Santiago Casilla was not happy about not pitching last night

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It’s been a frustrating year for Giants reliever Santiago Casilla. He was yanked from a game back in May, when he was still the Giants’ closer. He fumed at the time, saying, “the reason I got upset was because he took me out of the game where I thought he had confidence in me. I think I could pitch to the lefty, but I guess it shows the manager didn’t have faith in me.”

Bochy kept faith in Casilla for a few more months, but by September he had blown nine saves, leading the league in that dubious category. In mid-September Bochy demoted Casilla and used him sparingly in the season’s final couple of weeks. He made only one appearance in the NLDS: two-thirds of an inning in a low leverage situation in Game 2.

Which means he was basically the only Giants reliever of note who played no part in the meltdown that ended their season in the ninth inning of last night’s game. According to the Mercury News, Casilla is not happy to have not taken part. He reportedly sat in tears at his locker after the game and lamented the lack of confidence his team has in him:

“Never . . . I’m a pitcher. I’m part of the bullpen. I know I have had some bad moments in September and during the season, but I have good numbers in the playoffs and I know I can pitch in that situation. I know I can pitch in the big leagues.”

Before this season Casilla was a bullpen star for the Giants, playing an important part in all three of their World Series wins. Now the 36-year-old is due to become a free agent this winter. I’d guess the odds of him staying in San Francisco are close to zero, both because the Giants have lost faith in Casilla and because he has lost faith in them.

 

 

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.