The Dodgers’ RHP Yu Darvish (2-0, 1.59 ERA in postseason) will face RHP Lance McCullers (0-0, 1 SV, 2.08 in postseason) in Game Three in Houston’s roofed-over Minute Maid Park.
“Past performance does not guarantee future results,” the financial industry cautions, so Darvish and his 4-1 record with a 2.16 ERA in six career starts at the Astros’ park including a near-perfect game and a separate near-no-hitter in 2013 probably just means he’s comfortable pitching there. McCullers used a lot of curveballs in his four-inning save in Game Seven of the ALCS. The Dodgers had the best batting average in baseball against the curve this year (.274) per Statcast, but they are hitting just .167 (7-for-42) off curves this postseason.
1985 The Royals become the sixth team to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the Fall Classic when series MVP Bret Saberhagen, who became a new dad yesterday, blanks the Cardinals on five hits, 11-0. Kansas City is the first team in World Series history to lose its first two games at home and then come back to win the World Championship.
1991 In Game 7 of the ‘Worst to First’ World Series, the Twins beat the Braves, 1-0, when Dan Gladden scores the winning run in the bottom of the tenth on Gene Larkin’s single, clinching its second world championship since relocating from Washington D.C. in 1961. Atlanta and Minnesota had both finished in last place in their respective divisions the previous season.
Jack Morris goes the distance in the game, blanking the Braves, 1-0, in the Twins’ ten-inning, dramatic walk-off win at the Metrodome. The 36 year-old right-hander, who posts a 2-0 record along with a 1.17 ERA during his three starts, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.
2002 In the team’s 42nd season, the Angels finally win a World Series title by beating the Giants, 4-1, in Game 7 at Edison Field. Garret Anderson’s three-run double provides enough offense for John Lackey to become the first rookie to win a seventh game since 1909 when Babe Adams accomplished the feat for the Pirates.
2004 Under the moon’s reddish tint caused by a lunar eclipse, the Red Sox exorcised 86 years of agonizing losses by winning their first World Series since 1918. In one of the most dominating Fall Classic performances, Boston, who never trailed during the four games, blanks the Cardinals, 3-0, to complete the sweep.
The Dodgers will start LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31 ERA) in tonight’s game. It is still unclear who the Cubs’ starter will be as of Friday evening. It’s likely either John Lackey or Jose Quintana.
Update: It will be Quintana. He started and went 5 2/3 innings in Game Three of the NLDS against the Nats and gave up one unearned run on just two hits. He also threw 12 pitches to four hitters in relief in Game Five.
Update: Seager is not on the official NLCS roster. More here:
“His back’s been barking since that Game 3 in Arizona, so we’re going to have him lay low,” manager Dave Roberts said on Friday. “A lot of what we’ve done even this season, just keep him off the field, helps the elbow and now with the back, so to keep him laying low. But we’re optimistic he’ll be fine day-to-day.”
Obviously that didn’t work. Culberson took his place on the roster, and with Hernandez and Taylor possibly needed to play shortstop as well, the Dodgers added Joc Pederson to the roster for outfield depth.
Today in baseball history:
1969 Thanks to two great catches by Tommy Agee at Shea Stadium, the Mets beat the Orioles to take a 2-1 game lead in the World Series. The center fielder’s outfield heroics save the team at least five runs in the 5-0 victory over Baltimore.
1985 Ozzie Smith provides one of the most memorable moments in Cardinals history by hitting a dramatic homer to win Game 5 of the NLCS. The round-tripper was the first left handed home run of the Wizard’s career, which spans 3009 major league at-bats. (“Go crazy, folks, go crazy!”)
2003 Holding a 3-0 lead and needing only five more outs to go the World Series for the first time since 1945, the Cubs give up eight runs on five hits, three walks, and an error to the Marlins. The team appears to come apart after a fan, later identified as Steve Bartman, sitting along the left-field line at Wrigley Field, tries to catch a foul ball that was about to be caught by Chicago outfielder Moises Alou for the second out of the inning.
RHP John Lackey (4-4, 4.82 ERA) goes for the Cubs in this late-afternoon game on Big Fox. His opponent will be the Dodgers’ RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 3.76 ERA). Lackey had a three-game winning streak snapped his last time out when he gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings against the Giants. McCarthy had his best outing of the year in his last start when he went six innings and gave up three hits to the Marlins. He beat the Cubs in April, too. In fact, in four career starts against the Baby Bears he’s 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA, 18 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. But wait! Lackey holds a 1.73 ERA against the Dodgers in 12 career starts!
This day in Dodgers’ history: The source site is unreachable so far today, so here’s an old game.
1955 Oisk lost to The Barber 3-1, giving up all three runs in the 7th and 8th innings. The first was on a home run by Bobby Hofman, a lifetime .248 hitter with 32 career HRs to his credit. Oddly, Hofman was pinch-hitting for Davey Williams, a lifetime .252 hitter who also had 32 career HRs. The second and third runs were provided by the much more notable Willie Mays, who homered with a man on in the 8th.
Tonight's Dodger lineup vs. Cubs: Taylor CF Seager SS Grandal C González 1B Hernández 3B Bellinger LF Utley 2B Puig RF McCarthy P pic.twitter.com/EHvRBI58vy
After the first ten days of the season we can say the NL West is showing depth beyond the Dodgers and Giants. Whether the D-Backs and Rockies can keep up their good play remains to be seen, but so far the division looks more competitive than anticipated.
Brandon McCarthy (1-0, 2.00 ERA) goes for the Dodgers against John Lackey (1-0, 4.50 ERA) of the Cubs. McCarthy allowed two runs on four hits in six innings last Thursday against the Padres. Lackey went 7-4 with a 2.62 ERA at home last season; this is his first start at Wrigley this year.
The Cubs got their banner Monday; tonight they’ll get their rings.
The Cubs send wily veteran RHP John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ rookie LHP Julio Urias (5-2, 3.35 ERA) in hope of tying the series up. Lackey has made 11 career starts in 12 appearances against the Dodgers and has a career 1.75 ERA against them. Urias started twice against the Cubs during the regular season, working six innings to beat them on Aug. 27 at Dodger Stadium after getting beaten up at Wrigley Field in his second Major League start.
#Dodgers NLCS Game 4 lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Reddick RF Pederson CF Grandal C Toles LF Urías P
To extend their season the Dodgers have decided to go with Clayton Kershaw on short rest. He’s done this three other times in the postseason and put up a 1.89 ERA. However, those other times he hadn’t spent two months of the season on the DL with a bad back. We shall see. His opponent will be RHP Joe Ross (7-5, 3.43 ERA). More preview here from ESPN.
#Dodgers' NLDS Game 4 lineup: Utley 2B Seager SS Turner 3B González 1B Reddick RF Pederson CF Grandal C Toles LF Kershaw P
The Cubs go with RHP John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) against the Giants’ LHP Matt Moore (13-12, 4.08 ERA). Lackey is a postseason veteran who’s got an 8-5 record with a 3.11 ERA over 127 1/3 postseason innings. This will mark the 16th playoff series for him. Moore has given up two runs or fewer in six of his last eight starts, so he’s on his game.
Down two games to one, the Cardinals ask Game One starter John Lackey to keep them alive on three days rest. He was brilliant in Game One, going 7 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and no runs, walking one and striking out five. He’ll face Jason Hammel, who’ll be making his postseason debut. Hammel went 11 innings against the Cardinals during the regular season and gave up seven runs. He made four starts in September and averaged 4 1/3 innings in each one.
The Dodgers’ season rests once again on the shoulders of Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch on three days rest after throwing 112 pitches in a Game One loss on October 9. This will be the third postseason in a row in which he’s started a game on short rest. His opponent will be lefty Steven Matz, making his first start of the postseason. The rookie was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 6 regular-season starts.
NLDS Game 4 #Dodgers lineup:
The Cubs and Cardinals have been rivals for decades, but this is the first time they’ll face one another in the postseason. As if that weren’t enough, the opposing pitchers once played together for the Red Sox.
John Lester (11-12, 3.34 ERA) starts for the Cubs, while John Lackey (13-10, 2.77 ERA) starts for the Cardinals. Lackey leads all active pitchers in two playoff categories: today will make his 19th playoff start and he’s already thrown 117 postseason innings. Lester has a 6-4 record with a 2.57 ERA in the postseason himself.
LHP Clayton Kershaw (16-7, 2.13 ERA) starts for the Dodgers. RHP Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54 ERA) starts for the Mets. Kershaw’s only blemish in his brilliant career is his 1-5 record and 5.12 ERA in the postseason. This will be deGrom’s first playoff appearance. He faced the Dodgers once this season and gave up two hits over 7 2/3 innings.
The Mets added Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson in mid-season and got David Wright back as well. “It’s a completely different lineup, not just Cespedes,” Kershaw said. “…a completely different team. Obviously, a lot better than what we faced in July.”
The Dodgers hope Mike Bolsinger can come close to duplicating his last outing, when he gave up only one hit and got 23 consecutive hitters out at one stage of the game. He’s 3-0 with a Kershaw-like ERA of 0.71. He also grew up a Cubs fan, so he’s got a built-in dislike of the Cardinals. The Redbirds send out 36-year-old 154-game winner John Lackey, who’s 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA.
Lineup when available.
Tonight's #Dodgers lineup vs. Cardinals:
Lackey for the Cards, Hudson for the Giants. The biggest lineup change is A.J. Pierzynski catching for the Redbirds in place of Yadier Molina, out with an oblique strain. It’s hard to believe, but this is Tim Hudson’s first start in an LCS game. His previous postseason appearances were in Division Series contests, and he has always been on the LDS-losing team until this year. Lackey has a well-deserved reputation for pitching well in big games.