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2004-10-07 09:55
by Jon Weisman

Some little treats to tide you over:

  • Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch pretty much sums up my feelings about the Dodgers-Cardinals series from both sides, in fine style.

    A sampling:

    There's been too little baseball and too much analysis. We've been using so many cliches, I've made plans to voluntarily check into sportswriter rehab. With the Dodgers in town all week, team senior vice president Tom Lasorda has spent so many hours eating pasta at Charlie Gitto's downtown Italian restaurant, he's officially a gnocchi.

    And then:

    This season when they've lost the first game of a series, the Dodgers are 16-7 in the next game. And while winning the first match in a best-of-five playoff set is a major plus, it hasn't provided the victor with an overwhelming advantage. Last season three of the four teams that advanced to the league championship series did so after losing the first game of the division series. And since the best-of- five LDS began in 1995, 14 of 36 teams have rallied to win the first round.

  • "L.A. had 10 comeback wins from down at least two runs in September alone, the most in more than 100 years," writes Gary Miller on

  • From Nate Silver on Baseball Prospectus, we learn that Steve Finley became the sixth player all-time to reach a career-high in home runs at age 39. Moreover, he's the first home run hitter of any substance to do it.

    The previous five 39-year-olds to set a career-high in home runs: Jim O'Rorque (1890) with 9, Fred Jacklitsch (1915) with 2, Harry Wright (1974) with 2, Red Faber (1928) with 1, Randy Johnson (2003) with 1.

    "That's it," Silver writes. "Johnson and Faber, of course, are pitchers. Rico Carty, who hit 31 homers in 1978 to best his personal mark of 25, comes reasonably close if you expand the boundary to allow 38-year-olds in the mix."

  • "Keep an eye on Jeff Weaver's mechanics early in Game Two," writes Will Carroll, teammate of mine and teammate of Silver's, on Baseball Prospectus. "His stride length got inconsistent as the season wore on, leaving him prone to keeping the ball up in the zone. I don't think I have to tell you what the Cardinals do to pitches up in the zone. I'm not sure what The Wizard can do about that."

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