Excitement of Post-Season by Bob Ryan

Excitement of Post-Season ….

Even though, it’s not the same without our Birds in the post-season….sure…there have been some great games but the buzz around the area about baseball is a whisper w/o our Birds flying into deep October….however …there is ALWAYS a buzz about post-season…on all levels.

Post-Season Baseball….

…from my view, it’s actually much tougher to repeat as world Champions…you must win two series against very high level opponents…. Not just 1 series (World Series) as was the custom for about the first 100 years of baseball…starting pitching must not only be good…but have the ability to go deep in the game(7 inn+)…or…bullpens become exhausted and …as we saw this year…starters are then used out of the pen to win divisional series…which makes it even tougher to win in future games.

…post season is a crap-shoot…who expected the World Champion, Indians to fall to the Yankees?

..Cubs hitting really disappeared…although…remember for the first 80-100 games, the Cubs weren’t exactly hitting the cover off the ball…but the playoffs were abysmal for them at the plate…Kris Bryant .200, Anthony Rizzo .135, Addison Russell .176, Wilson Contreras .219,  Javier Baez .077, Kyle Schwarber .176 as the key batters…in 10 post-season games , the Cubbies scored more than 3 runs in a game ONE TIME…Now I realize many StL fans sole cheering focus was on the Cubs losing….some want to buy the White flags that would have a big “L” ..not “W” like last year – they didn’t really care who else won..looking back it’s amazing that they won even one series….their aging, overworked staff allowed 1 run and hurled a shutout in their 1st two post-season games….after that it looked totally different..the runs allowed in the remaining post season games were 6,5,8,4,5,6,2,11 ..part of that is due to the fact that the Cubs “went all in” to beat the Nationals by hurling any pitcher who could get outs….or even an out…and they hung on… for that series…but nothing was left for the Dodger bats ..especially by game 5. The Cubs have small consolation that they are only the 2nd World Series Champion in the past 15 years to win its division the year following the World Series celebration.

….the Dodgers … for the vast majority of the season…were the best team in the National League…yes…they did lose for 2 straight weeks  but even with that ugly time…they won the most games in the MLB-104 games….they have a marvelous blend of youth, experience, power, speed and 1-2-3 starting rotation punch (Kershaw, Darvish, Rich Hill)

….the Astros were the best team in the AL throughout 2017… they were led by their explosive hitting up & down the lineup…Houston had a team batting average of .282-#1 in MLB….Jose Altuve is the straw that stirs the offensive drink for the ‘stros.  Acquiring Justin Verlander just minutes prior to the trading deadline really solidified their starting staff….so….the short of the long of it…we have the 2 best regular season  teams in the MLB competing in the upcoming World Series….thats good to see

…for years there were certain suppositions that a team must do to “get to post-season

#1 have good defense to win at a high level ….  well..not so much any longer…take a look at post season teams….Cleveland was #2 in fewest errors in MLB, Colorado #3, Minnesota #4, Washington was #10 , LA Dodgers were #12 in fewest errors, NYY were #17 and Cubbies #18, Houston #20, Boston #24 and Arizona #26…so the three best defensive teams in MLB were all bounced out in their first post-season series?!  Who had the fewest errors?  Miami-73…. now…. hold on…I will agree…that making errors alone may not be a single, solitary way to judge defenses..can the defensive players cover more ground and get to balls that many other fielders may not is also a vital, positive element.  Btw..Cards were right in the middle of the pack #16 with 94 errors….btw…that’s .58 errors per game…or slightly more than 1 error every 2 games…. that sounds “weak” to me for a professional team at the highest level.

#2 that you MUST have strong pitching to go deep in post season…it’s still true …teams pitching stats put Cleveland #1, Dodgers #2, Az #3, Boston #4, NYY#5, Washington #6, Cubs were #7, Milwaukee #9 , Houston was #11  (remember there are 10 post season teams)…..it’s an easy assumption to say that Colorado will NEVER be in the top 10 of pitching stats since they play ½ their games in the light, mountain air.

#3 win the 1-run games….the Nationals won the most 1-run games…they were 30-21.. next best % were AZ 29-23, shockingly the Angels were 27-22 in this area, Cubs 26-17, Seattle went 26-15, Dodgers were 25-19 in 1-run games…to me as I look at these stats…it doesn’t seem so important how many win alone…how many did you lose also is relevant…so with that the factor..in 1 run games…. Wash was a +9, Seattle +9, Cubs +9, Az +6,  Dodgers +6 ..our StL Cards were 24-29 a -5….who was in the most 1-run games?  Phillies!!! 57 games– 21-36.

…of the 4 last teams in the MLB playoffs—Astros, Dodgers, Cubs, NYY—who has the most sustainability for the long term right now?  I’ve read that the Cubs have depleted their stockpile of highly rated prospects while these other 3 teams still have some very talented “blooms” on the farm. Reportedly, the Dodgers, Yanks & Astros still have some very highly rated “prospects” in the pipeline….I’m always a bit skeptical of these “prospects”…how many really become stars?

College Football post-season thru binoculars…

..in the past couple years, I’ve written about a numerical plan to choose the teams….that’s not going to happen….so….on Oct 22…at this moment,  looking long range through my binoculars…these are my 4 teams…I maintain the right to change if upset losses occur to the favorites….….#1 of course Alabama … an NCAA Football final 4 without Bama is like an ice-cream soda without the ice cream;  #2 Penn State (who’ll win Big 10)   #3 winner of TCU-Oklahoma game …I’m leaning towards TCU; #4 winner of Miami – Notre Dame game…I watched ND dismantle USC yesterday…the fighting Irish dominated … I mean … really dominated with their Offensive & Defensive Lines… interestingly…after last season Coach Brian Kelly was on the hot seat @ ND with his 3-7 record…what did he do? He completely overhauled his coaching staff…went away from his “personal network” of coaches and brought the best he could find…and…it’s working.. they are a different looking team..more physical, disciplined, prepared. The “U” is unbeaten and looks like a favorite in the ACC.

High School Post-season…

…the MSHSAA softball post season ….the softball championships…were held in Springfield this past weekend…. Congratulations to the Marquette Mustangs on winning the Class 4 (the large school class) 2-0 over Blue Springs South to cap off a 29-3 record for the season.  To win STATE softball, you MUST have a tremendous pitcher….and Marquette did have one…Annah Junge twirled a 1-hitter in the championship game. She raised her record to 19-2 and lowered her ERA to 1.17 in 22 games. The top three leading batters for the Mustangs were Lillie Knesel .530, Kelsy Lenox .505 and Tabitha Cacheris .495. For Blue Springs South it was a tough pill to swallow…they had lost the championship game last year also…that time to Troy.                  Outside post-season…..

…hockey post-season….nope it’s still 6 months away but…the Blues are piling up points here in October that count for just as much as the points in March

….Mizzou….good & bad…..great to see all the excitement about the KU basketball exhibition game & the resounding win over an overmatched Idaho football team(it cost us $1.3m to buy that win). Please note that our two wins are over teams that combined 3 wins for the season but…let’s smile for a week and enjoy the win… I was sad to see Gary Link..long time basketball “color” man, loyal supporter, fund raiser, represented Mizzou at many functions over the years…seemed to bleed black & gold.. get totally shoved out at MU….from afar it seems that the earth is still shaking in Columbia, MO.

…can’t the Blues build their ice complex on the old Ford plant property? 

….thanks for making it to the bottom 





  1. Come on now, you left out the HS Grid Iron report!

  2. Jim Pleimann says:

    Count me as one who LOVED seeing the Cubs not hit and lose. That meant we weren’t subject to the “Go Cubs Go” song. (gag me) The did not have one hit in the series with a man in scoring position. Hard to win that way.

    Bob – after witnessing and seeing the high school scores from the weekend, I love your idea of the five through eight seeds playing each other in week ten. 95% of all the games were so lopsided.

    Bill Self – Get over yourself!

    This Just in Jose Oquendo and Willie McGee are back. Start printing the post season tickets for 2018. Oquendo is gonna save the franchise – (so says many) We’ll see… LOL Whose Idea was this for him to come back. Mo? Manifesto? Why did he come back? Answers to follow….

    How about the Blues at the ol Crysler plant in Fenton?

    Should be a great world Series.

    I still don’t know what to say about U.S. Soccer – what a mess

  3. Joe Parisi says:

    Happy to hear of return of Oquendo and McGee. They are winners! Great role models for younger players, as well as recognizing their value with Hispanic/ African American players. Fundamentals and smart base running is back!
    Face facts… they want Matheny to succeed, so flanking him with credibility just makes sense.
    Pitching coach will be a key hire! Look to see in- house selection…. Eversgard, Simontacchi or Matheny friend, Cal Eldred. Hickey likely re-joins Maddon in Chicago. Can’t see what Bosio brings to the program…. players are younger, thus, coaches need to be younger!!

    World Series… should be competitive!
    Both teams have really went with primarily Exciting young players, with a touch of veteran presence/ experience… kershaw vs verlander!

    HS Football…agree with Bob and Jim P..
    . these lopsided games do no one any good

    Mizzou b’ball should be exciting… decent showing vs Kansas!

    Wish I could get excited with Mizzou football….
    Think it’s bye bye Barry… hard worker but no recruitment panache!

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