This is maaaaybe premature there, ESPN. Maryland #1 FWIW.
Chen takes on Verlander today. First pitch is supposed to be at 1207. Hopefully the 'Gers can even up the series today.
Well it's playoff time, here's tonight's pitching matchup.
- Max Scherzer
- 18-5, 220.1 IP and a 3.15 ERA
- FIP: 3.12
- K/9: 10.29
- Chris Tillman
- 13-6, 207.1 IP and a 3.34 ERA
- FIP: 4.01
- K/9: 6.51
After a horrific start to the season Tillman has really come on during the 2nd half to become Baltimore's pseudo Ace.
Living in Baltimore this is sort of a dream come true for me, hopefully the Tigers have a good showing here and take a split back home to Comerica with them. I'm heading over to Camden in about 20 minutes but here's a gamethread in case anyone wanted it. EAT EM UP!
EDIT: Posting starting lineups here too
|1.||I. Kinsler, 2B||N. Markakis, RF|
|2.||T. Hunter, RF||A. De Aza, LF|
|3.||M. Cabrera, 1B||A. Jones, CF|
|4.||V. Martinez, DH||N. Cruz, DH|
|5.||J. Martinez, LF||S. Pearce, 1B|
|6.||A. Avila, C||J. Hardy, SS|
|7.||N. Castellanos, 3B||R. Flaherty, 3B|
|8.||A. Romine, SS||N. Hundley, C|
|9.||R. Davis, CF||J. Schoop, 2B|
Surprised nobody created a thread yet. Game 1 vs. Boston one period in. LGRW!
PS: If somebody breaks Marchand's face into pieces, I wouldn't be upset.
Now lets win this game
Edit. Just thought i should add this (Dats on Crosby):
With all due respect to gobluehtown for his recent diary regarding Brady Hoke and the # of wins needed to keep coaching at Michigan, I obviously borrowed in creating my OP title here.
To be completely serious, though, my point is that, barring 3 wins to finish the season, the Lions are in grave danger of being on the outside looking in come the NFL Playoffs. There's also no chance of a wildcard spot for Detroit, either---it's absolutely win all 3 or lose all control of their own destiny for the Lions, I believe.
Even if they somehow win out and don't continue being those "same old Lions" that we've cussed out year-after-year seemingly forever, methinks they need to then advance to at least the 2nd round of the playoffs (and probably more) for Schwartz to keep his job.
With the remaining schedule being tonight at home vs. the Ravens, next weekend at home vs. the struggling Giants, and finishing on the road in Minnesota, how many of you have any confidence the Lions (and especially Schwartz) won't screw it all up once again? Lose tonight, and they're looking up at both the Bears and Packers in the standings. The Bears have games remaining at Philly and home vs. the Pack; GB hosts the Steelers and finishes at Chicago.
Over on the Chris Petersen forum thread, Space Coyote commented that Petersen will get at Washington a program he can build as he wants "and isn't required to get 9-10 wins every year."
This is something I've been thinking about lately ... that is, the disparity in expectations among major college football programs, and whether the 4-team playoff coming next year increases the pressure for coaches at high-expectation schools.
It's simply a fact some programs have much higher football success expectations than other programs. Persistent losing is rarely tolerated, but there are plenty of programs where 9-win seasons keep everyone happy. Washington is probably one of those programs. But for places like Ohio State, Alabama, Florida, Texas, USC, Oklahoma ... the expectation is much higher.
So my question is this: Does the new 4-team playoff structure create more pressure on those high-expectation programs? Or less?
I'd argue more. My reasoning is this: today there's an escape hatch for high-performing programs that don't get into the BCS title game. It usually takes a perfect season and some luck to get into the BCS title game. A 10-2 or even 11-1 season won't always get you there, but it's still a great season and coaches can make that argument and generally it'll be accepted.
But with the new playoff system the expectation will be to get into that playoff. Winning it all will be great, of course ... but failing to get into the playoff will be a greater magnified shortfall.
Now there'll be four slots, so the competition is going to be fierce to be in the top 4. Four slots is twice as many as two, and the "perfect season and some luck" argument is diminished. "We finished 10-2!" the coach will argue. "Yeah, but you didn't get into the playoff so you fell short!" will be the counter-argument.
Some programs won't play that game ... preferring instead to play their game and if the record is 8-4 or 9-3 with no playoff, then okay. But the high-expectation schools are going to go all out to make the available playoff slots. Thus my argument that things get more intense, not less.