York Yankees||R||R||1|
|Miller||Jim||New York Yankees||R||R||1|
|Nix||Jayson||New York Yankees||R||R||1|
|Marquis||Jason||San Diego Padres||L||R||1|
|Street||Huston||San Diego Padres||R||R||1|
|Stults||Eric||San Diego Padres||L||L||1|
|Affeldt||Jeremy||San Francisco Giants||L||L||1|
|Lopez||Javier||San Francisco Giants||L||L||1|
|Moscoso||Guillermo||San Francisco Giants||R||R||1|
|Ramirez||Ramon||San Francisco Giants||R||R||1|
|Scutaro||Marco||San Francisco Giants||R||R||1|
|Boggs||Mitchell||St. Louis Cardinals||R||R||1|
|Holliday||Matt||St. Louis Cardinals||R||R||1|
|Wigginton||Ty||St. Louis Cardinals||R||R||1|
|Peralta||Joel||Tampa Bay Rays||R||R||1|
|Wright||Jamey||Tampa Bay Rays||R||R||1|
|Blanco||Henry||Toronto Blue Jays||R||R||1|
|Gonzalez||Edgar||Toronto Blue Jays||R||R||1|
|Oliver||Darren||Toronto Blue Jays||R||L||1|
|Ortiz||Ramon||Toronto Blue Jays||R||R||1|
|Rogers||Esmil||Toronto Blue Jays||R||R||1|
Jim Leyland announced his retirement as manager of the Detroit Tigers, thus ending a certain Hall of Fame career. Shortly after, a long-forgotten taint from the Rockies past reared its ugly head again in the person of Don Baylor, who re-surfaced as the batting coach of the Los Angeles Angels.
Update: Los Angeles and Detroit both lost, even though they had more ex-Rockies than their respective foes. So, for this year, at least the ex-Rockies factor did serve as an accurate predictor in the playoffs. Now we are left with two teams that each have a single XR: Matt Holiday on the Cardinals and Franklin Morales with the Red Sox. So the Ex-Rockies Factor is a toss-up, with neither team having an XR edge.
Los Angeles and Detroit, with two ex-Rockies each, should be winning their respective series over the single XR Cardinals and Red Sox. Detroit was cruising toward their second win when ex-Rockies skipper Jim Leyland made the unfortunate decision to pitch to Big Papi with the bases loaded in the 8th inning Sunday. Now, Detroit is still in control, having won on the road, but not like they would have been. The Dodgers, on the other hand are practically dead, having lost the first two games in Saint Louis while showing no life, epitomized by former hero and ex-Rock Juan Uribe striking out with the bases loaded in game 2.
One XR who is no stranger to postseason heroics is Juan Uribe, the former Rockies infielder who has become a legendary October hero, first with the Giants and now with the Dodgers. Last night, he hit a two run homer in the eighth inning that provided the winning margin in the game which eliminated the only playoff team with no ex-Rockies, the Atlanta Braves, thus insuring that there will be ex-Rocks in both dugouts for the World Series.
In the other NLDS game, XR Matt Holliday knocked in all of the runs the Cardinals would need with a 2 run homerun in the 6th inning for a 2-1 road victory, sending the series back to St. Louis for the deciding 5th game. Holliday has often been criticized, and justifiably so, for not getting big hits in the clutch. Maybe he is turning over a new leaf at this stage in his career.
Meanwhile, another of Holliday's former teams, the Oakland Athletics needed help from another ex-Rockies player, designated hitter Seth Smith, who knocked in 2 runs and scored another while hitting .500 in the postseason, and leading the A's to a victory over the Tigers and a 2-1 lead in the series.
In the other ALDS game, XR Joel Peralta pitched another scoreless inning for the Rays, who defeated Boston to avoid elimination. Boston ex-Rock Franklin Morales did not fare as well, giving up a run while only working a third of an inning, giving him a 27.00 ERA for this years postseason.
Play-in Game: Tampa Bay* 5, Texas 2
AL Wildcard: Tampa Bay* 4, Cleveland* 0 (Both teams have two ex-Rockies)
NL Wildcard: Pittsburgh* 6, Cincinnati 2
NL Division Series: Dodgers* and Braves tied 1-1, Pirates* and Cardinals tied 1-1
AL Division Series: Tigers* and Athletics tied 1-1, Tampa Bay* trails Red Sox 0-2
Detroit and Oakland have one exRock apiece, Seth Smith () for the A's and Octavio Dotel () for the Tigers. However, the Tigers get the tiebreaker because their manager is Jim Leyland, who has led them to 3 straight Central Division championships (4 in 8 years) and two World Series appearances (and counting) since being ignominiously discarded by the Rockies after only a single year of managing in Denver, illustrating the great powers of talent recognition possessed by the Rockies brainless management trust. Leyland is a sure first ballot Hall of Fame manager who has led every team he has managed to the Promised Land, with the single exception of the Rockies.
The Rays have 2 ex-Rockies to the Red Sox' 1, so they should win this series. However, this may be the biggest test of the playoffs, because on paper Boston looks like the overwhelming favorite, having a 12-7 record against the Rays this year. The Red Sox actually had a better record in Tampa (6-3) against the Rays than at home (6-4), so the home field advantage is not as significant as the general overall dominance.
Pittsburgh demonstrated the strength gained through employing ex-Rockies by jumping back off the mat after a humiliating 9-1 loss on Thursday and beating up on the hapless and exRock-less St. Louis Cardinals. Four Pittsburgh hurlers, beginning with Gerritt Cole and ending with ex-Rockie Jason Grilli (2008-2009) limited the Cards vaunted offense to a mere 4 hits and a single run on a round-tripper by Yadier Molina. Another exRock, shortstop Clint Barmes entered the game as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning and did not bat. Now all the Pirates need to do is win the two games at home to move on to the NLCS against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers have two exRocks�, third baseman Juan Uribe (2001-2003) and second baseman Mark Ellis (2011), while the Braves have none, zero, zip. So, clearly LA will continue to dominate as they did the first game in Atlanta on Thursday, a resounding 6-1 victory in which the Bravos only managed 5 hits. Both of the former Colorado players started and contributed with Ellis going two for five, scoring a run and knocking in one. Uribe was one for three with a run and a sacrifice bunt. The Bums and Braves play again Friday in Atlanta, but even if LA loses they maintain home field advantage, but more importantly, the ex-Rockies Factor advantage.
With Hurdle and 3 other ex-Rockies, the Pirates have the clear nod from the XR Factor to win the NLDS. Even though Saint Louis has another ex-Rockie in the front office, that would only make two, so the Cardinals officially have no chance to beat the PittsBurghers. Sorry Cardinal fans, but its management's fault for not stocking up on ex-Rockies when they were available.
The Rays have Jamey Wright and Joel Peralta. The Indians have Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Giambi. Cleveland is the home team and thus has an overwhelming historical statistical edge. However, the Baseball Observer predicts Tampa Bay will win based on Cleveland Manager Terry Francona�s decision to leave Jimenez off of the roster for the Wild Card game, giving the Rays a two to one ex-Rockies advantage. It is actually pretty depressing because Mr. Francona is a personal favorite of the Observer, who graduated from the same fine institute of higher learning, and is still angry at his once-favorite team for firing Terry, who has been the best manager in Baseball for at least the last ten years.
Anyway, Francona probably figured that it was a good idea to start a rookie in the Wild Card game, probably because winning the last ten games of the regular season made him over-confident. And, he was probably looking ahead to the next round of games and wanted to save Ubaldo for the other team that fired him, the Boston Red Sox. These mistakes will probably cause his team to exit the playoffs after only one game, but at least the future looks bright for Francona and the Tribe.
Technically, the two teams are tied in ex-Rockies on the 40 man roster, so no matter which team wins, it will not contradict the XR Factor. So, on to the next rounds
If you look at the chart below, you will notice that Texas only has the one XR (ex-Rockie), outfielder Jeff Baker. Tampa Bay, on the other hand has two, pitchers Jamey Wright and Joel Peralta. All are on the active rosters of their respective teams, so the verdict is clear: Tampa Bay wins. This sets up an interesting match up with the next opponent, the Cleveland Indians, who also have two ex-rocks. This will call for further analysis. See it here before game time as the Ex-Rockies factor predicts the winners.
Hurdle managed Colorado from 2002 until 2009, when he was unceremoniously dumped after a slow start (probably because he was going to want more money). Jim Tracy took over and the Rockies went all the way to the World Series. Tracy's teams got worse every year after that, positive proof that it was Hurdle's team that went to the World Series, not Tracy's. Further proof is that, while nobody has hired Tracy, the Pirates snapped up Hurdle who is now leading them in their first winning season since and trip to the playoffs since 1992. Strangely enough, the Pirates manager back in 1992 was the now ex-Rockies manager...
Holliday, a member of the Rockies from 2004 through 2008 had a perfect 4 for 4 night at Coors/Molsen/Miller Field yesterday. It raised his average at his old stomping grounds to .417 since becoming a Cardinal and he added a stellar defensive play and a homerun, his 20th of the season. Holliday has now hit at least 20 dingers for 8 consecutive seasons.
Ianetta, who played for the Rockies from 2006 through 2011 became the first Angel catcher since 1974 to win MLB American League Player of the Week honors. The slick fielding backstop, is only hitting .232 for the season, but batted .429 with three home runs in the week ending September 14th. He became the only Angel to win the honor so far this year by also knocking in 5 runs, scoring 7, and leading all AL hitters with a .952 slugging percentage.
Jimenez, who toiled in Denver from 2009 to 2011, is continuing his torrid second half pitching, winning two games with an 0.59 ERA and 18 strikeouts and only one walk last week. He is currently 13th in the AL with a 3.49 ERA, and in 14th place with 12 wins.
Pierre, who played for the Rockies from 2000 - 2003 has now stolen 20 or more bases in 13 straight seasons, only the 16th person in Major League history to do so. Tonight, Pierre got a pinch-hit double to right for his 2,215th career hit, tying him with Joltin' Joe Dimaggio for 175th on the all-time list.
|Jeremy Affeldt 15-day DL *||L-L||6'4"||225||SFN||NL||2013||Pitcher|
|Octavio Dotel 60-day DL **||R-R||6'0"||230||DET||AL||2013||Pitcher|
|Tommy Field *||R-R||5'10"||185||LAA||AL||2013||Infielder|
|Edgar Gonzalez 15-day DL *||R-R||6'2"||210||HOU||AL||2013||Pitcher|
|Jason Grilli 15-day DL *||R-R||6'4"||225||PIT||NL||2013||Pitcher|
|Jason Hammel 15-day DL *||R-R||6'6"||225||BAL||AL||2013||Pitcher|
|Jason Marquis 60-day DL **||L-R||6'1"||220||SDN||NL||2013||Pitcher|
|Michael McKenry 60-day DL **||R-R||5'10"||210||PIT||NL||2013||Catcher|
|Ramon Ortiz 60-day DL **||R-R||6'0"||175||TOR||AL||2013||Pitcher|
|Felipe Paulino 60-day DL **||R-R||6'3"||270||KCA||AL||2013||Pitcher|
|Zach Putnam 60-day DL **||R-R||6'2"||225||CHN||NL||2013||Pitcher|
|Matt Reynolds 15-day DL *||L-L||6'5"||240||ARI||NL||2013||Pitcher|
|Alex White 60-day DL **||R-R||6'3"||215||HOU||AL||2013||Pitcher|
Chicago White Sox 1
Chicago Cubs 1
New York Yankees 1
Saint Louis 1
Tampa Bay 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 2
Kansas City 3
San Diego 3
San Francisco 4
New York Mets 5
Jimenez shut down the potent Tampa Bay offense in his best start of the season, allowing just 4 hits and no runs, while striking out 7. Another former Rockies player Jason Giambi provided all the offensive support he would need (see below)
Jason slugged his third homer of the week and knocked in 3 to back his Ex-Rockies teammate and belying his advanced age of 42.
Morales exited the Disabled List to start for Boston, who is in desperate need of starting pitching due to injury. The Ex-Rockie went 5 innings, yielding 4 hits and 2 runs while picking up the win in a 9-2 victory on the road in Philadelphia.
The Cardinals only have 2 Ex-Rockies and one of them, Brian Fuentes, isn't even on the active roster. The Giants, on the other hand, have 3 Ex-Rockies, all of whom are active in the NLCS, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict that the Giants will win. The Giants should obviously beat Detroit in the World Series as well, because Detroit only has a pitcher and an ex-manager, which should not be enough to overcome the 3 Ex-Rockies playing for San Francisco.
So far, Ex-Rockies players (XRs) have made a big difference in the 2012 Major League Baseball playoffs. In the first game of the weird playoff round instituted for the first time this year, the Cardinals made sure that the team that deserved to go on to the next round did not. The Atlanta Braves had one of the best records in baseball for the entire season, and then, much like last year, their whole season came down to one game, which they lost. So, much like last year, the Braves were eliminated by the Cardinals, only this year it was in the 163rd game rather than the 162nd. And, XR Matt Holliday played a huge part in the Cardinal victory by plating the winning run with a home run, and almost helping the Braves come back by failing to catch a pop fly. Fortunately for Holliday, the umpires bailed him and the Cardinals out with the controversial infield fly rule call.
No XRs were actively involved in the American League Sudden Death Wild card Playoff (ALSDWP), between the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers, but the team with two XRs on the roster, Baltimore, won it easily, 5-1.
It should be mentioned that the Ex-Rockies Factor (xRF), overcame some big odds here, as the winning teams were underdogs, playing on the road against teams with better records. Both the Braves and the Rangers had legitimate World Series aspirations.
In Saturday's games, XRs Marco Scutaro and Jeremy Affeldt played for San Francisco in their loss to Cincinnati. Neither player had much of a positive impact, with Scutaro going hitless in 5 plate appearances with a walk, while Affeldt pitched two thirds of an inning without allowing a run. No XRs played in the Detroit-Oakland game, which was won by the Tigers 3-1.
In Sunday's games, XRs may continue to play large roles, especially in Baltimore, where XR Jason Hammel will be starting for the Orioles.
Once again, as in every postseason since the Rockies became a Major League baseball team, teams with the most Ex-Rockies are winning every series.
In the first of the stupid new one-game wildcard rounds, the Saint Louis Cardinals stomped the snake-bitten Atlanta Braves 6-3. Ex-Rockies Matt Holiday and Brian Fuentes are on the Cardinals 40 man roster, while the Braves have a single XR player, infielder Jeff Baker. Baker did not play for Atlanta, while Holiday started for St. Louis and got 2 hits in 3 at bats, including a homerun in the sixth which proved to be the winning 4th run for the Cards. Brian Fuentes left the team for personal reasons and is on the Restricted List.
Baltimore blasted the Texas Rangers who continued their self-destructive downward spiral by losing 8 of their last 10 games. The Orioles have two Ex-Rockies on their roster, Jason Hammel and Omar Quintanilla, while the Rangers have none. Hammel is not on the Baltimore active roster, while Quintanilla is active, but did not play in Friday's game. It did not matter, though as Baltimore shut down the slumping Ranger batting order and didn't seem in danger, even when Texas had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the 9th. It was sweet revenge for Buck Showalter who essentially built the current Ranger team, only to be fired before they began their run in the playoffs. Ranger fans can look back and be assured that if Showalter had remained the manager, they probably would have won the World Series the last two years instead of losing it with Washington. They probably won't be going back for a long time, given the resurgence of the Angels, A's, and Mariners in their division. Maybe they had better be concerned with Houston, too, who will be playing in their division next year. Oh, and if they want to make the playoffs again, they had better get a few Ex-Rockies or they will have no chance at all.
If the nominal, unweighted Ex-Rockies factor continues to prevail, the playoff results might be (corrected):
Orioles lose to Yankees, Tigers over Athletics, Cardinals over the Reds, Giants over the Nationals. The rest are not quite so well defined: The Giants will probably beat the Cardinals because the Giants' Ex-Rockies are both on the active roster, while one of St. Louis' is not. The Tigers and New York are pretty even because, while they each only have one XR player on their active roster, both of whom only spent a fraction of one season with the Rockies, both managers have Rockies connections. However, if the past results continue, the Tigers will win because Jim Leyland was the Rockies' manager, while Joe Girardi was a player for the Rockies, but is the Yankees' manager, which doesn't seem to have as much weight, giving the Tigers the nod.
However, past results have shown that the Ex-Rockies Factor works in a more sophisticated way. The outcomes must be weighted by the player's tenure as a Colorado Rockies player to determine the amount of "Rockies-ness".