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.

Jun 06

Game 60, 2017

Nationals at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, MASN 2

RHP Max Scherzer (6-1, 2.56 ERA) pitches for the Nats and Brandon McCarthy (5-2, 3.38 ERA) for the Dodgers.

Scherzer is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA, 24 Ks and two BBs over 17 2/3 innings in his last two outings. In his career he’s 1-2 with a 3.98 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings (five starts) at Dodger Stadium. McCarthy only went four innings in his last start due to blister problems, but he says there was no recurrence of it during a long bullpen session Sunday.

Will the Dodgers add to their rotation and bullpen at the deadline?

This day in Dodgers history:

  • 1944 Baseball cancels today’s scheduled eight-game slate due to the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day. The military operation has 60,000 Allied troops, including six minor leaguers who will be killed in action, landing along a heavily protected 50-mile stretch of the coastline in France to fight Germany to begin an offensive assault against Hitler and the Nazi party.
  • 1957 After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to extremely poor visibility. Brooklyn has a 1-0 lead when the game is postponed with one out in the bottom of the second inning.
  • 1968 The day after Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, Maury Wills refuses to play in a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, his former team. The 35 year-old shortstop stays in the Chavez Ravine training room, reading RFK’s book, To Seek a New World.
  • 1994 Mike Piazza hits the longest home run recorded in the history of Joe Robbie Stadium when his first career grand slam is estimated to travel 477 feet. The catcher’s Ruthian blast, one of four Dodger round-trippers during the Florida contest, isn’t enough to thwart the Marlins’ 11-10 come-from-behind victory.
  • 2006 When Eric Gagne, who will earn his first save in over a year, throws his first pitch to his receiver Russell Martin, the pair become the first All-French-Canadian battery in major league history. The pitcher and catcher both attended Polyvalente Edouard Montpetit High School, one of the few schools in Montreal which had a baseball program.
  • 2006 On the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the century, the Dodgers score six runs in the sixth inning during the sixth game of the homestand, beating the Mets, 8-5. On 05/05/05, the Twins scored five times in the fifth inning en route to a 9-0 victory over the Indians.

Lineup when available.

Oct 07

Divisional Series AL Games Two, NL Games One, 2016

Beginning at 10:00AM PT, there are four Division Series games on tap this Friday. First is Game Two of the Blue Jays-Rangers series, then at 1:30PM PT it’s Game Two of the Red Sox-Indians series. Next at 2:30PM PT is Game One of the Dodgers-Nationals NLDS, and then to close the day out Game One of the Giants-Cubs NLDS begins at 6:00PM PT.

Toronto at Texas, TV: TBS, SportsNet

The Jays start LHP J.A. Happ (20-4, 3.18 ERA), who ended the season with a rush, putting up a 2.35 ERA over his last five starts. He’ll face RHP Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA), who’s 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in seven starts against Toronto. Darvish finished strongly too, allowing one run and five hits with 21 strikeouts in 13 innings in wins over the A’s and Rays to end his regular season.

Boston at Cleveland, TV: TBS

The Red Sox send LHP David Price (17-9, 3.99 ERA) to the hill to face RHP Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA). Price has been an ace everywhere he’s pitched, but in the postseason he’s been unable to replicate his regular season performances. He’s 2-7 with a 5.12 ERA in 14 career postseason appearances, with both of those wins coming in relief. Kluber skipped his last scheduled start with a tight quadriceps and has had ten days of rest.

San Francisco at Chicago, TV: FS1

The Giants ask RHP Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79 ERA) to pick up where Bumgarner left off in the Wild Card game, which might not be unthinkable: Cueto’s last start in the postseason was a complete game 1-0 shutout of the Mets in the 2015 World Series. He closed the season with a 4-0 record and 1.78 ERA in five starts in September. His opponent will be LHP Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), who’s had plenty of postseason experience himself, going 6-6 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 games, 14 of which were starts. He finished the season with a flourish, going 9-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his last 12 starts.

Los Angeles at Washington, TV: FS1. Announcer Kenny Albert with Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci serving as analysts and Jon Paul Morosi contributing reports. Radio: ESPN. Dave O’Brien does play-by-play and Jim Bowden is the analyst.

The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) to the mound to make his tenth postseason start. He’s had bad luck in previous playoff appearances, going just 2-6 with an ERA of 4.59 in his career. He spent two months on the disabled list this year but came back to go 1-2 with a 1.29 ERA in the five starts he made in September and October. He’ll face RHP Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA), who’s gone 4-3 with a 3.73 ERA in twelve postseason appearances, all with Detroit. The Nationals have some serious injury worries which may have an impact on this series: C Wilson Ramos is out for the year, P Stephen Strasbourg won’t pitch until the next round if Washington gets that far, 2B Daniel Murphy has made one game appearance since September 20 and RF Bryce Harper has both a jammed left thumb and a sore neck.

Lineup:

Jul 19

Game 93, 2015

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

Two of the best pitchers in the game this season have at it: Zack Greinke (8-2 with a microscopic 1.39 ERA) for the Dodgers versus Max Scherzer (10-7 with a 2.11 ERA) for the Nats. Greinke has a 35 2/3-inning scoreless streak (the HR in the All Star Game doesn’t count). Scherzer has a different kind of streak: he hasn’t walked a batter since June 14.

Some interesting things about these teams:

Over the past two seasons, the Dodgers and Nationals have been two of baseball’s best teams after the All-Star break. In 2013 and ’14, the Dodgers were a league-best 85-48 (.639) from the Midsummer Classic forward. The Nationals were 83-53 (.610), third-best.

Another thing we Dodger fans might not have realized: since Adrian Gonzalez came to the Dodgers in mid-2012 no one in the NL has knocked in more runners than he has. How many? 296.

Lineup when available.

Jul 18

Game 92, 2015

Well, let’s call this the rest of Game 91 as well as Game 92. The Dodgers are still at the Nats at 1:05PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS1 and MASN. But Friday night’s game, suspended due to electrical power failure (not home run power failure, since it featured four-baggers from Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers and Yunel Escobar of the Nats), will be resumed at 11:05AM PT. It’s anybody’s guess who’ll be pitching for either team.

In the regularly scheduled game the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw makes his first start of the second half, hoping to improve on his 6-6 record and 2.85 ERA. His opponent will be Doug Fister, who’s 3-4 with a 4.08 ERA and a long layoff: he hasn’t pitched since July 6. He spent the latter part of May and the first half of June on the DL with a tight forearm.

Below the fold, some evidence that current players know how to use social media.
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Dec 07

Winter meetings begin Monday

Grantland’s got speculations!

Question 1. Will the Dodgers move Kemp? Grantland and the Magic 8 ball say “Can’t predict now.”

Questions 2 through 5. Who cares? The only guess about the Dodgers here is whether they’ll try hard to get one of the available starters: Lester, Hamels, Scherzer or Shields.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Stand by…for news!”

Oct 02

ALDS Day One, 2014

Tigers at Orioles, 2:30PM PT, TV: TBS

Royals at Angels, 6:00PM PT, TV: TBS

The Os-Tigers matchup appears at first to come down to whether the Tigers’ pitching, starting with Max Scherzer tonight, can hold down the Orioles’ penchant for home runs (they were the only team to hit over 200 dingers this season in either league). Chris Tillman starts for the Orioles.

The hook for the Angels-Royals game tonight is that the starters were college teammates at Long Beach State back in 2004 and took the 49ers to the Super Regionals in the runup to the College World Series. The Angels send out Jared Weaver while the Royals counter with Jason Vargas.

Jul 08

Game 93, 2014

Dodgers at Tigers, 10:08AM PT, TV: SPNLA

It’ll be former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke, 11-4 with a 2.66 ERA, against former Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, 10-3 with a 3.47 ERA. Scherzer faced the Dodgers on April 8, giving up two runs in seven innings in a game the Dodgers won in the 10th on a Carl Crawford double. Greinke didn’t pitch in that earlier two-game series against Detroit.

Lineup when available.