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Posts Tagged ‘Orange Inside’

Well, yesterday – and last night – we had one of the most intense baseball games I’ve ever sat through in my life.  The game started in the afternoon and ended over six hours later.  It was the longest running (6 Hours and 23 Minutes) baseball game in playoff history and tied for the most innings played (18) in playoff history.
The Nationals scored early taking a 1 to 0 lead and holding it through eight and two-thirds innings.  The Giants tied the game in the 9th inning and then played the equivalent of an entire second game (a “normal” game is only nine innings) to get the winning run off of a solo home run (from Brandon Belt) in the top of the 18th inning.  The Giants then held on for the final three outs to leave Washington D.C with a 2 game to 0 lead in a best of five series.
As I mentioned in my prior post – Orange October (I) – the team that wins the first game in a five game series wins the series 70% (historically) of the time
Sixty-eight (68) teams in major league history have lost the first two games of a five-game series.  Only eight have come back to win the next three games.  And, of those eight, just two did so after losing the first two games at home.  The issue(s) the Giants face are: 1) they are playing the winningest team in the National League this year (96 wins); 2) this same team has already come in to AT&T and defeated the Giants in three out of four games back in June; and 3) the Giants know a team can come back to win the last three in a best of five series because they were the last team to do it – just two years ago!
In any case, 3 out of 69 are pretty long odds and I like the Giants chances to finish the Nat’s in Game 3.  Then it’s wait until the end of the 2nd series – between the St. Louis Cardinals and the L.A. Dodgers.  Hopefully, the Cards take L.A the full five games before beating them and then we get to face the Cards with a rested team.  Still, it’s all in the hands of the baseball gods at this point…
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
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On This Day In:
2013 Fulfilled Acceptance
2012 Error Is Tolerated Here (So Far)
2011 In Defense Of Pain
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SF Giants Beat the Washington Nationals In Game 1

SF Giants Beat the Washington Nationals In Game 1

On Wednesday, the Giants went into Pittsburgh and defeated the Pirates 8 to 0 in a game (the National League Wildcard Game) which wasn’t that close.  Today, they went into D.C. to play the best National League team (this year): the Washington Nationals.  We are in a best of five (“short”) series and having won (3 to 2), are now in the driver’s seat for the series.  Historically, the first game winner of a short series has gone on to win the series 70% of the time.  We only have to play .500 ball in the next four games to take the series.  The Nat’s have to play at least .750 to advance.
The odds have suddenly gotten a lot better!!
I AM ORANGE INSIDE !!
Update:  And it gets sweeter, still!!!
The Los Angeles Dodgers just lost the first game of their series (at home) to the St. Louis Cardinals by 10 to 9!!!
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On This Day In:
2013 Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain
For A Time
2012 What Are Your True Measurements
2011 What It Is All About
2010 The Magnificent Seven
Giants Fever!!

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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations:  Okay, as improbable a World Series as can be imagined is now over and the San Francisco Giants are world champions!!  This is the team’s seventh championship (five were won in New York before the Giants moved to San Francisco in 1958) and the second in three years.
Although the Giants finished with a better regular season record than Detroit, the Tigers were considered the odds-on favorite to win the Series because they have the best pitcher and the best hitter in baseball.  The problem with this proposition is the pitcher only plays twice in a seven game series and so only gets two opportunities to dominate.  In this case, Detroit’s best pitcher (Verlander) didn’t win his first game and his team never got him to his second appearance (Game 5).  The other side of the proposition is that their best hitter (Cabrera) went cold and their second best hitter (Fielder) was positively frigid.
On the flip side, the Giants best hitter (Posey) had a so-so Series hitting (homered tonight for two runs), but played well as catcher.  The main difference was the rest of the team – particularly the entire pitching staff, starters, relievers and closer – were dominant.  It’s a baseball given that great pitching beats great hitting in the playoffs, and there was nothing in this Series to contradict that truism from Detroit.  I think the second big difference was the home field advantage the Giants had because the National League won the All-Star Game.  This allowed the Giants to open with the first two games at home.  Even disallowing Sandoval’s three home runs in Game 1 (4 RBIs), Verlander did not have a “great” game and Detroit would probably have still lost as the game ended 8 to 3.  Thus began the fall…
Confirming / continuing my math commentary from prior posts, the Giants won game 1.  The winner of game 1 goes on to win the Series 60% of the time.  The Giants won game 2.  The team which starts off the World Series with two wins goes on to win 79% of the time.  The Giants won Game 3.  The team which starts the Series with three wins has won all 24 of the times this has happened.  Twenty-one times the team with three wins has gone on to win the fourth game for a sweep and no team has managed to make it to Game 6 after falling behind by 3-0 in the Series.  While probabilities are not certainties, they do tend to be reliably predictive.
Like most baseball fans, I will have a week or so of “withdrawal” as baseball is now over for the year.  Oh well, I draw comfort from knowing I face the off-season with the S.F. Giants having won the last game of World Series!!
For the last time this year:  Go Giants!!!!  We are ORANGE inside…  Congratulations and we love you!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations:  Well, the boys from S.F. now have a historically significant edge in the 2012 World Series.  Despite a tremendous pitching effort by the Detroit #3 pitcher (Anibal Sanchez), Detroit scores no runs and the Giants get their second shutout on the way to a 2 to 0 win and a 3 to 0 lead in the Series.  To put this in perspective, NO team has EVER come back to win the World Series after trailing 3 to 0 in games played.
There are four games left if the Series were to go to the full seven.  To lose at this point, the Giants will have to play .000 ball (lose 4 of 4), while the Tigers will have to play 1.000 ball (win 4 of 4).  To add more perspective, both teams are .500 ball clubs, so a change of this magnitude, while not impossible, is extremely improbable.  The odds are the Giants will win one of the next four and the Series.  Simplistic, but probable.
At this point, the question is can the Giants sweep (win game 4 to close out the Series)?
As mentioned in my prior blogs about the 2012 Series, it is difficult for a team to win three in a row let alone four in a row.  While I certainly want the Giants to sweep, it seems likely that the baseball gods will favor Detroit and the Tigers will win the next game.  If that happens, I would expect the Tigers to wallop the Giants and really run up the score.  At that point, Detroit brings in its best starter for Game 5 and if they can pull out that win, the Series will return to S.F. for the final two games and we have the potential for a Series for the ages.
More likely though, is S.F. starts our best pitcher (Matt Cain) in Game 4 and the Giants close out the Series with a four game sweep.  Four-0 or 4-1, the Giants still take the Series after facing the team with the best pitcher and the best hitter in baseball!!!
Go Giants!!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations: In a good old fashioned pitching duel, the S.F. Giants come out ahead by playing “small ball” to take a commanding 2 to 0 lead in the 2012 World Series! The odds now shift from 60% to 79% that the Giants will go on to win the Series. 14 of the last 15 teams to go up by two to zero have gone on to win…
The 60% represents the number of teams who have gone on to win the Series after winning game one. As stated, 79% of the teams which have taken the first two games have gone on to win it all. The Giants must now win only 2 out of the next 5 games to win the Series (.400 ball). The Detroit Tigers must now win 4 out of the next 5 to win the series (.800 ball). The Tigers entered the Series heavily favored despite having won fewer games in the regular season because they have the best pitcher in baseball (over the last two years) and the first triple-crown batting champion in over 20 years.
As stated in a previous post, it is difficult for any team to win three straight games at this level and at this time of year. It is even more difficult for a team to win four in a row. This means it is unlikely the Giants will win the next game, but the main point is to take at least one of the next three in Detroit. I look for the Tigers to win game three and for S.F. to win game 4. This will give S.F. a 3 to 1 lead and make game 5 a must win for Detroit, while S.F. will only need to win one game out of the final three. In any case, it is now impossible for Detroit to close out the series without first coming back to S.F.
Go Giants!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Comments and observations: Well, the Giants take game one of the 2012 World Series by a score of 8-3 over Detroit. Game two is tomorrow, also here in S.F. The series then shifts to Detroit for the following three games, and wraps up with the last two games (if necessary) back in S.F. At this point the main thing is to “hold serve” and not lose tomorrow. That will mean Detroit cannot win the Series at home and even if they are able to sweep the three games there, they’d still have to come back to S.F. to win one of the last two games.
Baseball is a unique/interesting game for me because it is so mathematically predictable (at least during the regular season). The team with the home field advantage in a series should win because it is more difficult to win on the road than it is at home. In general, the team with the better season record should win the series, but my cursory review of the last few years (only back to 2006) indicates this isn’t true. Only four of the last six WS winners had the better regular season record. In other words, once you’re over .500 for the season, it doesn’t seem to matter much if you’re .599 or 501, as long as you win enough to get into the post-season. In fact, it seems the most reliable indicator so far (early in a series) is who wins the first game of any given series. (Hooray for the Giants!!!) In this case, the odds are about 60%, you’ll go on to win the Series. Not great odds, and not a tremendous predictor, but it seems to be reliable.
In any case, the Giants now only have to play .500 ball to win the Series (six games left, win three and you win the Series). Detroit now has to play .666 ball to win the Series (six games left, must win four of next six). With each game, the odds turn more and more against you… If the Giants hold serve tomorrow and go 2-0, we will only have to play .400 ball or Detroit will have to play .800 ball to win the Series. Teams have demonstrated they can do this, but not many. So the key is now to win tomorrow…
Two other points. For every baseball fan of any team in a World Series, the first goal is to not get swept – win at least one of the games. That’s done. The second point is to not panic. It is very difficult to win a three game (sweep) series in baseball. It is even more difficult for a team to win a four game (sweep) series. This means that even if Detroit does win tomorrow, it is unlikely they’ll be able to win all three games back home because then they will have beaten us four straight. That implies we will almost certainly win one of the three games in Detroit even if we lose tomorrow’s game. This in turn means the Series will have to come back to S.F. My prediction… if we win tomorrow, the Series goes to five games and S.F. wins 4-1. If we lose, the Series goes 4-2 and S.F. still wins.
Go GIANTS!!!
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Go Giants!!!!
We are ORANGE inside…
Bring on Detroit!!!
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