The As give the ball to RHP Frankie Montas. The big (6’2″, 255 lbs) rightie threw two innings of two-hit one run ball against the White Sox in Game Three of the Wild Card Series and picked up the win. The Astros haven’t named a starter as of 9:00 PM HST Wednesday.
The Rays plan to use RHP Ryan Thompson to start, but not for very long. LHP Ryan Yarbrough is expected to come in and pitch the middle innings. I don’t understand this move, since Yarbrough started nine of the eleven games he was in this season. Why not just hand him the ball in the first inning? The Yankees will counter with LHP Jordan Montgomery, who was 2-3 with a 5.11 ERA in the regular season and has never made a postseason appearance until now.
Ernie Lombardi’s 1939 “swoon” took place on this date in baseball history, as did Don Larsen’s 1956 perfect game and the brawl between the Mets’ Bud Harrelson and the Reds’ Pete Rose in 1973.
The Astros try to close out the Sox today, sending RHP Brad Peacock (13-2, 3.00 ERA) to the mound to face the Red Sox’ RHP Doug Fister (5-9, 4.88 ERA). Peacock beat the Sox in his only appearance against them on September 28. He’s had no prior postseason experience. Fister lost to the Astros in his only start against them on September 29. He’s made eight postseason starts but none since 2014 with the Nats.
RHP Carlos Carrasco (18-6, 3.29 ERA) takes the hill for the Indians in the Bronx tonight. He’ll face the Yankees’ RHP Masahiro Tanaka (13-12, 4.74 ERA). Carrasco has had the best year of his career, but what’s even more germane is that on the road as he’ll be tonight he’s 11-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a .210/.266/.336 opponents’ slash line. Similarly, Tanaka is 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA at home in Yankee Stadium, far better than on the road.
Today in baseball history: It’s the anniversary of Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game Five of the 1956 World Series. It’s also the date of Ernie Lombardi’s “Swoon” in 1939, when the Reds’ catcher was run over at home plate by Charlie Keller of the Yankees and was so dazed that Joe DiMaggio was able to score all the way from first before he recovered. And in 1959 the Dodgers beat the White Sox in Game Six to win the World Series. More at National Pastime.