Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Leading Off: One More Time!

Well, I'm back from my long hiatus in (generic 3rd world country w/o Internet access) that only allowed me to make other posts and not 'Leading Off:'. Man what a wild ride, I'll have to tell y'all about it sometime. AAAAAAAnnnyyyywwwaayyyyyyy....

With 1 week left in the baseball season, I thought it fitting to throw one last Leading Off: up to put a nice little capper on what you loyal WMHG? readers have been diligently following all season long. And here we go!

  • First off, I hate just copying and pasting lines from other articles and making that essentially my entire post (love it) but I just couldn't help myself from throwing this up here. Some recent lines from a Jayson Stark article from a day or two ago:
"In fact, according to Bill James Online, here's how those standings would look if games were six innings:

Teams W-L GB
Mets 84-52 --
Phillies 71-62 11½

Yep, you read that right. If games were six innings, the Mets would be leading this division by 11½ games.

OK, suppose all games were eight innings. Here's how those standings would shake out:

Teams W-L GB
Mets 83-59 --
Phillies 75-64 6½
Mind-boggling, isn't it? How gigantic are those last three outs? Gigantic enough to cause an eight-game swing in the standings. Gigantic enough, in other words, to change everything about this race.

Thanks to the best closer in baseball this year, Brad Lidge (sorry about that, K-Rod), the Phillies are 75-0 when they lead after eight innings. Their bullpen has blown just 15 saves (in 61 opportunities), fewest in the NL."

Chew on that. The Phillies are the definition of perfection, and are just barely scraping by ahead of us in the standings. The Mets have so much going for them, yet the lynchpin at the end of the line just keeps blowing it. This whole thing makes me sick.

  • Jones Zone: Currently batting .362 through 122 games. IT'S (been) OVER. It will be yet another season where Larry fails to play 130 games. Just for kicks, here is his "Injury Report" for this past season, courtesy of foxsports.com:
9/13/2008, (Stiff back), Day to day.
9/2/2008, (Right knee strain), Day to day.
8/13/2008, (Stomach virus), Day to day.
7/24/2008, (Left hamstring strain), off 15-day DL
6/20/2008, (Left game - Strained right quadriceps), Day to day.
6/13/2008, (Left eye contusion), Day to day.
6/8/2008, (Slight tear, right quad), Day to day.
5/25/2008, (Back spasms), Day to day.
5/15/2008, (Right groin), Day to day.
4/27/2008, (Back spasms), Day to day.
4/20/2008, (Left game-strained right quadriceps), Day to day.

  • Howard Watch: 194 K's through 155 games. On pace for 201 K's. Last year's total (record): 199. Number of games this season in which he has NOT struck out: 33. It's going to be a photo finish!!! Let's all pull together and root, root, root for the chargin' Rhino of those fightin' Phills'!

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