Oct 29

Game Six, 2019 World Series

Nationals at Astros, 5:07 PM PDT, TV: Fox

Can Justin Verlander break his five-game losing streak in the World Series? Can Stephen Strasburg continue his four-game postseason winning streak? Stay tuned!

Nationals lineup:

Astros lineup:

Oct 23

Game Two, 2019 World Series

Nationals at Astros, 5:07 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Nats have stolen one game in the Astros’ park and snapped Gerrit Cole’s 19-game winning streak in the process. Tonight they’ll send out Stephen Strasburg to face Houston’s number 1A ace Justin Verlander and try to steal another.

Conventional wisdom be damned, says MLB’s Will Leitch. Tonight’s game is not a “must-win” for the Astros.

Nationals lineup:

Astros lineup:

Oct 22

Game One, 2019 World Series

Nationals at Astros, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

On paper this is a starting pitcher’s series like we haven’t seen in quite a while. Each team’s rotation has three excellent starters: Verlander, Cole and Greinke for the Astros and Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin for the Nats.

All six of those starters performed admirably this season. In fact, they were all top 20 in ERA among qualified pitchers: Cole was third, Verlander fourth, Scherzer eighth, Greinke ninth, Corbin 13th and Strasburg 16th. It’s the first World Series since 1945 to feature six of the top 20 pitchers in ERA, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

[snip]

That’s when the Tigers, with Hal Newhouser (1st) and Dizzy Trout (T-10th), faced the Cubs, who had Claude Passeau (4th), Paul Derringer (T-10th), Hank Wyse (T-15th) and Ray Prim (T-15th).

Game One will feature RHP Max Scherzer for the Nationals and RHP Gerrit Cole for the Astros. Scherzer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start, Game Two of the NLCS against the Cardinals. Cole has won all three of his postseason starts, giving up ten hits and one run in 22 2/3 innings.

Nationals lineup:

Astros lineup:

Oct 12

ALCS 2019

Game One: Yankees at Astros, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

Two righthanders go at one another: Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees and Zack Greinke for the Astros. Tanaka’s career postseason ERA is 1.54. Greinke has not been his usual dominant self in recent postseason appearances: he’s got a 9.49 ERA in his last three.

Game Two: Yankees at Astros, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

LHP James Paxton takes the hill for the Yankees. He’ll try to match innings with the Astros’ RHP Justin Verlander. Paxton faced the Houstonians twice during the year, giving up five runs in an April game but just one in a game in July. Verlander beat the Yankees twice in the 2017 playoffs, but of course that was a different Yankee team. He made two starts against them in 2019 for a total of 13 innings, giving up six runs and going 1-0.

Game Three: Astros at Yankees, 1:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Series is tied at one game apiece. The Astros give the ball to RHP Gerrit Cole, who’s been virtually untouchable in his first two postseason starts, giving up six hits and only one run in two wins against the Rays in the ALDS. The Yankees counter with RHP Luis Severino, who went four scoreless innings against the Twins in Game Three of the Yankees’ side of the ALDS. Four innings, oddly, is the average length of the seven postseason outings he’s made in his career, posting a 1-2 record with a 5.33 ERA.

Game Four has been postponed until Thursday at 8:08 p.m. ET due to inclement weather.

Game Four: Astros at Yankees, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Astros send RHP Zack Greinke to the mound in the Bronx to face the Yankees’ RHP Masahiro Tanaka, who, thanks to yesterday’s rainout, will be pitching on regular rest. He’s been spectacular in his postseason appearances: 1.32 ERA over 41 innings in seven starts. Despite a quality start in Game One, Greinke was the loser as Tanaka shut out the Astros over six innings and the bullpen did the rest.

Game Five: Astros at Yankees, 4:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

This is a rematch of Game Two with the Astros’s Verlander going against the Yankees’ Paxton. That game displayed a stark difference in the teams’ pitching philosophy: Verlander went 6 2/3 innings while Paxton came out after 2 1/3, not because he was injured or tipping pitches or getting shelled (one run on four hits), but because Yankees manager Aaron Boone trusts his bullpen more than he does most of his starters.

Game Six: Yankees at Astros, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: FS1

Both managers are calling this a bullpen game, so no “starters” have been named by either side. It’ll be a surprise!

Oct 08

ALDS Game Four, 2019

The Yankees swept the Twins, so there’s only one undetermined outcome of an AL Division Series left: Astros at Rays, 4:07 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Astros send RHP Justin Verlander out on short rest (three days) to face the Rays’ Diego Castillo. The teams have vastly different expectations of their starters: the Astros hope for five or six innings if not more from their horse, while the Rays used Castillo as that new-fangled thing “the opener” half-a-dozen times in the second half and probably don’t expect more than two innings from him today. Since they’re down in the series 2-1, it’s an “all hands on deck” game for them, whereas the Astros are playing with house money.

Astros lineup:

Rays lineup:

Oct 05

ALDS Games Two, 2019

On this day in baseball history we find the Mickey Owens passed ball, Al Gionfriddo’s catch, Mickey Mantle’s torn knee cartilage and the invention of the high five, among other things.

The early game is the Twins at Yankees, 2:07 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Twins’ RHP Randy Dobnak will make his sixth big league start on the biggest stage you can get: facing the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the postseason. He’ll face RHP Masahiro Tanaka, one of the few Yankees starter who was healthy all season. Tanaka has made five career postseason starts and has a 3-2 record with a 1.50 ERA to show for it.

Twins lineup:

Yankees lineup:

The late game will be the Rays at Astros, 6:07 PM PDT, TV: FS1

The Rays ask LHP Blake Snell to get them even in the series, while the Astros send Gerrit Cole out to continue what Verlander did yesterday. By the way, Cole was 16-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his last 22 starts of 2019.

Rays lineup:

Astros lineup:

Oct 04

ALDS Games One, 2019

This day in baseball history. One item of interest to Dodgers’ fans: the Sandy Amoros catch saved the 2-0 shutout Johnny Podres threw to win Game Seven of the 1955 World Series for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The early game features the Rays at Astros, 11:05 AM PDT, TV: FS1

The Rays send RHP Tyler Glasnow to the mound to face the Astros’ grizzled veteran RHP Justin Verlander. In an injury-shortened season in which he missed nearly four months, Glasnow had the best W-L record of his short career. He was 6-1, with all the wins coming before he hurt his forearm. His four September starts were short but effective. Verlander’s season may have been the best of his already brilliant career. He was 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA, struck out 300 for the first time and notched his 3,000th career strikeout in his last start of the season. Oh, and he threw his third career no-hitter this year too.

Rays lineup:

Astros lineup:

The late game features the Twins at Yankees, 4:07 PM PDT,TV: MLBN.

These teams battled all year for the “Home Runs, Team” title (won by the Twins, 307-306), so of course it’ll be a pitchers’ duel. The Twins send RHP José Berríos to the hill in the Bronx to face the Yankees’ LHP James Paxton. This will be the first postseason start for each pitcher, although Berríos took the loss in the 2017 Wild Card Game between the Twins and Yankees.

Twins lineup:

Yankees lineup:

Jul 28

Game 107, 2019

Dodgers at Nationals, 10:35 AM PDT, TV: MASN, SPNLA, TBS

RHP Walker Buehler (9-1, 3.23 ERA) goes for win number ten in a day game against the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg (13-4, 3.37 ERA), who’s tied for the MLB lead in wins with Justin Verlander of the Astros and Lance Lynn of the Rangers. Buehler’s last (and only) loss was May 18, while the Nats have won the last six games Strasburg’s started.

Here is young Mr. Smith’s 3-hit 6-RBI game. He spread the wealth: the HR and the sac fly were to the right-center gap while the two-run double was to left-center.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1991 Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop to ever catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981 when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.
  • 2017 Alex Wood won his twelfth game against just one loss, going seven innings while giving up eight hits and four runs to the Giants. The Dodgers came from behind with four runs in the seventh and won 6-4.

Lineup when available.

Jul 09

All-Star Game, 2019

NL All Stars at AL All Stars, Progressive Field, Cleveland, 4:30 PM PDT, TV: Fox

Here are the All-Star Game starting pitchers, lineups and other fun facts

The Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu (10-2, 1.73 ERA) starts for the National League. This is his first appearance in the ASG and his first start. He’ll face the Astros’ Justin Verlander (10-4, 2.98 ERA), who’s making his second ASG start (2012).


Oct 18

ALCS Game Five, 2018

Red Sox at Astros, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: TBS

Backs to the wall, the Astros send ace RHP Justin Verlander to the mound to stop the Red Sox. The Sox counter with LHP David Price. Verlander gave up two runs on two hits in six innings in Game One of this series, while Price went 4 2/3 innings in Game Two, giving up five hits and four runs. The Sox scored five in the first three innings and were never caught, so for the first time in Price’s career his team won a postseason game he’d started.

Today in Red Sox history:

  • 1971 Dick Williams is named the Associated Press American League Manager of the Year after guiding the A’s to their first playoff appearance since the franchise faced St. Louis in the 1931 Fall Classic. The 42 year-old skipper also copped the honor for piloting the Red Sox during the team’s Impossible Dream season in 1967.
  • 1999 The Yankees win their record 36th pennant when the team beats the Red Sox, 6-1, in Game 5 of the ALCS. Orlando Hernandez blanks Boston into the eighth inning with Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada providing the offense punch with two-run round-trippers, respectively in the first and ninth frames of the Fenway Park contest.
  • 2004 After 5 hours, 49 minutes, and 471 pitches, the Red Sox outlast the Yankees, 5-4, in Game 5 of the league championship. Boston’s DH David Ortiz, who is the first player in baseball history to hit two walk-off home runs during the postseason, ends the longest game in ALCS history at 1:22 a.m. with a two-out single into center scoring Johnny Damon from second in the 14th inning at Fenway Park.
  • 2008 The Red Sox, scoring in each of the last three innings, erase a seven-run deficit in the seventh to beat the Rays, 8-7, in Game 5 of the ALCS. The Philadelphia A’s, who rallied after trailing 8-0 to beat the Cubs, 10-8, in Game 4 of the 1929 World Series, are the only team to have made a bigger comeback in the postseason.

Today in Astros’ history:

  • 2001 Larry Dierker, who left the Astros’ broadcast booth to take over the dugout duties as the team’s skipper in 1997, resigns as Houston manager (448-362, .553, four divisional titles), despite tying the Cardinals for the best record in the National League (93-69) and winning the Central Division. The team failed to win a playoff series in his five-year tenure, going 2-12 in postseason action.
  • 2017 Masahiro Tanaka pitches seven innings of three-hit ball and the Yankees shut out the Astros in Game Five of the ALCS to take a 3-2 lead in the series. The Astros won the next two games and moved on to the 2018 World Series for the second time in team history (2005).

Lineups when available.