Arrieta-Cole, Objectively One of Best Playoff Matchups Ever

Individual performances tend to be magnified in the postseason, and that is especially true of pitchers. While 16-18 other players appear in the lineups and many others will have profound impacts on the outcomes of games over the next month, the starting pitcher will likely have more influence over the outcome of a single game than any other player. Everything is magnified in the playoffs from managerial decisions to clutch hits, errors, and great plays in the field, but starting pitching is perhaps most deserving of the increased scrutiny. By the end of the second inning, perhaps sometime into the third, the starting pitcher will have taken part in more plays than any position player during the entire game.

In a winner-take-all game like the Wild Card, deserving players might be pushed to the background ahead of the game in favor of the pitching, but the matchup between pitchers will likely be the difference between the team that keeps playing and the team whose season is over. For those watching the Cubs take on the Pirates, they will witness one of the very best pitching matchups the playoffs have ever seen.

In Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole, both teams will feature bona fide aces. Arrieta might have just had the best half-season of all time. Overall, he’s pitched 229 innings with an ERA of 1.77 and a FIP of 2.35, giving Arrieta a 45 ERA- and a 60 FIP- over the full season after league and park are taken into account. He’s in pretty rare company. Consider: since the end of World War II, these are the qualified pitchers with an ERA- below 50 and a FIP- below 65 over a full season.

Greatest Combination of FIP and ERA in History
Name Season Team IP ERA FIP WAR ERA- FIP-
Pedro Martinez 1999 Red Sox 213.1 2.07 1.39 11.6 42 31
Roger Clemens 1997 Blue Jays 264 2.05 2.25 10.7 45 50
Pedro Martinez 2000 Red Sox 217 1.74 2.17 9.4 35 48
Ron Guidry 1978 Yankees 273.2 1.74 2.19 9.1 47 58
Dwight Gooden 1985 Mets 276.2 1.53 2.13 8.9 44 58
Bob Gibson 1968 Cardinals 304.2 1.12 1.75 8.6 38 64
Zack Greinke 2009 Royals 229.1 2.16 2.33 8.6 48 54
Pedro Martinez 1997 Expos 241.1 1.9 2.39 8.5 45 57
Roger Clemens 1990 Red Sox 228.1 1.93 2.18 8.2 47 55
Greg Maddux 1995 Braves 209.2 1.63 2.26 7.9 39 52
Greg Maddux 1994 Braves 202 1.56 2.39 7.4 37 54
Pedro Martinez 2003 Red Sox 186.2 2.22 2.21 7.4 48 51
Jake Arrieta 2015 Cubs 229 1.77 2.35 7.3 45 60
Pedro Martinez 2002 Red Sox 199.1 2.26 2.24 7.3 50 54
Randy Johnson 1997 Mariners 213 2.28 2.82 7 50 62

The only pitcher with better context neutral numbers in both ERA and FIP and more innings was Dwight Gooden in his amazing 1985 season. It is easy to see why so much attention has been given to Jake Arrieta this season and in this matchup, but the Pittsburgh Pirates’s Gerrit Cole has had an excellent season of his own. Cole’s 5.4 WAR is fifth in the National and ninth in Major League Baseball. Pitchers don’t choose their opposition, leaving great matchups more to a question of chance than a complete reflection of their own skill, but the high level of both players heading into this game is something rarely seen in a game of this magnitude.

A one-game playoff has been an incredibly rare event in MLB history. The advent of the Wild Card has created generally more playoff teams and more possibilities for ties at the end of the regular season, and the introduction of the Wild Card Playoff Game in 2012 has guaranteed a one-game playoff in each league every year. The games this season will be the 18th and 19th winner-take-all one-game playoffs in baseball history, the first having taken place in 1948 and the second not occurring until the New York Yankees played the Boston Red Sox after the 1978 season. Many remember the 1951 game between the Dodgers and Giants and Bobby Thomson’s home run, but that game was actually the final game of a three-game series, which the National League used for the last time in 1962, again while featuring the Dodgers and Giants.

While quantifying which pitching matchup among these games is a very difficult task, the simplest solution is perhaps to look at single-season WAR as a measure of how well the two pitchers were doing during the year. Very good pitchers who were injured for much of the year, like Johnny Cueto in 2013, will not fare well this way, but overall this seems to be a reasonable method. If we take only the average of the two pitchers, we come up with the following the chart.

Best Pitching Matchups in One-Game Playoffs
Year Event Matchup Player WAR Player WAR Winner AVG WAR
1995 Tie-breaker Angels v Mariners Mark Langston 4.1 Randy Johnson 9.5 Mariners 6.8
2015 NLWC Cubs v Pirates Jake Arrieta 7.3 Gerrit Cole 5.4 6.4
1978 Tie-breaker Yankees v Red Sox Ron Guidry 9.1 Mike Torrez 3.3 Yankees 6.2
2014 ALWC A’s v Royals Jon Lester 5.5 James Shields 3.3 Royals 4.4
2015 ALWC Astros v Yankees Dallas Keuchel 6.1 Masahiro Tanaka 2.2 4.2

While taking the average seems like a good idea, we have several games with great disparities between the two starters. Randy Johnson and Mark Langston carry the top spot due principally to Johnson’s 9.5 WAR in 1995. As a result, like Dan Szymborski did in his piece on the greatest one-two rotation punch in history, I took the geometric mean ((WAR1*WAR2)^.5) to lessen the influence of one truly great pitcher. Switching to the geometric mean pushes Arrieta/Cole over the top. Below is a complete graph of the top one-game playoff matchups.

BEST PITCHING MATCHUPS IN ONE-GAME PLAYOFF HISTORY

While the Arrieta/Cole matchup is clearly impressive and historic, teams playing in a one-game playoff generally had to fight just to get to the playoff. Otherwise, they would not have ended in a tie to begin with, and this ends up with teams unable to set their best starters in these games. Expanding the field a bit can provide this duo more competition.

Adding all winner-take-all games — Game 7s in the World Series, Game 5s in the Division Series, etc. — we can compare this matchup to every game in which both teams were confined to a win-or-go-home scenario. Including the two games about to be played, there are 108 pitching matchups to examine. Using the geometric mean once again, we come up with the following table featuring the top-10 such games.

Best Pitching Match-ups in Winner-Take-All Playoffs
Year Event Matchup Player WAR Player WAR Winner AVG GEOMEAN
2001 NLDS Cardinals v Dbacks Matt Morris 6.1 Curt Schilling 7.2 Dbacks 6.7 6.6
1965 World Series Dodgers v Twins Sandy Koufax 10 Jim Kaat 4.3 Dodgers 7.2 6.6
2001 World Series Yankees v Dbacks Roger Clemens 5.6 Curt Schilling 7.2 Dbacks 6.4 6.3
2011 NLDS Cardinals v Phillies Chris Carpenter 4.8 Roy Halladay 8.3 Cardinals 6.6 6.3
1985 World Series Cardinals v Royals John Tudor 6.4 Bret Saberhagen 6.2 Royals 6.3 6.3
2015 NLWC Cubs v Pirates Jake Arrieta 7.3 Gerrit Cole 5.4 6.4 6.3
1995 Tie-breaker Angels v Mariners Mark Langston 4.1 Randy Johnson 9.5 Mariners 6.8 6.2
2003 ALCS Red Sox v Yankees Pedro Martinez 7.4 Roger Clemens 4.5 Yankees 6.0 5.8
2003 ALDS Red Sox v A’s Pedro Martinez 7.4 Barry Zito 4.4 Red Sox 5.9 5.7
2001 ALDS A’s v Yankees Mark Mulder 5.7 Roger Clemens 5.6 Yankees 5.7 5.6

And that same thing, in graphic form:

BEST PITCHING MATCHUPS IN WINNER-TAKE-ALL GAMES IN HISTORY

Matt Morris facing off against Curt Schilling is a surprising result mainly due to Morris’ presence, but Morris was once one of the better pitchers in the game. After a nearly five-win rookie season in 1997, Morris suffered shoulder and elbow injuries, missing 1999 and much of 2000 due to recovery from Tommy John surgery. Morris came back strong in 2000 and 2001 before diminished velocity turned him into an innings-eater for the remainder of his career. In the Diamondbacks-Cardinals series in 2001, Morris went toe-to-toe with Schilling in Game 1 of the series, losing 1-0. The Cardinals almost ended the Diamondbacks’ dream playoff run before it could get started as Morris and Schilling again dueled, this time in Game 5 for the series win. Morris and Schilling each gave up one run on solo home runs, but the Diamondbacks scored in the bottom of the ninth off the Cardinals bullpen for the walkoff win.

The Arrieta-Cole matchup still sits comfortably in the top ten of dueling aces in winner-take-all games. Arrieta does have the edge in the matchup between the two pitchers, but the team with the better pitcher does not always win. In the 75 games in which one pitcher had at least a one-win WAR advantage, the better pitcher’s team posted a 44-31 record. It is probably a little unfair that a 97-win team and a 98-win team have to face off in a one-game playoff just to make the Division Series, but it has produced one of the greatest pitching matchups of all time.





Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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WillyG
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WillyG

The difference is that Geritt Cole has playoff experience. Jake Arietta may very well pull a Johnny Cueto on Wednesday night. Great season and dreadful wildcard performance. Remember Clayton Kershaw didn’t look so hot in the playoffs after a great season and people were shocked when that happened. Don’t count the Pirates out. Pittsburgh is counting on World Series baby! And there’s no logic to this post. It’s one game. Statistics & logic are out the window. It’s mostly about who keeps a cooler head. Ask Terry Bradshaw, an average quarterback who kept his cool during the playoffs and has 4 Super Bowl rings to show for it!

steve
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steve

or maybe Arrieta is about to be discovered as the greatest postseason player ever. What’s even the point of having this debate

RynoDawson
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RynoDawson

The “point” is some people need to make themselves feel better, when they KNOW they don’t even DESERVE to be playing this game at home.

Bartman
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Bartman

How do the Pirates not deserve to be playing it at home? They have the second best record in all of baseball. What are you talking about?

Jason
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Jason

I get being irrational as a fan while watching the games but it’s pretty easy to be objective now. The Cubs are a really good team, the Pirates are a really good team. Arrieta and Cole are incredible pitchers and if one pitches poorly it won’t be because they “choked” or aren’t “clutch” it will be because of baseball.

RynoDawson
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RynoDawson

http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=BaseRuns

This is a site for statistics. Do some research next time.

Jason
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Jason

Yes this is a site for statistics, not insane rambling filled with bias. By Baseruns the Cubs are the 4th best team in baseball and the Pirates are 5th. By record 3rd and 2nd, in what way are these teams not pretty damn close to evenly matched?

Joe
Guest
Joe

You really are a dolt. Even if you use baseruns THE PIRATES WOULD STILL BE HOSTING THE WILD CARD GAME

szielinski
Member
Member
szielinski

Umm, why would the Pirates not deserve to have the home game?

Brian
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Brian

There is no possible way that RynoDawson is anything other than a parody account, right? I mean that honestly. No one is that dumb. In fact I feel dumb for thinking for a moment he was real.

WillyG
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WillyG

Jason:

My original point was that the statistics are regular season statistics. The playoffs are fundamentally different than the regular season. If you ever played the game you would know that. It’s like comparing apples and oranges to use regular season stats in the postseason. I realize that the teams do because they don’t have a large enough sample size of postseason stats for most players. But I was making the point that you can’t draw some conclusions using regular season stats when predicting postseason games. There is the playoff fever factor. Some players traditionally do very well in the playoffs like Reggie Jackson and others don’t like Dave Winfield. No explanation for it. It’s a very real thing. Barry Bonds was great in the regular season, but predictably poor performance in the playoffs. AJ Burnett for the Pirates / Marlin / Yankees… Great in the regular season… Wouldn’t trust him in the playoffs again. Ever. I’m sure others see what I’m saying. Certain players for lack of a better word choke. Other seem to take advantage of others under performance due to pressure.

Strictly speaking, I’m not discussing statistics, but the fact that the regular season statistics are not valid in the postseason due to the additional stress on the players affecting their ability to perform at their normal statistical level.

If you don’t understand what I’m saying, I can rephrase that. But please don’t say that I’m ignorant or trolling because you don’t have the capacity to fathom it.

Dag Gummit
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Dag Gummit

Willy,

When you state the following:

_____
“… I was making the point that you can’t draw some conclusions using regular season stats when predicting postseason games….
_____

you are fundamentally incorrect. First, conclusions can always be drawn. They may or may not be logical. They may or may not accurate and/ or precise. They, however, can always be drawn. Further, regular season stats do have some predictive power over postseason outcomes. Heck, there is a prime example mentioned in Craig’s article alone —

_____
In the 75 games in which one pitcher had at least a one-win WAR advantage, the better pitcher’s team posted a 44-31 record.
_____

There’s a pretty easy conclusion to draw from that — the team with a clearly better pitcher will have a clearly higher chance of winning. Are there other, numerous factors at play? Of course there are. Is it a guarantee that the team with the better pitcher will win? Of course not. It didn’t stop me from drawing a very rational, very logical conclusion, however.

Now, if you really, really wish to push and assert that there must be some extra Playoff-Clutch skill, find a way to legitimately examine it or find someone else who has. The anecdotal examples you bring up of Reggie Jackson vs. Dave Winfield aren’t comparable because Jackson was a clearly superior player to Winfield during the regular season. You’re talking about a prime 5-7 Win player vs. a prime 3-5 Win player. Even isolating out their respective Yankee-only careers, Jackson was clearly superior (he was 3.5-5 W player vs. Winfield’s 2.5-4 W player). My conclusion, therefore, would be to expect Reggie Jackson to be superior to Winfield. And none of this is even into the fact that two OF of overlapping eras don’t compare to SP matchups in the slightest.

If, however, you still wish to choose to believe in those anecdotal examples and want to assert that they mean something, support it. Case studies (à la Jackson vs. Winfield and Kershaw’s 2014) can be interesting, but in the scientific community, they are not even hypothetical. In the statistical world, they have to be done with extreme care and, even then, are likely to be without significant sample size to be considered useful.

WillyG
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WillyG

Obviously I’m a Pittsburgh Pirates fan because I did sports medicine in Pittsburgh, and currently live in Charleston WV home of the West Virginia Power – PIRATES single A full season team. I know a few of their players and they have a lot of talent here. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not right in my arguments that they have a strong team, and statistically playing at home is a big advantage for them. Read all of my posts and you will see what I mean.

Carlos Correa's mom
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Carlos Correa's mom

Obviously I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night. And my mom knows someone who met the ruler of Jordan in 1988. And I have many leatherbound books. I’m SMRT, bruh…

WillyG
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WillyG

And I work for the team. Doing mostly biomechanical analysis. Similar to what Jim Benedict does for the pitching staff I do for milb infielders. So yeah, I’m pretty smart. And cole Tucker’s injury was not my fault

Bizmarquis
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Bizmarquis

Do you also drive a Dodge Stratus?

Tim
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Tim

The difference between Cueto and Arrieta is that Cueto was pitching with an injury in the 2013 WC game.

WillyG
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WillyG

An injury that caused him to drop the baseball? And gave up a home run on the very next pitch? Quite a coincidence there!

Joe
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Joe

No but the injury likely played a large part in him pitching poorly. He’s pretty much completely dominated Pittsburgh in every other start of his career.

Roger
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Roger

Is there some kind of running contest for who can make the least appropriate comment on this website, or is all sports discussion everywhere just that deeply and ineradicably contaminated by irrationalism?

Walter
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Walter

The very nature of sports fandom is irrational, is it not? I wouldn’t expect too much.

a eskpert
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a eskpert

On this American Life some years ago, they were featuring this 24 hour coffee shop in Chicago. One of the more violent incidents in the recent past of that coffee shop was when a Cubs fan smashed a mug on the face of a White Sox fan.

a eskpert
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a eskpert
Mike
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Mike

All this comment from Willy suggests is that Pirates fans are very very scared. Pirate fans are just trying to look for a little glimmer of hope.

The Bucs aren’t the only team with WS aspirations, considering the Cubs have been pretty great the last 3 months I would assume they also have a WS or bust mentality. Your post is illogical. By this logic, you should also not disregard the Cubs using this to “will themselves to a win”.

As you can see from recent history, the team with the significantly better pitcher usually wins this “winner take all” matchup. The Cubs have the better pitcher in this matchup. If I was a bucs fan, I would be very worried as well.

The Cubs also have the significant edge in the managerial department, while Clint Hurdle is not a bad manager is not in the same department as Maddon. Maddon will have this team loose and ready to play, if you learned anything from this year you would notice experience hasnt meant a thing. The Cubs were not suppose to have 97 wins because they were starting nothing but rookies with zero experience. The Cubs rookies have played well beyond their years this whole year.

It seems like Buc fans are doing nothing more than poking the bear and giving more for Arrieta to feed off of. I suggest sitting tight as Cubs fans will do, and cross your fingers you are even allowed a hit off Arrieta.

Joe
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Joe

No all Willy’s comment suggests is that Willy is crazy.

“As you can see from recent history, the team with the significantly better pitcher usually wins this “winner take all” matchup”

Good thing neither team has a significantly better pitcher.

Mike
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Mike

But one does right now, Arrieta is head of heels better than Cole at this point in time. All numbers will point to that, considering he put up historic numbers this second half…

Joe
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Joe

No he isn’t. He had a significantly better second half than Cole, but that is neither predictive of his next start nor does it mean he is a significantly better pitcher than Cole. Remember Kris Medlen in 2012? How’d the Wild Card Game go for him?

Brian
Guest
Brian

Arrieta is pitching great right now, and I concur that he gives the Cubs the edge. But is he “significantly” better than Cole?

Let’s do some extremely dirty back-of-the-envelope calculations. If Cole pitches to his season averages (again, I know this leaves a ton out, but we’re just trying to get a rough sketch here), he’ll pitch 6.5 innings and give up 2.2 runs. Arrieta will pitch 6.9 innings and give up 1.6 runs. i.e., Arrieta will give up about 0.4 fewer runs and get one or two extra outs. Over the course of one game that’s not even close to significant. (It’s like being in the 7th or 8th inning of a game that’s 2-1 or 3-2 Cubs.)

Of course, this thought experiment points up just how silly it is to lean on their average numbers. Over the course of 9 innings, variance swamps every meaningful distinction between these two guys. Again, I would bet on Arrieta – he gives them better odds going on for sure. But played out in actual time time no one can be so sure.

Giordano
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Giordano

To add some color to your post, Brian: being up 2-1 in the 7th as an away team puts you somewhere near 70% game odds, 3-2 in the 8th 75%. That’s pretty good!

Another way of looking at it: the difference between Arrieta and Cole by fWAR is the same as the difference between Cole and Kyle Hendricks by fWAR. Arrieta’s got one more GS, so some other numbers: difference between Arrieta and Cole by RA9-WAR is same as between Cole and John Danks; FIP as between Cole and Tyson Ross; xFIP as between Cole and J.A. Happ; SIERA as between Cole and Rick Porcello. If it were Cole opposing nearly any of those pitchers, I’d think we’d say that’s “significantly” better, even if variance could well swamp a Porcello v. Cole matchup.

WillyG
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WillyG

Kris Brown struck out with men on base multiple times on Saturday. In a game they needed to win. That was a pressure situation. Against Milwaukee. They scored 1 run against Milwaukee on Sat. and had trouble on Sunday also. Doesn’t sound so loose to me.

Of course the PIRATES are respectful of the Cubs. They lost the season series to them. They’ve had trouble hitting this SP all year. But if Cole has a good game or if the Cubs rookies show their youthful inexperience, the previous statistics don’t mean anything.

I have an MD from one of the best medical schools in the country and an mph in conjunction with public health residency. I also did sports medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. So don’t talk about me like I’m some idiot for not spouting stat after stat when talking about this game. Stats over a large sample (season) mean nothing when looking at a single game. A person that has .320 BA can go 0 for 5. And a SP can hit 2 home runs.

What is Joe Madden’s track record in the playoffs with the Cubs? Unknown. Hurdle. Beat Cincinnati in wild card game. Lost to Bumgardner. Came close to beating Cardinals in divisional series. WON THE WORLD SERIES with Rockies. People forget about that one. So to say the Joe Maddon is a better playoff coach than Clint Hurdle seems somewhat strange to me.

What I do know is the Pirates team is pretty much designed for PNC Park. Extremely fast outfielders for the large dimensions of the outfield. Ground ball pitchers to take advantage of their extensive shifting of infielders. Fast outfielders to allow for outfield shifting also, more than any other MLB team. And the large dimensions of the field work against the Cubs home run hitting position players. A cold night, results in heavy air, keeping more balls in the park.

Best bullpen in baseball. Rested starting pitchers. Cole was skipped a start. Was Arrieta? No. Score one for Hurdle over Madden in my book.

Now the kid in me wants to say that Andrew McCutchen will become the next Steve Garvey in Chicago Cubs fans memory… but the adult in me says don’t do it. Well I guess it’s too late. Actually it’s much more likely to be our catcher. Why do I say that? He’s a likeable guy. Umpires like him. He’s a great “pitch framer” . He walks a lot so Arrieta will have to bring the ball into the strike zone for once.

The Pirates don’t do it often, but they’re capable of working the pitch count against great pictures. Look at Jose Tabata against Max Scherzer at the end of his NEAR perfect game. 10 or 12 pitches before mad max screwed up and hit Jose with a pitch. Ouch. (Nuff said! 🙂

WillyG
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WillyG

I didn’t mean working the pitch count. I meant making the pitcher throw a lot of pictures. Trying to get Ariana out of the game by the 5th inning by getting him over 100 pitches. I believe that will be their strategy. Just foul off a ton of pitches. They are capable of doing that. They like to walk, but can’t do that against Arietta because he gets calls on the edges. He’s too dang accurate. So they need to basically swing at everything… treating it like batting practice, hoping to get a piece of it. Without swinging at stuff three feet in front of the plate. I really believe that will be PIRATES strategy Wednesday night.

We are allowed to talk strategy without numbers, right? Or do I have to say that SP on average don’t throw more than 100 pitches on average anymore. End of the Pirates leave the majors in runs scored after the 7th inning and have the best seven eight and nine relievers in baseball. FanGraphs put up a chart yesterday showing that mark melancon, Tony Watson, and Joaquin Soria had the most successful appearances with the least meltdowns in baseball. 75 saves among them, including Soria’s from the Al prior to his trade.

So yeah, the Pirates have a chance in this game. A very good chance. A very good coach. A decent RESTED EXPERIENCED starting pitcher. A great 7th 8th and 9th BP. And a manager with a World Series title. That’s all I’m going to say.

So continue to make fun of me.

Jason
Guest
Jason

You have to be a troll right? Maybe I’ll look the fool for even bothering to respond to your post that is just littered with inaccuracies but I’m bored at work so why not

First off, who is Kris Brown?

Cubs have won 8 in a row, I think that makes up for only winning one game 1-0.

Cole being skipped a start is an advantage? I don’t see how taking a player out of their regular schedule is smarter. Arrieta has pitched every 5 days like always but they’ve run back his pitch count to keep him fresh. I’d consider that smart managing.

Also, Hurdle gets credit for his managing in Colorado and Maddon doesn’t get any for his time in Tampa? Not really fair to judge Maddon’s playoff success in Chicago when this is his first season and really management will probably have very little to do with the outcome of the game.

Arrieta has a very low walk rate so I think he throws in the zone fairly often.

The Cubs work the count just about better than every team in baseball.

Having a medical degree (if you in fact have one) doesn’t mean you have any logic or objectivity when it comes to baseball, quite obviously.

Rich
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Rich

Not trying to disagree with you like you’re an idiot, but Clint Hurdle’s Rockies didn’t win a World Series. They got swept by the Red Sox in 2007.

WillyG
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WillyG

I am currently disabled from my service in the US Army Medical Corps so I rely upon voice recognition, Google, to type. Occasionally it auto corrects things like Kris Bryant to Chris Brown. I apologize for that. Apparently Chris Brown is more popular than Kris Bryant. Even when I correct it, it corrects it back.

I have read just about everything I can on baseball statistics over the past couple years, and have been involved in baseball for the past 25 years. Extensive sports medicine training. If you want to know why there are so many elbow ulnar collateral ligament reconstructions, aka Tommy John surgeries… I can tell you.

But I do know PIRATES baseball. I do understand much of why they do what they do. And their reasoning makes sense. They have had success with it for 5 years now. And they haven’t gotten lucky in the draft like Chicago. Or hired extremely talented scouts. However you want to say it. The talent they have, they can’t afford to keep. Cole will be gone in a few years

Ben Carson
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Ben Carson

“Having a medical degree (if you in fact have one) doesn’t mean you have any logic or objectivity when it comes to baseball, quite obviously.”

I beg to differ.

WillyG
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WillyG

Thanks rich. I didn’t watch the World Series in 2008. Had surgery in the fall of that year. And with rehab, I had a lot on my mind.

But even getting to the WS says something. Sometimes you learn more from losing than winning…(did that sound convincing?)

cornflake5000
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cornflake5000

@Willy… tl:dr

Jason
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Jason

You are welcome to disagree Ben but I think there are plenty of very smart people who are irrational about many things, particularly when they have a rooting interest.

ParrotLover143
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ParrotLover143

I would agree to disagree.

Gay Ozzie Guillen
Member
Gay Ozzie Guillen

What has Joe Maddon ever done to be considered a great manager?

I am dying to know…

He had the best team in baseball two years in a row when he was with the Rays; surely, the best manager in the game, with a significant edge over Hurdle must have at least one ring… right?

“It seems like Buc fans are doing nothing more than poking the bear and giving more for Arrieta to feed off of. I suggest sitting tight as Cubs fans will do, and cross your fingers you are even allowed a hit off Arrieta.”

I’m sure Jake is reading fangraphs at this moment with his coach standing behind him yelling “use it Jake, use it!”

arc
Guest
arc

“Statistics don’t apply to individual events, just to individual events in groups.”

willyg
Guest
willyg

If you want to, check out the following article. It’s pretty cool and the author has some of the same thoughts that I have. And remember this guy gets paid to express his opinions and has the time to cite his sources.

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/mlb-playoff-myths-to-ignore/