I’m headed up to Cleveland right now for Game Two of the World Series (WOO HOO!!!), and hopefully the rain holds off for long enough to get the game in. MLB has already pushed up the start time to 6pm CT to try to avoid the worst of the storms. We’ll see. If the game goes off as planned, hopefully I can get folks some fun stuff on Twitter and Facebook.
- You are going to see and hear people saying that the Cubs are in trouble because the previous six World Series were all won by the team that won the first game, and 24 of the last 28 or whatever. This is bogus illogic. The Cubs are in trouble – to the extent they are in trouble – because losing the first game in a seven-game series makes it harder to be the team that gets to four wins first. That’s it. Full stop. However other series played out – between teams that are not this year’s Cubs or this year’s Indians – does not have anything whatsoever to do with how this particular series will play out. It’s the 100 win thing all over again: lots of teams that won 100 games did not go on to win the World Series … oh no! That means it’s bad that the Cubs won 100 games this year!
- Again, and in sum: losing the first game of any seven-game series is bad. It is bad for a variety of probabilistic reasons. It does not, however, have some magical EXTRA BAD power in the World Series because x, y, and z have happened in the previous however many World Series. And, as I noted this morning, if you’re going to lose Game One, there were several “well, at least this” and “at least that” things on which to hang your hat. Perhaps the biggest one for now, in the broader sense, is that the Cubs were down 2-1 to the Dodgers just last series and then won the next three straight.
- If the Cubs win tonight – *IF* – then I think you feel just fine about these two games in Cleveland, right? Splitting is acceptable, and especially when the loss came against Corey Kluber and required 46 Andrew Miller pitches, right? I think that’s all right. It starts with getting a good outing from Jake Arrieta tonight. Fingers crossed.
- As for last night’s loss, Jon Lester wasn’t all that bad, but his command was off just enough to cause trouble in the first inning, and that would ultimately be enough for the Indians: a two-out groundball single, a couple walks, a swinging bunt, and a hit by pitch. Lester wasn’t exactly getting knocked all around the park. Get ’em next time. You can see Lester’s thoughts on the outing here at ESPN.
- Terry Francona is not ruling Andrew Miller out for tonight, by the way, despite those season-high 46 pitches (Cubs.com). You can bet he’s hoping he doesn’t have to use him, though. I dug the way the Cubs looked against him, at least.
- It’s not official yet, but the Cubs may avoid any front office raiding by the Twins’ new administration, as it looks like Rangers assistant Thad Levine is going to get the GM job there.
- The fight about the international draft continues, with the cancellation of a Dominican player showcase, brought on by protests that were expected to strongly limit the turnout for the event.
- Can’t decide. I think this is fine, light-hearted Twitter fun, as opposed to really unprofessional:
- A general, baseball-wide issue about last night’s game that bugged me:
8.5 inning game, no abnormal delays, goes nearly 4 hours. Probably not ideal for baseball with so many casual fans watching.
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) October 26, 2016
- On the highest stage, with so many potential casual fans watching, who could become more serious fans with the right orchestration, MLB’s product was something of a slog. I don’t know the solution for last night, in particular (other than make a much quicker decision on whether Carlos Santana could continue or not), as opposed to the need for baseball-wide changes, because it seems like most of the slowness was institutional: slow-working pitchers, long grinding at bats, long commercial breaks, and a bunch of pitching changes. I’m sure MLB is thrilled to have this World Series match-up, but they can’t have been thrilled by the pace and length of last night’s game.
- The comments got blown up late last night by a wave of Mets fan trolls, which is among the more bizarre, and oddly adorable troll jobs I’ve seen in my years on the internet. The Mets’ last serious engagement with the Cubs was the NLCS last year, during which the Mets pasted the Cubs in a four-game sweep. I guess the memory of that extreme victory left such a bitter taste in their fans’ mouth that they thought it would make sense to troll Cubs fans during the World Series after the Mets lost in the Wild Card Game? Wut? In any case, should any return and engage in obvious trolling, just flag their comments, and they’ll disappear.
- Any other parents of small children out there? Graco car seat stuff is a deal of the day at Amazon today.