Wild Card Games, 2017

Tuesday, October 3: Twins at Yankees, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV & Radio: ESPN

I think it’s fair to say the Twins are the surprise team in these playoffs. The Yankees beat them 4-2 in the season series, including a three-game sweep two weeks ago. But as the prospectuses tell us, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” so the Twins and Yankees have an equal chance of winning a single game against one another. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the two teams.

The Twins probably feel good about pitching RHP Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) since he’s had eight previous post-season appearances including two starts. On the other hand, the most recent of those was in 2009 with the Angels. The Yankees counter with RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA), who’s in his third year in the big leagues but his first postseason at any level.

Wednesday, October 4: Diamondbacks at Rockies, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS; Radio: ESPN

These two teams have been locked into the Wild Card game since midsummer when it became apparent they’d be chasing the Dodgers for the NL West title all season. There were only two other teams who came close to catching them, the Brewers and the Cardinals, falling short by one and four games respectively. It’s astonishing to note that the NL only had seven teams finish above .500 — the three division leaders, the Rockies, D-backs, Brewers and Redbirds.

Pitching for the Diamondbacks in Coors Field will be RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA), one of five 17-game winners in the big leagues this season (there were four 18-game winners; no one won more). His opponent will be RHP Jon Gray (10-4, 2.67 ERA). Greinke is 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in nine postseason appearances; this will be Gray’s first. Gray’s on a 13-game run of allowing three runs or fewer and has gone 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his last five starts. Greinke is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA over his last five.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out of pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankee hurler loses his claim to fame and the game when Cookie Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, hits a two-out ninth-inning double, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.
  • 1951 In Game 3 of National League play-off series at the Polo Grounds, Bobby Thomson’s one-out three-run homer beats the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4, and the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant. The round-tripper, better known as the ‘shot heard around the world’, becomes one of the famous home runs in baseball history.

  • 1962 At Dodger Stadium, the Giants beat Los Angeles, 6-4, to take the rubber game of the best-of-three National League playoffs, clinching the National League pennant. LA shortstop Maury Wills sets a major league record for the most games played in a season, appearing in all of his team’s 165 games.
  • 1972 Surpassing Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente appears in his 2,433rd game for the most ever played by a Pirate. Sadly, it will be the last regular season game the Pittsburgh outfielder will ever play as he will be killed in a plane crash during the off-season.
  • 1976 After being at the Dodger’s helm for 23 years, Walter Alston’s managerial career comes to an end when the team drops a 3-2 decision to the Padres, finishing the campaign 10 games behind the Reds. During his tenure, which began in Brooklyn in 1954, the skipper known as Smokey to his players compiles a 2040-1613 (.523) record en route to capturing seven pennants and four World Series titles.

There are a lot of other things that happened on this day in baseball history; you can see the rest at National Pastime.

  • WBBsAs
  • WBBsAs

    Meanwhile, from an investigative reporter… https://twitter.com/Fahrenthold/status/915342411416702976

  • RBI

    Lead off HR by Dozier. That’ll kill a buzz.

  • RBI

    3-0 Twins, one out.

  • RBI

    Early days, but Yankees pitcher Severino in trouble.

    • WBBsAs

      He’s already done for. That said, the Yanquis have lotsa firepower.

      • RBI

        Wow. Quick but necessary hook.

        • WBBsAs

          It sounds as if was terrible (I’m currently under blackout conditions, but I’ll get a VPN by Friday).

          • RBI

            Yes. Either threw balls or flat fastballs begging to be hammered. Green did much better.

  • RBI

    3-3 tie in the first. Didi. Cray cray.

  • Bob_Hendley

    And 8 below .500. Doesn’t seem like an extreme distribution for 15 teams. What is it usually?

    • 2016 there were six NL teams over .500, 9 under.
      2015 seven over, 8 under.

      Huh. It just seemed to me there should be more winning teams.

  • Oh, man. Santana, you ratfink. Squandering a three-run lead against the Evil Empire. In the first inning!

    • RBI

      And now gave up another dinger.

  • Buxton made a dynamite catch!

  • WinnipegDave

    4-4! Buxton avoids the DP and the runner on third makes it home.

  • RBI

    This game is nuts so far.

  • The Dodgers will have a taxi squad.

  • scooplew

    Three innings in 103 minutes.

    • WinnipegDave

      Post-season baseball at its worst? That’s one of the problems with these one game winner take all play in games – they can burn through a pitcher/inning.

      • WBBsAs

        The wild card is the worst thing ever.

  • WinnipegDave

    Twins really needed to score more in the first. Yankees are burning hot right now.

  • scooplew

    WinnipegDave: What is your e-mail address?

    • WinnipegDave

      d-birr-ellatgmaildotcom (without the 2 “-” and with an “@” and a “.” in the right places).

      • WinnipegDave

        Let me know if that makes sense. 🙂

        • scooplew

          Thanks. I will try to send you an e-mail tomorrow or later tonight.

          • WinnipegDave

            Sure thing.

    • WBBsAs

      I’d be content to have the Rox and Snakes run over into Thursday and even Friday.

  • RBI

    Aaron Judge does not resemble a normal baseball player.

  • RBI

    Not going the way the Twins had hoped.

  • WBBsAs

    The AL is boring.

  • WBBsAs
  • WinnipegDave

    Poor Twins. Maybe if they had been Quadruplets it would have gone better.

  • The Yankees’ relievers struck out 13 Twins. That portends anything but good for their next opponent. Oh wait, the Indians’ relievers do that all the time.

    • WBBsAs
      • Bob_Hendley

        Huh? I saw Kenley come into pitch the 7th with no outs and the Dodger behind and then go on for 2.1 innings last year in the final game of the NLCS.

        • Bob_Hendley

          He then pitched 2, 1.1 and 3 innings in three games in the NLCS against the Cubbies.

          • WBBsAs

            Still, his words speak for themselves. I doubt he was misquoted.

          • Bob_Hendley

            Say what he will, the record shows that he was not used in his preferred situation in 4 out of 7 appearances in the playoffs last year.

          • WBBsAs

            Mind you, the post-season may compensate by intensity standards.

          • Bob_Hendley

            It’s a silly article which talks about the use of Miller last year in the playoffs, but doesn’t even mention how Kenley, the center of the article, was used in the playoffs.

  • On a lighter sillier note, does anybody know the coordination Whitney Houston shared with baseball players?
    .
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    Haaaaaand eyyyyyyyye!!!

  • WBBsAs
  • Bob_Hendley

    Goldie, doing what he does.

  • scooplew

    WinnipegDave: My e-mail to you, trying the address you posted yesterday, keeps getting kicked back. I have tried various addresses based on what you posted Tuesday. Can you call me, please, at 831-659-5528, in California. Thanks

  • WBBsAs

    TBS is not a total blackout, but I have to choose one camera angle, so I chose the high up one. I can change, but it’s a nuisance. Still, anything’s better than ESPN’s total blackout.

  • scooplew

    WinnipegDave: I think I figured out your e-mail address. You should have received my e-mail.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Goldie’s was 0-17 coming in.

  • HLKLA

    Looks like we will be playing Arizona on Friday.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Zach on.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Ha! Jinx?

  • RBI

    If it were Coors, there might be a chance to come back. As it is…

    • WBBsAs

      As a bandbox, the Snakepit is second only to Coors in the NL West.

      • RBI

        I see your point.

        • WBBsAs

          Not a bandbox in the usual sense, but offense-friendly.

    • Bob_Hendley

      At the very least would like to see Zach yanked early and for Ray to have to pitch a couple of innings.

      • WBBsAs

        Is Ray even on the one-night roster?

        • WBBsAs

          Yes, he is.

        • Bob_Hendley

          He is listed on Gameday as being in the pen.

          • WBBsAs

            I double-checked and, yes he is.

          • RBI

            Please lord let it be so.

  • RBI

    Whoa. Greinke gone now, too? Short leash for starters so far in both series.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Ain’t a series, is why.

      • RBI

        Right. I knew that.

  • WBBsAs

    We need a 22-inning game in which Robbie Ray goes six.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Apart from Bradley and Rodney!, Snakes pen doesn’t have a good rep.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Ray said to be warming in the pen!

    • Bob_Hendley

      It’s his throw day, but still…

      • Bob_Hendley

        He’s in!

  • That popup had a chance to fall.

  • Here comes Robbie Ray for the D-Backs.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Bridge to Bradley would mean at least two innings from him.

  • WBBsAs

    Fernando Rodney could still be the difference-maker.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Pretty sure that with a third inning, Ray does not pitch the first game of NLDS, if Snakes win

    • WBBsAs

      Right now at 29 pitches.

      • 2 1/3, 34 pitches in total.

        • WBBsAs

          Unlikely he starts Game 1, but he might go Game 2.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Triple by the pitcher . . . not named Bumgarner??!!!

  • WBBsAs

    Now we’ll really need a contribution from Fernando Rodney.

  • WinnipegDave

    Yikes. Tuned in just to see Archie Bradly hit a 2 run triple. So much for being an.098 hitter.

    • RBI

      Grrrr.

      • WinnipegDave

        Agrrrred.

  • RBI

    I truly dislike Bradley. He of the chest pumping This Is Our House. So I called this one, because this be the season that d**ks rule. And I don’t mean ducks.

    • WinnipegDave

      Or docks either I’m guessing.

    • WBBsAs

      He’s pretty good, though. I actually admire someone who failed as a starter and reinvented himself as a fine reliever.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Gave them 2 and gave up 2.

  • RBI

    Ha! Rox not going quietly!

  • WinnipegDave

    I would like to take a moment to say how touched – heart-warmed really – by this blogging community. Had the deep pleasure of talking over the phone with Scoop tonight.
    As someone who has been a part of this little band of fans for at least 10 years, I was thrilled by that connection and conversation.

    And the cool thing is that I feel that warmth of connection not only with Scoop but with everyone here. So, I’m grateful to Link for keeping the door open and the kettle going for us to come in and chat. And I tip my cap to everyone here for bring not only friendly – but friends as well.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      Amen!

      • WinnipegDave

        Amen indeed Bob. 🙂

  • WinnipegDave

    This reminds me a bit of 10 years ago and this Rockies game. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/COL/COL200710010.shtml

  • WBBsAs

    This has turned out to be far more interesting than the AL game last night.

  • Bob_in_Vegas

    Hearing the score, it would be natural to think this was at Coors Field.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Rooting for extras, like at least five innings more.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      As a baseball fan . . . and even more as a Dodger fan!

  • RBI

    Quite a game.

  • RBI

    Triple after triple. Four, in total.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      With two outs.

      • RBI

        Heart breaking for Bud Black’s team.

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          Absolutely.
          Hopefully Dodgers and their fans to feel that this postseason.

          • RBI

            Not the heartbreak, surely!

          • Bob_in_Vegas

            OOPS!!!!
            Should’ve read “DON”T feel that this postseason.”

  • WBBsAs

    Even for Fernando Rodney, this’ll be a challenge.

  • WinnipegDave

    And the Rockies had Holland in there to try and get them to the 9th only down one.

    • RBI

      Hopefully the DBacks are getting all their post season triples out of their system in one game.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Ballpark factor for Snake Pit at 113 not all that different from Coors at 115.

  • RBI

    Well, Rodney can be wobbly so let’s see what happens in the ninth.

    • WinnipegDave

      4 runs is a very tall order but at least rattle some cages.

      • Bob_Hendley

        I’d settle for three.

        • WinnipegDave

          Turns out to be only 1.

  • WBBsAs

    Can Rodney deliver?

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      To quote Danny DeVito’s character from “Cuckoo’s Nest” — ‘Hope no!’

  • WBBsAs

    Rodney still trying to turn it around!

  • WinnipegDave

    If only the Rockies had shut them down in the 8th…

  • WinnipegDave

    Well the Dodgers will have to beat the best to be the best.
    Arizona first and then hopefully a chance to face Chicago or Washington.
    It won’t be easy but it all gets real on Friday.

    • Bob_in_Vegas

      As Theoden says in “The Two Towers” . . . ‘And so it begins.’

      • RBI

        As do the butterflies.

        • Bob_in_Vegas

          Oh, yeah.
          I’m often surprised how much a I care when I really don’t care who wins. Multiply that with the Dodgers actually involved!

  • RBI

    Just heard Archie in an interview, and he actually sounded like a good guy. I stand corrected.

    • Bob_Hendley

      First thing he did was praise the opponent, so yeah.

  • Quite a ball game. Hopefully we don’t see Greinke or Ray until Game Three.

    • WBBsAs

      It was interesting that Lovullo didn’t have confidence in most of his bullpen and decided to go with Ray. Of course, there was no tomorrow if they lost. Bradley wasn’t sharp as usual, but the Rox pen really imploded.

  • WBBsAs

    Meanwhile, from the Schadenfreude Dept… https://twitter.com/DudeGrant/status/915719282650079232

    • Needs paint. Climbs hills like a 60’s VW bus.

      • WBBsAs

        Hideous color scheme…

  • Bob_Hendley

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/la-sp-dodgers-reconstruct-20171005-story.html Details of Klayton saving Kenley and the Dodgers in Game 5 of NLDS last year.

  • Bob_Hendley

    https://www.dodgerthoughts.com/2017/10/05/schrodingers-postseason/ Jon’s take on the upcoming playoffs and drive to the WS.

  • NPUT