Did you wake up this morning nursing a Ned Yost hangover and appreciating Buck Showalter just a little bit more than usual?
One of the biggest challenges for any manager is handling a bullpen. I’ve seen it done poorly and I’ve seen Showalter practically master the art.
The Royals have a great ‘pen and they advanced to the Division Series, but they must be doing it with mirrors, because Yost is a poor reflection of...
OK, you get the point. Let the man up.
Wait, I’ve got one more. Yost tried to challenge Salvador Perez’s walk-off single, but the hit was confirmed.
Thanks to the Royals winning the wild card, the Orioles and Tigers will start Game 1 of their Division Series at 5:37 p.m. Game won, half-hour lost.
Max Scherzer (18-5, 3.15 ERA) is 3-1 with a 3.92 ERA in six career starts against the Orioles, with nine walks and 45 strikeouts in 39 innings, and 1-0 with a 4.95 ERA in three starts at Camden Yards.
Scherzer is 11-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 14 starts at home and 7-4 with a 3.49 ERA in 19 starts on the road.
J.J. Hardy is 4-for-23 (.174) with a double and home run.
It doesn’t really matter. They’re all going to be in the Game 1 lineup.
The Orioles are batting a collective .192 against Game 2 starter Justin Verlander, who’s 7-0 with a 2.84 ERA in eight starts at Camden Yards.
Jones is 6-for-33 (.182) with a double and home run. Kelly Johnson is 0-for-14 with six strikeouts. Cruz and Alejandro De Aza are both 7-for-31 (.226).
Cruz has a double and three home runs, and De Aza has a double, triple, two home runs and 10 strikeouts.
Hardy is 8-for-34 (.235) with a double and three home runs.
Markakis has the most success against Verlander, going 12-for-48 (.250) with four doubles and a triple.
For whatever reason, right-handers are batting .321 against Verlander this season. Left-handers are hitting .239.
Could Delmon Young get a start in Game 2?
It’s got to happen in Game 3 against southpaw David Price, though left-handers have posted a higher average (.258) than right-handers (.234).
Young is 5-for-16 (.313) with a double and home run against Price. Cruz is 10-for-28 (.357) with a double and three home runs, Hardy is 12-for-36 (.333) with five doubles and Steve Pearce is 4-for-12 (.333) with a home run.
Left-handers and right-handers are both hitting .268 against Game 4 starter Rick Porcello. He doesn’t play favorites.
Check out this split: Porcello is 6-7 with a 4.42 ERA in 14 home starts this season and 9-6 with a 2.66 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) on the road. Game 4 would be played at Comerica Park.
Hardy is 8-for-20 (.400) against Porcello, Markakis is 9-for-24 (.375) with a double and home run, and Young is 8-for-24 (.333) with two doubles and a home run.
Young could get more at-bats in this series than anticipated.
Jones is 4-for-24 (.167) against Porcello, and Cruz is 4-for-26 (.154) with seven strikeouts.