Playoff Shuffle (25 Sep 10)

What am I doing here on a Saturday? Pennant fever, baby.

It’s like 2007 all over again, but without all the stress. If the Padres win, great; if not, it’ll be disappointing but not devastating. They were supposed to suck this year, so it’s all bonus time. At best, the Padres embarrass a lot of experts and teams with much greater resources; at worst, they scare the bejeezus out of everyone. I’m good either way.

A few quick thoughts on Friday night’s 4-3 victory over the Reds:

  • I didn’t get home in time to see Chris Young pitch, but five innings out of him is huge. I’m surprised (and thrilled) he’s contributing to the cause.
  • Ryan Webb is really something. Upper-90s with that kind of movement? Not fair. He gave up two unearned runs thanks to two ground ball singles and the worst defensive play you will ever see Adrian Gonzalez make, but what an arm. He’s like some freakish love child of Kevin Brown and Cla Meredith. Sorry for the image, but that’s the best way I can think to describe Webb.
  • Got my first look at Cincinnati rookie left-hander Aroldis Chapman. According to Channel 4SD, Chapman threw 25 pitches, all fastballs in the 100-105 mph range. Uh, what? I shudder to think what might happen if he ever learns a second pitch.
  • Ryan Ludwick almost took Chapman yard… hit one to the warning track in dead center. I don’t get fooled often at Petco, but I thought Ludwick had it.
  • Miguel Tejada continues to amaze. He came up with two huge hits, including the game winner, a bases-loaded single on a 3-2 count with two out in the seventh that plated two. Tejada’s reaction after the hit was a thing of beauty. I don’t know that I’ve seen that kind of fire from a Padres player since Milton Bradley left town. Fun stuff.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the relevant universe…

Results, Odds, Matchups

  • Was 8, Atl 3 – Tim Hudson picked a great time to have arguably his worst start of the year. He’s got a 6.10 ERA in September. You think Mat Latos is gassed? Hudson worked 42 1/3 innings in 2009; he’s at 215 2/3 now this year.
  • SF 2, Col 1 – The Rockies are terrible on the road; if they can’t win at home, they have no chance.

Here are the current playoff odds:

Tm   W-L  BPro Cool
SF  87-67 76.0 79.2
SD  86-67 66.8 59.6
Atl 86-68 55.7 60.1
Col 82-71  1.4  1.1

Here’s a look at movement over the course of the past several days:

    9/22 9/23 9/24 9/25
SF  58.0 49.3 63.6 76.0
SD  49.0 68.0 56.7 66.8
Atl 78.2 73.0 74.8 55.7
Col 14.9  9.7  4.9  1.4

    9/22 9/23 9/24 9/25
SF  57.4 56.3 70.0 79.2
Atl 78.7 74.9 77.4 60.1
SD  44.6 61.9 49.2 59.6
Col 10.0  6.8  3.4  1.1

Unless you’re a fan of the Braves or Rockies, things are looking pretty good right about now.

And finally, Saturday’s matchups:

  • Atl @ Was, Derek Lowe vs Yunesky Maya, 10:05 a.m. PT
  • Cin @ SD, Travis Wood vs Jon Garland, 1:10 p.m. PT
  • SF @ Col, Barry Zito vs Jason Hammel, 5:10 p.m. PT

Go Padres, go Nationals, go Rockies!

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10 Responses »

  1. Big win last night. Isn’t this great? I almost forgot how much fun this is.

  2. I’ve been lurking all year, Geoff, just not commenting. You are still one of my daily reads — AND NOW — ON SATURDAYS!!!

    I’ve got tickets for the rest of the year. At the game last night, foul ball from Cairo off Thatcher found its way to my seat. (Note: Nice token to an otherwise lousy inning.) Great game. Not sure I remember the crowd quite as loud as it was just before Miggy hit that two-run single.

    San Diego may not fill Petco, but the ones that are there are having a good time.

    Go Pads!!

  3. How the heck can playoff odds be different? All you do is use combinatorics compared to a team’s winning percentage. The winning percentage isn’t in dispute, it is what it is.

  4. @Nick G: Yeah, it’s the best.

    @LaMar: Great to hear from you. The energy at the ballpark is fantastic… here’s hoping it continues to serve the team well over the next week or so. As for Tejada, I can’t remember the last time I was this glad to be so wrong about a guy.

    @8-East: Both sites simulate the remainder of the season 1 million times. Presumably their simulation algorithms are different.

  5. What was all that noise in the background of the video of Tejada’s game-winning base hit? Ah, *that*s Padre fans! And a Ducksnorter (LaMar) amongst them, well done!

    And seriously … it almost sounded like organized chanting/cheering after he got the hit … what was going on there? It sounded FANTASTIC!

  6. Tejada’s great. I didn’t realize how terrific he was.

    @LynchMob — I heard the chanting, too. I love it.

    Geoff, I totally agree; this is like 2007, without the stress. That’s partly because the Pads had two huge injuries in the last three weeks of ’07. It turned them from a WS contender to a game 163 loser (although we all know Holliday was out).

    Maybe this year is some type of good karma coming back around to us. These guys have some fight — led by Tejada, Bell, Eckstein, TGJR, Venable, Hairston Jr. Too bad Scotty Ballgame is ailing; it’d be nice to see him come up w/ one of his dramatic homers.

    This is baseball how it ought to be — good pitching, good defense, timely hitting and the games go down to the wire.

  7. We were going nuts when Tejada hit that single. And despite Adrian’s 3 horrible errors, the Padres won. Nice.

    Chapman was ridiculous; balls seemed to just arrived in the catcher’s glove. It was a moral victory for Headley to put the pitch in play for the out.

    Fun night, especially after the Oktoberfest prior to the game at Park at the Park.

  8. @ Lynch Mob – sounded like Pennywise’s Bro Hymn, I believe.

  9. @Masticore317 … YO! If the team is our Padres, then we are all “Bro”s :-) Let’s sing it!

  10. FWIW, on the Reds broadcast Chapman’s fastball lived in the 97-101 range. Still ridiculous, but 105 seams unreal.