Friday, October 03, 2008

Zen Dayley: Balsillie and strikeslie

Did you know the TBS postseason coverage is brought to you by BlackBerry? You can feel the Waterloo pride throughout this Zen Dayley.

The cult of Rays
Rays 6, White Sox 4 (Rays lead 1-0)

I saw Raymond speak one time. He said hello. He also said that baseball lends itself to endless trivia. One such example is the list of players who homered twice in their first postseason game. Evan Longoria became the ninth member of this obscure club with his two homers yesterday at the first meaningful baseball game ever played at Tropicana Field.

Yes, the Rays are awesome. It remains to be seen whether they'll be trapped by the White Sox, who aren't so bad themselves. Tonight it's Mark Buerhle and Scott Kazmir. Watch this game.

From the file of Former Blue Jays You Thought You'd Never Hear From Again ... Dewayne Wise homered for three of the four Chicago runs.

A bigger hole to Phill
Phillies 5, Brewers 2 (Phillies lead 2-0)

Once again the Phils put up a crooked number early on as the Brewers' starter was knocked out before the fifth. This time, however, Brad Lidge had little trouble closing it out (only 12 pitches, not 35). The final out was caught by Shane Victorino, the Flyin' Hawaiian who hit a grand slam in the second and overwhelmed the poor TBS sideline reporter with another slam of you-knows* once the game ended.

* In an e-mail, Neate said Victorino was Boomhauer from King Of The Hill. How soon we forget the departed John Gibbons.

Win probability leaders on the night: 37% for Victorino, 14% for Philly starter Brett Myers, and 9% plus a neat diving play for J.J. Hardy in a losing cause.

It comes down to David Bush, former Jay, to keep Milwaukee alive on Saturday night. And I guess the other eight guys in the lineup, too.

Too little too late, but we don't say no
Dodgers 10, Cubs 1 2 3 (Dodgers lead 2-0)

In the words of Krusty the Clown: ohhh...that just kept going, huh?

Missed the fun part, the first six runs, because of the debate. No, our debate. Great thing about baseball is that it can be summed up in one word: youneverknow. The best defensive team in the league can make two errors in an inning, leading to four unearned runs. The NL's best offence -- by a wide margin -- can be held to two measly hits over the first six innings. (Credit to Chad Billingsley for keeping them off the board for that long.)

And the top team in the National League can be a game away from elimination, losing 2-0 to the Dodgers, a team that won fewer games in an easy division than the fourth-place finisher in a tough division. It's too much to feel.

There was only a 4% chance of the Cubs winning by the time Steve Paikin said good night from Ottawa and tens of televisions across Canada turned to baseball. That was in the bottom of the fifth. Nearly two hours later, the Cubs were hanging on to their seven-run deficit like it was the only thing not losing a tenth of its value in one day.

WPA leaders: Billingsley at 17% and Russell Martin, 14%, basically all because of his double in the second that turned a 2-0 lead into a 5-0 lead.

Damn, the Jays
  • USS Mariner's #2 candidate for Seattle GM is current Jays assistant (to the...) GM Tony LaCava. The Seattle Times has claimed that a guy like LaCava, "who hasn't had the big chair before," is more likely to get the job.
  • Sticking with the Times, their baseball writer formerly of the Toronto Star, Geoff Baker, is voting for Roy Halladay because Halladay deserves it more. From this corner, the fact that a Quebecer like Baker supports the Toronto player is enough to pass over Cliff Lee.
Ils se souviennent
  • Head over to the Central Maine Sports Blog for their Expos Appreciation Week. Interviews with Bill "The Spaceman" Lee, Dave Van Horne, Mike Marshall, and other notable Expos are available.


eyebleaf said...

What are your thoughts - Lee or Halladay?

Rob Pettapiece said...

I think Lee will win because it's unexpected success for him and very few pitchers have gone 22-3. Even though win-loss records are meaningless, the voters love 'em (see Bartolo Colon in 2005). Halladay is certainly the better pitcher--anyone smart enough would take him over Lee next year--but it's about who had the best 2008.

It all comes down to this: Halladay pitched more innings, but Lee was slightly better per inning. If you want to penalize Lee for facing inferior hitters (which he did), and make their performances the same on a per-inning basis, then obviously Halladay was more valuable.

As it happens, I do think Doc was just as good as Lee when you account for quality of opposing batters, so if I had a vote, it would go to Halladay. But Lee would still be a close second on my ballot.