NLDS Games One

First Game:Cubs at Nationals, 4:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Cubs’ RHP Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) faces off against RHP Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) of the Nationals. Hendricks started Games Three and Seven of last year’s World Series. In the final game he went 4 2/3 innings, gave up four hits and two runs and left without the decision. Strasburg didn’t pitch last postseason and famously sat out the 2012 playoffs as well. He made his only playoff start in 2014.

Second Game: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Diamondbacks used both of their aces in the Wild Card Game, so they’ll ask RHP Taijuan Walker (9-9, 3.49 ERA) to get them of on the right foot against the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31). Walker was 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA against the Dodgers this season in three starts. Kershaw was 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA against the D-Backs this year. This will be Kershaw’s 18th playoff appearance; it will be Walker’s first.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1941 In Game 5 of the Fall Classic, Tiny Bonham goes the distance, limiting the Dodgers to just four hits to give the Yankees their 12th World Championship in franchise history. In one inning during the Bronx Bombers’ 3-1 victory at Ebbets Field, the New York fireballing right-hander will need just three pitches to retire the side.
  • 1949 In Game 2 of the World Series, only one run is scored again, but Preacher Roe and the Dodgers win this contest at Yankee Stadium, 1-0. Gil Hodges’ second inning single drives in Jackie Robinson to even up the Fall Classic at a game apiece.
  • 1959 The largest crowd ever to attend a major league game, 92,706 fans, watches a nail biter as White Sox hurler Bob Shaw beats Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 1-0, in Game 5 of the Fall Classic.
  • 1963 The Dodgers complete a four-game World Series sweep of the Yankees as Sandy Koufax wins his second game, 2-1. Frank Howard leads the offense with a home run and a single, the only two hits Whitey Ford gives up, and New York’s first baseman Joe Pepitone’s error (loses a thrown ball in the white-shirted crowd) leads to the decisive run in the seventh inning.
  • 1965“Hey, skip, bet you wish I was Jewish today, too.” – Don Drysdale, commenting after the game about his poor performance on the mound with manager Walt Alston. Sandy Koufax declines to pitch the first game of the World Series against the Twins because the game is scheduled on Yom Kippur, the most sacred of the Jewish holidays. As the Dodger southpaw attends shul and fasts on the Day of Atonement, Don Drysdale gives up seven runs in three innings in the team’s 8-2 loss at Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium.
  • 1966 Jim Palmer becomes the youngest player to pitch a shutout in the World Series when the 20 year-old Oriole right-hander blanks Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 6-0. The contest will become more memorable next month when Koufax surprises the baseball world by announcing his retirement, making this game his last major league appearance.
  • 1966 In the same Game Two loss to the Orioles at Dodger Stadium, Willie Davis establishes a World Series record by committing three errors in one game. The center fielder’s blunders come on two consecutive plays in the fifth inning, the first by losing a fly ball in the sun, then by dropping the next fly ball, followed by overthrowing third base.
  • 1980 In the 163rd game of the season, 35 year-old knuckleballer Joe Niekro earns his 20th victory, going the distance to defeat the Dodgers, 7-1, in the winner-take-all contest for the NL West. With the win, the Astros hold on to capture their first title in the 19-year history of the franchise after losing a season-ending three game series to LA, (3-2, 2-1, and 4-3) that forced the one-game playoff.

Lineup when available.

320 thoughts on “NLDS Games One

  1. I vividly recall Big Frank’s homer off Whitey, which landed in the second deck down the line at Dodger Stadium – a rare feat.

  2. Strasburg’s performance is a scary reminder as to what could happen to Kershaw. Dominate but find yourself behind.

    • All of a sudden these high scoring teams haven’t done so over the past 4 innings.

  3. From TBLA–

    In each of the last 15 postseason series for the Dodgers, their Game 1 outcome has matched that of the series, dating back to the 1988 World Series.

    Beginning with Kirk Gibson’s dramatic home run off of Dennis Eckersley β€” now a television analyst for TBS in this series β€” 29 years ago, five times the Dodgers have won the first game of a series. They have won all five of those series.

    Ten times they have lost Game 1, and they lost all 10 series.

  4. In this piece about Jansen was mention that he was tutored in the minors by Charlie Hough. Why does that cause me to imagine how hopeless batters would be dealing with his cutter but also having to worry about a knuckleball?

    Story doesn’t say this, but you almost know Kenley talked with Hough about it and likely attempted a couple… πŸ˜‰

    Good stuff here.

  5. The Brazilian beats the Yanquis! Player of the game, after he also picked off the potential winning run earlier.

  6. I have it live on TV over here. Have family visiting, so won’t be watching all the time. I will enjoy it while it lasts though

    • I have disowned my family and friends for the playoffs. Gave them plenty of warning. They are good with it.

  7. Normally with three runs in, and Kershaw pitching, I would feel pretty confident, but the seventh inning looms!

  8. Just mentioned that our number 5 hitters this year are next to last in the majors I think the commentators said on batting average this year

  9. Granderson makes the first out.
    Still am hoping he’ll make a positive difference.

    • I would have been happy if we had said at the start of the game he was going to be our first out

  10. I hope they don’t need more, but it sure would be nice for the Dodgers to score in another inning . .. or three.

  11. So AZ has used 4 starting pitchers over the course of 1 game + 2 innings.
    Thanks Colorado and thanks early Dodger outburst.

  12. Bats think they’ve done their job for the night.
    Or already think they’re facing Ray.

  13. Cody gets a gift to load the bases.
    C’mon, Puig — lick whatever you have to for a hit here!

  14. TBS says he is rolling along, but Twitter is all lite up with him only having his fastball tonight.

  15. This is what I feared — besides the fact the lead is now two runs less, this does nothing for his psyche.

    • I honestly think it won’t affect his psyche too much.
      Mine on the other hand… (Naha – I’m still good also.)

      • Everything I heard before the game talked about how Playoffs Kershaw is not the same as Regular Season Kershaw.
        Gotta figure the opponents know it as well.
        And Kershaw can’t help but know it.

        • Knows it for sure. And not that he doesn’t care because he always wants to pitch well. Just don’t think it will affect him. (Especially if they win.)

          • He’s only human . . . we’ve come to see that . . . don’t you think it’s in the back of his mind the next time?

          • Maybe but I also think that part of what makes him do great is ability to zero in on the present moment.

        • Despite the narrative on TBS that he was rolling along, he was already struggling, so it’s not the case that he suddenly fell apart because of the inning per se. He is a great pitcher and the tendency of Doc and others is to keep him in, where they might have already yanked someone else. The lead played into that line of thinking.

  16. I swear if that had been down the right field line he would have tried for home!

  17. Unfortunately, the less-than-grand twins followed Puig.
    C’mon, Logan!
    Or WP or PB or error . . .

  18. This game will come down to Kenley in the 9th after JT plates 4 — the two free agent signings coming up big (hopefully).

  19. Watching game at friends’ house in L.A., then going to tomorrow night’s game. This is nothing but nerve-racking. But I am confident RBI will get us the win.

    • I think the better breathing spread east . . . at least to Vegas — I’m sure things are different in AZ.

  20. Dodgers have still scored more than all the other NL teams tonight – combined.

  21. Wasn’t it JT who convinced Kenley to re-sign with LA?
    Think I saw that in a mid-summer article on how Justin is a leader of the team.

    • Happy with the bats.
      Could’ve/should’ve had more, but that was the same in July.

  22. So many high-quality starters have been hard in the post-season this year. Unusual.

    • Almost seemed inevitable. The TBS narrative seemed off base, that Klayton was rolling along. Eck was pretty bad and obviously not familiar with Kershaw and his pitching. His slider, the out pitch, was constantly up. With the bottom of the order, Doc decided to keep him in, given the lead and I guess a desire to help Kershaw bury his demons. Having already stated that he wouldn’t be used in a possible 4th game, in any event, Doc wouldn’t have had much leverage in convincing Klayton not to go out there for the 7th.

      • Agreed. You can always see how a Kershaw outing is unfolding by how many swings and misses there are. Yes, he struck out alot early, but the pitch count was rising.

  23. Good game in that we won. Kershaw winning even without his best stuff should be good for his psyche. Still cannot fathom why Granderson and Grandal are in the lineup. Without them there, they probably score 2 or 3 more in the first inning. But we stopped the Dbacks bleeding, so there is that.
    The series is tonight, if we beat Ray, they are done.

    • Statistically, that is basically true. Someone broke down the percentage of teams that win the 5 game series based on winning each individual game:
      Win Game 1: 72% win the series.
      Win Game 2: 74% win the series.
      Win Game 3: 73% win the series.
      Win Game 4: 77% win the series.
      Win Game 5: Mathematically certainty!!

      • what is the % if winning both games one and two….but my point really was more that if we beat Ray, it will be like wrenching their heart out…

  24. Back on all the talk about the Dbacks having our number yada yada. Seems to me we were up in the season series 8-5 until the 6 games that didn’t matter to us?

  25. Like Hill on the hill in DS rather than Chase, where they tagged him for 6 earnies in 3.2 innings. Curve plays better in DS, where in two starts he let in 5 earnies in 16 innings (2.81).

  26. While I despise the wild card, on one level the current system is working – the mediocre teams that reached the post-season have had to burn through their pitching. putting them at a disadvantage in the division series.

    • I’m not worried about the Dbacks pitching. I worry more about ours. The Dbacks are a good hitting team, but they aren’t the ’27 Yankees. HRs by Marte and Mathis? Really? This is Kershaw pitching, with the boy genius Roberts managing.

    • Arizona is hardly a mediocre team. If it were, we wouldn’t be rejoicing at them burning through their starters.