Last week I put the Astros as my NL Champions. Take that out and replace it with the Cubs. I now have the Cubs winning the World Series. The Astros got moved to Milwaukee for two games against the Cubs due to Hurricane Ike and lost all of the momentum they had built up. I think this was completely wrong of baseball because:
1. That’s Cubs territory and it was supposed to be an Astros home game. Milwaukee is only 90 miles away and if you watched the games you would see about 5 Astros fans in the whole ballpark and then you see about 40,000 Cubs fans.
2. The Astros wouldn’t be thinking about baseball when there is so much destruction in Houston, where a lot of them live and have families. Their minds were on other things than the games.
3. It made a very tough travel day for Houston to go to Milwaukee in the morning and play in the night while the Cubs probably took a 30 minute plane to Milwaukee .
Congratulations to the RoughRiders on a great season. My dad, little sister and I went to all of the RoughRiders playoff games (actually I missed one but my dad and little sister were at all of them). They were a lot of fun with lots of good games and great weather (and small crowds). We got to sit and talk with Eleanor Czajka at all the games which was fun too. It was disappointing that they couldn’t win that last game to win a championship but they had a great year.
I have two Rangers games left (tonight and Tuesday) and then no more live baseball until spring training.
This week I will analyze the Rangers’ season (stats are through September 19).
Hitting: Scored 852 runs this season (most in majors by 42 runs):
The Rangers’ hitting has been incredible this season and we couldn’t have asked much more from them. The Rangers have three players batting over .300 (Kinsler, Bradley, and Hamilton) and two just 5 points away from it (Byrd and Vazquez). They are tied for the best batting average in baseball and are 3rd in OBP. They are 1st in slugging percentage, have scored the most runs and have the most at-bats in all of baseball. They are also 6th in home runs, 1st in total bases and 1st in RBI’s. They also have the most hits and the most doubles in baseball. The Rangers have the 6th most walks in all of baseball, and the 7th highest stolen base percentage in baseball. They also have the 4th most sacrifice flies, the 6th highest pinch-hitting average, and have grounded into the 8th least amount of double plays. Lastly they have the most extra base hits and the most plate appearences. The Rangers’ offense has been incredible and is the best in baseball.
Pitching: Allowed 929 runs this season (most in majors by 78 runs):
The pitching has been terrible this season. If you allow 78 more runs than the Pirates, then it’s pretty bad. Also when you allow 300 more runs than three other teams or 250 more runs than 13 other teams, then you’ve got the worst pitching in baseball. And when you’ve got one pitcher with an ERA under 4.00 (of pitchers who have pitched 31 or more innings) it’s pretty bad (Frankie Francisco has a 3.28 ERA in 60.1 innings; Kameron Loe has a 3.23 ERA, but in just 30.2 innings). When you’ve got only one pitcher with double-digit wins it’s pretty bad. The Rangers have a 5.43 team ERA. All those stats make the Rangers pitching staff one of the worst (if not the worst) ones in baseball.
Fielding: Commited 126 errors (most in majors by 8 errors):
The Rangers have committed the most errors and it certainly seems like it. The Rangers have three players with 10 or more errors (Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, and Ramon Vazquez). The Rangers have the worst fielding percentage in all of baseball at .978. The Rangers’ defense has certainly not helped the pitching out and really needs to improve. Out of everybody that has played 600 innings, David Murphy has the least amount of errors with two, but second is Josh Hamilton with five, which is very high being second best on the team.
Rudy Jaramillo has been great, but the pitching coaches have not. Even though they’ve been trying to develop a lot of young players, whenever you’ve got the worst pitching in baseball, you’re pitching coaches have not done their job. Rudy Jaramillo is the star of the coaching staff, which is what you have to be when you’re the hitting coach of the best offense in baseball. Ron Washington is a fine manager except for when it’s time to pull a pitcher. There have been countless times when my dad, my granddad and I all knew that the pitcher was done and that he didn’t have anything left and there was nobody even warming up in the bullpen. I have also seen that Ron Washington usually doesn’t pull the pitcher until he’s given up the lead. Ron did a good job this year of pulling the team together after a rough start and getting them into the playoff race for a while. The team seems to have good morale and enjoy playing for him.
Results of last week’s poll:
Who do you think will be the NL Wild Card?
Astros – 33%
Brewers – 33%
Mets – 22%
Phillies – 11%
All others – 0%
Come back next week for my end-of-season awards.