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:
RHP Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) makes his fourth start replacing the injured Rich Hill. He hasn’t been really successful as a starter yet this season; he’s not gotten past the fifth inning in any start and he’s given up four runs in each of the last two. He’ll face LHP Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04 ERA), who’s not been his usual ace-like self this year. In fact, he gave up five runs in each of his last two starts prior to the All Star break.
In about the only Dodger highlight of Friday’s game, Alex Verdugo curls a home run around the Pesky Pole in right field:
This has nothing to do with the Dodgers or the Red Sox, but I found it interesting: a history of the walk-up song.
Two grizzled lefties have at one another in Game Two: 33-year-old Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA) for the Cubbies and 37-year-old Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32 ERA) for the Dodgers. Lester is the active leader in postseason innings pitched with 143 1/3. He worked 9 2/3 innings in the NLDS against the Nationals, making one start and giving up only two runs for a 1.86 ERA. He’s 2-3 with a 3.89 ERA in seven career starts against the Dodgers. Hill gave up two runs on three hits in four innings against the D-Backs in Game Two of the NLDS. He’s only faced the Cubs twice in his career, once in 2011 and once last year in Game Three of the NLCS when he went six scoreless innings.
Today in baseball history:
1946 In Game 7 of the World Series, the Cardinals beat the Red Sox, 4-3, when Enos Slaughter streaked home from first on Harry Walker’s single. The play surprises everyone, including cut-off man shortstop Johnny Pesky who hesitates, as legend has it, throwing the ball home.
1970 Brooks Robinson is selected as the World Series Most Valuable Player after batting .429 (9/21) and driving in six runs during the five-game set against Cincinnati. The Orioles’ third baseman becomes the first player to be named the MVP in the Fall Classic, an All-Star game (1966), and for his league (AL-1964).
1988 In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 back-door slider from the A’s relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right field fence. It’s the first time a World Series game is ever decided on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.