So we now have two wild-card teams in the Fall Classic. Who-da-thunk?
While Ned Yost’s managing has been oft-questionned, his players have silenced those drumbeats. And so far this year’s playoffs have been the best in recent memory. We have seen once again that when the regular season ends, the game changes radically and the teams that can get HOT at the right time, with good defense and pitching are most likely to end up in the World Series.
As for the Nats, they have all winter to wonder how all but two hitters suddenly went cold when the playoffs began. Baseball is often inexplicable, even to the experts.
In the Orioles 9th inning yesterday Buck Showalter came out to the mound to talk with his pitcher and the infielders. In the words of Ryan Flaherty (O’s third-baseman) what he said was “short and sweet.” Here it is: “We’re going to walk this batter, and the next guy is going to hit into a DP, and then we’re gonna go home.” Maybe the fact that Buck had never won a post-season series in three previous tries had taught him something.
Ned Yost, the manager of the K.C. Royals (who also won a three-game sweep), has been roundly criticized for ineptitude for such sins as starting Vargas on the mound in their game one. But with our 20/20 hindsight I’ve had a hard time finding fault with the way he he’s managed thus far in the post season.
I think we will see a couple of lineup changes when the Nats take on the giants today. For one, Ryan Zimmerman will likely be somewhere, most likely 1B. Jose Lobaton could be the starting catcher. Those are the only changes I’d make if I were managing.
I encourage readers to enjoy the great articles in today’s Washington Post sports section