MLB Playoffs: 2012 Division Series Nothing Short Of Amusing – Thanks To A Twist

Sunday October 21st, 2012

Jake Dal Porto: Whether you agree with MLB’s new playoff format of having the team with home field advantage start the series on the road or not, you would be crazy not to agree that it has made the 2012 postseason a bit hectic. Hectic in a good way though.

This year’s Division Series defined chaos. All four series stretched out to Game 5’s, and in the process, teams were forced to use strategic tweaks to gut out wins. From a general perspective, there was no “boring” series. Usually, there is at least one. It’s that series that you just occasionally peek in on to check the score. Nope, not this year. Each series had its own unique taste.

The Tigers and A’s followed the expected pattern in that the home team won all but one game. Detroit jumped out by winning the first two at home, looking as if they would easily take the series and avoid using their Justin Verlander two times in one series. But they did, and he elevated himself as the pressure amounted, tossing a shutout against the A’s in Game 5.

The taste of this series was whether the A’s could defy all odds and come back from an 0-2 deficit? Or more simply put, “what the heck just happened.” With their walk-off wins, and rookie packed roster, they couldn’t overtake the mighty Verlander, but they stunned the world by making it as far as they did. The A’s brought a new sight to the postseason scene.

The Giants and Reds followed a similar pattern, except the Reds won the first two games in San Francisco. What’s a bit different here, is that the Reds dominated the Giants in their home park. They outscored them 13-2, and seemed in the driver’s seat heading back home. The A’s were just victims of bad luck when they were in Detroit.

The Giants caught some good luck when Scott Rolen bobbled a ground ball to start their three game winning streak. In the final two games of the series, though, their offense propelled them to the NLCS. Ironically, the Giants seem better suited on the road. On the road, their offense performs much differently compared to when they’re at home. Granted, the dimensions are a bit different at AT&T Park, and play an immense role in the scoring output. But winning three straight on the road is no easy task in any instance, whether it may be during the regular season or the postseason.

The Orioles gave the Yankees all they could handle in the ALDS, but the more experienced Yankees rallied behind C.C. Sabathia to take the series. This series the obvious sense was “what if the Yankees lose?” I doubt many fans thought that the big, bad Yankees would lose against the Orioles. Despite needing five games to prevail, they completed the job. Again, the new format played its role. The teams split two games in Baltimore, and the Yankees won two at home which isn’t out of the ordinary.

Lastly, the Cardinals and Nationals battled to a Game 5 as well. Down 6-0 at one point in Game 5, the Cardinals struck for back and ultimately won the game. The taste? The game is never over. Thanks to that comeback packaged with last year’s magical run in the World Series, the Cardinals are now known as the masters of the comeback.

This year’s divisional series were ones for the ages. There was never a dull moment. The twist that MLB threw in was not accepted by a large range of the baseball world. Yet two weeks later, the playoffs might’ve not been the same without the 2-3 games split.

Of course, the A’s didn’t benefit, and they’re a poor example of my point. But they rallied back and made the series more than interesting.

If I had to sum up this year’s postseason in one word: unpredictable.

(*The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com*)

Jake Dal Porto is a Baseball Writer with MLB reports and a student from the Bay Area. Jake’s favorite sports moment was when the Giants won the World Series back in 2010. He loves to use sabermetrics in his work. He thinks they are the best way to show a player’s real success compared to the basic stats such as ERA, RBIs, and Wins. Jake also enjoys interacting and debating with his readers. Follow him on Twitter: 

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About Jake Dal Porto

Jake Dal Porto is a student from the Bay Area. He has followed Bay Area sports for years, and enjoys writing about the various Bay Area teams. He is an assistant editor at Golden Gate Sports, and the editor of Blue Man Hoop. If you need to contact Jake, email him: jakedalporto@gmail.com

Posted on October 21, 2012, in Playoffs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great report !!! Would not have guessed this was written by someone in high school.

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