Never mind whatever the television numbers may suggest with your pigskin and mine.
Baseball rules in October. The gridiron taste has been whet, and we’ll get back to it, kind of like a good vegetable or warm, soft piece of bread on the Thanksgiving spread.
For now, four teams are alive, the matchups are tight and none of us will be shocked by who wins this thing. Los Angeles and Milwaukee in the National League, Boston and Houston in the American League — all have pros and cons on why they can or should win.
Or fail, for that matter.
Those who haven’t kept up with baseball in the last two to three years might not recognize or fathom what they see. Analytics are more than a fancy and they’re not passing. The manager’s gut doesn’t make many decisions.
There are charts to position fielders, making it look something like our games in the lot on Contentnea Street when we didn’t have a full nine a side. Since we never did, it was all the time actually. Half-field we called it, and it was always a problem with that left-handed hitting brother and the pine trees beyond where the second baseman should have been.
He just had to hit opposite field. Sorry, we’re not playing in the trees.
Back to the majors.
Tendencies have always been known; that’s what advance scouts have been doing all these years. This is a different level. Three infielders to the right of second base, outfield swung the other way — on the same batter.
Lefty-righty matchups for pitching and hitting mean even the best in the game might sit. Or, a player might hit leadoff tonight, bat eighth the next game, or not even be in the lineup.
Brock Holt of the Red Sox was 1-for-15 against the Yankees’ right-handed starter prior to Monday. His manager penciled the left-handed hitter seventh in the order. He became the first player to hit for the cycle in the postseason and the Red Sox won 16-1.
Tuesday night’s encore? Ian Kinsler was back at second base; Holt never left the dugout.
Baseball in the 21st century. It’s in the fast lane of the information superhighway.
One team is eight wins away from a world championship. Going to be a fun ride on that highway.