Posts Tagged ‘MLB’

Steve Carlton vs. Mike Schmidt

June 26th, 2019 by Kyle Lutz | No Comments | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies, Sports

Both are Hall-of-Famers, both are two of the best players in Phillies’ history and both had legendary careers, but who’s better? I feel Carlton is, for the record.

(Bill Ingraham/AP Photo)

The bias towards Schmidt in this town is interesting, especially since everybody hated him during his playing career. Now it’s the complete opposite, and not at a healthy medium either, like it probably should be. Sure, I love Schmidt myself for what he’s done for this organization, although I never got to see him play, unfortunately. And there’s no denying that he’s one of the best ever at the hot corner, if not the best; both offensively and defensively. Schmidt’s a likable guy as well, which makes it even easier to respect his playing-career accomplishments.

As for Carlton, he won 329 major-league games, 241 of them coming as a Phillie. He had a respectable winning percentage of 57.4, and struck out over 4,000 batters in 24 years in the majors. 15 out of his 24 major-league seasons were spent with Philadelphia, from 1972-86. Impressively, he won 20 or more games in his career six times, four of which culminated with a Cy-Young victory.

Carlton’s ranked 11th all-time in major-league victories, and second all-time among left handers (only Warren Spahn has more victories for a southpaw, with 363). Carlton became a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer in 1994, earning an impressive 95.6% of the vote. Schmidt was inducted a year later, earning a equally-impressive 96.5% of the vote, as a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer as well.

Individual accomplishments aside, back to the debate.

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Cubs Win World Series 2016

November 2nd, 2016 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Cubs Win World Series 2016 | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Sports

It was a 108-year wait. That any American was alive the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series is extremely unlikely. Any person with a living memory of it would have to be older than 110. Still, there are plenty of long-time Cubs fans who have waited their entire lives for this moment, and with an 8–7 win over the Cleveland Indians in Game 7 of the World Series, they finally get to celebrate.

For Indians fans, they now have the dubious distinction of being devotees of the team with the longest World Series drought, 68 years. Baseball fans were treated to one of the best World Series of all time and a Game 7 classic that proved once again that baseball, of all the major sports, including football, basketball, and hockey, is the purest among them. The reason is that it has no clock.

As a result, baseball is often the sport defined by particular moments. It is not a slight against other sports. The Miracle on Ice hockey game between the United States and the USSR in the 1980 winter Olympics is one of the most celebrated moments in sports history. The Cleveland Cavaliers coming back from a 1–3 deficit against the Golden State Warriors to deliver the city of Cleveland a professional-sports championship for the first time since 1964 was amazing. The New York Giants beating the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII is one of the great upsets in football history. All of those games, however, relied on a clock. The other teams lost because they simply ran out of time. In baseball, the game is not over until the last man is out.

Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the 2011 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals. Going into Game 6, the Texas Rangers led the series 3–2 and were on the verge of winning the first World Series. On two occasions, the Rangers were not just one inning or one out but one strike away from winning it all. Both times, in the ninth and and then the tenth inning, the Cardinals found a way to come back and tie the game. The Cardinals ultimately won, in the eleventh inning, thanks to a walk-off home run by David Freese. The Cardinals won Game 7 to complete the comeback. SLIDESHOW: Cubs Win World Series One strike away. Baseball will forever be defined by these moments. Bobby Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World, lifting the New York Giants past the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1951. Joe Carter’s walk-off home run, against the Phillies’ Mitch Williams, in the 1993 World Series. Carlton Fisk, waving his arms to will his fly ball to to left field to stay fair for a walk-off home run against the Cincinnati Reds in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Derek Jeter’s walk-off home run in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series, three minutes after the clock struck midnight, marking the first time in history a World Series game was played in November. The list could go on for quite some time.

All of these moments were possible because nobody ever had to look at a clock and think, “We’re running out of time.” How different would Game 7 between the Cubs and Indians have been had the Cubs taken a 6–3 lead with only two minutes left to play? There would be no comeback. Indians fans would have started filing out of Progressive Field. The Cubs would do what they could to run out the clock and win the World Series. But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, the Indians came back to tie the game. The Cubs scored two more runs. The Indians closed within one, but, alas, it was not enough. Baseball fans were treated to a smiling Kris Bryant (I do suspect Cleveland Indians fans were hoping he fell down), fielding what would be the final out of the World Series. There was no clock. It was just Bryant, grinning from ear to ear as he threw to first base, erasing 108 years of frustration for Cubs fans — and preserving 68 years of the same for the Indians. It was one of those baseball moments that will not be forgotten.

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My MLB Postseason and World Series Predictions

October 4th, 2016 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on My MLB Postseason and World Series Predictions | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB

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Now that the season’s ended, the postseason begins, and less than a month from now, the Fall Classic will resume; since it ended last November 1st. Unfortunately for the defending World Series champion Royals, they won’t be returning to the postseason, after finishing at .500 this season. With the best record in baseball, the Cubs won 103 games, the fifth most in franchise history, and they’ll be making their second-consecutive appearance in the postseason. With all of that being said, here are my postseason predictions.

Postseason Predictions (the winning teams are on the far right)

October 4th- AL Wild Card- Baltimore @ Toronto– Toronto 

Like the other Wild Card game this week, this match-up tonight will be a hard-fought one. Both teams finished with 89 wins, Toronto has some of the best power hitters in the game, one of the best third baseman in the league, in Josh Donaldson (.284 average, 37 home runs, 99 RBIs), while Baltimore has a fellow AL MVP candidate, in fellow third baseman Manny Machado (.294 average, 37 home runs, 96 RBIs). Among American League teams, Baltimore ranked first in home runs (253), although they only had a team average of .256. Although it’s only one game, the problem this year for Baltimore was their pitching staff- or lack thereof.

Baltimore’s ace Kevin Gausman will most likely get the nod, although he only won nine games and had a 3.61 ERA. For Toronto, they’ll most likely hand the ball off to former Phillie J.A. Happ, who surprisingly won 20 games this year; with a 3.18 ERA to boot. I’m going with Toronto, based off Happ’s success this season, as well as the strong one-two punch of Donaldson and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion; who had 42 home runs this year.

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Revisiting the ’94 Phillies

August 7th, 2016 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Revisiting the ’94 Phillies | Filed in Baseball, Phillies

With the MLB postseason lurking, and less than two months away (they’re scheduled to start on October 4th), I’ve decided to revisit a team that, despite a mix of aging players and inexperienced players, just made it to the World Series the year prior, but was less than average the next year.

Pitching

After closer Mitch Williams gave up the infamous game-winning home run to Toronto’s Joe Carter in the ’93 World Series, it was the end of the Mitch Williams’ experiment. They acquired him a few seasons prior, and yet during his tenure here, he had 22 blown saves in 124 opportunities. In addition to that, including the blown save in game six of the ’93 World Series, he also blew four saves during postseason games. Finally, after the meltdown vs. Carter, the following off-season, the Phillies made the right choice and cut him loose. In his next season, in 25 games with Houston, he had a 7.65 ERA, and allowed 10.8 walks per nine. Including the ’94 season, the last three seasons of his career, he had a whopping 7.96 ERA in 52 games. The trade, which led to acquiring future closer Doug Jones, clearly was the right move. That season, Jones had 27 saves and a 2.17 ERA.

As far as the starting pitching was concerned, after winning the National League NLCS MVP award the prior year, ace Curt Schilling had an injury-plagued season. Due to a nagging elbow injury a couple months into the season, Schilling was sidelined for a short while, and — probably due to said injury — had a horrible year. In 13 starts, he went 2-8, with a 4.48 ERA and 9.5 hits allowed per nine. Had he been completely healthy, he would’ve been a major contributor towards the rotation. In his second year with the team, starter Danny Jackson had a solid season, going 14-6, making the NL All-Star team, and he finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting.

The rest of the rotation was well below average, averaging a combined 4.10 ERA. A year prior, minus Schilling and Jackson, the rotation was more consistent and stable. Not only did they lose Schilling for a good amount of starts, but number three pitcher Tommy Greene suffered a shoulder injury a month and a half in. In 1993, Greene was vital to the team’s success, winning 16 games and finishing fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting. That February, fairly successful starter Terry Mulholland was traded to the Yankees, in return for young shortstop Desi Relaford. The trade was a train wreck for both sides, as Mulholland had a 6.49 ERA, while Relaford’s career was well below average.

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Odubel Herrera’s transformation

July 8th, 2016 by Kyle Lutz | Comments Off on Odubel Herrera’s transformation | Filed in Baseball, MLB, Phillies

Since being undrafted less than a decade ago, Phillies’ 24-year-old centerfielder Odubel Herrera has made some improvements and impressive strides within the past year.

Eight-years-ago, Herrera was signed by Texas as an amateur free agent, and after spending six years in the minors, was drafted as a Rule 5 pick in 2014 by the Phillies.

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The next year, his rookie season, he posted a line of .297/.344/.418/.762, with 30 doubles and 147 hits. Considering his long wait from the minors to the majors, it was a very solid season for him.

Defensively, he ranked second in the league in putouts for center fielders, with 341.

This season, he’s strengthened his game even more, batting .305, with a .390 on-base-percentage. Defensively, although his fielding percentage has decreased from last season (.964 to .986), among center fielders, he ranks first in the league in range factor per game (2.92). Plus, with time and experience, his defense could improve.

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Kansas City Royals are your 2015 World Champions!

November 2nd, 2015 by Ryan Waterman | Comments Off on Kansas City Royals are your 2015 World Champions! | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB

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The 7+ month journey to the Commissioner’s Trophy is officially over, and after a little more than five games (after factoring in the extra innings), the Kansas City Royals are your 2015 World Champions of Baseball! The Royals accomplished this fact, by knocking off the rather surprising NL pennant winning Mets in five games.

Starting things off with the Royals, they dominated their way to the playoffs.  Finishing 95-67, Kansas City rolled to the top seed in the American League and the fourth best record in baseball (behind the Cubs, Cards, and Pirates).   Behind the arms of their pitching staff, the power of their bats, and the speed of the baserunners, the Royals gritted their way through a pair of grueling series in the ALDS against the Houston Astros (5 Games) and the Toronto Blue Jays (6 games).

In the meanwhile, the Mets took a different road.  Following a emotion-fueled five game thriller with the Dodgers, New York plowed right through the upstart Chicago Cubs in route to their first WS appearance since the 2000 “Subway Series” against the Yankees.   Behind their four studs, and the “Ageless Wonder” Bartolo Colon, the Mets finished 90-72, shocking the baseball world by beating out the Washington Nationals for the NL East Crown.  While both teams took different paths, they had one thing in mind…..a collision course with the trophy in sight.

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2015 Amy Mac Awards

September 29th, 2015 by AmyMac | Comments Off on 2015 Amy Mac Awards | Filed in Baseball, General, MLB, Phillies

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It’s that time of year again, kids … October is just around the corner!  The weather will get a little crisper, the leaves will start to change colors, and the Phillies will watch the World Series the same way that you and I will … while sitting in their living rooms.  The ’15 season was a rough one; you’ll notice that there are far fewer awards than in previous years.  It hasn’t been a complete disaster, though … here are your 2015 Amy Mac Award winners.


Biggest Pansy Move Ryne Sandberg, for his early and abrupt exit.

Most Bittersweet Goodbye Chase Utley, whom we sent to L.A. before both knees completely disintegrated.

Silver Lining to (Another) Lackluster Season Odubel Herrara, for being the most pleasant surprise we’ve seen in a long time.

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