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 12

ALCS Game Two, 2020

Astros vs Rays, 1:07 PDT, TV: TBS

RHP Lance McCullers goes for the Astros and RHP Charlie Morton, former Astro, pitches for the Rays. McCullers started Game One of the ALDS and was pushed around by the As, giving up five runs including three home runs in four innings. Despite that, the Astros won the game. Morton started Game Three of the ALDS against the Yankees and went five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and getting the win.

Here’s Castillo’s five-out save of Game One:

This day in baseball history includes two Dodger losses in clinching games of the World Series (1916 and 1920), Vin Scully’s first broadcast, Dave Henderson’s go-ahead HR off Donnie Moore in the ninth to keep the Angels from winning the 1986 ALCS and more.

Oct 07

ALDS Game Three, 2020

Athletics vs Astros, 12:35 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Astros lead the series 2-0.

LHP Jesus Luzardo tries to prevent an Astros sweep for the As, and RHP Jose Urquidy, pitching in a sore-armed Zack Greinke’s slot, tries to complete it. Luzardo gave up three runs in 3 1/3 innings against the White Sox in the As’ Wild Card Series, while Urquidy went 4 1/3 innings against the Twins in the Astros’ Wild Card Series, giving up one run on two hits and getting no decision.

Rays vs Yankees, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The series is tied 1-1.

RHP Charlie Morton starts for the Rays after a twelve-day layoff. He’ll face the Yankees’ RHP Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka gave up six earned runs to the Indians in Game Two of the Yankees’ Wild Card Series, more than he’d ever given up in eight previous postseason starts.

The Yankees have made plenty of postseason history on October 7, but so have a lot of other teams. The event with the most lasting significance was this: In 1969 the Cardinals traded Curt Flood along with Byron Browne, Joe Hoerner, and Tim McCarver to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Dick Allen, Jerry Johnson, and Cookie Rojas. When Flood refused to report to Philadelphia, St. Louis sent Willie Montanez and a minor leaguer to complete the trade, but the outfielder’s courageous challenge to the reserve clause had a dramatic impact on the game.

Take a look.

Oct 07

ALDS Games Three, 2019

Here’s the road map which lays out how that might happen.

On this day in baseball history Whitey Ford beats the Phillies to complete a World Series sweep, Gil Hodges finishes a World Series 0-21 at the plate, Curt Flood is traded from the Cardinals to the Phillies and refuses to report, and Benny Agbayani hits a 13th-inning HR to beat the Cubs in the longest NLDS game ever played — 5 hours and 22 minutes.

The early game is really early for me at 7:05 AM my time. It features the Astros at Rays, 10:05 AM PDT, TV: MLBN

The Astros have a 2-0 lead in the series. They send out their third starter, RHP Zack Greinke, to face the Rays’ RHP Charlie Morton, who’s already distinguished himself this postseason by winning the Wild Card Game last week. Morton was 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA on the year, while Greinke was 8-1 with a 3.02 ERA for the Astros after coming over from the D-Backs at the trade deadline. He was 18-5 with a 2.93 ERA overall.

Astros lineup:

Rays lineup:

The late game showcases the Yankees at Twins, 5:40 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Yankees lead the series 2-0. They’ll send RHP Luis Severino to the mound in Minneapolis. He spent most of the season on the IL, making just three starts in September. He’s got a career 6.26 ERA in six postseason starts. His opponent will be RHP Jake Odorizzi, who gave up nine runs in four innings against the Yankees on July 24 and hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of the ten starts he’s made since.

Yankees lineup:

Twins lineup:

Oct 02

AL Wild Card Game, 2019

Rays at Athletics, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: ESPN

RHP Charlie Morton starts for the Rays. A former Astro, he was the starter in Game Four of the ALCS last year against the Red Sox and was last seen by the Dodgers closing out Game Seven in the 2017 World Series. Morton had a 0.68 ERA against the As this season and his ERA against them is 2.97 lifetime. His Athletics opposite number will be LHP Sean Manaea, who’s been hot for a month after coming back from shoulder surgery; he went 4-0 with a 1.21 ERA in September. He’s 1-1 with a career 2.70 ERA against the Rays.

Have some managerial rumors to chew on while watching this game.

Lineups when available.
Rays:

Athletics:

Oct 28

World Series Game Four, 2017

Dodgers at Astros, 5:10 PM PT, TV: Fox

Down two games to one, if the Dodgers’ backs are not against the wall (the train tracks?) they’re being pushed closer and closer to it. They ask LHP Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 ERA) to stop the Astros’ offensive onslaught or hold it off until they can get their own bats in gear. They’ll have to do it against RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA). Wood pitched 4 2/3 innings of Game Three of the NLCS against the Cubs, giving up three runs and taking the loss. Morton lost Game Three of the ALCS to the Yankees but came back to pitch five two-hit innings in Game Five and get the win.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1981 The Dodgers, after dropping the first two games of the Fall Classic, 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 has 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 lose that many in any Fall Classic, joining White Sox southpaw Lefty Williams, who also dropped a trio of games in the best-of-nine series played in 1919.
  • 1995 In Game 6, Tom Glavine and Mark Wohlers combine on a one-hitter to defeat the Indians, 1-0, giving the Braves their third World Championship, the first since moving to Atlanta. David Justice’s leadoff homer in the sixth inning off Jim Poole proves to be the difference.
  • 1998

    “It is especially fitting that this legislation honors a courageous baseball player and individual, the late Curt Flood, whose enormous talents on the baseball diamond were matched by his courage off the field. It was 29 years ago this month that Curt Flood refused a trade from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies. His bold stand set in motion the events that culminate in the bill I have signed into law.” – BILL CLINTON, U.S. president commenting on the Curt Flood Act.

    President Clinton signs Curt Flood Act of 1998, revoking baseball’s antitrust exemption for labor matters, but not for matters involving relocation, expansion or the minor leagues. The passage of the legislation by the 105th Congress comes over seventy-five years after the Supreme Court ruled that the sport was not involved in interstate commerce or trade as customarily defined within the context of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

  • 2009 In Game 1, Chase Utley, en route to a record-tying five World Series homers, becomes the first left-handed batter in 81 years to hit two round-trippers off a southpaw in a Fall Classic game. The Philadelphia second baseman, who also set a postseason record by reaching base in 26 straight games with his first-inning walk, goes deep twice off Yankee southpaw CC Sabathia in the Phillies’ 6-1 victory in New York, to match Babe Ruth’s performance in the fourth and final game of the 1928 series.

Lineup when available.

Oct 21

ALCS Game Seven, 2017

Game Seven. Winner goes on, loser goes home. Elimination game. All the marbles. Pick your cliché.

Tonight at 8:00 PM EDT, 5:00PM PT, the Yankees play the Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston in one of those Game Sevens.

Tonight’s pitchers are the same men who started Game Three: for the Yankees, veteran lefty C.C.Sabathia; for the Astros, RHP Charlie Morton. In the earlier game Sabathia went six scoreless innings, while Morton went only 3 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs. Sabathia has a 2.30 ERA with 19 strikeouts over 15 2/3 innings in three starts this postseason. Morton started Game Four of the ALDS against the Red Sox and went 4 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits but only two runs in that game, which was won by the Astros to clinch the series and move on to the ALCS.

This day in baseball history:

  • 1957 With major league baseball coming to the Bay Area, the Giants buy the single A minor league team in Arizona for the purpose of moving the San Francisco Seals to the nearby desert. Their new farm team will be known as the Phoenix Giants.
  • 1973 In Game Seven, the hometown A’s capture their second consecutive World Championship, defeating the Mets, 5-2, when Darold Knowles, coming out of the bullpen with two outs and two on in the ninth, gets Wayne Garrett to pop out. The 31 year-old southpaw reliever, who hurls 6.1 Fall Classic innings without giving up an earned run en route to recording two saves, is the first pitcher to appear in all seven games of a World Series.
  • 1975 In the bottom of the 12th inning of Game Six at Fenway Park, Red Sox backstop Carlton Fisk hits one of the most dramatic home runs in major league history, forcing a seventh game with the Reds. In 2002 this event, seen by a record-75.9 million viewers, will be chosen as one of baseball’s most memorable moments.

  • 1976 The Reds beat the Yankees, 7-2, to complete the World Series sweep over the Bronx Bombers for their second consecutive World Championship. The ‘Big Red Machine’ is powered by Johnny Bench’s two-run and three-run home runs.
  • 1980 In front of 65,838 fans at Veterans Stadium, the Phillies win their first World Series in the 98-year history of the franchise by defeating the Royals in Game 6, 4-1. Winning pitcher Steve Carlton limits Kansas City to 4 hits in seven innings, and Tug McGraw hurls the last two frames to pick up the save.
  • 2000 In the longest World Series game ever played, the Yankees take Game 1 of the Subway Series, thanks to Jose Vizcaino’s 12th inning two-out single, defeating the Mets, 4-3, in four hours and fifty-one minutes. The victory surpasses the streak established by the Murderers’ Row clubs as the present Bronx Bombers win their 13th consecutive World Series game.
  • 2009 When he is issued a first-inning walk by L.A.’s starter Vicente Padilla (Note: Vicente Padilla?!?) in Game 5 of the NLCS, Chase Utley ties a postseason record by reaching base in 25 consecutive contests. The slugging second baseman, who has reached base in every postseason game in which he has participated except for his first in 2007, equals Boog Powell’s mark established from 1966-1971 playing for the Orioles.
Oct 16

ALCS Game Three, 2017

Astros at Yankees, 5:00 PM PT, TV: FS1

Down two games to none in the series, the Yankees ask LHP C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA) to be their stopper. The Astros counter with RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA). Sabathia started Game Five of the ALDS against Cleveland and struck out nine over 4 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two runs. David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman finished that game with a win for the Yankees. In Game 4 of the ALDS against the Red Sox, Morton’s first start of this postseason, he allowed two runs and struck out six over 4 1/3 innings. He was pulled in favor of Justin Verlander, who picked up the win in that deciding game.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1912 Fred Snodgrass’ 10th inning two-base error of pinch-hitter Clyde Engle’s routine pop fly in center field sets up the tying run en route to the 3-2 Red Sox victory over the Giants and a World Championship for Boston. The play, which will become known as “Snodgrass’ Muff”, is followed by his spectacular catch of a long drive hit by Tris Speaker, but the 20 year-old outfielder will always be remembered as a goat in the Fall Classic.
  • 1962 With the tying and winning runs in scoring position at Candlestick Park, Willie McCovey’s hard line drive is snagged by second baseman Bobby Richardson for the final out of the World Series. The Yankees win Game 7, beating the Giants, 1-0, capturing the franchise’s 20th World Championship.

  • 1969 The Mets, thanks to Ron Swoboda’s double and two Oriole errors in the eighth inning, win their fourth straight World Series game to become World Champions. Jerry Koosman tosses a five-hitter, beating Baltimore 5-3 in Game 5, a contest which will be best remembered for manager Gil Hodges winning the ‘shoe polish’ argument.
  • 2003 In Game 7 of the ALCS, the Yankees capture their 39th American League pennant, beating the Red Sox, 6-5, thanks to Aaron Boone’s 11th inning home run at the Bronx ballpark. The defensive replacement becomes the fifth player to end a postseason series with a homer, joining Bill Mazeroski (’60 Pirates, WS Game 7 vs. Yankees), Chris Chambliss (’76 Yankees, ALCS Game 5 vs. Royals), Joe Carter (’93 Blue Jays, WS Game 6 vs. Phillies), and Todd Pratt (’99 Mets, NLDS Game 4 vs. Diamondbacks).
Oct 09

ALDS Games Four, 2017

First game: Astros at Red Sox, 10:00 AM PT, TV: FS1

If the Astros win the series is over.

The Astros send out RHP Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) to face RHP Rick Porcello (11-17, 4.65 ERA) and the Red Sox. Porcello won the Cy Young Award last year, so he’s better than his record would indicate, Morton is a 10-year MLB veteran who had a career year.

Second game: Indians at Yankees, 4:00 PM PT, TV: FS1

It’s an elimination game for the Yankees. If the Indians win the series is over.

This is a rematch of Game One’s pitchers: Trevor Bauer for Cleveland and Luis Severino for New York. In that game Bauer gave up just two hits in 6 2/3 innings while Severino was done after giving up four hits, three runs and getting only one out.