Tag Archives: cruzserrano

Baseball’s Back! A NL West Preview

The Dodgers won the division last year. Can they repeat and make the next step this season? (Getty Images)

The Dodgers won the division last year. Can they repeat and make the next step this season? (Getty Images)

Cruz Serrano

The seasons still early, and the hope of spring still burns on for almost all 30 major league teams outside Minnesota and Atlanta. As things start to heat up, the races will follow suit. The Wild West will be no exception, with at least three possible contenders in that division (sorry Rockies and Friars, maybe next year?).

Mike Tolsma and I have decided to take turns previewing divisions, and I would like to thank him for his awesome format for doing so. Like Mike, I also value depth, but I will also try and look at things from an analytical standpoint as I am often prone to doing. Continue reading

Baseball’s Back! – NL Central Preview

Jason Heyward was among the Cubs big acquisitions this offseason. (Getty Images)

Jason Heyward was among the Cubs big acquisitions this offseason. (Getty Images)

Cruz Serrano

As I’m typing this, I’m watching the Atlanta Braves play in one of their split squad games against the Houston Astros. The chill is still in the air here in Buffalo, but the spring equinox has passed and regular season baseball is less than 10 days away.

Mike Tolsma and I have decided to take turns previewing divisions, and I would like to thank him for his awesome format for doing so. Like Mike, I also value depth, but I will also try and look at things from an analytical standpoint as I am often prone to doing. Continue reading

Randomness Reigns: The Myth of Momentum

Aaron+Rodgers+Divisional+Round+Green+Bay+Packers+A-ZYIEp3YJXl

Aaron Rodgers’ miracle no-look Hail Mary seemed to turn the tide of the game in the Packers favor. 10 minutes later the Packers season was over. (Getty Images)

Cruz Serrano

As the NFC Divisional playoff game between the Packers and Cardinals drew to a close, all hope seemed lost as the Pack faced a 4th and 20 down by 7 with less than two minutes to play. Two incredible throws later, including a ‘see it to believe it’ game tying Hail Mary by Aaron Rodgers to end regulation, and it appeared that Green Bay had seized all momentum. That was until Arizona marched down the field in 3 plays in overtime and scored a touchdown despite the apparent momentum swing that Green Bay carried from the Hail Mary. Perhaps Arizona was magically able to steal the momentum away again as OT started. Or perhaps the idea of Psychological Momentum in sports is just a myth that people perpetuate as a way to try to predict performance and outcomes for players and teams. Continue reading

Hard Foul Sports Podcast: Episode 35

lebron-james-stephen-curryIn a loaded pre-Christmas edition of the podcast Evan, Steve and guest co-host Cruz Serrano talk about Rex Ryan and Doug Whaley’s future, the biggest surprises from baseball’s hot stove and examine some of the teams that will be playing in the NBA Christmas Special, especially Golden State – Cleveland.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Hard Foul Sports.

How to Listen:

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If you have an Android device and don’t want to use SoundCloud there are several apps on the Play Store that our show is available on. We recommend Podcast and Radio Addict.

Continue reading

Tommy Hanson: Gone Too Soon

Cruz Serrano

Former Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson recently passed away at the far too young age of 29. (Getty Images)

Former Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson recently passed away at the far too young age of 29. (Getty Images)

As a young fan, it was sometimes hard to understand the importance of prospects in baseball. All players, even the most inexperienced, seemed like larger than life figures in a sport that I naturally loved. The first time I appreciated development and youth was when Tommy Hanson was flying through the Braves’ minor league system. Continue reading

Cubs-Mets: An NLCS Preview

– Cruz Serrano

Jake Arrieta will try to translate a dominate end of the season to take his team to the World Series (Getty Images)

Jake Arrieta will try to translate a dominate end of the season to take his team to the World Series (Getty Images)

Despite the efforts of two teams with a wealth of postseason experience, talent and youth prevailed in the National League Division Series’. Two teams that have been known by their fan bases as ‘lovable losers’ prepare to faceoff as the Amazin Mets get set to take on the team from the North Side of Chicago: the Cubs. Back in April it seemed in unfathomable that these two teams would meet in the NLCS, but to say each team hasn’t changed since then would be vastly incorrect. The Mets added to their pitching depth, calling up some of their young arms and also added some much needed offense in the form of Yoenis Cespedes. The Cubbies have grown as a team, going from a roster of young raw talent, to a balanced roster that has shown they are ready for the limelight. Their pitching staff has been anchored by John Lester and the late blooming vet Jake Arrieta. With each team coming into their own in the second half of the season, their early season matchups in which the Cubs went 7-0 are worthless in terms of any value in predicting what might happen.  Continue reading

Blue Jays-Royals: An ALCS Preview

– Cruz Serrano

How will Johnny Cueto and the Royals pitching staff handle the Blue Jays firepower? (Getty Images)

How will Johnny Cueto and the Royals pitching staff handle the Blue Jays firepower? (Getty Images)

With the decisive and  dramatic division series decided, the stage is set for an international battle in the ALCS. The Blue Birds from north of the border will come across the threshold between our countries to meet the Royals in Missouri to start what is sure to be one hell of a matchup. The Blue Jays brawn and bat flips will matchup with Ned Yost and his affinity for small ball. This matchup, despite the Royals World Series appearance last year, is one of the freshest and most exciting in years. Both of these teams have gone through an extended drought without a championship, therefore providing a hunger from each fan base. Of course this has been a postseason filled with teams that have long been absent from the postseason, so going forward other plotlines will emerge and take precedence.    Continue reading

Hard Ball with Hard Foul: Episode 1

Yoenis Cespedes and the Mets are having a Cinderella season. (Getty Images)

The Mets are one of several teams returning to the postseason after a long absence (Getty Images)

A new podcast from the Hard Foul Sports team for the MLB Postseason! Featuring MLB writer Cruz Serrano and Hard Foul Sports podcasters Steve Stich and Evan Sally, this week we preview each divisional series.

Two ways to listen:

iTunes

SoundCloud

Feedback is always appreciated! Tweet us @hardfoulsports, message us on Facebook or email us at hardfoulsports@gmail.com.

As always thank you for listening, and if you like the show tell a friend, give us a review on iTunes or a like on SoundCloud and help us continue to bring you great content!

Flooding the Postseason: Blue Jays, Mets and Cubs End Their Playoff Droughts

Josh Donaldson and the Blue Jays are all smiles heading into their first postseason in two decade. (Getty Images)

Josh Donaldson and the Blue Jays are all smiles heading into their first postseason in two decade. (Getty Images)

– Cruz Serrano

Over the course of the past couple of seasons, one of the trends seems to be teams ending long playoff droughts. In 2013, the Pirates made the playoffs for the first time since a heart breaking championship series loss to the Braves in 1992. And in 2014, the Royals ended a 28-season drought, the second longest in baseball history, en route to a World Series loss. This season is more of the same. The Mets and Cubs are ending 8 and 6-season droughts respectively; this will be the Mets first playoff berth since blowing divisional leads to the Phillies in back-to-back seasons. And north of the border, the Toronto Blue Jays will be in the postseason for the first time since Joe Carter walked off the Phillies to win the World Series in 1993.   Continue reading

Down the Stretch They Come: Baseball’s Playoff Races

The dog days are (almost) over. The sun is beginning to retreat behind the horizon just a bit earlier. This of course means one thing to any baseball fan: Postseason baseball is almost upon us. Continue reading