A's @ Royals AL Wild Card Game Thread

Remagellan

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
Everything in your first paragraph is complete nonsense.
 
One game is not an argument for or against making a $150 million offer for a pitcher, no matter if he throws a no hitter or allows 18 runs. ONE GAME. You have to look at the full history of that pitcher before even thinking about possibly making any offer at all. One game in that scale matters NOTHING.
 
By your logic Lester shouldn't have even been pitching in the postseason last year; after all he once lost 3 straight postseason starts! I mean, look at this shit, he's a choker!
 
I'll go one better, somehow the bum who put up this line in an elimination game got into the Hall of Fame:
 
8 IP 15 H 9 R 5 ER 1BB 3 K 
 
I guess the HoF voters must have missed that game somehow.  
 
Lester is an ace.  Outside of Koufax, there's isn't an ace in history who hasn't had a playoff game when he wasn't at his best.   
 

VORP Speed

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TheYaz67 said:
Well, the guy who had earlier hit a Shields change up (his "best" pitch) 426 feet into the right field stands was due up next, so not like a crazy decision to remove him, albeit the choice of pitcher to bring in was certainly crazy....
 
No disagreement there. My point was that leaving him in the game would also have been a better decision than putting in Ventura. Yost was doubly stupid. Shields didn't absolutely need to come out. If you're going to pull him for one of your proven shut-down relievers, fine. Nothing wrong with aggressively using the pen in an elimination game. But to get all gimmicky with the Ventura thing when Shields still had plenty in the tank just makes the decision even worse. 
 

kieckeredinthehead

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Rudy Pemberton said:
The A's played at a .393 pace with Lester on the team. Projected out to a full year, that's 64-98.

Amazing.
 
And they were 7-4 in games he started, .638. Projected out to a full year, that's 103-60. They played at .341 in August and September when he wasn't the starter. Lester got them to the play-in game.
 

Plympton91

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
Plan for multiple backups then, because in addition to being a terrible shortstop he's made of fine jade crystal.
Holt, Middlebrooks, Cecchini, and even Coyle probably earned a promotion to AAA at this point. That enough backups?
 

E5 Yaz

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The top four guys in the Royals bullpen -- Holland, Davis, Hererra and Finnegan -- is an insane collection of arms
 

Al Zarilla

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
Has anyone mentioned how awful Lowrie's fielding was last night? He had a couple of chances to at least knock down a ball and keep it in the infield, and he couldn't do it. I haven't seen Lowrie play in a while, and I was stunned by how calcified he looked.
 
Lester got a bum rap. 7 IP 3 ER is a good line, but once he started giving up singles in the 8th and over 100 pitches you've got to pull him. Gregerson was terrible in relief, but a clean inning there for a reliever might have been the better way to go.
I, for one, was all over him right from the first inning. Last year, Melvin even moved Lowrie over to second and put Eric fn Sogard at short because Lowrie had no range, etc. So, in 2014, including the most important game of the year, he's entrenched at short. Your term calcified, mine is thick in the middle. He's only 30 but he moves like 40 and looks more like a jeweler to me than a baseball player. With an average SS last night the A's win that game. 
 

dynomite

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Rudy Pemberton said:
The A's played at a .393 pace with Lester on the team. Projected out to a full year, that's 64-98.

Amazing.
I have to imagine Lester was close to setting the record for the worst combined W-L record in team games by anyone to be in the playoffs in recent memory.

I know there are exceptions like Quentin Berry (who went from a bad KC team to the Sox last year -- what a difference a year makes...) but even then you're usually on a team that does well in September.
 

E5 Yaz

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The decision to start Moss over Dunn was the least of Oakland's issues last night. More to the point, Nick Punto had a key at bat last night while Dunn stayed on the bench
 

jon abbey

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I guess the time to pinch-hit Dunn would have been in the 9th, bases loaded, 2 outs, A's up 7-6, hitting for Lowrie. The real shame is that Dunn is now retiring without a single postseason AB. 
 

cannonball 1729

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MentalDisabldLst said:
 
I guess I see your point, and I like a good underdog.  I just saw this game as the two best underdog stories playing each other, so there wasn't really a top dog to root against.
 
Regardless, KC is pretty fun to watch, so I'll be rooting for them next round.  At least Shields gets another shot at not-sucking.  And yeah, Frat, a Pittsburgh-KC world series would be incredible, not least for the great ballparks involved.
 
So I was watching the game last night with a dyed-in-the-wool Kansas City fan.  I mean this guy's a fan from birth - his parents had tickets to Game 7 of the '85 World Series.  He has never, in his entire remembered life, watched the Royals play a meaningful game in October; in fact, apart from last year's halfhearted attempt at a playoff run (or maybe the weird 2003 year where the team collapsed in September), he'd never even seen the Royals play a meaningful game in September before this year.  Rooting for the Royals has, in every year where he's been old enough to be a fan, been an April to July occupation where there's never been a reason to turn the TV on in September.  Mind you, he's currently 31 years old.  
 
Now, "The fans have never seen a playoff game" is a statement that's been made many times in the run-up to the postseason, but it's hard to really understand the implications of that if you don't get to see it up close.  Everything, and I mean everything, was new to my friend about watching October baseball with a rooting interest. [SIZE=13.63636302948px] [/SIZE]Watching him go through the game last night was like watching a toddler go through an amusement park for the first time; it was exciting and stimulating and frenetic and he couldn't process any of it.  At one point, TBS said something about the TBS Postseason Show coming up after the game, and he turned to me and said, "I've never seen a Royals game where they've had a postseason show afterwards." 
 
([SIZE=13.63636302948px]I mean, think about it - before this year, KC fans would have killed for a season like, say, the 2009 Red Sox.[/SIZE])
 
I would have rooted for the A's to beat pretty much any other team in the field.  But let's be honest - if the A's won last night and then got swept by LAA next week, A's fans would consider the season a disappointment.  But with the Royals' winning last night?  KC fans will be talking about that game for the next 50 years.  Last night was the greatest thing that he (or I) can remember [SIZE=13.63636302948px]ever [/SIZE]happening to the Royals.
 

Laser Show

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cannonball 1729 said:
 
 
I would have rooted for the A's to beat pretty much any other team in the field.  But let's be honest - if the A's won last night and then got swept by LAA next week, A's fans would consider the season a disappointment.  But with the Royals' winning last night?  KC fans will be talking about that game for the next 50 years.  Last night was the greatest thing that he (or I) can remember [SIZE=13.63636302948px]ever [/SIZE]happening to the Royals.
 
I was thinking about this earlier. I don't think they'll get past LA, but I'm not sure that matters that much now. They had an incredible, all-time classic moment in front of an electric crowd, and now they're guaranteed at least one more playoff game at Kauffman. I can't imagine what their fans would have given for that a year or two ago.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Following on from the last two posts the great thing about last night and Pittsburgh's win last year is that they've created new baseball fans. There are a bunch of people under 30 who don't remember either team ever doing anything who will love baseball for the rest of their lives because of last night and last year.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Plympton91 said:
Holt, Middlebrooks, Cecchini, and even Coyle probably earned a promotion to AAA at this point. That enough backups?
 
How many roster spots do you want to waste backing up a fragile 30 year old infielder coming off a 93 OPS+ season and with a lifetime OPS+ of 102?
 
He can't play SS. He can't hit enough to justify the issues of keeping around a whole cadre of backups to step in when he fractures his eardrum, or contracts dengue fever, or whatever fresh new malady he stumbles across that once again takes him off the field.
 
He's not worth the trouble. He's never been worth the trouble. We've always been at war with Eurasia.
 

ThePrideofShiner

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jon abbey said:
I guess the time to pinch-hit Dunn would have been in the 9th, bases loaded, 2 outs, A's up 7-6, hitting for Lowrie. The real shame is that Dunn is now retiring without a single postseason AB. 
 
Or in place of Freiman (hitting .218 in 85 at bats this season) in the 10th against Finnegan. Freiman popped out and then was pinch-hit for by Callaspo. Why not use Dunn and see if he can run into one, or even draw a walk?
 

JohntheBaptist

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ThePrideofShiner said:
 
Or in place of Freiman (hitting .218 in 85 at bats this season) in the 10th against Finnegan. Freiman popped out and then was pinch-hit for by Callaspo. Why not use Dunn and see if he can run into one, or even draw a walk?
 
Exactly. And if not then, instead of Punto hitting for Sogard. You don't want Sogard in against a LHP, fine. But you have Punto and Dunn on your bench and need a pinch hitter. Does it matter that much who's pitching? Punto has a career 645 OPS against LHP, Dunn 773. If Dunn walks there, let Punto run for him, he's coming in in the bottom of the inning for defense.
 
Strange.
 

E5 Yaz

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JohntheBaptist said:
 
Exactly. And if not then, instead of Punto hitting for Sogard. You don't want Sogard in against a LHP, fine. But you have Punto and Dunn on your bench and need a pinch hitter. Does it matter that much who's pitching? Punto has a career 645 OPS against LHP, Dunn 773. If Dunn walks there, let Punto run for him, he's coming in in the bottom of the inning for defense.
 
Strange.
 
Dunn was quoted afterwards about his non-use: "I guess the computer got me."
 

LoweTek

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I lived in KC from 2000-2004 and held season tickets 2000-2001. KC is a great baseball town brutally underserved by an indifferent ownership. That is a great ballyard, easy to get to and get out of without a bad seat in the house. It's about f'ing time those fans got something to enjoy on the field. I watched the whole damn thing and it was grand theater.

I'm thrilled for them. If they don't win another game, I'm thrilled for them.
 
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So Duffy will be on the LDS roster but in the bullpen. Which makes the Ventura choice for the WC even more puzzling, if you're not going to save Duffy (and ventura is also going to be starting game 2 it appears), since Duffy actually has relief experience.
 
M

MentalDisabldLst

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cannonball 1729 said:
I would have rooted for the A's to beat pretty much any other team in the field.  But let's be honest - if the A's won last night and then got swept by LAA next week, A's fans would consider the season a disappointment.  But with the Royals' winning last night?  KC fans will be talking about that game for the next 50 years.  Last night was the greatest thing that he (or I) can remember [SIZE=13.63636302948px]ever [/SIZE]happening to the Royals.
 
This was a great post.  You, DrewDawg and the others who took the time to dignify my question have sold me.  Billy Beane and his franken-team will have another shot, but this is KC's hour as the protagonist.
 
...though I imagine with the affairs in Anaheim tonight, your friend has gnawed his fingernails down to the nail beds.  Hope he enjoys a taste of what 2003-2009 was like for us.