Here’s a look at today’s baseball playoff pages…
DETROIT TIGERS 5, OAKLAND A’s 4
Detroit leads series, 2-0
Next game: Tuesday, 9 p.m. EDT at Oakland
A crazy, crazy afternoon in Detroit. According to the MLB’s own account of the game:
It was the first game in Major League postseason history in which both teams tied the game on a wild pitch in the same inning.
That inning was the 8th. The Tiger who scored, tying the game: Utility man Don Kelly.
And then, in the 9th, the Tigers won on a bases-loaded, sacrifice fly by — yes — Don Kelly.
DETROIT FREE PRESS
Kelly gets a big hug from Cecil Fielder on the front of today’s Free Press.
The only story on the page is the start of a column by Mitch Albom. I’d argue that’s about all you need. A piece by Albom is worth four or five stories by anyone else.
The picture is by staffer Kirthmon F. Dozier. Steve Anderson designed the page.
I think a better headline for that page might have been the one the Freep put on its sports front today.
The onfield celebration shot — in the rain — is also by Kirthmon Dozier. The page was designed by Ryan Ford, who wrote in his nightly email report:
Well, that was a fun Tigers game, especially in person. Don Freakin’ Kelly.
Not only that, but logo quasi-nerd that I am, even got to break out both versions of our Orioles button, plus the “vintage” Marlins look.
The two Orioles logos happened because of history-oriented graphics Ryan used on his page. If you’re talking about a certain year, you should show the logo the team was using that year, right?
In 1996, the Orioles used the “realistic” logo on the right. Later, the team reverted to its old cartoony bird logo. Which is still in use today.
The graphic across the bottom of the page explains that this year — for the first time since 1995-97 — the lower-seeded teams are playing at home for the first two games of the playoff series. Six times in that span, the lower-seeded team won its first two games. Here’s how they did once they hit the road, the graphic says:
The Detroit News stripped a picture of that Fielder/Kelly hug across the top of its page this morning.
The photo is by staffer Elizabeth Conley. The page was designed by Antone Amye.
The sports front — designed by presentation editor Rick Epps — leads off with a great action outfield shot by Elizabeth Conley…
And then features a celebration picture by staffer Daniel Mears of Omar Infante, the guy who scored the winning run from Kelly’s sacrifice in the 9th.
Rick tells us:
The Tigers are keeping us hopping, that’s for sure!
I’ll bet. Thanks for sharing the pages.
GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Advance Publications’ Michigan papers led today with a picture of Kelly’s score in the 8th inning. The odd thing here, however, is the headline. Which references Kelly’s sacrifice fly in the 9th.
The picture is by Diane Burleson of the Associated Press.
The rest of the Advance Michigan papers followed in suit.
From left to right:
- Jackson Citizen Patriot, circulation 24,031
- Kalamazoo Gazette, circulation 27,994
- Muskegon Chronicle, circulation 18,177
WASHINGTON NATIONALS 3, ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 2
Washington leads series, 1-0
Next game: Today, 4:30 p.m. EDT at St. Louis
Twenty-five-year-old rookie Tyler Moore — pinch-hitting with two outs the 8th inning — — hit a two-run single to put the Nationals over the Cardinals Sunday afternoon.
The Post led today’s page one with wild art — by Dilip Vishwanat of Getty Images — of the celebration at home plate when the tying and winning runs were scored.
Today’s sports front stripped the Redskins’ loss to Atlanta — and the concussion received by high-flying quarterback Robert Griffin III — across the top while focusing on Tyler Moore as he returned to the dugout after his 8th-inning heroics.
The photo is by Post staffer Jonathan Newton.
That page and the following pages were sent to me today by Brian Gross, who tells me both he and Chris Rukan worked on them..
Nationals coverage picks up inside today’s sports section on page D13. The large picture atop this page — also by Jonathan Newton — is of Moore hitting in the tying and go-ahead runs.
Newton also shot the downpage picture of Nationals starter Adam Wainwright.
Here are pages D14 and D15.
I really like these, so let’s take a closer look at both of them…
Page D14 is the utility page, with a full box, an extensive inning-by-inning summary and a great statistical look at the two starting pitchers.
If you’re a sports designer, then click on that page — for a larger view — and then save the JPG. This is how you do baseball playoffs, folks.
The facing page contains the jump of the main story, briefs and a half-page rail of internet reefers.
The huge star here, however, is that amazing, amazing photo by Jonathan Newton of right fielder Jayson Werth going up against the wall.
Anywhere else, the picture would be portfolio material and screaming from page one. But at the Post? The great material the Post has is so incredibly deep that picture runs on page D15. In black-and-white.
And then this beauty appears on page D20.
The photographer? Guess who: Jonathan Newton.
As excited as I was to see all that, Brian also sent me Sunday’s preview pages.
The picture of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman tossing T-shirts to the crowd is by, yes, Jonathan Newton.
Sunday’s center spread featured this great preview roundup that contained position-by-position matchups, thumbnails of the season’s previous meetings and by-the-numbers rails for each team.
Click on that for a much larger view.
The large picture up top of center fielder Bryce Harper is by Post staffer John McDonnell.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Brian also sent me pages from the Post’s 12-page special preview section that ran in Friday’s paper.
The lead picture there was by John McDonnell.
Page two — below, left — contains a column, a great rail of numerical superlatives and a crowd shot by staffer Toni L. Sandys.
Page three — above right — examined the Nationals’ three powerhouse starting pitchers.
Page four — below, left — began a look back on the 2012 season, themed by fives: Five memorable moments, five biggest turning points and five biggest comebacks.
Down the left-side rail is more by-the-numbers material, including the ten longest home runs of the season.
Page five — see a larger view below — takes a look at the pitching staff.
The rail includes pitching stats.
The center spread is this incredibly detailed graphic by Post staffer Todd Lineman that looks at individual player performance. In every game this season.
Click for a larger view. This one, too, is a keeper.
Across the top of this piece are jersey numbers of the player and a look at the franchise history of the Nationals. The meat, of course, is in the tan-colored section. This consists of three parts — let’s call them chapters — that we need to consider separately. However, all three chapters are plotted on the same horizontal scale: Namely the entire 2012 season.
Still, let’s try to take a closer look at it…
The top chapter contains three sub-chapters, each of which show related data. The top section of this chapter shows the victory or loss margin for each game this season as a fever chart.
I might argue this might have been presented better as a bar chart or a stair-stepped fever chart. But bars come into play later on the page. And the content is clear enough, once you begin reading it.
The next part of of the chapter shows the actual score of every game. Every series win is marked with a “W” — which also happens to be the Nationals’ hat logo.
The little red dots denote one-run victories. The Nats were 27-21 in one-run victories this season, the graphic says.
The final part of this chapter takes a third way of looking at game-by-game performance: With, yes, a bar chart. Wins are dark, losses are lighter. The length of the bars shows how far ahead or behind the Nationals were, after that game, above the .500 mark.
As you can see, the Nats finished 34 games better than .500 and four games ahead of the division rival Atlanta Braves.
In the next chapter, Todd takes on game-by-game pitching statistics. This takes a few moments to understand, so please bear with me…
Each horizontal row is a pitcher (the labels are at far left; download the big JPG to see it all). And each circle shows each game pitched. As starting pitchers, these guys generally appear once every five or so games.
The black circle denotes how many innings he pitched. The blue dot represents
USA Today how many runs the pitcher allowed.
Naturally, wins and losses are denoted with W’s and L’s.
So the smaller the blue dot, the fewer runs the pitcher allowed. The larger the black circle, the longer the pitcher played before he was yanked. It’s not exactly a fast read. But again: Once you figure it all out, it’s pretty easy.
And, of course, every pitcher on the team is shown. In that excerpt, you saw only the starting five and only the month of September.
The third chapter takes a look at the offense: The number of hits each batter made per game, plotted on another fever chart. If the number of hits in a particular game reached three or more, the dot turns red.
The little black circles represent home runs. The white areas represent hitting streaks of five games or more.
And only batters who saw 145 or more at-bats are shown. This means Todd didn’t have to fool with the Nationals’ pitchers.
This graphic is nothing short of stunning. Just looking at it nearly turns me cross-eyed. I can’t imagine how on Earth Todd kept all that data from dancing around the page as he worked on it. Or, for that matter, how he stayed sane as he worked on it.
For you statistics freaks out there: Download a PDF of this page here.
That was the center spread, pages six and seven. Are we ready to move along now?
Page eight is the flip side of page five, providing thumbnail looks at the rest of the team.
The horizontal shot of Bryce Harper running through the outfield is by Jonathan Newton.
Page nine — below, right — addresses the last time a baseball playoff game was held in Washington: 1933.
And page 11 looks at the three times Washington baseball teams appeared in the World Series.
That bit downpage looks at the one and only time the Montreal Expos appeared in the playoffs. You might recall the team we now call the Nationals is actually the old Montreal Expos.
Here’s a closer look at that timeline across the bottom of the page. Click, of course, for a larger view.
This shows all three baseball teams with connections in D.C.: 1) The original Senators, which became the Minnesota Twins in 1961, 2) The expansion Senators, which debuted that same year but then became the Texas Rangers in 1972, and 3) The Montreal Expos, which started play in 1969 but them moved to Washington in 2005.
Amazing stuff from our friends in D.C. Thanks to Brian for sending it all to us.
Express — the Post‘s free commuter tab — led today with high-fives for the kid who won the game for the Nats.
The picture is by Charlie Riedel of the Associated Press.
The Times stuffed an AP celebration shot featuring Tyler Moore at the top of the page, reserving the rest for a picture of the Redskins’ RGIII.
Note the flip headline: Day of big hits. Heh.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
St. Louis, Mo.
The Post-Dispatch went with a skybox promo today featuring a Chris Lee staff shot of Cards pitcher Marc Rzepczynski, who gave up the 8th-inning shot to Moore.
That page was designed by Norma Klingsick.
After the excitement in the 8th, the Cardinals had two chances — of course — to try to tie the game. This fabulous shot — again by Chris Lee — shows left fielder Matt Holliday just after he struck out, ending the game.
That page was designed by Josh Renaud and Carlos Ayulo. Thanks to Josh for sending these pages along.
And across the Mississippi from St. Louis, the paper in Belleville, Ill., led today with this tight shot of catcher Yadier Molina, after he hit into a double play in the 7th inning.
The picture is by News-Democrat staffer Steve Nagy.
NEW YORK YANKEES 7, BALTIMORE ORIOLES 2
New York leads series, 1-0
Next game: Today, 8 p.m. EDT at Baltimore
A 9th-inning tie was broken up when Yankee catcher Russell Martin hit a home run last night in Baltimore.
NEW YORK POST
New York, N.Y.
That home run was the subject of the uncredited cover shot afront today’s New York Post.
In addition, note the typically snappy headline by the Post.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
New York, N.Y.
The Daily News, on the other hand, focused on C.C. Sabathia, who worked all but one out for the Yankees last night.
The picture is by staffer Corey Spikin.
Note the headline. Which is larger — but considerably less, um, catchy — than the Post‘s.
The “long wait” mentioned in the headline of the front page of today’s Baltimore Sun is a two-and-a-half-hour rain delay.
The picture of relief pitcher Jim Johnson giving up runs in the 9th — shot by staffer Karl Merton Ferron — is nice enough. But it give me a case of déjà vu. Let’s compare it to the cover photo in Sunday’s San Francisco Examiner:
CINCINNATI REDS 9, SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS 0
Cincinnati leads series, 2-0
Next game: Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. EDT at Cincinnati
The Reds won big last night on the road in San Francisco. What’s more, they won both road playoff games by a combined score of 14-2.
After a day off today, they’ll be at home on Tuesday. You kind of feel sorry for the Giants…
The game was huge. But it was also very late — it didn’t start until 9:30 p.m. So it’s not surprising that the Enquirer carried only a strip promo on its front page today.
I’d love to see what the Enquirer had — if anything — on its sports front today. If anyone in the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville would care to send me the sports front today, I’d be happy to post it here.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
San Francisco, Calif.
Despite a heavy emphasis on sports on today’s Chronicle front page, there was precious little regarding the big loss by the Giants.
You see two small pictures in the upper left there from the Giants game (by staffer Carlos Avila Gonzalez) and the A’s game (by staffer Lance Iverson).
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
San Jose, Calif.
Circulation: About 225,175
The Giants dominated the front pages of today’s Bay Area News Group papers. The photo of dejected players was by staffer Susan Trip Pollard.
The smaller picture from the A’s game was by D. Ross Cameron.
Front pages were nearly identical for the Oakland Tribune (circulation 52,459) and the Contra Costa Times of Walnut Creek (circulation 67,464).
Pages from the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, the Washington Post and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch came from those newspapers. The rest of these images are from the Newseum. Of course.
Previous coverage of the 2012 baseball playoffs, here in the blog…
Are you a sports designer in a MLB market with a team in the playoffs? Feel free to send me your post-game sports fronts each night, along with credits, if you can. Whatever I can get ahold of, I’ll feature here in the blog.