ALCS Game Seven, 2017

Game Seven. Winner goes on, loser goes home. Elimination game. All the marbles. Pick your cliché.

Tonight at 8:00 PM EDT, 5:00PM PT, the Yankees play the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston in one of those Game Sevens.

Tonight’s pitchers are the same men who started Game Three: for the Yankees, veteran lefty C.C.Sabathia; for the Astros, RHP Charlie Morton. In the earlier game Sabathia went six scoreless innings, while Morton went only 3 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs. Sabathia has a 2.30 ERA with 19 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings in three starts this postseason. Morton started Game Four of the ALDS against the Red Sox and went 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits but only two runs in that game, which was won by the Astros to clinch the series and move on to the ALCS.

This day in baseball history:

  • 1957 With major league baseball coming to the Bay Area, the Giants buy the single A minor league team in Arizona for the purpose of moving the San Francisco Seals to the nearby desert. Their new farm team will be known as the Phoenix Giants.
  • 1973 In Game Seven, the hometown A’s capture their second consecutive World Championship, defeating the Mets, 5-2, when Darold Knowles, coming out of the bullpen with two outs and two on in the ninth, gets Wayne Garrett to pop out. The 31 year-old southpaw reliever, who hurls 6.1 Fall Classic innings without giving up an earned run en route to recording two saves, is the first pitcher to appear in all seven games of a World Series.
  • 1975 In the bottom of the 12th inning of Game Six at Fenway Park, Red Sox backstop Carlton Fisk hits one of the most dramatic home runs in major league history, forcing a seventh game with the Reds. In 2002 this event, seen by a record-75.9 million viewers, will be chosen as one of baseball’s most memorable moments.

  • 1976 The Reds beat the Yankees, 7-2, to complete the World Series sweep over the Bronx Bombers for their second consecutive World Championship. The ‘Big Red Machine’ is powered by Johnny Bench’s two-run and three-run home runs.
  • 1980 In front of 65,838 fans at Veterans Stadium, the Phillies win their first World Series in the 98-year history of the franchise by defeating the Royals in Game 6, 4-1. Winning pitcher Steve Carlton limits Kansas City to 4 hits in seven innings, and Tug McGraw hurls the last two frames to pick up the save.
  • 2000 In the longest World Series game ever played, the Yankees take Game 1 of the Subway Series, thanks to Jose Vizcaino’s 12th inning two-out single, defeating the Mets, 4-3, in four hours and fifty-one minutes. The victory surpasses the streak established by the Murderers’ Row clubs as the present Bronx Bombers win their 13th consecutive World Series game.
  • 2009 When he is issued a first-inning walk by L.A.’s starter Vicente Padilla (Note: Vicente Padilla?!?) in Game 5 of the NLCS, Chase Utley ties a postseason record by reaching base in 25 consecutive contests. The slugging second baseman, who has reached base in every postseason game in which he has participated except for his first in 2007, equals Boog Powell’s mark established from 1966-1971 playing for the Orioles.
  • WBBsAs

    If only Chutley could figure out how to get on base, without help from Vicente Padilla. It looks as if this could be his last season.

    The Phoenix Giants didn’t last long before becoming the Tacoma Giants in 1960; one year I attended 39 of 77 home games. Cheney Stadium was a great place to see a ballgame, and we camped outside the right field during batting to get balls.

    There, I just missed seeing Marichal before he got called up to the Gnats, but I did see Gaylord Perry, José Cardenal, Matty and Jesús Alou, and old friend Manny Mota, among others. I saw Willie D play as a visitor for the Spokane Indians (not the Spiders), and I was once on a flight from Spokane to Seattle with Peter O’Malley.

    • Bob_Hendley

      So, how is it that you didn’t become a fan of this organization, given this childhood exposure?

      • WBBsAs

        Because the Dodgers were a classier organization, and Vin was better than Lon Simmons (who was also very good, though).

        Hank Greenwald was the best Gnatcaster, especially when SF was abominably bad (“You get Bob Walk 15 runs, and he can be tough”).

  • WBBsAs
  • How ragged was the Dodgers’ rotation in 2009 that they had no one better to start than Padilla?

    Kershaw started Game One, Padilla Game Two, Hiroki Kuroda Game Three, Randy Wolf Game Four, and Padilla Game Five.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Going with the hot hand? The vet Vicente had performed quite well in his two playoff starts, including against the Fillies. Second-year guy Kershaw had been bombed in the opener.

      • Here’s the roster for that season.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Still, the team was second in the NL in ERA+, so ragged seems a bit strong.

          • It was more a question than an editorial comment.

        • HLKLA

          I forgot all about Blake DeWitt. He was suppose to be a Corey Seager type player.

  • RBI
    • WBBsAs

      I look forward to the Dodgers’ World Series appearances becoming a near annual event again.

  • WBBsAs

    I despise the Yanquis, but I admire Sabathia’s durability.

    • Didn’t he really want to be a Dodger? I don’t recall who owned the Dodgers when the Yankees outbid everybody for him and I don’t think the Dodgers even bothered to make an offer.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Guess who owned them.

      • WBBsAs

        It was probably McCourt, who would never have spent the money. There was speculation CC wanted to come to the NL because he liked to hit.

        • Bob_Hendley

          And liked the West Coast, as I recall. He did give the Yanks four outstanding years, followed by four less than average, until a resurgence this year. All for about $25 million per.

  • WBBsAs
  • USC is going to need a second half against Notre Dame like they had when Ara Parsegian was the ND coach and Davis was the SC running back.

    • WBBsAs

      It’s only handegg…

    • 28-0 ND at halftime? Wowsers!

  • WBBsAs

    Great play at the plate!

    • RBI

      Play of the game.

  • WBBsAs

    Altuve > Judge

    • Bob_Hendley

      Judge not tall enough to get that one.

  • Might Seager be the DH against lefties in the WS and Culberson the SS?

    Against righties the DH could be Pederson, Ethier, Utley or Granderson but one of them will not be on the roster if Culberson is. If Pederson winds up on the WS roster I would guess he would be the LFer and not the DH.

    What y’all think?

    • Radio said Seager won’t be added until they’ve seen him hit live pitching this weekend, so we’ll have to wait, I guess.

      • Sounds like he can throw but not yet swing.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Grandal another DH candidate.

  • RBI

    Astros on the move!

  • RBI

    So where’s this stellar Yankee pen I keep hearing about?

  • WBBsAs
    • Bob_Hendley

      Hard to imagine, but I recall them being very aggressive in trying to regulate canine “use” of parks way back in the last 1990s.

      • WBBsAs

        There are now plenty of dedicated dog parks, and people have even started to carry bolsas soreteras.

  • RBI

    Not to count any chickens, but…

    • Getting past Judge and Gregorius and Sanchez helps.

      • WBBsAs

        Sánchez is utterly terrible on plays at the plate.

    • Bob_Hendley

      ‘Stros have shakier pen, thus starter McCullers now being used out of the pen.

      • RBI

        So – who starts against Kersh?

        • Bob_Hendley

          Keuchel I would imagine.

          • RBI

            That’s what I think as well.

  • RBI

    Judge totally overmatched there.

  • Revenge for 1980 a possibility here.

    • WinnipegDave

      As opposed to revenge for 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1977, and 1978.

      On the other hand, fully 1/2 of the Dodgers 6 World Series championships have come by beating NYY.

      • scooplew

        Good knowledge.

        • 1955, 1963 and 1981 have to cancel out some of that, right?

  • WinnipegDave

    So it’s the ‘Stros.

  • WBBsAs

    I’m glad the ‘Stros won, but I’m not underrating them.

    • RBI

      I agree. But we are the better team top
      to bottom, and we have home team advantage.

  • RBI

    Man, the Yankees really looked flat in this game.

  • RBI

    Our patience at the plate would have made it harder for Morton. Yankees were swinging for the fences every first pitch.

  • RBI

    I’d rather have faced the Yankees’ starters but glad we’ll face the ‘Stros’ bullpen.

    • scooplew

      Agreed. We could face Verlander twice. But the Astros could face Kershaw twice.

  • Bob_Hendley
    • WBBsAs

      I’m going with the Dodgers in six, but I hope it’s shorter.

      • Bob_Hendley

        The addition of Verlander probably narrows the the difference in overall strength of pitching, though the Dodgers did pick up Yu and Maeda bolsters the pen.

        • WBBsAs

          I’d say the Dodgers’ pen is superior.

  • WinnipegDave

    Too bad the Dodgers didn’t face Cincinnati or Atlanta in the LCS. Then we could played exclusively against current or former NL West division opponents.

  • RBI

    Weirdly subdued celebration.

    • WBBsAs

      Well, they do have to face the reality of going up against the Dodgers.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Meanwhile, down on the farm, the AFL (no, not hand egg, the Arizona Fall League) finished its second week. Standouts are a couple of outfielders, DJ Peters and Yusniel Diaz (another Cuban “Y” guy), both a couple years away perhaps, and Will Smith a catcher, who may be closer. Both the outfielders play CF so far. Add to them Verdugo, who has already had a taste of the Bigs, and Kendall, the first rounder out of Vanderbilt, as well as Toles and the Dodgers seem to have a nice pipeline of young outfielders that we can dream about in front of the hot stove. Ruiz is an additional catcher prospect. The rest of the top prospects are pitchers, with nary an infielder knocking on the door yet as a possible future replacement for Logan.

    • WBBsAs

      “Handegg” is one word.

    • WBBsAs

      Still lotsa talent in the pipeline. If I remember correctly, Peters homered twice off BadGums in the same inning (when the Gnats’ dirtbagger was doing rehab at San Jose).

    • Great to see Will Smith playing again. His injury allowed Ruiz to catch up or maybe pass him on the depth list. I really like Smith’s speed. Getting speed out of first base and catcher is rare.

      I think Peters can be a plus defensive outfielder with pop in his bat. I’ve seen him make some really smooth plays in the outfield. I haven’t seen Diaz get a chance to make a difficult play so only hear good things about him.

      I think our imaginations go wild over Kendall. Mine certainly does. My understanding is that plate discipline is what will keep him in the minors next year, otherwise he might be ready. Alvarez is in the same boat in that he has the stuff to be in the Dodger rotation if he had the control/command to match.

      With the strength and depth in the outfield, Taylor probably should be get ready to take over second base and if Toles has the ability to follow in Russell’s and Lopes’ footsteps, he might help the Dodgers add depth in the infield. I think he could also play second base. Than again, I have said that Puig could learn to play third base.

      • Bob_Hendley

        At this point, 3rd base doesn’t have an opening and is probably “reserved” for future Corey, so switching a GG rightfileder there an unlikely scenario.

        • True. The last time my mind wondered to Puig at third was before Turner re-signed.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Didn’t speak to the pitching, where the organization seems loaded with top tier prospects and MLB capable hurlers. Julio Urias lurks as well somewhere. Him, Buelher and Alvarez in the rotation is an exciting prospect.

        • Those 3 are good enough for the Dodgers to think twice before re-signing Kershaw should he opt out which I don’t expect him to do.

  • WBBsAs
    • The Kershaw one was reprinted in my local paper today.

      • WBBsAs

        I was surprised to see that Hilo has a daily.

        • Maui and Kauai each have papers, but I’m not sure of their frequency.

  • Alex Cora, he of the 18-pitch AB for the Dodgers in 2004 (2004? Really? Yikes!) has been named manager of the Boston Red Sox. Since he’s currently bench coach for the Astros, presumably he won’t take over till the World Series is through.

  • “They also serve who only stand and wait.” For a good pitch to hit, that is.

  • RBI
  • Bob_Hendley

    WB might like this expansion and realignment proposal better with 2 eight team divisions in each league and no interleague play. It would be geographically based meaning that some teams would switch leagues and, of course, wild cards would still be present, but possibility of “mediocre” teams in the playoffs would be reduced. https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/thirty-two-is-a-magic-number-for-mlb/

    • WBBsAs

      So long as the Dodgers remain in the NL, and there is no DH, I can live with just about anything.

      • Bob_Hendley

        DH seems to truly be a failed experiment that people veil now as a “tradition” as its only justification for continuing. This potential mixing of teams seems like the right time to kill it.

        • WBBsAs

          The problem is that the players’ union is unlikely to give up a high-paying veteran job for a roster space that’s likely to be occupied by a low-paid utility infielder.

          • Bob_Hendley

            That’s the thing. Most DHs are not the vet slugger extending his career that was used to sell the idea in the first place.

          • WBBsAs

            Nelson Cruz says “Hi!”

          • Bob_Hendley

            My point. He (Seattle) and Encarnacion (Spiders) are outliers. OPS+ for DH is 95, including them. 10 teams have less than average production from that slot. AL pitchers hitting in interleague have OPS+ 88, which is higher than six AL teams have gotten out of the DH!

          • One of the things i liked about the proposed realignment of teams was the four divisions composed of 8 tams each. I grew up with an 8 team national league and a 8 team american league and no playoff games.

            I am not sure I would want wild card games with those 4 divisions. Just one playoff series and one World Series plus a 154 game season.

            The 4 divisions would need to create 2 new franchises to have 32 teams. I would love for Portland and Montreal to get franchises. But if the DH is failing it is because there are not enough good hitters now with 30 teams.

            I do not get any pleasure watching a pitcher hit.

          • Bob_Hendley

            So you have doubts about expansion because it would dilute the DH slot!? Note that without Nelson and Encarnacion DH OPS+ is around 89, about the same as AL pitchers in interleague.

          • I wasn’t trying to say I had doubts about expansion because it would dilute the DH. I was trying to say that expansion would dilute the DH. There is a difference. I was also trying to support your take on the DH.

            There are many aspects to expansion and the DH is a minor consideration. Attendance would be the primary driver.

            Maybe before expansion there should be movement. Tampa Bay could maybe move to Portland or Montreal.

  • WBBsAs
    • That really is a sight to see. I selfishly wish he’d been here for his entire career; he’d have blown Pete Rose out of the water with a year or two to spare.

  • WBBsAs
  • Bob_Hendley

    Molly Knight is saying that AGone is is Italy with his family. Disengaging like this seem like a prelude to retiring.

    • Resigned not to return.

    • WBBsAs

      On one level, I respect the fact that he acknowledges he’s been superseded. On another, I’m disappointed he’s not sticking around for the festivities with his teammates.

  • NPUT