Oct 31

World Series Game Six, 2017

Astros at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PT, TV: Fox

The Astros have a 3-2 lead in the Series and, in a rematch of Game Two pitchers, ask RHP Justin Verlander to close it out. The Dodgers counter with LHP Rich Hill. Neither pitcher got the win in that extra-inning affair.

The story of this game may be which starter lasts longest and which bullpen works least.

The Phillies have hired Gabe Kapler, the Dodgers’ Director of Player Development, to be their next manager.

Today in baseball history:

  • 2001 For the first time since Philadelphia A’s Mule Haas hit a game-tying two-run homer in Game 5 of the 1929 World Series, a team comes from behind to tie a Fall Classic game in the ninth and goes on to win in extra innings. Tino Martinez sends the game into overtime with a two-out homer off Diamondbacks’ closer Byung-Hyun Kim and Derek Jeter, dubbed Mr. November, wins it after the stroke of midnight with a full count two-out round-tripper giving the Bronx Bombers a 3-2 victory and knots the series at two games apiece.
  • 2009 Alex Rodriguez’s Game 3 fly ball in the right-field corner of Citizens Bank Park becomes the subject of the first instant replay call in World Series history. The Yankee third baseman’s hit, originally ruled a double, is changed by the umpires to a home run after the replay clearly shows the ball going over the fence before striking a television camera and bouncing back to the field.

Lineup when available.

Oct 25

World Series Game Two, 2017

Astros at Dodgers, 5:09 PM PT, TV: Fox

The Astros send out their waiver-trade-deadline acquisition par excellence, RHP Justin Verlander. All Verlander has done since coming over from the Tigers is win nine games without a loss, including four postseason games this year. He’ll be opposed by the Dodgers’ LHP Rich Hill, who’s pitched nine innings in two starts in the postseason without a decision.


Today in baseball history:

  • 1981 In Game 5 at Dodger Stadium, Pedro Guerrero’s and Steve Yeager’s back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh inning off Yankee southpaw Ron Guidry give Los Angeles a 2-1 win, its third victory in the Fall Classic. Guerrero and Yeager, along with teammate Ron Cey, will be named as the co-recipients of the World Series MVP award.
  • 1986 One strike from defeat, the Mets tie the game on a wild pitch and then, thanks to Bill Buckner’s error, win Game 6, knotting the Fall Classic at three games apiece. This event was selected as one of baseball’s 30 most memorable moments. “If one picture is worth a thousand words, you have seen about a million words, but more than that, you have seen an absolutely bizarre finish to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.” – Vin Scully, describing the aftermath of the play after a long silence.
  • 2005 The first World Series game ever to be played in the state of Texas proves to be memorable when Geoff Blum’s 14th inning solo home run (the 30th Major Leaguer to hit a HR in his first World Series AB) becomes the beginning of the end of the longest Fall Classic contest ever played. The 7-5 victory, which gives the White Sox a commanding 3-0 advantage over the Astros, takes 5 hours, 41 minutes to complete, with the 14 frames equaling the number of innings the Red Sox needed to beat the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 1916 series.
  • 2005 Mark Buehrle becomes the first pitcher to start and save consecutive World Series contests. After receiving a no-decision starting Game 2, the 26 year-old southpaw gets the final out in the 14th inning of Game 3 to record a save as the White Sox beat the Astros, 7-5.

Lineup when available.

Oct 20

ALCS Game Six, 2017

Yankees at Astros, 5:00 PM PT, TV: FS1

The Yankees have two games in which to win one, while for the Astros this is an elimination game. It’s a rematch of Game Two’s starting pitchers.

In Game Two, the Astros’ RHP Justin Verlander threw that most rare of things in this era, a complete game, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and striking out 13. His opponent will again be RHP Luis Severino, who was pulled from that game after just four innings “for precautionary reasons.” Before he left he’d given up just one run on two hits to the Astros.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1988 The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.
  • 2004 After losing the first three games of the ALCS, the Red Sox win four consecutive games to win the American League pennant, beating the Yankees in the Bronx, 10-3. Johnny Damon’s two home runs, including a grand slam in the fourth, and Derek Lowe’s solid pitching performance help Boston to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders as the only teams in the history of professional sports to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series.
Oct 14

ALCS Game Two, 2017

Yankees at Astros, 1:00 PM PT, TV: Fox

The Yankees ask RHP Luis Severino (14-6, 2.98 ERA) to pitch them into a 1-1 tie in the series. The Astros ask RHP Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36 ERA) to get them to a 2-0 lead. Severino went seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits in Game Four of the ALDS against the Indians, while Verlander pitched six strong innings in Game One of the other ALDS against the Red Sox and then another 2 2/3 innings in Game Four to help close that series out.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1976 The Yankees dramatically win their 30th pennant on Chris Chambliss’ home run in the bottom of the ninth inning. The first baseman’s walk-off solo shot beats the Royals in Game Five and the deciding contest of the ALCS, 7-6.

  • 1992 In Game 7 of the NLCS, Francisco Cabrera’s ninth inning, two-out pinch hit single tallies two runs, giving the Braves a stunning comeback victory, 3-2 over the Pirates. The backup catcher had only three hits during the regular season.

Aug 20

Game 122, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 10:10 AM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

The visiting Dodgers try to finish a sweep of the Tigers in a day game from Comerica Park. They’ll send RHP Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) to the mound to face 2011 Cy Young Award winner RHP Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11 ERA).

Maeda is on a hot streak. He’s gone 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA in his last six starts. He’s never faced the Tigers. Verlander gave up three HRs in a loss to the Rangers on Tuesday. He’s certainly not having a year even close to his standards.

Potential milestones: Verlander is looking for his 30th interleague win. He’s gone a gaudy 29-5 with a 2.94 ERA in 41 career regular-season starts against National League teams, but he hasn’t victimized the Dodgers much. His only start against the Dodgers was a home victory on July 8, 2014. Adrian González needs two hits to reach 2,000 for his career, but Verlander’s not the guy he’d like to face to get there. He’s 3-17 lifetime against the Tigers’ pitcher.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, 8 months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by ‘Buckshot’, who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
  • 1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes’ three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman’s 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
  • 1978 In the visitors’ clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when an inappropriate remark is made about the first baseman’s wife.

I remember lying on a couch in my relative’s home while on vacation in Santa Maria listening to Scully and Doggett tell me about this one: in 1961 in the second game of a doubleheader the Phillies snap a 23-game losing streak by beating the Braves, 7-4. The victory establishes a new record for the most consecutive losses by a major league team.

Lineup when available.

Oct 03

ALDS Day Two, 2014

Tigers at Orioles, 9:00AM PT, TV: TBS

Down one game to none, Detroit sends the second of their three former Cy Young winners, Justin Verlander, out to stop the Orioles and their third-year big leaguer Wei-Yin Chen. Chen was 16-6 with a 3.54 ERA in the regular season, while Verlander had an uncharacteristically bad year, going 15-12 with a 4.54 ERA.

If Detroit loses, they’re in serious trouble. They’d be down 0-2 in a five-game series, and only five times in 44 tries has a team in that position turned the series around and won.

Royals at Angels, 6:30PM PT, TV: TBS

The Royals, fresh off two extra-inning wins, ask rookie Yordano Ventura (14-10, 3.20 ERA) to keep their streak going. The Angels, in an 0-1 hole, ask star rookie Matt Shoemaker (16-4, 2.94 ERA) to plug the dike and send the series to Kansas City tied at one game apiece.

The same caveat applies to the Angels as to the Tigers: if they go down two games to none their chances of winning the five-game series are pretty bad.

Jul 08

Game 92, 2014

News of the day: the Dodgers have placed Josh Beckett on the 15-day DL. By doing it now he may only miss one start. Pedro Baez has been called up from the Isotopes to fill Beckett’s roster spot.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies may ask for a trade to a contender, but not until after this season is done. Rosenthal thinks there’s no way Colorado’s GM would trade him within the division, so even though the Dodgers would love to replace the older and often-banged up Hanley Ramirez, it seems unlikely to him.

Dodgers at Tigers, 4:08PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MLBN

Hyun-Jin Ryu (9-4, 3.08 ERA) will pitch for the Dodgers. The Tigers send out Justin Verlander, who’s having a very un-Verlander-like season: 7-7 with a 4.71 ERA. Given this: “Verlander is 22-2 with a 2.56 ERA in his career against National League teams,” one hopes his poor luck this year continues for today.