Oct 12

NLDS Game Five, 2017

Cubs at Nationals, 5:00 PM PT, TV: TBS

The Cubs ask Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA) to be the stopper tomorrow in Game Five, while Dusty Baker and the Nats haven’t made their choice of pitcher known yet. It will likely be Tanner Roark, who was scheduled to start Game Four before the rain intervened, or Game Two starter Gio Gonzalez. Either way, it may be a low-scoring affair.

The pitchers have controlled the series for the most part; the Nationals’ staff has a 1.64 ERA over the first four games, while the Cubs pitchers have a combined 2.57 mark.

Update: it will be Gio Gonzalez. He pitched five innings of three-hit ball in Game Two.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1907 At Detroit’s Bennett Park, right-hander Mordecai ‘Three Fingers’ Brown throws a 2-0 shutout, beating the Tigers to capture the World Championship for the Cubs. Although Game 1 ended in a 3-3, 12-inning tie, Chicago becomes the first club to sweep a Fall Classic when the team wins the next four games.
  • 1929 The A’s, trailing 8-0 during Game 4 of the World Series, erupt for 10 runs in the seventh inning off three Cub pitchers en route to a 10-8 victory. Chicago’s Hack Wilson becomes one of the goats of the game when he loses two balls in the sun in center field.
  • 1949 Vin Scully, working his first broadcast ever, does the play-by play when Maryland defeats the Boston University at Fenway Park, 14-13. The football assignment marks the start the of a 67 year career in the broadcast booth for the Hall of Fame baseball announcer, who will be remembered as the iconic voice of the Dodgers.
  • 2012 The Nationals, twice within a strike of reaching the NLCS, suffer the worst collapse ever in a winner-take-all baseball postseason game when they are stunned by the visiting Cardinals. After his team takes a 6-0 advantage in the third inning and clings to a two-run lead with two outs in the ninth, Washington’s closer Drew Storen gives up four runs in the final frame, resulting in the eventual devastating 9-5 loss at Nationals Park.
  • 2015 The Cubs homer six times en route to an 8-6 victory over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field in the Game 3 of the NLDS. Chicago’s sextet of round-trippers, that included long balls from Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Dexter Fowler, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, and Jorge Soler, marks first time in postseason history that one team has recorded that many home runs in one game.
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.

Oct 09

NLDS Game Two, ALDS Games Three, 2016

Dodgers at Nationals, 10:00AM PT, TV: FS1

After a rainout the NLDS series between the Dodgers and Nationals resumes with the Dodgers up one game to none. The starters will be the same as were scheduled for Saturday’s game before the rains came: LHP Rich Hill for the Dodgers and RHP Tanner Roark for the Nats. See the previous post for further details about their respective seasons.

ALDS Game Three, Indians at Red Sox, 1:00PM PT, TV: TBS

The Series moves to Fenway Park in Boston for Game Three with the Red Sox down two games to none. The Indians start RHP Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40 ERA), who had a horrid August (11.48 ERA) and then filled in admirably as two starters went down with injuries in September, posting a 1.40 ERA in the last month of the season. He’ll face RHP Clay Bucholz, who had a weird year himself. In his first 18 appearances he put up a 5.91 ERA and was temporarily moved to the bullpen. He came back strong in his last six starts, going at least six innings and giving up two runs or fewer in five of them.

ALDS Game Three, Rangers at Blue Jays, 4:30PM PT, TV: TBS

This Series moves to Rogers Center (formerly Skydome) in Toronto with the home team up two games to none. The Rangers send RHP Colby Lewis (6-5, 3.71 ERA) to the hill to face the Jays’ RHP Aaron Sanchez (15-2, 3.00 ERA). Lewis has made nine postseason appearances, eight of them starts, and put up a 2.38 ERA in those games while going 4-1. He didn’t do well in the last half of the season, though: he lost three months with a strained right lat muscle and went 0-4 with a 6.38 ERA in four starts after rejoining the rotation on Sept. 11. This was Sanchez’s first year as a starter and it was spectacular. He finished strongly, going 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his last three outings. He made nine relief appearances in last year’s playoffs and didn’t allow an earned run in 7 1/3 innings.

Oct 08

NLDS Games Two, 2016

Update:

Dodgers at Nationals, 1:00PM PT, TV: FS1; Radio: ESPN

The Dodgers ask mid-season acquisition LHP Rich Hill (12-5, 2.12 ERA) to win Game Two. He’ll face RHP Tanner Roark (16-10, 2.83 ERA). Hill made six starts for the Dodgers and had a 1.83 ERA to show for them, even with his finger blisters. Roark was a good starter for the Nats in 2014, his first season in the big leagues, finishing 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA. In 2015 he was forced into the long man/spot starter role when the Nationals acquired starter Matt Scherzer from the Tigers. This season Jordan Zimmerman was gone from the rotation due to free agency, so Roark reclaimed his role as a full-time starter.

Lineup when available.

Giants at Cubs, 5:00PM PT, TV: FS1; Radio: ESPN

The Giants ask RHP Jeff Samardzija (12-11, 3.81 ERA) to stop the Cubs from taking a 2-0 lead in the NLDS. The Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA). Samardzija spent the first nine years of his MLB life in the Cubs’ organization until he was traded to the As in 2014. Oddly, Hendricks essentially replaced Samardzija in the Cubs rotation that season, as he made his first start for them five days after Samardzija was traded away.

Jun 21

Game 73, 2016

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

The Nats send Tanner Roark (6-4, 3.14 ERA) out to make his first-ever start against the Dodgers, who counter with Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.64 ERA). It’s a matchup of differing pitchers: Roark has made it through six innings in 11 of his 14 starts, while Kazmir hasn’t made it past the fifth inning in any of his three starts since May 31.

The Dodgers want to extend their four-game winning streak while the Nationals want to halt their three-game losing streak.

As expected, the Dodgers have activated Yasiel Puig from the 15-day DL and have optioned Carlos Frias back to OKC.

Also, Vinnie is taking the night off to rest his sore throat.

Lineup: