Oct 31

World Series Game Five, 2021

Astros at Braves, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

LHP Framber Valdez (Postseason 1-1, 6.35 ERA) tries to halt the Braves’ march to the title, while LHP Tucker Davidson (0-0, 3.60 ERA) opens for the Braves. Valdez won Game Five of the ALCS, giving up just one run over eight innings to the Red Sox. Davidson was not initially on the World Series roster but replaced Charlie Morton, who broke his leg in Game One.

On this date in baseball history Derek Jeter hit a game-winning HR in the 10th inning of Game Four of the 2001 World Series, earning himself the nickname “Mr. November.” In Game Three of the 2009 World Series a fly ball off Alex Rodriguez’s bat became the subject of the first use of instant replay in a Series, and in 2010 the battery of Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey were the first rookies to start a World Series game since Spec Shea and Yogi Berra in 1947.

Lineups when available.

Astros:

Braves:

Oct 25

World Series Game One, 2021

Braves at Astros, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Braves send out righthander Charlie Morton (Postseason 0-1, 3.77 ERA), who’s got World Series experience with the Astros (2017) and the Rays (2020). He’ll face the Astros’ lefthander Framber Valdez (Postseason 1-0, 4.20 ERA). He had the longest outing of any starter this postseason on any team: eight innings of three-hit ball against the Red Sox in Game Five of the ALCS. This will be his first World Series.

I’m no fan of the Braves and their loathsome “tomahawk chop” and chant, but my disdain for the Houston Astros can be measured in metric tons, so I guess I’m very mildly rooting for the Atlanta team.

Addendum: Here’s what a guy at Deadspin says about these teams after making suggestions to improve the playoff system:

In the meantime, enjoy the baseball being played by two very good teams who were not the best in baseball this year but earned their way to the World Series. There’s no good rooting option — it’s the cheaters (yes, we’re still for Dusty Baker getting a ring) against the racists (yes, Freddie Freeman seems like a real good dude, and Tyler Matzek is a fantastic story, and so is Eddie Rosario, and not everyone who roots for that team is a racist, but seriously, we’ve been hearing the Chop for 30 years despite it being called out for what it is FROM THE JUMP — oh, and they had anti-vaxxer Travis Tritt sing the national anthem on Saturday) — but the games should be good.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Astros:

Oct 19

NLCS Game Three, 2021

Braves at Dodgers, 2:08 PM PDT, TV: TBS

RHP Charlie Morton (postseason 0-1, 3.36 ERA) takes the mound for the Braves to face RHP Walker Buehler (postseason 0-1, 3.38 ERA) of the Dodgers. The Braves lead the series 2 – 0.

Today in baseball history Rick Monday homered in Game Five of the 1981 NLCS to beat the Expos out of the World Series and Curt Schilling won Game Six of the 2004 World Series with a bloody sock.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Dodgers:

Oct 12

NLDS Games Four, 2021

Game One: Brewers at Braves, 2:15 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Braves lead the series 2 – 1.

The Brewers send LHP Eric Lauer (7-5, 3.19 ERA) out to save their postseason hopes; the Braves counter with RHP Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34 ERA).

Lineups:

Brewers:

Braves:

Game Two: Giants at Dodgers, 6:07 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Giants lead the series 2 – 1.

RHP Anthony DeSclafani (13-7, 3.17 ERA) tries to close the series out for the Giants; RHP Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA) attempts to keep the Dodgers’ hopes alive.

Today in baseball history: the Dodgers lost their first World Series in 1920, the As scored ten runs in the seventh to overcome an 8-0 Cubs lead in Game Four of the 1929 World Series, the Rangers won their first playoff series ever in 2010, and much more at the link.

Lineups when available.

Giants:

Dodgers:

Oct 08

NLDS Games One, 2021

Game One: Braves at Brewers, 1:37 PM PDT, TV: TBS

RHP Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34 ERA) pitches for the Braves against the Brewers’ Cy Young candidate RHP Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43 ERA).

Game Two: Dodgers at Giants, 6:37 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Dodgers send out another of their Cy Young candidates, RHP Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA) to face the Giants’ RHP Logan Webb (11-3, 3.03 ERA).

Today in baseball history in 1939 Joe DiMaggio scored from first as Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi “swooned” at home plate, Don Larsen pitched the only World Series perfect game in 1956, Walter O’Malley announced the Dodgers would move to Los Angeles in 1957, and the Dodgers defeated the White Sox 9-3 in Game Six of the 1959 World Series to win the whole shebang, among many other things.

Lineups when available.

Braves:

Brewers:

Dodgers:

Giants:

Aug 31

Game 133, 2021

Braves at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: Bally Sports South, SPNLA

RHP Charlie Morton (12-5, 3.60 ERA) goes for the Braves and RHP Walker Buehler (13-2, 2.02 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers.

On this date in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1950 In front of 14,226 fans at Ebbets Field, Gil Hodges becomes the fourth major leaguer in the century to hit four home runs in one game as Brooklyn routs the Braves, 19-3. The Dodger first baseman also ties the major league record for total bases with 17.
  • 1959 Sandy Koufax fans 18 batters to establish a new National League record for a nine-inning game in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win over San Francisco at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The left-hander’s performance equals the major league mark established in 1938 by Indians fireballer Bob Feller during a 4-1 loss to Detroit.
  • 2010 The Dodgers trade a player to be named (infielder Tony Abreu) to the Diamondbacks in exchange for starter Jon Garland. The 31 year-old right-hander will post a 3-2 record with a 2.72 ERA in his six late-season starts for the Dodgers, before signing as a free agent with San Diego.

Lineup:

Jun 05

Game 58, 2021

Dodgers at Braves, 4:15 PM PDT, TV: Fox

LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-4, 3.33 ERA) goes for the Dodgers; RHP Charlie Morton (4-2, 4.26 ERA) pitches for the Braves.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1977 On Old Timers’ Day, the Dodgers retire former manager Walter Alston’s uniform number 24. ‘Smokey’ compiles a 2040-1613 (.558) record along with seven pennants that results in four World Championships during his 23 years in the dugout.
  • 2015 Current Dodger Pat Venditte becomes the first full-time switch-pitcher in the modern era when he tosses two scoreless frames in Oakland’s 4-2 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The A’s ambidextrous reliever faces the minimum six batters in his two innings, allowing a single to Hanley Ramirez before getting an inning-ending double play in the seventh and then proceeds to pitch a perfect eighth.

Lineup:

Oct 23

World Series Game Three, 2020

Dodgers vs Rays, 5:00 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The series is tied at one game apiece. The Rays are the home team for the next three games. Today it’ll be RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 1.89 ERA in this postseaon) for the Dodgers and RHP Charlie Morton (3-0, 0.57 ERA) for the Rays. This will be Buehler’s second World Series start: he pitched seven scoreless innings in 2018’s Game Three against the Red Sox. It will be Morton’s third World Series appearance: while with the Astros he pitched against the Dodgers twice in 2017, relieving in a Game Four loss and winning Game Seven.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1945 Dodger President Branch Rickey announces that the team has signed two black players, shortstop Jackie Robinson and pitcher Johnny Wright, to play with Brooklyn’s Triple A team in Montreal. The 26 year-old Negro League infielder will be the first black player to play in organized baseball since 1884.
  • 1951 The Associated Press selects Giants skipper Leo Durocher as the Manager of the Year. Under his leadership, the Giants rallied from a 13 1/2-game deficit in mid-August to win the pennant, beating the Dodgers in a three-game playoff series best remembered for Bobby Thomson’s fabled home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of the deciding game at the Polo Grounds.
  • 1993 Mike Piazza, the sixty-second round pick of the 1988 draft, is the BBWAA’s unanimous choice for the Rookie of the Year award in the National League. The Dodger catcher is the first player to hit over .300 (.318), connect for more than 30 homers (35), and drive in at least 100 runs (112) in the Senior Circuit as a freshman since Wally Berger accomplished the feat in his initial major league season with the Braves in 1930.
  • 1998 Davey Johnson is hired to manage the second-place Dodgers, taking over the reins from Bill Russell. The former Mets, Reds, and Orioles skipper, who has finished first with every team he has ever led, will see his streak end in LA when he compiles a 163- 161 (.503) record.

Today in Rays’ history:

  • 2014 After aggressively trying to sign their manager to a third contract extension, the Rays announce Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out in his contract. During his nine-year tenure with Tampa Bay, a franchise perceived as perennial losers before his arrival, the popular skipper compiled a 754-705 record, leading the team to the playoffs four times, that included winning two AL East titles and one appearance in the World Series.

Lineups:

Dodgers:

Rays:

Oct 12

ALCS Game Two, 2020

Astros vs Rays, 1:07 PDT, TV: TBS

RHP Lance McCullers goes for the Astros and RHP Charlie Morton, former Astro, pitches for the Rays. McCullers started Game One of the ALDS and was pushed around by the As, giving up five runs including three home runs in four innings. Despite that, the Astros won the game. Morton started Game Three of the ALDS against the Yankees and went five innings, giving up two runs on four hits and getting the win.

Here’s Castillo’s five-out save of Game One:

This day in baseball history includes two Dodger losses in clinching games of the World Series (1916 and 1920), Vin Scully’s first broadcast, Dave Henderson’s go-ahead HR off Donnie Moore in the ninth to keep the Angels from winning the 1986 ALCS and more.

Oct 07

ALDS Game Three, 2020

Athletics vs Astros, 12:35 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Astros lead the series 2-0.

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.

Rays vs Yankees, 4:10 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The series is tied 1-1.

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.

Take a look.