This is the only game today, and it’s an elimination game for the Nats. They ask RHP Tanner Roark (13-11, 4.67 ERA) Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) to stop the Cubs, who have hardly been a juggernaut but have managed to get past excellent performances from the Nats’ aces Strasburg and Scherzer to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA), who hurt a hamstring five weeks ago but had been 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA over the previous two months.
After much Sturm und Drang yesterday centered on Starsburg’s health and whether he was too queasy to pitch today on regular rest, apparently he recovered overnight. He’ll start today after all.
Yesterday in baseball history:
1920 The Indians’ Bill Wambsganss becomes the only player in World Series history to complete an unassisted triple play when he makes a leaping catch, steps on second base, and then tags the [Dodger] runner arriving from first base. After the play, a dead calm engulfs Cleveland’s League Park as the hometown fans try to digest what they had just witnessed.
1948 The largest crowd ever to attend a World Series game, 86,288 fans, jam into Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium to witness a showdown between two future Hall of Famers. Braves’ southpaw Warren Spahn beats Bob Feller and the Indians in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, 11-5.
1968 Cardinal fireballer Bob Gibson sets the mark for total strikeouts (35) in a World Series, but loses the seventh and deciding game to ]Mickey Lolich and the] Tigers, 4-1.
2009 The Dodgers advance to their second consecutive National League championship series, beating St. Louis 5-1 to complete a three-game sweep of the Redbirds in the NLDS. Solid pitching by late-season pick-up Vicente Padilla and timely hitting by Andre Ethier, who had three extra-base hits, and Manny Ramirez, who broke out of a slump with three hits and two RBIs, close out the series, which will be best remembered for the team’s dramatic Game 2 comeback when Matt Holliday’s error on James Loney’s ninth-inning two-out line drive leads to a stunning two-run walk-off rally.
Today in history:
1978 Rookie right-hander Bob Welch strikes out Reggie Jackson with two men on base and two out in the top of the ninth inning, dramatically preserving a 4-3 Dodger victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of the Fall Classic. The relief performance will put the 21 year-old in the national spotlight.
This is the first day of the MLB-promoted “Players Weekend,” so the uniforms are going to look a little different and the names on their backs may look a lot different.
The Brewers send RHP Chase Anderson (7-2, 2.83 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda ((11-5, 3.88 ERA). This will be Anderson’s second start since coming back from the DL for a left oblique strain. In his first one he went five innings and gave up only one run while striking out four Rockies. Maeda has a 3.09 ERA in his four August starts and is 7-2 in his last 10 starts.
This day in Dodgers’ history:
1979 In a Hollywood Stars vs. the Media game played at Dodger Stadium, Robin Williams, the star of the hit television series Mork and Mindy, a show in which he plays an alien, runs the bases backwards. The comedian explains circling the bags clockwise is very common on the Planet Ork, his character’s home in the universe.
1995 At Veterans Stadium, Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle when Philadelphia crushes the Dodgers, 17-4. The Phillies’ first baseman, who has four RBIs and scores four runs, collects all of his extra-base hits off of LA starting pitcher Hideo Nomo.
2008 After being swept in a four-game series earlier in the month in L.A., the Phillies return the favor, beating the Dodgers, 5-0, to complete its own four-game sweep. It is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia has swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.
2009 With a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Dodgers, the Rockies move 18 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The wild-card leader, winning 52 of their last 74 games, the latest on a Troy Tulowitzki bases-loaded single, has cut LA’s Western Division lead from 15.5 games on June 3 to just two games.
2012 In nine-player blockbuster trade, the Dodgers obtain Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash considerations for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands). The deal gives the new Dodgers ownership an opportunity to show their fans they are serious about making a run for the postseason, while giving an under-performing Boston team more financial flexibility in the offseason.
“We are not understood. We have to adapt. There are things we are not used to doing in our countries. When you keep doing things wrong, people get tired; I even got tired myself. There should not be so many rules. You just have to do your job and let people have fun, which is what I was doing in 2013. They’ve wanted to change so many things about me that I feel so off. I don’t feel like the player I was in 2013.”
YASIEL PUIG, DODGERS, CUBA
Unused sports venues can represent millions in wasted money, but also in lost moments of joy and sorrow.
Via the Dodgers Dugout email from Houston Mitchell of the LA Times:
Since the All-Star game began in 1933, which Dodgers have pitched the most career innings for the team without ever appearing in the game?
Doug Rau, 1,250 2/3
Ismael Valdez, 1,065
Tom Candiotti, 1,048
Luke Hamlin, 1,011
Joe Hatten, 961 1/3
Pedro Astacio, 886 2/3
Darren Dreifort, 872 2/3
Hugh Casey, 867 2/3
Roger Craig, 814
Tim Belcher, 806
And which Dodgers batters appeared in the most games without ever making the All-Star team?
Eric Karros, 1,601
Wes Parker, 1,288
Steve Yeager, 1,219
Willie Crawford, 989
James Loney, 896
Dave Hansen, 884
Billy Cox, 742
Dave Anderson, 713
Joe Ferguson, 699
Alex Cora, 684
It doesn’t startle me that none of those pitchers ever made the All Star Game, but I am surprised that neither Karros nor Parker ever made it. It may be that first base has been a traditionally star-laden position.