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.

Oct 13

ALCS Game One, 2018

Astros at Red Sox, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: TBS. Brian Anderson and Ron Darling will be the broadcasters.

Two of the best pitchers the AL has to offer face one another in this game: RHP Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52 ERA) goes for the Astros and LHP Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA) for the Red Sox. Verlander went 5 1/3 innings in Game One of the ALDS against the Indians, striking out seven while walking only two and allowing just two hits. Sale got the win in Game One of the Red Sox’ ALDS matchup with the Yankees, going 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight, walking two and giving up just two runs.

Today in Astros’ history:

  • 2017 Dallas Keuchel gives up four hits in seven innings of shutout ball against the Yankees in a 2-1 win in Game One of the ALCS.

Today in Red Sox’ history:

  • 1903 In Game 8 of the series, the Boston Pilgrims (Red Sox) defeat the Pirates, 3-0, to take baseball’s first ever world championship, five games to 3. In the 95-minute contest, Bill Dinneen gets the win over Pittsburgh’s Deacon Phillippe in front of a Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds crowd of 7,455 fans.
  • 2003 A tearful 72 year-old Don Zimmer apologizes for his part in yesterday’s brawl during Game 3 of the ALCS between the Yankees and Red Sox. During the fourth-inning matinee melee at Fenway, the Yankees’ assistant to the manager is thrown to the ground by Pedro Martinez, after charging the right-hander.
  • 2013 David Ortiz hits a game-tying grand slam home run in the 8th inning against the Tigers.

Lineups when available.

Oct 05

ALDS Games One, 2018

The early game is really early: Indians at Astros, 11:05 AM PDT, TV: TBS

The Indians send their 20-game winner Corey Kluber (20-7, 2.89 ERA) to the mound in Minute Maid Park to face the Astros and their right-handed ace Justin Verlander (16-9, 2.52 ERA).

Lineups when available.
Indians:


Astros:


The late game is scheduled for prime time on the East Coast, of course, since it’s the Yankees at Red Sox, 4:30 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Yankees send lefty J.A. Happ (17-6, 3.65 ERA) to the Fenway Park hill to face the Red Sox’ own lefty, Chris Sale (12-4, 2.11 ERA). The Yankees got Happ on July 26 from the Blue Jays where he’d been 10-6. Notice he has yet to lose a game in Yankee pinstripes. Sale came to the Red Sox after the 2016 season. He lost two ALDS starts last year to the Astros.

Lineups when available.

Yankees:


Red Sox:


Aug 25

Game 130, 2018

Padres at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, FSSD

The Friars send rookie RHP Brian Kennedy (0-2, 8.36 ERA) to perform a thankless task: try to beat the Dodgers behind LHP Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.40 ERA). Kennedy’s first two big league starts were poor, but his last one was pretty good: he gave up just two runs in five innings in a game the Padres’ bullpen lost. Kershaw has given up one run in each of his last two starts and, like Kennedy, watched the bullpen cough up a lead late against San Francisco. He won the other game in Seattle.

Ha! Justin Verlander got a surprise when he had lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel yesterday.

By the time this game starts we’ll know whether the Hawai’i Little Leaguers have won their fifth US Championship.

Yesterday was Kiké Hernández’s 27th birthday; today is Max Muncy’s 28th.

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1979 In a Hollywood Stars vs. the Media game played at Dodger Stadium, Robin Williams, the star of the hit television series, Mork and Mindy, a show in which he plays an alien, runs the bases backwards. The comedian explains circling the bags clockwise is very common on the Planet Ork, his character’s home in the universe.
  • 1995 At Veterans Stadium, Gregg Jefferies hits for the cycle when Philadelphia crushes the Dodgers, 17-4. The Phillies’ first baseman, who has four RBIs and scores four runs, collects all of his extra-base hits off of LA starting pitcher Hideo Nomo.
  • 2008 After being swept in a four-game series earlier in the month in L.A., the Phillies return the favor, beating the Dodgers, 5-0, to complete its own four-game sweep. It is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia has swept the Dodgers in a four-game series at home.
  • 2009 With a 5-4 win in ten innings over the Dodgers, the Rockies move 18 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history. The wild-card leader, winning 52 of their last 74 games, the latest on a Troy Tulowitzki bases-loaded single, has cut LA’s Western Division lead from 15.5 games on June 3 to just two games.
  • 2012 In a nine-player blockbuster trade, the Dodgers obtain Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Nick Punto, and cash considerations for James Loney, Allen Webster, Ivan De Jesus, Jr., and two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa and Jerry Sands). The deal gives the new Dodgers ownership an opportunity to show their fans they are serious about making a run for the postseason, while giving an under-performing Boston team more financial flexibility in the offseason.

Lineup when available.

Aug 03

Game 111, 2018

Astros at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT Sportsnet-SW

Obviously this is a rematch of last year’s World Series, won by the Astros in seven games. RHP Justin Verlander (10-6, 2.24 ERA) starts for the Astros and LHP Alex Wood (7-5, 3.68 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. Verlander started Games 2 and 6 last fall and went six innings each time, giving up a total of five runs. Wood pitched twice as well, starting in one game and relieving in another. He gave up just one run in 7 2/3 innings. Verlander is 1-4 with a 3.54 ERA in his last eight starts, while Wood is 6-0 in his last eight decisions with a 2.61 ERA over that stretch.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 In the second All-Star Game played this summer, Yogi Berra’s two-run home run off Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale in the third inning at the LA Memorial Coliseum proves to be the difference in the American League’s 5-3 victory over the Senior Circuit. The home run will be the last one hit by a Bronx Bomber in a Mid-Summer Classic game for 41 years until Derek Jeter goes deep in 2001.
  • 1995 Making his first start for the Rockies since being acquired from the Mets, Brett Saberhagen gives up 13 hits and walks three batters, but gets the win in the team’s 9-4 win over the Dodgers. The sellout crowd gives their new hurler an enthusiastic standing ovation when he departs the game with one out in the seventh inning.
  • 1997 Jeromy Burnitz, coming off the bench in the Brewers’ 6-5 loss to Seattle at County Stadium, homers as a pinch hitter for the second consecutive time, tying an American League record. The major league mark for consecutive pinch-hit appearances with a home run is three, shared by Lee Lacy (Dodgers – May 2, 6, and 17, 1978) and Del Unser (Phillies – June 30, July 5 and 10, 1979).
  • 2013 The first-place Dodgers set a franchise record, winning their 13th consecutive game on the road with their 3-0 victory over the Cubs in Chicago. The Giants established the National League mark in 1916 when the team won 17 straight games away from the Polo Grounds.

Today the Dodgers celebrate Andre Ethier, who announced his retirement last month. Here’s a summary of his career from the official Dodgers blog.

Lineup:


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.