2013 NLDS Game 3: Braves @ Dodgers

dodger_stadium_openingday2013

So while Mike is enjoying the good times that are Los Angeles and today’s playoff game live and in person, I’ve been asked to provide today’s game threat.  Please be gentle, its my first time.

Second verse, same as the first!  Both Don Mattingly and Fredi González cart out the exact same line up as games 1 and 2 because really, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or something.  Only changes are the starting pitchers with Ryu toeing the rubber for Los Angeles and Julio Teheran going for Atlanta.  Both pitchers have performed admirably for the respective clubs in their first season of full time work, so this should be a very good match up. 

Questions still abound regarding Ryu’s status after a bullpen session that was attended by team surgeon Neal ElAttrache.  Reports came out that Ryu was wearing a compression sleeve all week leading many to wonder if there was anything wrong with our prized rookie pitcher.  Our trusted and beloved management came out denying anything was wrong with Ryu, saying he came out of his bullpen totally fine.  Apparently the bullpen was just because Ryu would not have pitched for 6 days and they wanted to get him some work in to stay sharp.  Not to worry, because Dr. Neal just loves to watch bullpen sessions just for the fun of it. Ah well, I opt for the potentially naive view that everything is fine, our management is truthful, and we just gotta hope for the best.

Dodgers
Braves
LF
Crawford
CF
Heyward
2B
M.Ellis
RF
J.Upton
SS
Ramirez
1B
Freeman
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Gattis
RF
Puig
C
McCann
3B
Uribe
3B
C.Johnson
CF
Schumaker
SS
Simmons
C
A.Ellis
2B
E.Johnson
P
Ryu
P
Teheran

Worries of Ryu aside, I don’t know about you but I can’t yet let go of the bad taste that game 2 left in my mouth with the way Donnie handled that 7th inning.  It feels like I have just brushed my teeth and am now drinking a tall glass of orange juice.  Hopefully, the offense will show up tonight like it did in game 1 so any managerial gaffes by our fearless leader will have minimal impact.

Anyhoo, its nearly time for Dodger PLAYOFF baseball.  Grab a beer, sit back and get ready to go nuts when we win this thing! Positive thoughts kids. Positive thoughts.  BLARP A BLOO! Let’s get Ryu that ‘W’.

Fri 10/11Sat 10/12Sun 10/13Mon 10/14Tues 10/15Wed 10/16Thurs 10/17
RR. Belisario9105
LJ.P. Howell152026
RK. Jansen51626
RC. Marmol26
RB. Wilson281411
RC. Withrow2544
RE. Volquez

2013 NLDS Game 1: Dodgers @ Braves, Part 2

So we’re three innings into a 4-0 game and more than a thousand comments deep on the original game thread, so let’s fire up number two.

How’s it going so far? Well, Adrian Gonzalez hit a homer and Clayton Kershaw looks good and Evan Gattis did this before getting stupidly thrown out at first:

So… yeah, pretty good. Just as we expected, an outfielder with a fantastic life story would make stupid mistakes to cost his team. Right?

2013 NLDS Game 1: Dodgers @ Braves

turnerThe last time there was Dodger playoff baseball, Vicente Padilla started in a game against the Phillies that had Ronnie Belliard hitting second. (Because he was the second baseman, obviously. Second basemen hit second.) Clayton Kershaw pitched two innings in relief; since Matt Kemp & Andre Ethier are obviously not starting tonight, not a single Dodger from the starting lineup that day are starting tonight, and five of the nine didn’t even play in MLB this season.

So to say it’s been a long time since the Dodgers were playing meaningful baseball in October… well, it’s not quite the Pirates around here, but yeah, it’s been a while. There’s a different manager, a different owner, mostly different players, a changed ballpark, and a new television network on the way. (Along with a general manager who just seems to keep on surviving, no matter what.)

Dodgers
Braves
LF
Crawford
CF
Heyward
2B
M.Ellis
RF
J.Upton
SS
Ramirez
1B
Freeman
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Gattis
RF
Puig
C
McCann
3B
Uribe
3B
C.Johnson
CF
Schumaker
SS
Simmons
C
A.Ellis
2B
E.Johnson
P
Kershaw
P
Medlen

After a disappointing 2010, an embarrassing 2011 that saw more action in the courts than on the field, and a head-spinning 2012, it’s finally time again — and this time, Kershaw’s not going to be making appearances in relief.

Tonight, we have Kershaw — rightfully known as the best pitcher in the game — against Kris Medlen. We have Ethier dying to play the Kirk Gibson role, and we have to stomach Skip Schumaker as the starting center fielder in the meantime. We have a hopefully healthy Hanley Ramirez, we have A.J. Ellis getting a shot at the playoffs 10 years after being drafted, and we have whatever it is that Yasiel Puig is going to bring on the national stage. (Hopefully, something that terribly angers Brian McCann, but maybe that’s just me.)

We’ve waited a long time for this, friends. Break out the bourbon or whatever strikes your fancy. It’s time for Dodger playoff baseball.

Fri 10/11Sat 10/12Sun 10/13Mon 10/14Tues 10/15Wed 10/16Thurs 10/17
RR. Belisario9105
LJ.P. Howell152026
RK. Jansen51626
RC. Marmol26
RB. Wilson281411
RC. Withrow2544
RE. Volquez

Dodgers tickets

AL Wild Card Game: Go Baseball

progressivefieldUnlike yesterday’s NLDS wild card between the Pirates and the Reds, I can’t really say I have a strong rooting interest here tonight. The Indians and Rays are both pretty likeable small-market teams, and your choice might come down to how exactly you feel about ex-Dodger first baseman James Loney hitting third in the Tampa Bay lineup and former Dodger prospect Carlos Santana hitting cleanup for the Indians.

Tampa starts Alex Cobb, who came back from a line drive to the head to have a wonderful season, while Cleveland sends out rookie Danny Salazar, who has all of ten major league starts.

Rays
Indians
LF
DeJesus
CF
Bourn
RF
Myers
1B
Swisher
1B
Loney
2B
Kipnis
3B
Longoria
DH
Santana
2B
Zobrist
LF
Brantley
CF
Jennings
RF
Raburn
DH
Young
SS
Cabrera
SS
Escobar
C
Gomes
P
Molina
3B
Chisenhall

There’s not even really a difference here as far as “just rooting for a good story”. The Rays ended their season in Toronto on Sunday, flew to Texas Monday to beat the Rangers in a tiebreaker, are now in Cleveland, and if they win they prize is to be in Boston on Friday to start the ALCS.

Meanwhile, the Indians were basically left for dead earlier in September before winning 10 games in a row to take the wild card, actually finishing just a single game behind Detroit for the AL Central. Of course, those ten wins came against the Astros, White Sox, and Twins, who had absolutely nothing to play for and little chance to put up any defense even if they did.

An appropriate counter-argument is “but the Indians have a racist mascot,” which they do, but the Rays employ Josh Lueke and Delmon Young, so, you can come up with negative things about both sides.

In conclusion, I suppose: go baseball.

Dodgers tickets

NL Wild Card Game: Go Bucs

pncparkAs we wait — endlessly, it seems — for the Dodgers and Braves to get their NLDS moving on Thursday, potentially without Dan Uggla, the playoffs start tonight in Pittsburgh, and I’m struggling for a single reason why any one of us should be hoping the Reds beat the Pirates here.

Frankly, when you look at the rest of the National League field this year other than the Pirates, you’re left with a whole lot of ugh — as my pal Emma Span outlined nicely in a flow chart recently – and the betting action at MLB lines seems to indicate that America feels the same way.

Reds
Pirates
CF
Choo
LF
Marte
LF
Ludwick
2B
Walker
1B
Votto
CF
McCutchen
2B
Phillips
1B
Morneau
RF
Bruce
RF
Byrd
3B
Frazier
3B
Alvarez
SS
Cozart
C
Martin
C
Hanigan
SS
Barmes
P
Cueto
P
Liriano

You can’t root for the Braves because that means the Dodgers don’t win, but also because Brian McCann and that horrid Tomahawk chant would. You can’t root for the Cardinals because of the Tony LaRussa connection and the fact that @BestFansStLouis exists. You can’t root for the Reds because of Dusty Baker and “Brandon Phillips, MVP” and buntbuntbuntbunt.

That leaves you with the Pirates, and I’m not sure how anyone can hate on a team that hasn’t had a winning season in decades, has one of the nicest parks in sports, one of baseball’s most under-appreciated superstars in Andrew McCutchen, actually turned A.J. Burnett and Francisco Liriano into valuable pitchers, and relies on advanced thinking to improve their defense. Our favorite Albuquerque correspondent, Chris Jackson, is an avowed Pirates fan, and I’m finding it hard not to be on his side, at least for tonight.

Obviously, I hope the Dodgers go all the way this year. If not? Color me black and gold. Go Bucs.