In 2013 MLB playoffs, hits dropping to historic low

Sunday October 13th, 2013

The Dodgers have pitched Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in back-to-back games this year 30 times. Yesterday marked only the second time they lost both games . . . It's nice to have options: St. Louis manager Mike Matheny used five pitchers to get the final eight outs and Detroit manager Jim Leyland used five pitchers to get the last 10 outs . . . Yes, we know bunting often is a bad play, but it seems counterintuitive that sacrifice bunts occurred this year less frequently than at any time in recorded baseball history -- just as runs continue to go down and strikeouts continue to go up. It's laughable to see teams suddenly asking players to bunt in the run-depressed environment of October baseball when they haven't done it all year. The skill level of bunting -- now that it is a frowned-upon tactic -- is abysmal . . . The biggest play of NLCS Game 2 was when Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis somehow missed a fastball from Kershaw with David Freese at second base. The passed ball moved Freese to third, whence he scored on a flyball by John Jay (after a failed bunt, naturally). These games are so close that every 90-foot advancement is huge. Oh, and one difference between Game 1 and Game 2: Carlos Beltran can throw and Carl Crawford cannot . . . The Red Sox saw 164 pitches in ALCS Game 1 without scoring a run, the second most in the wild card era for a nine-inning postseason game. The Cardinals saw 166 pitches while getting shut out by the Giants in NLCS Game 7 last year.

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