2014 Playoffs Thread

The Royals’ run is too incredible not to discuss it. We’ll let this thread serve as your learned DTW discussion thread for the next two weeks.

22 thoughts on “2014 Playoffs Thread”

  1. Another ho-hum 1-run win for the Royals. It’s amazing enough that they are 7-0 in the postseason, but even more so how they’ve done it: 3 1-run games, 4 extra inning games, including 3 in a row.

  2. It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe they haven’t lost. I’m going to be insanely jealous if they win the WS, but I’m not crazy about the Giants or Cardinals racking up their 3rd in in 8 (or less) years either.

  3. Back home after 10 days on Lake Powell in Utah. While gone and away from civilization the Tigers get swept by Baltimore and the Aggies lose to both Mississippi schools…a tuff week for me. Meanwhile hats off to the Royals. I am hoping for them as they have a strong and friendly fan base and a scrappy team that the Tigers controlled during the season. Only four wins to go!

  4. Do you guys think that the Royals are a case of:

    a) built for the playoffs, or

    b) got hot at the right time?

    1. b) – sure they’ve done the little things (defense, moving runners over, SBs, BULLPEN!, etc), but some players have stepped up monumentally (Moose is the first that comes to mind)

      …sometimes, it seems like ‘its just meant to be’… but after a 6-day layoff, i wonder if KC will lose some of that mojo – i suspect they will

    2. Maybe a bit of both, but don’t forgot how the 06 Tigers swept their way into the World Series, only to be humiliated by a lesser St. Louis Cardinals team. Me? Still bitter?


      Anyway, my point is anything can happen from this point forward. The benefit of having speed and good defense is that they never really go cold, whereas hitting and pitching can just dry up. Speed and defense are part of being built for the playoffs, and of course their bullpen has remained hot. Everything else is just good timing.

      It’ll be interesting to see how KC fares against the NL. I think they can compete because they kind of seem like an NL team to me, what with the small ball and everything, but I would not be surprised if they got totally slaughtered. After all, their luck has to run out sometime, right?

    1. The biggest disappointment, for me, was Brad Ausmus. Yes, the players mentioned disappointed. Yes, none of them lived up to expectations, but to list them as candidates for the biggest disappointment? C’mon. That’s like saying, as a fan, the biggest disappointment this season is the fact that the Tigers only won 90 games instead of 104. Yes, Nathan’s follies easily cost the Tigers 5 – 7 games. The bullpen behind him another 5 – 7 games. But even the players the Tigers cobbled together were enough to win the division, including a mediocre JV, including a rookie 3rd baseman, including a closer who only gave us a 50/50 chance at closing out one-run games on any given night, including a bullpen the resulted in the depletion of many a liquor cabinet. Yet these “disappointments” were enough to win the division behind Miggy, V-Mart, JD-Mart and the CYs (sometimes spotty performances); they all preformed at a high enough level, however, to give the Tigers a bona fide shot at competing in a couple series to advance to the World Series (against two teams the Tigers absolutely PWNED during the regular season).

      Now let’s move into the post season and revisit our question. Who was the biggest disappointment? The candidate with the most votes for disappointment, Joe Nathan, was never even called upon to blow a lead. The rookie 3rd baseman launched a solo home run in game 2 that gave the Tigers a 3-run cushion, which by any metric should have been enough to win game 2, never-mind the extra insurance run and the blown call to send Miggy from 3rd base (no outs recorded).

      Yes the bullpen was a complete and utter failure, yes Dave Clark made a bone-headed call, and yes the other players didn’t deliver per our heightened expectations, but all said, Brad Ausmus lost game 2 single-handedly. Period. The way he managed the players at his disposal (especially after the game 1, 8th-inning meltdown), and Anibal Sanchez in particular, is the single reason we are no longer watching the Tigers play in October. This is the pivotal game. Pitching Chamberlain/Soria in the 8th inning after the previous night’s disaster is equivalent to calling up Jose Valverdre out of retirement and asking him to record three outs before giving up the winning run. (Of course that would have never happened, with this manager, because everybody knows Valverdre was never the go-to 8th inning guy).

      It goes without saying that a 1-1 series, going into Detroit, with David Price pitching game 3, is much different from going into game 3 in a 0-2 hole with no margin for error.

      As for game 3: Bryan Holaday and Andrew Romine up in the bottom of the ninth, no outs, JD on 2nd. There is a slim hope for the miracle comeback, but the Tigers have no bench to speak of (again a managerial faux pas, where is Collins? Moya? Oh yeah, they are not on the roster in place of our illustrious AAA arms who will never be used anyway because they aren’t our normal 6th, 7th, and 8th inning guys). No matter, Holaday and Romine are arguably the best sacrifice hitters on the team and the Tigers should be able to manufacture a run with a little managerial saavy, yet for some unknown reason Holaday is faking the sacrifice on strike one (again, no margin for error), and Romine is pulled for double-play candidate Hernan Perez. Wow. Nothing like a rally killed by poor management.

      The most infuriating part of this whole scenario is Ausmus doubling down on his own idiocy in interviews, claiming he would manage the bullpen all over again, in the same way, if he had a mulligan. Are you kidding me? Please repeat. Say what? I might even be able to forgive Ausmus for aforementioned rookie mistakes (in time) but to entrench oneself in one’s own delusions and thick-headedness gives me little hope that we have a manager who might be able to learn from his mistakes. Besides the bitter nagging that just isn’t relenting, even after three weeks of pain, that the Tigers have alas missed their window to win a World Series and are now firmly planted on the wrong end of a downward slide into a decade or so of mediocrity, Ausmus’s daftness, is by far, the biggest disappointment for me. This was our year to take it, disappointments in all.

      1. I almost puked when one week after the season Assmus said he would manage those three playoff bames the same way if he had to do it over again…I then did puke when DD said the bullpen didn’t cost them the series with the O’s…..

        Didn’t DD and Brad watch those 3 games!..the only screw up they didn’t make was pinch hitting Lamont in one of those 9th innings

  5. I still think 2013 and the ALCS loss to Boston was worse than this. For all the talk of wanting the ring, this team (manager and coaches included) was tired and wanted to go home. It took all they had to win the division. There was nothing left.

    It was gratifying to see the O’s get the heave-ho in 4. Hard to see the Royals escaping the fate of the 2006 Tigers, but it’ll be great if they win.

    10 KC opponents took 46 games (13-33) to rack up the 13 wins Detroit put up on ’em. The Tigers pitched the Royals like they did no one else. That’s it, plain and simple. 66 runs allowed in 19 games. And 22 were in 2 of the games.

  6. Back home after an amazing week in So Cal. No baseball, but got to see some UCLA- Oregon football at the Rose Bowl, and a day at Santa Anita. Oh yeah, Nate Mendel, bass player for the Foo Fighters got married. Dave Grohl and I shared a bathroom. think sword fight. Watched some of the games with my bride (the SF Giants fan) and so with tonite’s results we have decided to have a slight wager . I will take our AL Central mates and she has her Giants. Loser has to rake leaves and pine needles till the snow flies!

    1. I’d love to KC complete their post-season sweep over SF, but if there’s a wager involved, I’d side w/your bride and take the Giants…but even if KC can continue their Cinderella month and win it, I suspect if your household functions like mine, you’ll still be doing the raking.

    2. After watching their 1-game playoff with the A’s, it was clear to me the Royals had the drive, will, and magic to take it all. Winning that game was simply amazing. Honestly, the only thing I could see that might have stood in their way to taking the whole enchilada was…the Detroit Tigers. Fortunately for them, the O’s took care of that treat.

      That said, I see a lot of parallels between this 2014 Royals team and our 2006 Tigers. Both teams were coming off long droughts, both Cinderella teams, both coming off a disappointing division race losses on the last day of the season, etc. The 2006 Tigers didn’t sweep their way through, but they did only lose that first game against the Yankees, going 7-0 after. The 2006 Tigers had the same magic the Royals have now, only to lose it after a long wait to the play an inferior team in the WS.

      Let’s see how the Royals come out game one against the Giants. If they can win that first game, they may just sweep…

  7. That was vintage Tiger bullpen last night by the Cards. Give up tying Home Run in the 8th and the 3 run Dinger in the ninth,!!!!!!!!Reminded me of what we would have seen if the Tigers had gotten this far!!

    1. I didn’t see the game, but read the boxscore and recap… you nailed it, “vintage Tiger bullpen” (fail). Though rather than “the closer” fail, STL mgr Matheny brings in Wacha, a guy who hadn’t pitched a game in the playoffs and had been shaky in his 4 starts since coming back from injury… in retrospect, a (poor) decision on par w/Ausmus wheeling out Chambermaid & Soria after an epic fail the night before.

      the margin of error in playoff games is so tight that one bad play or one bad decision can cost a team a game or series. i.e game 4 of the ALCS, 1st inning…if the BAL catcher holds onto that ball after tagging out KC (escobar?) at home…its ‘an out’ instead of two runs scored… and KC ends up winning on those 2 runs

  8. I gotta admit, I’m really conflicted here. I’ll be insanely jealous of the Royals if they make the playoffs once every generation and win the WS; but I can’t imagine watching the Giants win yet another WS.

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