Bobby Valentine continues to slam the Marlins


I swear, this will be the last time I post on Bobby Valentine. At least for a long time. That is, at least if nothing interesting happens.  Screw it, we’re launching BobbyValentine Talk next Monday. I’m pulling the trigger on this bad boy!

Anyway, Bobby V. was on Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Russo show today and he offered some more interesting commentary on his odyssey with the Marlins:

“You know, I mean, I was reading in the
paper I wasn’t a candidate,
you know?  And I don’t really like that stuff.  You know, we did have
conversations and then the next thing I know their leaks have people
things that I’m no longer a candidate and they’re going in another
direction.  Well, you know, if that’s the case tell me.  I’m a big
boy.  It’s real easy.”

The most obvious explanation to that is that Valentine was only Jeff Loria’s candidate and that the front office bucked under Loria’s diktat and leaked that stuff to the papers to undermine Valentine’s candidacy and maybe to even tease out the very negative reaction from Valentine displayed in the above quote.

The alternative: the Marlins really are a bunch of sociopaths who all agreed to cut bait on Valentine at once and decided to simply not tell him.  I can’t decide which is worse for the Marlins long term: a house divided or a house united in idiocy.  At least the former has them thinking half-right.

Valentine also added something else, when asked about his interaction with the Orioles, that suggests that just maybe he won’t be managing anywhere in the big leagues any time soon:

“To tell you the truth, the in-season
stuff where you have all the
rules and regulations that are set forth – rightfully so, I guess – by
commissioner that you have to interview so many different types of
people from
in and outside your organization before you’re allowed to hire a person
want to, it’s a pretty tough process.  I don’t know that it’s tough. 
It doesn’t seem like it’s the way most industries do it.”

So he either doesn’t like how Major League Baseball wants its clubs to approach managerial hires or else he only wants to be a part of a process in which he’s the only candidate. I guess it could be a combination of those things.
Either way, it makes him a rather difficult candidate for almost any team to woo, does it not?

Jacob deGrom outduels Clayton Kershaw, Mets take 1-0 NLDS lead

Jacob de Grom
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Jacob deGrom put together one of the best post-season starts in Mets history, outdueling three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to pitch his team into a 1-0 NLDS lead. The right-hander fanned 13 over seven shutout innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits and a walk as the Mets won 3-1.

deGrom’s game score of 79 is the fifth-best by a Mets starter in the playoffs, behind Jon Matlack, Mike Hampton, Bobby Jones, and Tom Seaver, according to Baseball Reference. As Katie Sharp notes on Twitter, deGrom is one of three pitchers to hold the opposition scoreless on 13 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks. The other two are Tim Lincecum and Mike Scott.

In the eighth inning, reliever Tyler Clippard allowed a one-out double to Howie Kendrick followed by an RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez as the Dodgers finally got on the board. Closer Jeurys Familia entered and recorded the final out of the eighth inning by inducing a weak line out from Justin Turner. In the ninth, Familia worked a 1-2-3 frame to wrap up the game.

Kershaw remains winless in the post-season since Game 1 of the 2013 NLDS, a span of seven starts. He gave up a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning, then walked the bases loaded in the seventh inning before departing with two outs. Reliever Pedro Baez entered and allowed two of his inherited runners to score when David Wright lined a single to center field. On the evening, Kershaw was on the hook for three runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts. Though he lost his command a bit towards the end of his start, the lefty pitched quite well and will be on the receiving end of some unnecessary criticism as a result of taking another post-season loss.

deGrom and Kershaw both struck out 11 batters, the first time that has happened in a major league post-season game.

Michael Cuddyer didn’t look too good out in left field for the Mets.

Game 2 of the NLDS will continue on Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets opposite Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom create MLB first with 11 strikeouts each in the playoffs

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.

The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.