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?

179 thoughts on “NLDS Games Two, 2015

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

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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..

        • 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….

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

    • 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.

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

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

        • 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

    • 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).

  12. 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.

    • 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.”

      • 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.

          • 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.”

          • 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