Oct 12

NLDS Game Five, 2017

Cubs at Nationals, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Cubs ask Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) to be the stopper tomorrow in Game Five, while Dusty Baker and the Nats haven’t made their choice of pitcher known yet. It will likely be Tanner Roark, who was scheduled to start Game Four before the rain intervened, or Game Two starter Gio Gonzalez. Either way, it may be a low-scoring affair.

The pitchers have controlled the series for the most part; the Nationals’ staff has a 1.64 ERA over the first four games, while the Cubs pitchers have a combined 2.57 mark.

Update: it will be Gio Gonzalez. He pitched five innings of three-hit ball in Game Two.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1907 At Detroit’s Bennett Park, right-hander Mordecai ‘Three Fingers’ Brown throws a 2-0 shutout, beating the Tigers to capture the World Championship for the Cubs. Although Game 1 ended in a 3-3, 12-inning tie, Chicago becomes the first club to sweep a Fall Classic when the team wins the next four games.
  • 1929 The A’s, trailing 8-0 during Game 4 of the World Series, erupt for 10 runs in the seventh inning off three Cub pitchers en route to a 10-8 victory. Chicago’s Hack Wilson becomes one of the goats of the game when he loses two balls in the sun in center field.
  • 1949 Vin Scully, working his first broadcast ever, does the play-by play when Maryland defeats the Boston University at Fenway Park, 14-13. The football assignment marks the start the of a 67 year career in the broadcast booth for the Hall of Fame baseball announcer, who will be remembered as the iconic voice of the Dodgers.
  • 2012 The Nationals, twice within a strike of reaching the NLCS, suffer the worst collapse ever in a winner-take-all baseball postseason game when they are stunned by the visiting Cardinals. After his team takes a 6-0 advantage in the third inning and clings to a two-run lead with two outs in the ninth, Washington’s closer Drew Storen gives up four runs in the final frame, resulting in the eventual devastating 9-5 loss at Nationals Park.
  • 2015 The Cubs homer six times en route to an 8-6 victory over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field in the Game 3 of the NLDS. Chicago’s sextet of round-trippers, that included long balls from Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, and Jorge Soler, marks first time in postseason history that one team has recorded that many home runs in one game.
Oct 07

NLDS Games Two, 2017

First game: Cubs at Nationals, 2:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

The visiting Cubs trot out veteran (133 2/3 playoff innings!) LHP Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA), who made two starts against the Nats this season and came away with no decisions but a 2.84 ERA. He’ll face LHP Gio Gonzalez (15-9, 2.86 ERA), who saw the Nationals just once this year; he gave up two hits and five walks over six innings and took the loss in June.

Second game: Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The D-Backs send LHP Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers, three days after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief and making 34 pitches in the Wild Card game. He’ll face LHP Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA), who was 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts against the D-Backs this season. That ERA was skewed by one bad game in which they scored six runs in 3 2/3 innings against him.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1952 In the decisive Game 7, the Yankees beat the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 4-2, to win their fourth consecutive World Championship. Gil Hodges finishes the Fall Classic hitless in twenty-one at-bats, which had prompted some Brooklyn fans to gather at local churches asking for divine help for their beloved first baseman.
  • 1977 In Game 3 of the NLCS, the Dodgers rally for three runs with none on and two outs in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead in their eventual 6-5 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. The game appeared to be over when LA’s Davey Lopes is picked off first base for the final out, but a throwing error by Gene Garber advances him to second base, from where he will score the decisive run on Bill Russell’s single.
  • 1978 In Game 4 of the NLCS, Ron Cey scores in the 10th inning on Bill Russell’s two-out game winning single, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Phillies and their second consecutive National League pennant. Cey, who walked after the first two batters were retired, advanced into scoring position when Garry Maddox misplayed Dusty Baker’s fly ball in center field.

  • 2001 Barry Bonds extends his major league record for home runs in a season to 73 as he drives a 3-2 first inning knuckleball off Dodger Dennis Springer over the right field fence. The blast also secures two more major league records for the Giants’ left fielder when he surpasses Babe Ruth (1920 – .847) with a .863 season slugging percentage and bests Mark McGwire (1998 – one HR every 7.27 AB) by homering in every 6.52 at-bats.
  • 2006 The Mets defeat Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, to complete a three-game sweep in the NLDS. The Dodgers have won only one postseason game in 13 attempts since beating the A’s in the 1988 World Series.

Lineup when available.

Jun 05

Game 59, 2017

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN, ESPN

YALHP Gio Gonzalez (4-1, 3.03 ERA) takes the hill for the Nats. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-5, 3.91 ERA). Gonzalez has hit a rough patch. After putting up a 1.62 ERA during April he ballooned to a 4.37 ERA for May. Ryu had his best start of the year his last time out, allowing just one run in six innings against the Cardinals.

This day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 On Old Timers’ Day, the Dodgers retire former manager Walter Alston’s uniform number 24. ‘Smokey’ compiles a 2040-1613 (.558) record along with seven pennants that results in four World Championships during his 23 years in the dugout.
  • 2000 The Marlins select 16-year-old Adrian Gonzalez as their first overall pick in the first-year player draft. The first baseman, a student at Eastlake High School in Bonita, California, comes to terms with Florida on the same day he is drafted. Note: He was 18 according to Dodgers.com

Lineup when available.

Oct 10

NLDS & ALDS Games Three, 2016

Nationals at Dodgers, 1:00PM PT, TV: MLBN

The Dodgers hand the ball to “rookie” RHP Kenta Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA) and ask him to hold the Nats at bay while they solve the lefthanded servings of Gio Gonzalez (11-11, 4.57 ERA). Maeda has never pitched in the postseason; he pitched for the Hiroshima Carp in the Japanese league, and it hasn’t made it above third place since 2000. He was the only Dodger starter who never missed a start the entire season, and the Dodgers were 19-13 when he took the mound. Gonzalez had a horrible year for him: he’d never had an ERA above 3.79 in his previous four years with the Nationals. The team went 14-18 in games he started.

Lineup when available.

ALDS Game Three between the Indians and Red Sox starts at 3:00PM PT and can be seen on TBS. It features RHP Josh Tomlin for the Indians and RHP Clay Buchholz for the Sox. See the previous post for further details about the pitchers.

NLDS Game Three between the Cubs and Giants starts at 6:30PM PT and can be seen on FS1. It features the reigning Cy Young winner RHP Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10 ERA) against LHP Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA). Bumgarner is 5-1 with a 0.79 ERA in 68 2/3 innings over his last nine postseason appearances dating back to 2012. Arrieta’s gone 7-6 with a 4.44 ERA in his last 16 starts, and his last time out he allowed seven runs on 10 hits at Pittsburgh.

Jul 20

Game 96, 2016

Dodgers at Nationals, 4:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN-2

Bud Norris (5-7, 4.17 ERA) will make his fourth start for the Dodgers; he’s given up seven runs in 16 innings in the first three. He’ll face Gio Gonzalez (5-8, 4.70 ERA), whose July has been an improvement over his June; in his last start he went 5 2/3 innings against the Mets and gave up two runs, the fewest he’d allowed in any start since May.

Rumors have it the Dodgers are hunting a front-line pitcher like the Rays’ Chris Archer, now that Kershaw’s return is delayed, Ryu is back on the DL and Alex Wood’s elbow needed surgery which puts him out for eight weeks.

The team is obviously very highly-strung as we head down the stretch of the season:

Lineup:

Aug 10

Game 112, 2015

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN

Brett Anderson (6-6, 3.06 ERA) tries to right the ship for the Dodgers after their three-game sweep at the hands of the Pirates. He’ll face Gio Gonzales (8-4, 3.75 ERA), who’s won his last four decisions but hasn’t made it past the fifth inning in any of his last three starts.

Dodger fans get a chance to see Bryce Harper, who’s having an MVP-caliber year so far with 29 HRs and 69 RBI to go along with a slash line of .335/.463/.656.

Lineup when available.

Oct 07

NLDS Day Four, 2014

Dodgers at Cardinals, 2:00PM PT, TV: Fox Sports 1

This is it for the Dodgers. They must win today. If not, they’ll go home, lick their wounds and hunt for reliable middle relief in the offseason. Recognizing that, they’re sending Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in either league, out to do battle with Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74 ERA), who’ll be making his first appearance of the postseason. Kershaw has to get past his uncharacteristic failure in Game One. Assuming he does, he still has to rely on the Dodgers’ offense, which has been anything but scintillating. In Game Three they were a dreadful 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. They desperately need Gonzales (.167 for the series), Gordon (.154), Uribe (.077) and Puig (.250) to get untracked, and they need them today.

Nationals at Giants, 6:00PM PT, TV: Fox Sports 1

The Nationals must also win today or take the winter off early. In hopes of doing so they hand the ball to Gio Gonzales, who got on a roll in September, going 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA and righting what had been a forgettable season. His opponent will be Ryan Vogelsong, who did just the opposite in the last month, going 0-4 with a 5.53 ERA.

The Nationals too have a hitting problem. Third-baseman Anthony Rendon is 7-for-15 (.467) this postseason. The rest of the Nats’ starting position players have combined to go 13-for-96 (.135).

Sep 01

Game 138, 2014

Nationals at Dodgers, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Two division leaders open a three-game series tonight. The Nats beat the Dodgers 2 of 3 at Nationals Park in May.

Roberto Hernandez, who’s made four mostly-good starts for the Dodgers after coming over from the Phillies, will pitch for the West Coast team. He’s 2-1 with a 3.52 ERA in those games. While pitching for the Phillies Hernandez allowed Washington one unearned run in 15 innings. Overall he’s 8-9 with a 3.81 ERA. He’ll be opposed by Gio Gonzalez, who’s 6-8 with a 3.56 ERA. Gonzalez didn’t pitch against the Dodgers in the May series.

Dan Haren was originally scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Wednesday but will now start on Friday. Rookie right-hander Carlos Frias will likely start on Wednesday.

Lineup when available.