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.”
Backs to the wall, the Astros send ace RHP Justin Verlander to the mound to stop the Red Sox. The Sox counter with LHP David Price. Verlander gave up two runs on two hits in six innings in Game One of this series, while Price went 4 2/3 innings in Game Two, giving up five hits and four runs. The Sox scored five in the first three innings and were never caught, so for the first time in Price’s career his team won a postseason game he’d started.
Today in Red Sox history:
1971 Dick Williams is named the Associated Press American League Manager of the Year after guiding the A’s to their first playoff appearance since the franchise faced St. Louis in the 1931 Fall Classic. The 42 year-old skipper also copped the honor for piloting the Red Sox during the team’s Impossible Dream season in 1967.
1999 The Yankees win their record 36th pennant when the team beats the Red Sox, 6-1, in Game 5 of the ALCS. Orlando Hernandez blanks Boston into the eighth inning with Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada providing the offense punch with two-run round-trippers, respectively in the first and ninth frames of the Fenway Park contest.
2004 After 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 471 pitches, the Red Sox outlast the Yankees, 5-4, in Game 5 of the league championship. Boston’s DH David Ortiz, who is the first player in baseball history to hit two walk-off home runs during the postseason, ends the longest game in ALCS history at 1:22 a.m. with a two-out single into center scoring Johnny Damon from second in the 14th inning at Fenway Park.
2008 The Red Sox, scoring in each of the last three innings, erase a seven-run deficit in the seventh to beat the Rays, 8-7, in Game 5 of the ALCS. The Philadelphia A’s, who rallied after trailing 8-0 to beat the Cubs, 10-8, in Game 4 of the 1929 World Series, are the only team to have made a bigger comeback in the postseason.
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.
2017 Masahiro Tanaka pitches seven innings of three-hit ball and the Yankees shut out the Astros in Game Five of the ALCS to take a 3-2 lead in the series. The Astros won the next two games and moved on to the 2018 World Series for the second time in team history (2005).
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.
Have a nice story complimenting the Dodger Stadium architects and the owners who have kept it up.
Okay, it’s an ad for Kingsford charcoal, it’s still kinda cute.
Cory Seager’s elbow shows no ill-effects from throwing in a game Wednesday and Kiké Hernandez says “Hey, I can hit right-handers too!” Alex Wood went five innings and struck out six White Sox “A” leaguers while giving up just one hit, and Matt Kemp went 1-4 as a starter in left field. Andrew Toles came off the bench and was 0-for-1. Alex Verdugo came off the bench and was 1-for-1 with a double. Trayce Thompson came off the bench and was 1-for-1 with a bloop double. Other news here.
The Red Sox send LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (2-4, 5.91 ERA) out to do battle with the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling (2-3, 4.14 ERA). Rodriguez has a 2.63 ERA and has gone at least five innings in all four starts since he was brought up from Pawtucket July 16. Stripling gave the Dodgers 3 2/3 innings of relief last Sunday when he replaced Bud Norris, who left after a dozen pitches with a mid-back strain. He’s replacing him again today, as the Dodgers have placed Norris on the 15-day DL.
The Red Sox will have David Ortiz at first base for the first time this season. Manager Farrell said Friday that “his bat in our lineup is an important one and it will be in the lineup tomorrow.”
Today's Dodger lineup vs. Red Sox: Kendrick 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Hernández CF Reddick RF Van Slyke LF Ellis C Stripling P
Former University of Hawai’i pitcher Steven Wright (12-5, 3.20 ERA) goes for the Sox and Scott Kazmir (9-4, 4.41 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. When Wright pitched for UH he didn’t throw the knuckleball, which is what his bread-and-butter pitch has become. This will be his first start against the Dodgers, while it will be Kazmir’s 30th start against the Red Sox thanks to all the time he spent with the Rays.
The Dodgers and Sox met once in the World Series in 1916, when some guy named Ruth won Game Two by outpitching Sherry Smith in 14 innings. Smith did hold the Babe hitless in the 13 innings he pitched. Other than that, they’ve played just twelve times between 1901-2016.
The Dodgers will honor the Sox’ retiring Big Papi, David Ortiz, before the game. I have no idea why. I don’t begrudge him the accolades, but it’s not like he or his team are hated enemies that the Dodgers play multiple times a year and he’s been mashing against them. That’s a guy you’d want to say “Bye! Good luck! Glad you can’t hurt us anymore!” to. For example, if Paul Goldschmidt were to retire, or Matt Holliday, or Hunter Pence, I’d be quite happy to see them off.
Lineup when available.
Tonight’s Dodger lineup vs. Red Sox: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B Reddick RF González 1B Grandal C Kendrick LF Pederson CF Kazmir P
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.
Today's lineup: Kendrick LF Seager SS Turner 3B Van Slyke 1B Grandal C Puig RF Hernández CF Taylor 2B Norris P
One way or another, the Series will end at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918. Either the Sox win tonight in six or the Cardinals win tonight to force a Game Seven. But it too will be played at Fenway, and as a fan I’d like to see it. Game Seven is evocative of so many previous ones — Mazeroski’s home run in 1960, McCovey’s line drive caught by Bobby Richardson in 1962, Koufax’s win in 1965 on Lou Johnson’s home run in the fourth inning, Lolich outdueling Gibson in 1968, Jack Morris’s ten-inning 1-0 win in 1991, and Luis Gonzalez’s dunker off Mariano Rivera in 2001.
So I’m rooting for the Cardinals tonight. It’s hard, but I’m gonna do it. They send out rookie star Michael Wacha, and the Sox counter with John Lackey. Ortiz goes back to DH for the Red Sox and Napoli plays first base. For the Cardinals Allen Craig is the DH while Mike Adams plays first base.