Oct 10

NLDS Game Four, 2017

Nationals at Cubs, 2:30 PM PT, TV: TBS

This is the only game today, and it’s an elimination game for the Nats. They ask RHP Tanner Roark (13-11, 4.67 ERA) Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 2.52 ERA) to stop the Cubs, who have hardly been a juggernaut but have managed to get past excellent performances from the Nats’ aces Strasburg and Scherzer to take a 2-1 lead in the series. The Cubs counter with RHP Jake Arrieta (14-10, 3.53 ERA), who hurt a hamstring five weeks ago but had been 7-2 with a 1.79 ERA over the previous two months.

After much Sturm und Drang yesterday centered on Starsburg’s health and whether he was too queasy to pitch today on regular rest, apparently he recovered overnight. He’ll start today after all.

Yesterday in baseball history:

  • 1920 The Indians’ Bill Wambsganss becomes the only player in World Series history to complete an unassisted triple play when he makes a leaping catch, steps on second base, and then tags the [Dodger] runner arriving from first base. After the play, a dead calm engulfs Cleveland’s League Park as the hometown fans try to digest what they had just witnessed.
  • 1948 The largest crowd ever to attend a World Series game, 86,288 fans, jam into Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium to witness a showdown between two future Hall of Famers. Braves’ southpaw Warren Spahn beats Bob Feller and the Indians in Game 5 of the Fall Classic, 11-5.
  • 1968 Cardinal fireballer Bob Gibson sets the mark for total strikeouts (35) in a World Series, but loses the seventh and deciding game to ]Mickey Lolich and the] Tigers, 4-1.
  • 2009 The Dodgers advance to their second consecutive National League championship series, beating St. Louis 5-1 to complete a three-game sweep of the Redbirds in the NLDS. Solid pitching by late-season pick-up Vicente Padilla and timely hitting by Andre Ethier, who had three extra-base hits, and Manny Ramirez, who broke out of a slump with three hits and two RBIs, close out the series, which will be best remembered for the team’s dramatic Game 2 comeback when Matt Holliday’s error on James Loney’s ninth-inning two-out line drive leads to a stunning two-run walk-off rally.

Today in history:

  • 1978 Rookie right-hander Bob Welch strikes out Reggie Jackson with two men on base and two out in the top of the ninth inning, dramatically preserving a 4-3 Dodger victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of the Fall Classic. The relief performance will put the 21 year-old in the national spotlight.

Aug 05

Game 109, 2016

Red Sox at Dodgers, 7:10PM PT, TV: SPNLA, NESN

Former University of Hawai’i pitcher Steven Wright (12-5, 3.20 ERA) goes for the Sox and Scott Kazmir (9-4, 4.41 ERA) goes for the Dodgers. When Wright pitched for UH he didn’t throw the knuckleball, which is what his bread-and-butter pitch has become. This will be his first start against the Dodgers, while it will be Kazmir’s 30th start against the Red Sox thanks to all the time he spent with the Rays.

The Dodgers and Sox met once in the World Series in 1916, when some guy named Ruth won Game Two by outpitching Sherry Smith in 14 innings. Smith did hold the Babe hitless in the 13 innings he pitched. Other than that, they’ve played just twelve times between 1901-2016.

The Dodgers will honor the Sox’ retiring Big Papi, David Ortiz, before the game. I have no idea why. I don’t begrudge him the accolades, but it’s not like he or his team are hated enemies that the Dodgers play multiple times a year and he’s been mashing against them. That’s a guy you’d want to say “Bye! Good luck! Glad you can’t hurt us anymore!” to. For example, if Paul Goldschmidt were to retire, or Matt Holliday, or Hunter Pence, I’d be quite happy to see them off.

Lineup when available.