Red Sox at Dodgers, 1:05PM PT, TV: FS1, SPNLA, NESN
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.”
Red Sox at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NESN
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.
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.
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.
St. Louis at Boston 2:00pm HST, 5:00pm Pacific, 8:00pm Eastern on Fox.