The astros win because Alvarez is ridiculous, thinking about his craft, over- and under-rating Cub halves, extreme home runs and other Cub balls

With just one playoff game yesterday, I didn’t do a whole Roundup article. Can you “round up” a thing? For example, if your herd of cattle is just an ox, and it starts to roam the plains and you go and get it, do you round it up? Aren’t you just, like, obtain him?

  • This playoff game saw the Houston Astros go up 2-1 over the Seattle Mariners, again because Yordan Alvarez is one of the best hitters in baseball:
  • The Astros gave themselves a buffer in the 8th thanks to another rarity:
  • As for the series’ first walk-off, Codify has another fun tweet:
  • I often think of Alvarez in a very specific context: He was, at one point, a young Los Angeles Dodgers prospect who they traded to the Astros for a decent reliever at Josh Fields. Sometimes even a large organization doesn’t know what they have in a lead and makes a mistake. In Alvarez’s case, he was a 19-year-old who had yet to make his debut even in the Dominican Summer League. Of course, the following year, Alvarez exploded in A-ball, destroyed Double-A the following year at age 21, and the rest is history. It happened very, very quickly. The Dodgers didn’t know what they had.
  • Last thing on Alvarez for today: I feel like, for me, the extreme awesomeness of his season got lost in the even more extreme awesomeness of Aaron Judge’s season. Alvarez has hit .306/.406/.613/185 wRC+ this year. This is the 5th best wRC+ season IN THE PAST DECADE.
  • We know everything about the positive results of the Cubs in the second half of the season (39-31), and we also know – as Jed Hoyer pointed this out during his press conference.and still on the radio – that it’s important not to take away too much of the win-loss record, itself, over a short period that included softer moments in the calendar. It’s much more important to look at player development and culture and anything that can help you in the future.

The Cubs went 35-57 in the first half, a three-month streak that included:

— Their only two series against the Dodgers (0-7)

– A trip to Yankee Stadium in which they were outscored 28-5 in a three-game sweep

– A four-game loss to the Mets at Wrigley Field

– A 10-game losing streak in June against the Cardinals, Orioles, Yankees and Padres, all of whom finished over .500

– A 3-10 stretch entering the break which included a nine-game skid

Injuries obviously played a part in the struggles of the first half, with the starting rotation particularly hard hit. Marcus Stroman, Wade Miley and Drew Smyly all missed extended time.

  • Hoyer called the first-half schedule “disproportionately” difficult, which is probably correct. Couple that with throwing injuries piling up at the same time and some of the younger arms that haven’t emerged yet, and you could probably argue that if you want to erase the second half record, you also need to sand the edges of the first disc as well. Is it enough to say the Cubs were a .500 team of real talent last season? Heaven no. But maybe closer at this level what does their final disc show? One game or two or three? Yeah, I could buy that argument.
  • In the end, it only matters insofar as it impacts how the team prepares to compete in 2023. What you want – in my opinion – is that the organization sees itself as having been closer to .500 than the record showed, because then they will be more justified in adding aggressively to the 2023 squad. It’s less about how we talk about the squad 2022, and more the way we think about what is possible for team 2023.
  • The roster features multiple Cubs appearances, from both sides, including the very top (in a humorous way):
  • Manny Rodriguez makes love:

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