Game 109, 2016

Red Sox at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NESN

Former University of Hawai’i pitcher Steven Wright (12-5, 3.20 ERA) goes for the Sox and Scott Kazmir (9-4, 4.41 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. When Wright pitched for UH he didn’t throw the knuckleball, which is what his bread-and-butter pitch has become. This will be his first start against the Dodgers, while it will be Kazmir’s 30th start against the Red Sox thanks to all the time he spent with the Rays.

The Dodgers and Sox met once in the World Series in 1916, when some guy named Ruth won Game Two by outpitching Sherry Smith in 14 innings. Smith did hold the Babe hitless in the 13 innings he pitched. Other than that, they’ve played just twelve times between 1901-2016.

The Dodgers will honor the Sox’ retiring Big Papi, David Ortiz, before the game. I have no idea why. I don’t begrudge him the accolades, but it’s not like he or his team are hated enemies that the Dodgers play multiple times a year and he’s been mashing against them. That’s a guy you’d want to say “Bye! Good luck! Glad you can’t hurt us anymore!” to. For example, if Paul Goldschmidt were to retire, or Matt Holliday, or Hunter Pence, I’d be quite happy to see them off.

Lineup when available.

58 thoughts on “Game 109, 2016

  1. I haven’t seen a knuckle-ball pitcher in a while! This should be a fun one to watch. I have grandbabies here, so we’ll see how much I get to see. DVR-time.

    • He doesn’t use it every pitch, more like 75% of the time. He’s been awfully successful with that approach in the last couple of years, though.

    • We all miss the Charlies Haeger and Hough (the idea of a knuckleballer closer still sounds absurd to me).

      • Way back there was talk about a “knuckle ball effect” in that after facing a knuckleballer, batters had difficulty hitting for the next two to three games. Not sure if it ever found fact to support the idea.

  2. San Francisco’s new infielder, Nuñez, is off to a rocky start through his first six games. His batting average (.117) and his fielding percentage (.833) together do not reach 1.000. This is, of course, a very small sample, but it is still something that is quite remarkable. I believe that the closest that any Dodgers regular or semi-regular came to totaling below 1.000 was Derrell Griffith, as a 20-year-old in 1964. He could hit, batting .290 in 64 games, but he couldn’t field, particularly at third base. His fielding percentage there that year was .769. In the outfield it was .956. Cumulatively, it was .831, with 23 errors in 136 chances. That totals 1.121, hitting and fielding.

    • Núñez has already cost the Gnats two games with his defense, and got picked off in the first today with the Busted Poseur at the plate.

        • Small sample size, but his performance with the Twinkies this season is a real outlier in his career. It may still be that the Yanquis were right to give up on him.

          • Also, his salary is “only” $1.475 million, low in this day and age, so maybe he is not a hot commodity.

          • Of course Reddick’s batting average for the Dodgers is .000 and his OPS is .111

          • And please don’t misunderstand me. I’m pleased Reddick is on the team and hope the Dodgers can resign him during the off season. Not at the expense of Puig – if he is still on the team mind you – but in the outfield together with him.

    • Are you talking about Wright? I must admit, I quite enjoy watching knuckleball pitchers.

    • Once read a study that concluded if you are going to be an average pitcher your team has a better chance of winning if you are erratic about it.

  3. Just tuned in. Great point Link about Ortiz vs Goldschmidt, etc. It would definitely be worthwhile saying So Long, Farewell to those guys.

  4. Checking out Baseball Reference for the 1916 World Series: Boston Red Sox vs Brooklyn Robins. The first three games were one run nail bitters: 6-5, 2-1 (14 innings) and a 4-3 win for Brooklyn. But Boston closed it out in 5 games winning 6-2, and 4-1 in the last two games.

  5. I’ve always found it interesting that there is no such thing as a passed ball or wild pitch when the bases are empty.

      • That is true of course. But it doesn’t change the physicality of what happens in terms of the ball not being caught by the catcher. Which can happen a fair bit when trying to catch a knuckleball pitcher.

        • The physicality of a batter hitting a foul ball only matters if he has less that two strikes. Or something like that.

  6. The reassuring nature of SF’s losing ways is really starting to turn to frustration as the Dodgers inability to capitalize continues to mount.

  7. I finally sprung for to get the last 2 months of Vin. Since that time the Dodgers have been out scored 27-9. Make that 28-9.

  8. Sure glad it’s the eighth, though it would be better if it were the ninth already.

  9. Went out for dinner on Oakland’s First Friday (of the month), and didn’t miss much (I followed Gameday on the phone, but that wasn’t much fun).

    • Pretty much saved anyone in the pen worth saving. Normally Stripling might have tossed some innings in this one, but they managed to save him by sending him down to the farm and bringing him back up by putting Norris on the DL

  10. So just got my tix to see the Bums in Cincinnati. My first visit to that park. Ostensibly, this is to visit my sister, who lives across the river in Kentucky. My daughter benefited from numerous visits from me when she lived in Chicago (well-timed to coincide with Dodger games at Wrigley).