Phils Win, But Nats Still Clinch NL East – Phillies Nation
2012 Game Recaps

Phils Win, But Nats Still Clinch NL East

Kendrick stymied the Nationals tonight. (PHOTO: AP)

A lights out performance from Kyle Kendrick, a two-run triple from Darin Ruf, a spectacular late-inning catch by centerfielder John Mayberry to save some runs, and a big strike out from Jeremy Horst to help the Phillies win a game with the NL East on the line. That’s exactly how you drew it up when you looked ahead to this first game against Washington in the final series of the season, isn’t it?

Probably not. But that’s how things went down tonight at Nationals Park in the Phillies 2-0 victory. Sure, the Nats won the division because the Braves lost. But they didn’t do it by beating us, damn it! With everything else in this 2012 season a lost cause, at least we’ll still have that.
Au Revoir, KK

With his start tonight, Kyle Kendrick put a lid on his 2012 campaign. It was an up and down season for Kendrick. He recorded two scoreless streaks of twenty-plus innings and posted an ERA under three in two separate months (May and August); he also struggled mightily down the stretch when the team needed him most (6.59 ERA since September 15), and posted an ERA near seven in both April and June. With the extension of Cole Hamels, and the subsequent departure of Joe Blanton, Kendrick figures to be the lead dog for the Phillies fifth spot in the rotation next season. It’s no secret that KK wants to pitch as a starter. He made a strong statement about the matter in tonight’s final act.

– Over seven shutout innings, Kendrick was brilliant. He recorded just four strikeouts, but got a ton of groundball outs and walked just one batter. He was able to bear down in tough spots, and did the things he had to do to keep the Nats from scoring. It was a brilliant finale for Kendrick, and helped to ensure the Nats wouldn’t clinch the division by beating the Phillies.

Obligatory Ruf Pun

– Darin Ruf has really been something. I know it’s a small sample size, and he’s a 26-year old that has never played above Double-A before his recent call up. But you can’t take away what he has done so far in the Bigs. And I’d rather see him do well during this short span of games, at least leaving open the possibility that he truly is a diamond in the rough. So far, he’s hit .333 with a .938 OPS in 29 PAs. He’s homered once and posted a .376 wOBA. He’s also posted an unsustainable .421 BABIP. Still, there’s been a lot of good there. He started and ended the scoring tonight with a two-run triple, another first for the right-hander. Along with Kendrick, he helped to spoil the Nats festivities.

Game Notes

– Just two games to go in this forgotten season. B.J. Rosenberg has been rumored to be the first one out of the door for the Phils in a bullpen game tomorrow night, but nothing has been confirmed. Cy Young contender Gio Gonzalez pitches for the Nats.

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    October 1, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Nice game Kyle Kendrick. Fine triple by Darin Ruf. Congrats to Washington for winning the Division. I will be rooting for them throughout the playoffs. That is a team that is long overdue and I wish them well. Still, I’d love to see my Phils sweep this series. Phils are guaranteed at least a 500 season. Let’s hope for more.; GO PHILS!

  2. DavidE

    October 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    44-29 since the All Star Break. Just too much ground to make up. The bullpen has been revamped and I think it could be very good and deep next year. At the All Star break this year, the season looked pretty bad and the future of the Phillies looked dim.

    Now for the bullpen possibilities next year, the Phillies have Papelbon, Bastardo, Horst, Aumont, Lindblom, DeFratus, Papelbon, Schwimmer, Stutes, Diekman and Savery. If the bullpen had been this effective before the All Star break, the Phillies probably would have been an above .500 team.

    I like Charlie Manuel leaving DeFratus in to face Bryce Harper. He made a pretty good 3-2 pitch but Harper held his swing. Then he got Zimmerman to hit a ball that Mayberry made a diving catch on. But it was a pretty good pitch. And I like that he brought Aumont in rather than Papelbon. See how Aumont is going to react to the pressure of a tight game with the crowd on its feet. Aumont handled the challenge.

  3. Ryne Duren

    October 1, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    hey there guys. i agree with both of you Bart and David. and i also give congrats to the nats!
    now with that said i’d like to thank everyone here, columnists and commentors here for sharing this painfull summer with me. you guys put up with my rants and helped keep my sanity! ( i think) a few things i’d like to express.. i’m happy that the future doesn’t look that dim for our team. i think a few tweeks and we’re right back on the division quest again.
    i’m also happy that the bravo’s lost tonight and the nats won the division while being constrained in the dugout! it made them winning the division in front of us not that very painfull!
    i’m sure you guys remember our first! it was crazy awesome and we won while we were on the field and celebrated wildly. and we didn’t have to watch that tonight while we were dethroned. i know it must sound lame saying that but SO WHAT. lol that’s the phighten in me.

  4. Whatthephuck

    October 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    It’s funny how the nats GM said in 2008 that the nats will compete in 2012, after most likely purposely being the worst team in the MLB for a few seasons to pick up on Strasberg and Harper, what a coincidence!!

  5. Bob in Bucks

    October 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Congrats to the Nats. They did a great job of drafting and putting together a fine team with the possible exception of the Werth deal. They will be a force to deal with for the next three years until money runs out when Harper and Co reach arbitration.

    I don’t see the Phils catching them for a while but I will hope.

  6. Melvin

    October 2, 2012 at 6:13 am

    I know this sounds really weird but I was hoping we could do the Braves a solid by sweeping DC while they swept the Pirates. Kind of a reversal from last year when we bounced them out, we could give them a chance this year to win the division in a one game playoff with the Gnats. However, the Bravos chose not to step up and avoid the wild card one and done game. Oh well…

  7. Ken Bland

    October 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

    News items from around the Majors that even a worldwide leader like duh duh duh…duh duh duh might not even find….

    Item number 1…

    Well, at least they settled the AL MVP race on the field last night. Mike Trout had 4 hits to all but cinch the AL MVP race. Trout was in a highly discussed race with Daytwat’s Miguel Cabrera, but the ability to finish stroing oughta make for an easy decision now for voters.

    Item Number 2

    Well, at least they settled the AL MVP race on the field last night. Miggy Cabrera had 4 hits to all but cinch the AL MVP race. Cabrera was in a highly discussed race with South Jersey’s Mike Trout, but the ability to finish stroing oughta make for an easy decision now for voters

    Item Number 3

    Check this out. The aforementioned Cabrera, and Prince Fielder both had 4 hits last night. Leyland’s Bunch, with those 8 hits in the middle of the lineup scored 6 runs in their champagne clinching win. Cabrera and Fielder wouldn’t embarass thenmselves in comparison with any 3-4 combo in the history of the game. Not Ruth and Gehrig, not Utley and Howard, not even Mays and McCovey, nor Aaron and Mathews, let alone Rice and Lynn.
    But take any of those, or even Maris and Mantle, let alone Foxx and Simmons and tell me when was the last time that the 3-4’s combined for 8 safeties, and the team only scored 6 runs.
    That’s a facetious question, niot meant to be answered with fact, or to send the researchers sprinting to their data salivating over a unique challenge. We’re at a point where I can’t even imagine Utley and Howard combining for 8 hits in a game, especially the rest of this year, and those 2 did it in what almost feels like just another day at the park. But only 6 runs out of that?
    They don’t build lumber companies like they did in the days of Stargell and Parker. Or Schmidt and Bullzinski, for that matter.

    News item 3

    I hope you guys are finished lamenting the Phillies late season woebegone results against the Houston Disastros. Blood pressure levels reached record highs a couple weeks ago when the Phils volunteered to solve wild card congestion by losing 3 of 4 to the Stros. Here’s the deal on the Stros. They lost like 106 games last year, and either have, or will bottom that by season’s end. Or might. I don’t do the southern half of the standings in detail. But within that trip to nowhere, the Stros have now combined for back to back shutouts over the formerly rampaging Crew Club, and the 100 years overdue to rampage Chitown Cubs. They might even be a threat to win the AL West next year, should the other clubs transfer to other organizations.

    News item quatro…

    Speaking of the AL West, did you see where the Oakland nee Philly A’s scorched the Texas Strangers last night? Cut the divvy lead to a game with 2 to play, and host the last 2 versus the same club. Every single year, every single race, there’s always some rennigade that decides to stand up and offer a contrarian vote to upset everyone. Like a 2nd place finisher is left off the ballot completely by some fool. Now you may think that you gots to be looney to not vote for Trout or Cabrera as a minimum of one or the other first place, but it’s not criminally ridiculous if anyone of the voting populous decides to branch out and put a check mark next to Yoenis Cespedes’s name. Where would the A’s be without him? See where the Phillies are? But at least the Phils were mentioned in the conversation about signing him. What a consolation! And don’t look now, but the A’s have a shot at best record in the AL. Not bad .

    • Lefty

      October 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      The fact that item number 1 and item number 2 say the same thing about different people- says it all for me.

      If ever there was a year for co-MVP’s this is it.

      The voters will give it to Miggy, and that’s cool. Trout will have many more chances.

  8. Brooks

    October 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Great post Ken Bland..
    I think the last player to ever win the ROY and MVP award in the same year was Freddy Lynn of the Sox way back in the 70’s – but, I think my vote would go to Cabrera – without a doubt. The Tigers are in the post season and the Halos were eliminated last night by the A’s win (another great storyline).
    Miggy is on pace to be the first AL triple crown winner since Yaz in 1967 with much more impressive numbers to boot.
    Trout does have the AL ROY.

    You mentioned the Bull, I was looking at the highlights of Ruf’s triple and could not help but see the similarity between Ruf and Bull – Ruf has more of a neck (not much) and looks slimmer and faster than the Bull. Nice comparison – anyone else see this?

    • Ryne Duren

      October 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

      yeah brooksie i do! i see he has a simular short quick powerful swing too! he also has a very good eye at the plate. bull had a pretty good one too!

      • Ryne Duren

        October 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

        i also see him as a ROY candidate if he sticks in ST.

    • schmenkman

      October 2, 2012 at 10:14 am

      I think Trout is the clear choice for MVP as I laid out the other day, but I just want to say here that Yaz’s numbers may look less impressive, but they were compiled in a much different era.

      Yaz hit .326/.418/.622 (1.040 OPS) in a season in which the average team scored 3.70 runs per game, and the average OPS was only .654. This was in the age before the mound was lowered in 1968. 32 out of 68 qualifying pitchers had ERAs under 3.00 in 1967. This year, only 10 out of 89 do.

      Cabrera is obviously having a great season, and it’s pretty exciting that there might be a triple crown winner again after a 45 year drought, but he’s not really in the same category as Yaz.

      Cabrera is hitting .329/.393/.608 (1.001 OPS) in a season in which the average team is scoring 4.46 runs per game, and the average OPS is .732. Some of that is undoubtedly due to the DH — in the NL it’s 4.23 per game, with a .719 average OPS.

      Yaz’s OPS+ (OPS normalized for the league and park) was 193
      Cabrera’s OPS+ this year is 166
      Trout’s OPS+ by the way is 170

      Which is why I think Trout is the clear choice. As good a player offensively as Cabrera, but a much better baserunner and defensive player.

      • Brooks

        October 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

        I should not make it seem as though I would even consider slighting Yaz and his accomplishments. They guy was 5’11 and weighed in at 175 lbs yet managed to hit 44 hrs that year. And you’re right, that period of time was dedicated to the pitchers (67-68).

        That being said, his average fluxuated considerably over his career anywhere from in the .250’s to a high of .329 in 1970. His career BA is very respectable at .285 and his OBP stands at .379. He hit more than 30 hrs 3 times in his career and had over 100 rbi 5 seasons.

        Comparativly, Miggy is a giant at 6-4 240 lbs, has knocked in 100 runs or more in each of his last 12 seasons, hit more than 30 hrs in 8 of his 10 years in the league and by the time he is done, will likely be a first ballot HOFer. The guy is not yet 30 and has 321 hrs and over 1100 rbi. Staying healthy is the key.

        I know the MVP doesn’t always equate to who’s team makes the playoffs but its not always based on stats alone either. When you say Trout is the clear choice (I assume you mean for MVP) – how so? No doubt, if Puljos had maintained his offensive dominance this year and Hunter was healthy, the Angels might be in the post season as well which would lean more favorably towards an MVP vote. How did he contribute to the teams overall success, where would the team be without him? Those used to be what I heard was the key criteria for candidacy.. of course, Ripken’s 1991 award completely goes against those arguements.

      • schmenkman

        October 2, 2012 at 11:06 am

        When I said Cabrera wasn’t in the same category as Yaz, I meant only with respect to their triple crown years, which is what I thought you were comparing (“first AL triple crown winner since Yaz in 1967 with much more impressive numbers to boot”).

        And when I said that “Trout is the clear choice for MVP”, you’re right, I did mean for MVP. 😉

        In thinking about the MVP, I put some weight on the team’s success, but only up to a point.

        Setting that aside for the moment, Trout is having the MUCH better year. As I showed, they are essentially the same player at the plate, but Trout also has the great baserunning 47 steals in 51 attemps (and a much better baserunner in general), and the great defense.

        Cabrera does one thing well. Trout does that thing as well as Cabrera, and then adds two more important facets of the game where Cabrera is a non-entity.

        Now, as for their teams’ success, I honestly don’t see much difference between a team that got eliminated yesterday, and a team that managed to just get there. Not to mention that the Angels actually have more wins than Detroit. Why penalize Trout because he happens to play in a tougher division — shouldn’t that actually help his MVP cause?

      • EricL

        October 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

        @Brooks, when you say ” its not always based on stats alone either” you probably want to be careful. Bringing in “intangibles” doesn’t help Cabrera’s case, if you know what I mean.

        And as for the “How did he contribute to the teams overall success, where would the team be without him?” line of questioning, well, as I said below, Since Trout joined the Angels they’ve posted a .592 winning percentage, which would be the best in the AL over the course of a whole season, AND, as schmenkman said, the Angels have a better record than do the Tigers (and have done it against better competition).

      • Brooks

        October 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        @Eric – lets not get carried away. Trout hardly played any games in April and his season did not really start until after the first week in May for sure but so did Albert’s. On May 6th, Albert Puljos had his first AL home run and only this 7th rbi of the season (Trout had his first hr and first 2 rbi on May 5th).

      • EricL

        October 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

        All I did was calculate their record from the day Mike Trout started playing on a daily basis. Not sure how you can discount that if you’re going to take the team record into account (which I’ve already said I think is a terrible way to judge the value of any particular player).

        The point is, if you’re going to give Cabrera credit for his team winning, you should acknowledge that Trout’s team has won more games than Cabrera’s has, and has the best winning percentage in the league since Trout’s arrival.

    • Ken Bland

      October 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      The similarities do kind of jump out at ya. Both physically, and strengths and weaknesses wise. But I hope Ruf is flattered by the comparison. Schmidt never stopped growing as a hitter. Bull was a terrific all around hitter who for whatever reason (weight, lack of fire) just couldn’t finish his career with the same impact as he did in the late 70s. If you think back to the 77 and 78 time frame, even though Mike had already started kicking it, you’d have much preferred Bull be up in a big spot. By no later than 81, and I’d guess Greg was still 31, maybe 32 years old, it had more than reversed in clarity. But give Bull his due. He could mash.


    October 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Trout is outstanding. I really like this kid. But Cabrera will win MVP this year. Unfortunately, He has an entire career of near-MVP performances. I do think that fact will put him over in the ballots. Just my opinion

    • schmenkman

      October 2, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Agreed — Cabrera will win. C’est la vie.

  10. Don M

    October 2, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I think the fact that Cabrera led his team to the postseason, while the Angels fell short will also help Cabrera … Trout can win ROY and GG and Silver Slugger, and whatever else .. but I think Miggy wins the MVP …

    It may be too old-school, but Cabrera at .329 with 44 HRs, and 137 RBI with 109 Runs is a MONSTER season in the “baseball card stats” … I think i’d vote Miguel Cabrera as the winner too, but I definitely think the writers will vote that way

    • EricL

      October 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

      The “led team to the playoffs” is a weak argument. You do know the Angels have more wins than Detroit, right? You’re using team wins to measure an individual player’s value. But if we’re going to do that, let’s really do it….

      Before Trout joined the Angels they were 6-14.
      Since he joined the team on April 28, they’re 83-57, good for a .592 winning percentage, which would be the best in the AL if it were over the whole season.

      And Trout is having a MONSTER season in any stats you want to look at. He’s got 83 RBI AS A LEADOFF HITTER, in only 137 games! He’s 48 for 52 on steal attempts. He’s batting .325 with an OBP of .397! And he’s doing all that while playing gold-glove calibre defense at a premium position.

      They’re both having outstanding offensive seasons (although Trout’s is ever-so-slightly better when you include park-factors), but Trout’s doing it as one of the top defensive players at his position and as an excellent base runner, while Miggy’s doing it as one of the worst defenders at his position and a slug on the bases.

      It’ll be a bit of a robbery if Trout doesn’t win the MVP, but it won’t be the first time that the BWAA show their buffoonery. Ted Williams’ 1947 season springs to mind, as does the AL in 1985 and 1987 (lol @ Boggs’ 1987 being 9th…just indefensible), amongst others.

  11. Ken Bland

    October 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    “Before Trout joined the Angels they were 6-14.
    Since he joined the team on April 28, they’re 83-57, good for a .592 winning percentage, which would be the best in the AL if it were over the whole season”

    While that’s 100 per cent true, it’s not like Mike didn’t have other positive results to adjoin to his greatness in turning the Angels season around. Albert kicked ass after a poor start, for example. Trout deserves a ton of credit for his work in the turn. But if he had spent the year in the minors,it’s tough to see the Angels not having had at least a half decent year, and certainly well above the 6-14 pace that started their season.

  12. Don M

    October 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I think the Angels are a better team than the Tigers … I think Miguel Cabrera, especially if he wins the Triple Crown, will win the MVP ……. just my thoughts, and how I would vote too. I think that Cabrera is more valuable to the Tigers than Trout to the Angels this season

    that might sound crazy to some, but the Angels were pretty damn good without Trout the past few seasons, and with Pujols, Trumbo, Morales, Kendrick, and that pitching staff, Trout wasn’t being counted-on to do anything this year …. Cabrera played under more pressure, for a worse team, and also performed at historical measures.

    I wouldn’t lose sleep if either won the award, just going on record as saying I think Miggy will get the votes from the voters.

    • schmenkman

      October 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Just to focus the discussion, I haven’t seen anyone here disagree on your last point.

    • EricL

      October 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      If you think the Angels are the better team, why do you think the Tigers are under more pressure?

      Shouldn’t the better teams be under more pressure to win, and the inferior teams be under less pressure to win?

      Also, I’m not really sure why “pressure” should go into the calculation anyway, since it’s entirely non-quantifiable. For example, I can just as easily say that Trout had more pressure to perform because he was a rookie–someone who needed to do well or else be sent back down, potentially costing himself tens of millions of dollars if he failed–than Cabrera who has an established track record and a huge, $150mm contract and is therefore set for life. I mean, if you look at it that way there’s almost no pressure on Cabrera as compared to Trout.

      • Don M

        October 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        I said that Cabrera was under more pressure… not the Tigers as a whole

        You’re right that you can’t calculate it . . . though, i’m sure you’ve dealt with “pressure” of some sort in your life, right? So you know that it’s a real thing, it exists, and it impacts performance …

        I would imagine that most people would agree that being the #3 hitter, for a team predicted by many to win a division title, and make a postseason run … is a little bit more of a pressure-filled situation… than that of a guy who wasn’t being counted-on to do anything special, being added to a team predicted by many to win a division title, and make a postseason run.

        Cabrera is and was counted on to carry the Tigers… Trout was not counted on the carry the Angles …

        I agree that you can’t calculate that… but some things don’t need calculation. Again … i’m fine with Trout winning the MVP, I just don’t think he’ll get the 1st place votes

      • EricL

        October 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        I think most people would agree that having to work for your money and success, with no guarantee of either is a more stressful situation than knowing you’re guaranteed $160,000,000 in your bank, no matter what you do, even if you fail miserably.

        I also think that if a team is supposed to be a favorite, and is failing, there’s a ton of pressure on a kid brought up to lead off and play centerfield at the age of 20.

        But all this is nonsense, because if you’re using “pressure” as a determinant for MVP qualifications you’re already grasping at straws.

        You’ve said a few times that you don’t think Trout will win, but then you’ve also said that you would vote for Miggy, which means you agree that he’s been better than Trout, or more valuable or whatever, and it’s that point which I think you need to back up, which, personally, I think is impossible. Trout, in fewer games, has been worth more wins to the Angels than Miguel has been to the Tigers, for me, it’s just as simple as that. The player that helps you win more is more valuable to his team, regardless of where they finish or how much “pressure” you presume they’re operating under.

      • Don M

        October 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

        yea, I guess i’m not backing it up very well… but basically I’m still a huge backer of baseball card stats, and while WAR has its merits, it’s not the end-all stat for me (Michael Young isn’t the 2nd worst player in baseball – as WAR would lead you to believe).

        if you hit .xyz, with x HRs, and x RBI ……and lead the league in all of those categories, I think you win the MVP over someone that is faster than you and better at defense…

        I’m just saying what I think will happen, how I think the voters will vote, and that i’d vote the same way… Trout will win ROY in a landslide, and if the Angels made the playoffs, he might have won MVP too …. I just think it goes to Cabrera, and I think it’s deserved. And I understand the people that value stats other than the Triple Crown stats, and would vote for Trout

      • EricL

        October 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm

        This is kind of exasperating.

        You understand why people don’t value RBI anymore, right? It’s totally team and lineup dependent, and thus not a good measure of an individual’s personal contributions. A leadoff hitter that bats .410 isn’t going to lead the league in RBIs, while some guy who hits .219 with an abysmal sub-three hundred on base percentage very well could lead the league in RBI if he bats in the middle of the lineup and the guys in front of him get on base all the time. That doesn’t mean he’s the more productive hitter, it just means that there are more men on base when he bats than when the guy who hits .410 bats.

        Batting average is also antiquated. As I explained to someone earlier this week, it doesn’t do a good job of telling you how frequently a guy gets on base. OBP is much better for that, as it considers walks, which as ever little league coach tells his players, are as good as a hit. (I used Utley’s .260 batting average vs his .370 OBP and compared that to Juan Pierre’s .310 BA vs. his .354 OBP – and both of them versus Dan Uggla’s .219 batting average vs. his .347 OBP)

        And in that statistic, which is a better indicator of how infrequently a player makes an out, Miggy doesn’t lead the league. Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder, and Mike Trout all get on base at a better clip than does Cabrera.

        HR is the only statistic in the traditional “triple crown” stats that actually shows his true contributions (and even then SLG is better).

        So, when I bring up runs scored, steals and HR or whatever, I think those are just as arbitrary as the traditional triple crown stats are, except with the difference that the things Trout are doing have never been done before, which by itself should hold a lot of weight.

        As far as WAR goes, here’s a really good, really simple explanation of how it’s used and why people like it as an overall measure of production: – it also explains why when a light-hitting guy like Young plays first base he’s rated worse by the WARP system than light-hitting guys who play SS, for example, are.

      • Don M

        October 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

        this is my last comment… you can have the last word.. as I’m not trying to argue anything specific ..

        I look at a game, take any playoff game… game’s over, lets look for the “Player of the Game” … that generally goes to the guy that had 2-3 hits, and drove in 2-3 runs … and not that guy that got on base the most, scored the most runs, stole the most bases or made the most defensive plays . . .

        So if it’s okay to value RBI, when evaluating the outcome and the impact player of a certain game … why does that stat no longer matter when we look at the entire season?
        Sure everyone realizes that you need guys in front of you to get on base to drive them …but you still need to drive them in – to me, that isn’t a stat that should be discounted. and OBP is great, but I want me #3 hitter being more aggressive than my #1 hitter.. if my #1 hitter walks and gets on base all the time, that’s great, he’s doing his job …. and when my #3 hitter drives him in, and gets lots of hits, HR, and RBI .. that’s great, he’s doing his job…

        I think* that Miguel Cabrera will win the MVP… and I agree with that, because I think he is more valuable to the Tigers than Trout is to the Angels … It’s my belief that if you take both players away from those teams that Cabrera is missed more than Trout – the Angels would still be better than the Tigers …. ………..again, just my opinion.. The floor is now yours, kind sir.

      • EricL

        October 2, 2012 at 7:45 pm

        Don, that’s not really arguing anything different though.

        You’re just saying, “Well, the guys on TV who pick the player of the game do X, so X is how we should choose an MVP candidate” even when there are better measures of value.

        As has been said a number of times by both myself and schmenkman, Trout and Cabrera are about equal offensively, all things considered, but Trout brings much more value on the other side of the ball, which you apparently acknowledge.

        I really encourage you to read and think about that Baseball Prospectus article I posted – it explains why it WAR values run creation/run prevention over everything else (because runs are the currency of baseball) and it does a more scientific and more accurate job of measuring the run prevention/creation ability of an individual player than just looking at a few “old time” batting stats. In the end, if you have a player that provides the net highest run differential, you have the best player. (Mind you, it’s not 100% accurate, as they acknowledge, but it’s certainly better than “X RBI, Y BA, Z HR = best/most valuable/whatever)

        I know what you’re trying to argue, and what I’m trying to do is show you that there’s a better way to measure these things. We don’t have to rely on opinion and speculation; we can actually look at the totality of what a player does and make a fairly objective decision based on that empirical data.

  13. Lefty

    October 2, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I ask you good folks to consider something I just read.

    Only two players in Major League history have ever had 30 homers and 50 stolen bases in a single season (Eric Davis in 1987 and Barry Bonds in 1990)

    If Mike Trout can somehow manage just 2 more SB’s in the next two games, there will be three. Just three players, – ever.

    Does this make him an MVP? Not necessarily, but it does put him in “rarified air”. This dude is badass.

    • EricL

      October 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Here’s another one:
      No player, IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL, has ever had a season of 125 runs scored, 30 HR, 45 SB.

      Until Trout did it this season.

      The three things that Miggy is doing have been done a handful of times, most recently by Yastrzemski. Heck, this isn’t even Miguel’s best season – his OPS+ was better last season and the year before. Trout’s doing things that have never been done. Ever. In the history of the sport.

      And he accomplished those things IN ONLY 137 GAMES!

      • Don M

        October 2, 2012 at 2:23 pm

        No player IN THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL has ever had a season of 119 runs scored, 10 HR, 130 SB …… until Rickey Henderson did it in 1982 … in only 149 games


      • Don M

        October 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        and obviously i’m being an idiot.. but this fact was presented on ESPN Radio’s “Baseball Today” with Keith Law and Eric Karabell… “Miggy Cabrera became only the 3rd player in Major League history with 201 Hits, 44 HR, 40 2Bs, and137 RBI in a single season ..the other players … Lou Gherig did it twice, and Babe Ruth”

        so if one has enough time, one can find any grouping of statistics to support any argument he/she might encounter.

        “How to Lie with Statistics” …

      • Lefty

        October 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        Amazing. And how many times did he do this-

      • EricL

        October 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

        @Don – So you’re agreeing with my point that Miguel is doing things that have been done before and Trout is doing things that have never been done before? Cool. We’re on the same page then.


    • Ken Bland

      October 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm


      In that video of the Trout catch, he made what I felt was a more entertaining catch in Camden Yards where he watched the highlight on the replay board, and was pounding his chest, to jar some memories.

      But due respect to this fabulous player, here’s a catch that I don’t know if dwarfs is the right word, but still leaves a goal for Mike to equal. And the pbp guy is less pompous than Bob Carpenter.

      • Lefty

        October 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        Nice! Hard for me to see it clearly. Did he climb that fence with his cleats? No way he jumped that high did he?

      • Ken Bland

        October 2, 2012 at 10:06 pm

        No, he climbed the wall. This may be a clearer version.

  14. schmenkman

    October 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Something else to consider. WAR may be an acquired taste for some, but whatever.

    Here are all of the 10-WAR seasons of the past 20 years, from fangraphs:

    Bonds – 5 (1993, 2001-2004)
    Sosa – 1 (2001)
    Griffey – 1 (1996)
    Pujols – 1 (2003)
    ARod – 1 (2004)
    Trout – 1 (2012)

    • schmenkman

      October 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      Or, as I said the other day, forget WAR (with updated numbers)…

      Offensively, they are nearly the same player, although they provide value in different ways.

      OBP: essentially the same (Trout .398, Cabrera .393)
      SLG: Cabrera is higher (Trout .564, Cabrera .608)
      So Cabrera has the somewhat higher OPS, 1.001 to .962.

      However OPS doesn’t include basestealing, and in that of course there is no comparison (Trout 48 steals in 52 attempts, Cabrera 4 for 5), and Trout is the much better base runner in general.

      Their wOBA, which does include steals, is essentially the same: Trout .423, Cabrera .417
      We won’t get into the fact that Cabrera plays in a more hitter-friendly park, which we can also adjust for.

      So just stopping right there, if you’re given a choice of two identical offensive players, and one plays the outfield like Mike Trout, and the other plays third base like Miguel Cabrera, which would you choose?

      • schmenkman

        October 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        So to finish the thought, even if I’m just talking to myself,

        Trout = Cabrera + Speed + Defense

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