Oct 04

ALDS kicks off, NLDS Day Two

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.

Pittsburgh v. St. Louis 1:00PM ET, 10:00AM PT, 7:00AM HST

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.

Oct 03

The undercards are done, now to the main events

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.

Oct 02

AL Wild Card Game, Rays – Indians

I’m agnostic. The Indians were in the postseason as recently as 2007 when they beat the Yankees in the ALDS but lost to the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Rays were in the postseason in 2010 and 2011, losing to the Rangers in the ALDS each year.

There are two managerial stories. The Rays’ Joe Maddon is a two-time AL Manager of the Year, a cunning old bird who believes in keeping the clubhouse loose. The Indians have Terry Francona, who formerly managed the Phillies and moved on to the Red Sox in 2004 when they went on to win their first World Series in 86 years. He was manager when they repeated in 2007. He and the Red Sox parted ways after the 2011 season, and after a year off Francona took the Indians’ job.

The Indians have some old-timers in Swisher and Giambi; the Rays have Longoria and ex-Dodger James Loney (he led the Majors with a club-record .351 batting average (97-for-276) on the road this season. Who could have foreseen that?).

Rays v. Indians, 8:00PM Eastern, 5:00PM Pacific, 2:00PM Hawaii.

Oct 01

NL Wild Card Play-in Game

I have no trouble identifying my rooting interest in this game between the Reds and the Pirates. All through the Seventies it was the Reds and the Dodgers fighting for supremacy in the National League West, with the Reds winning six times to the Dodgers’ three during that decade. I’m predisposed to root against the Reds and for the Pirates anyway, and then there’s the Pirates’ whole backstory of their first winning season in twenty years and first appearance in the playoffs since 1992. So I’m for the Pirates here.

The Pirates start Francisco Liriano and the Reds counter with Johnny Cueto. Take note, America! Diversity!

The Wild Card matchup between Cueto and Liriano is just the third in postseason history between two starting pitchers from the Dominican Republic. In both 1999 and 2004, Pedro Martinez faced off against Bartolo Colon.

Reds v. Pirates, 5:00PM Pacific, 2:00PM Hawaii

Apr 06

Blogging news

As long as Jon is creating Dodgers content at Dodger Thoughts, I see no reason to continue duplicating his efforts here. I’m not going to post new Game Threads or anything else unless Jon determines that he can’t keep up with the daily grind.

You have only to look at the lack of comments on Game Threads here to see why I’m not much inclined to keep them up. Everyone has rightfully gone back to Jon’s place, and I will too.

If Jon indicates he has to stop I’ll be here to pick up the slack.

Apr 06

Game Five, 2013

Pirates at Dodgers. A. J. Burnett v. Clayton Kershaw. Don’t forget it’s a 6:10 PM PT start time this evening. It’s on Prime Ticket.

We know what Kershaw did in his first outing. Burnett had a good one too, giving up three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings while striking out ten and issuing just one walk.

Update: And why has no one mentioned this before? “the Victory Knot at Dodger Stadium is a megasized pretzel designed for four people, and is about 3,080 calories.”

Update: The Dodgers have traded Aaron Harang (and $4.25 million!) to the Rockies for backup catcher Ramon Hernandez. According to one report, it’s a salary dump on the Rockies’ part (Hernandez is due $3.2M this season). According to another report, the Rockies hope to flip Harang to another team.

Oh goodie. Another PVL. Hernandez hit .217 in 50-something games last season.

Lineups will be posted when available.

Lineup:

LF: Carl Crawford
2B: Mark Ellis
CF: Matt Kemp
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
RF: Andre Ethier
C: A.J. Ellis
3B: Luis Cruz
SS: Justin Sellers
SP: Clayton Kershaw

Update: Dodgers win! Dodgers win! Jon has a recap of the events at his place.

Apr 05

Game Four, 2013

Pirates at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, Prime Ticket.

The Dodgers send out their new (used) $147M man Greinke to face Jonathan Sanchez, an ex-Giant who had an absolutely horrible season last year, 1 – 9 with an 8.07 ERA split between the Royals and the Rockies.

In rehab news, Right-hander Chad Billingsley was scheduled to start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night and lefty Ted Lilly will start there on Friday.

Lineups will be posted soon after they’re announced.

Lineup:

LF: Carl Crawford
2B: Mark Ellis
CF: Matt Kemp
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Luis Cruz
RF: Andre Ethier
C: A.J. Ellis
SS: Justin Sellers
SP: Zack Greinke

Apr 03

Game Three, 2013

Giants v. Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, 7:10 PM PT, KCAL & ESPN2. The Giants send out Tim Lincecum to face the Dodgers’ Josh Beckett. Beckett offers up these thoughts as he begins his first full season with the team:

“In years when I’ve been good, I feel like I’ve gotten off to a good start and built some confidence in April,” Beckett said. “In years where I fall behind, whether it be health or results, I’ve had some struggles trying to catch back up. I think a lot of that is just me being stubborn and trying to make up a few starts in one start and then I fall behind. I’m looking to get out to a good start.”

The Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said Brandon Belt sat out Tuesday’s game due to illness, while the Dodgers’ sat Carl Crawford to “ease him in,” said manager Don Mattingly. Both are expected back for tonight’s game.

Cause for alarm?

This is the first time in Matt Kemp’s six full seasons with the Dodgers that he has gone hitless (0-for-6 with two strikeouts) through the first two games. From 2009-12, Kemp was a combined 13-for-31 (.419) with two homers and nine RBIs in the Dodgers’ first two games of each season.

Bench him!

Tonight’s lineup:

Carl Crawford, LF
Skip Schumaker, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Luis Cruz, SS
Juan Uribe, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Josh Beckett, P

Apr 02

Game Two, 2013

Giants at Dodgers, 7:10 PT, Prime Ticket and MLBN. The Dodgers send out Hyun-Jin Ryu to make his major league debut against Madison Bumgarner.

The Dodgers of the Seventies were noted for the constancy of their infield, running the same four guys out there for years and years. By contrast,

Monday was Andre Ethier’s sixth Opening Day start in right field for the Dodgers, the most in Los Angeles history. His 959 games played in the outfield also are the third-most as a Los Angeles Dodger, trailing only Willie Davis (1,906) and Dusty Baker (1,092).

I had forgotten the outfield has been somewhat of a revolviing door. It may end up that Kemp and Ethier (if the latter isn’t traded at some point in his current five-year contract) set a similar standard for Dodgers’ outfielders as the Cey, Russell, Lopes and Garvey foursome did for the infield.

This amused me when I read it in the preview: “Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was impressed with Ryu’s camp and said the youngster pitched his way behind ace Clayton Kershaw.”

The “youngster” is a year older than Kershaw.

This will be the Game Thread. Lineups will be posted when they’re available.

LF: Jerry Hairston
2B: Mark Ellis
CF: Matt Kemp
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Luis Cruz
RF: Andre Ethier
C: A.J. Ellis
SS: Justin Sellers
SP: Hyun-Jin Ryu

Cruz hitting fifth has to be a rare thing in his career, I’d think. Crawford’s absence is a bit of a puzzle, although these lifetime stats for Jerry Hairston Jr. may explain it (Crawford has no record against Bumgarner):

PITCHER AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
Madison Bumgarner 7 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 .429 .429 .571 1.000