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.

Jul 07

Game 88, 2016

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu makes his 2016 debut after sitting out the entire 2015 season recovering from shoulder surgery on May 21. In his last rehab start he threw 84 pitches, so he appears to have mended pretty well. His opponent will be Drew Pomeranz (7-7, 2.65 ERA). Pomeranz faced the Dodgers on May 1 and threw 7 innings of 3-hit ball, only to lose to a Kershaw RBI single in the third inning and a 3-hitter by the Dodgers’ pitcher as well. It was the only win the Dodgers got on that 7-game homestand.

From a column at SI comparing Kershaw’s six-year run to others in history:

my favorite stat on Kershaw: Since his debut season of 2008, he has lowered his career ERA every year without exception—eight straight years of improving upon greatness. Now that’s a special run.

Lineup when available.

May 01

Game 26, 2016

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

Lefthander Drew Pomeranz (2-2, 2.86 ERA) v. lefthander Clayton Kershaw (2-1, 2.43 ERA). Both pitchers are strikeout artists: Kershaw’s strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio is 9.73, while Pomeranz’s is 12.68. The Padre pitcher has only made it into the sixth inning in two of his four starts this year, while Kershaw’s been his usual self, getting into or past the seventh inning in all five of his starts.

Lineup when available.

A vote of confidence for a slumping Puig? Maybe, but the way he’s hitting this looks like a black hole to lead off the game. As thousands have said before, though, you only lead off once in the entire game.