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Tuesday Bantering: Alford Plays!

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking News, Broken Pitcher:

It isn’t like we used a dozen pitchers last night. I have no idea what they will do, Elvis will have to do 2-3 innings.

There isn’t all that much for Blue Jays news:

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is had his appendix removed (so how you are going to have to read the book and not just flipped to the parts you are interested in). I’m sure all will be well by spring training.

And, in case you were wondering:

I don’t really know what that means now that the minor league season is over. I’d imagine he could be a free agent this winter.

Tom Verducci looks at what it takes to win in October. Surprise, it is home runs:

Beane, the executive vice president of baseball operations for Oakland, pointed out that in losing four straight Division Series from 2000-03 his team actually struck out less than its opponents in three of them.

“Do you know what wins in the postseason?” he told me. “Hit more home runs than the other team. That’s what wins. Almost nothing has a greater impact.”

Beane is right. Take the 33 postseason games from last year. Opponents hit the same number of home runs in 10 of those games. In the others, the team that out-homered its opponent went 19-4, an 83% win rate.

As much as we might be told otherwise, you aren’t going to beat the best pitchers in the league by getting 5 singles in a row. But it isn’t going stop TV commentators from telling us that small ball wins in the playoffs.

Today’s lineup. Anthony Alford is in it and is playing center (but not leading off). After last night he really ought to be playing in all of the last five games. Breyvic Valera is leading off and playing short. We mentioned his waiver claim here. I’m expecting that Richard Urena will be out the rest of the season after taking that pitch off the elbow.