Oct 06

Wild Card Games, 2015

Today is the American League Wild Card (or play-in, if this were the NCAA basketball tournament) game. Tomorrow is the National League’s version. Comment or ignore as you wish. If you prefer to keep discussing the Dodgers’ playoff possibilities, use the thread below.

Howard Cole (former Dodger blogger) has some thoughts about postseason experience — does it help or does it matter? He cites rookies who’ve done amazing things and veterans who’ve failed miserably, and he cites other cases when the opposite took place.

Today: Astros at Yankees, 8:00PM ET, ESPN (which makes history by putting Jessica Mendoza in the broadcast booth alongside John Kruk and Dan Shulman)

The Astros start Dallas Kuechel on three days rest. He was 15-0 at home and 5-8 on the road this season with a 2.48 ERA and 16 scoreless innings against the Yankees. The Yankees start Masahiro Tanaka (12-7, 3.51 ERA), who missed his next-to-last start with a strained hamstring and in his last start went five innings and gave up four runs.

Nothing against the Yankees (well, except the eight times they’ve beaten the Dodgers in the World Series), but I’m rooting for the Astros in this one. They’ve had several awful years and weren’t expected to get this good until next season.

Tomorrow: Cubs at Pirates, 8:00PM ET, TBS (Brian Anderson, Dennis Eckersley, Joe Simpson)

Two aces go at one another in this game: the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta (22-6, 1.77 ERA including a no-hitter against the Dodgers) versus the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole (19-8, 2.60 ERA). I’m uncertain who I’m rooting for here. As a baseball fan it’s hard not to hope the Cubs advance, but I’ve always had stronger feelings for the Buccos.

Aug 30

Game 129, 2015

Cubs at Dodgers, 5:08PM PT, TV: ESPN

The Cubs send Jake Arrieta to the mound to try to salvage one game of the series. He seems to be the guy to do it, since he’s 16-6 with a 2.22 ERA on the season and an even better 5-0 with a 0.54 ERA for August. Facing him will be the Dodgers’ Alex Wood, who’s 2-2 with a 4.34 ERA for the Dodgers and 9-8 with a 3.70 ERA for his overall 2015. MLB has determined that

Alex Wood will be making his sixth start since joining the Dodgers and he’s looking to last longer in games. He’s exited four straight starts without throwing more than 91 pitches or lasting longer than 6 1/3 innings. He’s had just one quality start in five outings with Los Angeles.

Carl Crawford has done pretty well against Arrieta, but he’s one of only two Dodger regulars who have had more than ten at-bats against him. None of the Cubs have had more than five at-bats against Wood.

Lineup when available.

Here’s some “Awwww” for a Sunday: The Greensboro Grasshoppers held a retirement ceremony for their balldog.

Here’s Miss Babe Ruth at work:
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