“Failing in the Fall”
Baseball is such a grind.
You play 162 games hoping to get to post season, and this year, unlike other, teams are one and done so quickly.
The Pirates had gone 22-years without making the playoffs. They got there three straight seasons, a wildcard spot, and were taken out in the play-in game, 3-years in a row. Didn’t even get back this year when Andrew McCutchen stopped hitting and the pitching staff broke down.
The short run of success in Kansas City seems over. All those horror show seasons, then the kids arrived, and they got good, and now they’re gone. Mike Moustakas had two major injuries in a 6-weeks span, and never came back. Eric Hosmer spent a chunk of mid season hurt. Lorenzo Cain got hurt late in the year and was done. The pitching fell apart.
The Mets got there, but were out in one game, though you must credit last year’s World Series team. Think about Terry Collins getting them to post season, but having to do it without David Wright, Luca Duda, Neil Walker, cornerstone guys in the lineup. And then 3-of the young gun arms in the rotation all wound up having surgery, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steve Matz.
The Orioles spent all year slugging it out with the enemy in the Ameican League East, and earned their way in with a September smashing of the Red Sox-Blue Jays and Yankees in games they had to win. But they stopped hitting homers the final weeks of the season, and the bats were nowhere to be found as the wildcard game arrived.
Houston was the sensation a year ago. But like the others, pitching killed them. Subpar seasons from Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, with arm ailments, and the strikeouts and less than power seasons meant they were a different team this time around.
I don’t know if there is an explanation for the Red Sox and the Rangers. Boston looked as if it had every ingredient you’d want, bats and arms, but got swept by the Indians. And Texas, with the best record in the American League, got taken out 3-straight by the Blue Jays, a real shocker.
The Giants blew an 8-and-a half game lead at the All Star break, got to post-season and the chance to get battered by the Cubs. Not much hitting and little pitching aside from Madison Bumgarner.
The Dodgers were flawed against lefthanded pitching, and seemed to run out of pitching too. Credit though, they won the division with Clayton Kershaw being out months and months, and guys like Ryu, McCarthy, Anderson spending much of the season on DL.
It’s tough to survive and advance on. Playing in October is what it is all about. Failing in the Fall is part of job description too.