LHP Jesus Luzardo tries to prevent an Astros sweep for the As, and RHP Jose Urquidy, pitching in a sore-armed Zack Greinke’s slot, tries to complete it. Luzardo gave up three runs in 3 1/3 innings against the White Sox in the As’ Wild Card Series, while Urquidy went 4 1/3 innings against the Twins in the Astros’ Wild Card Series, giving up one run on two hits and getting no decision.
RHP Charlie Morton starts for the Rays after a twelve-day layoff. He’ll face the Yankees’ RHP Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka gave up six earned runs to the Indians in Game Two of the Yankees’ Wild Card Series, more than he’d ever given up in eight previous postseason starts.
The Yankees have made plenty of postseason history on October 7, but so have a lot of other teams. The event with the most lasting significance was this: In 1969 the Cardinals traded Curt Flood along with Byron Browne, Joe Hoerner, and Tim McCarver to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Dick Allen, Jerry Johnson, and Cookie Rojas. When Flood refused to report to Philadelphia, St. Louis sent Willie Montanez and a minor leaguer to complete the trade, but the outfielder’s courageous challenge to the reserve clause had a dramatic impact on the game.
Freshly appointed to his first All Star Game, RHP Ross Stripling (7-2, 2.22 ERA) takes the hill at Petco Park this evening to face RHP Tyson Ross (5-7, 4.41 ERA). Stripling allowed the Angels no hits during his last start; he did give up three to Mike Trout, but he got the win anyway. Ross has seen his ERA jump a full point in his last two starts. The speculation is his slider has temporarily deserted him.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1949 The first All-Star Game which includes black players is played at Ebbets Field. The Dodgers’ Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, and Don Newcombe represent the National League in an 11-7 loss to Larry Doby and his AL teammates.
1966 The National League All-Stars edge the AL, 2-1, in a game played at the newly-built Busch Stadium when hometown favorite Tim McCarver scores the winning run on Dodger shortstop Maury Wills’s tenth-inning walk-off single, with Giants hurler Gaylord Perry getting the victory by tossing a scoreless ninth and tenth inning. The 105-degree weather, 113 degrees on the playing surface, results in nearly 150 people needing treatment for heat exhaustion.
This is notable: In 1949 the major league owners agree to install warning tracks made of cinder in front of outfield fences before the start of next season. The origin of the concept began at Yankee Stadium, where an actual running track, used in the ballpark’s track and field events, helped fielders know their proximity to the outfield fence when attempting to make a play. One wonders if that might have saved Pete Reiser’s career. Reiser “was taken off the field on a stretcher a record 11 times.”
We have all read this a lot: “Baltimore hasn’t reached the Fall Classic since 1983; Kansas City last made it to the playoffs in 1985.” (Trivia: who did Baltimore play in 1983? Who did the Royals play? What were the results?)
That 1983 Series was broadcast on ABC. The announcers? Al Michaels, Howard Cosell and Earl Weaver, who had retired as manager of the Os after the 1982 season.
In 1985 ABC had the Series again, but Cosell was removed from the broadcast team because his recent book had criticized everybody he’d ever worked with. In his place was Tim McCarver, making his first World Series broadcasting appearance.
To today’s game, then. The Orioles start Chris Tillman, who was 13-6 with a 3.34 ERA during the regular season and 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in the ALDS against the Tigers. He went five innings in that game, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and striking out 6. The Royals go with James Shields, 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA in the regular season and 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in the ALDS against the Angels. He went six innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and striking out 6. Both teams have excellent bullpens and their managers are unafraid to use them.
The conventional narrative for this series seems to be “Royals run, Orioles bash.” We’ll see.