Oct 28

World Series Game Five, 2018

Red Sox at Dodgers, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The English theologian and historian Thomas Fuller appears to be the first person to commit the notion that ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn’ to print. His religious travelogue A Pisgah-Sight Of Palestine And The Confines Thereof, 1650, contains this view:

It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.

Kershaw for the Dodgers, Price for the Red Sox. Let’s hope it’s the great Kershaw and the bad Price in this game.

Today in Red Sox history:

  • 1951 The Red Sox trade catcher Les Moss and flychaser Tom Wright to the Browns for backstop Gus Niarhos and outfielder Ken Wood. The deal will have little impact in Boston (6th place) and in St. Louis (7th place) as both teams will finish in the second division.
  • 2007 With a 4-3 win over the Rockies at Coors Field, The Red Sox, for the second time in four years, complete a four-game sweep to win the World Series. Terry Francona becomes the first manager to win his first eight games in the Fall Classic.
  • 2007 During the middle of Game 4 of the World Series between the Red Sox and the Rockies, SI.com reports Alex Rodriguez has decided to opt out of his contract with the Yankees. The timing of the announcement and being a no-show at the game to receive the Hank Aaron Award, which honors the most outstanding offensive performer in each league, are severely criticized by fans and the media.
  • 2010 Before Game 2 of the World Series at AT&T Park, Tim Wakefield receives the Roberto Clemente Award, in recognition of his excellence as a ballplayer and his commitment to the community. The 44 year-old Red Sox starter is actively involved with “Pitching in for Kids,” a nonprofit that provides grants to improve the lives of children across New England.
  • 2013 In the fifth game of the World Series, Red Sox first baseman David Ortiz ties Billy Hatcher’s 1990 World Series record, reaching base in his ninth consecutive plate appearance. ‘Big Papi,’ the Fall Classic MVP, extends the streak that began in Game 3 with a fourth-inning single in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1953 Red Barber resigns as a Brooklyn Dodger broadcaster and will take the ‘catbird’ seat with the rival New York Yankees. The ‘Old Redhead’ is reported to have left the team because he was upset with Brooklyn owner Walter O’Malley, who refused to support him when he failed to get a higher fee from Gillette, the sponsor of the 1953 World Series on television.
  • 1981 After dropping the first two games of the Fall Classic, the Dodgers defeat the Yankees, 9-2, capturing the World Championship in six games. The victory at the Bronx ballpark marks the third time this postseason that Los Angeles will come from behind to win a series, having been down 0-2 against the Astros in the five-game strike-necessitated NLDS, and 1-2 behind the Expos in the NLCS five-game series.
  • 1981 Entering Game 6 of the World Series in the fifth inning, Yankee right-hander George Frazier, relieving starter Tommy John, gives up three go-ahead runs in the team’s 9-2 elimination loss to the Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. The 27 year-old right-hander becomes the first pitcher to lose three games in a best of seven World Series, and the second hurler to drop that many decisions in any Fall Classic, joining White Sox southpaw Lefty Williams, who also lost a trio of games in the best-of-nine series played in 1919.
  • 2012 At a press conference held before Game 4 at Detroit’s Comerica Park, Clayton Kershaw is named the recipient of the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, an honor given to a major leaguer who demonstrates the value of helping others by his action off the field. The Dodger right-hander and his wife, Ellen, founded the Kershaw Challenge, which includes its cornerstone charity, “Arise Africa,” that helps the couple to build and sustain an orphanage in Lusaka, Zambia known as “Hope’s Home.”

Lineups when available.

Red Sox:


Dodgers:


Oct 03

AL Wild Card Game, 2018

As at Yankees, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The As are making a virtue of necessity by planning to “bullpen” this game, using a multitude of pitchers. This strategy is supposedly different from a bullpen game in which relief pitchers are used in 1- or 2-inning stints, but I’m not entirely sure how. As manager Bob Melvin “…noted the distinction between a ‘bullpen game’ — using a series of relievers in 1- and 2-inning stints — and using Hendriks as an opener before turning to a traditional starter for multiple innings, in the role the pioneering Tampa Bay Rays call ‘the bulk guy.’

It will be RHP Liam Hendriks, then, who starts for the As. He’s 0-1 with a 4.13 ERA in 24 innings this season and has made 8 appearances in the “opener” role. He’ll face the Yankees’ more traditional starter RHP Luis Severíno (19-8, 3.39 ERA). He started last year’s Wild Card Game against the Twins and got knocked out early, giving up three runs and two homers.

Today in As history:

  • 1924 At Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl, the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League beat the Eastern Colored League’s Hilldale Giants (PA), 6-2, in the opening game of the first Colored World Series. The ten-game event, in which KC will capture the crown, winning five games to 4 with one tie, features games played in Chicago, Kansas City, and Baltimore.
  • 1965 At Metropolitan Stadium, Angels’ first baseman Vic Power (Pellot) ends his 12-year major league career going 1-for-5 with an RBI single in a 5-2 loss to the Twins. The .284 career hitter will have the distinction of being the last active player to have worn a Philadelphia A’s uniform (1954).
  • 1976 On the last day of the season, Kansas City’s George Brett and Hal McRae and Minnesota’s Rod Carew are separated by .001 for the batting title. Brett, who goes 3-for-4 , edges his Royals teammate (.333 vs .332) for the American League crown with the deciding hit, an inside-the-park home run, being a misplayed line drive, leading McRae to believe the lack of effort was intentional.
  • 1993 Eighty-three year-old Mel Harder throws the ceremonial ‘last’ pitch at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. As a member of the 1932 Indian squad, he also had thrown the first pitch as the team’s starting pitcher in the ballpark’s inaugural game, a 1-0 defeat to Lefty Grove and the A’s.
  • 2012 In the final game of the season with the AL West title on the line, Ranger’s center fielder Josh Hamilton’s fourth inning-error opens the floodgates that allow the A’s to erase a five-run deficit when they score six times en route to their 12-5 victory at the Oakland Coliseum. The Texas loss puts the team into the new one-game AL Wild Card contest against Baltimore.

Today in Yankee’s history:

  • 1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out from 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 improbable victory.
  • 1948 After taking his position in center field in the bottom of the eighth inning at Fenway Park, Joe DiMaggio, is removed from the game by Yankee manager Bucky Harris. As the superstar of their hated rivals limps off the field, the enthusiastic Red Sox crowd of 35,000 gives Joltin’ Joe a lengthy and loud standing ovation, a gesture he will later refer to as one of the greatest thrills of his career.
  • 1995 The Yankees, 9-6 victors over the Mariners in the Bronx, and the Rockies, dropping a 5-4 decision to the Braves in Colorado, become the first clubs to participate in the postseason not having been a first-place team. The two wild-card clubs will not advance further in the playoffs, both losing their three-out-of-five divisional series.
  • 2009 Needing only a win or a Colorado loss for the past week, the Dodgers finally clinch the National League West title with a 5-0 victory over the wild-card Rockies. Joe Torre, who will be managing in the postseason for the 14th consecutive season, has won thirteen divisional titles, including ten with the Yankees, one with the Braves, and now his second with LA.
  • 2010 The Rays, entering the final day of the season tied with the Yankees, win their second AL East crown when their rivals lose to Boston. With the title not in jeopardy, even with a loss due to their overall record against New York this season, Tampa Bay rallies for a 3-2 victory over Kansas City in 12 innings to take the division by a game.
  • 2013 Alex Rodriguez announces he has filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court, accusing Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig of pursuing “vigilante justice” as part of a “witch hunt” in an effort to “destroy” his reputation and career. On August 5, the Yankees star was given a 211-game suspension for alleged violations of baseball’s drug agreement.
  • 2015 In the nightcap of a Citi Field twin bill, Max Scherzer throws his second no-hitter of the season when the Nationals beat the first-place Mets, 2-0. The 31 year-old National right-hander becomes the fifth pitcher to hurl two no-hitters in the same regular season, joining Nolan Ryan (1973 Angel), Virgil Trucks (1952 Tigers), Allie Reynolds (1951Yankees), and Johnny Vander Meer (1938 Reds), who also accomplished the feat.

As lineup:


Yankees lineup:


Sep 08

Game 142, 2018

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet – RM

RHP Walker Buehler (6-4, 2.92 ERA) takes the 5,280′ 10″ mound for the Dodgers this afternoon, and LHP Kyle Freeland (13-7, 2.96 ERA) does the same for the Rockies. Buehler was 2-0 for August and got no decision in his last start against the D-Backs, despite giving up just one run in 6 1/3 innings. Freeland hasn’t lost a game in his last six starts and his team is 11-1 over his last twelve. Even more impressively, he’s got a 2.27 ERA at Coors Field this season.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.
  • 1957 Before their departure to play on the West Coast for next season, the Dodgers and Giants face one another for the final time in New York. The Jints beat the Bums at the Polo Grounds, 3-2, to finish the intense 68 year-old storied rivalry with a 656-606 advantage over Brooklyn in the battle between the boroughs.
  • 1967 The Mets, at the urging of their fans, honor former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who retired last season when arthritis ended his career prematurely at the age of 30. The Brooklyn-born southpaw, who threw a no-hitter against New York in 1962, started twenty games against the Amazin’s, compiling a 17-2 record that included 14 complete games and 5 shutouts.
  • 2007 Alex Rodriguez, hitting his 50th and 51st home runs, joins Babe Ruth (1920-54, 1921-59, 1927-60, 1928-54), Roger Maris (1961-61), and Mickey Mantle (1956-52, 1961-54) to become only the fourth player in Yankee history to hit 50 or more homers in a single season. The Yankee infielder’s second homer breaks the major league mark of 49 homers hit by a third baseman, shared with Mike Schmidt (Phillies-1980) and Adrian Beltre (Dodgers-2004).
  • 2017 The Dodgers, who just a couple of months ago seemed poised to challenge the major league record of 116 wins in a season, lose again, their 8th straight defeat and 13th in 14 games, as they bow to the Rockies, 5 – 4. They blow an early 4 – 1 lead as D.J. LeMahieu hits a two-run double in the 5th to put Colorado ahead to stay. On a positive note, Yu Darvish records the 1000th strikeout of his career, punching out Carlos Gonzalez in the 5th, becoming the fastest starting pitcher to reach the mark, in 812 innings over 128 games.

Lineup when available.


Oct 31

World Series Game Six, 2017

Astros at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PT, TV: Fox

The Astros have a 3-2 lead in the Series and, in a rematch of Game Two pitchers, ask RHP Justin Verlander to close it out. The Dodgers counter with LHP Rich Hill. Neither pitcher got the win in that extra-inning affair.

The story of this game may be which starter lasts longest and which bullpen works least.

The Phillies have hired Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ Director of Player Development, to be their next manager.

Today in baseball history:

  • 2001 For the first time since Philadelphia A’s Mule Haas hit a game-tying two-run homer in Game 5 of the 1929 World Series, a team comes from behind to tie a Fall Classic game in the ninth and goes on to win in extra innings. Tino Martinez sends the game into overtime with a two-out homer off Diamondbacks’ closer Byung-Hyun Kim and Derek Jeter, dubbed Mr. November, wins it after the stroke of midnight with a full count two-out round-tripper giving the Bronx Bombers a 3-2 victory and knots the series at two games apiece.
  • 2009 Alex Rodriguez’s Game 3 fly ball in the right-field corner of Citizens Bank Park becomes the subject of the first instant replay call in World Series history. The Yankee third baseman’s hit, originally ruled a double, is changed by the umpires to a home run after the replay clearly shows the ball going over the fence before striking a television camera and bouncing back to the field.

Lineup when available.

Sep 08

Game 141, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM

The Rockies send RHP German Marquez (10-6, 4.26 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Yu Darvish (8-11, 4.09 ERA) in game two of the series.

Marquez is a 22-year-old rookie who’s been getting hit early in counts in his last few starts as the league has begun to figure his patterns out. He gave up three runs in the sixth in his start Sunday against the D-Backs when they did just that. Darvish’s first two starts for the Dodgers were very good, but his last four have been pretty bad (6.16 ERA).

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1955 The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.
  • 1957 Before their departure to play on the West Coast for next season, the Dodgers and Giants face one another for the final time in New York. The Jints beat the Bums at the Polo Grounds, 3-2, to finish the intense 68 year-old storied rivalry with a 656-606 advantage over Brooklyn in the battle between the boroughs.
  • 1967 The Mets, at the urging of their fans, honor former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who retired last season when arthritis ended his career prematurely at the age of 30. The Brooklyn-born southpaw, who threw a no-hitter against New York in 1962, started twenty games against the Amazins, compiling a 17-2 record that included 14 complete games and 5 shutouts.
  • 2007 Alex Rodriguez, hitting his 50th and 51st home runs, joins Babe Ruth (1920-54, 1921-59, 1927-60, 1928-54), Roger Maris (1961-61), and Mickey Mantle (1956-52, 1961-54) to become only the fourth player in Yankee history to hit 50 or more homers in a single season. The Yankee infielder’s second homer breaks the major league mark of 49 homers hit by a third baseman, shared with Mike Schmidt (Phillies-1980) and Adrian Beltre (Dodgers-2004).

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.

Jul 04

Game 85, 2016 and 4th of July historical revisionism

The guy who wrote the latest Ty Cobb biography explains why most of what we’ve been told of Cobb is a lie. For example, his family history would indicate he was no racist, despite what we’ve been told:

Ty Cobb was descended from a long line of abolitionists. His great-grandfather was a minister who preached against slavery and was run out of town for it. His grandfather refused to fight in the Confederate army because of the slavery issue. And his father was an educator and state senator who spoke up for his black constituents and is known to have once broken up a lynch mob.

[snip]

Cobb himself was never asked about segregation until 1952, when the Texas League was integrating, and Sporting News asked him what he thought. “The Negro should be accepted wholeheartedly, and not grudgingly,” he said. “The Negro has the right to play professional baseball and whose [sic] to say he has not?”

I’ve read the biography, and it’s a good one. I give it 4 stars.

On to today’s game.

Orioles at Dodgers, 6:10PM PT, TV: MLBN (out-of-market only), MASN, SPNLA

The Dodgers have won four straight and the Orioles have lost four straight. Despite that the Orioles still lead the AL East by three games. Each streak could continue after this evening’s game with its early start time (fireworks afterward!). The Dodgers ask young Julio Urias (1-2, 4.09 ERA) to keep up his good work; he’s lowered his ERA from one game to the next in each of his 7 starts. He’s thrown 33 innings so far for the big leaguers in 2016 after throwing 41 in the minors this season. The most he’s ever thrown in a season is 87 2/3 in 2014, so he’s coming close to a shutdown point.

Urias will be opposed by Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.77 ERA). This is his fourth start after coming off the DL, where he’d been with shoulder tendinitis. His last start was his best since his return; he went six innings against the Padres and got the win.

Note: the Orioles hit a lot of home runs. They just set a major league record by hitting 56 in June, the most ever in that calendar month. They are on pace to hit 262 for the season, just two short of the all-time record of 264 set by the A-Rod-Griffey Jr.-Jay Buhner-E. Martinez Mariners in 1997.

Update: Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Thursday’s game for the Dodgers against the Padres.

Lineup: