Home runs are the determining factor this time of year. Everybody’s aware about it and yet every so often someone tries to fool themselves into thinking that there can be another way. Some clinges to the past, “the way baseball used to be” or some other such garbage. But it’s not. With the pitching as good as it is, you have to hit the ball out of the park to get somewhere.
It’s always a Hit homers and win prizes.The Astros-Mariners series was a three home runs, all hit by the Astros. The Rhys Hoskins home run in Game 3 against the Braves much flipped the series and that’s how It works.Cleveland made a big deal about how much contact they’ve made during this season. It came out that a team could be successful by doing something other than hitting for power. It’s a forlorn hope inside and outside baseball.
That’s why Rob Manfred neutered the baseballs.They’re banning the shift, in the hope that hitters may dial it back and just settle for singles again.But all of it is a horseshit. Cleveland didn’t planed to just be a slappy, contact-heavy, tilt the BABIP in a favor way. They have to be like that because owners won’t pay for anyone who can hit the ball all that hard. They needed a whole new outfield for years, which started doing from within in the middle of this season. The team built on a shoestring budget simply because they made a lot of contact.
Houston also made a lot of contact. Which is why they’re still playing. That’s why they always play this time of year. But it wasn’t a good contact for the Guardians as the Cleveland offense wasn’t good this season. It was a tick below average, Fifteenth in runs, 16th in wRC+ at 99. They got to the playoffs. Because the only other two teams in their division actively trying were either dumb or injured or both . But they also pitch and field extremely well. Their offense was rather a bug , not a feature.
They were lucky enough to find a team in the Wild Card Round that couldn’t score in the Tampa Bays . No , it’s not a coincidence, they’re another team that won’t pay anyone . But Cleveland is gone home as they couldn’t score. They could fashion a couple of railles late in Games 2 and 3, but that’s all . In the games of the postseason, they scored 17 runs in seven . They hang around because their pitching was good, and they’re good enough developing pitching.