Oct 07

ALDS Games One, 2021

The first game today is White Sox at Astros, 1:07 PM PDT, TV: FS1

Each starting pitcher is named Lance; how about that, as Curt Gowdy would say. It’ll be RHP Lance Lynn (11-6, 2.69 ERA) for the Sox and RHP Lance McCullers (13-5, 3.16 ERA) for the Astros in Minute Maid Park.

I don’t know much at all about the White Sox; I know more than I’d like about the Astros.

The second game is Red Sox at Rays, 5:07 PM PDT, TV: FS1

LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (13-8, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound for the Red Sox at Tropicana Field while LHP Shane McClanahan (10-6, 3.43 ERA) does the same for the Rays.

The Sox are somewhat familiar, as are the Rays after last year’s World Series.

On this date in baseball history in 1950 rookie Whitey Ford got his first World Series win (he’d end up with a 10-8 W-L record in the postseason), Curt Flood was traded to the Phillies, precipitating his challenge to the reserve clause, the Dodgers came from behind to win Game Three of the 1977 NLCS against the Phillies, the Dodgers beat the Phillies in Game Four of the 1978 NLCS to win the pennant, and Benny Agbayani hits a homer in the 13th inning of Game Three of the 2000 NLDS to end the longest game in divisional playoff history.

Lineups:
White Sox:

Astros:

Red Sox and Rays:

Aug 03

Game 108, 2021

Astros at Dodgers, 7:10 PM PDT, TV: ATT SportsNet SW, SPNLA

RHP Lance McCullers (8-2, 3.23 ERA) pitches for the visiting Astros. He’ll face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler (11-1, 2.19 ERA).

On this day in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 In the second All-Star Game played this summer, Yogi Berra’s two-run home run off Dodgers right-hander Don Drysdale in the third inning at the LA Memorial Coliseum proves to be the difference in the American League’s 5-3 victory over the Senior Circuit. The home run will be the last one hit by a Bronx Bomber in a Mid-Summer Classic game for 41 years until Derek Jeter goes deep in 2001.
  • 1995 Making his first start for the Rockies since being acquired from the Mets, Brett Saberhagen gives up 13 hits and walks three batters, but gets the win in the team’s 9-4 win over the Dodgers. The sellout crowd gives their new hurler an enthusiastic standing ovation when he departs the game with one out in the seventh inning.
  • 1997 Jeromy Burnitz, coming off the bench in the Brewers’ 6-5 loss to Seattle at County Stadium, homers as a pinch hitter for the second consecutive time, tying an American League record. The major league mark for consecutive pinch-hit appearances with a home run is three, shared by Lee Lacy (Dodgers – May 2, 6, and 17, 1978) and Del Unser (Phillies – June 30, July 5 and 10, 1979).
  • 2013 The first-place Dodgers set a franchise record, winning their 13th consecutive game on the road with their 3-0 victory over the Cubs in Chicago. The Giants established the National League mark in 1916 when the team won 17 straight games away from the Polo Grounds.

Lineup when available.

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 05

ALDS Game One, 2020

Astros vs Athletics, 1:07 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Astros send RHP Lance McCullers to the mound. His last start in a postseason game was in Game Seven of the 2017 World Series against the Dodgers. He lasted 2 1/3 innings, but he didn’t give up any runs. This season he finished strongly; in September he was 0-1 but allowed just three earned runs and had an ERA of 1.53. He’ll face RHP Chris Bassitt, who beat the White Sox in the Athletics’ Wild Card Series and went seven one-run innings while doing it. He also finished strongly; he was 3-0 with a 0.34 ERA in September.

Yankees vs Rays, 5:07 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Yankees hand the ball to RHP Gerrit Cole, who went seven innings against the Indians in Game One of the Yankees’ Wild Card Series, striking out 13, walking none, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. He’ll face LHP Blake Snell, who pitched five innings of no-hit ball against the Blue Jays in Game One of the Rays’ Wild Card Series.

Until the expansion of the playoffs, the World Series was well underway by October 5, and baseball’s history reflects that.

Oct 27

World Series Game Four, 2018

This is a 1971 Commemorative Trading Card. Its text is now obsolete.


Red Sox at Dodgers, 5:09 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers send Rich Hill to the mound tonight while Alex Cora is still puzzling over who he might start for the Red Sox.

“We’ll sit down now and we’ll go over it, and we’ll decide,” Cora said. “Somebody will start. Most likely a lefty.”

The options range from logical (Eduardo Rodriguez) to highly intriguing (Chris Sale on three days’ rest) to someone who would be utterly stunning (Pomeranz).

The Athletic recounts the Muncy tale from unemployed to Game Three hero.

Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post on momentum:

For those who wonder whether a powerful Game 3 showing by a star pitcher can swing a whole World Series, even if that ace’s team trails by two games when he takes the mound, I refer you to Game 3 of the 1978, ’81 and ’85 World Series. Ron Guidry, Fernando Valenzuela and Bret Saberhagen were the complete-game star pitchers for the Yankees, Dodgers and Royals. All three of their teams came back to win the Series.

Roberts thinks the Dodgers’ bullpen is “in pretty good shape.”

Amazing facts about Game Three.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 2017 Yu Darvish has his first bad outing of the postseason, giving up four runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game Three of the World Series. The Dodgers couldn’t come back against the Astros’ Lance McCullers and Brad Peacock and fell behind two games to one.

Today in Red Sox’ history:

  • 2013 Johnny Gomes hit a three-run homer off the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn in the sixth inning and the Red Sox won Game Four of the World Series.

Lineups when available.

Dodgers:


Red Sox:


Aug 04

Game 112, 2018

Astros at Dodgers, 6:10 PM PDT, TV: SPNLA, ATT SportsNet-SW

RHP Lance McCullers (10-6, 4.06 ERA) tries to snap a personal three-game losing streak in which he’s got a 9.22 ERA over 13 2/3 innings. He’ll face the Dodgers’ Kenta Maeda (7-6, 3.48 ERA), who was 2-1 for July but whose loss came in his last start of the month, when he gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Brewers.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1908 In Brooklyn, the last-place Cardinals blank the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers), 3-0. The entire Washington Park contest is played with just one ball.
  • 1941 Mickey Owens becomes the first catcher to handle three foul pop ups in one frame. The Brooklyn backstop’s third inning defense contributes to the Dodgers’ 11-6 victory over New York at Ebbets Field.
  • 1942 In a military relief game at the Polo Grounds, which will be the last war-time twilight game played, Pee Wee Reese’s grand slam in the top of the ninth, which puts the Dodgers up 5-1, doesn’t count, because of the 9:10 pm government curfew. The game ends up as a 1-1 tie with the Giants.
  • 1948 Ernie Harwell, filling in for Red Barber, who is recovering from a bleeding ulcer, calls his first major league game as the Dodgers beat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 5-4. To obtain the future Hall of Fame broadcaster, Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey trades minor league catcher Cliff Daper to the Atlanta Crackers.

Lineup when available.


Kiké at first? Bellinger off? What is Roberts thinking?

Nov 01

World Series Game Seven, 2017

Astros at Dodgers, 5:00 PM PT, TV: Fox

This really has been one of the best World Series of recent memory. Consider this:

Literally every game of this Series has been a good one. Only once (the Dodgers’ 6-2 victory in Game 4) has the margin of victory been greater than two runs, and that featured a five-run rally by Los Angeles in the ninth.

It’ll be the fourth time in the past seven years the Fall Classic has stretched to the max and the second year in a row. There have been 38 previous Game Sevens, and the Cut Four team at MLB has ranked them all.

Tonight it will be Yu Darvish hoping to erase memories of his awful Game Three start (1 2/3 innings, six hits, four runs) followed by every other pitcher the Dodgers have, as needed. I’d expect to see Kershaw in relief unless Darvish has a fantastic performance deep into the game. The Astros will ask Lance McCullers to replicate his Game Three performance in which he went 5 1/3 innings, giving up three runs. He could be followed by Keuchel and Morton and any other arm in the Astros’ bullpen.

Today in baseball history:

  • 2001 The first major league game ever started in the month of November is a memorable one when the Yankees, for the second consecutive night, make a dramatic comeback in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and go on to a World Series victory in extra innings. Tonight’s heroes are Scott Brosius, who hits a game-tying two out two-run homer to knot the game at 2-2, and Alfonso Soriano, who singles in Chuck Knoblauch in the 12th, giving the Yankees a 3-2 victory and 3-2 lead in the Fall Classic over the Diamondbacks.
  • 2010 Edgar Renteria, who drove in the winning run for the Marlins against Cleveland in the 11th inning during Game 7 of the 1997 Fall Classic, joins Yankees legends Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Yogi Berra as only the fourth player in baseball history to collect two World Series-winning hits. The Series MVP’s three-run homer off Cliff Lee in the seventh inning leads to San Francisco’s 3-1 victory over the Rangers, bringing a World Championship to the Giants for the first time since 1954.

Lineup:

Oct 27

World Series Game Three, 2017

Dodgers at Astros, 5:00 PM PT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers’ RHP Yu Darvish (2-0, 1.59 ERA in postseason) will face RHP Lance McCullers (0-0, 1 SV, 2.08 in postseason) in Game Three in Houston’s roofed-over Minute Maid Park.

“Past performance does not guarantee future results,” the financial industry cautions, so Darvish and his 4-1 record with a 2.16 ERA in six career starts at the Astros’ park including a near-perfect game and a separate near-no-hitter in 2013 probably just means he’s comfortable pitching there. McCullers used a lot of curveballs in his four-inning save in Game Seven of the ALCS. The Dodgers had the best batting average in baseball against the curve this year (.274) per Statcast, but they are hitting just .167 (7-for-42) off curves this postseason.

Classic photos of the Dodgers in World Series past.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1985 The Royals become the sixth team to overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the Fall Classic when series MVP Bret Saberhagen, who became a new dad yesterday, blanks the Cardinals on five hits, 11-0. Kansas City is the first team in World Series history to lose its first two games at home and then come back to win the World Championship.
  • 1991 In Game 7 of the ‘Worst to First’ World Series, the Twins beat the Braves, 1-0, when Dan Gladden scores the winning run in the bottom of the tenth on Gene Larkin’s single, clinching its second world championship since relocating from Washington D.C. in 1961. Atlanta and Minnesota had both finished in last place in their respective divisions the previous season.


    Jack Morris goes the distance in the game, blanking the Braves, 1-0, in the Twins’ ten-inning, dramatic walk-off win at the Metrodome. The 36 year-old right-hander, who posts a 2-0 record along with a 1.17 ERA during his three starts, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.

  • 2002 In the team’s 42nd season, the Angels finally win a World Series title by beating the Giants, 4-1, in Game 7 at Edison Field. Garret Anderson’s three-run double provides enough offense for John Lackey to become the first rookie to win a seventh game since 1909 when Babe Adams accomplished the feat for the Pirates.
  • 2004 Under the moon’s reddish tint caused by a lunar eclipse, the Red Sox exorcised 86 years of agonizing losses by winning their first World Series since 1918. In one of the most dominating Fall Classic performances, Boston, who never trailed during the four games, blanks the Cardinals, 3-0, to complete the sweep.

Lineup when available.

Oct 17

ALCS Game Four, 2017

Astros at Yankees, 2:00 PM PT, TV: FS1

Despite yesterday’s resounding win, the Yankees are still down a game in this series. Today RHP Lance McCullers (7-4, 4.25 ERA) takes the hill for the Astros versus the Yankees’ RHP Sonny Gray (10-12, 3.55 ERA). This will be McCullers’ third postseason appearance; he went 6 1/3 innings in a start against the Royals in the 2015 ALDS and he pitched 3 innings of relief last week against the Red Sox, giving up two runs on three hits. Gray will be making his fourth postseason appearance; he started two games for the As in 2013 and started Game One of this year’s ALDS, going just 3 1/3 innings against the Indians while giving up three runs on three hits and four walks.

Today in Astros’ history:

  • 2004 In Game 4 of the NLCS at Minute Maid Park, Carlos Beltran goes deep in the seventh inning, giving the Astros an eventual 6-5 victory over the Cardinals. With the round-trippers, the Houston center fielder sets a new postseason record, hitting a homer in five consecutive play-off games, and ties Barry Bonds’ 2002 mark with a total of eight play-off round tippers.
  • 2005 The juiced Minute Maid Park crowd, anticipating the Astros’ first National League crown, after the first two batters are quickly retired, is ‘pulperized’ when Albert Pujols hits a two out three-run ninth inning homer. A two-strike single stroked by David Eckstein and a walk worked out by Jim Edmonds set the stage for the Cardinals’ dramatic 5-4 comeback.

Today in Yankees’ history:

  • 1964 The Yankees, who finished with a 99-63 record, fire Yogi Berra after the team drops the World Series to the Cardinals in seven games. The 39 year-old dismissed skipper will join the crosstown Mets as a coach, becoming team’s the manager in 1972, following Gil Hodges’ unexpected death in spring training. At the same time Johnny Keane, who had been rumored in August to be replaced as the Cardinals’ manager by Leo Durocher before the Redbirds surged to win the World Series, surprises team owner Gussie Busch and GM Bob Howsam with a letter of resignation that he had written at the end of September during the height of the pennant race with Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Cincinnati. The former St. Louis skipper will take the Yankee job, which opens as the result of the firing of Yogi Berra.
  • 1985 Billy Martin, who had become the team’s skipper for the fourth time after the Yankees fired Yogi Berra in April, is replaced by Lou Piniella. “Billy the Kid’ piloted the 97-64 Bronx Bombers to a second place finish, ending the season two games behind Toronto.
  • 2000 David Justice’s three-run homer propels the Yankees to their record 37th American League pennant in a come-from-behind victory over the Mariners, 9-7. The victory sets up a Subway Series in New York for the first time in 44 years.
  • 2003 Early editions of the N.Y. Post include an editorial claiming the Yankees lose to Boston and couldn’t get the job done in Game 7 of the ALCS. Although the Bronx Bombers did trail the Red Sox, the team rallies to beat their arch rival in 11 innings, 6-5.