The Changeup: 3 Teams Eliminated All in a Day's Work, Thu 10/8
Updated: Oct 10
Every game today was potentially an elimination game, with the 4 teams leading their series 2-0 or 2-1 going into the day. Personally, I was never a fan of the 5 game Division Series, as I feel you’re not getting as accurate of a winner as a 7-game set. I wonder why it is only the Division Series that is best of 5, all subsequent series are 7. It is self-evident that the MLB would make more money on viewership and selling tickets with all series being best of 7.
It’s interesting to think about the direct cause and effect of games played to MLB revenue earned. The MLB added the single sudden death wild card game to both leagues a few years ago to increase viewership and revenue (there previously was no wild card game at all). There was no real reason to add this new structure other than to earn more revenue. Therefore, I cannot understand why the MLB would not also extend the Division Series to 7-game sets.
Hendriks’ Lucky Cat Couldn’t Save The A’s: Yesterday, A’s closer Liam Hendriks brought a cardboard cutout of his cat to the bullpen and hung it on the wall. The cutout is much larger than lifesize: it’s alarmingly large. His cat’s name is Winnie Sanderson Hendriks. Hendriks hoped she would bring some luck to the team, but alas, she could not save them. A few years ago, the A’s bullpen had a “possum problem”. Possums were running wild around the bullpen, but those actually proved to be lucky.
The Yankees Must Be Big Cheers Fans. Does Everyone Know Their Names? The Yankees rocked their classic white pinstripe home jerseys today. The white pinstripes are one of the most iconic visuals in all of sports, recognizable anywhere. Out of habit or culture, they do not write their last names on their home jerseys, just the numbers. I unfortunately have not memorized all 26 players’ numbers, but maybe by the end of the postseason I will. I am not a Yankees fan, but do enjoy a good little extra homework assignment.
Today's Game Outcomes - 3 Teams Eliminated Today
1) HOU beats OAK 11-6 (HOU Advances to ALCS)
Lazer (Laureano) had 4 RBI, including a 3-run homer. Side note: Lazer is still a better nickname than “Noodles”, which was his nickname in college due to his obsession with Top Ramen. I personally would like to be on the record suggesting the nickname “Lo-Lo”. Truthfully, I only got a few hours of sleep last night, so accidentally fell asleep while the A’s were ahead. I fell asleep when the score was 3-0 A’s, and by the time I woke up, Houston had already clapped back with a 5-run bottom of the 5th. Needless to stay, I woke up in complete panic.
Fast forward to Top 9: 11-4 Astros, The A’s showed some semblance of a pulse, managing to drive in 2 runs. The entire series and season ended with KD (Khris Davis) striking out looking on a 3-2 count. The pitch was frankly a bit low, but I wish he swung and foul tipped, or even swung and missed to save some face. Striking out looking is a painful way to end the season.
It’s always devastating to lose a Division Series and come to terms with the end of the season. The A’s have been no stranger to losing in the Division Series over the past few years. All I can do now is continue to watch the rest of the postseason and casually root for another team: I’m selecting the Rays. They seem to play the game the right way and apparently have the 4th lowest budget in the entire MLB. Their budget is even lower than the A’s budget (9th lowest).
2) NYY beats TB 5-1 (Series Tied 2-2)
The Rays turned a hilarious double play in bottom 3 on a broken bat grounder to Short. SS Adams fields the ball, slips, and falls on his butt, but still manages to turn the double play. Choi at first base also got knocked over in shock after picking the throw out of the dirt. The whole infield had a nice laugh about it after. I think the lesson here is that it doesn’t matter how you get the job done, just get it done.
The only Rays run was scored on a Brandon Lowe ground ball force out to Short in Top 3. They still have life, so I’ll look forward to watching this final game tomorrow.
3) LAD beats SD 12-3 (LAD Advances to the NLCS)
For little leaguers: Here’s a prime example of heads up baseball. In Top 2, SD first baseman Hosmer fields a grounder and instinctively checks the lead runner at second. He was running, so Hosmer fires it over to nab the guy in tag play at third. It wasn’t actually a very close play, but shows how heads up baseball works. Just remember to tag the guy because it’s not a force out.
It wasn’t ever a very close game, with the Dodgers pulling far ahead early on. LAD’s Will Smith and Cody B both posted 3 RBI each.
4) ATL beats MIA 7-0 (ATL Advances to the NLCS)
As you can tell from the score, this was not much of a game to watch. (Hence the idea that I watch it for you, so you don’t have to). The only exciting play was Miami CF Dickerson making a diving catch on a shallow base hit to center. He saved 2 runs with bases loaded in the 2nd. Despite escaping the 2nd unscathed, Miami got crushed in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The Marlins ultimately failed to mobilize their bats to any avail. I really wish I could’ve seen them put up more of a fight.
Editorial: Canha Get a Bagel? An Insightful Interaction with Oakland A’s Mark Canha
Today's editorial is my "Interview" with Mark Canha when I met him a few years ago at a Berkeley coffee shop. He's a standup guy and we talked about baseball, Econ, and bagels. My article's link here.
About the Author
Bonnie Young runs the Amplified blog. She shares her insights on market trends from US to Asia and interviews founders that are shaking up the tech scene. She has been passionate about baseball since the age of 13 and regularly attended A's games before the pandemic. Bonnie is currently looking for a growth equity or VC role in the Bay Area. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want daily MLB postseason game recaps and editorials directly in your inbox, subscribe to the Amplified newsletter here.