Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MLB Playoffs: Day Thirteen

Boston and St. Louis took command of the two League Championship Series yesterday.  In Detroit, the Bostons overcame an (almost) perfect performance by Tiger ace Justin Verlander, riding a Mike Napoli home run in the seventh for a 1-0 victory and a 2-1 series lead.  In Los Angeles, the Dodgers played a silly and sloppy game -- they were always hitting into double plays or getting picked off -- and wasted another solid pitching performance.  The Cardinals used home runs by Matt Holliday and Shane Robinson (who had only hit five runs in his Big League career before yesterday) for a 4-2 victory and a 3-1 series lead.

The National League could be decided as early as this afternoon.  But however long it takes, it seems we are headed for a Cardinals/Red Sox World Series.

National League Championship Series (Best of seven):
St. Louis leads Los Angeles 3-1

American League Championship Series (Best of seven):
Boston leads Detroit 2-1

Today's games:
St. Louis at Los Angeles (3:07 P.M. Central) (on TBS)
Boston at Detroit (7:07 P.M. Central) (on FOX)


  1. Cardinals load the bases with no out in the top of the first, but cannot score.

  2. Dodger Stadium is now the third-oldest stadium in Major League Baseball, and it still looks spectacular.

    Dodgers go down 1-2-3 in the first, as Hanley Ramirez strikes out yet again. His injury has just killed the Dodgers in this series.

    After 1: Dodgers 0, Cardinals 0

  3. Singles from Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, and Juan Uribe put the Dodgers on the board in the bottom of the 2d. Dodgers lead 1-0 and have runners on first and second with one out.

  4. They just showed that the Dodgers have left 18 men in scoring position in this series. But Zach Greinke, the Dodger pitcher, strokes a two-out single into left field to score Puig. The Dodgers lead 2-0 and have runners on first and second with two out.

  5. Carl Crawford strikes out on a 3-2 pitch in the dirt to end the inning.

    After 2: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 0

  6. That didn't take long. In the top of the 3d, Matt Carpenter hits a one-out single, and Carlos Beltran whacks a triple off the center field wall. It's 2-1 Dodgers, with one out and a man on third.

  7. Matt Holliday, who hit a three-run homer last night, lines a double into left to score Beltran. We're all tied at 2, but the Cards have the lead run in scoring position.

  8. Matt Adams hits what would normally be an easy grounder to second, but a Dodgers shift has their second baseman out in short right field. So Adams makes it to first, while Holliday goes to third. Molina is coming up, and now the Cardinals can really blow this game open.

  9. But for the second time today, Molina hits into a double play. This one goes 1-4-3, and the Dodgers are out of the inning.

    After 2 1/2 innings: Dodgers 2, Cardinals 2

    Greinke has now thrown 61 pitches. But he does have a two-out RBI.

  10. Mark Ellis leads off the Dodger 3d with a single. But this brings up Hanley Ramirez -- who cannot play due to injury, but who (for reasons I don't understand) is batting third. Vin Scully says, for at least the second time today, that the most important pitch of the series was the pitch in Game One that injured Ramirez's rib. Ramirez then grounds into a double play.

  11. In 86 games this year, Ramirez hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI's. Here's what he's done since getting hit:

    Game One: 0-2
    Game Two: Did not play
    Game Three: 2-4
    Game Four: 0-3 (left due to pain)
    Game Five: 0-2

  12. But then Adrian Gonzalez hits a booming home run into the right field seats. Andre Ethier then grounds out.

    After 3: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2

    And that's all for Vin Scully. Charlie Steiner (who is also very good) takes over. I think the Dodgers and the Giants have the best radio teams in baseball.

  13. I really like the Nats' radio team as well. They are very good, but don't yet have the gravitas of the Giants' and Dodgers' teams.

  14. The Cardinals go down 1-2-3 in the 4th.

    After 3 1/2: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2

  15. The Dodgers go down 1-2-3.

    After 4: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2

  16. Greinke, who is suddenly pitches well, gets another 1-2-3 inning.

    After 4 1/2: Dodgers 3, Cardinals 2

    Charlie Steiner and Rick Monday are annoyed at Puig. They think he's pouting in right field after being called out on strikes in the bottom of the 4th. I am simply stunned at the criticism Puig and Johnny Manziel get from the press.

  17. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Carl Crawford blasts a homer into the right field seats. Dodgers lead 4-2.

  18. But two batters later Ramirez -- who shouldn't be playing, much less batting third -- grounds out to the pitcher to end the inning.

    After 5: Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2

  19. Greinke continues to roll through the Cardinal lineup, and he sets them down 1-2-3 in the 6th.

    After 5 1/2: Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2

  20. Then the Dodgers go out 1-2-3, with Puig grounding out to third to end the inning.

    After 6: Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2

  21. Heading into the 7th, the Dodgers finally pull Ramirez, putting in Nick Punto to play short. And Vin Scully is back!

  22. Greinke throws another 1-2-3 inning -- he has retired 13 Cardinals in a row.

    After 6 1/2: Dodgers 4, Cardinals 2

  23. A.J. Ellis, the Dodger catcher, homers into the left field seats with one out to give L.A. a 5-2 lead in the top of the 7th.

  24. Thru the first four games of the series, the Dodgers had no home runs. So far, they have three today.

  25. The Dodgers haven't won two games in a seven-game post-season series since 1988.

  26. Brian Wilson, a relief pitcher with an enormous black beard, enters the game for L.A. to open the top of the 8th. Vin Scully uses this occasion to remind us that Blackbeard the Pirate did not rely on force in order to plunder his victims. I don't know what that means, but I'm happy that Vin is having a good time.

    "Blackbeard is still roaming the seas -- the imaginary seas of Dodger Stadium," says Vin Scully. Then Wilson strikes out Carlos Beltran to complete another 1-2-3 inning for Dodger pitching.

    After 7 1/2: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 2

    And that's all for me -- I'm off to Wednesday night services.