Oct 03

Wild Card Games, 2017

Tuesday, October 3: Twins at Yankees, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV & Radio: ESPN

I think it’s fair to say the Twins are the surprise team in these playoffs. The Yankees beat them 4-2 in the season series, including a three-game sweep two weeks ago. But as the prospectuses tell us, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” so the Twins and Yankees have an equal chance of winning a single game against one another. Here’s a position-by-position breakdown of the two teams.

The Twins probably feel good about pitching RHP Ervin Santana (16-8, 3.28 ERA) since he’s had eight previous post-season appearances including two starts. On the other hand, the most recent of those was in 2009 with the Angels. The Yankees counter with RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA), who’s in his third year in the big leagues but his first postseason at any level.

Wednesday, October 4: Diamondbacks at Rockies, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS; Radio: ESPN

These two teams have been locked into the Wild Card game since midsummer when it became apparent they’d be chasing the Dodgers for the NL West title all season. There were only two other teams who came close to catching them, the Brewers and the Cardinals, falling short by one and four games respectively. It’s astonishing to note that the NL only had seven teams finish above .500 — the three division leaders, the Rockies, D-backs, Brewers and Redbirds.

Pitching for the Diamondbacks in Coors Field will be RHP Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20 ERA), one of five 17-game winners in the big leagues this season (there were four 18-game winners; no one won more). His opponent will be RHP Jon Gray (10-4, 2.67 ERA). Greinke is 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA in nine postseason appearances; this will be Gray’s first. Gray’s on a 13-game run of allowing three runs or fewer and has gone 4-0 with a 2.10 ERA in his last five starts. Greinke is 1-1 with a 3.90 ERA over his last five.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1947 In Game 4 of the Fall Classic, Bill Bevens comes within one out of pitching the first no-hitter in World Series history. The Yankee hurler loses his claim to fame and the game when Cookie Lavagetto, pinch-hitting for Eddie Stanky, hits a two-out ninth-inning double, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.
  • 1951 In Game 3 of National League play-off series at the Polo Grounds, Bobby Thomson’s one-out three-run homer beats the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth, 5-4, and the Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant. The round-tripper, better known as the ‘shot heard around the world’, becomes one of the famous home runs in baseball history.

  • 1962 At Dodger Stadium, the Giants beat Los Angeles, 6-4, to take the rubber game of the best-of-three National League playoffs, clinching the National League pennant. LA shortstop Maury Wills sets a major league record for the most games played in a season, appearing in all of his team’s 165 games.
  • 1972 Surpassing Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente appears in his 2,433rd game for the most ever played by a Pirate. Sadly, it will be the last regular season game the Pittsburgh outfielder will ever play as he will be killed in a plane crash during the off-season.
  • 1976 After being at the Dodger’s helm for 23 years, Walter Alston’s managerial career comes to an end when the team drops a 3-2 decision to the Padres, finishing the campaign 10 games behind the Reds. During his tenure, which began in Brooklyn in 1954, the skipper known as Smokey to his players compiles a 2040-1613 (.523) record en route to capturing seven pennants and four World Series titles.

There are a lot of other things that happened on this day in baseball history; you can see the rest at National Pastime.

Sep 07

Game 140, 2017

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-RM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

History says the Dodgers are still in good shape despite the current 1-11 stretch.

The only reason the Dodgers’ situation looks more dire than it actually is? Because as they’ve stumbled, the D-backs have surged. How do you surrender 9 1/2 games in the standings in two weeks? Lose 11 of 12, while the second-place team wins 13 in a row. That’s what happened this time, but such extreme polarity is rare and impossible to sustain on either end.

Save us, Clayton! Dodger fans could be forgiven if that’s what they mutter as tonight’s game begins with the Dodgers’ ace Kershaw (16-2, 1.95 ERA) facing RHP Jon Gray (6-4, 4.26 ERA) at Dodger Stadium. Gray has made seven starts against the Dodgers in his career and put up a 3.75 ERA against them. He got no decision in his only start against them this season, going five innings and giving up just one run on four hits. Kershaw is making his second start after coming off the DL with back troubles; in his first one he went six scoreless innings, struck out seven and didn’t walk anybody.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1903 A year before the first subway line is completed, the Brooklyn Superbas, later to be known as the Dodgers, play their cross-town rivals in a two-stadium, same-day doubleheader. The first game played in Washington Park begins at 10:30 am with 9,300 fans watching the visiting Giants win the opener, 6-4, and later that afternoon in front of 23,623 patrons at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, Brooklyn wins the second game, 3-0.
  • 1916 The Giants defeat the Dodgers 4-1 to start their major league record 26-game winning streak. The ‘Jints’ start the span two games under .500 and make up nine games in the standings, but remain in fourth place during the entire streak.
  • 1962 With four steals in a 10-1 loss to the Pirates, Dodger Maury Wills breaks the modern National League record for stolen bases in a season with his 82nd swipe. Bob Bescher established the mark in 1911, playing left field for Cincinnati.
  • 1964 At Connie Mack Stadium, a Labor Day crowd of 26,390 fans watches the first-place Phillies split a doubleheader with the Dodgers. The attendance for the twin bill brings the season’s total to 1,224,172 patrons, breaking the all-time franchise home attendance record established by the Whiz Kids in 1950.
  • 2001 Shawn Green breaks a franchise record for homers in a season with his 44th home run, the first of two dingers the Dodger right fielder will hit off Dustin Hermanson in the team’s 7-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The previous mark had been shared by Duke Snider (1956) and Gary Sheffield (2000).

Lineup:

Apr 08

Game 6, 2017

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

LHP Clayton Kershaw will attempt to get his second win of the season today as he faces RHP Jon Gray. Kershaw went seven innings and allowed only two hits and one run to get the win Opening Day. Gray struck out seven in the first four innings of his game against the Brewers but collapsed in the fifth when he gave up five runs and got no outs, but the Rockies bailed him out and he escaped the loss.

Lineup when available.

Sep 23

Game 154, 2016

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM, MLBN (out-of-market only)

The Dodgers continue their playoffs’ 4th-starter auditions with LHP Scott Kazmir (10-6, 4.59 ERA), who’s been on the shelf since August 22 with thoracic spinal inflammation. He’ll face the Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray (10-8, 4.42 ERA), who threw a shutout in his last start, striking out 16 Padres in the process. Kazmir beat the Rockies on July 2, going six scoreless innings and giving up just three hits. Gray has made five starts against the Dodgers and gone 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA, but the losses have both come at Dodger Stadium, where he’ll pitch tonight.

This will be opening night of a weekend celebration of Vin Scully:

The ceremony will also be available live at the Dodgers’ website tonight at 6:30 p.m. PT.

MLB came up with a playlist of 10 of Vinnie’s comedic remarks.

In non-Scully amusements, check out this photo of Josh Reddick with Stan Lee (yes, the Marvel comics maven).

Lineup when available.

Aug 29

Game 131, 2016

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

Kenta Maeda (13-7, 3.37 ERA) goes for the Dodgers and Jon Gray (8-6, 4.61 ERA) does likewise for the Rockies. Both rookies have been solid recently: Maeda has given up three runs or fewer in each of his last six starts, and Gray has a 5-1 record at home in twelve starts at Coors.

The Rockies took two of three from the NL East-leading Nationals over the weekend while the Dodgers did the same to the NL Central-leading Cubs.

The Dodgers have reportedly placed Yasiel Puig on revocable waivers, which means he could be claimed but then pulled back by the Dodgers or he could be let go.

Lineup:

Aug 02

Game 106, 2016

After yesterday’s sturm und drang about Yasiel Puig and his status — not to mention the incorrect verb used by Ken Rosenthal since it’s hard to “storm off” if you aren’t at the location you ostensibly left angrily — today we’re back to baseball. Puig is apparently on his way to Oklahoma City to work on his swing, although the team has said nothing publicly yet. Here’s CBS Sports’ attempt to explain what went on.

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTRM

Brandon McCarthy (2-1, 2.39 ERA) is coming off his worst start since his season began several weeks ago; he lasted only four innings against the Rays on the 27th of July. His opponent will be Jon Gray (7-4, 3.94 ERA), who’s made three starts against the Dodgers in his career, two this season, and has struck out 22 in 15 2/3 innings, but he is 0-2 with a 5.74 ERA.

The Dodgers announced they’ve optioned Puig, Stripling and Fields to OKC and activated new acquisitions Jesse Chavez and Josh Reddick. They’ve put their other new pitcher, Rich Hill, on their 15-day DL, but he’s eligible to be activated on Thursday, August 4.

Lineup:

Jul 03

Game 84, 2016

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOTS Sports

Brandon McCarthy makes his first major league start since April 25, 2015 when he went on the shelf for Tommy John surgery. He insists he’s looking at this game as just another start. Right. He’ll face the Rockies’ Jon Gray (5-3, 4.83 ERA). Gray has pitched at least six innings in all but one of his last seven starts.

Corey Seager got a hit in his 15th consecutive game Saturday night and now holds the longest current hit streak in the big leagues.

Lineup when available.

The Sunday Night Baseball game between the Braves and the Marlins wouldn’t ordinarily hold my attention, but it’s being held in a ballpark which was built at Fort Bragg, NC in just four months. It replaced an overgrown golf course on the base.

It marks the first time a professional, regular-season game in any sport has been played on an active military base and is the first time the state of North Carolina has hosted a regular-season Major League Baseball game.

What’s going to happen to it after the game is played?

…the site will be converted into softball and multipurpose recreational fields following Sunday’s game. The playing surface will remain, along with the foul poles, dugouts and bullpens, as a lasting reminder of Sunday’s historic event.

Okay, Imma gonna wanna to see this.

Apr 22

Game 17, 2016

Dodgers at Rockies, 5:40PM PT, TV: SPNLA, ROOT Sports

Scott Kazmir (1-1, 6.43 ERA) tries to get his groove back after two consecutive poor starts, both against the Giants. He’s only made one career start against the Rockies. It was at Coors Field and he got the win, but that was in 2007 when Kazmir was a Devil Ray. His opponent will be Jon Gray, the third draft pick overall in 2013. He made his ML debut last year, but tonight will be his first game of this season. He’s a righthander with a fastball, changeup, slider and curve.

Lineup when available.

I got to wondering and looked it up: Utley has the third highest number of hits this young season as a leadoff guy: 16. The two guys ahead of him are Gonzalez with 22 and Puig with 17. (Seager has 14 while Pederson and Hernandez each have 13).

Sep 14

Game 143, 2015

Rockies at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA

Kershaw v. Gray. One’s 13-6 with a 2.15 ERA, the other is 0-0 with a 5.17 ERA. His team is 1-6 in his seven starts since he was called up. Looks like a walkover, right? No bets. Kershaw could have an off night, and the Rockies have some hot hitters in Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez.

Here’s a sign:

The Rockies are 7-26 against left-handed starters and are expected to face three lefties in Los Angeles: Kershaw, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood.

Lineup: