Tuesday, April 26, 2005

How Big Is Tomorrow?

Let’s set up the various scenarios for you so everyone knows what’s at stake in the extremely huge matchups tomorrow (as a side note, one now realizes how extremely important it is to have 4 good starters in the Ivy League b/c both Brown and Harvard’s seasons may come down to their 4th starter):

Yale ended up taking 3 of 4 from Dartmouth and is sitting on the bubble with a 9-7 record. Dartmouth is out of it, with its 7-9 record, and would surely love nothing more than to take a title away from the Crimson next weekend.

If Harvard takes both tomorrow against Brown, it basically clinches the division. In order for them not to win the title, they’d have to lose every game to Dartmouth next weekend, and Brown would have to sweep Yale. So you see how big a sweep would be.

What if Brown takes both games tomorrow? They’ll go one-game up on Harvard in the loss column with four to play. This is where things get interesting. If Brown then takes 3 of 4 from Yale next weekend (or better), it’s safe. Harvard would have to sweep and pray for one Brown loss to get the tie-breaking game. If Brown split with Yale next weekend, then Harvard would have to take 3 of 4 just to force a tie-breaking game, or sweep to win it all. If all Brown did was win one game against Yale next weekend, we’d at least have to split with Dartmouth to force a tie-breaker. You can see how difficult a position it is to be a game back heading into the final weekend; it puts you at the mercy of others. [There’s also the wild scenario here that Yale could sweep Brown and put itself in a position to win the title if Harvard were to lose at least two games.]

What if Harvard and Brown split their games tomorrow? Harvard goes into Dartmouth with a game lead over Brown. So basically we get the inverse of the paragraph above – Harvard would need 3 of 4 to be absolutely safe (meaning, the worst-case scenario is a tie-breaking game). If Harvard split next weekend, Brown would have to take 3 of 4 to force the tie-breaker or sweep to win it all. This is a decent position to be in – at least we’d still control our fate.

It’s little things like losing an extra-inning game (like today) that can be a real dagger. One game is huge.

1 comment:

Faiz said...

I should probably amend my comment about the 4th starter b/c it only really applies to us. The irony of Brown originally being stretched thin is that it now has its number one and two going against our three and four tomorrow -- that's Dietz and Tews for them. Their mid-week Cornell matchup inverted their rotation so they're actually set up as well as they would want to be for tomorrow. It goes without saying that the Crimson is going to need some heroes tomorrow, especially on the mound.