NLDS Games Two, 2015

First game: Cubs at Cardinals, 2:30PM PT, TV: TBS

Down 1-0, the Cubs hope to bounce back with right-hander Kyle Hendricks (8-7, 3.95 ERA) going against the Cardinals’ lefty Jaime Garcia (10-6, 2.43 ERA). They would really like to see their Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Kris Bryant break out of his 3-for-30 slump in his last eight games. He’s never seen Garcia, but then only Starlin Castro of the Cubs has: the last time Garcia pitched against Chicago was in 2012. The Cardinals have seen quite a bit of the Cubs’ Hendricks, and some of them have done quite well against him.

Second game: Mets at Dodgers, 6:00PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers send Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66 ERA) to stop the Mets and their rookie righthander Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA). The Dodgers’ hitting is not firing on all cylinders, and some of that can be laid at the feet of the Mets’ de Grom last night. They have to get untracked today or they go to New York down two games to none with the prospect of having to win three straight to advance to the NLCS.

Don’t despair, Dodgers fans! From Roger Angell’s World Series column in 1965:

The Twins, having devoured Drysdale and Koufax on successive afternoons, now disposed of Perranoski.

[snip]

I came away with the curious impression that the Twins, after two straight victories, were only slightly behind in the World Series.

And we all remember how that Series turned out, don’t we?

  • package206

    Should have left Ellis in.

    • Send Friedman and the front office your resumé.

      • package206

        Totally uncalled for.

        • Audit

          It’s a good line, Package, and not mean spirited. Relax, there’s only one Nazi here.

          • package206

            All I am saying is Ellis has 23 hits in 97abs since August 1. Grandal has 13 hits in 109 abs. Plus, Ellis is a proven playoff performer. It makes no sense to platoon when one player can’t hit and that is where we are. That was the only change that I would have liked to have seen. It is bad when you can’t say anything without even a small debate that is not mean spirited. According to you I was the other Nazi yesterday.

          • From Dodgers.com “Mattingly said Grandal’s rapport with Greinke was a factor in his starting over A.J. Ellis.”

            And from TrueBlueLA: “Grandal gets the start at catcher in Game 2, which isn’t much of a surprise since he caught 26 of Zack Greinke’s 32 starts during the regular season.”

          • Bob_Hendley

            Could be the framing issue, which accounts for Greinke-Grandal pairing (beyond the hitting issue), given Zach’s approach to pitching. Clayton is an extreme swing-and-miss pitcher

          • WBBsAs

            He appears to have been speaking directly to you only.

        • package, I used to say that in the 80s to a boss of mine who hated Lasorda.

      • Bob_Hendley

  • Audit

    Can’t kibitz that lineup, they should hit. But they probably won’t. The FO has provided good players (on paper). The Manager usually puts what should be enough good players in the lineup that it should get the job done. But all too often it doesn’t. The only conclusion I can reach is that the Manager is failing in his effort to inspire them to their best output. I don’t know any good managers that I think could do better but I think he should be replaced anyway. It’s easier than replacing 25 players.

    • foul tip

      DM has his shortcomings, but managing the clubhouse is not one. Players play hard and know the postseason is their time to shine– if they can. They’re motivated. But motivated players fail all the time. Sometimes you just tip your cap to the other team’s players for pitching and playing better, and losing has nothing to do with your own manager.

      • One of the ESPN writers suggested Baez was wrong because he was a one-pitch pitcher, just the fastball.

        Mark Saxon of ESPN points out that the biggest thing keeping Kershaw from winning in the postseason is guys named de Grom and Wacha. “In Kershaw’s five-game postseason losing streak, the Dodgers have mustered eight runs of support over 29 1/3 innings.”

      • WBBsAs

        In retrospect, Báez was the wrong move. The problem is that Mattingly – and almost all other managers – are on automatic pilot when it comes to bullpen management. He thinks Hatcher is his eighth-inning guy and Kenley his ninth-inning, and nothing is likely to change that mindset. That said, Kenley’s much better when starting a clean inning than with inherited runners.

        It wouldn’t upset me if Mattingly left, but there’s no guarantee his successor would be any less rigid in bullpen management. Still, there’s an art to managing a clubhouse – I can attest to the fact that handling the egos on a slow-pitch team is difficult enough, and I can only imagine what it’s like to manage a dozen or more players with higher salaries than yours.

  • Good story at ESPN about Greinke and his career.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Article in the WSJ on Greinke being the ultimate “big data” pitcher. Wallich is usually in charge of defensive shifting looking at tendencies before the game, but Zach is involved when he pitches because he also brings in his strategy on where and what he will pitch to certain guys that can have an impact on how the defense sets up. (Sorry, no link, read it at my brother’s house).

  • Cubs lead the Cards 6-1 in the third. Garcia knocked out in the second inning, Lynn in for the Redbirds.

  • Audit

    Looks like I’ll be able to watch the game tonight, as it was last night, but the games from New York are blacked out for whatever reason.

    • WBBsAs

      That makes no sense. I presume you have cable that supposedly includes TBS?

      • Audit

        Dish. And that’s how I’ll be watching it tonight. But not Monday?????

        • WBBsAs

          So, it has TBS on weekends but not on weekdays?

          • Audit

            Says game Monday is unavailable.

  • WinnipegDave

    Sitting in the MTS Centre where the NHL Jets play. Tonight though I’m with my son watching NBA exhibition Chicago Bulls vs Minnesota Timberwolves.
    But I will have my eye on the Dodger game as well!

    • Audit

      What’s NHL and NBA????

      • WBBsAs

        Do they have something to do with handegg?

  • Bob_Hendley

    Cal Jr didn’t read the WSJ article on Greinke.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Agon was not too far off last night with that long foul.

  • Behind again.

  • Bob_Hendley

    No Cal, the pitch was not right over the plate.

  • Heckuva play by Seager.

    • WBBsAs

      I’ve made that play before (in softball, at 3B, on a ball down the line.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Once myself as well, down the line coming over from 2nd base playing hardball in college.

        • WBBsAs

          It’s a really fun play to make. I knew I had it all the way.

  • Oh man, this is not normal Greinke.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Mets bringing big lumber.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Ha! Big cheer for a BB!

  • WBBsAs

    Well, at least somebody hit the ball hard, and Syndergaard’s pitch count rose a bit.

  • RBI

    Pretty quiet out here…

    • WBBsAs

      Are you at the game?

      • RBI

        Yes, with my son, daughter and husband. It’s my birthday tomorrow. But that doesn’t seem to be helping.

  • Bob_Hendley

    A little Quique magic! (Now a Zach dinger?)

  • WBBsAs

    OK, Zanky, help yourself.

  • WBBsAs

    AGon is overmatched.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      That seems to go for every batter the Dodgers put up there.

  • This edition of the Dodgers is reminding me of the 1966 edition so far. Nobody can hit the Mets’ pitchers just like nobody could hit the Orioles’ pitchers then.

    • RBI

      Their pitchers are pretty unhittable so far.

      • In 1966 the Dodgers, in four games, got 14 hits.

        • RBI

          We may not make it to four. But who knows?

    • WBBsAs

      That appears, sadly, to be an apt comparison, but I don’t think even Jim Palmer threw this hard.

      • Bob_Hendley

        I believe that Steve Barber did, however.

    • RBI

      Greinke not so sharp, just like Kershaw last night. Or else it’s that the Mets bats are so hot.

      • WBBsAs

        i’d say the former.

        • RBI

          Me, too. Way too many pitches.

          • WBBsAs

            Thor is throwing more.

          • RBI

            But our BP is, well, our BP.

    • RBI

      It’s the RISP curse. We’d better hit some long balls out, because we’re not doing the other well at all.

  • Well, that was nice.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Dre a little bit too enthusiastic.

    • WBBsAs

      I think you mean to say “foolish.”

      • He may not have realized the pitcher had a play on it.

  • WBBsAs

    Steinered again! A routine fly ball.

  • RBI

    We have to hold them now.

  • RBI

    Good inning, Zach!

  • RBI

    Love those DPs!

  • WinnipegDave

    DP! That’s helpful.

  • WBBsAs

    Ethier needs to make up for his baserunning blunder.

    • package206

      He doubled in their only run!

      • WBBsAs

        And then took them out of the inning with stupid baserunning.

        • package206

          So far he has had the best day at the plate. 2BB, 2b, RBI.

          • WBBsAs

            And took them out of a possible big inning with stupid baserunning.

          • package206

            Key word “possible”.

          • WBBsAs

            He was in scoring position, and took himself out of it. That’s stupid baserunning.

          • package206

            Maybe some others should contribute?

          • WBBsAs

            He was in a position to do so, and screwed up big time.

          • package206

            Maybe Grandal, AGon and Greinke should have delivered a hit RISP but failed?

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            This fight is called — you are both right. Andre came through — when no one else has so far — but he also took them out of the inning.

    • WinnipegDave

      A HR is hopefully a good way to avoid any base running blunders.

  • WinnipegDave

    Oh man – I don’t like DP’s. Against us that is.

  • WBBsAs

    Just when you think Crawford can’t do any worse than fanning on a pitch over his head…

  • WinnipegDave

    Yea! The 7th inning didn’t kill Zack.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      That’s just the KO for Kid K.
      Of course, both of them have the same hitters “supporting” them.

  • RBI

    Okay Grandal. Time for a timely hit!

    • RBI

      Or not.

  • WinnipegDave

    Sad when one walk is our big hope for a rally.

    • WBBsAs

      It could be a start.

  • WinnipegDave

    Hmm Utley. Still not excited to see him.

    • RBI

      But then, he does love the limelight.

      • WinnipegDave

        I don’t mind being corrected!! Frustrating however that it was hit in such a way that Kiké couldn’t score.

    • WBBsAs

      He delivers, though.

      • WinnipegDave

        Glad to be wrong!

  • WinnipegDave

    A walk and a SB however is a legit rally possibility.

  • WinnipegDave

    Please, please no DP.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Chase gets a hit with the RISP — but not the run. 🙁

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Hustle — several times — gets them the run!

  • WinnipegDave

    Oh wow! Was that a legit slide?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Yep, his hand was by the base.

  • WBBsAs

    One the hardest slides in recent memory.

  • WinnipegDave

    Did Tejada touch second?

    • WBBsAs

      Not clearly, but nor did Utley.

      • WinnipegDave

        And Utley is then out once he hits the foul lines or dugout.

    • WinnipegDave

      Exactly like Utley’s toe tap in Colorado.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Too bad for Tejada, but he tried to make a spectacular play with back to Utley and paid for it.

  • WinnipegDave

    I hope Tejada will be okay. Hate to see him get injured badly.
    How much will Utley get boo’d in NY?

  • Bob_Hendley

    Wow! Safe? I guess it’s a two-parter and the Mets have to challenge now.

    • WinnipegDave

      It will be flipped again likely. The Mets will appeal and they have to call him out. Don’t they have to?

      • WinnipegDave

        I guess not!
        Shoot Seager couldn’t capitalize though.
        Up to Gonzo.

  • WinnipegDave

    Hey RBI – how’s the vibe there now?

    • RBI

      Insane!

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Hustle gets more!!!!!
    Didn’t see it, but Steiner seemed surprised the 2nd runner was sent in.

    • WBBsAs

      Steiner’s surprised at everything. He’s one of the worst in the game.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Ron sends Howie in, nice call!

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Clutch Agon!

  • WinnipegDave

    Butter and egg man delivers!!

  • Go Go Go!

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    The batting coma appears to be over — what a turnaround!

  • WinnipegDave

    Oh hallelujah!!

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Hopefully leading to a happy birthday for you, RBI!

    • RBI

      What an inning! Keep it up, Dodgers.

  • Bob_Hendley

    We seem to have found slop in their pen.

  • WinnipegDave

    Finally the 7th is someone else’s Waterloo!!

  • WinnipegDave

    2 more innings!

  • WinnipegDave

    Hatcher. Jansen.
    Let’s head to NY tied 1-1.

  • John_from_Aus

    Nice!

    • Bob_Hendley

      Could ya hear, could ya hear the thunder!?

      • WinnipegDave

        You better run. You better take cover!

        • John_from_Aus

          taped it to watch later, busy now

  • RBI

    Wow! Hatcher doing his job!

    • Bob_Hendley

      Second half ERA of like 1.30.

  • WBBsAs

    Fine inning by Hatcher.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Puig sighting!

  • RBI

    Puig being Puig.

    • WBBsAs

      In fairness, he’s rusty, but I don’t expect him to be 100 percent until spring either.

  • WinnipegDave

    Let’s hope Utley’s slide = Dave Roberts’ SB.

    • WBBsAs

      The slide was pretty dramatic, admittedly, but if Roberts had been thrown out the Sawx would have been eliminated.

      • WinnipegDave

        Very nearly. I don’t think there were 2 outs but Boston was much much closer to being finished.

        • WBBsAs

          I believe there were two outs, and the game and series would have been over, but I’m too lazy to look it up.

          • Dave’s right. Millar walked to lead off the ninth and Roberts pinch-ran for him. After the steal Mueller singled to score Roberts with nobody out, but the Sox couldn’t get the winning run across and they went to the 12th when Ortiz homered with a man on to win it for Boston.

  • WBBsAs

    Fractured fibula, Tejada out for the year I would expect.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Got one of those playing Pony league. Cast to hip for 6 weeks.

      • WinnipegDave

        Utley’s going to be ripped mercilessly in NY.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      As much as I hope this turns things around for the Dodgers, I feel bad for him and the Mets, especially since I was thinking earlier of how Hanley’s broken rib changed everything for LA two years ago.

  • Bob_Hendley

    A walk! Get the rust out.

  • WBBsAs

    I hate defensive indifference.

    • Bob_Hendley

      I am indifferent.

    • WinnipegDave

      How do you feel about doubles down the line?

      • WBBsAs

        As a third baseman, I do not permit them.

        • WinnipegDave

          How about past the first baseman?

          • WBBsAs

            I have great range.

          • WinnipegDave

            Ha! Nice!!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Murph keeps sounding the ump

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Nice win . . . happy birthday, RBI!

  • WinnipegDave

    We win!

  • WinnipegDave

    Does Wood vs Kershaw for game 4 come down to Anderson and the Dodgers winning or losing game 3?

    • WBBsAs

      Probably, I would guess.

  • WinnipegDave

    Happy Birthday RBI!!! Enjoy the day tomorrow!

  • RBI

    Woo-HOO!!!!!!

    • WinnipegDave

      There it is! What we’ve all been waiting for!

  • Wow, wotta game!

  • Howard Fox

    Interesting comments all over the internet about Utley/Tejada. When these plays happen against the Dodgers, all the analysts call the Dodgers soft and whiners and they say their opponents are hard nosed competitors.

    I feel for Tejada, however that is baseball. Pedro railed against the Dodgers and the umpires last night. When he was pitching, he would have killed his teammates had they not done what Utley did. Was the slide late? Yes, but within the rules. And according to the rules, the replay officials got it right.

    And Pedro…baseball officials should disclose “who in NY made that decision and where he lives” kind of comments. He was one of the best pitchers ever, I seem to remember him throwing at batters when it suited him. Now he is championing the safety of players.

    The baseball world is rooting for the Mets, and against the high priced Dodgers. Had the play been the other way around, they would have been discussing those gutty little Mets doing anything it takes to win.

    • Audit

      Let me play lawyer for a few minutes… In the past, players have been criticized for sliding into first base because it was a proven fact that running all the way was the fastest way to get there. So too it would be to get to second base. On a force out, the runner has no excuse at all for sliding, he’s actually working against his best interest in reaching the base safely. That being said, it means nothing. Baseball has its traditions and they will likely continue to keep them. One of the traditions to discourage hard slides was for the infielder to leap into the air and come down spikes first on the slider. That was old Baseball. In today’s game, the guy you slide into today could be a teammate tomorrow. There wasn’t nearly as much player movement years ago with the Reserve Clause.

      • Bob_Hendley

        You can’t overrun second without being subject to a tag like you can at first. Also, you need to get down in order not to be hit by the throw to first..

        • Audit

          The first is a legal problem that could be fixed as it is at first in that he can’t be tagged out as long as he dosen’t turn toward third base. The second, it is up to the runner whether he ducks or not, some runners have stayed up to block the throw which opens up a whole new can of worms. You’re right, of course, it was a waste of electrons, but that’s what we do here….

          • Bob_Hendley

            Sounds more dangerous to me. What’s the objective again? Would it apply to third as well?

          • Audit

            See last two sentences above.

          • Bob_Hendley

            So, you don’t want guys sliding into guys who might be their teammates in the future? 😉

    • I have reminded people of Reggie Jackson’s hip in Game Four of the 1978 World Series.

      • Howard Fox

        I was going to mention that as well, but thought I had written more than enough.

        • And you’d have been met with “well, nobody broke a leg on that play!”

          • Howard Fox

            Too true

  • Audit

    If Anderson doesn’t win Monday, DM is going to be in an awful fix. If Anderson loses and he starts, and loses Game 4 with Wood, he’ll be crucified for not starting Kershaw, even on 3 days rest, the best in baseball, 3 time CYA winner etc, etc, etc… If he starts and loses with Kershaw, he’ll still be crucified just as badly for starting a tired pitcher with a history of losing big games when he had a fresh young arm on the bench etc, etc, etc… My guess is Kershaw takes him off the horns of dilemma, says, ” Give me the ball.” Why does anyone want to be a baseball manager?

  • WBBsAs

    After last night, it’s nice to have a breather of DH-only games that I don’t care much about.

  • NPUT ALDS Games Three thread.