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Experience matters

  • KingUnitas
  • Aberdeen Ironbirds
  • 61 posts this site
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Posted: 10/13/2012 1:07 AM

Experience matters 


Look at whats happened with the 4 Div Series this year and one observation has to be that teams with playoff experience or caliber players all won.

Giants - Cincinnati - Cincy was quietly doing a great job all year in the NL Central, but SF went much deeper than Cincy in the 2010 playoffs

Det - Oakland - A's were like the O's this year, over achieving, but having given up a prime #1 pitcher like Gio Gonzo and facing Verlander instead really finished their string.

StL - Wash - Wow what a 9th inning. 2 outs and you dont see the Cards panicking, but doing the right things, taking the free base, hitting for RBI instead of swinging wildly at the first pitch (hello Os), coming from 6-0 in game 5 to win it. Experience counts

and of course -

Orioles - NYY - look at what our pitchers did, the great Yankee line up had what 4 homers in 5 games? but our hitters choked big time, always swinging at the first pitch  (Jones, Wieters) and trying to hit homers all the time (Davis), clueless on the bases (Hardy). Each of the 5 games, with what our pitchers did, and just some modest production we could have stuffed it down the Yankees throats. They took their pitches at the plate, pounced on any miscues and never let up. Gir wasnt afraid to sit Aroid down, while Buck go them this far, he doesnt have a legit playoff caliber player to school Jones. Ibanez pulled the same crap against Boston (who rolled over of course) but the Orioles had the same opportunities in Tampa and didnt do it.

The Orioles were vastly improved, hugely entertaining, and reignited the love affair in Baltimore. Now we get to start counting the days til spring training. Really need to blow up the mid-infield (ie no BRob, Andino, Quinta), put Manny where he belongs. Manny produced in this series and he is going to be huge.
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Posted: 10/13/2012 10:48 AM

Re: Experience matters 


I'm not sure I buy it... 

Our bats were stymied starting back in the Tampa series.  And those habits, that were established there where batters were pushing too hard against good pitching, followed us all the way thru the Divisional round.  The meat of our lineup was not disciplined at the plate and yet we were still in every game.  Perhaps that was experience, but on the flip side, the pitching was exceptional on the O's part.  THAT says volumes about the job the our whole pitching staff did as far back as Tampa and including the Divisional round.  There was only limited experience there.  We were done in by good pitching and poor plate discipline.  I'm not sure that boils down to experience, but I might agree to an extent that the bats went south due to nerves and that could be lack of experience.

The Reds didn't have Cueto and the Nationals will be explaining for the entire off-season AND thru next year if they don't repeat what they did this year WHY Strausburg was pulled.  THAT has to be the dumbest thing ever.  For me, those two things affected those two series so singularly that the experience argument almost becomes moot.
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Posted: 10/13/2012 11:45 AM

Re: Experience matters 


I agree, for the newbies the pressure just kept building as their slumps moved on. I give a pass to them this year because of this. These guys will learn from this.


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Posted: 10/13/2012 4:15 PM

Re: Experience matters 


That bats have been cold since TB 

Really could have used Nick Markakis this past week
...and don't call me Shirley
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Posted: 10/13/2012 10:00 PM

Re: Experience matters 


Ehh... Think about the Yankees that struggled... Cano, Swisher, A-Rod all have experience. Rangers certainly had more experience in the WildCard game. 

Adam Jones is the only player I saw that looked fazed by the postseason.
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Posted: 10/13/2012 11:58 PM

RE: Experience matters 


this is true...all the others just plain slumped and swung at pitches out of the zone trying to hit 5 run homers. Adam is a passionate young kid and the series and the pressure simply overreached him. I'm not so sure what excuses Reynolds, Wieters, Davis and Hardy had.
(maybe the same ones Arod, Swisher, Cano and Granderson had!!!)
Our problem is we didn't have an Ibanez.
Our Jeter was McLouth.
Our pitchers matched theirs very well.

If we play this series next season, I expect different results. I believe the O's are a team now on the rise.
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Posted: 10/14/2012 12:15 AM

Re: Experience matters 



ave4yobwoc wrote: Ehh... Think about the Yankees that struggled... Cano, Swisher, A-Rod all have experience. Rangers certainly had more experience in the WildCard game. 

Adam Jones is the only player I saw that looked fazed by the postseason.
I agree. Everyone looked lost, but it seemed like normal slump stuff. Overpressing to try and hit out of the slump, reaching for balls that weren’t hittable...it's normal slump stuff.

Jones, on the other hand, looked like he'd never seen a baseball field before. Horrible approach at the plate, bad fielding, lazy attitude not running ground balls out. He was overmatched in every aspect of the game, and he's not an untalented hack. He's a great ball player with exceptional skills, but mentally he wasn't in the same zip code as the games. He just didn't seem to care. That was so uncharacteristic I have to think something was wrong with him.
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Posted: 10/14/2012 12:34 AM

RE: Experience matters 


The TB series, the pitchers just dominated. The umpires greatly impacted our playoff series and the psyche of our hitters. I saw it again in today's game, ball goes around the plate is called a strike. Another is more towards the middle of the plate than outside and its called a ball (TBS' Johnson, its inside, pitch track clearly shows a strike, not even debatable). Which team benefited from both calls?

If you can't trust the umpire to call a consistent strike zone its tough to know what to swing at. And its even tougher when a ball 1-2 inches outside is called a strike. Locations that would not normally be called a strike were strikes too. Despite it all the Orioles still should have won the series.
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Posted: 10/14/2012 6:59 AM

RE: Experience matters 


If you saw Game 5 of the Detroit - Oakland series, you saw some terrible home plate work. Our former broadcaster Buck Martinez actually said during one at bat, "It's 0-2 and he (Verlander) hasn't thrown a strike yet." I dare say there were more bad calls in that game then there was in the entire Orioles - Yankees series. The pitcher for Oakland was getting calls on balls just above the dirt in that same game.

It's a round for experience. We hope the O's players learn from it, but no guarantee that they will. And much as I hate the Yankees, give some credit to their pitching for making some pretty darn good pitches, too.
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Posted: 10/14/2012 7:28 AM

Re: Experience matters 


I think the umping does have a bit of an impact too.  What I noticed was that the low pitches were generally not called consistently.  Also, the outside pitch was a ball width or more off the plate, but a pitch thrown to the corresponding spot as an inside pitch was not.  So basically the plate was thin on the inside pitches and fat on the outside stuff.  But there were times when that inside pitch, particularly when it hit the catcher's glove, was called a strike.  What does this all mean?

With an order that was already struggling at the plate, it was very difficult for them to get their bearings.  I don't think it was only the O's, I think the Yankers struggled for the same reason, not to mention that the pitching really was superb on both teams' part.  When you don't know where a strike is going to be called, the batter is already in protect mode from the first pitch.  And as Smoltz mentioned in the play-by-play, when this is the case, the pitcher hardly ever has to really throw a strike.

I'd be interested to know the percentage of pitches that were true strikes, according to that pitch box they have on TV.  I bet what Smoltz said is correct.  But the pitchers still did a terrific job of using what the ump was willing to give to keep the hitters on both clubs really off-balance.
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