Playoff Pitching Leaders

Well, the White Sox have been pushed off the post-season stage and, thanks to yesterday’s rainout, the Cubs still need to take 2 from the Marlins to avoid the same fate.  It’s time to take our updated look at the pitching leaders from the now 30 post-season games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 2
Jon Lester 2
Jake Arrieta 2
25 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
29 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Aroldis Chapman 0.00
Stephen Strasburg 0.00
Kyle Freeland 0.00
Johnny Cueto 1.13
Chad Billingsley 1.35

Strikeouts

Name Total
Jon Lester 25
Jake Arrieta 22
Mark Buehrle 13
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That Escalated Quickly

Yesterday was a rough day for Miguel Montero.  The Cub catcher was on the hot seat after the Nationals stole 7 bases during their 6-1 victory Tuesday night, leaving him at 0-31 at nabbing would-be base stealers for the season.  When questioned after the game, Montero placed the blame squarely on starting pitcher Jake Arrieta, saying, “It really sucks because the stolen bases go on me.  When you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time.  It’s just like: ‘Yeah, OK, Miggy can’t throw nobody out.’ Yeah, but my pitchers don’t hold anybody on.  It’s tough, because it doesn’t matter how much work I put in.  If I don’t get a chance to throw, that’s the reason why they were running left and right today, because they know he was slow to the plate. Simple as that. It’s a shame that it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anybody out.”

Those comments did not go over well in Cub-land.  Anthony Rizzo, unofficial team captain, appeared on ESPN 1000 this morning and called out Montero as being selfish, noting that Willson Contreras has no issues throwing runners out.  A few hours later, Montero’s time with the Cubs had come to an end, having been designated for assignment.  Given the $7 million he is owed for the remainder of the season, a trade seems unlikely.

Montero had a few highlights in his 2 1/2 years on the North side, including his Game One grand slam in the NLCS last year against the Dodgers to give the Cubs the win.  Will he catch on somewhere else?  Or is this the end of the road for the former all star catcher?  We’ll likely find out over the next few weeks.

Montero’s numbers in a Cub uniform, both for games I attended and overall, were:

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Playoff Pitching Leaders

As the Cubs and Giants prepare to kick off their NLDS series later today, it’s time to take our updated look at the pitching leaders from the 20 post-season games I’ve attended since the White Sox won the AL Central in 2000.

Wins

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 2
18 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Matt Clement 2
18 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Chad Billingsley 1.35
Clayton Richard 1.42
Mark Prior 2.20
Greg Maddux 2.57
Jacob deGrom 2.57

Strikeouts

Name Total
Mark Prior 13
Continue reading →

2016 Tickets – Northside Edition

After finally breaking through and finally making it back to the playoffs last season, the Cubs have once again toned down their season ticket package for 2016, letting the product on the field speak for itself.  We start, as usual, with the box, which highlights the expected stars of the 2016 season, including Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta, Rookie of the Year Kris Bryant, and free agent signing Jason Heyward.

2016_CubBoxInside the box, aside from the tickets themselves, were a few goodies as has been the custom the last few years.  The highlight is a collection of replica lineup cards, highlighting some of the memorable games from the 2015 season.  In addition to that, there was a commemorative season holder pin, a W car flag, and some new ticket lanyards.

2016_CubGiftsFinally, the tickets themselves.  The Cubs have continued with the action shots of players for this years tickets, but have switched the ticket orientation from portrait to landscape, which I do enjoy. Continue reading →

2015 BBWAA Award Predictions

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersThe Baseball Writers of America have announced the finalists for their awards for the just completed baseball season.  It is a good bet that few of my original predictions for the winners will be accurate.  Hopefully, these new predictions will be slightly better, especially since I’ll have a 33% chance of being right.

American League

Most Valuable Player: Lorenzo Cain, Josh Donaldson, Mike Trout

Mike Trout, who won last year’s award, was my pre-season selection to win again this year. While I think Josh Donaldson will get plenty of support, I’m going to stick with Trout to win.

Cy Young Award: Sonny Gray, Dallas Keuchel, David Price

Well, the one year I didn’t pick David Price as my pre-season pick, he makes his way into the top 3.  That said, I’m thinking Dallas Keuchel, of the upstart Astros, will take home the award.

Manager of the Year: Jeff Banister, A.J. Hinch, Paul Molitor

Once again, I didn’t make any predictions for this award prior to the season.  The three nominees all lead surprising teams into contention for most of the year.  My guess is A.J. Hinch wins the award for leading the Astros to the post-season for the first time since 2005.

Rookie of the Year: Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Miguel Sano

Another award I didn’t predict prior to the season.  This one should be a no-brainer, with Carlos Correa taking home the award.

National League

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2015 Final Pitching Leaders

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersLast Friday, we looked at the leaders in the 39 games I attended this year on the offensive side of the ball.  It’s now time to wrap up our look back at the 2015 season with the pitching leaders, starting with everyone’s favorite pitching statistic:

Wins

Name Total
Chris Sale 5
Jake Arrieta 3
Carlos Rodon 2
John Danks 2
Zach Duke 2
David Price  2
Kyle Gibson  2

Losses

Name Total
Jose Quintana 4
Chris Sale 3
Jeff Samardzija 3
John Danks 2
Jon Lester 2

ERA (> 10 IP)

Name Total
Kyle Gibson 0.57
David Robertson 0.68
David Price 1.13
Chris Sale 2.89
Jake Arrieta 2.95

Strikeouts

Name Total
Chris Sale 76
Continue reading →

2015 Predictions Revisited

baseballs2Six months ago, as the 2015 baseball season was scheduled to kick off at Wrigley Field, I made my annual predictions as to who would win what.  Now that the regular season has come to an end, it is time revisit those predictions and see what, if anything, I got right.

American League

East: Blue Jays

After a middling first half, the Blue Jays turned things around after the All Star break, especially after acquiring David Price and Troy Tulowitzki at the trade deadline, earning them their first division title since 1993.

Central: Indians

Well, I correctly predicted the end of the Tigers reign after four seasons, but I wrongly assumed that the Royals would regress after their World Series appearance last year.  Instead, they went and ran away with the AL Central crown while the Indians struggled to stay out of the cellar.

West: Angels

It came down to the final day, but the Rangers, who finished in last place in 2014, managed to hold off the Astros and the Angels to win the division.

Wild Cards: Tigers, Mariners

I completely missed the boat here, as both teams failed to live up to their pre-season expectations.  The Yankees return to the post-season and so do the surprise Astros.

AL Champion: Angels

Cy Young: Felix Hernandez

MVP: Mike Trout

Only one of these seems like a possible choice at this point, with Mike Trout the frontrunner for the MVP award.  The Cy Young award is up in the air at this point.

National League

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2015 All Star Break Pitching Leaders

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles DodgersYesterday, we looked at the leaders in the 21 games I attended in the first half of this year on the offensive side of the ball.  With the second half slated to kick off today, let’s look at the first half pitching leaders:

Wins

Name Total
Chris Sale 4
Zach Duke 2
Carlos Rodon 2
13 tied with 1

Losses

Name Total
Jose Quintana 3
Jon Lester 2
16 tied with 1

ERA (> 6 IP)

Name Total
Mark Buehrle 0.00
Tommy Milone 0.00
David Robertson 0.00
Jake Arrieta 1.00
David Price 1.00
Corey Kluber 1.00

Strikeouts

Name Total
Chris Sale 52
Continue reading →