Game 163s Live Chat Jubilee Event

12:49
Craig Edwards: Hello everyone. Chat/Live Blog to begin shortly. Feel free to load up the queue.

12:50
Craig Edwards:

Who are you rooting for in the early game?

Brewers (75.6% | 267 votes)
 
Cubs (24.3% | 86 votes)
 

Total Votes: 353
12:55
Craig Edwards: Just so everyone is aware, the game is on ESPN, so plan accordingly.

12:58
Dave: Odds we see Josh Hader if the Brewers are down 3+?

12:58
Craig Edwards: 10%? If the team is down three, you are probably going to want multiple innings from him tomorrow, which would preclude an appearance today.

1:00
5 Run Homer: I’d just like to say that MLB is very rude for scheduling these games while I have assignments to do and classes to attend. Why can’t they cater to my specific needs?

1:00
Jay Jaffe: Re: Hader, I’d put them at lower than 10%. As Joe Maddon said yesterday (? time is a blur), you’re managing for two games and not one, and I think that’s applicable to all four of these teams. Hader has struggled a bit bit lately, and not wasting his bullets seems important

1:00
Fangraphs reader: Which bullpen of the remaining field would you feel most comfortable with in the playoffs?

1:00
Meg Rowley: As a former TA, I suggest you use one of your “A vague familial relation is sick, missing, trapped in a ditch” excuses

1:01
Jay Jaffe: re bullpen: probably the Yankees and A’s. So many weapons, and a lot of experience.

1:01
Silly Season: How deep does Chacin go?  Seems vulnerable to lefties.  Maybe he’s just bait to get Maddon to stack the lineup before Milwaukee bullpens their way though?

1:01
Erik: These games count as regular season for stat purposes, right? Any idea why?

1:02
Craig Edwards: I could see him go five innings, but a lot will depend on the situation. He’s not going to face Rizzo in the fourth inning if there are runners on base.

1:02
Erik: Prediction for how many total innings will be thrown by starting pitchers today?

1:03
Jay Jaffe: They are tiebreaker games, to determine division winners and wild card teams. That they’re not elimination games is a new wrinkle in the history of Game 163s, but MLB decided that it didn’t want to merely settle the issue on the basis of head-to-head record.

1:03
Aaron: Do you think MLB will eventually move away from Wild Card format? It seems bad form to have 100 and 97 win teams face off because they were unfortunate enough to be in 2 very strong divisions.

1:03
Craig Edwards: As for Quintana, I expect to go pretty deep, deep enough that there is going to be some gambling on Maddon’s part late in the game.

1:04
Paul Swydan: I just want it noted on the record that Carson Cistulli smells like the exact opposite of teen spirit.

1:04
Craig Edwards: Noted.

1:04
nehzqk: So since we’re all rooting for chaos, we want this to be a game with scoring by both teams every inning right?

1:05
Craig Edwards: I wold rather see a bunch of basreunners but little scoring.

1:05
Jay Jaffe: Eventually we’ll get either four eight-team divisions or eight four-team divisions, which may or may not put the wild card out of existence. I don’t mind the format now — count me as one who thinks a team should be penalized for not winning the division, even if they win 100 games.

1:05
Meg Rowley: I tend to agree

1:05
Jay Jaffe: speaking of chaos, this thing with the questions and answers getting overlapped is going to be tough for our readers to follow

1:06
CamdenWarehouse: Can I root for Javy and Brewers simultaneously? This shouldn’t take too much cognitive dissonance right?

1:06
Craig Edwards: Yes. Yes you can.

1:06
Noah: is Carson chatting today?

1:06
Meg Rowley: Indeed!

1:06
Carl: There has been much talk about how hard hit the Cubs have been by injuries, but have they really compared to the average MLB season?  Darvish, Bryant, Strop and Morrow are significant losses, but isn’t that a lot better than most pitching staffs? Just look at Oakland or TB to see rotations getting hit hard.

1:07
Craig Edwards: if you are comparing the Cubs to the Brewers, then yes, the Cubs have been hit harder, but if you look at say the Dodgers, one Corey Seager isn’t that much different than all the losses you have mentioned.

1:07
Jay Jaffe: Everybody hurts. Every team has lost players of significance for some stretch of time, some for the season. There’s no crying in baseball, even over injuries.

1:08
Sean Dolinar: Hi everyone! I’ll be in and out of this chat through out the games. I can answer all your FG-related questions, questions about playoff odds, front end web development, and various other things.

1:08
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: The Triple Crown proved too much for J.D. Martinez. But Christian Yelich has a _____ % chance today…

1:08
Craig Edwards: 5%. He needs a homer and three RBI and Baez not to have any.

1:09
Stanley: The Cubs bullpen seems to be straining recently, do you think that will be their downfall?

1:09
Oddball Herrera: I am trying to find a middle ground between rooting for the fun underdog (Brewers) and not having to root for Ryan Braun…this is a toughy

1:10
Meg Rowley: So many other guys on the roster! Just think of it this way: there’s one rude jerk on every team. At least one!

1:10
Craig Edwards: It could be, though we could also see starters lose the game in the 6th or 7th that a stronger bullpen might come in to help. Maddon doesn’t have a history of trusting a lot of relievers.

1:11
Jay Jaffe: If not today then at some point this month, yes I think the Cubs’ recent bullpen woes will be a factor, and there’s reason to be a bit wary of Maddon’s management in this area. Recall the 2016 postseason, he didn’t have the softest touch there.

1:11
Garrett: I have class that will make me miss all but 40 mins of each game. Should I just ditch?

1:11
Jay Jaffe: obviously yes.

1:11
Meg Rowley: Yes.

1:11
Sean Dolinar: Depends on the class.

1:11
Meg Rowley: (unless you have an exam, then no)

1:12
stever20: how crazy is it that everyone says how unfair the AL situation is for the Yankees- but yet the NL Central team will be 1 game further ahead than the Yankees?

1:13
Jay Jaffe: I think so much of the whining about this is from Yankees fans. For the most part, it was always seen that in the single wild card era, the WC winner was on too level a footing with the division winners, even if they finished 15 games back. I’d much rather go this way, and penalize a team for not winning the division even if they won 100.

1:14
James: What is the best case scenario for Atlanta over the next couple days?

1:14
Craig Edwards: Rockies winning today.

1:14
Matt: Probably for Sean – Any chance there’s an API solution that can allow users to tap into the back-end that’s calculating all the different stat splits?

1:15
caesarsolid: it’s a small victory anytime Yankees fans complain about fairness

1:15
Baseball: Watch, a team will lose today and end up winning the WS over a much better AL team.

1:15
Meg Rowley: But we all have to hear it (all fanbases complain, JUST RELAX)

1:15
Muxosk : How much is strategy influenced by extended rosters still existing for today?

1:16
Jay Jaffe: As I noted in today’s Team Entropy piece (https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/team-entropy-2018-lets-play-two/), no team that’s even played in a tiebreaker game has won the World Series since the Yankees did so in 1978. The others: 1946 Cardinals (best-of-three), 1948 Indians, 1959 Dodgers (best-of-three)

1:16
Craig Edwards: Not too much. maybe pinch running and pinch hitting, but the wild card game still has some of the same issues given you only need one starter.

1:16
Anonymous: How did they decide who got homefield today?

1:16
Jay Jaffe: head-to-head season series records. Cubs 11-8, Dodgers 12-7

1:17
Sean Dolinar: Re: API…We’ve discussed this before, right now there’s not really a solution. It comes down to cost/benefit and using our dev resources, and it’s just not in the cards now. Now that could change. Obviously, we like to provide as much data as we can.

1:17
David: Why doesn’t the MLB just seed the playoff teams by order of W/L record?

1:17
Meg Rowley: Jay, would you like to make the Chacin/Chasing pun, or should I?

1:17
stever20: would it be possible on the monthly splits for players to show WAR?

1:18
Craig Edwards: Divisions and wild cards create incentives for more teams to try in September.

1:18
Craig Edwards: It also should foster a more active trade deadline.

1:18
Anon21: If the Cubs win today, they might end up hosting a Dodgers team that’s played four games in five days in four different cities. Have to think the Cubs are favored in that scenario.

1:18
Meg Rowley: Some have argued for a re-seeding after the Wild Card round is over, but I think this format works pretty well most of the time.

1:19
Craig Edwards: Dodgers on the road without a real starting pitcher would probably make the Cubs favorites regardless of recent travel.

1:19
Sean Dolinar: Re: WAR splits…. In general, WAR splits are tough because of defense.  The leaderboards do contain month-by-month splits, though. But it might be sometime before we get it on the splits leaderboard.

1:19
Aaron: I can’t find a season where so many wins were concentrated with the top teams as the AL in 2018. Thoughts on what this says for league parity?

1:21
Craig Edwards: I’m not sure it says that much going forward. The Blue Jays, Orioles, and Twins all at least sort of tried. I think there was a larger convergence of really bad teams than normal.

1:21
Roll Tribe: Why do people want MLB to be more like the NBA?  The NBA is high school drama with a 2.5 hour referee show thrown in.  MLB is the elder statesman of North American professional sports leagues.  Leave it be.

1:21
Meg Rowley: The “elder” might have something to do with it.

1:21
Jay Jaffe: Parity is cyclical. It’s no secret that some teams weren’t really competing to win this year, and that it’s become the hip thing to go that route because of the success of the Cubs and Astros, but there are other models for retooling that aren’t as extreme, and it’s not like all of this year’s doormats are going to be doormats forever.

1:22
Anonymous: Seems weird to pop champagne for clinching the Wild Card.

1:22
Jay Jaffe: it seems weirder not to. Making the postseason is an accomplishment unto itself. Depriving oneself of the right to appreciate the little things in life is a ticket to being miserable.

1:22
Meg Rowley: Sometimes I eat a cookie after I finish editing a piece, and that’s a much smaller accomplishment. Making the postseason is a big deal.

1:23
stever20: re WAR/monthly- I was  talking on the individual player splits pages.

1:23
Sean Dolinar: A similar calculation and data set underlies the splits leaderboard and the split pages, so the issue is common both.

1:23
Sean Dolinar: I like to pop the champagne _before_ the WC game begins.

1:24
Meg Rowley: Having to put the plastic up does have the unfortunate side effect of making locker rooms look like murder dungeons but otherwise

1:25
Man: I hear more complaining about Yankees fans this Yankees fans complaining

1:25
Jay Jaffe: walk a mile in my Twitter feed

1:25
Guest: Murphy looks baaaad turning double plays

1:26
Craig Edwards: He’s not a good defensive player. The Cubs are making a conscious offense or defense choice.

1:26
Scott: How many teams need to win the World Series for this season to be considered a success?

1:27
Craig Edwards: 0. If winning a World Series is the measure of success, the expectations are too high.

1:27
Jay Jaffe: One, because it sucks when we have no World Series winner, like in 1994.

I don’t think any team really can afford to think like they’re the late George Steinbrenner, where any season that falls short of a championship is a failure. This game is too hard, and even in a down competitive cycle, there are too many good teams for one to judge solely on who pops the final champagne cork.

1:28
Meg Rowley: There are so many ways to fail, and a lot of ways to succeed. Like, I’m a Mariners fan. My expectations are… altered by that.

1:28
Mike: re: Sean it always seems like most readers don’t understand that FG doesn’t calculate defensive metrics and receives a data feed that doesn’t parse day to day results

1:28
Sean Dolinar: DRS is a feed from BIS and UZR is MGL’s proprietary metric, so correct we don’t have our own calculations for defense. Day-to-day defense would also be rather noisy.

1:29
Po: Jay, how happy are you that your team entropy ended actually happening? You were on it for weeks, and it seemed like such a low chance of happening.

1:30
Jay Jaffe: Very happy, thanks! I’ve been on this particular beat for eight years, and we have gotten just one tiebreaker (2013) until this one. I feel like Linus van Pelt might have if the Great Pumpkin had finally shown up.

1:30
OddBall Herrera: You have to admit though that Dodgers fans are going to be disappointed with anything except a W.S. win, more so than fans of other teams…the specter of being a team that wastes all those chances, a’la the Nationals, looms large

1:31
Meg Rowley: I wonder though if the early season injuries and the late season theatrics changed that some.

1:31
Slappy McSlapperson: Does Baez ever have another season like this?

1:31
Meg Rowley: In a larger sense, it might be true, but they’ve actually played deep into October very recently, and this year has to feel at least a little different than last year did.

1:31
Jay Jaffe: I think that’s true for some, especially given the anxiety over Kershaw’s contract situation and the way that some portion of the fan base will never understand the Friedman front office, the platoons, the desire to get under the CBT threshold this year, etc. But look, the Dodgers last won the World Series in 1988, when I was a college freshman. I get the frustration.

1:32
Ginny: is there an underlying logic in counting today’s stats? perhaps because otherwise it’s technically “postseason”? seems strange, and it’s strange this year will have two teams that played 161 games and *four* with 163

1:32
Craig Edwards: a 130 wRC+, 5ish win season seems to be a halfway decent possibility from Baez. I don’t think he’ll ever be closer to an MVP award, again, though that has to do more with the quality of the competition, generally.

1:33
Meg Rowley: A philosophical question for the ages, but I think it is as simple as it isn’t the postseason. And remember, there are cancellations in a lot of seasons that mean not everyone plays 162.

1:33
Jay Jaffe: re uneven season lengths, go back and look at pre-World War II seasons.

1:33
Craig Edwards: Baez is 5th in the NL in WAR this year among position players. Last year, he would have been 9th.

1:34
Meg Rowley: It happened as recently as 2016

1:34
Sean Dolinar: Pirates and Cubs played 161 in 2016?

1:34
Meg Rowley: The September 25 2016 Miami/Atlanta game was canceled following the death of Jose Fernandez and the September 29 Detroit/Cleveland game was cancelled due to weather. Neither were made up because they didn’t hold playoff or draft implications.

1:35
Craig Edwards: as for 163 being postseason, they are breaking a regular season tie to determine postseason standings. It’s limbo, but without game 163 in the standings, you couldn’t look at the standings and see who won a playoff spot.

1:35
Craig Edwards: It used to be more common that teams wouldn’t make games up.

1:36
Anonymous: Who’s the biggest name retiring this year? Best player? (If they are different humans)

1:36
David: If MLB has a parity problem, what kind of solutions could be implemented to solve the problem?

1:37
Sean Dolinar: I guess the Pirates/Cubs tied, so 161 in the standings, but 162 in the stats. Cubs went on to win the WS.

1:37
Jay Jaffe: Re: retirements, it sounds as though both Mauer and Beltre are leaning that way strongly. Scioscia is done, Utley is done, Wright is done, V-Mart is done. Maybe Bartolo. We’re gonna miss all of those guys in some ways.

Except Jose Reyes. To hell with him.

1:37
Meg Rowley: (It was the first tie game since June 30, 2005, when the Astros and Reds tied 2-2.)

1:37
Craig Edwards: Biggest player retiring is potentially Adrian Beltre. Then Ichiro, Utley, Mauer and Wright for me, unless I’m forgetting someone.

1:37
Meg Rowley: Ichiro didn’t technically retire, remember.

1:38
Meg Rowley: He’ll probably get a PA when the Mariners play in Japan.

1:38
Jay Jaffe: good point, though if that happens it will keep him out of the Hall for a year (2025 induction instead of 2024).

1:39
kevin: Lots of ifs here, but…if Yelich hits a 3-run HR and Brewers win..most dramatic MVP win ever?

1:39
Craig Edwards: that will be fun, though in my head–unlike Ichiro’s–I have him as retired.

1:39
RJ: Yelich is the mvp right? Not necessarily should be, but will be?

1:39
Jay Jaffe: I’m pretty sure that MVP ballots would have ben mailed already, and it wouldn’t surprise me if many were sent off well before the weekend, so not all of Yelich’s exploits will have been considered.

I still go deGrom for MVP, but I understand the reasons why some prefer Yelich.

1:40
Craig Edwards: Will be Yelich. I still think deGrom has been the NLs Most Valuable Player.

1:40
Meg Rowley: give it to deGrom, imo

1:41
Erik: For Sean: can we get combined minor-league stats for one season if a player played at multiple levels? That’s pretty much the only reason I go to other stats sites.

1:41
Craig Edwards: use the gamelogs

1:41
Scott: Do Yankees fans complain more frequently or are there just more of them?

1:42
Craig Edwards: there are just more of them, and different people get differing volumes. I personally see more Cubs and Cardinals complaints than any team, but that has to do with me, not the fans of the teams.

1:42
Matt: Is it OK for me to base my rooting interest on the desire for the WC game to not affect my return trip from the airport tomorrow?

1:42
Guest: So can you pop the champagne twice during the regular season? First for clinching the WC and then again for the Division?

1:42
Meg Rowley: There are way goofier reasons to root for a team.

1:43
Craig Edwards: yes, though if the division is a foregone conclusion, there is less reason to do so.

1:43
MVPerson: Why doesn’t award voting wait until AFTER the playoffs conclude?  Does the post season not matter even though it is the most important?

1:44
Meg Rowley: I’m not sure if this is the real reason, but there is already a bias toward players on playoff teams among some voters. Why make that worse?

1:45
Craig Edwards: I just realized I never answered the question about parity that I posted above. Anyway, if there is a parity problem, the solution is to get rid of spending caps for the draft, international, and payroll and then have far more regimented revenue sharing.

1:45
Guest: How does the playoff odd graph work today? It looks like all 4 teams playing today have a >50% chance to play in the NLDS

1:45
Sean Dolinar: Yeah, 3 of these 4 teams will make the NLDS so it should add to 300%, which it does.

1:46
Nate: Re: MVP voting after the playoffs, because they probably don’t want a guy like David Freese getting votes because of 4 games.

1:46
Meg Rowley: Also this, though I think it factors less. Not many writers would get that caught up.

1:46
Jay Jaffe: Postseason has its own awards, keep them from muddying the regular season waters

1:47
Garrett: Yelich is insane

1:47
Jay Jaffe: And there’s Christian Yelich with an RBI single for the game’s first run.

1:47
5 Run Homer: Ahhhhh why is Yelich bunting

1:47
Craig Edwards: a hit is a hit, though Yelich spotted them a strike and still got the run in.

1:48
5 Run Homer: Announcer just said, based on nothing, that he thinks Cain has a higher WAR than Yelich

1:48
Meg Rowley: Because he’s both very good at baseball and? A nice guy.

1:49
Jay Jaffe: Cain and Yelich are only 0.5 apart in bWAR, 2.0 apart in fWAR. Given the rapidity with which Yelich has added to his over the past week, it’s entirely possible he was behind Cain when said announcer last looked.

1:49
OddBall Herrera: Man, you guys are way ahead of ESPN radio

1:49
Jay Jaffe: we are chatting from the future, actually. But we can’t tell you how to gamble.

1:50
Raymond: Rizzos worst year since 2013 was almost entirely due to his horrid april – 139 wrc+ since May 1. I keep hearing people talk about his “decline” and I just dont see it.

1:51
Craig Edwards: He’s been their best hitter since beginning of May, but we can’t just throw out April, either. As he gets older, there is more risk of injury and age-related decline, but overall, yes he’s fine and still a good player, even if he’s not the 5-win player he was from 2014-2016.

1:52
Matt: Jay, many of us are streaming (assumedly) at work. Let’s give a bit of delay on the announcement of game-happenings for the lag, brah.

1:52
Jay Jaffe: I’m not your brah or your bro, but duly noted.

1:53
Guest: Doesn’t Verlander sorta kinda deserve the Cy Young?

1:53
Sean Dolinar: Yeah, Kiley’s the FG resident bro.

1:53
Craig Edwards: He would get my vote, yes.

1:53
Meg Rowley: He would vote for himself.

1:53
John Thacker: Craig, you don’t think that no spending caps plus more revenue sharing would lead to more teams tanking to try the Astros plan, living off revenue sharing in the down years? I guess there would be some kind of spending floor?

1:54
Craig Edwards: It would be a lot harder to rebuild with bad teams if drafted players could get whatever they wanted in terms of a bonus.

1:55
All Cats Are Beautiful : What’s the scuttlebutt regarding where the Yankees will set payroll next year?  Will they blow past the cap or stay close to it?

1:55
Jay Jaffe: Re Cy Young, at this point I think you can make defensible, advanced stat-based cases for Sale, Verlander and Snell. It’s a close race and kind of a shame that two of those three are going to go empty-handed

1:55
Craig Edwards: I don’t know why they wouldn’t blow past it.

1:56
MVPerson: How soon does MIL start bullpenning this one?

1:56
Anonymous: We need to decide if ‘cost-controlled young players’ are good or bad for the game

1:56
Craig Edwards: depends on if any lefties come up with runners on base.

1:57
Meg Rowley: The players themselves are great for the game. That they aren’t paid much is a bummer to many.

1:58
Dominik: Are the cubs going not all in with Quintana pitching instead of hamels or hendricks trying to save some bullets?

1:58
Craig Edwards: those guys would be on short rest. Quintana is the right call, here.

1:59
caesarsolid: does mlb.tv show actual ads in half innings in the US? i watch from overseas and it’s the same 4-5 highlights each time

1:59
Meg Rowley: often the same one several times in a row, which I can only assume is actually a subtle anti-consumerism campaign

2:00
Lee: Who wins the AL MVP?  Mookie or Trout?

2:00
Craig Edwards: Mookie for me.

2:01
Ryan: What’s the official fangraphs policy on talking about in-progress no-hitters?

2:01
Jay Jaffe: if it’s good enough for Vin Scully, we can talk about no-hitters while they’re in effect.

2:01
Matt: Is it just statistical noise how much better at hitting LaStella is when he’s a pinch hitter? I mean…I don’t take to heart any of these “batting stats at X position” things, but at least with PH’ing, you can more cleanly delineate a different mental approach.

2:01
Meg Rowley: The M’s broadcast booth started talking about Felix’s perfecto in like, the fourth inning.

2:02
Craig Edwards: it’s also possible Maddon puts him in a really good position to succeed and pitchers don’t spend a lot of time gameplanning for him.

2:02
RJ: Mookie leads in fwar, bwar, and is in the postseason. It’s Mookie…

2:02
Meg Rowley: It’s Mookie for me, too, but I think we really ought to train ourselves not to care about the postseason bit

2:03
RyanW: What should be the pitching plan in a perfect world for MIL? Chacin for 5, Hader for 2? Do they realistically need 6 out of Chacin to really feel good?

2:05
Jay Jaffe: given how rested their bullpen is, I think they’d be happy with 5, but Chacin has faced the minimum through three, on 43 pitches. I can see them trying to get him through the 6th if it’s the bottom of the order, but I imagine Counsell will be more proactive than that.

2:05
Craig Edwards: These next two innings are key for Chacin. If he can get to the sixth facing 789, or 891, even 912, you probably let him pitch into trouble, then bring in Hader against a lefty.

2:06
Dominik: Regarding spending floor, isn’t a team staying at 76 wins for a decade worse than a team really “tanking” and having a couple hundo loss seasons if this means they can start again?

2:09
Craig Edwards: If you were really a 76-win team for 10 years, you probably win 85 or so games a couple times and make the playoffs. The Mariners the last few decades say otherwise, but teams that lose 100 games for a couple years aren’t guaranteed to bounce back and make the playoffs. Generally need a big increase in spending as well. It really depends on the franchise and what sort of tolerance the owners and fans have.

2:09
RJ: Mediocrity vs Tanking: any Mets fan would take the tank, methinks

2:09
Meg Rowley: You trust the Mets to manage a tanking team?

2:10
Meg Rowley: (that was mean, and I am mostly sorry)

2:10
Jay Jaffe: LOL

2:10
MVPerson: Khris Davis hit .247 again.  But i was wondering, it seemed like there was real “intent” for him to hit that mark yesterday.  Your thoughts on the “integrity” side of this equation?  Seems to tread into areas that we should not be going into.

2:11
Craig Edwards: The Mets made the World Series not too long ago. Mets fans shouldn’t think of the options as tank or be mediocre when they could easily spend $200 million on payroll and be way better.

2:11
Meg Rowley: Mets fans should consider, for instance, taking to the streets demanding different ownership.

2:12
Jay Jaffe: With the caveats that I didn’t see Davis’ at-bats on Sunday (I had more important matters to attend to) I think it’s a nice little quirk, and that worrying about the “integrity” of it is pretty damn silly. I’m sure he’d have taken a pair of  homers to get to 50 if he’d made better contact.

2:13
Matt: Teams have money they spend on rosters, not players. Max Scherzer is only worth $200+ MM because Bryce Harper was underpaid. Harper will only be worth $400+ MM (potentially) because some other schmoe will be underpaid. Fixing the “control” issue will not likely increase payrolls, but more fairly distribute it across rosters. Am I wrong to think this?

2:15
Craig Edwards: Yes and No. Because of a ton of factors like a lack of expansion and PED testing making aging worse, it hasn’t been this easy to acquire a lot of young talent in quite some time. We don’t know that if control issues were worked out and it was a little more fair, teams might be forced to spend more in order to acquire talented players to win.

2:15
Walter Benjamin: What’s the FG policy on No-Hitters in general?

2:15
Jay Jaffe: we have special pants we wear for no-hitters.

2:15
Craig Edwards: Personally, I am pro no-hitters.

2:16
Sean Dolinar: Craig has that awesome of chart of when to care about them!

2:16
Meg Rowley: I think they are the sort of thing that matter more to you if it is your guy

2:16
Rockies Fan: Who do the Rockies/Dodgers root for in this game? On one hand, I’ll take a Kyle Freeland vs whomever the Brewers throw tomorrow. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be thrilled to have to beat the Cubs three or four times later down the road.

2:16
Jay Jaffe: i have been shown to care overly much about things like hidden no-hitters, combined no-hitters, and failed no-hit bids. Don’t @ me

2:17
Craig Edwards: Right now, this isn’t the best case for Rockies/Dodgers as the starters are pitching well. Best case is a run-down bullpen/extra innings.

2:17
Adam: Is ratio of payrolls-to-revenue steady or trending down?

2:17
Jay Jaffe: phrase I just picked up from the ESPN broadcast of Cubs/Brewers (Perez?): alto queso. I like it.

2:17
CamdenWarehouse: do you switch to the no hitter pants in the middle of a no hitter or do you put them on and there is instantly a no hitter?

2:17
Craig Edwards: Payroll was steady/down this year and I highly doubt revenues were.

2:18
Meg Rowley: What a weirdly specific superpower that would be.

2:18
BJOGC: Didn’t the 2011 cardinals win the WS after playing in a tiebreaker, or did they just clinch on the last day of the season?

2:18
Craig Edwards: Game 162 was the crazy one in 2011.

2:18
Jay Jaffe: that was the year Team Entropy was born

2:19
Guest: Is there any consideration to make the win expectancy graphs consider quality of players?

2:19
Sean Dolinar: The gray line reflects the talent / home field advantage vs. the green line which is neutral.

2:20
Craig Edwards: and that’s why it is good for Chacin that he went 123 last inning.

2:20
stever20: how does Hader’s struggles last few outings impact his usage today?  Just a much faster hook than he normally would have?

2:21
Jay Jaffe: I think there’s very little chance he goes more than, say, 4 outs. he hasn’t worked 2 innings since Sept 10 and has yielded a .783 SLG since then despite the rest, which has included not being pitched on back-to-back days all month. I imagine he’s not anywhere close to mint condition these days.

2:22
Matt: I’ve always wondered the Gray/Green line. Great info – might be a useful legend item.

2:22
Sean Dolinar: We might refresh the WE graphs design before next year.  But the grey line/green line will be addressed when that happens.

Though we are focusing on prospects upgrades at least in the near future.

2:22
Ryan: That was my bad for bringing up the no hitter. Sorry everybody.

2:22
Craig Edwards: Blame Ryan, everybody.

2:23
Matt: Do you guys have “no hitter pants” instead of perfect game pants because a perfect day, by definition would not involve pants?

2:23
Guest: Would the tiebreaks today and tomorrow be any different in the 1 WC era?

2:23
Meg Rowley: Summer fades, Matt. Then you’re happy to have pants.

2:23
Craig Edwards: The Rockies/Dodgers loser would just be out. I also think Brewers/Cubs wouldn’t play because they would both be in division series already.

2:24
Matt: Any thoughts on renaming Home Runs hit in the top of the inning “Away Runs”?

2:24
Craig Edwards: No.

2:24
Jay Jaffe: My 2-year-old daughter calls them Baseball Run Away if that’s any consolation

2:25
Craig Edwards: Next big decision for Maddon is going to be letting Quintana hit, either in this inning or the next one.

2:26
Craig Edwards: Haha. Ump got pretty excited for strike 2 there.

2:26
Meg Rowley: The crowd, it appears to be agitated.

2:26
Dave: 2 strikes for a strikeout now?

2:26
Meg Rowley: What, you think pace of play just takes care of itself?

2:27
Anonymous: Motion to elect the youngest Jaffe as new commissioner of baseball.

2:27
Jay Jaffe: Granted. We can use the extra income.

2:28
Walter Benjamin: I don’t know if it is a problem at my end, but the MLB TV sound is dreadful. Can’t hear announcers, and if the crowd gets semi-loud, it is all distorted

2:28
Technically: I think in the old one-WC system, the WC would just have been decided by the in-season record between the two teams and there would have been no tiebreaker. No?

2:28
Sean Dolinar: Correct.  Intra-round seeding is done with tiebreakers.

2:28
Meg Rowley: They do seem to have the crowd noise dialed up to 11.

2:28
stever20: the mound visit rules seemed to go ok in the regular season….  how do you think it’ll go in the playoffs?

2:28
Meg Rowley: I’m less likely to want to light McCann on fire now, so that is good.

2:29
Craterville: What chnges has Chacin made?  He was not so good until last year.  What changed?

2:30
Craig Edwards: He’s gone more with the slider this year and been a bit more of a fly ball pitcher, but overall, he hasn’t changed too much in terms of effectiveness since the beginning of 2016.

2:30
5 Run Homer: What is you guys’ favourite home run slang term?

2:31
Craig Edwards: Dingers, almost solely due to the Simpsons Mark McGwire episode.

2:31
Nat: Speaking of 2 strikes for a strikeout, did you hear the proposal on a Planet Money podcast last week that teams in the lead only get 2 outs when they’re at bat? The idea was this would speed up games. Thoughts?

2:31
Meg Rowley: That isn’t a very good idea imo

2:31
Tyler: In any playoff series the odds of one team winning is at best 56% maybe a bit more?  I have never understood all the people who get so mad when the team they support loses, and they say it was a wasted season.  I get being upset your team is out, but the playoffs are a crap shoot to start with.  As a Red Sox fan if they go out in the first series I am not going to say they have not had a great season only that they lost in a short series.

2:32
Craig Edwards: It is actually a fair bit higher than that, but an outcome that happens one out of every three times still happens quite a bit, like Christian Yelich getting a hit this year.

2:32
Dave: Last inning for Q here? He’s due up first in the 6th

2:33
Craig Edwards: That’s all for him. Kind of surprised by Maddon here. This could be an example of the expanded rosters having a slight factor as Maddon doesn’t need to worry about wasting a hitter at the top of the inning because the bench is loaded.

2:33
Whippoorwill Camshaft Thrummance: How do you pronounce Jhoulys? I’m watching without sound. Jewel-iss? Hoo-lees? Shoe-lice?

2:33
Meg Rowley: \JO-lease sha-SEEN\

2:33
Nathan: Let’s say the Dodgers and Rockies were both tied at 90-72, same record as the Braves. And let’s say both LAD and COL were .500 versus the Braves this season. Would today’s win factor into winning team’s record when determining home field advantage for the NLDS?

2:34
Jay Jaffe: no. Tiebreaker games don’t count when comparing winning percentages for seeding purposes outside of that matchup. Regarding Braves and the NL West winner, the next tiebreaker would be intradivision records; the Braves (49-27) had the best of the three.

2:34
Nitro Nic: Craig you didn’t opt for hearing the horrifying truth?

2:34
Craig Edwards: Always dingers.

2:34
Nate: Cubs fans booing Yelich is probably the most Cubs thing ever.

2:35
Craig Edwards: Is it a rivalry, though?

2:35
Walter Benjamin: I think a part of that postseason disappointment is how quickly early exits are forgotten, especially if they follow with a lackluster season. The Twins were in the WC game last year, for example, and no one remembers

2:35
Meg Rowley: This is true until a team’s absence begins to pile up.

2:36
Meg Rowley: Then you’re really happy to have that one Wild Card game.

2:36
botchatheny: i dont know why but i want jay jaffe to be related to al jaffee, the legendary mad magazine artist

2:36
Jay Jaffe: I was asked whether I was related to him all through elementary and junior high school. The answer is still no, alas.

2:37
Matt: Part of the fun of baseball is the irrational dislike of players due to their uniforms. I refuse to roster a Red Sox player in fantasy. Ted Williams is the only Red Sox player I will speak positively about (aside from Clemens, Boggs, etc.)

2:37
Craig Edwards: I stand corrected as Maddon switched out Schwarber. Wonder if he just assumes he’ll be facing a lefty if he comes up later. Defense to consider as well.

2:37
Meg Rowley: You don’t *have* to like opposing players, especially in games like this, but I invite everyone to remember that you are allowed to. It doesn’t make you a traitor.

2:38
Meg Rowley: I am 1000% not going to remember Jesse Chavez as being on this Cubs team.

2:38
Fat Matt: I just want the brewers to win today.  I’ve got tickets for game 5 if it’s at Miller Park.  I’m a Yankees fan but i want to see a playoff game in person.

2:39
Craig Edwards: Playoff games are a lot of fun, especially in person. Elimination games are even better.

2:39
Walter Benjamin: Yo Jay, :re hidden perfect games: In Game 4 the semifinal of the German Baseball Bundesliga two weeks ago, Bonn Capitals’ reliever M. Wilhelm threw a perfect game from the 10th to the 18th inning. Bonn won in 19. Absolute madness, imagine if this happened in the MLB playoffs

2:39
Jay Jaffe: wow, that’s insane.

2:39
Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe: I was at the Nats-Dodgers game where Jose Lobaton[!!!] hit that dong off of Rich Hill. That’s about as good as postseason play got in Washington.

2:40
Craig Edwards: Pete Kozma disagrees.

2:41
5 Run Homer: Who is the best player no one is going to remember was on one of these playoff teams? I already keep forgetting about Dozier in LA and Murphy in Chicago

2:41
Meg Rowley: Dozier and Freese in LA for me.

2:42
Meg Rowley: Also maybe Moustakas

2:42
Craig Edwards: Ian Kinsler?

2:42
Meg Rowley: Also a good option

2:42
Fat Matt: McCutchen on the Yankees if they have an early exit will be up there

2:42
Craig Edwards: His lack of facial hair ensures I will remember

2:43
Meg Rowley: I am almost used to that now1

2:43
Meg Rowley: !

2:43
Meg Rowley: It is amazing what we can get used to.

2:44
MLB FAN: Who would the Cubs and Brewers rather play in the Wild Card Game?

2:45
Craig Edwards: Has to be Rockies. Dodgers have a bullpen game, but without Freeland, Gray or Marquez, the matchup still favors wanting the Rockies.

2:46
Matt: As a Yankees fan, is it wrong that I’m legitimately more concerned about the A’s in the WC game than I am the Sox in the (potential) ALDS?

2:47
Craig Edwards: An elimination game is always going to be more concerning than a series when you can lose 2 (or 3) and still advance.

2:47
Jay Jaffe: In a short series, just about anything can happen, and in a one-game series, the odds of weirdness go up exponentially.

2:47
Meg Rowley: And these A’s aren’t last year’s Twins.

2:49
Dominik: No hader yet?

2:49
Craig Edwards: I think they wait for Rizzo.

2:49
Jay Jaffe: In the end, nice outings from both starters in this game. Exactly 2 times through the order for Chacin, 5.2 innings, 1 hit, the Rizzo HR, and for Quintana 5 innings, 1 run. I think if you’d asked either manager whether they’d be happy with that this morning, they’d have said hell yes.

2:50
Dystiopian Future: I mean if the Dodgers get bumped in the WC game we’ll forget Manny Machado being with them if he signs with, say, the Phillies

2:51
Jay Jaffe: I think the caveat for all of these is if one of the prospects dealt turns into the next John Smoltz or Jeff Bagwell. We remember Doyle Alexander as a Tiger and Larry Andersen as a Red Sock because of those guys.

2:51
stever20: are the Brewers hoping with Hader that Cedeno gets out of 6th, then Hader comes in to start the 7th where he could go 2 innings possibly?

2:51
Craig Edwards: yes, but things are not going to plan, right now.

2:54
Clifton Randolph Pennington: I would like to see position players pitching in Games 163. What is the likelihood of this happy circumstance to occur?

2:55
Craig Edwards: That would actually be bad because it means it would be a massive blowout. No team is going with a position player in extra innings.

2:56
Meg Rowley: So this is exciting.

2:56
Craig Edwards: Yes it is. I forgot to keep answering questions.

2:56
Erik: If we get 30+ innings we’ll get to position players, right?

2:57
Meg Rowley: Yes, if the game lasts 30 innings, probably then

2:57
Craig Edwards: joe buck tweet.

2:57
Sleeping Beauty: According to baseball-reference, Dodgers are unluckiest and Rockies second luckiest team this year.  How does this play out during today’s game?

2:57
Craig Edwards: there will be luck.

2:57
5 Run Homer: Soria looks like Seth McFarlane

2:57
Dystiopian Future: Soria’s still got it

2:58
Chevy Avalanche: My dream is that this game ends with Yelich hitting a walk-off home run to claim the triple crown.

2:58
Jay Jaffe: keep dreaming, as the Brewers are the road team today

2:58
Meg Rowley: And Hosmer looks like Dane Cook, in case you were looking for other reasons to be iffy on him.

2:58
Craig Edwards: Hopefully everyone is caught up, but that was a big strikeout of Baez.

2:58
Craig Edwards:

Who will win this game (1-1, T7, now)

Cubs (32.4% | 90 votes)
 
Brewers (67.5% | 187 votes)
 

Total Votes: 277
2:59
stever20: Hader in to start the 7th, right?

2:59
$11 Worth of Taco Bell: I expected more discussion about Ned Yost returning to the Royals for another year.

2:59
Meg Rowley: Someone has to manage bad teams.

3:00
Jay Jaffe: wow it’s surprisingly gratifying to watch the poll numbers come in and the bars going up and down real time

3:00
Craig Edwards: I would assume so, though they could try to push things with Soria given Rizzo is leadoff and Schwarber is now out.

3:01
pgburant: Who would you take for the next 5 years — Yelich or Baez

3:01
Craig Edwards: That’s a really good question. I think Yelich though it is close. Let’s do a poll.

3:01
Craig Edwards:

Next five years?

Yelich (85.9% | 293 votes)
 
Baez (14.0% | 48 votes)
 

Total Votes: 341
3:02
Craig Edwards: early polling indicates it is not actually a good question.

3:02
Omega Red: Off topic but do you think Scioscia will manage again?

3:02
Jay Jaffe: On the one hand it doesn’t seem that far-fetched given his accomplishments, but on the other, the trend towards younger, less experienced managers who are chosen in part for how well they work with the front office and how well they relate to players says otherwise.

3:03
NathanLazarus: My hot take: Christian Yelich’s ground ball rate declined and Eric Hosmer’s rose this year, which is part of why Yelich got better and Hosmer got worse.

3:03
Craig Edwards: checks out.

3:05
Sick: Is there anyway to have a more disappointing 89 win season? Asking as a Mariners fan in the dumps.

3:06
Walter Benjamin: Hopefully Scioscia returns just so “Scioscialism” can become an established term

3:06
Craig Edwards: There’s also the Rays. The Cardinals, too, if losing it all in the last week is worse than having a good season, but being way out of it for a month. I’d lean towards the Mariners being the worse because of the expectations midseason.

3:06
Jay Jaffe: so long as we’re stuck with Twitter, we also need more Sciosciaface to get us through the long season

3:07
Meg Rowley: On the other hand, James Paxton could have needed TJ. That would have been worse.

3:07
CamdenWarehouse: yes, friend. A 47 win season is more disappointing.

3:07
Goat: I don’t think Counsell deviates – Hader stays on the bench unless Brewers are ahead.

3:08
Craig Edwards: could be. I can’t imagine he wouldn’t pitch the bottom of the ninth if it is tied though.

3:09
stever20: one thing interesting- so far today no relief pitcher has thrown enough that they would be out for tomorrow….

3:09
Donaldson Ducks: Does Scioscia have a HOF chance?  What managers currently have a HOF career in the making?

3:09
Craig Edwards: knebel’s spot is coming up next inning as well.

3:10
Jay Jaffe: a chance? sure. I think he’s rather borderline, lumped in with a lot of long-timers who won only one World Series including contemporaries like Piniella and Leyland. Bochy is a sure-fire HOFer, and I’d bet Maddon winds up there too. Oh, and Francona definitely.

3:11
Walter Benjamin: why do games never start at 1,4, or 7 sharp, but always five, seven, or nine minutes later?

3:12
Jay Jaffe: so the networks can sell ads

3:12
Meg Rowley: I think they do it that way to allow an intro to the game without having to reach back into the prior broadcast hour

3:12
Craig Edwards: you tune in at 1 and watch 10 minutes of commercials with 5 minutes of pregame.

3:13
Meg Rowley: Ruh roh.

3:14
Meg Rowley: No one should pitch, but like, why the hell does anyone catch?

3:15
stever20: so crystal Ball Jay….  how many HOF players are playing in this game right now?

3:16
Craig Edwards: Catching is really, really hard and I don’t think we appreciate it as much as we should.

3:16
Craig Edwards: the royal we.

3:16
Jay Jaffe: re: HOFers in this game, that’s tough. There’s nobody who’s particularly close right now. If I had to guess I’d say Bryant and Yelich are the ones who will wind up having good shots. If Lester were pitching, I’d include him just to bulk up the stats, but I’m not particularly keen on his case or his chances.

3:19
hof OVERALL: Okay. What about the postseason overall? You’ve covered Verlander and CC and Kershaw (or have you? But we know that). What else? What are we thinking on: Betts, Sale, Stanton, Altuve, Correa, JRam, Lindor… I can’t think of anyone else who isn’t just “give it a lot more time” like a Bregman.

3:19
Jay Jaffe: I’ll save this idea for an article. Too much going on to do much research.

3:19
stever20: this game couldn’t have been drawn up much better for Milwaukee, could it?

3:19
Meg Rowley: They could be ahead still.

3:20
Craig Edwards: Wilson has actually been pretty decent this year, but that isn’t how he’s likely to be remembered in Chicago.

3:20
Mattingly’s Sideburns : If you include Maddon in this game is he a HOFer?

3:20
Jay Jaffe: yes, said so in a different question. I’d say he’s got stronger odds than either Bryant or Yelich.

3:21
Meg Rowley: That induction speech is going to be unbearable

3:22
libre: It’s physically impossible to root against Lorenzo Cain, right?  It’s not just me?

3:22
Craig Edwards: Is this a rivalry, though?

3:23
Meg Rowley: He is delightful

3:23
Jay Jaffe: aesthetically,  he’s one of my favorite players to watch, for sure.

3:23
Meg Rowley: He is just a delight

3:23
Stephen: I caught flu once attempting to root against Cain

3:23
Walking Stephen Piscotty: If Yelich homers, I’m running out of the house

3:23
Meg Rowley: Be sure to check for cars before you go into the road

3:23
Dystiopian Future: When did Yelich rip his pants?

3:24
Craig Edwards: I believe he was trying to increase the chances of a no-hitter.

3:24
Jay Jaffe: I had a great photo of Cain jumping on home plate when he scored the winning run in the 2015 ALCS – which I was fortunate to cover at Kaufman Stadium — as my iPhone lock screen for a year — and that’s without having any special affinity for the Royals.

then I became a father less than a year later and had to move on to the more obvious choice.

3:25
Adam: This is about how this season has felt for the Cubs. Then I realize they won 95 games and realize that we’ve become Yankees fans.

3:25
Carson Cistulli: Hello, colleagues and readers.

3:25
Craterville: Who the heck is Randy Rosario??

3:26
Meg Rowley: Cubs fans remind me a lot of Seahawks fan (albeit with a much longer history of pain and a much better team now) and I get to say that as a Seattle type person

3:26
Meg Rowley: Carson, I haven’t done any hyphens at all, but will now that you are here.

3:26
Carson Cistulli: Just had to check in when I heard Randy Rosario was pitching.

3:26
Jay Jaffe: without knowing that Randy Rosario is a baseball player I’d guess on name alone that he’s the guy who took over vocals in an ’80s hard rock band after the more famous lead singer left and people stopped caring.

Van Halen: the Randy Rosario era?

3:26
Carson Cistulli: Must see streaming TV!

3:26
Meg Rowley: Living that Sling life, Carson?

3:27
Jay Jaffe: Is he a Fringe Five guy, Carson?

3:27
Carson Cistulli: Randy Rosario? I believe he resides too far out on the margins even for the Fringe Five.

3:27
Carson Cistulli: And thank you, Meg, for all of the Effort.

3:28
Matt: When you became a father you changed your lock screen picture to Derek Jeter?

3:29
carrotjuice: Rosario struck out Yelich. Baseball!

3:29
Jay Jaffe: I’ve seen enough Derek Jeter in my lifetime not to need a photo of him on my phone

3:29
Craig Edwards: Back in the Margins: The Randy Rosario story.

3:30
Spencer: Does a walk off three run homer from Baez give him the MVP?

3:30
Carson Cistulli: Only one Cubs hitter (Rizzo) has recorded a higher WPA in this game than Randy Rosario.

3:30
Meg Rowley: At the risk of incurring the wrath of Cubs fans, his candidacy is pretty well done, yes?

3:30
Jay Jaffe: the voting for MVP is almost certainly done. Nothing today is going to have any impact on it, except in the minds of the public.

3:31
Walter Benjamin: Carson in this chat? No Div 3 ball at the moment?

3:31
Gurp: Indians Vs Astros Prediction… Does it go 5? Winner?

3:31
Craig Edwards: I hope so. Astros in 5, let’s say.

3:31
Carson Cistulli: Wesleyan has a fall practice in the gym at 5pm, but I can stay around here for a little while longer.

3:31
Brian CashGod: ohh that trailer for First Man (~Apollo-era NASA) looks good. Love Claire Foy from the Crown

3:32
Jay Jaffe: I am here for any Apollo movie. I still want to do Astronaut JAWS (a stat, not a shark movie, though, hmm…) someday

3:32
Guest: How good were the trade for Yelich and the contract for Cain in hindsight?

3:33
Carson Cistulli: I believe one could say with some certainty that the ROI has been “decent.”

3:33
Guest: Are pitching changes mound visits for the purposes of the per-game limit?

3:33
Walter Benjamin: Underated cute aspect of baseball: When a LOOGY gets a K and then holds up the glove to get the ball back from the catcher. Buddy: well done, but you will not touch a ball again today.

3:33
Meg Rowley: Nope. It only counts as a visit if you don’t remove the pitcher.

3:34
Sean Dolinar: I really don’t like tracking mound visits.

3:34
Craig Edwards: I have bad news for those rooting against Ryan Braun.

3:35
Meg Rowley: I think it is a net positive (the tracking of mound visits that is)

3:35
Josh JAMES: Carson–do I make the post season roster?

3:35
Craig Edwards: I think all mound visits should be abolished.

3:35
Matt: Does one really need hindsight to evaluate the Yelich/Cain acquisitions? They looked great from day 1.

3:36
Carson Cistulli: If the Astros’ brain trust consults me, I will recommend rostering Josh James, yes.

3:36
Craig Edwards: They perhaps failed to deal Santana when they should have, but otherwise, yes, those deals looked good from the start.

3:36
Erik: I think everything but mound visits should be abolished.

3:36
Meg Rowley: Erik likes committee hearings.

3:36
Matt: As much as I generally agree with you Jay (regarding MVP voting being done)…wouldn’t Yelich obtaining the Triple Crown be a legitimate accomplishment to dway some deGrom/Baez voters?

3:37
Jay Jaffe: If the voters still had their ballots and could send them, it might sway them, but what I’m telling you is that most if not all of them were probably sent by the time it became a realistic possibility.

3:37
Craig Edwards: Good news for those who don’t like Ryan Braun?

3:37
Sean Dolinar: I wouldn’t be opposed to no mound visits. I just think the amount of time and mental effort keeping tabs on mounds visits isn’t worth the potential time saved.  Though having it as a data point isn’t bad, but it shouldn’t be on a fan’s mind during a game. IMO.

3:38
Sean Dolinar: They had a good fix for the pace issue, they just stopped enforcing it.

3:38
Craig Edwards: I for one didn’t think about the frequency of mound visits at all, even if broadcasts tried to force me too. In that sense, I suppose the rule worked.

3:39
Erik: Why are voters allowed to decide on the MVP before the end of the season in the internet era?

3:39
That Guy from Detroit: Here’s a different end of the year question.  Why didn’t the Marlins have to play that last game to determine draft order?  If they win, they are in a tie with Detroit, which holds the tiebreaker over the Marlins.

3:40
Carson Cistulli: One could make the argument that the BBWAA hasn’t technically entered the Internet Era. I’m not personally making that argument. One could, however.

3:40
Craig Edwards: That sounds awful and provides some pretty bad optics and incentives for the game.

3:40
caesarsolid: so if the Cubs want to win, i supposd they are going to have to score some more runs?

3:40
Meg Rowley: Carson, what sort of argument would you say you are making?

3:41
carrotjuice: Why did the Cubs bring in Kintzler when they could have gone a better bullpen arm like *checks depth charts* oh dear.

3:41
Carson Cistulli: Meg, I’m not sure I’m making an argument. Perhaps I’m making an anti-argument?

3:41
Brian CashGod: Are mound visits allowed going to increase from 6 for playoff games?

3:42
Craig Edwards: No. I think the playoffs are the main reason they exist.

3:42
Carson Cistulli: Credit to @caesarsolid above for the analysis above.

3:42
Matt: Ugh. If the BBWAA hasn’t yet entered the internet era, then it’s going to be forever before they enter the internet fip.

3:42
Sean Dolinar: Which staff member wants to field the puns this chat?

3:42
Meg Rowley: If I’m passing on them…

3:43
Craig Edwards: Pretty sure if you pass on fielding the pun, it is ruled a hit.

3:44
Walking Stephen Piscotty: So we’ll have another game in Wrigley tomorrow, right?

3:44
Craig Edwards: Five more outs.

3:44
Craig Edwards: 4

3:45
Eminor3rd: Carson, is often making arguments in regards to the ability for one or ones to make arguments. He is a true patron for the arguments of others.

3:45
The Old Buccaneer: I thought Meg was in charge when the passing of gas was in question.

3:45
Carson Cistulli: Thank you for recognizing my efforts, Eminor.

3:45
Meg Rowley: My personal brand is really weird, and I’m not sure I like it.

3:46
Craig Edwards: you need to focus more on the frose aspect of your brand.

3:46
Meg Rowley: Frosé for all!

3:46
Meg Rowley: (for all who drink boozy drinks that is. yummy sodas for the rest)

3:47
Sean Dolinar: Yeah, what would a Meg-run clubhouse celebration look like? Rose instead of a the normal brut?

3:47
Phillies: Just a reminder that we will likely never see the following again: The Phillies got one-level-worse over five years. 2008: won WS, 2009: lost WS, 2010: lost LCS, 2011 (despite all the pitchers): lost LDS, 2012: no playoffs, bad, should feel bad, etc.

3:47
Carson Cistulli: Pardon me. I have to retrieve my son from daycare. I have mostly checked in to ensure that FanGraphs’ customer service was residing at its customarily high standard.

3:47
Carson Cistulli: Till later!

3:47
Craig Edwards: Cardinals come pretty close: 2011 WS champs, 2013 lost WS, 2014, lost NLCS, 2015 lost DS. 2016-2018 No playoffs.

3:48
BJOGC: Daycare? Does Carson not work from home?

3:48
Meg Rowley: He does a lot of work, which his adorable little son makes harder to do.

3:49
Craig Edwards: Only 14 pitches for Hader there. Rizzo set up to be tying run in the 9th if anybody gets on.

3:49
Jay Jaffe: As a work-from-home dad, I too utilize day care. Caring for a child is a full-time job unto itself.

3:49
Meg Rowley: Very Dramatic

3:49
Meg Rowley: My comment was in response to Craig

3:49
Meg Rowley: Jay’s comment was quite reasonable

3:50
The Old Buccaneer: Hader has to pitch the 9th, right?

3:50
Meg Rowley:

Does Hader Pitch the Ninth?

Yes (77.2% | 143 votes)
 
No (22.7% | 42 votes)
 

Total Votes: 185
3:50
Jay Jaffe: I missed Hader’s inning tracking down my postseason credential, the arrival of which had gone underreported in my building. All good on that front, thankfully

3:51
Erik: Are the Cubs the worst 95-win team in recent memory? I know the Cubs fans look stupid when they complain about their team, but the pieces don’t seem to add up to that good of a record. Sketchy bullpen, sketchy rotation, Rizzo, Contreras, Bryant all having down years.

3:51
Jay Jaffe: I’d bet they go to Jeffress

3:51
Sleeping Beauty: Why wouldn’t he pitch the 9th if the game is still close?

3:51
Meg Rowley: I dunno, we’re just chattin’ here.

3:52
Craig Edwards: They’ve got 5 three-win players plus Bryant and Heyward and they have adequate starting pitching made better by a really good defense.

3:52
Sleeping Beauty: Meant as a Q for all the “No” responses from the poll

3:52
Meg Rowley: Roger that.

3:52
Julian: What happened to the low-mid 800s OPS Jason Heyward? Were those couple of early seasons just career years and this is what he really is?

3:53
libre: What happens when the games today overlap?

3:53
Guest: Has there ever been as big a gap between 1st and last place in a division as the 61 games between the Red Sox and Orioles?

3:53
Meg Rowley: Chat-wise, we’ll finish off this one I think.

3:54
Jay Jaffe: They broke the 1962 Mets’ record of 60.5 games. That was pre-division but for distance from first place <whistles>

3:54
Ozzie Ozzie Albies Free: Any WC game chats lined up?

3:54
Craig Edwards: I don’t know. The Cubs changed his swing and then he immediately had a wrist injury. This year, he’s been average with the bat, a plus on the bases, pretty close to a three-win player over 600 PA. A three-win player going forward is fine and worth what he’ll be paid the next few years, but still well short of his potential. He could still get it back next year. He’ll only be 29.

3:55
Meg Rowley: We will chat both Wild Card games. We being FanGraphs.

3:55
Meg Rowley: The Fans o’ the Graphs.

3:56
Dystiopian Future: I don’t know if Jay’s still here but is there any chance Hader makes the HOF as a reliever?

3:57
Matt: Wouldn’t FanGraphs represent graphs of fans, and not fans of graphs?

3:57
Jay Jaffe: Considering how few of them there are in the Hall (six) and how far Hader has to go (he’s gotta last 10 seasons, and so far he has two), you’re better off betting on, say, Willson Contreras.

3:57
Meg Rowley: We do both, we contain multitudes and also stardust.

3:57
Craig Edwards: Brewers had a ton of things go right for them this season to get them to where they are, but Orlando Arcia has not been one of those things. Having a great day today, though.

3:58
Odd Van Popeil Pitch in a Can : As an long time Oakland fan living near Pittsburgh I have to say … old man Jesse Chávez is AWESOME!

3:58
Sean Dolinar: Pittsburgh is awesome.

3:59
Ryan: When the hell did Jaime Garcia become a Cub??

3:59
Craig Edwards: after the blue jays let him go.

4:00
Meg Rowley: September 1

4:00
That Guy from Detroit: Pardon me if I’m late in asking, but do the stats in today’s games count as regular season stats?

4:00
Meg Rowley: They do.

4:01
Raymond: Boston Doves finished 65.5 games behind the pirates in 1909

4:01
The Old Buccaneer: It seems people have been saying Heyward could get it back next year for the last 5 years.

4:02
Craig Edwards: His WAR in 2015 was higher than Javier Baez’s this year.

4:02
Jay Jaffe: ok, then the record the Orioles set is an expansion-era (162-game season) one. Even though those Mets only played 160 and the pennant- and tiebreaker-winning Giants 165

4:03
Wade : So is Garcia eligible for postseason?

4:03
Craig Edwards: I believe he is as he was in the org on September 1

4:04
Nelson: Do players get paid more for playing this extra game?

4:04
Craig Edwards: I don’t know, but there is a pretty big financial incentive to win as the playoff shares will be higher.

4:05
Craig Edwards: One out away.

4:05
Another Matt: As a first year law student, I’ve really come to enjoy Sheryl Ring’s articles. I’ve got to stop procrastinating now. Enjoy watching the games and thanks for this fantastic site!

4:05
Craig Edwards: She does good work.

4:05
That Guy from Detroit: Get out before it’s too late, Matt!

4:05
Jay Jaffe: she is incredibly prolific

4:05
BJOGC: Reminder that the rockies shouldn’t even be here. They passed on Daniel murphy, mccutchen, matt adams, granderson and mark Reynolds

4:06
Craig Edwards: but they developed marquez, gray, and freeland.

4:06
Meg Rowley: Which, I still don’t think we’re talking enough about Rockies pitching.

4:07
Craig Edwards: this is fun.

4:08
Brian: Listening to Bob Uecker is a delight.

4:08
Craig Edwards: He’s great.

4:08
Anonymous: baseball is fun!

4:08
Meg Rowley: You know what? I agree.

4:08
kderg: I saw that CC’s suspension starts in 2019. Do suspensions always ignore the postseason? It’s a small suspension, but interesting that it’ll be picked up by whoever signs him, and might not hurt the Yankees ever

4:08
Craig Edwards: Yes, it is normal. I can’t really see Sabathia not on the Yankees. Would kind of make me sad.

4:09
Rox Fan: Best overall rotation the Rockies have ever had. THEY should have traded for Yelich, and we wouldn’t even be playing today if they had.

4:09
Craig Edwards: or played Dahl and McMahon all season.

4:09
Meg Rowley:

Dodgers-Rockies is starting on ESPN2 until the Cubs-Brewers game ends
1 Oct 2018
4:09
Jay Jaffe: The Rockies’ long-term failure to build a productive outfield is remarkable. I’m gonna write about Dahl this week.

4:09
Craig Edwards: Oh man.

4:10
Morbo: That was an excellent at bat by Baez

4:11
CamdenWarehouse: how does ticketing for these games work? just available at the stadium?

4:11
Craig Edwards: i believe they sold them last week when it became a possibility.

4:12
HappyFunBall: Ladies and gentlemen, your top-seed Milwaukee Brewers. Just like we all expected!

4:12
Meg Rowley: ohhhh man, baseball rocks so hard

4:12
Craig Edwards: Good times. Good times.

4:12
Jay Jaffe: and there it is… Brewers win the division and the number one seed, Cubs will host the Wild Card game. Bullpens really decided this one, and we’re going to hear about these two for as long as they’re around in October.

4:13
Craig Edwards: More Wrigley baseball tomorrow.

4:13
Meg Rowley: Congrats to everyone but especially to August imo

4:13
Matt: So, if the Cubs win tomorrow, this is a rematch for the NLDS, right?

4:13
Craig Edwards: Yes, congrats to August.

4:14
LPFan: Where can I check 2018 predictions? I want to see how many of FG folks missed the mark on NL East and NL Central division.

4:14
AKA22: Cubs released tickets last night at 7:30 PM, not last week.

4:14
Jay Jaffe: yes, we could have a rematch. That would be bizarre and fun.

4:14
Tyler: I kind of want the rockies to win now and have a Dodgers Cubs WC game

4:14
Meg Rowley: We all effed up the East

4:14
Craig Edwards: this would make for a great game, for sure.

4:14
Myself, Obviously: Are we chatting the second game

4:14
Jay Jaffe: No, the Nationals F’d up the East

4:15
Meg Rowley: Ohhhh baby yes, we are chatting

4:15
Meg Rowley: Jay, you are, as always, correct

4:15
Jay Jaffe: except when it comes to the Twins as WC2, and the Yankees/Red Sox standing. And that’s just the AL predictions

4:16
Meg Rowley: Jeff was the only person to get all of the AL teams right

4:16
stever20: What % odds do you give that come Thursday we have Cubs/Brewers part 21?

4:17
Craig Edwards: 55%

4:18
Eric A Longenhagen: Howdy, all

4:18
Meg Rowley: Hi Eric!

4:19
Sean Dolinar: ?

4:19
Meg Rowley: Mary Hart has gone with a Dodgers jersey for today’s game.

4:19
Sean Dolinar: that emoji won’t save on the transcript.

4:19
Matt: Do you guys put any money on your preseason predictions?

4:20
Meg Rowley: Not officially, though I suppose some folks may have side bets.

4:21
CamdenWarehouse: The side bets are probably for something weird though, like positions played by Astudillo

4:21
Meg Rowley: This is almost certainly true.

4:22
caesarsolid: Congrats Eric on picking the Brewers preseason

4:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Woot, woot! I got the second NL Central team wrong, though. Picking an unexpectedly disappointing team is like picking a 12-5 upset in March. I got mine wrong this year, thought it’d be Cubs, it was Nats.

4:22
Nate: Anyone that thinks Pittsburgh is awesome, is awesome

4:22
Sean Dolinar: Agreed.

4:22
Julian: Does Marquez throw both a slider and curveball like his pitch info says or not really?

4:22
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes, started working more with changeup and slider this spring, took more quickly to the slider.

4:23
Eric A Longenhagen: You’ll see the slider at 87-89, curveball just beneath that with more depth

4:23
Bruce: If Shohei can bat next year while rehabbing from TJ, could Corey Seager have played 1B or something this year?

4:24
Jay Jaffe: probably not. historically, position players have needed at least six months to come back.

4:24
DodgeGuys: Hernandez has to catch today at some point? Finish off the year having played every position including pitcher.

4:24
Eric A Longenhagen: Here’s Marquez from mid-March, when he was tinkering

4:25
Jay Jaffe: The number of Dodgers fans still angry over Roberts using Kiké to pitch the 16th inning could fill Dodger Stadium, and while I’ve been pretty dismissive of them — come on, it’s an emergency situation at that point, and you don’t want to take Rich Hill out of the bubble wrap — but then again, if they’d won that game…

4:27
OddBall Herrera: Do September expanded rosters apply to the tiebreaker game?  Call up your whole 40 man roster, and if it looks like you’re losing, put the scrubs in

4:27
Meg Rowley: They have 40, and six umps.

4:28
NathanLazarus: Walker Buehler and German Marquez both had an xFIP- of 76.

4:28
Jay Jaffe: it’s not one with marquee names but this is one hell of a pitching matchup, one of the best you can get among active players under 25

4:28
Carson Cistulli: Hello, again. Child procured.

4:29
DodgeGuys: There are Dodgers fans angry about that? I find that so hard to believe. Kiké brings me so much joy. But I guess other fans find any excuse to get mad at Dave.

4:29
Jay Jaffe: yes, this. same people probably call the president of baseball ops Fraudman

4:29
Carson Cistulli: Meg and Eric: you guys recently saw Zack Greinke face Mike Leake, a pair of Athletic Pitchers™. Is Walker Buehler another one of them?

4:30
Meg Rowley: Such athletes those pitchers.

4:30
Eric A Longenhagen: Yes but it manifests differently

4:30
Honest Question: Next 1 year, Next 3, Next 5: Buehler or Kershaw?

4:30
Carson Cistulli: How’s that, Eric?

4:31
OddBall Herrera: Child procured sounds a little like I should be keeping an eye on my phone for amber alerts

4:31
Jay Jaffe: Unless Kershaw can recover some of his lost velocity and make something close to 30 starts, I’d say we may be at the point where Buehler is the better pitcher. Certainly not the more experienced one, but the stuff and talent are amazing.

4:31
Carson Cistulli: Having spent some time with a toddler, I’m not sure why anyone would steal one of them on purpose.

4:31
5 Run Homer: Dodger Stadium playing the “chika chik-a” sounds from Ferris Bueller for Walker Buehler is fantastic

4:31
Meg Rowley: I am going to duck out for a moment to procure a snack.

4:32
Craig Edwards: I did not give a proper goodbye as Eric and Carson arrived, so this is goodbye. Chat again soon, I’m sure.

4:32
Eric A Longenhagen: Leake and Greinke are touch/feel/body control types, Buehler is explosion.

4:32
Carson Cistulli: I believe that is, to be precise, “Oh Yeah” by Yello.

4:32
Carson Cistulli: Bye, Craig!

4:32
5 Run Homer: Eric, do you think there’s a chance that in the next few years these two starters are two of the top 5 in the NL?

4:32
Eric A Longenhagen: I suppose they’re each in that age/stuff sweet spot for that kind of ascendance.

4:33
Carson Cistulli: If he lost, like, 5 mph, could he survive the way Greinke and Leake have (relatively speaking)?

4:33
Anonymous: wow, does that still count as an out if you completely leave the field of play?

4:33
Sean Dolinar: Yes, you have to start in the field of play.

4:34
Omega Red: True or false, Cargo was actually a nice value signing this past offseason?

4:35
Carson Cistulli: Very close play at first between Marquez and Bellinger! He’s safe, I think!

4:35
Jay Jaffe: If you’re doing strict $/WAR, $8 mil for 1.8 WAR isn’t a bad return, but there’s a big opportunity cost for giving a guy 500 PA in a corner OF position and getting a 97 wRC+

4:35
DodgeGuys: Nice call, Carson.

4:35
Carson Cistulli: You’re welcome, unbiased observer!

4:36
Rockies Fan : Nice call, Carson

4:36
Carson Cistulli: You’re welcome, other unbiased observer!

4:37
My name is Earl: I thought he was pretty clearly safe

4:37
Dominik: Looked safe, probably not conclusive enough to overturn

4:37
Eric A Longenhagen: Wow that was close

4:37
Stephen Loftus: Even with the out call, a nice reminder about how fast Bellinger is. One of the fastest in baseball at 1B.

4:37
Airport Banana: David Stearns is a top ____ GM in Milwaukee?

4:37
ChadT: Why even have review?

4:38
Meg Rowley: Because we’re watching broadcasts in Hi-Def with slo-mo

4:38
Carson Cistulli: I agree, Airport Banana, David Stearns is the top GM in Milwaukee.

4:38
Airport Banana: Dammit Carson!

4:39
NickLovin: Are the Brewers the hottest team going into the playoffs

4:39
Unbiased observer : You suck, Carson

4:39
Jay Jaffe: being the hottest team going into the playoffs doesn’t matter https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/09/14/cleveland-indians-los-angeles-dodger…

4:39
Carson Cistulli: I can’t argue with that, Unbiased Observer!

4:40
Cam: Puig has never met a slider worth leaving.

4:40
Meg Rowley: Well sliders are notoriously lively conversationalists

4:40
tim: how is airport banana typing

4:43
Jay Jaffe: OK folks, I am about to have a toddler in my midst so must sign off. Thank you, colleagues and readers, for the lively conversation!

4:43
Matt: 3 minutes of radio silence, eh?

4:43
Carson Cistulli: See you, Jay.

4:44
Andrew: True or false: We should start using “batsman” instead of “batter”

4:44
Eric A Longenhagen: False, Bob Kane is a litigious person.

4:44
Meg Rowley: Sorry, I’m eating chips, which are loud but you can’t hear them.

4:44
Eric A Longenhagen: What kind of chips?

4:45
Carson Cistulli: What’s the real plural of Batman? Batmen? Batsman? Batsmen?

4:45
Andrew: Batsman, not Batman, litigation be damned

4:45
Nathan: Mens bat

4:45
Meg Rowley: Multigrain tortilla chips with tomatillo/avocado salsa

4:45
Meg Rowley: The salsa isn’t loud, but it is delicious.

4:46
slappybag: Who is the best player with a first name for a last name? I’m guessing the answer isn’t Ian Desmond. Is it Jackie Bradley?

4:46
Meg Rowley: Lorenzo Cain?

4:48
Carson Cistulli: He’s a lot better than his Tony Abel, certainly.

4:48
Lance Biggerstaff : Meg, how many guys named Cain do you know

4:48
Meg Rowley: At least one very famous one

4:48
adam: Why is machado’s fielding at short so much better than when he was with the o’s? is it just getting used to it again?

4:48
Guest: Cain, brother of Abel seems pretty famous

4:49
Daniel: Bryce Harper

4:49
Meg Rowley: My take is that it is partly adjustment and partly that his defense with the O’s probably wasn’t quite as bad as the metrics suggested. He might also be a bit better positioned.

4:50
OddBall Herrera: The real question is – what is a group of batsmen called.  I suggest Strike

4:50
Andrew: Gerritt Cole

4:50
Davy: Gerrit Cole!

4:50
John Thacker: Gerrit Cole?

4:50
Carson Cistulli: That was 0-2 to Blackmon and ended in a walk.

4:50
Carson Cistulli: Walker Buehler, Homer Bailey… what are the other worst names for a pitcher?

4:50
5 Run Homer: I bet you there’s some toddler running around named Trout

4:51
BJOGC: Grant Balfour

4:51
Meg Rowley: The one thing we millennials have failed to kill is dumb names

4:51
Ryan: Bob Walk, for sure.

4:52
Grafsikov: A group of batsmen is a Club

4:52
Mike: As long as his evil twin Balker Wuehler doesn’t show up

4:53
Meg Rowley: The queue is 95% names right now

4:54
Matt: A group of batsmen is a lineup. A group of pitchsmen is a staff. And a grouping of a staff and a lineup is a club*

4:54
OddBall Herrera: Ok yeah club is better

4:54
Davy: Earning the nickname Three-Finger can’t have been too fun.

4:55
5 Run Homer: Is it just me or are ESPN’s constant looks into the broadcast booth annoying as hell?

4:55
Meg Rowley: It does seem a little unnecessary, given that there is baseball on the field.

4:56
Anonymous: Baseball blind spot: An ‘atom’ ball is apparently an ‘attem’ ball because it is hit right at ’em.

4:56
Carson Cistulli: Or “at’em” ball?

4:56
DJ Tanner: How far off is Corey Seager in his rehab? If Dodgers made the WS, would he be able to DH?

4:57
Meg Rowley: Don’t believe so– he is talking about “next year” in his updates. He also had hip surgery.

4:58
Meg Rowley: He had to put off the hip surgery until his arm was strong enough to handle crutches for a month.

4:58
Carson Cistulli: Eric! If you’re still here, can you tell me how scouts evaluated Walker Buehler’s physicality? He seems, in baseball terms, to be a tiny fellow.

4:58
Nathan Spear: Walker just, um, walked. That makes him a Walker, I guess.

4:58
Grafsikov: Walker Buehler walks. *air horns*

4:59
Eric A Longenhagen: They were no smitten by him, his size was a worry.

4:59
Mike: Carson, please chat on your own next year.  kthx

4:59
Meg Rowley: (I am not Eric and super don’t know what I am talking about but he reminds me of a male ballet dancer)

4:59
Carson Cistulli: You mean, like, just quietly in my home, Mike?

4:59
Eric A Longenhagen: Really the size/high-effort/stuff up and down was relievery

5:00
Anonymous: i hate the dodgers but their organist is a national treasure

5:00
Morbo: Buehler, like many of us right-sized individuals, is an environmentally responsible size.  The rest of you should be ashamed for consuming additional resources.

5:00
Daniel: Is the size purely a durability thing, or is there concern that velocity isn’t as projectible as, say, Cole’s body?

5:00
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s relatively meaningless on its own.

5:01
Dylan: I don’t understand how the Rockies made it this far with this roster. On paper it looks like a 77 win team

5:02
Carson Cistulli: They are oddly constructed. They finished a bunch of games above their BaseRuns record. Also, their pitching staff is pretty good.

5:02
Meg Rowley: Do you think Justin Turner hates Gritty? Like, he’s joked about it because he wants to seem like a good hang, but do you think secretly he hates it A LOT?

5:03
Matt: I want to live in a world where Walker Buehler marries Neil Walker and takes his name so that he’s Walker Walker (to be said only in Fozzie’s voice, naturally)

5:04
Anonymous: Walker Walker is then traded to the Texas Rangers

5:04
Daniel: Who had the weirdest season this year? Jon Gray?

5:04
Carson Cistulli: Hector Neris’s was strange, as well.

5:05
Anonymous: Has anyone seen the Phanatic and Gritty in the same room?

5:05
Eric A Longenhagen:

5:05
Carson Cistulli: Not as high-profile as Gray, obviously, but he was DOMINANT in every way except the runs-giving-up way.

5:06
Grafsikov: But the Rockies’ bullpen was atrocious. I can’t see them getting deep into October with that, can anyone?

5:07
Meg Rowley: Certainly not the best in the postseason but they have been better in the second half.

5:07
Meg Rowley: they were 13th in the NL in the first half…

5:07
Daniel: Whoa Neris’s K% and SwStr% went way up. Yes, good call. Also maybe Kole Calhoun.

5:07
Carson Cistulli: Calhoun, too.

5:07
Carson Cistulli: Good call.

5:08
Meg Rowley: 5th in the second half

5:08
Meg Rowley: Odor had a weird-ass year

5:08
David: Scott Hartnell = Gritty

5:08
Eric A Longenhagen: Skates about as well

5:08
Matt: deGrom has an all-time weird season, just in a very different way

5:09
Dystopian Future: Chris Davis also had an all time weird season in a different way.

5:09
Dystopian Future: So did Khris Davis, at least regarding batting average.

5:09
Meg Rowley: The rare actually fun, fun fact

5:10
Morbo: Buehler should really reconsider his weird tiny goatee thing.  Either grow it or don’t.

5:11
$11 Worth of Taco Bell: How much fun would Ohtani be in a tiebreaker, wild card, or other winner-take-all-game?

5:11
Meg Rowley: A healthy Ohtani pitching? Very fun. A DHing Ohtani? Also fun.

5:11
Meg Rowley: Increasingly convinced baseball should allow postseason player loans.

5:12
Eric A Longenhagen:

Would you have someone warming for Buehler right now?

Yes (40.2% | 37 votes)
 
No (59.7% | 55 votes)
 

Total Votes: 92
5:12
Carson Cistulli: To be fair, Morbo, ballplayers are not the top source for great facial-hair fashions.

5:12
Meg Rowley: Charlie Blackmon’s did make it very easy to spot him in a hotel bar in Denver as several FanGraphs writers drank sangria, however.

5:13
Anonymous: I’ve never heard the term ‘jackpot’ used to mean a ‘tight spot’ but here we are.

5:13
Dystopian Future: When we get to the ALDS chats we need to have a serious talk about Mookie Betts’ facial hair.

5:14
Matt: My sister-in-law’s boyfriend has a similar tiny goatee thing and it his worst quality. By all other accounts, he’s a decent dude and well liked by the family. How do I tell him to get rid of it?

5:14
Meg Rowley: In response to a thing on the broadcast, Tim Lincecum ALSO reminds me of a ballet dancer. Him, Buehler, Josh Tomlin.

5:14
Carson Cistulli: I think you don’t. My advice is simply to complain about it in live chats at baseball analytics sites.

5:15
Andrew: Matt, tell him he has 15 minutes to get rid before you dry gulch him

5:16
Anonymous: Reminder: Grandal is still good at baseball

5:16
Christian Yelich: Shout out to the organist playing the Neverending Story theme song for Trevor. Made me smile

5:16
Stephen Loftus: As a former music major (on the organ at that), I’m loving the Braves and Dodgers in the postseason particularly for their organists

5:16
Carson Cistulli: JT Realmuto is probably the best catcher in baseball, but Grandal makes it closer than you’d think after you account for his framing, etc.

5:16
Dystopian Future: Send him anonymous flowers with the message “Get rid of your goatee, it’s disgusting,” kick back, and put up some smoke.

5:16
Muxosk : Grandal is quietly like the 25th best position player in baseball.

5:17
Oddball Herrera: The simplest way to dispose of someone’s poor facial hair choices is and h a freak drone ‘accident’

5:17
sean green: any chat about the attendance of this game yet?

5:17
Carson Cistulli: We can chat about it now!

5:17
Carson Cistulli: Hey, Meg, how about that attendance, huh?

5:18
Meg Rowley: I think (hope?) folks understand it is a Monday and not a “planned game”

5:18
Meg Rowley: Also Mary Hart is there, WHO ELSE DO YOU NEED?

5:18
Eric A Longenhagen: It seems, fine?

5:18
Meg Rowley: It’s 2:19 PM on the coast. Good number of folks for 2:19 PM on a Monday.

5:21
Eric A Longenhagen: Marquez has shown his first two changeups of the day to Pederson and Muncy. Perhaps that’s more part of the mix against lefties this time through the order.

5:21
Cam: While the Dodgers have some good catching prospects who aren’t too far away, and Barnes on the roster..they have to strongly look at bringing Grandal back, right? He’s just damn good.

5:22
Eric A Longenhagen: I think they have options and that there’s a good argument for bringing him back (because he’s good and you know it) and for not (you get a comp pick, can reallocate that $ to bolster the pitching staff, you have Smith and Keibert on the way)

5:23
Muxosk : I could spend weeks in the book sections of grocery stores without seeing as many giant hacks as this machado AB

5:23
Eric A Longenhagen: No plot synopsis would be as sexual as his glove at 3B, though.

5:24
Phil Rott: The non-planned game component to Brewers-Cubs also let 10,000-15,000 Brewers fans in to Wrigley. Tickets were CHEAP.

5:24
Meg Rowley: Rivals being geographically close is good for this reason.

5:27
Ben: Has ESPN found a way to mitigate the overbearing Dodgers Stadium PA?

5:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Seems like it but I haven’t enjoyed the audio mix

5:28
Meg Rowley: The booth seems very loud.

5:28
Meg Rowley: But also, the booth is yelling.

5:28
Anonymous: Dogs have proven to be adequate basketball players per the documentary Air Bud. What animal would be best at baseball?

5:28
Eric A Longenhagen: Trout

5:29
Matt: IN PLAY, RUNS(S)?!?!?!?

5:29
Cam: BELLI BOMB! Marquez seems to have thrown a lot of middle-middle today, finally gets hold of one.

5:29
Grafsikov: After he struck out Muncy, Machado, and Grandal all in a row, I was going to say “German Marquez is good at throwing baseballs,” and then whaddya know…

5:29
Meg Rowley: He still is.

5:29
Meg Rowley: No one is good at their job all the time.

5:29
Meg Rowley: Even people who are really, really good at their jobs.

5:30
Adam: Did you also have the LFer in mind, Meg?

5:30
Meg Rowley: I am very smart and also clairvoyant.

5:30
Carson Cistulli: Hey, I have to resume child-care duties for this child. I love you all, with the love of a cold, distant father.

5:31
Eric A Longenhagen: 110 exit velo on the Puig knock

5:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Thanks, Carson

5:31
Morbo: Dahl really needed to either commit for that ball or play it on the hop.  In between is a bad look.

5:31
Meg Rowley: Good luck, Carson.

5:34
Walter Benjamin: So satisfying when Puig squares one up. Can’t explain why

5:35
Jay: Why are those earned runs when muncy reached on a PB?

5:36
Meg Rowley: Only one of them was earned.

5:36
Backspin Bellinger: As a Dodgers fan, I love that the dropped 3rd strike rule benefited my team that inning. But can we agree that, in general, it’s a very silly rule?

5:36
Meg Rowley: It is my single least favorite rules thing about baseball.

5:36
Meg Rowley: I hate it.

5:37
Go Brew Crew: Is it wrong to drink champagne at 3 on a Monday due to the accomplishments of a group of strangers? Asking for no reason in particular.

5:38
Meg Rowley: No. If my experience as a grad student in Wisconsin is at all representative, I’m pretty sure you’re legally obligated to?

5:38
Eric A Longenhagen: I need an explanation about why the dropped third strike thing is bothersome.

5:38
jj: both should unearned right because the HR was hit after what would have been the 3rd out.

5:38
Eric A Longenhagen: Isn’t it necessary?

5:39
Ginny: I hope mlb gets rid of the dropped third strike rule so we can start seeing truly ridiculous wipeout pitches on 0-2 and 1-2s and no one on

5:39
Meg Rowley: As they are. My apologies. Got mixed up. Much as they were.

5:41
Meg Rowley: I just think it is goofy. The pitcher has thrown a pitch the hitter can’t hit. The hitter is like “yeah, can’t hit that. I’m a guy who can’t hit that.” And then the catcher is like, “AHHHHHH” and bails a guy out. Perhaps this is a larger anti bailout stance.

5:42
Wade : You root for the brewers. Please explain why you are NOT drinking *beer*

5:42
Meg Rowley: People like different sorts of stuff.

5:42
Backspin Bellinger: My boss/friend is a Dodgers fan, and spent his morning meeting Snuffleupagus and others backstage at the studio where Sesame Street is filmed. Fair to say this will go down as one of his all-time great Mondays?

5:42
Meg Rowley: I like the Muppets better than many, many humans I know personally.

5:42
Meg Rowley: So yes.

5:44
Cam: Wait a minute – Buehler is no hitting these guys. Too soon? Nah, no such thing a jinxing – it’s a myth.

5:44
Joe: Eric, thoughts on Julio Urias’ few big league appearances?

5:44
Eric A Longenhagen: Surprising given where his velo was at during rehab.

5:46
Hold me close, ohtani dancer: As people with skin in the game, do you root for the dodgers moreso because of their advanced focus on analytics? I would love to see Colorado win, but I just feel like they fail to use their resources properly and it is immensely frustrating

5:47
Meg Rowley: I root for compelling, good baseball.

5:47
Sean Dolinar: Re: Champagne at 3…Sometimes afternoon champagne is the best. Enjoy!

5:47
Meg Rowley: I don’t think that if a slightly less analytically inclined team goes far it is going to undo anything.

5:48
Eric A Longenhagen: I want Utley to win another ring.

5:48
Meg Rowley: That would be compelling for sure.

5:49
Morbo: How many people, including, me have been chatting in this instead of the work they are supposedly being paid to do?

5:49
Tucci: @Morbo ME

5:49
tb.25: Me

5:50
Meg Rowley: There is a lot of yelling from this booth.

5:50
Acunami: Not work time in Europe…

5:50
Matt: Very much me

5:50
Morbo: ME!  Apparently this chat has two Morbos.

5:52
Meg Rowley: Oh dear, Rockies.

5:52
OddBall Herrera: See, chatting here IS my work, I’m a Russian troll sent to undermine the public’s faith in Carson Cistulli

5:53
Muxosk : MAXIMUM MUNCY

5:54
Matt: It is still one of my chosen hills to die on that MLB schedules their most important, compelling games for when the largest portion of the viewing audience is at work or school. Do they not want to maximize ratings? Do they not want casual fans to tune in and potentially become avid fans? Do they hate me for working a 9-5 job??

5:54
Eric A Longenhagen: I think it’s more about travelling in time for the Wild Card games.

5:55
Cam: For months I’ve been playing Beastie Boys – Brass Monkey in my head. But re-writing the words to “Max Muncy, that funky Muncy”. I feel it is appropriate to point that out now.

5:55
Ryan: But also for ESPN having Monday Night Football, right?

5:55
Eric A Longenhagen: Oh yeah, perhaps.

5:56
Meg Rowley: No one wants to compete with Mahomes.

5:56
Matt: That’s all well and good for the unexpected tiebreaker games (though maybe rejigger the schedule so the NLWCG is on wednesday and the ALWCG is on tuesday?), but how do you explain the long-planned playoff games on thursday and friday being daytime games?

5:57
Meg Rowley: I imagine travel is a factor there as well, and the weirdness of having to schedule across multiple time zones. It isn’t ideal, obviously.

5:57
ChadT: Re: rooting for analytic teams. I’m analytics all the way, but absolutely rooted for the Royals in 2014 and 2015.

5:57
Meg Rowley: And you start rooting for folks you know who work for teams, too.

5:58
Joe: That pitch to Muncy was 99, wow.

6:00
Ryan: I don’t know if enough will be said about how terrible Tony Wolters was today, and in fact all year.

6:00
Jeff: In hindsight, wasn’t 2015 an anti-analytics team vs an anti-analytics team? I guess the Mets paid lip service to it, but they are clearly very deficient in that department.

6:00
Eric A Longenhagen: KC is sneaky analytical

6:01
Odd Van Popeil Pitch in a Can : A’s guy again … glad Max is breaking out, and I don’t know where they could use him in Oakland since it wouldn’t be at 1B or 3B, but wow does it make me sad that they released him last year only to see him EXPLODE this year!

6:01
Meg Rowley: None of that Rockies catching group is exactly bathed in glory.

6:01
Sean Dolinar: RE:  WCG schedule swapping. I think TV contracts rules all.  I think the dates and leagues are tied to the network.  That’s all conjecture, but that type of thing is what usually happens.

6:01
Walter Benjamin: odds Dave Roberts leaves Buehler in after this inning with the nono going?

6:02
Meg Rowley: Can’t imagine the no-no will factor at all

6:02
Eric A Longenhagen: Can’t believe he’s only walked two so far

6:02
Meg Rowley: God hates puns.

6:03
Meg Rowley: “He takes analytics to an extreme.” “Yeah, he watches pitchers who are similar to him.”

6:04
OddBall Herrera: I would imagine analytics adoption for teams is a lot like software companies saying they’re going ‘to the cloud’ to impress customers/stakeholders…some of them actually mean they’re using cloud solutions, others mean they opened a Twitter account

6:04
Jeff Sullivan: What’s going on in these parts

6:04
Meg Rowley: Some teams are definitely more sophisticated than others, but the difference has compressed dramatically

6:05
Meg Rowley: Well we’ve already talked about Gritty and gotten in a rules fight so, typical chat stuff.

6:05
Section329: Jeff!

6:05
Meg Rowley: Hi Jeff!

6:05
Eric A Longenhagen: Sullivan, welcome.

6:05
Sean Dolinar: Hey Jeff.

6:05
Jeff Sullivan: Have we talked about Max Muncy for three hours yet?

6:06
DodgeGuys: aaaand the no-no is gone. Welcome Jeff!

6:06
Meg Rowley: We are generally excited about Max Muncy.

6:06
Jeff Sullivan: Let’s hear it for the good old-fashioned bounce throw to first

6:07
Jeff Sullivan: Just watched Max Muncy convert a defensive chance. It *can* happen

6:08
DodgeGuys: I met Max’s brother on the light rail in Seattle. It was so great to hear how proud his family is of him. One of the best stories of the year.

6:08
Jeff Sullivan: Number five in wRC+, tied for sixth or seventh or something in expected wOBA

6:10
CamdenWarehouse: This is so much better than the baseball I was watching a week ago

6:10
Hello: The Cubs were in first place from July 12 until about 2 hours ago. Baseball!

6:11
adam: sorry if this has been answered but how did they decide where to play the tiebreaker games?

6:11
Meg Rowley: head-to-head record I believe

6:11
Sadman: At what point does game theory become no fun

6:12
Meg Rowley: Having taken grad-level game theory the answer is when you take grad-level game theory.

6:12
Iggy Pop Has Raw Power: It stinks watching the Dodgers and Vin Scully isn’t announcing.

6:13
Meg Rowley: We miss him every day, though I think their current booth is really, really good.

6:13
Walter Benjamin: Are the Dodgers at Cards-level of player development acumen already?

6:13
Jeff Sullivan: Unofficially, yes

6:13
Jeff Sullivan: Officially, I don’t know

6:13
Jeff Sullivan: The Dodgers are way ahead of 90% of the rest of the industry

6:14
weezy: @Iggy Pop I know he’s no Vin, but I really like Joe Davis

6:14
Meg Rowley: Pretty amazing how good they are when you consider what we’re mentally comparing them to

6:14
Jeff Sullivan: Walker Buehler with an RBI single *and* a walk after falling behind 0-and-2

6:15
Jeff Sullivan: And also the pitching

6:15
Walter Benjamin: leaving a lefty in to face Kiké may backfire

6:15
Jaire: Why are so many Cubs fans so eager to get rid of Maddon? Does winning just make people crazy, or is there some validity to wanting someone else?

6:16
Jeff Sullivan: Mostly it’s that winning raises expectations, and Maddon doesn’t do much to blend into the background. He’s conspicuous, which makes him a lightning rod

6:16
Mattingly’s Sideburns : Should the Rockies send whichever pitcher they are planning on starting to Chicago right now?

6:16
Jeff Sullivan: Dude can wait 40 minutes to fly with his friends

6:17
5 Run Homer: Alright I just got back from English 102 so I’ve missed most of this game, what did I miss?

6:17
Jeff Sullivan: A 5-run homer

6:17
Jeff Sullivan: It was extraordinary

6:17
Meg Rowley: You missed this for *102*?

6:18
Meg Rowley: I’m just kidding, school is good for you, do school I guess

6:18
Jeff Sullivan: You heard it from Meg

6:18
Meg Rowley: TAKES

6:18
Jeff Sullivan: Do school all the way up until grad-level game theory

6:18
Meg Rowley: And not one second after that.

6:18
Jeff Sullivan: Then drop out, play baseball, and undergo a swing change

6:19
Meg Rowley: Drop out, write about baseball*, worry you’ve disappointed your parents**

6:19
Jeff Sullivan: confirm you’ve disappointed your parents***

6:19
Jeff Sullivan: Eric, in case you’re still browsing this window — pardon if I’ve missed it, but did you even bother to get a read on Muncy last summer?

6:19
Eric A Longenhagen: Nope

6:20
Jeff Sullivan: lol

6:20
Jeff Sullivan: This is the best sport in the world

6:20
Meg Rowley: I like the part where their brains mostly work at the end and when they play baseball

6:20
Eric A Longenhagen: He was way over rookie eligibility, but I tend to not dive deep on 26+ year olds anyway

6:20
Dystopian Future: I don’t understand how it is that Mariners fans can love baseball enough to take it on as a job in spite of the constant misery.

6:21
Eric A Longenhagen: If anything it might provide them relief as it warps their fandom

6:21
Meg Rowley: Totally.

6:21
Meg Rowley: I mean, it is a low-stakes way to feel sad. There’s value in that.

6:21
Jeff Sullivan: Yes. It requires exposure to the non-Mariners, of whom there are far more in number

6:21
Meg Rowley: Many of whom baseball much better.

6:22
Meg Rowley: Bad baseball is one way to get better at writing. Not the only way, but it forces creativity.

6:22
5 Run Homer: I mean, Seattle did win 89 games this season. Run differential notwithstanding, that’s a pretty good season

6:23
Meg Rowley: Yes, but also the Browns have been to the playoffs more recently. Literally the Browns.

6:23
Eric A Longenhagen: Braylon Edwards, man.

6:24
Meg Rowley: Life is pain.

6:24
Jeff Sullivan: With their record, the Mariners would’ve played at least a 163rd game in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017

6:24
Meg Rowley: Life is painnnnnnnn.

6:24
Jeff Sullivan: Unless, that is, you also give the Rays their record

6:24
Jeff Sullivan: Walker Buehler is finished for today. He did a good job at work

6:25
wOBAseft: Was reviewing the Brewers transactions in the Stearns era a while ago and I’m struck by the sheer amount of unequivocal steals. Shaw, Davies, Yelich, Peralta (sorry Meg!), others I’m forgetting, and not to mention all the great waiver claims. Is there reason to believe theres some 80-grade talent recognition going on there, or are they just really lucky?

6:26
Jeff Sullivan: Little of both. The Brewers are run extremely well

6:26
Joe: Walker Buehler certainly did a better job at work than I did today.

6:26
Jeff Sullivan: I mean, that doesn’t mean they don’t end up on the wrong side of Miller/Choi or Villar/Schoop. But they’ve gotten to a good place

6:26
Cam: Baez in – I have time to make a cup of tea before he delivers his first pitch. And another before his second.

6:27
Walter Benjamin: C’mon, the Mariners have a great stadium, watchable players, they’re often good — compare fandom for that team to 90% of European pro soccer clubs that won’t win a championship in 100 years, and I think the constant self-pity becomes a little much

6:27
Eric A Longenhagen: Hot beverage sounds good (goes to make coffee)

6:27
Meg Rowley: But see, the thing is, I don’t watch European pro soccer.

6:28
Jeff Sullivan: Yes. Relative to only baseball, the Mariners are sad

6:28
Khris Davis: .247 again. I am consistency itself

6:28
Jeff Sullivan: It’s such a perfectly unremarkable batting average

6:29
Jeff Sullivan: The pinnacle of stupidly appealing baseball fun facts

6:30
Jeff Sullivan: “This crowd has been outstanding all afternoon. That’s all they’ve done, is stand.”

6:30
Jeff Sullivan: god dammit

6:31
Iggy Pop Has Raw Power: Khris Davis keeps improving his average relative to the league though if the league AVG is trending down. So he’s getting better-ish.

6:31
Jeff Sullivan: That’s the other funny part of it

6:32
Jeff Sullivan: Ian Desmond has been worth -1.5 WAR since he signed with the Rockies

6:32
Eric A Longenhagen: 37 seconds between those last two pitches from Baez

6:32
Jeff Sullivan: :mound meeting:

6:33
Ichiro for CEO: This doesn’t count for this game, but are there mound visit limits in the postseason?

6:33
Meg Rowley: Same as regular season.

6:33
Meg Rowley: Last year’s postseason seems to have inspired the change, or at least them pulling the trigger on it.

6:33
Eric A Longenhagen: I never get sick of seeing Mark Prior in a uniform

6:33
Jeff Sullivan: First-pitch ball in play against Pedro Baez. My favorite kind of ball in play

6:35
GO go go go: How much faster would 15 Brent Suter pitches take than 15 Pedro Baez pitches?

6:35
Jeff Sullivan: On average, just about three minutes

6:35
Jeff Sullivan: Minus whatever is the difference in flight time since Suter throws so damn soft

6:35
weezy: Charlie Steiner was so, so excited at that first pitch pop-up. I’m betting 78% of that excitement was that it was on the first Pedro Baez pitch

6:36
Walking Stephen Piscotty: Seriously though, how are the Rockies possibly making it to the NLDS now? Freeland on short rest against the waiting for them Cubs with Lester?

6:36
Jeff Sullivan: Jon Lester isn’t very good anymore

6:37
fire me into the sun: What is the most depressing name of a first baseman that the Rockies could’ve easily signed and won the division?

6:37
Jeff Sullivan: Name a first baseman

6:37
Meg Rowley: Ryon Healy

6:37
Dystopian Future: Jon Lester might not be very good, but as a hitting team the Rockies are not very good either.

6:38
Jeff Sullivan: The Rockies will be the underdog, but maybe by like 60-40 or 55-45. Nothing insane

6:38
5 Run Homer: Dodgers organ dude is top notch

6:38
Eric A Longenhagen: My wife likes when he plays music from Zelda

6:39
Meg Rowley: How often do guys’ helmets hurt them when sliding

6:42
weezy: what is the closest comp to this Max Muncy breakout that any of you seen in baseball? This seems alarmingly unlikely

6:42
Eric A Longenhagen: Chris Taylor’s breakout season? Justin Turner’s breakout season? Jesus AGuilar’s breakout season? I think we’re ripe for stuff like this right now because some teams know a lot about swings.

6:42
Jeff Sullivan: J.D. Martinez also, of course

6:42
weezy: If you were an oddsmaker, who’d you put the most faith in winning the WCG out of the 4 teams? Yankees, right?

6:43
Jeff Sullivan: Yeah, I think the Yankees, but even that one is going to be tough with the A’s just straight-up bullpenning

6:43
Jeff Sullivan: They’ve got a whole bunch of righties to throw

6:44
Billy Beane: How would you pitch to the Yankees if you were the A’s? IT sounds like it’s either opener-Fiers or bullpen the whole thing.

6:44
Jeff Sullivan: Maybe you give Fiers one turn but his fly-ball thing makes me nervous

6:45
Meg Rowley: Hello, I have returned. My sister called me and is due with a baby Very Soon and I thought it was The Call but it was just A Call.

6:45
Jeff Sullivan: Petriello getting some broadcast love right now

6:45
Meg Rowley: That alternate broadcast should be fun.

6:46
Jeff Sullivan: Ben and I will be podding with broadcast teammate Jason Benetti when this game is over. Look forward to asking him about it!

6:46
Matt: I feel like what Muncy has done is not that unprecedented? A guy like, say, Jose Bautista is more surprising

6:46
Meg Rowley: I have come to not super enjoy A-Rod in the booth. He is better in studio, I think. And Benetti is wonderful. So getting him instead is neat.

6:46
Jeff Sullivan: Jose Bautista basically did the same thing

6:47
Matt: Should the Rockies at this point be trying to keep the deficit at 5, or trying to preserve their bullpen for the WCG?

6:47
Jeff Sullivan: Preserve

6:48
Walking Stephen Piscotty: Based on who the A’s are rostering, it sounds like they’re bullpenning the game tomorrow. I think first team to 3 wins the AL wild card game

6:48
Jeff Sullivan: My current feeling: there are going to be five home runs, and the winning team will be the one that hits three of them

6:50
Dystopian Future: My current feeling is that the Yankees will win.

6:50
Jeff Sullivan: That is my other current feeling

6:50
Walking Stephen Piscotty: Re: homers Will all five be hit into that short right field corner?

6:50
Jeff Sullivan: They better be some real dongs

6:50
Lola: Can y’all start believing in clutch

6:50
Jeff Sullivan: No

6:51
Meg Rowley: This isn’t strictly relevant, and comes with the caveat that the the swing in runs might not be as dramatic as the numbers make them out to be, but understanding Chris Iannetta’s framing is my white whale.

6:51
Eric A Longenhagen: Hey guys, seems like we may not get there with AZ instructional league games this week: https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/tempe-az/85281/daily-weather-forecas…

6:51
Meg Rowley: lol it is 20 degrees cooler than when I was there in August and it is still 80

6:52
Jeff Sullivan: Iannetta is basically the reason why I don’t trust framing numbers the way that I used to

6:52
Eric A Longenhagen: 103 the other day, I hope we’re just done with that kind of heat for the year.

6:52
Eric A Longenhagen: In comes Scott Alexander, to be followed by Larry Karaszewski.

6:52
Jeff Sullivan: Since this game is kind of boring now you can all feel free to try to influence my AL Cy Young vote. I’ll be doing that later tonight

6:53
Meg Rowley: Are you allowed to say which way you’re leaning?

6:53
Jeff Sullivan: No

6:53
Jeff Sullivan: I assume no

6:53
Meg Rowley: Probably a good assumption.

6:53
Odubel Arrangements: How did Schwarber lead all LF in DEF this year?

6:53
Jeff Sullivan: Arm!

6:54
Snell: Are you not selecting me? Or not?

6:55
Jeff Sullivan: What I can say is I have not settled on anything

6:55
5 Run Homer: How big is the CY ballot? And what percentage of the final top 10 will be Astros?

6:55
Jeff Sullivan: Five names

6:55
Walking Stephen Piscotty: The answer is Justin Verlander, then Blake Snell, then Kluber. That isn’t negotiable

6:55
Jeff Sullivan: That is an order!

6:56
Happynest: Is there any reason to believe that clutch might be a real thing for a select few guys but not for 95% of the league? I know it’s simpler to conclude that it just doesn’t exist, but that also feels so empty.

6:56
Meg Rowley: (non-Jeff’s Cy Young ballot question):

6:56
Jeff Sullivan: Would be very hard to explain

6:56
Adam: Is there analysis supporting the shadows’ effect? It makes total sense. But I’ve only heard it from commentators like Rick Sutcliffe and Paul O’Neill.

6:56
Meg Rowley: I think a lot of broadcasts bring this up

6:56
Eric A Longenhagen: I’d Verlander. I consider the edge he has in total innings pretty meaningful. It’s like two more starts worth of innings than the non-Kluber guys.

6:56
Jeff Sullivan: Really hard to analyze because it happens at specific times at specific stadiums in specific weather conditions

6:57
Meg Rowley: Right. It always strikes me as a thing that matters an amount it would be tricky to parse out.

6:57
Jeff Sullivan: Given how the former players talk about it I have to believe it makes a difference

6:58
Marc: Jeff, how does one become a candidate to vote on the Cy Young?  Is it an exclusive club, did you have to dress all fancy for an interview, or could I just be cold-called sometime in the next 24 hours to replace some guy who forgot to mail his in?

6:59
Jeff Sullivan: Stay by the phone just in case

7:00
Happynest: How much value is there in having a lot of diversity in pitching styles on your roster (like thunder/lightning running backs in football)?

7:00
Jeff Sullivan: I think it is a useful and unexplored area. Especially with arm slots

7:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Agreed! I also like the idea of piggybacking guys with contrasting stuff

7:00
Eric A Longenhagen: Or angles

7:01
Jeff Sullivan: I think it’s among the reasons why the Orioles had such a good bullpen for a few years there

7:01
Eric A Longenhagen: That was a weird group.

7:01
Meg Rowley: I think maybe the booth should remember they are mic’ed.

7:02
Cam: How long until we can quantify Manager productivity through a WAR-like figure? 8-10 years?

7:03
Meg Rowley: Don’t know that we’ll ever be able to do a super good job because so much of what they do happens away from our view.

7:03
Jeff Sullivan: (I have to bail on this early to go record a pod. Take good care of Meg and Eric! Go October baseball!)

7:03
Meg Rowley: How do you quantify the weird blend of regional manager/HR  professional they do that we don’t see?

7:03
Meg Rowley: Bye Jeff!

7:04
Eric A Longenhagen: bye

7:04
Meg Rowley: Podcasts wait for no man, not even Jeff.

7:04
Cam: Fair! Their greatest contribution could very well be behind the closed doors. I guess the criticism the Matheny’s of the world gets, will be anecdotal for a long time.

7:05
Meg Rowley: I think some tactical managers are better than others, but we’d be missing such a big part of what they do. And sometimes, bad tactics work out and sometimes good tactics bite you.

7:06
Meg Rowley: I think the last game was more engaging than this one. Just one gal’s opinion.

7:07
Walking Stephen Piscotty: Has anyone here been to Progressive Field? Wondering what the view is like from the nosebleeds before I buy tickets to game 3 of the ALDS!

7:07
Adam: I was in non-nosebleeds at Progressive for first time last ALDS. It seemed like a relatively small park where most all the seats would have decent views.

7:09
John: What’s the rotation order of LAD in the NLDS?

7:09
Eric A Longenhagen: Ryu, Kershaw, Buehler, Hill?

7:10
Brian CashGod: They also took out a lot of the bloodiest nosebleeds (i.e. the farthest seats in the RF upper deck), so even the cheapest ticket shouldn’t be that far out

7:10
Net Noot: Not an O’s fan but I thought Camden had the best crappy nosebleed views of any stadium I’ve been to. What other parks have great bad seat views?

7:13
Billy Beane: Blake Treinen has been the AL’s most valuable player. He has been specifically and intentionally deployed in the highest leverage situations and has excelled in them, such that he leads all AL players in WPA. As such, he should win the AL Cy Young. HE is the current MLB record holder with the lowest ERA for any pitcher over 75 innings. If you are trying to describe only events as they have occurred, he is the clear choice for Cy Young and MVP, which is also an indirect argument for DeGrom to be NL Cy Young and MVP.

7:15
Meg Rowley: Treinen has had a marvelous year and has certainly been very important to that A’s team, but I don’t think this is a particularly defensible position.

7:16
Meg Rowley: In a year without a standout starter, I’m not opposed to a conversation about a reliever for Cy, but we aren’t there this year.

7:16
5 Run Homer: Who in the fresh hell is DJ Johnson

7:17
RJ: Has Meg been here the whole time? Would she consider challenging the all-time chat marathon record?? (I think it’s Neyer at, like, 9 hours)

7:17
Eric A Longenhagen: She’s chatting during the MNF game, too!

7:17
Meg Rowley: Ah yes, 40-man rosters for tiebreakers games.

7:17
Eric A Longenhagen: (no she’s not)

7:18
Meg Rowley: I will be chatting with a buddy about the Thai food we’re gonna eat, but you all won’t be there for that.

7:19
Meg Rowley: Mary Hart appears to have gone home.

7:19
Mattingly’s Sideburns : New rule: Rockies get to just bat Arenado every AB this inning

7:20
Meg Rowley: How tired would he have to be for this to not be an upgrade on most guys in the lineup?

7:21
Dystopian Future: He could quite literally roll out of bed and probably hit better than Gerardo Parra

7:21
Meg Rowley: Just a very strange Rockies team.

7:21
DodgeGuys: Should I be very concerned about Kenley? I feel like every appearance he has allowed an extra-base hit.

7:21
Net Noot: How crazy would it have been if Yelich homered today and that Arenado solo shot robbed if of a “Triple Crown?”

7:22
Meg Rowley: The uptick in home runs isn’t great.

7:22
Meg Rowley: He’s not suddenly bad, but he does appear to be less good.

7:23
Meg Rowley: Also, as a worrier, the heart thing worries me.

7:23
Meg Rowley: Not because I know anything special or secret.

7:23
Meg Rowley: But because I am a worrier.

7:23
Meg Rowley: Hmmmmm

7:24
Eric A Longenhagen: uh…

7:24
NickLovin: The comeback is on!!

7:24
Sadman: It makes me so sad that Jansen isn’t the same 🙁

7:24
Meg Rowley: Same, Sadman

7:25
Adam: Will this ESPN announcing team be working this postseason?

7:25
Eric A Longenhagen: So the Rockies go CarGo, Desmind, pinch-hitter, Ianetta

7:25
Meg Rowley: Don’t believe so (the ESPN thing, not Eric’s thing)

7:26
Adam: That’s good news if true (the ESPN thing).

7:28
Walking Stephen Piscotty: ESPN has tomorrow’s Wild Card game and that’s it

7:28
Meg Rowley: And that’s their Sunday Night booth.

7:28
Ginny: the Rockies’ options now have to be another reminder of how much they lost by leaving huge holes unaddressed

7:28
Meg Rowley: It isn’t great!

7:29
Eric A Longenhagen: Madson/Wood working in Dodgers bullpen feels redundant because Madson’s so changeup heavy, but I’m nitpicking

7:30
Meg Rowley: Well that was a very good way to spend today

7:31
Eric A Longenhagen: Yup. Hope everyone enjoyed that. We’ll see you again for the Wild Card games

7:31
Meg Rowley: Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll chat again soon.

7:31
Eric A Longenhagen: bye!

7:32
Meg Rowley: Most regular chats are sort of on hold this week with our playoff chats, so don’t be surprised by that.

7:32
Meg Rowley: Disappointed? I’ll leave that to you. But not surprised

7:32
Meg Rowley: Bye!





Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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bosoxforlife
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bosoxforlife

Live chat of a game played after the regular season, my favorite thing, and I had to spend it in a bed convalescing without the ability to use my access, but I am now home again and would like to make a cogent comment. Incredibly in 1972, because of a work stoppage an uneven number of games were actually scheduled and the Tigers beat the Red Sox by 1/2 game.