Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Newsletter Excerpt, October 25, 2023 -- "Good Enough"

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.

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"Even with all that, the Phillies came tantalizingly close. In the bottom of the seventh, Bryce Harper came up with the tying run on first, down 4-2, against Kevin Ginkel. He worked the count to 2-1 then jumped on a four-seamer up and out over the plate, hammering it at 107.6 mph off the bat. He just missed it, though, and the ball landed in Alek Thomas’s glove, just 331 feet from the plate. The difference between F8 and pandemonium couldn’t have been an inch. It may not have been millimeters, as Eno Sarris pointed out. Harper said, “He beat my barrel by a tenth of a second.” (h/t Martin Frank)

"It’s at-bats like that why I reject all the woo we attach to the postseason. The Phillies didn’t go 7-1 to start October because of vibes and chemistry and they didn’t lose because they’re chokers. They won because the millimeters, the tenths of a second that separate F8 and HR went their way for two weeks, and then they lost when they didn’t for a week. That’s not character, and it’s barely skill. It’s just baseball."