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.
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.
LHP Framber Valdez (postseason 0-0, 7.71 ERA) goes for the Astros and LHP Chris Sale (postseason 0-0, 14.73 ERA) goes for the Red Sox. Yes, it’s a rematch of the Game One pitchers. Houston won that one.
LHP Chris Sale (5-1, 3.16 ERA) tries to bounce back from a one-inning five-run outing in Game Two of the ALDS against the Rays. He’ll face the Astros’ LHP Framber Valdez (11-6, 3.14 ERA). His last outing was about as bad as Sale’s, although he lasted into the fifth inning of Game Two of the ALCS against the White Sox. He gave up four runs on seven hits in that game (which the Astros came back to win).
Today in baseball history the Yankees won their first World Series in 1923, Enos Slaughter scored as “Pesky held the ball” in Game Seven of the 1946 World Series and Ron Swoboda’s diving catch kept the Orioles off the scoreboard in the 1969 World Series:
Kirk Gibson hit a memorable HR for the Dodgers in Game One of the 1988 World Series:
And in 2017 the Dodgers’ Justin Turner emulated Gibson and hit a three-run walk-off home run against the Cubs in the twelfth inning of Game Two of the NLCS:
The Rays still lead the series 3-2 and can win it today. They’ll send LHP Blake Snell to try to do it. He’s already made three starts this postseason, defeating the Blue Jays in the Wild Card Series, losing to the Yankees in the Division Series, then beating the Astros in Game One of this series.
The Astros send LHP Framber Valdez to try to even the series. He lost to Snell in Game One. He pitched the Astros to wins against the Twins and the As in previous rounds of these playoffs.
This series will be played at Petco Park in San Diego. MLB previews the series with possible starting lineups and a whole lot of background information.
The Astros’ pitcher will be LHP Framber Valdez, who is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA this postseason. The Rays send out LHP Blake Snell, who is 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in this year’s postseason.
There’s a whole lot of baseball history on previous October 11ths. One of the more amusing items is this one:
1975 As the first host of Saturday Night Live, George Carlin compares baseball to football in the opening monologue of the ground-breaking show. The comedian jokes the national pastime a gentler game, portraying the sport as one which is pastoral and played in a park as opposed to football, in which the objective is to march downfield and penetrate enemy territory in a stadium.
The Astros lead the series 1-0. LHP Framber Valdez goes for the Astros and LHP Sean Manaea pitches for the Athletics. Valdez gave the Astros five scoreless innings of relief in Game One of the Astros’ matchup with the Twins. Manaea didn’t pitch in the Wild Card Series against the ChiSox; his lone start against Houston this year came on September 10 when he went seven innings and gave up just one run to them.
The Yankees lead the series 1-0. They’ll start RHP Deivi Garcia. The rookie will be the youngest Yankee ever to start a postseason game; Whitey Ford was slightly older than Garcia’s 21 years and 140 days in 1950 when he started against the Phillies in the World Series. Garcia will face RHP Tyler Glasnow, who made three starts against the Yankees this year going 1-1 with a 3.77 ERA in 14 1/3 innings.
LHP Framber Valdez (3-3, 3.61 ERA) goes to the mound for the visiting Astros. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Julio Urías (3-0, 3.86 ERA). Valdez has been an innings-eater for the Astros — he’s gone at least seven innings in five of his last six starts. His last one was horrendous, though: he gave up eight runs on 11 hits to the Angels in seven innings (four of those runs were in the seventh, which explains why he wasn’t pulled long before that inning). Urías has struggled with his consistency all year; he gave up four runs in two of his last three starts.
Seager and Pollock go back-to-back in the third inning of Thursday’s game:
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1930 The last major league bounced home run is hit by Dodger catcher Al Lopez at Ebbets Field as the NL joins the American League, which had enacted the rule change in 1929. The player who hits the ball over the wall on a bounce will now be awarded a ground-rule double.
1932 In the bottom of the ninth, Johnny Frederick hits his major league record-setting sixth pinch-homer of the season, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory over the Cubs. The Brooklyn outfielder’s major league mark will not be broken for 68 years until another Dodger, Dave Hansen, strokes seven round-trippers coming off the bench in 2000.
1953 The Dodgers clinch a pennant at the earliest date ever in baseball history with a 5-2 victory over the Braves at County Stadium. Carl Erskine gets the win when Brooklyn, who clinches consecutive titles for the first time in franchise history, goes up 13 games up on Milwaukee with 12 left to play.
1962 One game behind the front running Dodgers, the Giants lose Willie Mays, their All-Star center fielder, when he is hospitalized for nervous exhaustion. The ‘City by the Bay’ will drop six games in a row, but will recover along with ‘Say Hey Kid’ in time to beat Los Angeles in a playoff to win the National league pennant.
“I look up into the stands, and it looks like Ebbets Field. The Mets are wonderful, but you can’t take the Dodger out of Brooklyn” – DUKE SNIDER, – addressing the Mets fans on his special night at the Polo Grounds.
In a pregame ceremony with his former Dodgers teammates, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe, and Ralph Branca in attendance, Duke Snider is honored by the Mets with a special ‘night’ at the Polo Grounds, which coincidentally marks the last time the Giants, now located in San Francisco, will ever play in their once long-time home in Harlem. The ‘Silver Fox’, obtained by the last-place expansion team in April, has recently requested to be traded to a contender.
1995 During a WGN pre-game radio broadcast at Wrigley Field, Cubs announcer Harry Caray remarks to the team’s skipper Jim Riggleman, “Well, my eyes are slanty enough, how ’bout yours?”, referring to Hideo Nomo, the Japanese rookie hurler scheduled to start for the Dodgers. The veteran announcer, known for not backing off for his on-the-air off-handed comments, does issue an apology, calling the incident “unfortunate.”
2000 On the same date the mark was established 68 years ago, Dave Hansen breaks Johnny Frederick’s 1932 record for pinch-hit home runs in a single season with his seventh round-tripper coming off the bench. The Dodger pinch-hitter’s historic homer, a seventh-inning three-run blast off Diamondback right-hander Curt Schilling, isn’t enough to prevent the team’s 5-4 loss to Arizona at Bank One Ballpark.
The Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler makes his first start of the season. Also making his first start of the year is the Astros’ LHP Framber Valdez, who’s in his second full season in the big leagues.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Astros’ sign-stealing methods of 2017 were revealed in the off-season.
A number of Astros players and coaches apologized when spring camps opened in February, but many, including Dodgers center fielder and reigning National League MVP Award winner Cody Bellinger, were critical of the team’s response.
Many of the core players [from the 2017 World Series] on both sides remain the same, including Bellinger, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen for the Dodgers, and José Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer and Alex Bregman for the Astros.
The Dodgers have placed LHP Alex Wood on the injured list with shoulder inflammation and have recalled RHP Josh Sborz.
1991 Expos right-hander Dennis Martinez pitches a perfect game, defeating Los Angeles 2-0 at Dodger Stadium. Ron Hassey becomes the first backstop to ever catch two perfect games, as he also was behind the plate on May 15, 1981 when Indian hurler Len Barker faced 27 batters, beating the Blue Jays, 3-0.
2017 Alex Wood won his twelfth game against just one loss, going seven innings while giving up eight hits and four runs to the Giants. The Dodgers came from behind with four runs in the seventh and won 6-4.