Oct 17

ALCS Game Four, 2017

Astros at Yankees, 2:00 PM PT, TV: FS1

Despite yesterday’s resounding win, the Yankees are still down a game in this series. Today RHP Lance McCullers (7-4, 4.25 ERA) takes the hill for the Astros versus the Yankees’ RHP Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA). This will be McCullers’ third postseason appearance; he went 6 1/3 innings in a start against the Royals in the 2015 ALDS and he pitched 3 innings of relief last week against the Red Sox, giving up two runs on three hits. Gray will be making his fourth postseason appearance; he started two games for the As in 2013 and started Game One of this year’s ALDS, going just 3 1/3 innings against the Indians while giving up three runs on three hits and four walks.

Today in Astros’ history:

  • 2004 In Game 4 of the NLCS at Minute Maid Park, Carlos Beltran goes deep in the seventh inning, giving the Astros an eventual 6-5 victory over the Cardinals. With the round-trippers, the Houston center fielder sets a new postseason record, hitting a homer in five consecutive play-off games, and ties Barry Bonds’ 2002 mark with a total of eight play-off round tippers.
  • 2005 The juiced Minute Maid Park crowd, anticipating the Astros’ first National League crown, after the first two batters are quickly retired, is ‘pulperized’ when Albert Pujols hits a two out three-run ninth inning homer. A two-strike single stroked by David Eckstein and a walk worked out by Jim Edmonds set the stage for the Cardinals’ dramatic 5-4 comeback.

Today in Yankees’ history:

  • 1964 The Yankees, who finished with a 99-63 record, fire Yogi Berra after the team drops the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games. The 39 year-old dismissed skipper will join the crosstown Mets as a coach, becoming team’s the manager in 1972, following Gil Hodges’ unexpected death in spring training. At the same time Johnny Keane, who had been rumored in August to be replaced as the Cardinals’ manager by Leo Durocher before the Redbirds surged to win the World Series, surprises team owner Gussie Busch and GM Bob Howsam with a letter of resignation that he had written at the end of September during the height of the pennant race with Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Cincinnati. The former St. Louis skipper will take the Yankee job, which opens as the result of the firing of Yogi Berra.
  • 1985 Billy Martin, who had become the team’s skipper for the fourth time after the Yankees fired Yogi Berra in April, is replaced by Lou Piniella. “Billy the Kid’ piloted the 97-64 Bronx Bombers to a second place finish, ending the season two games behind Toronto.
  • 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 victory sets up a Subway Series in New York for the first time in 44 years.
  • 2003 Early editions of the N.Y. Post include an editorial claiming the Yankees lose to Boston and couldn’t get the job done in Game 7 of the ALCS. Although the Bronx Bombers did trail the Red Sox, the team rallies to beat their arch rival in 11 innings, 6-5.
Jun 29

Game 81, 2017

Dodgers at Angels, 7:07 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers trot out LHP Clayton Kershaw (11-2, 2.47 ERA) to face the Angels’ RHP JC Ramirez (7-5, 4.38 ERA).

Kershaw’s given up a career high 17 HRs but has otherwise been his usual superb self this season. Against the Angels he has a career 5-2 record, 2.69 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. Ramirez is a converted reliever; this is his 13th career start. In his last one he went six innings and gave up only one run against the Red Sox.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1960 The Phillies strike out a dozen times in each end of a doubleheader when they are swept by the Dodgers at Connie Mack Stadium, 6-3 and 5-2. The 24 K’s tie a major league record for strikeouts in a twin bill. Surprise! Drysdale started the first game and Koufax started the nightcap. Neither of them finished their games.
  • 1990 For the first time since 1917 (Hippo Vaughan and Fred Toney), two no-hitters are thrown on the same day when the A’s Dave Stewart shuts out the Jays 5-0 and the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela blanks the Cardinals, 6-0.
  • 2012 In the Diamondbacks’ 9-3 victory over Milwaukee at Miller Park, Aaron Hill becomes the first modern-era player to hit for the cycle twice in one season since Babe Herman accomplished the feat with the Brooklyn Robins in 1931. Eleven days ago in Seattle, the Arizona second baseman also collected a single, double, triple, and home run in the game.
  • 2015 Joc Pederson becomes the third rookie in major league history to hit 20 home runs before July when he goes deep off Allen Webster in the Dodgers’ 10-6 loss to Arizona at Chase Field. The 23 year-old center fielder joins Wally Berger (Braves, 1930) and Albert Pujols (Cardinals, 2001) in accomplishing the feat as a freshman. He has since been joined in that company by current Dodger Cody Bellinger.

Lineup when available.

Jun 26

Game 78, 2017

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-W

The Angels come to Dodger Stadium a game over .500 and playing without superstar Mike Trout, who’s out for at least two more weeks with a torn ulnar ligament in his thumb. They will also have Albert Pujols, he of the 600+ HRs, playing 1B in one of the two games in the NL park, something he’s done only four times this season.

An omen? “The Angels are 38-28 against the Dodgers since 2005, including winning the ’16 Freeway Series by a 3-1 margin.”

The Angels send old friend RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-9, 5.23 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill (4-3, 4.73 ERA). Nolasco got slammed for five runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Yankees in his last start and took the loss. He leads the AL in HRs allowed with 23. Hill got the win his last time out against the Mets, giving up only one run in five innings. He still hasn’t gotten into the sixth inning yet this year.

Cody Bellinger, your NL Player of the Week.

Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated praises the Dodgers for their exploits thus far.

This date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1944 At the Polo Grounds with over 50,000 fans looking on, the New York major league teams face each other in a six inning three-team game (a team played consecutive innings against the other two teams then sat out an inning) to raise money for war bonds. The charity contest, billed as the Tri-Cornered Baseball Game, ends with the final score of Dodgers 5, Yankees 1, Giants 0.

  • 1968 Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson tosses his fifth consecutive shutout as he blanks the Pirates, 3-0, in the first game of a doubleheader played at Busch Stadium. The future Hall of Famer’s accomplishment is one shy of the major league mark, set earlier in the month by Don Drysdale of the Dodgers.
  • 1999 At Candlestick Park‚ Todd Hundley’s second homer of the day‚ a ninth inning three-run shot to deep right field off Giants’ closer Robb Nen, sparks the Dodgers’ 7-6 comeback win. Ellis Burks had put San Francisco ahead in the bottom of the eighth, 6-4, with a three-run homer off Alan Mills.

Lineup when available.

Jul 31

Game 105, 2016

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Bud Norris (6-9, 4.27 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Patrick Corbin (4-9, 5.31 ERA) pitches for the D-Backs. It’s a rematch for these two pitchers: between the two of them they gave up 10 earned runs and 15 hits in nine combined innings in a 13-7 Dodgers win on July 15.

Roberts said Yasiel Puig will start on Sunday for the first time in a week. There have been several different rumors about a possible trade including Puig, so I’m wondering if this is a showcase game for him. CBS Sports came up with eight different teams to which he might be traded. He’s also been rumored to be part of a three-team deal with the Reds for Jay Bruce.

Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is one home run away from joining the 300-homer club. He would become the seventh active player to reach 300 homers and 400 doubles. The other six are Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriguez, Adrian Beltre, and Carlos Beltran.

Pretty good company, I’d say. I think five of the six are locks for the Hall of Fame, and A-Rod would be were it not for his PED use.

Lineup when available.

Sep 08

Game 138, 2015

Dodgers at Angels, 7:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSW

Kershaw versus Heaney. The prime-time pitcher versus the rookie. Heaney, briefly a Dodger last winter, is 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA. Kershaw is 12-6 with a 2.18 ERA.

Kershaw will want to be wary of Pujols, who is hitting .440 off the Dodgers’ ace and has a .563 on-base percentage, the third-highest mark by anyone with at least 10 at-bats against him.

Lineup when available.

Load up with right-handed hitters!