Nationals at Giants, 2:00PM PT, TV: MLBN
The Nats have their backs against an 0-2 hole and need both a good outing from Doug Fister and some luck in order to beat the Giants and Madison Bumgarner. Fister has plenty of postseason experience, as does Bumgarner. The Nationals may start Ryan Zimmerman for the first time in the playoffs after two pinch-hitting appearances, which would add a potentially stronger bat to the lineup in left field and allow Bryce Harper to move to center, while putting the light-hitting Denard Span on the bench.
Dodgers at Cardinals, 6:00PM PT, TV: Fox Sports 1
The Dodgers rest their hopes on Hyun-Jin Ryu, who hasn’t pitched for nearly a month while resting a shoulder. Based on a simulated game he threw last Wednesday and two bullpen sessions, they think he’ll be fine. The Cardinals hope that the John Lackey who’s been a star during previous postseasons with the Angels and Red Sox is the one who shows up today, rather than the guy who went 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA after they acquired him at the trading deadline.
One way or another, the Series will end at Fenway Park for the first time since 1918. Either the Sox win tonight in six or the Cardinals win tonight to force a Game Seven. But it too will be played at Fenway, and as a fan I’d like to see it. Game Seven is evocative of so many previous ones — Mazeroski’s home run in 1960, McCovey’s line drive caught by Bobby Richardson in 1962, Koufax’s win in 1965 on Lou Johnson’s home run in the fourth inning, Lolich outdueling Gibson in 1968, Jack Morris’s ten-inning 1-0 win in 1991, and Luis Gonzalez’s dunker off Mariano Rivera in 2001.
So I’m rooting for the Cardinals tonight. It’s hard, but I’m gonna do it. They send out rookie star Michael Wacha, and the Sox counter with John Lackey. Ortiz goes back to DH for the Red Sox and Napoli plays first base. For the Cardinals Allen Craig is the DH while Mike Adams plays first base.
St. Louis at Boston 2:00pm HST, 5:00pm Pacific, 8:00pm Eastern on Fox.
St. Louis v. Boston, 2:00PM HST, 5:00PM PT, 8:00PM ET on Fox.
The Cards send the phenom Michael Wacha out to pitch against the Red Sox’ John Lackey. The Sox lead the Series one game to none. Beltran’s in the lineup for the Cardinals, bruised ribs or no.