Category Archives: Ex-Players

NLCS Game 3. Long time coming? Washington 1 win away from WS.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Washington, D.C. has been part of three World Series—in 1924, 1925 and 1933, when the original Washington Senators (who became the Minnesota Twins in 1961) won the AL pennant in those years, and the World Series in 1924. Walter Johnson, near the end of his career, was on the 1924 and 1925 teams.

The current Washington Nationals team came from Montreal, where from 1969-2004 they were the Montreal Expos. This franchise has never made it to the World Series.

They are one win away after an 8-1 win over the suddenly punchless St. Louis Cardinals. The Nationals lead the series three games to none and could make it a sweep tonight.

Houston has their threesome of Verlander, Cole and Grienke, but Washington’s trio of Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin is right up there.

Strasburg went seven, and gave up just one unearned run while striking out 12.

Howie Kendrick, whose grand slam in Game 5 of the NLDS doomed the Dodgers, had 3 hits and 3 RBI last night.

Long-time National Ryan Zimmerman drove in two runs.

Game 4 of this series is tonight.

Game 3 of the ALCS between the Yanks and Astros is at 4 this afternoon.

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NLCS Game 1: Washington shuts out St. Louis 2-0 on a 1-hitter.

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The Washington Nationals took game 1 of the NLCS, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 on a one-hitter.

The only Cardinals hit was by PH Jose Martinez with two outs in the eighth inning.

Washington starter Anibal Sanchez was then removed from the game.

Howie Kendrick and Yan Gomes each had two hits and an RBI for the Nationals.

Game 2 of the NLCS will be at 4 PM today.

The ALCS between the Yankees and Astros begins tonight. Game 1 at 8 PM.


Sammy Taylor, a C who was on the 1962 Mets, died at the age of 86. Taylor played for the Cubs (1958-1962), Mets (1962-1963), Reds (1963) and Indians (1963). His best year was when he hit 13 HR for the 1959 Cubs. He hit .222-3-20 in 68 games for those 1962 Mets. For his career, he hit .245 with 33 HR, OPS+ 84.

While Yanks rest, the other series are all going the distance.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will have four days off before Game 1 of the ALCS begins on Saturday. While they have swept the Twins, all of the other series are going the distance.

The NLDS’s will wrap up today. St. Louis at Atlanta, Game 5 at 5 PM Eastern, and Washington at the LA Dodgers at 8:30.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay forced a Game 5 in Houston  7 PM  Thursday night by beating the Astros and Justin Verlander 4-1 last night. The Rays scored three in the first inning. Tommy Pham (3 hits) homered in the first for the Rays, and Willie Adames homered later. Avisail Garcia had four hits. Tampa Bay used an “opener” and went through six pitchers in the win.


Gleyber Torres reminds me of Derek Jeter, and in a good way. Derek hit for a higher average and stole more bases, while Gleyber has more power. But both at a young age show and showed an incredible amount of maturity and poise. You can see Torres becoming, like Jeter was, a long-time Yankee star, and maybe future captain and Hall-of-Famer. Hopefully his career follows the same great path Jeter’s did.


If the Yanks have to play Houston in the next round, it’ll be difficult ot beat them, but the Yanks did beat a trio of great pitchers in 1996 and 1999 when they beat the Braves’ HOF trio of Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. But could this Astro trio of Verlander, Cole and Greinke be even better? Let’s see.

2019 Astro trio. Combined record (inc. Greinke’s overall record, time w/AZ this year)
59-16, Combined ERA+ 518

1996 Braves: 54-29, Combined ERA+ 458

1999 Braves: 44-28, Combined ERA+ 376.

It does look like, should Houston win Game 5, that the Yanks of 2019 may have a tougher battle.

But Houston’s overall team ERA of 3.66 was 2nd in the AL…. to Tampa Bay’s. Despite its unconventional use of “openers”, the Rays’ team ERA was 3.65, barely better than Houston’s.

Etchebarren, O’s C of great late 60s/early 70s Orioles teams, dies at 76.

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Andy Etchebarren, catcher for those great Oriole teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s, died Saturday at the age of 76.

Etchebarren was a 2x all-star, and played with the Orioles in 1962, then 1965-1975. He was with the Angels 1975-1977 and with the Brewers in 1978.

His first full season was in 1966, when he guided the Orioles to their first WS title, including their years as the St. Louis Browns. In his first full year in the majors, Etchebarren hit .221-11-50, OPS+ 89. He was an All-Star and finished 17th in MVP voting. Obviously, he was valued more for his defense than his offense. He also was an All-Star in 1967.

From 1969-1974 he platooned with Elrod Hendricks at catcher for the Orioles. In that time span, the O’s won the AL pennant in 1969, the WS in 1970, the pennant in 1971, and the AL East in 1973 and 1974. In only two seasons (1966 and 1967) with Baltimore did Etchebarren play in more than 100 games. The only other season he was in over 100 games was in 1976 with the Angels.

His 162 g. average was .235-8-53, OPS+88. Platoon C, valued more for D than offense.

In 1971, Thurman Munson of the Yankees made only one error. On the play, Etchebarren ran over Munson at the plate and caused Munson to drop the ball. If I remember correctly, Munson had to be removed from the game because of a concussion.

In the postseason, Etchebarren hit .154-1-4 in 21 games.

 

 

ALDS Game 1: Torres and DJ lead Yanks to 10-4 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In setting the roster for the Division Series, the Yanks went with Luke Voit over Mike Ford. Making the bullpen were Tyler Lyons, Luis Cessa and Jonathan Loaisiga.

The 25-man roster is:

C: Sanchez and Romine
IF/OF Wade
IF Voit, Encarnacion (who’ll DH), LeMahieu, Torres, Didi, Urshela
OF Stanton, Maybin, Gardner, Judge

P Paxton, Tanaka, Severino, Happ, Loaisiga, Cessa, Lyons, Kahnle, Green, Ottavino, Britton, Chapman.

The Yanks took Game 1 of the ALDS 10-4. Paxton had his usual first inning troubles, as even though he struck out the side, he gave up a solo HR. Twins up 1-0 already.

He gave up another HR in the top of the third. 2-0 Twins.

The Yanks came back with three in the bottom of the third. D.J. LeMahieu, who made an uncharacteristic error in the second inning (it didn’t come back to bite them) singled. Aaron Judge singled D.J. to second. After Gardner lined out to advance D.J., Edwin Encarnacion doubled to make it 2-1. Giancarlo Stanton walked to load the bases. Gleyber Torres bounced into a force out, but two runs scored on the fielding error when the Twins tried to turn the DP. 3-2 Yanks.

Paxton gave up a run in the top of the fifth, and was pulled from the game. He was OK, nothing special. Ottavino faced one man and walked him. Kahnle got the last out.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Yanks took the lead for good. Aaron Judge walked and Brett Gardner was HBP. After Encarnacion struck out, Stanton walked to load the bases. Torres hit a double to make it 5-3.

Kahnle gave up a HR in the top of the sixth that cut it to 5-4, Yankees. He walked the next guy but then Chad Green came in to get out of the inning.

The Yankees built a cushion in the bottom of the sixth when both LeMahieu and Gardner hit solo HR. 7-4.

They put the game away with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Stanton walked and was PR for by Cameron Maybin, who stole second. Expect to see that—Maybin for defensive purposes for Stanton late in games. Torres walked, and after Sanchez struck out, Maybin and Torres executed a double steal. Didi walked to load the bases. Urshela flied out, not deep enough to advance anyone, but then LeMahieu doubled, clearing the bases and making it 10-4.

LeMahieu 3 hits, solo HR, 4 RBI
Judge 2 walks; 2 diving catches
Gardner solo HR
Encarnacion 2 hits, RBI
Stanton 3 walks
Torres 2 RBI

Sanchez and Gregorius didn’t look too good at the plate.

Paxton 4 2/3 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 1 W, 8 K. Gave up 2 HR
Ottavino 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.
Kahnle (Winner) 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Green (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Britton (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.
Happ 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 1 K.

In the other division series:

Houston won Game 1 6-2 over Tampa Bay. Verlander 7 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 8 K. Jose Altuve HR.

Atlanta shut out St. Louis 3-0 to even that series at a game apiece. Mike Foltynewicz 7 shutout innings, Adam Duvall a PH 2-run HR.

Washington beat the L.A. Dodgers 4-2 to even that series at a game apiece. Stephen Strasburg (6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 0 W, 10 K) out dueled Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is a great pitcher, but his “kryptonite” is the postseason, where he has never dominated like he does in the regular season.

Notable Passing:

Tom Waddell, 60, went 15-11, 4.30 with 15 saves for the Indians from 1984-1985 and 1987.

Washington stuns Milwaukee with 3 in 8th, win NL WC game, 4-3.

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The late Bill Buckner may have company. Washington scored 3 runs in the bottom of the eighth to stun Milwaukee and win the NL WC game, 4-3. They’ll face the Dodgers in the NLCS.

The Brewers got 2 runs in the first on a 2-run HR by Yasmani Grandal, and another in the second on a solo HR by Eric Thames.

The Nationals cut it to 3-1 in the third on a solo HR by Trea Turner.

With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Michael Taylor was ruled HBP. It was questionable whether the pitch hit his hand or the bottom of the bat first. It was ruled the hand. An out later, Ryan Zimmerman blooped a broken bat single into center, and then Anthony Rendon walked to load up the bases for the Nationals.

Juan Soto singled. In his haste to get to the ball and make a play at the plate, hopefully to cut down the tying run, Brewers’ RF Trent Grisham overran the ball, which not only allowed the tying run to score, but cleared the bases, putting the Nationals up 4-3–a lead they held on to in the top of the ninth.

A devastating and stunning loss for the Brew Crew.  Washington’s Stephen Strasburg pitched three scoreless innings of relief and wound up with the win.

Game 153. No celebration yet. Magic Number still 1 as Yanks lose, 3-2.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees (99-54) lost to the Angels 3-2 Wednesday night in what most likely will be CC Sabathia’s last start at Yankee Stadium (unless he starts a postseason game).

With the loss, and the victories by both Tampa Bay and Cleveland, the Yankees’ magic # to get into the playoffs and also to clinch the AL East title both remain at 1. The Yanks have a 9 game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East with 9 games to go.

Houston won, so the Yanks are a game behind the Astros for best record in the AL, and worse yet, the Astros own the tiebreaker. The Yanks have a  1 game lead over the Dodgers if that WS matchup occurs, and the Yanks own the tiebreaker.

Before the game, Giancarlo Stanton was activated. He doubled his first time up.

CC pitched well for the first two innings, striking out the side in the second, but as has been the case lately, once he got past that, he faltered, giving up two runs in the third inning.

Aaron Judge tied the game in the bottom of the third with a two-run HR, his 24th of the season.

In the sixth, Adam Ottavino gave up the game-deciding run, making a costly error in the process.

Outside of Judge’s HR, the Yanks’ bats were pretty quiet.

Judge 2-run HR (24)
Gardner 2 hits

Sabathia 2 2/3 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 W, 4 K.  4.99
German 2 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 W, 2 K.  4.03
Ottavino (L, 6-5, 1.84) 1/3 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  3.26
Green 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.  4.43
Britton 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.97
Cessa 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 1 K.  3.66

The Twins lead the Yanks 289-288 for the new team HR record. The Twins have played one less game.

Notable Passings: Alex Grammas. 93. Infielder for St. Louis (1954-1956), Cincinnati (1956-1958), St. Louis again (1959-1962) and the Cubs (1962-1963). 162 game average .247-2-29, OPS+ 68. Long time coach.  Managed the Pirates for the last five games of the 1969 season (4-1) and managed the Brewers in 1976 and 1977, winning just 66 and 67 games in those two seasons.

Also Jim Greengrass, 91, OF for the Reds (1952-1955) and Phillies (1955-1956). He hit .285-20-100 in 1953, finishing 6th in ROY voting and then hit .280-27-95 the following season. Hit .269 in 504 games. 69 career HR. His 162 game average .269-22-91, OPS+ 103.  His career was shortened because of problems with phlebitis.