Oct 08

ALDS Closeout Day?

The first game has the As playing the Tigers at Detroit at 5:00PM ET, 2:00PM PT, 11:00PM HST. The As lead the series two games to one and can end the Tigers’ season with a win today. They’ll send out Dan Straily (who?) while the Tigers counter with Doug Fister.

Game Two has the Red Sox playing the Rays at Tampa Bay. The Sox have a two games to one lead, but the Rays have won four elimination games in nine days; they’re not likely to be cowed. The Red Sox will pitch Jake Peavy and the Rays send Jeremy Hellickson to the mound.

Update: The As took a 3 – 0 lead into the fifth inning and their pitcher was looking strong. Prince Fielder hit a flare into left field for a single, Victor Martinez grounded another single into right field, and Jhonny Peralta, just back from a 50-game suspension for PED use, hit a home run to left field to tie the game at 3.

Update II: The wheels have come off for the As in the 8th inning. After loading the bases in the top of the inning with no one out and failing to score, they gave up three runs in the bottom of the inning and now find themselves behind 8 – 4 with the Tigers’ closer Benoit coming in for the ninth.

Update III: Holy smokes, Loney! What a heckuva double play you started with the bases loaded in the top of the second!

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 05

ALDS Day Two

Red Sox – Rays, 11:30AM HST, 2:30PM PT, 5:30PM ET on TBS

The Red Sox lead the series one game to none. They’ll send John Lackey out to pitch against the Rays’ David Price.

Tigers – As, 3:00PM HST, 6:00PM PT, 9:00PM ET on TBS

The Tigers lead the series one game to none. They’ll send Justin Verlander out to pitch against the As’ rookie Sonny Gray.

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 02

AL Wild Card Game, Rays – Indians

I’m agnostic. The Indians were in the postseason as recently as 2007 when they beat the Yankees in the ALDS but lost to the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Rays were in the postseason in 2010 and 2011, losing to the Rangers in the ALDS each year.

There are two managerial stories. The Rays’ Joe Maddon is a two-time AL Manager of the Year, a cunning old bird who believes in keeping the clubhouse loose. The Indians have Terry Francona, who formerly managed the Phillies and moved on to the Red Sox in 2004 when they went on to win their first World Series in 86 years. He was manager when they repeated in 2007. He and the Red Sox parted ways after the 2011 season, and after a year off Francona took the Indians’ job.

The Indians have some old-timers in Swisher and Giambi; the Rays have Longoria and ex-Dodger James Loney (he led the Majors with a club-record .351 batting average (97-for-276) on the road this season. Who could have foreseen that?).

Rays v. Indians, 8:00PM Eastern, 5:00PM Pacific, 2:00PM Hawaii.