Oct 12

ALDS Games Four, NLDS Games Three, 2015

Early AL game: Royals at Astros, 10:00AM PT, TV: FS1

The Astros have a 2-1 lead and send rookie Lance McCullers out to try to win the series. The Royals send first-game (but only two innings thanks to rain) starter Yordano Ventura out to keep the Astros from doing that.

Late AL Game: Blue Jays at Rangers, 1:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Rangers lead the series 2-1 and hope to win at home. They’ll send out Derek Holland, who’s been in 13 post-season games in his career. He and the Rangers will face R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball. This will be Dickey’s first postseason start.

Early NL Game: Cardinals at Cubs 3:00PM PT, TV: TBS

The series is tied 1-1. The Cubs like their chances in this game, and who wouldn’t? They send All Second-Half pitcher Jake Arrieta to the mound to face the Cardinals, who counter with Michael Wacha.

Late NL Game: Dodgers at Mets, 5:30PM PT, TV: TBS

First, I think this game is going to start on TNT rather than TBS unless the Cubs-Cards game is a blowout; I don’t believe the first game will come in under 2 1/2 hours as it would have to for there to be a seamless switch at 5:30PM PT.

Second, Utley. The latest word is that his appeal is “unlikely to be heard today.”

Utley’s representatives and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association asked for time to prepare their case, which would make Utley eligible to play until a hearing takes place.

Now, the game itself. The Dodgers send Brett Anderson to the hill in his second postseason appearance (2012 for the As), while the Mets send Matt Harvey and his “will he or won’t he throw more than 180 innings this year?” controversy (he wound up throwing 189 1/3 in the regular season) to the mound. Anderson was the best ground-ball pitcher in the big leagues this year, inducing them at a 66.3% rate. Harvey was 8-3 with a 2.23 ERA at home, far better than he was on the road.

This will be the first postseason game ever played at Citi Field; all previous Mets’ appearances were at Shea Stadium.

Lineup when available.

What? No Utley?

Also:

Oct 04

Pre-playoff Palaver

Have at it. Who’s on first? Which pitchers are on the roster, and whose dreams are crushed? Should Yasiel Puig be on the first-round roster? What about the injured Scott Van Slyke? Should Seager start at shortstop or should it be Rollins? Should Utley be on the 25-man roster?

Do the Mets’ starting pitchers hold a candle to the Greinke/Kershaw combination? Should it be Wood as the number three starter, or should it be Anderson? It’s ironic that gaining home field advantage means the Dodgers’ #3 starter, whether Wood or Anderson, will start on the road. Anderson was 7-4 away from Dodger Stadium with a 3.07 ERA while Wood was 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA.

Sep 22

Game 150, 2015

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A, MLBN

Alex Wood (11-10,3.63 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against Robbie Ray (4-12, 3.72 ERA) of the D-Backs. Wood’s last start was an eight-inning one-hitter against the Rockies. Ray’s last win was against the Dodgers on September 11, Wood’s worst outing of the year as a Dodger. That was the game in which he gave up eight runs in only 1 2/3 innings.

Goldsmith likes Wood’s pitching: He’s 4-for-7 lifetime off him with two home runs, including one in that Sept. 11 game.

Lineup:

Utley and Pederson sit to start, as does Ethier since Ray is left-handed.

Sep 21

Game 149, 2015

Point of fact: up until this Pirates series the Dodgers had won seven consecutive series. They’ve been playing very well. Sometimes we don’t realize it.

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-A

Brett Anderson is 9-8 with a 3.35 ERA and hunting win number 10. The lefty hasn’t won that many since his rookie year of 2009, thanks to injuries. He’s made four starts against the D-Backs this season, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. His opponent will be Jhoulys Chacin, who’s 0-1 with a 2.95 ERA in the big leagues this season. He was signed to a minor league contract by the Diamondbacks in June. He pitched for the Rockies for six years amassing a record of 38-48 and an ERA of 3.78.

Lineup when available.

The grand experiment of putting Chase Utley at third base begins.

Aug 22

Game 122, 2015

Dodgers at Astros, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Zack Greinke has been emulating Superman recently. He’s made 11 consecutive starts without a loss, and he’s now 13-2 with an MLB-leading 1.58 ERA. He’s also the second-best hitting pitcher in the NL behind Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. His opponent will be left-handed Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43 ERA), who’s given up nine earned runs in his last three starts. He’s 1-3 with the Astros after coming over from the As at the trade deadline.

Lineup:

Puig’s back in right, Utley’s at second, and Kiké is in center. Van Slyke’s in left because Kazmir’s a lefty and neither Crawford nor Ethier hit southpaws well at all.

Aug 21

Game 121, 2015

Dodgers at Astros, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Brett Anderson (7-7, 3.48 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Mike Fiers (5-9, 3.87 ERA) goes for the Astros.

Anderson probably needs to be watched carefully by the Dodgers, since he’s pitched more innings (134 2/3) this season than in any year since 2009. So far he’s done very well; two-thirds of his starts have been quality ones.

Fiers came over from the Brewers with Carlos Gomez at the trade deadline. This will be his fourth start for the Astros, his second at home in Minute Maid Park.

Chase Utley will likely start at second base for the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig is day-to-day, but he might be the DH in this interleague game (it still seems odd that the Astros are now in the American League and not a team the Dodgers play regularly).

Lineup when available.

Dec 10

Winter meetings, Day Three

Update: Kemp is gone to the Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal and a pair of pitching prospects. Fedex also goes to the Padres, along with about $30M to defray part of the cost of Kemp’s contract.

Wow! In very short order today the Dodgers

  • Got 36-year-old shortstop Jimmy Rollins from the Phillies to fill the gap left behind when Hanley Ramirez went the free agent route
  • Traded Dee Gordon and Dan Haren to the Marlins in exchange for pitcher Andrew Heaney, backup catcher Austin Barnes, minor leaguers Enrique Hernandez and Chris Hatcher
  • Flipped Heaney to the Angels for second-baseman Howie Kendrick
  • May be close to signing free-agent pitcher Brandon McCarthy
  • and have discussed adding pitcher Cole Hamels and second-baseman Chase Utley to the Jimmy Rollins deal with the Phillies

And there’s still tomorrow to find deals which send Ethier, Crawford or Kemp to somebody for a starting pitcher or prospects!

Now that they’ve gotten Kendrick, I can’t see why they’d want Utley except as more bait to trade off, as they did with Heaney (hey, kid, I’d have liked to see you pitch!). Do the Phillies need an outfielder?

Update: changed the post title to day 3, which is accurate. I lost a day somewhere.