Apr 01

Opening Day 2013

Giants at Dodgers, 1:00 PM Pacific Time. Kershaw v. Cain. Prime Ticket and ESPN.

Giants v. Dodgers? Who could ask for anything more?

Cain was 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers last season, not facing Kershaw head to head. For his career, Cain is 4-8 with a 3.41 ERA in 23 games against L.A.

Kershaw, getting up for his team’s big rival, has been dominant against the Giants. He was 2-3 last year in five games, through no fault of his own. His ERA was 1.62 and he held Giants hitters to a .197 batting average. In 17 career outings against San Francisco, Kershaw is 8-4 with a remarkable 1.37 ERA in 118 innings. His 0.88 WHIP vs. the Giants is his best against any club he’s faced more than twice.

Lineup:

Crawford, C, LF
Ellis, M, 2B
Kemp, M, CF
Gonzalez, A, 1B
Ethier, A, RF
Cruz, L, 3B
Ellis, A, C
Sellers, J, SS
Kershaw, C, P

Gameday here for those without TV access.

Oct 28

World Series, Game Four

There is no joy in Motown; the mighty Tigers have so far been pawing at the Giants’ pitches as though they were shot from cannon rather than thrown by mortal beings. They’re 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position for the Series, which is bad enough; what’s worse is that they’ve played three games and only had 11 runners in scoring position.

They face elimination today. It’s Max Scherzer v. Matt Cain in Comerica Park at 8:00PM Eastern on Fox.

Oct 27

World Series, Game Three

Vogelsong v. Sanchez, Comerica Park, 8:00PM Eastern, Fox. Sanchez has pitched against the Giants before; his entire career until the trading deadline this year was spent in the NL. This will be Vogelsong’s first time seeing the Tigers.

The Tigers have to get their bats untracked. They only got two hits in Game Two, and unless you’ve got Koufax or Gibson pitching for you that’s probably not going to be enough offense to win.

Oct 25

World Series, Game Two

After the Panda’s explosion in Game One, the Tigers hope to regroup and win one on the road tonight at 8:00PM Eastern on Fox. It’ll be Fister v. Bumgarner. Fister has two no-decisions in the postseason to show for 13 1/3 innings of two-run pitching, while Bumgarner gave up six runs to the Cardinals in Game One of the NLCS. On paper the Tigers should be favored to win this one, but paper means nuthin’ in baseball.

Oct 24

World Series, Game One

Game One, 8:07 PM Eastern, AT&T Park, Fox TV.

Verlander versus Zito. Tigers at Giants. The New York Times:

The Giants have reached the World Series 19 times, the Tigers 11 times. Yet this is their first date for the championship.

Eight teams have reached the World Series at least 10 times: the Yankees, the A’s, the Red Sox and the Tigers in the American League, and the Giants, the Cardinals, the Dodgers and the Cubs (really) in the National League. All the possible World Series matchups involving those teams have now taken place, except for one: the Tigers and the Dodgers have still never met in the World Series.

Here’s Roger Angell on teams from the original leagues making it to the Series, published on October 11. If you haven’t read Angell before, here’s his bio along with a list of his baseball essay collections. Read them.

If you want more World Series feature stories, check out the sidebar when you click the preview link (the first one in this post).

Oct 22

If they can do this

then the Giants really are a team of destiny this year. Watch as Hunter Pence’s bat shatters and hits the ball not once, not twice, but three times.

Congratulations to the Giants. As Bob Timmermann reminded me on Facebook earlier today, this means that there actually will be a Giants – Tigers World Series. There’s never been one. The closest was in 1908, but Fred Merkle committed his “bonehead play” which cost the Giants the pennant. The Cubs won and beat the Tigers for the World Championship; it was the last time they won one.

Oct 22

LCS, Day Nine

Who’d a thunk it, but there’s a Game Seven in the NLCS today. The Giants have fought back to tie the series after being down three games to one, so today’s game is for all the marbles and a trip to the World Series. The Giants send out Matt Cain to do battle with the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse in a rematch of the starters for Game Three last week.

Oct 21

LCS, Day Eight

Game Six, Cardinals at Giants, 7:30PM Eastern, Fox. Cardinals lead the series three games to two. The starting pitchers are Chris Carpenter for the Cards and Ryan Vogelsong for the Jints; it’s a rematch of Game Two, which the Giants won 7 – 1 behind seven strong innings of 4-hit ball from Vogelsong. Carpenter was off his game in that one; he gave up five runs (only two earned) on six hits in only four innings.

It’s an elimination game again. The Giants have their backs against the wall, and Carpenter’s been a money pitcher for years in the postseason, Game Two notwithstanding. On the other hand, if the Giants should win, then they can bring Matt Cain back on Monday to face Kyle Lohse.

Oct 18

LCS, Day Six

After rain in the Midwest caused Game Four between the Yankees and Tigers to be postponed and Game Three between the Giants and Cardinals to be delayed for three-plus hours, various propitiations to the weather gods have undoubtedly been made by MLB. They’ll try again today.

The first game is Game Four in Detroit, with the Yankees trying to fend off elimination and the Tigers trying to close them out. The pitchers remain Sabathia for the Big Apple’s team and Scherzer for the team from Motown. It’s scheduled for 4:00PM Eastern on TBS.

The second game is Game Four in St. Louis at 8:00PM Eastern. The Cardinals took a two-games-to-one lead by winning yesterday, and they’ll pitch Adam Wainwright. The Giants counter with two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, who’s been excellent coming out of the bullpen in the playoffs after a forgettable regular season.

Each team’s 3-4-5 hitters are noticeable by their absence: The Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence are 6-for-33 with one RBI. Not to be undercut, the Cardinals’ Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Yadi Molina are 5-for-33 with no RBIs. Oh, and Carlos Beltran and his knee are day-to-day for the Cards; without him their lineup is even weaker.