One more thing to think about: this World Series is the last hurrah for Tim McCarver of Fox; he’s announced his retirement at the end of the season.
Detroit at Boston. Scherzer v. Buchholz. Detroit leads the series one game to none.
Down 5 – 1, Middlebrooks of the Red Sox doubled to lead off the eighth inning off Jose Veras. After a pitching change, Drew Smyly walked Ellsbury. Al Albuquerque came on to strike out Victorino, but then he gave up a single to Pedroia to load the bases. In came Joaquin Benoit to pitch, up came David Ortiz to hit, and here’s what he did:
To top off those heroics, in the Red Sox ninth Porcello came in to pitch. Johnny Gomes hit an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Iglesias. He moved to third on a wild pitch, and Saltalamacchia singled to left to drive him in with the winning run.
And I missed all of that, having switched to news at 5:00pm right after the 6th inning when Victorino scored the first Red Sox run. Drat and blast!
Detroit at Oakland 2:00PM HST, 5:00PM Pacific, 8:00PM Eastern on TBS. Verlander v. Gray. Jim Leyland v. Bob Melvin. Cabrera and Fielder v. Cespedes and Reddick.
The winner gets to play the Red Sox in the ALCS.
It’s Pirates v. Cardinals to see who gets to play the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Pirates start rookie Gerrit Cole, who did a fine job in Game Two, and the Cardinals put up Adam Wainwright, the ace of their staff.
Because the two teams are both in the Central Division, they’ve played each other a lot. In fact:
“So through 23 games, the Bucs have 12 wins and the Cards have 11. On the scoreboard, including this NLDS, it’s St. Louis 102, Pittsburgh 99.
More important than all of that, it’s 2-2 with one more to play.
Game Time 8:00PM ET, 5:00PM PT, 2:00PM HST on TBS.
The first game has the As playing the Tigers at Detroit at 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT, 11:00PM HST. The As lead the series two games to one and can end the Tigers’ season with a win today. They’ll send out Dan Straily (who?) while the Tigers counter with Doug Fister.
Game Two has the Red Sox playing the Rays at Tampa Bay. The Sox have a two games to one lead, but the Rays have won four elimination games in nine days; they’re not likely to be cowed. The Red Sox will pitch Jake Peavy and the Rays send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound.
Update: The As took a 3 – 0 lead into the fifth inning and their pitcher was looking strong. Prince Fielder hit a flare into left field for a single, Victor Martinez grounded another single into right field, and Jhonny Peralta, just back from a 50-game suspension for PED use, hit a home run to left field to tie the game at 3.
Update II: The wheels have come off for the As in the 8th inning. After loading the bases in the top of the inning with no one out and failing to score, they gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning and now find themselves behind 8 – 4 with the Tigers’ closer Benoit coming in for the ninth.
Update III: Holy smokes, Loney! What a heckuva double play you started with the bases loaded in the top of the second!
I’m late due to a periodontal cleaning this morning, so I’ll just put up links to today’s earlier results and to the current game between the Rays and the Red Sox.
Oakland defeated the Tigers 6 – 3 behind the pitching of Jarrod Parker and three relievers and the home run hitting of Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith. The As are up two games to one and can close out the series tomorrow in Detroit.
The Cardinals forced a game five by beating the Pirates 2 – 1. The game was a scoreless tie until the sixth inning when Matt Halliday hit a two-run home run. Pedro Alvarez hit a solo shot in the eighth inning; that was the only hit the Pirates got.
The Tampa Bay – Boston game is still going on, with the Sox leading the series two games to none and the game 3 – 0 in the fifth inning.
Update: As I was typing the Rays’ Evan Longoria hit a three-run home run to tie the game 3 – 3.
Jon already has the game thread posted for tonight’s Game Four between the Braves and the Dodgers. His previous post had a lengthy discussion of the Dodgers’ surprise decision to start Clayton Kershaw on short rest.
If pitchers were the only criteria, the Pirates would seem to have a slight edge. They’re starting Francisco Liriano:
The veteran lefty has gone 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA against the Cardinals in three starts this year, spinning eight scoreless innings against them his last time facing them on Aug. 30. Overall, Liriano has been masterful at home, going 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 11 starts at PNC Park.
The Cardinals are countering with [Joe] Kelly, who went 10-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 15 outings since joining the rotation July 6. He made consecutive starts against the Pirates at the beginning of September, winning both by pitching six innings and allowing just one run.
The Red Sox lead the series one game to none. They’ll send John Lackey out to pitch against the Rays’ David Price.
The Tigers lead the series one game to none. They’ll send Justin Verlander out to pitch against the As’ rookie Sonny Gray.
Ack! I didn’t realize Game Two of the Pirates – Cards NLDS is on the MLB Network at 7:00AM HST, so I’m late. It’s been on for 45 minutes now, and the Pittsburghers lead the St. Louisans
1 – 0 3 – 0. The best thing about this game being on the MLB Network is that Bob Costas is doing the play-by-play and Jim Kaat is doing the color analysis.
Game One of the Tampa Bay – Boston ALDS begins at 9:00AM HST, 12:00AM PT and 3:00PM ET on TBS.
Game Two of the Dodgers – Braves NLDS is at 12:00PM HST, 3:00PM PT and 6:00PM ET on TBS. See Dodger Thoughts for the game thread for that one.
Game One of the Detroit – Oakland ALDS is at 3:30 PM HST, 6:30PM PT, and 9:30PM ET from Oakland on TBS.
The preliminary bouts are over, with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh prevailing over Cleveland and Cincinnati respectively. Now the Division Series games begin.
First, on Thursday, Pittsburgh at St. Louis at 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT, 11:00AM HST. The Pirates start A.J. Burnett and the Cards pitch Adam Wainwright.
Okay, okay. The more important game of the two is Los Angeles at Atlanta at 8:30PM ET, 5:30PM PT, 2:30PM HST. The Dodgers start Clayton Kershaw and the Braves start Kris
Mendel Medlen. One hopes that Kershaw throws his usual selection of fastballs, sliders and curves well enough to win, and that Mendel Medlen doesn’t throw peas like those his namesake Gregor once studied. The Dodgers need to score runs for Kershaw, something they’ve frequently had trouble doing. In fact, the Dodgers were shut out three times in games Kershaw started. All told, in 33 starts he gave up 55 runs, 48 earned, and he lost nine games. He could have sued for non-support.
Addendum: Both games are on TBS.