The World Series has been one of victories on the road leaving the hometown fans wanting more. Ray talks the first five games of the 2019 World Series. He will then discuss the venerable infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, who just keeps on hitting.
WORLD SERIES – TEAMS
The Nationals won two straight on the road. They hit .307 as a team.
The Astros won three straight on the road. The Nats hit .175 in these three games.
The Nationals were outscored by 16 runs in their three home games as they held the Nationals to one run in each game. The run different tied the largest in playoff history for any team in three straight games all on the road. The Nationals lowest three game run at home, during the regular season, was four runs scored.
This is the third time ever that the road team won the first five games (1906 and 1996). There has never been a series with the first six won by the road team.
In the 2-3-2 (away-home-away) format, the winner of Game 5 has won the series 69 percent of the time. That number climbs to 82 percent (18-of-22) when the winner is on the road. The team ahead three games to two has won the Series 76 percent of the time (35-of-46).
The Astros are on the cusp of becoming the 14th team to come back from being down 0-2 in the Series.
WORLD SERIES – PLAYERS
Jose Altuve has reached base in 25-straight postseason game. That is tied for the third longest in playoff history. The record is 31 held by Miguel Cabrera. Altuve also has 24 hits this postseason, one short of Darin Erstad’s AL record (Pablo Sandoval has the all-time record with 26 postseason hits for the Giants during their 2014 Series winning run).
Gerrit Cole pushed his K total to 47 this postseason, the second most ever, with nine more punchouts as he allowed one run over seven dominant innings. He also pushed his seasonal strikeout total to the fifth highest in baseball history. He moved to 8-0 his last nine road starts with an ERA below one at 0.89.
Carlos Correa continues to frustrate, but he also produces when on the field. Before turning 26 years of age, he is first all time in playoff homers (11), RBI (32) and extra base hits (21). He and George Springer have gone deep in seven games in their postseason careers to set a record. The Astros are 7-0 in those games.
Max Scherzer was supposed to start Game 5, but he woke up and couldn’t get out of bed. He was suffering from tremendous pain in his beck and right trapezius muscle (he had been suffering from spasms for a few days, but had battled through that previously). Scherzer received a cortisone shot Sunday, and that is believed to be enough to get him over his current hump. Still, that’s at least 48 hours to take effect, though as long as he has no numbness in his arm, the doctors don’t believe this is a long-term issue. “With this nerve irritation … they think with the cortisone shot in there, that the 48 hours really helps decide the pain that’s being alleviated — alleviate the pain from that neck nerve that’s in my neck right now that’s all pinched up.” The hope is that he could take the hill in Game 6, but reporters suggested he looked very tentative and deliberate with his movements during the press conference tossing that expectation into the gray zone of uncertainty. It doesn’t appear that these injuries are related to the back/shoulder woes he dealt with earlier this offseason. John Ross started in his place and allowed four runs over five innings. It was his first start in nearly a month (September 29th). As I noted in this podcast a few months back, it’s time to start growing concerned about Scherzer and his advancing age.
WORLD SERIES LONG-TERM RESULTS
THIS AND THAT – AN ACAB PROFILE
Asdrubal Cabrera is a valuable baseball player, who sometimes gains some fantasy relevance because of his positional flexibility. He turns 34 next month, but he is coming off yet another successful season.
Cabrera appeared in 31 games at second (29 starts) in 2019. He appeared in 98 games at third (91). He will qualify at both spots, as well as corner and middle infield, next season (don’t forget UT as well).
He hit 18 homers with 91 runs driven in during the 2019 campaign. The 91 RBI are one off his career best of 92, and his first season with more than 75 since 2011 while the 18 homers are an exact match for his seasonal average from 2011 through 2018.
In 2019 Cabrera went .260/.342/.441 for a .783 OPS.
From 2011-18, his average effort was .264/.324/.434 with a .758 OPS.
Further, he posted a .181 ISO mark, the fourth best of his career, while something else happened; Cabrera tool more walks than ever before. His 11.1 percent walk rate, leading to a 0.55 BB/K ratio, was his best mark since 2008 (career 0.44). He’s displaying “old man skills” or the ability to recognize pitches, take a walk, and drive the baseball.
His advancing age has not appeared to hinder his production with the bat in his hands.
Cabrera will be a free agent once the World Series ends. Seems likely for a few years now, he’s brought in to kinda hold a place down in the starting lineup until a trade happens or some rookie shows up. In the end, he just keeps on playing and producing. Given playing time, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious reason why his offensive game would crater next season.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Thursday 8-10 PM EDT, and Friday’s from 10-12 PM EST and Sunday’s at 9-11 pm EST on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys) and be sure to listen to his podcast work too.