October 13, 2017

"For Nationals, a crazy night ends with anguish and a season-ending loss to Cubs."

WaPo headline. (Am I being too pedantic if I complain about "season-ending"?)
Four straight Cubs reached base in unconventional ways, some known only to true baseball seam heads — an intentional walk, a strikeout with a passed ball (about which there was some controversy), catcher interference and a hit batsman. The website baseball-reference.com has 2.73 million half-innings in its database. None of them contain those four events — let alone from four consecutive hitters.
“That was probably one of the weirdest innings I’ve ever seen,” Nationals Manager Dusty Baker said.

Also in WaPo: "All defeats are not created equal. For Nats, this one is a special kind of painful."
[I]n the new world of baseball challenges and replays, doing things that would have been satisfactory since the 19th century is no longer good enough. Lobaton’s foot came off the base for an instant. The Cubs challenged. And he was ruled “out” after the crowd of 43,849 waited in agony for 96 seconds.

“I thought I was safe. I didn’t know my foot came off,” said Lobaton, adding later, “That’s baseball. You got to win. You got to lose. And you got to take it.”

For now, “and you got to take it” may have to be the Nationals motto after six seasons with the talent to contend for a World Series spot, but not even one year in the National League Championship Series....

37 comments:

M Jordan said...

Wild game. I do feel sorry for Dusty and the Nats but seeing those prima dona Washington “fans” disappear by the dozens from behind their priority seats behind home plate by the sixth inning ... well, good riddance.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I have no dog in this fight. It looked to me like the "safe" call on Lobaton was correct and should not have been overturned. Is it just me or has there been far more wild pitches and passed balls in all of these playoff series than usual? It seems that way.

It was a good game, but it went on for 12 hours, or so it seemed. MLB really has to figure out a way to shorten games. I don't remember games in the 70's and 80's being so long, unless they went into extras.

Otto said...

'all defeats are not created equal" Giants Colts championship game 1958

exiledonmainstreet said...

I'm a Brewers fan. The Nats fans don't know what anguish is.

Big Mike said...

Rub it in. Go ahead, rub it in.

M Jordan said...

“It was a good game, but it went on for 12 hours, or so it seemed.”

The 1960 World Series game 7 in which the Pirates beat the Yankees, 10-9 on a game-winning home run by Bill Mazeroski was an eerily similar game to this one. That game lasted 2:36 minutes. Last night’s game was 4:37, a full TWO HOURS LONGER. Where was that time swallowed up? Challenges. Extended commercial time between innings. Batters stepping out of the box. Pitchers stepping off the mound. I watched that 60’s game 7 not too long ago and it’s a marvel to behold how the pitchers got the ball, checked the sign, wound up and pitched ... and no hitters ever seemed to step out of the box.

It’s ridiculous. The way to shorten games is to limit each one of the factors above, with a clock if necessary.

robother said...

As a Rockies fan, I enjoyed seeing that our pitching woes are not a fluke, or fatal to post-season hopes; even the best teams in the MLB are one ace away from mediocrity.

mccullough said...

Despite the Cubs best efforts to give the Nats the game, the Nats refused to take it. It was a pleasure to watch Michael Taylor and Stephen Strasburg in this series. The rest of the players were inconsistent.

Curious George said...

Terrible game by both teams. Both teams had nice leads, only to let the other team bak in it by walking guys and bad defense. The Nats catcher Matt Wieters sucked...the past ball and throwing error on Baez' DTS. Catcher's interference. He failed to block a change up in the dirt choosing to try a backhand stab. He also had Schwarber caught between first and second, but just made a quick throw to second allowing Schwarber to get back to first safely. All led to Cub runs. His replacement also made a huge mistake getting picked off with two outs and runners in scoring position in the eighth, ending the inning. He was the trailing runner on first.

My Cubbies are moving on but they will need a better effort to get past the Dodgers and make the World Series.

exiledonmainstreet said...

M. Jordan: The pitchers' pauses and the constant stepping out of the box make me crazy. One of the worst ones has to be Matt Garza, who stands on the mound carefully contemplating the pitch he will throw - and also the meaning of life, whether God exists, and what he will eat in the clubhouse after the game. And then he throws, and during this season, at least, gives up a hit or walks a batter on 4 straight pitches which take a half hour to throw. It would be one thing if he was mowing them down at the plate, but to take all that time to be mediocre...

mccullough said...

The Cubs don't need a better effort to beat the Dodgers. They need the Dodgers to play like shit. If both teams play to their usual abilities, the Dodgers will put down the Cubs in four games. Other than catcher and first base, the Dodgers are better than the Cubs at every position and every pitching spot. The Cubs leadoff "hitters" are a joke. Other than Wade Davis, their bullpen is inconsistent.

Roughcoat said...

Speaking as a North Sider and lifelong Cubs fan (I'm talking over 60 years): I'm very happy! I put in my time with this team, and I don't care how they win. They deserve it, they earned it.

Roughcoat said...

'all defeats are not created equal" Giants Colts championship game 1958

Alan Ameche was awesome!

Cath said...

"Batsman"? What is this, cricket?

mockturtle said...

My satellite signal cut out in the 9th inning but I could sense imminent demise for the Nats. Since I'm an AL fan I didn't care much except for Dusty Baker's sake. There seemed to be a lot of sloppy play, as exiled points out, in all of these series. I just hope Houston will hold up against the apparently revived Yankees.

Michael K said...

I watched the game and the disputed call. It did not determine the game and I did see his foot come off the base.

It was amazing that both sides struck out in the 9th. I expected the Cubs to lose.

Curious George said...

"mccullough said...
The Cubs don't need a better effort to beat the Dodgers. They need the Dodgers to play like shit. If both teams play to their usual abilities, the Dodgers will put down the Cubs in four games. Other than catcher and first base, the Dodgers are better than the Cubs at every position and every pitching spot. The Cubs leadoff "hitters" are a joke. Other than Wade Davis, their bullpen is inconsistent."

What a bunch of crap. Are the Cubs as good as the Dodgers this year? No. But in a seven game series any of the remaining teams can win. BTW,you can add third base...I'll take Kris Bryant over Turner. Higher slugging. The Cubs need to play well, but they don't need the Dodgers to play like shit. Lester, Hendricks, Q, and Arrieta all are good pitchers. Kershaw is 4-7 post season. Hendricks may be the est pitcher on either team.

Otto said...

Alan " the horse"Ameche was a University of Wisconsin boy.
His uncle was Don Ameche the famous actor.
With all due respect to Ameche and he was great, the iconic photo shows that he scored the touchdown through a hole a Mack truck could go through.

Paul from Minneapolis said...

What's the problem with "season-ending"?

Ann Althouse said...

"What's the problem with "season-ending"?"

The season ended a while back. This is post-season play.

Meade said...

Post-season-ending.

mccullough said...

Bryant is a good player. I'll say this year Turner is even with him. For that matter, Bellinger is even with Rizzo this year. Hendricks is good pitcher but was throwing BP last night. He has good and bad outings like Kershaw. (Kershaw in Game 2 of last year's
NLCS dominated the Cubs). But Kershaw can get pulled for a good pitcher from the bullpen if he's off, unlike in past years. The Cubs starters don't have that luxury. The Dodgers also have better bats coming off the bench than the Cubs. Schwarber and Baez, overall are liabilities at the plate (Baez struck out on a chin high fastball last night. He doesn't anticipate well either. His strikeout rate would only be acceptable if he 50 homerins. He has less than half of that). Schwarber is awful in the field and also strikes out way too
much given his production level).

The Cubs must hope the Dodgers play bad.

Meade said...

Washington needs to change their name from the politically incorrect Washington White Nationalists. It's 2017. May I suggest the Washington Whiteskins?

Paul from Minneapolis said...

I see. Much as I hate to defend the Washington Post, I think it's accepted baseball-ese to refer to a specific team's season concluding in the playoffs after the regular season is over.

I thought maybe it was the hyphen, and I was going to defend it.

mockturtle said...

Yes, 'season-ending' is perfectly acceptable usage.

rcocean said...

Do you realize the World Series might go all the way to November 1st?

That's insane. Why play 162 games just to have 30 days of Playoffs?

Here's may suggestion: Go back to 154 games and let 4 teams make the playoffs.

Curious George said...

"mccullough said...
Bryant is a good player."

Bryant is the only player to win the College POY, the Minor League POY, the MLB Rookie of the Year (NL), and the MLB MVP (NL). And he did it in four consecutive years. He's not a good player. He is a super star. His numbers are down this year slightly because of a hand injury.

Yancey Ward said...

"MLB really has to figure out a way to shorten games. I don't remember games in the 70's and 80's being so long, unless they went into extras."

One of the bloggers on Powerline likes to write historical posts about happenings in baseball from the 1960s. In the last week he as been doing such posts on the 1967 World Series between the Red Sox and the Cardinals. Now, I normally don't even read such posts, but as a child I had read about this series in a biography of, I think it was Lou Brock or possibly Bob Gibson, so I actually went to the Wikipedia entry for this series, and there you can see none of the 7 games lasted more than 2 1/2 hours. Was there even a single game played in the MLB this year that was under 2 1/2 hours? If so, I would wager there weren't more than 10 such games.

Yancey Ward said...

Ok, I was a bit wrong- game 6 of the 1967 series was 2 hours 48 minutes.

mccullough said...

Mike Trout didn't go to college. He's the best player since Bonds 1990-97. Bonds was 26 in 1990, the same age Trout is now. Awards don't mean much. Performance is all that matters. Trout is the best player in baseball by a wide margin. Hard to call anyone but him a superstar since he's so much better than the next best player (Altuve). Bryant is very good but not as good as Arrenado. Bryant is top 10 MLB position player without a doubt. So is Rizzo (who is not as good as Goldschmidt or Votto).They can't make up for the lack of performance of their teammates. Russell and Heyward are excellent defenders but weak hitters. The Cubs have too many flaws to beat the Dodgers. Only hope is Dodgers play like shit. Worked for the Yankees against the Indians. Maybe the Cubs will get lucky again.

eddie willers said...

I'm a Falcons fan.

No pity.

Rob McLean said...

"What's the problem with "season-ending"?"

The season ended a while back. This is post-season play.


Colloquially, for individual teams, the post-season is included with the regular season. Thus, the Nationals game last night was indeed "season-ending" for them.

Jim at said...

Bryce Harper striking out to end the game was simply perfect.

Perfect.

Mark said...

Length of game --

Back in the day, pitchers threw complete games. Today, there are multiple pitching changes in each game and sometimes multiple changes in an inning.

Plus, pitchers are finessing the pitches too much -- trying to strike out every batter with very fine pitches on the corners, edges, etc., rather than doing what pitchers used to do, which was let the hit the ball, but for a ground out or pop up. At the same time, batters are going more and more for a home run each at bat, and fouling off balls that are not home run balls. The result of all this is more pitches, more full counts and more time.

Earnest Prole said...

Baseball, the game designed to break your heart.

Unknown said...

Nats fans have been insufferable each year in bragging that their team is headed to the World Series. I have no sympathy for them.

mockturtle said...

Mark, I agree that there are far too many pitching changes. As you say, sometimes several in an inning. Right-handed batter? Change pitchers. Left-handed batter? Change again. I don't mind seeing a closer or even a relief if the starter is having a really bad time but it has gotten out of hand.