Aug 18

Game 120, 2017

Dodgers at Tigers, 4:10 PM PT, TV: SPNLA, FS-D

On “University of Michigan” night in Detroit, it’s fitting that the Dodgers send former Michigan baseball standout lefty Rich Hill (8-4, 3.44 ERA) to the mound to face righty Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 5.62 ERA).

Hill was the NL Pitcher of the Month for July but has yet to get a decision in August. He went six innings in his last start against the Padres while giving up two runs on five hits. He’s pitched at Comerica park seven times while in the AL, but only once as a starter. That was last year for Oakland before the Dodgers acquired him. Zimmermann gave up seven runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in his last start but somehow avoided taking a loss. The Dodgers are familiar with him from his years with the Nationals. He was 2-2 with a 4.40 ERA against them.

The Dodgers activated Adrian Gonzalez and optioned Rob Segedin.

From Dodgers Insider

An entire baseball team could be fielded with the number of different Dodger players who’ve hit a walk-off this year. With Puig’s game-winning two-run double, he became the ninth different player to walk the Dodgers off with a win in their 10 walk-offs this season.

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1959 Long time baseball executive Branch Rickey is named president of the newly formed Continental League. The 77 year-old former Dodger general manager is currently serving as an advisor with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • 1982 In the second longest game in franchise history, the Cubs lose to the Dodgers, 2-1. The Wrigley Field contest, which is played over two days, takes a Dusty Baker sacrifice fly and 21 innings to complete.

Lineup when available.

Adrian’s first day off the DL and he’s in the lineup at 1B, Seager gets to sit on the bench and think about hitting, Bellinger roams left field, and Taylor moves to shortstop for the day.

It just struck me how many guys on this team have names that begin with “C.” On days when Kershaw pitches and Utley plays 2B, the Dodgers could have 5/9 or nearly 56% of their lineup made up of them.

Sep 30

AL Wild Card Game, 2014

Athletics vs. Royals, 8:07PM ET, TV: TBS

The As acquired Jon Lester to pitch big games like this one. The Royals did the same with James Shields.

The As were suddenly terrible after the trading deadline in July, and they were 10-16 in September. The Royals weren’t burning up the league either, but they did manage a winning record in the last month, going 15-12.

Bleacher Report has a comprehensive look at the matchups in this game (and the Pirates-Giants game tomorrow).

Oct 09

NLDS Decision Day

It’s Pirates v. Cardinals to see who gets to play the Dodgers in the NLCS. The Pirates start rookie Gerrit Cole, who did a fine job in Game Two, and the Cardinals put up Adam Wainwright, the ace of their staff.

Because the two teams are both in the Central Division, they’ve played each other a lot. In fact:

“So through 23 games, the Bucs have 12 wins and the Cards have 11. On the scoreboard, including this NLDS, it’s St. Louis 102, Pittsburgh 99.

More important than all of that, it’s 2-2 with one more to play.

Game Time 8:00PM ET, 5:00PM PT, 2:00PM HST on TBS.

Oct 07

ALDS & NLDS continue

I’m late due to a periodontal cleaning this morning, so I’ll just put up links to today’s earlier results and to the current game between the Rays and the Red Sox.

Oakland defeated the Tigers 6 – 3 behind the pitching of Jarrod Parker and three relievers and the home run hitting of Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and Seth Smith. The As are up two games to one and can close out the series tomorrow in Detroit.

The Cardinals forced a game five by beating the Pirates 2 – 1. The game was a scoreless tie until the sixth inning when Matt Halliday hit a two-run home run. Pedro Alvarez hit a solo shot in the eighth inning; that was the only hit the Pirates got.

The Tampa Bay – Boston game is still going on, with the Sox leading the series two games to none and the game 3 – 0 in the fifth inning.

Update: As I was typing the Rays’ Evan Longoria hit a three-run home run to tie the game 3 – 3.

Jon already has the game thread posted for tonight’s Game Four between the Braves and the Dodgers. His previous post had a lengthy discussion of the Dodgers’ surprise decision to start Clayton Kershaw on short rest.

Oct 06

NLDS Day Three

Jon will have the Dodgers game thread, I’m pretty sure, so this is a post for those who want to discuss the Cardinals at Pirates game at 10:30 AM HST, 1:30 PM Pacific, 4:30 PM ET on TBS.

If pitchers were the only criteria, the Pirates would seem to have a slight edge. They’re starting Francisco Liriano:

The veteran lefty has gone 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA against the Cardinals in three starts this year, spinning eight scoreless innings against them his last time facing them on Aug. 30. Overall, Liriano has been masterful at home, going 8-1 with a 1.47 ERA in 11 starts at PNC Park.

But wait!

The Cardinals are countering with [Joe] Kelly, who went 10-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 15 outings since joining the rotation July 6. He made consecutive starts against the Pirates at the beginning of September, winning both by pitching six innings and allowing just one run.

Go Pirates!

Oct 04

ALDS kicks off, NLDS Day Two

Ack! I didn’t realize Game Two of the Pirates – Cards NLDS is on the MLB Network at 7:00AM HST, so I’m late. It’s been on for 45 minutes now, and the Pittsburghers lead the St. Louisans 1 – 0 3 – 0. The best thing about this game being on the MLB Network is that Bob Costas is doing the play-by-play and Jim Kaat is doing the color analysis.

Pittsburgh v. St. Louis 1:00PM ET, 10:00AM PT, 7:00AM HST

Game One of the Tampa Bay – Boston ALDS begins at 9:00AM HST, 12:00AM PT and 3:00PM ET on TBS.

Game Two of the Dodgers – Braves NLDS is at 12:00PM HST, 3:00PM PT and 6:00PM ET on TBS. See Dodger Thoughts for the game thread for that one.

Game One of the Detroit – Oakland ALDS is at 3:30 PM HST, 6:30PM PT, and 9:30PM ET from Oakland on TBS.

Oct 03

The undercards are done, now to the main events

The preliminary bouts are over, with Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh prevailing over Cleveland and Cincinnati respectively. Now the Division Series games begin.

First, on Thursday, Pittsburgh at St. Louis at 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT, 11:00AM HST. The Pirates start A.J. Burnett and the Cards pitch Adam Wainwright.

Okay, okay. The more important game of the two is Los Angeles at Atlanta at 8:30PM ET, 5:30PM PT, 2:30PM HST. The Dodgers start Clayton Kershaw and the Braves start Kris Mendel Medlen. One hopes that Kershaw throws his usual selection of fastballs, sliders and curves well enough to win, and that Mendel Medlen doesn’t throw peas like those his namesake Gregor once studied. The Dodgers need to score runs for Kershaw, something they’ve frequently had trouble doing. In fact, the Dodgers were shut out three times in games Kershaw started. All told, in 33 starts he gave up 55 runs, 48 earned, and he lost nine games. He could have sued for non-support.

Addendum: Both games are on TBS.

Oct 01

NL Wild Card Play-in Game

I have no trouble identifying my rooting interest in this game between the Reds and the Pirates. All through the Seventies it was the Reds and the Dodgers fighting for supremacy in the National League West, with the Reds winning six times to the Dodgers’ three during that decade. I’m predisposed to root against the Reds and for the Pirates anyway, and then there’s the Pirates’ whole backstory of their first winning season in twenty years and first appearance in the playoffs since 1992. So I’m for the Pirates here.

The Pirates start Francisco Liriano and the Reds counter with Johnny Cueto. Take note, America! Diversity!

The Wild Card matchup between Cueto and Liriano is just the third in postseason history between two starting pitchers from the Dominican Republic. In both 1999 and 2004, Pedro Martinez faced off against Bartolo Colon.

Reds v. Pirates, 5:00PM Pacific, 2:00PM Hawaii