Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, October 16, 2019 -- "The Nationals Win the Pennant"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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"The Nationals have a smaller number of good pitchers than most playoff teams do. The playoff schedule allows the Nationals to use their best pitchers more often. The deadened baseball helps keep those pitchers in games longer. Six pitchers -- six very good pitchers -- have accounted for almost 90% of their innings pitched in ten playoff games. That’s the biggest reason they won the NL pennant."

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

NLCS Game Four Note

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

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The Cardinals, as I wrote earlier, are pretty much playing to put extra money in the pockets of local hoteliers, by extending the series and keeping the various traveling parties on the road a day or two longer. As a competitive enterprise, the 2019 NLCS is over.

That doesn’t mean, of course, the Cardinals shouldn’t be trying to win the game. To do that, they’ll have to take advantage of run-scoring opportunities, given how few they’ve generated. Mike Shildt has already been too passive this month in chasing those chances.

Go back to NLDS Game Four, the bottom of the fourth inning, when Shildt let Dakota Hudson bat with two on and two out, the Cards up 3-1. Hudson had given the Cards four innings, and the Braves would turn the lineup over for a third time in the fifth. Hudson’s expected future performance, relative to the team’s relievers, was poor. The at-bat, however, was incredibly important. Shildt should have pinch-hit for Hudson. He didn’t, and 15 minutes later his team trailed 4-3.

This could very well come up again tonight, Hudson batting in the top of the fourth or top of the fifth, runners on, leverage high. Shildt must hit for Hudson if that situation occurs. The Cardinals have 12 pitchers, including eight relievers. They can fill the innings. Four of those relievers didn’t pitch last night -- their best four. Shildt’s team has two runs in three games. They have to take advantage of their scoring opportunities, and not squander them on a pitcher’s at-bat.

I’d go so far as to say that Shildt should hit for Hudson in the top of the second, in a two on or bases loaded, two-out situation. The Cardinals need runs more than they need innings, and they have their good relief pitchers well-rested and ready to go. Shildt can’t make the NLDS mistake again; if Dakota Hudson’s turn comes up in a big spot, he must send up a pinch-hitter to cash it in.

Newsletter Excerpt, October 15, 2019 -- "Ozuna's Glove"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"We have no way of knowing how last night’s NLCS Game Three might have turned out had the Nationals not broken open the game in the third inning, but we do know the ball was in his glove. Marcell Ozuna’s, that is. Ozuna had made a long run to snare an Anthony Rendon pop-up with two outs, a run in, and a man on first. The ball was in his glove, and the Cards were going to walk off the field down 1-0 after three innings."

Monday, October 14, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, October 14, 2019 -- "LCS Catch-up"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"Boone’s five good relievers threw 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run. He managed his staff exactly as he should have, and on a lot of nights, he would have walked away a winner. On this night, however, the Yankees got just those two runs, and Boone was left with his innings guys. J.A. Happ eventually coughed up a solo homer to Carlos Correa to end the game. If your take from last night is that the Yankees lost 3-2 in 11 innings because of the manager, you’re wrong. Boone did a great job. His hitters just got beat."

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, October 12, 2019 -- "ALCS Preview"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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"The Yankees are a very good baseball team. The Astros are a great one chasing history. Astros in six."

Friday, October 11, 2019

Newsletter Excerpt, October 11, 2019 -- "NLCS Preview"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

Your subscription gets you the newsletter and various related features two to five days a week, more than 150 mailings (more than 200,000 words) a year full of smart, fun baseball writing that you can't find in the mainstream. Subscribers can also access the new Slack workspace, to talk baseball with me and hundreds of other Newsletter subscribers.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $49.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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I’m no closer to having a feel for the series than I did yesterday. The Nationals have an incredible core, and not a lot of depth. The Cardinals don’t have many bad players, but they can’t match the Nationals up top. The Nationals will have the best starting pitcher, or a strong argument for it, in every game. I kind of want to see this go seven, because a Game Seven of Strasburg versus Flaherty would be fantastic, but I am not sure the Cards stretch it that far. Mike Shildt is a bit more likely to lose a game from the dugout, which is what swings me. Without much confidence, I’ll say Nationals in six. Nothing would really surprise me, though.