Oct 16

ALCS Game Three, 2018

Red Sox at Astros, 2:09 PM PDT, TV: TBS

RHP Nathan Eovaldi goes for the visiting Sox while LHP Dallas Keuchel goes for the Astros. Both were very good in Game Three of their respective ALDS series: Eovaldi went seven innings and gave up five hits and one run to the Yankees, while Keuchel went five innings and gave up two runs to the Indians.

On this date in Red Sox’ 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 becomes infamously known as “Snodgrass’ Muff,” is followed by his spectacular catch of a long drive hit by Tris Speaker, but the 20 year-old outfielder historically becomes known as the goat in the Fall Classic.
  • 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).

On this date in Astros’ history:

  • 2005 The Astros won Game Four of the NLCS on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh inning by Morgan Ensberg. The Cardinals threatened in the ninth but the Astros’ Brad Lidge managed to induce a game-ending double play.

Lineups:

Red Sox:


Astros:


Oct 13

ALCS Game One, 2018

Astros at Red Sox, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: TBS. Brian Anderson and Ron Darling will be the broadcasters.

Two of the best pitchers the AL has to offer face one another in this game: RHP Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52 ERA) goes for the Astros and LHP Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA) for the Red Sox. Verlander went 5 1/3 innings in Game One of the ALDS against the Indians, striking out seven while walking only two and allowing just two hits. Sale got the win in Game One of the Red Sox’ ALDS matchup with the Yankees, going 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight, walking two and giving up just two runs.

Today in Astros’ history:

  • 2017 Dallas Keuchel gives up four hits in seven innings of shutout ball against the Yankees in a 2-1 win in Game One of the ALCS.

Today in Red Sox’ history:

  • 1903 In Game 8 of the series, the Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox) defeat the Pirates, 3-0, to take baseball’s first ever world championship, five games to 3. In the 95-minute contest, Bill Dinneen gets the win over Pittsburgh’s Deacon Phillippe in front of a Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds crowd of 7,455 fans.
  • 2003 A tearful 72 year-old Don Zimmer apologizes for his part in yesterday’s brawl during Game 3 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox. During the fourth-inning matinee melee at Fenway, the Yankees’ assistant to the manager is thrown to the ground by Pedro Martinez, after charging the right-hander.
  • 2013 David Ortiz hits a game-tying grand slam home run in the 8th inning against the Tigers.

Lineups when available.

Oct 08

ALDS Games Three, 2018

The early game will be played at Progressive Field (formerly The Jake) in Cleveland between the Astros and the Indians at 10:30 AM PDT. It will be shown on TBS.

The Astros send LHP Dallas Keuchel (12-11, 3.74 ERA) to the hill to try to sweep the series. The Indians ask RHP Mike Clevinger (13-8, 3.02 ERA) to stop them. Keuchel is 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in eight career postseason starts for the Astros. Clevinger has made six postseason appearances, going seven innings in 2016 & 2017 with a 6.43 ERA.

The Indians beat the Braves on this date in 1948 as seen in the NLDS post below, but they also beat the Yankees in the ALDS in 2007 to advance to the ALCS for the first time since 1995. The Astros beat the Mets 1-0 in Game One of the 1986 NLCS behind Mike Scott.

Lineups when available.

In the late game the Red Sox and Yankees face off in Game Three of their series. Each team has won one game. It will be played at Yankee Stadium at 4:40 PM PDT and shown on TBS.

The Sox send out mid-season acquisition (and former Yankee/Dodger) RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-7, 3.81, but 3-3 and 3.33 ERA with the Red Sox) to do battle with the Yankees’ Luis Severino (19-8, 3.39 ERA). Eovaldi has pitched 16 innings against the Yankees since he’s been with the Sox and has yet to give up a run to them. RHP Severino started the Wild Card Game and walked four while striking out seven in four shutout innings. He’s made five starts against the Red Sox this season, most recently on September 19 when he gave up just one run in seven innings. That gave him a 3.56 ERA for the year against the Boston team.

The Red Sox haven’t played much on October 8. In fact, the only notable thing they’ve done on this date was to pitch Ken Brett against the Cardinals in the 1967 World Series, which was only of interest because he was just 19 years old at the time, thus the youngest player ever to pitch in a World Series. The Yankees have frequently played on October 8. As noted in the NLDS post, Don Larsen pitched his perfect game against the Dodgers 62 years ago on this date. They also lost an ALDS Game Five thriller to the Mariners in 1995 on October 8 and lost to the Indians in Game Four of the ALDS in 2007, which cost Joe Torre his managerial job.

Lineups when available.

Nov 01

World Series Game Seven, 2017

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

This really has been one of the best World Series of recent memory. Consider this:

Literally every game of this Series has been a good one. Only once (the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory in Game 4) has the margin of victory been greater than two runs, and that featured a five-run rally by Los Angeles in the ninth.

It’ll be the fourth time in the past seven years the Fall Classic has stretched to the max and the second year in a row. There have been 38 previous Game Sevens, and the Cut Four team at MLB has ranked them all.

Tonight it will be Yu Darvish hoping to erase memories of his awful Game Three start (1 2/3 innings, six hits, four runs) followed by every other pitcher the Dodgers have, as needed. I’d expect to see Kershaw in relief unless Darvish has a fantastic performance deep into the game. The Astros will ask Lance McCullers to replicate his Game Three performance in which he went 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs. He could be followed by Keuchel and Morton and any other arm in the Astros’ bullpen.

Today in baseball history:

  • 2001 The first major league game ever started in the month of November is a memorable one when the Yankees, for the second consecutive night, make a dramatic comeback in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and go on to a World Series victory in extra innings. Tonight’s heroes are Scott Brosius, who hits a game-tying two out two-run homer to knot the game at 2-2, and Alfonso Soriano, who singles in Chuck Knoblauch in the 12th, giving the Yankees a 3-2 victory and 3-2 lead in the Fall Classic over the Diamondbacks.
  • 2010 Edgar Renteria, who drove in the winning run for the Marlins against Cleveland in the 11th inning during Game 7 of the 1997 Fall Classic, joins Yankees legends Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Yogi Berra as only the fourth player in baseball history to collect two World Series-winning hits. The Series MVP’s three-run homer off Cliff Lee in the seventh inning leads to San Francisco’s 3-1 victory over the Rangers, bringing a World Championship to the Giants for the first time since 1954.

Lineup:

Oct 29

World Series Game Five, 2017

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

Lefty Clayton Kershaw goes for the Dodgers and lefty Dallas Keuchel goes for the Astros in a rematch of Game One starters. Kershaw went seven innings, struck out eleven and gave up one run on 83 pitches while getting the win in that game. Keuchel went 6 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits and taking the loss.

Odd statistical note: all eight runs Kershaw has allowed this month have been via the home run.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1942 Branch Rickey, the innovator of the farm systems which helped to build a strong Redbird franchise, resigns as the Cardinals’ vice president. Three days later, the Dodgers will announce the Mahatma has been named president of the Brooklyn club, a move that will help to fill the void created by Brooklyn’s general manager Larry MacPhail’s enlistment in the army to serve in World War II.
  • 2008 The Phillies complete the first-ever suspended game in World Series history, playing three innings at Citizens Bank Park, beating the Rays, 4-3, in Game 5 to win the Fall Classic. The World Championship is only the team’s second in franchise history, and its first since 1980.

Lineup when available.


Turner’s knee must be bothering him. Fortunately Forsythe is a good replacement at 3B.

Oct 24

World Series Game One, 2017

Astros at Dodgers, 5:09 PM PT, TV: Fox

It’s lefty versus lefty in Game One, as Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA) takes the hill for the Astros and Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers. Keuchel is 2-1 in three starts this postseason with a 2.60 ERA, while Kershaw is 2-0 in his three starts this postseason with a 3.63 ERA.

I didn’t realize the two managers worked together in San Diego and are good friends.

This is the first time two 100-win teams will face each other in the Series since the Reds and Orioles in 1970 (the Series Roger Angell of The New Yorker called “The Baltimore Vermeers”).

Today in baseball history:

  • 1972 Jackie Robinson, weakened by complications of heart disease and diabetes, dies of a heart attack in his home in North Stamford, Connecticut. The 53-year-old nearly-blind baseball pioneer and social activist’s death comes nine days after his appearance at the World Series, where he threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium.
  • 1987 The Twins, amidst the deafening crowd noise of the hanky-waving fans in the Metrodome, stave off elimination when the team scores a total of eight runs in the fifth and sixth frames of Game 6 to beat the Cardinals, 11-5. Minnesota’s southpaw-swinging Kent Hrbek hits a sixth-inning grand slam off left-handed Ken Dayley to put the contest out of reach for the Redbirds.
  • 1992 In Game 6, Canada wins its first-ever World Series when the Blue Jays beat the Braves at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, 4-3. Forty-one year-old Dave Winfield’s 11th inning double is the key hit in Toronto’s victory.

Lineup:

Oct 18

ALCS Game Five, 2017

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

The Astros send their ace LHP Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA) to try to win the last game at Yankee Stadium in this series. He’ll face the Yankees’ RHP Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA). This is a rematch of the pitchers in Game One, in which Keuchel threw seven scoreless innings and gave up only one hit as Tanaka gave up two runs in six innings and the Astros won 2-1.

Today in Yankees’ history:

  • 1960“Resigned, fired, quit, discharged, use whatever you damn please. I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy again” – Casey Stengel, announcing his dismissal from the Yankees. The Yankees, five days after losing to the Pirates in Game 7 of the World Series, fire Stengel, believing he’s too old to manage. During his twelve-year tenure with the Bronx Bombers, the ‘Old Perfesser’ compiled a 1149-696 (.623) record, while capturing ten AL pennants and seven World Championships.
  • 1977 In Game 6 of the Fall Classic, Reggie Jackson, who also homered in his last at bat in the previous contest, hits three home runs on three consecutive pitches, propelling the Yankees to an 8-4 victory over the Dodgers at the ballpark in the Bronx. ‘Mr. October’s heroics assures the team of their twenty-first World Championship, their first since 1962.

Today in Astros’ history:

  • 2001 Larry Dierker, who left the Astros’ broadcast booth to take over the dugout duties as the team’s skipper in 1997, resigns as Houston manager (448-362, .553, four divisional titles), despite tying the Cardinals for the best record in the National League (93-69) and winning the Central Division. The team failed to win a playoff series in his five-year tenure, going 2-12 in postseason action.
Oct 13

ALCS Game One, 2017

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

The Yankees start RHP Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA) on the road (6.48 ERA), where he was markedly worse than at home (3.22 ERA) this season. His opponent will be LHP Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA), who’s 5-2 with a 1.24 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees, including a three-hit six-inning shutout in the 2015 Wild Card Game in which he got the win.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1960 At Forbes Field, Bill Mazeroski’s dramatic walk-off home run off Yankee hurler Ralph Terry breaks up a 9-9 tie, ending one of the most exciting seven game World Series ever played. Maz’s round-tripper remains the only home run ever to a win a World Series Game 7.

  • 2001 The Yankees, being down 2-0 in the best-of-five series, stave off elimination, beating the A’s and Barry Zito, 1-0, thanks to the shutout pitching by Mike Mussina and Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada’s fifth-inning home run. Shortstop Derek Jeter backing up an errant relay throw down the first base line and flipping it home to cut down Jeremy Giambi as the potential tying run will be remembered as one of the best defensive plays in postseason history.

Oct 06

ALDS Games Two, 2017

First Game: Red Sox at Astros, 11:00 AM PT, TV: FS1

The Red Sox ask LHP Drew Pomeranz (17-6, 3.32 ERA) to stop the Astros in his first playoff start. He appeared out of the bullpen for the Sox last year. The ‘Stros counter with LHP Dallas Keuchel (14-5, 2.90 ERA). Pomeranz beat the Astros last Sunday, allowing three hits and one run in six innings. Keuchel has faced the Red Sox three times in his career, two of them starts, and has a 9.88 ERA to show for it.

Second Game: Yankees at Indians, 2:00 PM PT, TV: MLBN (subject to blackout)

The Yankees ask hulking LHP C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA) to throw a spanner into the Indians’ works in Game Two. He’ll face Cy Young Award front-runner RHP Corey Kluber (18-4, 2.25 ERA), whose record since June 1 is startling: 15-2 with a 1.62 ERA in 23 starts. This is a storyline the writers like: former Indians ace Sabathia (c. 2008) versus current ace Kluber. Kluber started against the Yankees twice in August and gave up just three runs on six hits with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings. Sabathia made 27 starts this year but didn’t face the Indians. He has a ton of postseason experience: he’s made 18 starts and gone 9-5 with a 4.53 ERA.

On this date in baseball history Babe Ruth became the first man to hit three HRs in a single game in the World Series in 1926. He did it again in 1928. In 1945 William Stanis cursed the Cubs because they wouldn’t allow his ticket-holding billy goat Murphy into Wrigley Field for Game Four of the World Series. October 6 is also the anniversary of “the midge game” in Cleveland, when rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain was so distracted by the bugs that he threw a wild pitch which allowed the Indians to tie Game Two of the ALDS in 2007.

Oct 11

ALDS Games Three, 2015

Early game: Royals at Astros, 1:00PM PT, TV: MLBN

The Royals send Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55 ERA) out to face the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48 ERA). Keuchel is the American League’s only 20-game winner and went six scoreless innings in the Wild Card game against the Yankees. Volquez has been a serviceable pitcher his entire 11-year career, winning 13 for the second year in a row. MLB has some more game notes.

Late game: Blue Jays at Rangers, 5:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Blue Jays are down 0-2 in this series and have to win today. To that end they send Marco Estrada (who?) out to save their season. He was 13-8 with a 3.13 ERA on the year. The Rangers counter with lefty Martin Perez (3-6, 4.46 ERA). He would seem to be an odd choice, since right-handed batters hit .304 against him this season and the Jays have a lot of them. He finished strongly, though, giving up only one earned run over 13 innings in his last two starts. Game notes.