Oct 07

Divisional Series AL Games Two, NL Games One, 2016

Beginning at 10:00AM PT, there are four Division Series games on tap this Friday. First is Game Two of the Blue Jays-Rangers series, then at 1:30PM PT it’s Game Two of the Red Sox-Indians series. Next at 2:30PM PT is Game One of the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS, and then to close the day out Game One of the Giants-Cubs NLDS begins at 6:00PM PT.

Toronto at Texas, TV: TBS, SportsNet

The Jays start LHP J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18 ERA), who ended the season with a rush, putting up a 2.35 ERA over his last five starts. He’ll face RHP Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA), who’s 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts against Toronto. Darvish finished strongly too, allowing one run and five hits with 21 strikeouts in 13 innings in wins over the A’s and Rays to end his regular season.

Boston at Cleveland, TV: TBS

The Red Sox send LHP David Price (17-9, 3.99 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA). Price has been an ace everywhere he’s pitched, but in the postseason he’s been unable to replicate his regular season performances. He’s 2-7 with a 5.12 ERA in 14 career postseason appearances, with both of those wins coming in relief. Kluber skipped his last scheduled start with a tight quadriceps and has had ten days of rest.

San Francisco at Chicago, TV: FS1

The Giants ask RHP Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79 ERA) to pick up where Bumgarner left off in the Wild Card game, which might not be unthinkable: Cueto’s last start in the postseason was a complete game 1-0 shutout of the Mets in the 2015 World Series. He closed the season with a 4-0 record and 1.78 ERA in five starts in September. His opponent will be LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), who’s had plenty of postseason experience himself, going 6-6 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 games, 14 of which were starts. He finished the season with a flourish, going 9-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his last 12 starts.

Los Angeles at Washington, TV: FS1. Announcer Kenny Albert with Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci serving as analysts and Jon Paul Morosi contributing reports. Radio: ESPN. Dave O’Brien does play-by-play and Jim Bowden is the analyst.

The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) to the mound to make his tenth postseason start. He’s had bad luck in previous playoff appearances, going just 2-6 with an ERA of 4.59 in his career. He spent two months on the disabled list this year but came back to go 1-2 with a 1.29 ERA in the five starts he made in September and October. He’ll face RHP Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA), who’s gone 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA in twelve postseason appearances, all with Detroit. The Nationals have some serious injury worries which may have an impact on this series: C Wilson Ramos is out for the year, P Stephen Strasbourg won’t pitch until the next round if Washington gets that far, 2B Daniel Murphy has made one game appearance since September 20 and RF Bryce Harper has both a jammed left thumb and a sore neck.

Lineup:

Aug 07

Game 111, 2016

Red Sox at Dodgers, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NESN, MLB Plus free game

The Sox ask David Price (9-7, 4.30 ERA) to win the rubber match of this series, and the Dodgers ask Brandon McCarthy (2-2, 2.76 ERA) to keep him from doing so. This will be Price’s third start of this 11-game West Coast road trip for the Red Sox; he’s pitched 15 innings, given up only four runs and gotten two no-decisions out of it. Today was supposed to be newly-acquired Rich Hill’s first start for the Dodgers but the blister which landed him on the 15-day DL hasn’t yet healed, so McCarthy will pitch with normal rest. He hasn’t made it past the fourth inning in either of his last two starts.

Lineup when available.

Segedin? Who’s he? Oh. To make room on the 40-man roster Trayce Thompson has been moved to the 60-day DL.

Dec 01

Open Thread #4, Winter 2015

Now that the Red Sox have gone berserk with their money and given 30-year-old David Price a contract worth $217 million over the next seven years, how much will the Dodgers have to bid to retain Zack Greinke’s services? He might get the same annual compensation as Price but for a shorter time period, since Zack is 2 years older.

Oct 23

ALCS Game Six, 2015

If the Royals win they move on to the World Series against the Mets; if the Jays win they force a Game Seven tomorrow.

Blue Jays at Royals, 5:00PM PT, TV: FS1

The Jays ask David Price to win the most critical game yet in a week of them; in Game Two he was very good until the seventh inning when the wheels came off. The Royals counter with Yordano Ventura, who started Game Two against Price and gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings and didn’t figure into the decision.

Oct 08

ALDS opening games, 2015

Early game: Rangers at Jays, 12:30PM PT, TV: FS1

Texas asks Yovani Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 ERA) to start its first post-season game in three years. He’ll face the Blue Jays’ David Price (18-5, 2.45 ERA and an even more brilliant 9-1, 2.30 ERA since becoming a Jay mid-season).

Both these teams are hot. The Blue Jays went 40-18 (.690) over the final two months; the Rangers went 38-22 (.633) over the same period.

Is history any guide?

Toronto won each of its two three-game series against Texas this year, leading to a 4-2 advantage in the overall season series. The teams last matched up Aug. 25-27 in Texas, where Toronto won the first two games and lost the finale.

Late game: Astros at Royals, 4:30PM PT, TV: FS1

The Astros send out Collin McHugh, (19-7, 3.89 ERA, and who knew the Astros had a 19-game winner?) to face the Royals’ Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08 ERA). That record’s a little misleading: Ventura was sent to the minors in July and almost instantly recalled as an injury replacement; since that time he’s gone 9-1 with a 3.10 ERA.

Offense?

The bottom-line offensive production of these two teams was virtually identical over 162 games. The Royals played in the tougher hitter’s park, but still it can’t get much closer than this. The Astros were sixth in the Majors in runs scored with 4.50 per game, while the Royals were seventh with an average of 4.47.

Oct 05

ALDS Day Three, 2014

Orioles at Tigers, 12:30PM PT, TV: TBS

The Tigers, down 2-0 in a five-game series, send out David Price, their mid-season acquisition who was 4-4 with a 3.59 ERA after coming over from the Rays at the trade deadline this summer. The Orioles ask Bud Norris (15-8, 3.65 ERA) to close out the series.

Price needs to go really really deep in this game, because the Tigers’ bullpen has been awful so far.

Angels at Royals, 4:30PM PT, TV: TBS

The Angels, down 2-0 in a five-game series, send out C.J. Wilson in the hope he can stop the unlikely juggernaut that is the Royals, while the KC team sends James Shields to the hill and asks him to put an end to the Angels’ frustration.

The history of teams falling behind 2-0 and coming back to win three straight is short: it’s only happened five of the 44 times it’s happened. But the Angels have had 13 winning streaks of three or more this year, so they and their fans are hanging their hopes on that.

Dec 09

Reboot

Jon revealed his new employment situation to me over the weekend and asked me if I wanted him to put a pointer in his post to this blog, and I said sure, after I congratulated him on what must be a dream job he never anticipated landing.

So here we all are. The winter meetings are beginning, Matt Kemp’s name may be on the trading block, the Dodgers may or may not be trying to acquire David Price from the Rays, they’ve already gotten Dan Haren on the free agency market, and looming over everything is getting Clayton Kershaw signed to a long-term deal.

Whoops. I forgot. They’ve also added Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra to their TV broadcasting team.

Chat away, Dodgers fans!