Saturday, October 13, 2012

Experience and Clutch Hitting Become the Difference

MLB added an additional wild card starting this year to give more teams an opportunity to take part in the playoff race. But after the dust cleared and the tears were wiped from the eyes of the distraught in Cincinnati and DC, we are left with four clubs who are familiar with success--together they have appeared in 10 World Series since 2000 and include the winners of the last two. So, if the purpose of the new format was to help with competitive balance, it really didn't accomplish its purpose. 

If the playoffs could be summed up in a couple words it would be experience and clutch hitting. Veterans CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander provided the hammer in the rubber games for the Yanks and Tigers. The Cardinals used their experience and got some unlikely clutch hitting contributions to dig out of a 6-0 hole. The Reds fell behind by the same margin in their Game 5 but just couldn't get that last clutch hit. One consolation for all the losers: they are all relatively young and perhaps another year of experience will prepare them to get over the hump next year...pitchers and catchers report in 4 months.

Take a look at the teams remaining on the Playoff Dashboard.

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