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.

  • RBI

    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.

    • WBBsAs

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

      • HLKLA

        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.

  • scooplew

    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.

    • WBBsAs

      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.

      • scooplew

        Nunez’ bating average now .111, fielding percentage .846. Ain’t this fun!

        • WBBsAs

          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.

          • scooplew

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

          • WinnipegDave

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

          • WinnipegDave

            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.

  • WBBsAs

    Nats lead Gnats 3-0 after three.

  • WBBsAs

    Gnats gnow trail 4-1 after five.

  • WBBsAs

    Smarmy allows another dinger, and Gnats trail 5-1 in bottom of sixth.

  • John_from_Aus

    the game is on TV over here!

  • scooplew

    Final: Nats 5, Gnats 1. Natch.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Nat fans have little love for the giants due to the 2014 playoffs.

  • scooplew

    What a tidy first inning for Kazmir.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Surprised that Turner didn’t turn on the 3-0 fastball.

  • Bob_Hendley

    I guess we can’t hope he gets tired.

    • WinnipegDave

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

  • Bah. Kazmir is erratic, sez mlb.com when its writers discuss his season. True.

    • Bob_Hendley

      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.

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    OK maybe Reddick can get his first hit here.

    • WinnipegDave

      Or not. Not even close.

  • WinnipegDave

    Wright is on his game tonight.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Pitch really neat in slow-mo.

      • WinnipegDave

        Agreed. You can really see the no spin of the ball as it goes to the plate.

  • WinnipegDave

    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.

  • WinnipegDave

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

    • Bob_Hendley

      It’s used to account for movement on the bases.

      • WinnipegDave

        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.

        • Bob_Hendley

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Not. The Dodgers. Night.

  • WinnipegDave

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Get it all out of your system tonight Dodgers.

  • WinnipegDave

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

    • Bob_Hendley

      If Vin weren’t calling the game, I would have shut it off by now.

      • WinnipegDave

        Yup.

    • scooplew

      How much did that cost? Been thinking of doing that.

      • WinnipegDave

        It was a post trade deadline limited time special of $18 – in honour of the 18 trades that were made. I think that deal is over now though.

      • WBBsAs

        You should still be able to get it cheap.

  • Bob_Hendley

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

  • WinnipegDave

    Yes. It’s over.

  • WBBsAs

    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).

  • 9-0 is the score for a forfeit. The Dodgers might as well have done that and saved the bullpen. Three hits and no runs? Foo.

    • Bob_Hendley

      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

  • Bob_Hendley

    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).

    • WBBsAs

      So, your sister lives in “Justified” country…

      • Bob_Hendley

        Watched the first couple of episodes of that one and really liked it, but seemed a bit formulaic after that (tidy endings and all that).

        • WBBsAs

          We went through every season. The writing was brilliant, and the characters vivid.

    • Sneaky. Has your family ever figured out the correlation between the times of your visits and Dodgers’ road trips?

      • WBBsAs

        Correlation is not causation.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Off to the Eastern Shore for crabs. Hope to catch the game later.

    • WBBsAs

      Soft-shell? You may find last night’s game drowned in the water.

  • NPUT