First of all, I want to thank everyone great season of baseball coverage. It’s been five years and we just keep on ticking! I couldn’t do it without you and truly appreciate everyone’s continued support. We are rolling into the offseason and will continue with our daily posts so keep checking back.
Now back to business. With the season over let’s take a look at yesterday’s games and check out some quick notes from the day in baseball, where many veterans were rested or just appeared in abbreviated fashion:
- The Oakland A’s story is incredible, isn’t it? How they managed to come back and overtake the Rangers, sending them to the 1 game playoff, is astounding. That said, seeing them beat up on Ryan Dempster, who was the disaster as expected, should not be a surprise. Dempster allowed 5 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 3, over 3.0 innings and finished with a 4.64 ERA and 1.39 WHIP in 11 starts for the Rangers. He would be much better off heading back to the NL in the offseason.
- If it wasn’t for Darin Ruf, the Phillies wouldn’t have scored a single run over the final three days of the season. He went 0-2 with 1 RBI yesterday, giving him 2 HR and 5 RBI in the series. As I said yesterday, he will be a player to keep a close eye on heading into next season. He showed the power in the minor leagues is for real, but he needs to make consistent contact and find a position. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him used as trade bait either.
- Is it just me or, given the season that he’s had, is it fitting that Cliff Lee took the loss on the final day of the season? His poor year shouldn’t be discouraging to owners, he will be valued as one of the top options again heading into 2013.
- Justin Maxwell went 2-3 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R yesterday, finishing the year with 18 HR and 53 RBI. Of course, it comes with a .229 average thanks to an inability to make contact (114 K over 315 AB). He will likely get a chance again next season, especially with the need for a DH, but if he doesn’t make contact his value is going to be minimal.
- The renaissance of Ike Davis was capped with a big finish, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R. If you looked at his .227 average you would get discouraged, but realize at the end of May he was hitting .170 with 5 HR and 21 RBI. The fact that he had 32 HR and 90 RBI is extremely encouraging, as the power is very much for real. He may fly a bit under-the-radar heading into 2013, but he shouldn’t.
- It’s safe to say that Daisuke Matsuzaka’s Red Sox career has come to an end, hasn’t it? He was shelled for 5 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 2.1 IP to finish the year with an 8.28 ERA. He allowed a pair of HR yesterday, as the Yankees hit 4: two for Curtis Granderson (2-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) and two for Robinson Cano (4-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 R).
- Speaking of Robinson Cano, for as disappointing as he has been this season, over his final 9 games he went 24-39 with 3 HR, 15 RBI and 11 R. Can you say scorching hot?
- Dan Johnson went 3-5 with 3 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R. If only you had thought to use him, huh? Of course, these were his only home runs of the season. He did hit 28 HR at Triple-A, but at 33-years old it is hard to see him making much of an impact.
- It was a dazzling finish for Brandon Morrow, tossing 8.0 innings allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 11. He hadn’t shown this type of strikeout potential since returning in late August, but we all know his type of upside. He’ll be an interesting pitcher to review this offseason.
- Despite being eliminated the day before, Evan Longoria and company still showed up on the final day of the season (did anyone expect anything different). Longoria went 3-3 with 3 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R, giving life to an injury plagued, disappointing season.
- Clayton Kershaw made his final case for the NL Cy Young, allowing 1 ER on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, over 8.0 innings. He finishes 14-9 with a 2.53 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 229 K. If healthy, it’s hard to imagine him not at either 1 or 2 on our SP rankings heading into 2013.
- Miguel Cabrera didn’t do much last night, going 0-2, but he did wrap up the first Triple Crown since 1967 as he hit .330 with 44 HR and 139 RBI. I think we have one of our top two bats in 2013, don’t you (along with Mike Trout)?
- Shelby Miller took a no decision in his first Major League start, but he was incredibly impressive. He allowed 0 ER on 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Oh yeah, he also carried a no hitter for 5.2 innings. For as bad as he was early in the season, Miller revitalized his career in the second half as he absolutely dominated. Assuming the Cardinals make room for him in the rotation, he is going to be a great buy for 2013.