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Janmaat and Kevin Mbabu for the clash with City. A

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Anmeldedatum: 21.10.2016
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BeitragVerfasst am: 05.03.2018, 03:49    Titel: Janmaat and Kevin Mbabu for the clash with City. A

The Indians would not be where they are without the extraordinary work of Andrew Miller, the MVP of the American League Championship Series. Andrew Miller would not have been the MVP of the ALCS without the unconventional managing of Terry Francona. But theres a third leg of this stool, the back leg, small and obscured by perspective but just as necessary to keeping the thing standing: Terry Francona would probably not be managing unconventionally if it werent for Cody Allen.Its not often an outstanding closer goes underappreciated in the postseason. Mariano Rivera, to give the obvious example, might well go down as the greatest postseason hero ever. But even slightly lesser relievers like Jeurys Familia and Wade Davis and Koji Uehara and Sergio Romo and Kenley Jansen and Brian Wilson have all, for a few weeks in recent postseasons, been temporarily elevated to gods by the stakes and the tension of October. Allen has been as good this month as any of them were, which is valuable enough on its own. But in this case, it has been even more important because it has made the Andrew Miller experiment possible.I have some experience in this. In the summer of 2015, as part of a book project with Ben Lindbergh, I ran the baseball operations of an independent minor league team called the Sonoma Stompers. This included pushing our managers (we replaced one midseason) toward certain in-game tactics. Nothing consumed our time and our powers of persuasion so much as trying to convince them that our best reliever should come in whenever we most needed our best reliever -- as Andrew Miller has been used this month -- instead of in the ninth inning by default. We ran into two obstacles, each specific to the manager in question, and each significant to understanding the role Cody Allen plays in Cleveland right now.Our first manager, the old-school one, simply would not bring in our closer -- an outstanding sinkerballer named Sean Conroy -- if he wasnt sure that Conroy would be available for the final out. He saw the 27th out as infinitely more important than the 26 before it, and considerably more difficult to attain than the 26 before it. After one brutal loss, we tried again to convince our manager that Conroy should have been brought in for the biggest moment of the game -- with runners on and our opponents best hitter batting in the seventh. But then I dont have a closer, he said. I need to have a closer. If I dont have a closer, I cant count on anybody else to get those last outs.Our second manager, more open-minded to our numbers-driven recommendations, was convinced by the leverage-based argument for bringing Conroy in earlier. Eventually, he was calling for Conroy as early as the fifth inning, just like Francona has used Miller. But, like his predecessor, this manager also didnt trust anybody else to get the final out, so he would leave Conroy in the game all the way to the end, pretty much no matter what. This was thrilling to watch, but it introduced some new problems: Conroy was throwing 50, 60, 70 pitches in relief outings. That probably dimmed his effectiveness by the time the eighth and ninth innings came around, and it made him unavailable for a couple days afterward. The latter concern had its own ripples: We were sometimes gun-shy about bringing him in, knowing it would leave the back of our bullpen gutted for the next games.For each manager, the obstacle to using Conroy the right way was the lack of another Conroy behind him. No matter how big the game situation, the manager cant stop worrying about the bigger situation that might come.At the risk of burying Allen further under Millers legend: Cody Allen is Terry Franconas second Andrew Miller. Hes thrown fewer innings than Miller this postseason, but theyve been almost every bit as good: Miller has a 47 percent strikeout rate, six Ks per walk, a 17 percent swinging-strike rate, and no runs allowed; Allen has a 43 percent strikeout rate, five Ks per walk, a 17 percent swinging-strike rate, and no runs allowed. Like Miller, hes death to both lefties and righties -- indeed, like Miller, hes got a slight reverse split -- allowing him to cut through large swaths of a lineup uninterrupted. Like Miller, hes capable of memorable acts of endurance, having entered in the eighth for his first two saves of this postseason, having twice thrown 40 pitches in an outing.Allen is not, to be sure, on quite the same level as Miller -- or Wade Davis, or Aroldis Chapman or Zach Britton -- but hes comfortably in the second tier of major-league closers, with a better ERA+ over the past three seasons than Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel, Roberto Osuna or Ken Giles. Hes converted 89 percent of his saves since taking over as Clevelands closer in 2014 -- the difference between him and Chapman is about one blown save in 50 tries. He is, in other words, a closer who not only gives a manager confidence going into the ninth inning, but cover in the post-game interviews if something goes wrong. Terry Francona neednt worry about being second-guessed for using Cody Allen in the ninth inning.Theres no rule that a manager has to romanticize the 27th out, and even without Allen, Francona might still have used Miller the way he has. But Franconas history suggests he wouldnt have. In two postseasons before this year, he has had exceptional closers. His usage of those closers seems to presage the way he has used his bullpen this fall -- but also strongly suggests that Francona wouldnt have used Miller this way without a closer as good as Allen pitching behind him.In 2004, Francona had Keith Foulke, and used him extremely aggressively in October. Foulke entered one save situation in the seventh, which very few managers have been willing to ask of their closers even in October. He pitched even in games the Red Sox were trailing, and in 11 of 14 games Boston played. In six of those games he went four outs or more, with single-game pitch counts of 36, 37 and 50.In 2007, he had Jonathan Papelbon, and used him extremely aggressively in October. In six of Papelbons seven appearances, he was asked to get four or more outs. From 2007 to 2009, Papelbon made 16 postseason appearances, and 12 of them were either four or more outs or began in the eighth inning (or earlier).So we have two data points for Francona using his relievers in unconventional ways, but notably not in the way he has used Miller. In no instance did he put either reliever into a situation where the pitcher was likely to be relieved. (There were games Foulke or Papelbon were removed from, but only because the game was tied or the situation changed.) They were used in the most aggressive way that would still have them on the mound for the 27th out.Maybe Francona got religion since then, but a) he was already way ahead of his peers in pushing his closers to their limits, and he still drew the line at bringing in either pitcher for the sixth and b) he has never used Allen that way since he took over in Cleveland.In addition to making it safe for Francona to use Miller in the sixth and seventh innings, Allens excellence has made it safe for Francona to pull Miller in the eighth and ninth. Consider the first game of the ALCS against Toronto: Miller entered in the top of the seventh inning and struck out two batters to end the inning. In the eighth, after a leadoff single, he struck out the next three batters. The Indians led by two runs going into the ninth, and Francona would certainly have been happy to leave Miller out there to finish the game, as our second-half manager did with Sean Conroy. But Miller had already thrown 31 pitches, and another inning might have left him too tired to pitch the next day. So Francona brought in Allen, who earned the save. Both pitchers were then available for Game 2, and both pitched brilliantly in a 2-1 victory.If there were no Andrew Miller, Allen might be the talk of this postseason. In saving Game 1 of the ALDS he got 11 swinging strikes, which is almost exactly what Corey Kluber has averaged in his starts this postseason. He threw 80 pitches in a three-game sweep of Boston. He pitched in four of five ALCS games, including one outing in which he basically was Miller -- coming into the seventh inning with the tying run up, chewing through the heart of the Blue Jays order for five outs, and finally handing the ball to Miller in the ninth. And he struck out the side in Game 1 of the World Series. But Millers brilliance has ensured that Allens brilliance has gone overlooked. The irony is that Allens brilliance had ensured that Millers brilliance has been possible. Frank Vatrano Jersey .ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable. Cheap Boston Bruins Jerseys . -- The Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 tie Saturday night that left the top of the Western Conference standings unchanged. .C. -- Rodney Hood connected from all over the court while freshman Jabari Parker was busy swatting shots and scoring in transition. David Pastrnak Jersey . Jane Virtanen scored two, and Alex Roach and Elliott Peterson rounded out the offence for the Hitmen (40-15-6). Brady Brassart chipped in with three assists. Colton McCarthy scored twice, Brayden Point had a goal and two assists, and Jack Rodewald also scored for the Warriors (15-35-9), who were 2 for 5 on the power play. Cheap Bruins Jerseys Authentic . - Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers of the Rimouski Oceanic has broken a shutout record that was only three months old in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.Rafa Benitez believes his players have taken enough positives from their victory over Swansea to be full of confidence heading into their clash with Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City. The Magpies will move out of the Premier League relegation zone if they claim victory over City at St James Park on Tuesday live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 7pm. Newcastle claimed a morale-boosting 3-0 victory over Swansea on Saturday and Benitez has called on his side to produce a similar performance as they go in search of their first league victory over City since 2005. We have to be ready for a difficult game. We all have to stick together, work hard and try to get three points in this game, Benitez said.If we believe like we did against Swansea then we can beat anyone. We have nothing to lose at the moment and we have confidence.We know that we can do it, we know that we can fight and play with this intensity, sometimes you play better, sometimes you play worse, but you have to keep this team spirit and this fight. Benitez believes Newcastle must play with the same intensity shown against the Swans City claimed an impressive 3-0 victory over Chelsea on Saturday Night Football, just four days after booking their place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time. Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge, but Benitez says he will not be making any special plans to contain the in-form City forward. He added: Manchester City are a team who are doing so well in Champions League aand have many good players.dddddddddddd Rafael Benitez has urged his Newcastle players to just concentrate on their performances and ignore the other teams They have so many good players that you cant be worried just about Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne or another offensive player because they have very good midfielders and they have a very strong defence.Benitez also confirmed he will still be without defenders Fabricio Coloccini, Daryl Janmaat and Kevin Mbabu for the clash with City. Also See: Mbemba: Benitez fantastic Benitez: Sissoko big influence Newcastles woeful run vs City Win stirs Townsends belief Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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