ALDS Games Five, NLDS Games Four, 2015

NLDS Early game: St. Louis at Chicago, 1:30PM PT, TV: TBS

Down two games to one, the Cardinals ask Game One starter John Lackey to keep them alive on three days rest. He was brilliant in Game One, going 7 1/3 innings, giving up two hits and no runs, walking one and striking out five. He’ll face Jason Hammel, who’ll be making his postseason debut. Hammel went 11 innings against the Cardinals during the regular season and gave up seven runs. He made four starts in September and averaged 4 1/3 innings in each one.

NLDS Late game: Dodgers at Mets, 5:00PM PT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers’ season rests once again on the shoulders of Clayton Kershaw, who will pitch on three days rest after throwing 112 pitches in a Game One loss on October 9. This will be the third postseason in a row in which he’s started a game on short rest. His opponent will be lefty Steven Matz, making his first start of the postseason. The rookie was 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 6 regular-season starts.

351 thoughts on “ALDS Games Five, NLDS Games Four, 2015

  1. I didn’t know this: there are three musical numbers between the top and bottom of the 7th inning at Citi Field. Not just GBA and TMOTTB but a third I’ve never heard of.

    • This would be my lineup:

      LF Hernandez
      RF Ethier
      3B Turner
      1B Gonzales
      2B Kendirck
      SS Seager
      C Ellis
      CF Pederson

      Although it would be fun for me to see Seager and Pederson hitting back to back.

      • That can be arranged.
        But it’ll never happen. DM loves those little righty-lefty turn-around-things too much. Plus he don’t want all those young fellows, the nucleus of our future team, hanging out together.

        • I would enjoy watching that lineup regardless of how well they did, which can’t be much worse than the 8 innings the Dodgers didn’t score in last night’s game.

          • But luckily Zack will be in the lineup, an even better hitting pitcher than Kersh (who started the only run-scoring inning) So perhaps the #9 spot is the most important?

  2. If we win tomorrow, a big “if”, I don’t like the thought of starting Clayton again Saturday on three days rest, but I like the idea of using Anderson or Wood even less; Are there any other alternatives? What about Frias? Remember we could, and should, make roster changes before Saturday.

    • Kershaw will not be going on three days’ rest again. In the NLCS, Kershaw and Greinke would be throwing games two and three, and six and seven, with normal rest. I would go with either Anderson or Wood, both of whom are better at Dodger Stadium, but have the pen ready. With built-in days off, overworking the pen is not the issue it is in the regular season.

      • It’s actually Wood who has the better (mucho mejor) splits at home. On the other hand, he seems more apt for possible relief role in that game, if things go south for Anderson.

      • For me, the choice between Wood and Anderson is easy. I don’t want to ever see Anderson again.

        • It won’t help in your distaste for Anderson and doesn’t mean much going into the next game, but there is empirical evidence that if you are going to be an average pitcher (such as Anderson) over the long run you give your team a better chance of winning if the variation around the average is large. With these sorts of pitchers (Anderson might be one, if you run his numbers) you need to learn to hold your nose and wait for the next start.

          • The advantage in being a mere fan and not otherwise involved in the business, I can indulge my prejudices. Winning isn’t everything.

          • I think this type of pitcher might require a more intelligent manager, one who can tell quickly which pitcher he is that day and give him the hook quickly if necessary, before too much damage is done. That is not a description of DM.
            Edit: Let me modify that. He is too slow to decide his starters don’t have it that day, and too quick to change relief pitchers after giving up one hit or a walk. One hit or a walk on the first batter proves nothing, a pitcher might have a little trouble acclimating to the game, and luck is also a factor. If he went with the starter 10, 15, 20 batters, the reliever should have 2 or 3 batters before deciding if he has it today or not.

          • Honey should know by now. During the season, it’s probably more of a case of what the heck are the alternatives.

          • Don’t know how a manager could tell. In his first playoff start, Anderson looked like a world-beater in his first inning, then either lost it or the Mets figured him out almost instantly (don’t think he’d ever faced them). Or both.

            Hard to know how anyone could tell “much damage” was imminent. But it sure was.

        • I would like to see Wood. He has pitched his best at Dodger Stadium and is more likely to be a Dodger next year. I like his age as well.

          I like pulling for a young player more than I like cheering for a veteran unless that veteran came out of the Dodger organization and thrived as a Dodger or had an entertaining personality. Examples would be Loney, Kemp, and Martin.

          I am okay with rented players. Sometimes they are needed to bridge the time before a prospect is ready. But if the rental is at the end of their career and has played mostly with one other team, I don’t feel like they are really a Dodger.

          Anderson doesn’t fit into one of those categories so here is a new one. I like fast, athletic players and Anderson isn’t.

  3. A bit of a grimace on JT’s face in fielding the grounder going down on his knee. Seager replaces him. At the end of the game he jogs sort of gingerly out of the dugout to join the on-field celebration.

  4. Great to see the 2-3-4 nucleus up and running, Kendrick, Gonzalez and Justin (better known as Howie, Wowie and Kerplowie) at OPS .941, .915 and 1.233.

  5. In addition to Gonzalez’s “speed,” “Tuesday’s RBI single gave Gonzalez four straight postseason games with an RBI, tied for second-longest streak by a Dodger. The longest streak was a five-game run by Manny Ramirez in 2008, all in the National League Championship Series against Philadelphia.”

    • Oh yes I think I remember that. As I recall, that was a particularly stressful time to be a Dodger fan. History is so fascinating once you know how things turn out!

  6. So St. Louis is the only team to play on the road this postseason and not win at least one game. And that is why they are the first team to be eliminated in the DS round.

  7. What I feel best about, is a win for Kershaw. What I feel second best about, is making this a series. What I feel third best about, is bringing the team back home!

  8. My son preordered tickets for Thursday! I’ll have to watch! No hiding allowed in the stadium!

  9. And now at least the top five comment filled Elysian Fields’ posts have at least 1 win in their bunch. My guess is that before this thread is all said and done it will end up being very close to the 2nd most commented post this year.

      • We are far off from the top record – set last night – so any comments we add shouldn’t really appear to be just number pushing!

        • Okay. I’ll be good. I am watching the game now, by the way. Much less stressful this way. (What a play by Turner in the seventh to get the third out!)

  10. Soo happy for Kersh.
    If he doesn’t get that hit in the 3rd, they don’t score.
    If he’s not pitching, Mets probably DO score (more).
    Redemption for Kid K . . . hope for the Blue!

    • What, you’re not already worried about Clayton starting the next series on 3 days rest again?

  11. I didn’t see a monkey on Kershaw’s back as he joined the team on the infield or in his interview.

  12. kids back in to class in 8 minutes, this will kill me (I’ll just have to peek at the score on my I pad at my desk)

  13. The ball to Turner was hit hard, and the fly to center was deep. I would say it is at best batter to batter for Kershaw.

  14. Kike” should be running. Matz isn’t paying attention to him. He ran on first move last time.

  15. Seeing the replay on that HR. It just hit the top of the fence. Otherwise, Murphy would have been left standing on second at the end of the inning after his double. 🙂

  16. Just back from walking my dog at the park — just like we did last night when the Dodgers score three.
    But the difference was Kersh — he had a shutdown inning . . . and he started and allowed the LA rally.

    Go, Blue!

  17. Whenever Cespedes’ name comes up I somehow always think of Seinfeld and Festivus. And think “a Cespedes for the rest of us”.

      • Tonight, a NZ Sauvignon Blanc called Nobilo. There are some pretty good wines out of BC, but hard to find here.

        It might amuse you that writers for the old National Lampoon, many of whom were Canadian, used to refer to it as “British Bolivia.”

          • Not much of it online, but here’s a sample piece:

            Socialist Pulls a Quicky

            David Barrett, socialist dictator of Canada’s most western state, British Bolivia, recently called an election. In return for NatLampCo support, the politician allegedly promised: (I) He would get the magazine back onto the racks on the government ferries from whence it was banned for repeated naughtiness; (2) He would “stop wrecking the economy”; (3) He would hang several local merchants who had overcharged an American tourist We support and continue to support this fine socialist.

  18. 1 pitch out. Very helpful.
    But Kershaw has already thrown 8 more pitches then Matz.

  19. Reluctantly I will listen to Steiner as I watch the muted MLBTV feed, but I won’t like it.

  20. I can’t feel sorry for the Cards but, on the other, a third-place team does not belong in the post-season.

  21. Hate having a game run over so we miss the start of the next game (Dodgers) as we did last night. No excuse for that. Actually we didn’t miss, they just started the broadcast on a different Channel, TNT, instead of TBS. I assume they have the right to do that, both channels are owned by same entity etc. The over run happens far too often. Why doesn’t baseball insist that they schedule and run the games entirely on two different channels? It would be smoother and easier for everyone. Even less disruptive to non-baseball-fan-viewers.

    • They can’t control the channels, but they can control the game times. Those are on MLB. So they could have moved the Cubs-Cards game to an earlier time yesterday (the Dodgers-Mets already started late, at 8:30PM ET, which I imagine is at least an hour if not 1 1/2 hours later than the usual time Mets games start).

  22. Mike P of DoDi perspective on tonight:

    “I don’t fault the Dodgers for deciding to go with Clayton Kershaw on three days rest in Game 4. It’s better than relying on Alex Wood, right? And you can complain about how they didn’t go get a better third starter — as though the injuries to Brandon McCarthy or Hyun-jin Ryu never happened, or that David Price hasn’t been a playoff mess of his own, or that Johnny Cueto hasn’t scared the hell out of Royals fans, or that any of it would have been possible without surrendering Corey Seager — but that’s really not relevant right now. All you can do is go with what you’ve got. What the Dodgers have right now is the best pitcher on earth, not fully rested, and with a growing history of playoff failures.”

    Continues with a plan for handling CK and other elements of the game. Which is probably better than what DM will come up with.

    Kiké Hernandez, cf
    Howie Kendrick, 2b
    Adrian Gonzalez, 1b
    Justin Turner, 3b
    Corey Seager, ss
    Yasiel Puig, rf
    A.J. Ellis, c
    Justin Ruggiano, lf
    Clayton Kershaw, p

  24. Realized we will have all the “fun” narratives at play today: Kershaw can’t win in the playoffs. Dodgers make rookie pitchers look like Cy Young winning, Hall of Fame players. Dodgers can’t beat winning teams.

  25. Wait. It’s just the NL games today isn’t it? I think the AL plays their game 5’s tomorrow.