Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

ALDS wrap up and NLCS game 1 thoughts


If Verlander is back to Ace form ... good luck stopping Detroit.  Photo unknown via

If Verlander is back to Ace form … good luck stopping Detroit. Photo unknown via

I thought Oakland would get to Verlander last night; I was wrong.  Who knew after the inconsistent season he had that suddenly he’d be pitching 8 dominant (and 5 perfect) innings in an elimination game on the road.  Phew.  If Verlander is back to being “best in the league” level these playoffs … Boston is in trouble.  A Scherzer/Verlander 1-2 punch going 4 times out of 7 is going to be tough to beat.  Same with a Greinke/Kershaw 1-2 punch on the NL side.  That’s why in a simplistic quick analysis it’s hard to go against a Detroit-Los Angeles World Series right now.  Up until yesterday I was thinking Boston-LA … but now i’m not sure Detroit is beatable.
Billy Beane famously said that “his sh*t doesn’t work in the playoffs” and once again he’s right.  Notice how Oakland, Tampa and Pittsburgh all made the playoffs with dinky payrolls but well put-together teams but subsequently lost to bigger payroll teams?  When the chips were down, Detroit had a $20M/year pitcher going against a $500k pitcher, and the game was won when their $24M/year MVP hit a homer.  I’m not saying that happens all the time, but it is sure happening this post season.  I’ve got a draft post quickly reviewing payroll versus standings (like I try to do every year) and its interesting to say the least what has happened to some of the game’s biggest payrolls.On the other hand … what a playoffs so far.  I think its easy to point out that the 4 best teams remain, that all four teams are significant, historical baseball franchises, and the world series looks set to be an absolute classic matchup no matter what happens.
NLCS Game 1 thoughts: Greinke-Kelly.  Kelly may not be “sexy,” but he’s a darn effective pitcher.   The last time he faced the Dodgers he shut them down (one run in 6 innings).  Greinke was good in the NLDS (2 runs in 6 innings in Atlanta), had a similar 2 in 6 line in St. Louis in August, but got mostly hammered by the Cardinals in the 2011 playoffs.   This is two years later, of course, a whole different set of circumstances.   I think both guys are going to have similar lines tonight (6 innings, 2 runs) and i’m calling for a close game won by the home team Cardinals with their superior hitting and home field advantage.

Written by Todd Boss

October 11th, 2013 at 10:29 am

2 Responses to 'ALDS wrap up and NLCS game 1 thoughts'

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  1. Verlander looked like the ace of old.
    Let’s hope that 1 of the Nats big 3 can come close to that level when the lights are on and you’re playing for all the marbles.

    Mark L

    11 Oct 13 at 5:17 pm

  2. Seriously. I read somewhere that Verlander did a “mechanics” tweak late in September. Looks like it worked; here’s his last four starts: 6ip/0 runs/12 ks, then 6/0/10, then in the playoffs so far 7/0/11 and 8/0/10. That means 27 straight scoreless innings with 43 Ks. WOW.

    Todd Boss

    12 Oct 13 at 4:16 pm

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