NLCS Game One, 2017

Cubs at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers will start LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31 ERA) in tonight’s game. It is still unclear who the Cubs’ starter will be as of Friday evening. It’s likely either John Lackey or Jose Quintana.

Update: It will be Quintana. He started and went 5 2/3 innings in Game Three of the NLDS against the Nats and gave up one unearned run on just two hits. He also threw 12 pitches to four hitters in relief in Game Five.

The Dodgers’ prized shortstop Corey Seager is day-to-day with a back issue, Manager Dave Roberts said.

Update: Seager is not on the official NLCS roster. More here:

“His back’s been barking since that Game 3 in Arizona, so we’re going to have him lay low,” manager Dave Roberts said on Friday. “A lot of what we’ve done even this season, just keep him off the field, helps the elbow and now with the back, so to keep him laying low. But we’re optimistic he’ll be fine day-to-day.”

Obviously that didn’t work. Culberson took his place on the roster, and with Hernandez and Taylor possibly needed to play shortstop as well, the Dodgers added Joc Pederson to the roster for outfield depth.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1969 Thanks to two great catches by Tommy Agee at Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Orioles to take a 2-1 game lead in the World Series. The center fielder’s outfield heroics save the team at least five runs in the 5-0 victory over Baltimore.
  • 1985 Ozzie Smith provides one of the most memorable moments in Cardinals history by hitting a dramatic homer to win Game 5 of the NLCS. The round-tripper was the first left handed home run of the Wizard’s career, which spans 3009 major league at-bats. (“Go crazy, folks, go crazy!”)

  • 2003 Holding a 3-0 lead and needing only five more outs to go the World Series for the first time since 1945, the Cubs give up eight runs on five hits, three walks, and an error to the Marlins. The team appears to come apart after a fan, later identified as Steve Bartman, sitting along the left-field line at Wrigley Field, tries to catch a foul ball that was about to be caught by Chicago outfielder Moises Alou for the second out of the inning.

Lineup:

  • Full roster here. Note no Baez.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Ugh. Barnes batting second?

    • I like it. Who did you prefer?

      • Bob_Hendley

        Fine with me, but Doc going with Turner.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Bums got his wish. Joc on the roster.

    • I got my wish but didn’t want it to come true at the expense of losing Cory.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Good to have the depth. Joc hit very well in last two weeks of the season.

  • Fast moving Yankee Astros game so far. 0-0 to[ of the fifth.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Pitching reasserting itself so far in this round.

  • More Seager news.

  • Kiké hitting cleanup? Really?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Slash line against southpaws is .270/.369/.579. So, yeah!

  • Further discussion of Seager and other roster thoughts from Roberts here.

  • Let’s get this thing started.

  • scooplew

    If Seager improves sufficiently, I understand that he can be put on the NLCS roster at any point in the series if someone else is “injured.” Am I right?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Yes, but guessing that MLB (and Cubbies) would scrutinize closely any such move.

  • scooplew

    I like the fact that we have six position players on the bench and are going with only 11 pitchers.

  • WinnipegDave

    No Seager is tough news but a healthy Culberson is hopefully better than an injured Seager.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Top of the reserve section
    Tried to load a photo but it’s too big. We’re almost ready!!

  • WinnipegDave

    I’m a bit jealous of the Astros right now. Not only are they 2 wins away from the WS, they have had the pleasure of beating the Yankees twice. It’s always fun beating the Yankees. Always fun when the Yankees lose.

    But I also realize Yankee magic is never far away.

    • They ain’t done till there’s a stake in their hearts.

      • WinnipegDave

        That sounds about right.

  • WinnipegDave

    Again surprised – but pleased – to see Barnes in there catching Kershaw.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Starts against lefties at this point.

      • WinnipegDave

        I’m aware of that but also know that Grandal often catches Kershaw.

        • Bob_Hendley

          They crossed that bridge some time ago.

          • WinnipegDave

            Cool beans.

      • He is getting starts against righties as well.

  • WinnipegDave

    Strike!

  • WinnipegDave

    K!

  • WinnipegDave

    Nice curve for the second out.

  • WinnipegDave

    I’m never a fan when Kershaw’s pitch count in the first inning matches or goes over his uniform number.
    But a scoreless top of the first.

    • Warmed up, calmed down, ready to be Kershaw.

      • WinnipegDave

        True. I think of Bob H’s theory that a starting pitchers worst innings are the first inning – and their last inning. It’s really bad when those 2 innings are one in the same.

    • scooplew

      I’m glad Kershaw doesn’t have Hershiser’s number.

      • WinnipegDave

        Ha! Or Ryu’s.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Quintana with 22 pitches himself.

    • WinnipegDave

      And his pitches/batter is higher.

  • WinnipegDave

    Time for some hits.

  • Subs!

    • Oops, thought that was Culbertson.

  • WinnipegDave

    Way to go Logan.

  • WinnipegDave

    I think we will need RBI to show up soon.

    • She is so LA.

      • scooplew

        She may still be in Mexico.

  • WinnipegDave

    Dumb luck.

  • Was that the Playoff Puig catching that ball?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Yes, caught it with his tongue.

      • WinnipegDave

        Ha! So good Bob.

  • WinnipegDave

    Would you rather have a team of all Kershaws (pitching/hitting/fielding) or a team of all Puigs?

    • Puig has a fastball and throws accurately. I am more willing to put him at catcher.

      • scooplew

        I’d settle for a team all Babe Ruth’s.

  • scooplew

    Kershaw is worrying me.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Command issues.

      • scooplew

        Yup.

    • Bob_Hendley

      And then put it in the wheelhouse.

    • Yep

  • WinnipegDave

    Felt inevitable.

    • scooplew

      Yes.

  • scooplew

    Falling behind in the count repeatedly.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      He was more in control when I saw him September one in San Diego coming off the disabled list.

  • https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f7a3a8e2aa42f5b0e9a08775a42cd3fcef1f63e9f301e609168c149b0d7a4ad4.jpg

    Bob in Vegas at the Stadium earlier today. That’s the Jackie Robinson statue behind him.

    • WinnipegDave

      Looking good Bob!
      Thanks for posting it Link.

      • Bob_in_Vegas

        Ditto on the thanks

        • Sure. Cropped both a little bit, but got the important parts I think.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Curve seems to be the only thing working at this point.

  • Come on bats.

  • WinnipegDave

    CT just missed that one. Wrong part of the park.

  • WinnipegDave

    Announcer just said that Bellinger had a career year. What the…?

    • Maybe yes, maybe no.

      • WinnipegDave

        Well exactly. Who’s to say?!

        • Small percentage of players have had 39 HRs so it was a career year for most HR wise.

  • WinnipegDave

    Beginning to feel like a 5 or 6 run cushion. Have to remind myself it’s only 2.

  • scooplew

    Kershaw averaging 18.3 pitches per inning through first 4 innings.

    • Too much idleness.

      • scooplew

        Downside of the sweep vs AZ?

        • Plus no pressure to make the playoffs.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Isn’t league average around 13-14?

      • WinnipegDave

        Worse than league average or even league average are not monikers I like to have applied to Kershaw.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Style of pitching lends itself to a lot of pitches in his case, even in the best of circumstances.

          • WinnipegDave

            What is Kershaw’s pitch/inning average this year? Or career? Are numbers like that available?

          • Bob_Hendley

            Raw numbers certainly are.

          • WinnipegDave

            Career is 15.16 pitches/inning. (29,341 pitches over 1935 innings).

          • WinnipegDave

            14.4 this year.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Quintana not that far behind in pitch count, even with the gem he is pitching.

  • scooplew

    Maeda up. Only 5 for Kershaw?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Wouldn’t put it past Doc.

  • scooplew

    Pitches per inning down to 17.4.

    • That would still be 85 after five innings.

      • scooplew

        Yes. It’s at 87.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Come on bats

  • WinnipegDave

    Seems like all the Dodger batters are swinging for the fences now.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Only three swing and misses for Quintana, all Belli.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Now Quique.

        • WinnipegDave

          Yeah I do have recency basis! 🙂

  • WinnipegDave

    Logan is our player of the game!

  • Barnes does good with a two strike count.

  • WinnipegDave

    Yes Puig!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Very glad that the ball didn’t get past Contreras. They might have put Puig on to get to Culberson.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Puig!

  • WinnipegDave

    So that will be it for Kershaw likely.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Seems likely.

  • We are tied

    • WinnipegDave

      Woot!

  • WinnipegDave

    Let’s go Kyle!

  • Still a chance for Kersh to get a win

    • HLKLA

      Or not.

      • WinnipegDave

        But can not get a loss.

  • HLKLA

    Well, at least our bats woke up at a good time.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Two walks and a Puig!!!

    • Sounds like a breakfast item

      • Bob_Hendley

        And a side of tongue.

  • “Alexa, four innings of shutout relief.”

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      And several of blue bats!

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Key Sac fly by Charlie. He hasn’t touched the ball in the field – – hope it doesn’t happen in a clutch situation.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Quintana ended up with a higher pitch count than Klayton.

  • HLKLA

    With Kershaw’s history, he can not be upset about getting hit for.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Not with how he was doing tonight, which is now part of his history.

      • Bob_Hendley

        In 100 playoff innings, ERA at 4.95.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Plus RISP begged for PH with the Dodgers tied.

      • Cameras didn’t show any arguments. Kersh probably agreed.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Thanks. Didn’t see anything either.

  • WinnipegDave

    Tony C and Kenta made it look so easy. Kershaw struggled mightily compared to that.

    • I suppose it’s possible to get the playoff yips.

  • Bob_Hendley

    CT I love you!

    • WinnipegDave

      Yeeeessss!

      • WinnipegDave

        I have warm feelings for Rendon right now too!

  • Wow!

  • WinnipegDave

    He just missed it last time. Rocked it this time!!

  • HLKLA

    CT!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Don’t mind getting into this pen.

    • Given the bullpen results, Roberts is a better manager than Madden.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Belli’s splits are almost identical, though Rendon looked ready to give up a monster. Does let Quique see another lefty.

    • Bob_Hendley

      So much for that move by Maddon.

  • HLKLA

    Bellinger.

  • WinnipegDave

    Nice to see Belli make solid contact.

  • Come on Sticky.

  • HLKLA

    Loving this bullpen!

  • HLKLA

    He looks safe.

    • WinnipegDave

      Easily.

    • Great slide. Straight in, just like Wills did and teaches.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Certainly doesn’t look out.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Logan, OBP machine.

  • WinnipegDave

    And then the walk happens anyways.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Ha! Walks happen is so old school.

      • Bob_Hendley

        That’s what they told Billy Beane.

  • WinnipegDave

    Oh Austin.

    • HLKLA

      So much for making the Cub pitchers work.

  • I know it’s how things are done now, but this revolving door of relievers always feels like overmanaging to me.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Problem for Maddon is that he really didn’t have a righty he could trust. Rendon looked ripe so he decided to go with lefty against Belli, but then left him in to face the bevy of righties that followed.

  • WinnipegDave

    Wonder if the plan is Morrow for 4 outs and Jansen for 4 outs?

    • HLKLA

      Game 5 between the Cubs and Nats is exhibit A

      • HLKLA

        This comment is for Link.

        • WinnipegDave

          Gotcha.

        • Huh?

          • WinnipegDave

            It is in response to your comment right below this about parade of relievers.

          • Oh, I see. Yep.

  • HLKLA

    Puig!

  • WinnipegDave

    Puig!!!!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Yeah, but did he call it?

  • Woohoo!

  • WinnipegDave

    Dodgers back to scoring 50% of their runs via the HR.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Charlie baby!

  • HLKLA

    CC!

    • WinnipegDave

      Carl Crawford! (jk)

  • WinnipegDave

    Morrow with the ALMOST perfect sacrifice bunt.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Strasburg showed how to do it. You gotta hit it up first baseline, the area that Rizzo vacates.

  • WinnipegDave

    Culberson having a hard time getting to third.

  • WinnipegDave

    Cubs bringing in their Lackey.

  • HLKLA

    Dodgers having their own Bizzaro inning.

  • WinnipegDave

    Catcher interference!

    • WinnipegDave

      Thank you Buster Posey!

    • Bob_Hendley

      They have to call it. Otherwise the rule means nothing.

      • WinnipegDave

        Indeed.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Take it easy Ron Darling.

    • WinnipegDave

      Ha! Yeah.

    • Bob_Hendley

      He blocks the plate and then Charlie runs over him like in the old days, and is safe.

      • WinnipegDave

        Exactly. Without the rule the slide and the play happens differently.

  • WinnipegDave

    Mad Men is thrown out. And Culberson is safe.

  • I’m with Darling. The rule means athleticism goes unrewarded.

    • Bob_Hendley

      The rule means that Charlie doesn’t headhunt. That is the trade off.

      • Most players aren’t Pete Rose.

        • WinnipegDave

          Don’t bet on it. It is the playoffs. 🙂

      • HLKLA

        Yes, without the rule Contreas gets flattened.

  • HLKLA

    Didn’t the Cubs get a run on CI against the Nats?

    • In that bizarre inning in Game Five. CI was called; whether there was a run I can’t remember.

      • WinnipegDave

        Is it actually called Catcher Interference? Or is that just for hitters at the plate getting interfered with?

  • WinnipegDave

    Well. Nice to have insurance. Still hoping for lock down pitching from Morrow and Jansen.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Amen to both

      • WinnipegDave

        Is it rocking there Bob? 🙂

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          Oh yeah!

          • WinnipegDave

            Sweet!

          • I don’t imagine you’ve got a zoom lens which could tell us whether the netting stretches from the end of the dugout on the 3b side to the end on the 1b side. I’m just curious. About a dozen teams already have lengthened the fan safety nets and I’m wondering if the Dodgers are one of them.

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            Just saw this Sunday. My camera wouldn’t see it, but I DID have binoculars.
            Next time — hopefully if I get a World Series ticket and able to use it!

    • WinnipegDave

      And by Morrow I mean Watson.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Charlie with the softest toss I have ever seen from an SS.

  • WinnipegDave

    This seems a bit silly bringing in Jansen now. Let Watson finish the 8th and have Jansen start the 9th.

    • scooplew

      I feel similarly. Particularly with a game tomorrow.

      • Bob_Hendley

        Likely to involve what, 5-8 more pitches than otherwise? Kenley certainly able to go two games in a row and the next day is off.

    • Bob_Hendley

      The big guns are up. I go with Jansen!

      • WinnipegDave

        Outside of Almora’s HR the big guns have been basically silenced all game.

        • (Whispers) Maybe they’re due.

          • WinnipegDave

            Regardless. We want Jansen still closing out games 2 weeks from now. I recall last year both Miller of Cleveland and Chapman of NY being gased by Game 7 last year. Save Jansen a few pitches here and there can’t possibly be a bad long term plan.

          • WBBsAs

            Jansen is well-rested and, even if he throws tomorrow, he’ll have a day’s rest before Game 3.

          • WinnipegDave

            It’s not tomorrow I’m thinking of necessarily

          • Bob_Hendley

            Let him rest during a blow out.

          • WinnipegDave

            Obviously can’t count on there being one.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Yet, you are counting on WS games? (Could be a blow out either way).

          • WinnipegDave

            I’m not counting on them. Just want an un-gased Jansen if we get there. All I’m saying is trust Watson for one more out with a 3 run lead in the 8th. And I still want Jansen for the 9th. We have different opinions on that Bob. I get that.

          • Bob_Hendley

            I want Jansen facing Bryant, not Watson, even if it cost 5-8 more pitches.

          • WinnipegDave

            Cool.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Need to keep it that way. Amirite!?

    • Bob_Hendley

      That was clean. No one on base.

      • WinnipegDave

        Yeah I changed that. But what I meant was not having to come in, pitch, sit on the bench, go back out, warm up, and then pitch again. Much cleaner just to come in at the top of the 9th.

        • Bob_Hendley

          That’s what he has been prepping for.

  • WBBsAs

    Just got back from a long day in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – my wife vetoed an early return – but was gratified to see developments so far.

  • HLKLA

    Good AB!

  • HLKLA

    K!

    • HLKLA

      K! One More!

  • HLKLA

    We win!

  • WinnipegDave

    We win!

  • Pitchers got the last 18 guys in order. Wow.

  • Puig doing interviews in English. Good for him.

  • Game Two 4:38 pm PT tomorrow.

    • WBBsAs

      I’ll have to see if my wife let me get back in time for the game. She owes me for this one.

      • That’s 1:38 PM Hawai’i time, sir. Good luck.

  • RBI

    Woo-HOO ! ! ! !

  • WBBsAs

    Just watching highlights of game I missed, I was delighted to see Tommy D honored with the first pitch.

    • RBI

      So you and I both had to miss it. I was in the air, you were in the lava.

      • Both of you go back. It obviously helped the Dodgers that you were rooting from those locations.

      • WBBsAs

        In the pahoehoe (and occasionally the aa).

  • RBI

    Landed and it was 0-2. Listened as we Ubered home and walked into the house just in time to see KJ get the final K. That was something.

  • I thought Darling was annoying with his opinion about the Posey rule. He went on and on with his personal opinion. Too bad Culberson didn’t say he would have slid feet first hard into the catchers exposed leg or tried to crash into the catcher to jar the ball loose if the Posey rule didn’t exist.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Yeah, his rant didn’t explore the counterfactual. If Contreras is allowed to block the plate, Charlie would have come in differently, either plowing into him just when the ball arrives or sliding into his extended leg. Someone might have then been carried off the field. (FD: got my ankle dislocated and tibia fractured blocking homeplate-with the ball-as a thirteen year old in Pony League).

      • WBBsAs

        I will always remember Donell Nixon’s crashing into Scioscia and bouncing half-way back to third base.

        • Scioscia also sent runners airbound over his shoulder.

  • I thought Ethier was the primary lefty pinch hitter. Roberts went with Granderson with two outs, runners on second and third, in a late inning (7th). Grandy stays in Roberts favor for reasons I can’t figure out from my seat in New Hampshire.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Wasn’t a PH, but switching Quique for Grandy.

      • Except he put Joc in LF and not Grandy.

        • Bob_Hendley

          Well, there you go, he thinks more of Grandy doing something in that situation than Dre.

          • Bob_Hendley

            And doesn’t think as highly of Joc batting average n that situation.

          • I would have gone with Utley.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Imagine that he wanted to keep his infielder in his pocket, whereas he has three guys who can play left.

  • NPUT