Sunday, February 15, 2015
Ringo bracket: End Round 1
Teams eliminated: Braves 87, Brewers 87, Cubs 87, Orioles 87, Padres 87, Pirates 87, Tigers 87, White Sox 87
Two series went seven games, four went six games, none went five, two went four. Of the 56 possible games, 46 were played.
The biggest upset was the Rangers knocking off the Tigers, who had the most wins in baseball in 1987 and had to be considered a contender to win this tournament coming in. That outcome was just luck. The real-life Rangers were not a good defensive squad, and the pitching staff walked a lot of hitters. In this series, they made the plays, and the Tigers just didn't get hits around the walks.
Upsets of a milder sort: The Royals swept the Brewers and the Astros prevailed in seven over the Pirates. Those were, by won-lost records, the most even drawings in the bracket, and in both cases the team with fewer wins came through. So I call them upsets, although neither is all that surprising.
Had the Padres hung on to their series lead and beaten the Cardinals -- that would have been a major surprise. In many ways, the Padres were a difficult match for the Cards, even though a much weaker team. San Diego had Benito Santiago to negate the stolen base threat (when healthy) and a handful of "backwards" pitchers to combat St. Louis' switch-hitters.