Game Threads

NLCS Game 6: Kershaw. Wacha.

buschstadium

Clayton Kershaw. Michael Wacha. A Dodger Game 6, for the first time in 25 years. If you’re not bouncing off the walls yet, with the Dodgers down 3-2, you might be doing it wrong.

But as you’ve surely heard by now, Hanley Ramirez will not be in the lineup as the Dodgers try to extend their season by one more day. As I wondered about this morning, it seems that his ribs are so painful that it’s not worth having him in the lineup; Don Mattingly said that Ramirez “feels worse than yesterday,” and that they aren’t even sure if he will be able to pinch hit.

Dodgers
Cardinals
LF
Crawford
2B
Carpenter
2B
M.Ellis
RF
Beltran
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Holliday
SS
Ramirez
C
Molina
CF
Ethier
3B
Freese
RF
Puig
1B
Adams
3B
Uribe
CF
Robinson
C
A.Ellis
SS
Kozma
P
Kershaw
P
Wacha

While disappointing, I think we all know that it’s the right move. Ramirez looked to be in terrible pain over the last few days, and if it’s actually worse now, I’m impressed that he can even walk. But if he can’t even pinch hit, that does mean that we’ll be seeing more double play opportunities for Michael Young, which I’m sure we’ll all love.

Without Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez moves up to third and Yasiel Puig hits fourth, as Don Mattingly makes good on his intention to split lefties Gonzalez and Andre Ethier. On the St. Louis side, Shane Robinson takes Jon Jay‘s place in center; Mike Matheny says that he wants to add another righty bat against Kershaw, but somehow I doubt that Jay’s hilarious defensive play in center doesn’t play into it.

Anyway, all the talk, and horrendous Bob Nightengale columns, are behind us. It’s time for baseball, and Kershaw against Wacha is more than fans could ask for. Enjoy.

(Update: and then just before game time, Ramirez IS in. Insanity.)

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

NLCS Game 5, Part Two

As has become par for the course, playoff games require more than one game thread. What we know so far: Zack Greinke loaded the bases in the first inning, somehow managed to get out of it, then knocked in a run of his own. Greinke didn’t look so hot in the third inning either, though Andre Ethier‘s adventures in center field didn’t help; Juan Uribe made a great play to help Greinke out in the first and drove in the first run, while Adrian Gonzalez hit a ball real, real far, and the Dodgers are up 3-2 after four.

Oh, and Mark Ellis did this:

NLCS Game 5: Now Or Never

dodger_stadium_2013_150x150

So, it comes to this. Zack Greinke against Joe Kelly, and there are no more tomorrows for the Dodgers if they can’t manage to solve Kelly a little better than they did in Game 1.

I’m honestly a little surprised that Hanley Ramirez is playing today, given how injured he looked yesterday — even Don Mattingly said he thought Ramirez was “afraid to pull the trigger” — but I suppose in an elimination game, no one wants to sit and watch. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good thing, but Mattingly also claims that Ramirez is playing “because he’s the best option at shortstop.” I’m not sure if that says more about Nick Punto than it does Ramirez, but we’ll see if that turns out to be true.

Cardinals
Dodgers
2B
Carpenter
LF
Crawford
RF
Beltran
2B
M.Ellis
LF
Holliday
SS
Ramirez
1B
Adams
1B
Gonzalez
C
Molina
CF
Ethier
CF
Jay
RF
Puig
3B
Freese
3B
Uribe
SS
Kozma
C
A.Ellis
P
Kelly
P
Greinke

Andre Ethier is back in there as well, as the lineup remains unchanged, with Mark Ellis still hitting second because second basemen hit second. (Meanwhile in Detroit, Jim Leyland is shaking things up by moving Miguel Cabrera to second, yet oddly he remains at third base.)

So who else does Mattingly have at his disposal today? This is basically an “all hands” game because there’s no tomorrow, but even if they win there’s not a game tomorrow, so Mattingly can really use his bullpen as he pleases. Still, it’s going to take a real emergency to see Chris Withrow (44 pitches yesterday), and while I’d like to say that J.P. Howell could be avoided after 26 pitches yesterday, the simple fact that there’s no other lefty in the bullpen may demand otherwise. Of course, with Greinke on the mound, the hope is that the bullpen is needed rarely or ideally not at all.

This could be the last game of what’s been an incredible season; barring a miracle, it’s very likely the last home game we’ll see at Dodger Stadium for quite some time. Let’s make it a good one.

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

NLCS Game 4: So Long, Ricky

Up to around 2,000 comments, so let’s fire up a new one. Ricky Nolasco was fine… until he wasn’t. Kudos to Don Mattingly for lifting him after four, but less so for using Skip Schumaker in any situation with meaning. Hanley Ramirez doesn’t really look all that great, and I’m not just talking about his 0-3 with three whiffs performance; honestly, I doubt he’s playing tomorrow.

Through five, the Dodgers trail 3-2.