Posted at 9:57 AM on October 24, 2005
by Ben Tesch
Things are backwards in Chicago. The White Sox win Game 2 by a walk off homerun by Scott Podsednik, a guy who had none in over 550 regular season at-bats. It is his second homerun of the playoffs. It was also off a pitcher who had given up only 1 home run to his last 160 hitters, yet had also given up the game-winning homer by Pujols the last time he pitched. The White Sox also have a guy who has two stolen bases in the playoffs who had none in the regular season.
"We're all goofed up," Pierzynski said. "We've got it all backwards. He's supposed to steal bases, and I'm supposed to hit the home runs."
"We're playing upside-down baseball," said center fielder Aaron Rowand. "But that's been our story. There's always somebody doing something he's not accustomed to doing."
Posted at 3:15 PM on October 24, 2005
by Bob Collins
I know Scott Podsednik is overrated because a few years ago he slipped to the 7th round in an APBA league. Those folks are pretty smart and if Posednik slipped, there must be a reason for it.
Then he went out and won the National League Rookie of the Year.
I thought of that last night in the 8th when the Houston Astros scored two runs on a pinch-hit single by Jose Vizcaino. I can't remember who the runner was but the guy at third scored easily and when Vizcaino went opposite field....Podsednik charged the ball and the runner on second was just barely to third when he came up with the ball in relatively short leftfield.
"This guy is dead," I offered to my son.
"Yep," he replied.
Whereupon Podsednik threw to the catcher-whose-name-must-not-be-uttered who dove to make the tag but a terrific slide prevented it. He was safe.
This would be akin to your spouse pouring a cup of coffee in the time it took you to put on your parka and boots, start the car, and back it out of the driveway to warm up and return just in time for her to be putting the pot down.
That is one horrible arm, a fact the announcers missed.
They also miss this little nugget: Podsednik isn't that good. He gets credit for the turnaround in Chicago, but a .351 OBP and a .349 slugging pctg is really quite...ummmm... ordinary. That's a .700 Total Ops.
Let's look at a few of the offensive equals (via Total OPS)
Mike Lamb (bench-player for Astros)
So we know it's not the guy's defense that makes him valuable, and his total Ops suggests it's not the guy's offense either. Fifty-nine stolen bases are nice, but the value of a stolen base itself is questionable.
The ChiSox are a charmed team. Someone ESPN pointed out this morning that they keep making mistakes, and they keep working out for them. If you look at the Pythagorean formula, the ChiSox are quite simply the luckiest team in baseball.
And it looks like that'll be enough.
But it's good news for the Central Division competitors because luck can't last forever.