Oct 27

World Series Game Six, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The visiting Rays send LHP Blake Snell to the mound to fend off elimination, while the Dodgers send RHP Tony Gonsolin out to end the Series today. Snell started Game Two of the Series and went 4 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks while striking out nine. Gonsolin started Game Two against Snell, but he was being used as an “opener” and went just 1 1/3 innings, giving up a home run and taking the loss in a 6-4 game the Rays won.

The Dodgers don’t need Vin Scully, of all people, giving the Rays any bulletin board material!

“I don’t mean to put anybody down,” Scully, the beloved Hall of Fame broadcaster, told USA TODAY Sports on Monday, “but when the series started, I thought the Dodgers would win in five (games). Not that I know anything, but my thought is, ‘What’s taking them so long?’

“That’s probably a dumb thing to say, but I guess it’s not so much the failings of the Dodgers, but it’s a tribute to the Rays. They don’t look very formidable on television, I tell you that. They don’t look like a team that scores a lot of runs. You look at them, and they’ll leave the bases loaded, or nobody out and runners on first and third and trying to steal home. They just don’t have enough firepower.

“Watching the Dodgers all year, the Dodgers are a far better team, a far more formidable team. I don’t think the people in Tampa will argue. Sometimes the weak beats the strong, but these fellows don’t impose a formidable threat.

“I would be totally and completely shocked if they lost.”

October 27 has had more baseball history than I expected, most of it coming in the past 20 years as extra rounds of playoffs have extended the number of days required to finish the World Series.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 25

World Series Game Five, 2020

Dodgers vs Rays, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers hand the ball to LHP Clayton Kershaw, who pitched wonderfully in Game One of this series, to face the Rays’ RHP Tyler Glasnow, who was Kershaw’s opponent in that game and was gone after 4 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs on just three hits while striking out eight, but he walked six. Kershaw is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA this postseason; Glasnow is 2-2 with a 6.08 ERA.

I am not going to post video of that last play. I think I’ll be seeing it in my sleep, especially if the Dodgers don’t win this Series.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1981 In Game 5 at Dodger Stadium, Pedro Guerrero’s and Steve Yeager’s back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh inning off Yankee southpaw Ron Guidry give Los Angeles a 2-1 win, its third victory in the Fall Classic. Guerrero and Yeager, along with teammate Ron Cey, will be named as the co-recipients of the World Series MVP award.
  • 1986 One strike from defeat, the Mets tie the game on a wild pitch and then, thanks to Bill Buckner’s error, win Game 6, knotting the Fall Classic at three games apiece. This event was selected as one of baseball’s 30 most memorable moments. “If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.” – Vin Scully, describing the aftermath of the play after a long silence.
  • 2005 The first World Series game ever to be played in the state of Texas proves to be memorable when Geoff Blum’s 14th inning solo home run (the 30th Major Leaguer to hit a HR in his first World Series AB) becomes the beginning of the end of the longest Fall Classic contest ever played. The 7-5 victory, which gives the White Sox a commanding 3-0 advantage over the Astros, takes 5 hours, 41 minutes to complete, with the 14 frames equaling the number of innings the Red Sox needed to beat the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1916 series.

Lineups:

Dodgers:

Rays:

Oct 24

World Series Game Four, 2020

Dodgers vs Rays, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FOX

The visiting Dodgers ask LHP Julio Urias to keep the ball rolling toward a championship. All he’s done so far is go 4-0 this postseason with an ERA of 0.56 over four games, three in relief. He’ll face the Rays’ LHP Ryan Yarbrough to start; he went five innings in Game Three of the ALCS against the Astros and got the win, so he’s not necessarily filling the role of “opener,” but he might be pulled from the game early.

You may have heard that Justin Turner tied Duke Snider for most postseason career home runs for the Dodgers (remember, casual fans, that the Duke’s postseasons were limited to World Series games). Here are all of them:

Baseball history has many events on October 24, but none really includes the Dodgers or Rays except for 1972 when Jackie Robinson, weakened by heart disease complications and diabetes, dies of a heart attack in his North Stamford (CT) home. The 53 year-old nearly blind baseball pioneer and social activist’s death comes nine days after his appearance at the World Series, where he threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium.

Lineups:

Dodgers:

Rays:

Oct 23

World Series Game Three, 2020

Dodgers vs Rays, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The series is tied at one game apiece. The Rays are the home team for the next three games. Today it’ll be RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 1.89 ERA in this postseaon) for the Dodgers and RHP Charlie Morton (3-0, 0.57 ERA) for the Rays. This will be Buehler’s second World Series start: he pitched seven scoreless innings in 2018’s Game Three against the Red Sox. It will be Morton’s third World Series appearance: while with the Astros he pitched against the Dodgers twice in 2017, relieving in a Game Four loss and winning Game Seven.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger President Branch Rickey announces that the team has signed two black players, shortstop Jackie Robinson and pitcher Johnny Wright, to play with Brooklyn’s Triple A team in Montreal. The 26 year-old Negro League infielder will be the first black player to play in organized baseball since 1884.
  • 1951 The Associated Press selects Giants skipper Leo Durocher as the Manager of the Year. Under his leadership, the Giants rallied from a 13 1/2-game deficit in mid-August to win the pennant, beating the Dodgers in a three-game playoff series best remembered for Bobby Thomson’s fabled home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding game at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1993 Mike Piazza, the sixty-second round pick of the 1988 draft, is the BBWAA’s unanimous choice for the Rookie of the Year award in the National League. The Dodger catcher is the first player to hit over .300 (.318), connect for more than 30 homers (35), and drive in at least 100 runs (112) in the Senior Circuit as a freshman since Wally Berger accomplished the feat in his initial major league season with the Braves in 1930.
  • 1998 Davey Johnson is hired to manage the second-place Dodgers, taking over the reins from Bill Russell. The former Mets, Reds, and Orioles skipper, who has finished first with every team he has ever led, will see his streak end in LA when he compiles a 163- 161 (.503) record.

Today in Rays’ history:

  • 2014 After aggressively trying to sign their manager to a third contract extension, the Rays announce Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out in his contract. During his nine-year tenure with Tampa Bay, a franchise perceived as perennial losers before his arrival, the popular skipper compiled a 754-705 record, leading the team to the playoffs four times, that included winning two AL East titles and one appearance in the World Series.

Lineups:

Dodgers:

Rays:

Oct 21

World Series Game Two, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The visiting Rays send 2018 Cy Young winner LHP Blake Snell to the mound to face what’s expected to be a parade of Dodger relievers beginning with RHP Tony Gonsolin. Snell is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA this postseason; he hasn’t gone past the fifth inning since the Rays’ Wild Card series against the Blue Jays. Gonsolin started and lost Game Two of the NLCS, giving up five runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. Entering in the second inning of Game Seven of that series in relief of Dustin May he went two innings, giving up two runs on two hits in a game the Dodgers subsequently won on Bellinger’s HR and Julio Urias’s brilliant three closing innings.

How was your day, Mookie Betts?

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2009 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the Phillies defeat the Dodgers, capturing their second straight pennant. Philadelphia, with their 10-4 victory at Citizens Bank Park, becomes the first National League team to repeat the feat since the Braves won consecutive flags in 1995-96.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 20

World Series Game One, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:00PM PDT, TV: Fox

By virtue of the better season record the Dodgers earned “home field advantage” for this neutral-site series; they’ll have last ups in games 1,2,6 and 7.

Here’s MLB’s position-by-position analysis. (Spoiler: In their estimation the Dodgers have large or small edges everywhere except the rotation and the bullpen.)

The Rays give the ball to their very tall (he’s 6′ 8″ and his nickname is “Baby Giraffe,” MLB says) RHP Tyler Glasnow, who’s 2-1 in the playoffs with 25 Ks. His last appearance was in Game Four of the ALCS and it didn’t go particularly well: he gave up four runs to the Astros in six innings of work. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw, who’ll be making his fifth World Series start. We all know the stories of his postseason woes; Roberts does too, one assumes, and he should be ready to replace Kershaw at the first moment he looks to be in trouble.

Now this is startling:

Six years and six days before Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, Andrew Friedman left his longtime post running the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office to become the Los Angeles Dodgers’ president of baseball operations.

He departed with a promise disguised as friendly banter, one that will be fulfilled when his current team lines up against his former club on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

“We joked when I left the team that we were going to meet up in the World Series one day,” Friedman said, “and for it actually to happen is surreal.”

Oh my. I like Jeff Passan of ESPN, and he wrote a good book, but I dunno. Here he is on Pablo Torre’s podcast earlier today:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1988 The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.

  • 1994 Receiving all 28 first-place votes, Raul Mondesi (.306, 16, 56) is named the National League’s Rookie of the Year. The Los Angeles right fielder, who easily outdistanced Astros’ hurler John Hudek and Braves’ outfielder Ryan Klesko, is the third consecutive Dodger to win the award.
  • 2010 Ted Lilly signs a three-year, $33 million deal to remain with the Dodgers. The 34 year-old southpaw, obtained from the Cubs in early August, compiled a 7-4 record with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for LA, including victories in the first five starts for his new team.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

Oct 18

NLCS Game Seven, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 5:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox, FS1

When the Braves send RHP Ian Anderson to the mound this evening he’ll be the sixth-youngest pitcher ever to start a postseason elimination game. He’s made three starts in the playoffs, going 15 2/3 innings without allowing a run, including four innings against the Dodgers in Game Two of this series. The Dodgers failed to take advantage of the five walks he issued during that outing and lost the game. It seems unlikely he’ll be that generous again, but if he is they’ve got to score those runners.

The Dodgers have not yet announced who’s gonna start, but Gonsolin seems to be the likely choice. He could go deep into the game or, if he falters, he could be pulled quickly. The Dodgers have several fairly well-rested arms in the bullpen, although they may be well-rested because they’re not entirely trusted. Who knows?

Update: In a surprise to me, RHP Dustin May is going to start for the Dodgers. He went two innings in the Dodgers’ 7-3 win in Game Five, starting the game and giving up three hits and two runs.

Please, Roberts, do not be tempted to use Clayton Kershaw on short rest. He is no longer the 22-year-old wunderkind of ten years ago. He’s a guy with 2,300 innings of major league baseball under his belt. Asking him to do anything in today’s game would be setting him up to fail in the postseason again, and he deserves better from his bosses.

The catch didn’t steal a homer, but it would have scored a run and put Ozuna on 2nd or 3rd. It was Betts’ reaction after he caught it that really amused me, though:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 In the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the Fall Classic, Reggie Jackson, who also homered in his last at-bat in the previous contest, hits three more home runs, each on the first pitch of the at-bat, giving the New York slugger three homers on three consecutive pitches, after drawing a base-on-balls in his first plate appearance. ‘Mr. October’s heroics in the Bronx ballpark assures the team of their twenty-first World Championship and first since 1962.

  • 2013 The Cardinals advance to their second World Series in three seasons, routing the Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 6 of the NLCS. St. Louis, behind the timely hitting of Carlos Beltran and the strong pitching performance of rookie right-hander Michael Wacha, beats Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) for the fourth time this season, including a pair of victories in this round of the postseason.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 17

NLCS Game Six, 2020

Braves vs Dodgers, 1:30 PM PDT, TV: FS1

RHP Walker Buehler goes for the Dodgers, LHP Max Fried for the Braves. This is a replay of the Game One matchup, in which Buehler went five innings, giving up one run on three hits. Unfortunately for him and the Dodgers, Fried went six innings, giving up only one run on four hits. The Dodgers lost that game when Blake Treinen and Jake McGee gave up four runs on two HRs in the ninth inning.

Here’s Will Smith’s AB against Will Smith, which the Dodgers’ Smith ultimately won:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1978 The Yankees capture their twenty-second and second consecutive World Championship, beating Los Angeles with a 7-2 victory at Dodger Stadium. Playoff hero Bucky Dent, who collects ten hits in the six-game series, is named the Fall Classic’s Most Valuable Player.
  • 2000 David Justice’s three-run homer propels the Yankees to their record 37th American League pennant in a come-from-behind victory over the Mariners, 9-7. The Bronx Bombers’ will face the Mets in the Fall Classic, setting up the first Subway Series in New York in 44 years when they faced the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.

Lineups:

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 16

NLCS Game Five, 2020

Dodgers vs Braves, 6:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Braves have a 3-1 lead in the series. They send LHP A.J. Minter to “open” the game. He’ll be followed by several other bullpen pitchers. The Dodgers ask RHP Dustin May to hold the Braves down and hope their offense, which has been mostly absent in three of the first four games, can get untracked and send the series to a Game Six.

Today in Braves’ history:

  • 2001 Diamondback southpaw Randy Johnson strikes out 11 batters en route to throwing a three-hitter, beating Greg Maddux and the Braves 2-0 in Game 1 of the NLCS. The matchup at Bank One Ballpark matchup features starters who have combined for 457 career victories and have collectively won seven Cy Young Awards.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1949 Brooklyn does not renew Branch Rickey’s contract as president of the Dodgers. The ‘Mahatma’ will join the Pirates as the team’s executive vice president and general manager, with his son, Branch Jr., assuming the post of Pittsburgh’s vice president and farm system director.
  • 1985 In Game 6 of the NLCS, Cardinal first baseman Jack Clark’s dramatic come-from-behind two-out, three-run home run in the ninth inning stuns a sold-out Dodger Stadium. St. Louis wins the game, 7-5, and captures the National League flag.

  • 1988 At Dodger Stadium, Don Baylor becomes the first player to participate in three consecutive World Series for three different teams when he pinch-hits in the eighth inning of the A’s 6-0 loss to L.A. in the second game of the Fall Classic. The 39 year-old veteran played with the pennant-winning Red Sox in 1986 and the World Champion Twins in 1987.

Lineups:

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 15

NLCS Game Four, 2020

Dodgers vs Braves, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers once more ask LHP Clayton Kershaw to be their ace and get them back to even in the series, which the Braves still lead 2-1 despite the bludgeoning they took yesterday. Kershaw is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14 postseason innings this year. The Braves hand the ball to yet another rookie (in nine postseason games they’ve started six rookie pitchers), a righthander named Bryse Wilson. This will be his first postseason appearance. He was 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA in six games in 2020, two of which were starts. It’s not expected that Wilson will be in the game very long, but he could be the reincarnation of Howard Ehmke. Who knows?

Let’s hope the Dodgers repeat yesterday’s first-inning exploits:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1981 With Dave Righetti, Ron Davis, and Goose Gossage combining to shut out Oakland, 4-0, the Yankees sweep the A’s to capture their thirty-third American League pennant. The Bronx Bombers will face the Dodgers in the World Series for the third time in the past five Fall Classics.
  • 1988 In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 pitch from relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right-field fence, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the A’s. The round-tripper marks the first time a World Series game ends on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.
  • 2008 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the visiting Phillies beat the Dodgers, 5-1, to win their first pennant since 1993. Southpaw Cole Hamels, the series MVP, hurls his third postseason gem, and Jimmy Rollins starts the Philadelphia attack with a leadoff home run to start the game.
  • 2017 Twenty-nine years later to the day, Justin Turner follows Kirk Gibson into franchise folklore when he hits a postseason walk-off three-run home run in the 12th inning of the LA’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS. In 1988, a hobbled Kirk Gibson, in his only Fall Classic appearance, came off the bench to hit one of the most memorable round-trippers in World Series history, giving the Dodgers a come-from-behind victory against the A’s in Game 1.

Lineups:

Braves:

Dodgers: