M's 2, Twins 3
While Detroit loses ... Orioles win ... and the M's playoff chances become desperate. With 8 to play in Seattle, 7 to play in Baltimore, the Mariners are -2 behind in the loss column. Fangraphs evaluates this as a 7% chance for the Mariners to play a Wild Card game.
The Mariners just proved again today what Keith had noted earlier - that the M's chances rest mainly on the teams ahead of them botching it. In baseball it's hard to "force" victories. Any tomato can, bleeding a blood-red ERA of 6.39 as Duffy is, can hold you to 2 runs if he walks nobody and you hit the ball at fielders.
Granted, one of the Twins' fielders was a fan in the third deck. Here is the StatCast of Cruz' 493-foot shot off a quality inside fastball. Since StatCast began in 2015, the only two homers longer were a GianCarlo Stanton shot in Coors Field, which is located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range, and a 495-footer by Kris Bryant.
Boomstick now has 39 homers and 98 ribbies. Since 2014, there are six players in the American League with 100 homers and you've probably heard of them. Mike Trout, the two Blue Jays, David Ortiz, Chris Davis ... Cruz leads them all by a comfortable margin with 123 homers. You know, the day was, Dr. D would have headed over to USSM and LL to bask in the Dec. 2014 articles that savaged Jack Zduriencik for his 1970's-era "understanding" of baseball. It's probably best those days are gone ...
In the 9th inning, the Mariners were down one run when Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz got on base with nobody out. Run Expectancy +1.4. Dr. D was weaned on baseball played during the days when this scenario was an automatic bunt, whether or not you had an All-Star at the plate. Run Expectancy +1.4 after a successful bunt, assuming the third baseman completes the out, but the chance of tying the game goes from 61% to 68%.
So with a simple bunt, you lose no runs at all, but you improve your chances of scoring that huge huge run. Even Earl Weaver, who lived and died with outs wasted, always had an aterisk: "Unless you know that one big run will swing the game outcome."
Nowadays they remind you that today's major leaguers probably can't complete a successful bunt. So Kyle Seager swung away. A double play and loss was the result. DaddyO, Moe Dawg, Dr. D and several others felt very, very old. Get off my lawn, you punk kids.
Hmmm. Glancing back through this for the 60-second redraft so favored by us professional writers ... does Dr. D seem irritable to you at all? And how he dearly hopes for somebody to opine that "we professional writers" is preferred to "us professional writers." But LrKrBoi29's, along with Mariners playoff seedings, simply refuse to show their faces at SSI any more. That's sad.
Granted, Scott Servais had an XL chart going on his laptop that cross-referenced Tango's RE chart against the Minny closer, Kyle Seager, the right field crosswind and the 68-61% chance of tying. It no doubt said the chance of winning, in twelve innings or nine, was greater if Seager swung away. If you interrupt my rant I'll empty the magazine in your general direction.
The next few days, Detroit and Baltimore could lose a couple apiece. Seen far, far weirder things happen, about eight of them in the Seahawks-Packers championship game. It will be a long, cold winter, so enjoy Happy Taijuan Day. And Happy 16-W Day, and Happy Felix Day, and Happy Zeus day.