Tag Archives: Greinke

Washington stuns Houston to win WS

Yankee Stadium Frieze

In a World Series in which EVERY GAME WAS WON BY THE ROAD TEAM, Washington, the biggest WS underdog since 2007, stunned Houston by winning Game 7 6-2.

It is only the second time Washington, D.C. has the World Series Champ, and it’s the first time since 1924. That team then became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.

This team started its existence as the Montreal Expos in 1969, and this is the first title in franchise history. This, the year after Bryce Harper, the face of the franchise the past few years, left to go to the Phillies in free agency.

Stephen Strasburg was named WS MVP.

Washington stunningly won the WS after starting the season 19-31. They didn’t even win their division. Down in the wild card game, they caught a break in the eighth inning against Milwaukee when Milwaukee’s RF overran the ball in trying to gun down a runner at the plate (the tying run) and as a result, the winning run came around to score.

Then in the NLDS, they took down the 106=win Dodgers. Down in the eighth inning of Game 5, they hit two HR off of Clayton Kershaw to tie the game and got a grand slam by Howie Kendrick in extra innings to win the game and series. They then swept the Cardinals in the NLCS.

In the World Series, they dispatched the 107-win Astros in unconventional fashion, winning all four games in Houston while losing all three games at home. Who’d have thought?

The Astros got off to a 2-0 lead. Yuri Gurriel hit a solo HR in the second off Max Scherzer, and Carlos Correa an RBI single in the fifth. Scherzer, who couldn’t start Game 5 because of a sore neck and who received a shot for the pain, started Game 7 and was not sharp, but kept his team in the game, giving up just two runs in five innings despite being in and out of trouble the whole time.

In the seventh, Washington took the lead with three runs. Anthony Rendon homered to cut the lead to 2-1. Juan Soto walked. Houston manager A.J. Hinch then pulled starter Zack Grienke, a move I wondered about at the time. Grienke had only given up the one run on two hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Reliever Will Harris replaced Greinke and gave up a two-run HR to Kendrick that hit the foul pole. 3-2 Nats, and they never looked back. Harris took the loss.

Patrick Corbin (who I wanted the Yanks to get last offseason when Corbin was a free agent) wound up with the win with three scoreless innings of relief.

Per MLB.com, Kendrick is the first player with multiple go-ahead home runs in the seventh inning or later in winner-take-all games in a single postseason. He also is just the second player to hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning or later while their team was trailing in a World Series winner-take-all game. The other was Hal Smith in 1960—the Bill Mazeroski game.

A walk to Adam Eaton, SB and RBI single by Juan Soto made it 4-2 Washington in the eighth.

The Nats tacked two more on in the ninth on a bases-loaded, 2 RBI single by Eaton. Washington got eight of their nine hits in the last three innings as Houston’s bullpen imploded.

 

 

 

WS Game 6. Take it to the limit. Washington forces a Game 7 with a 7-2 win.

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Never, in the history of the four major sports, has a road team won the first six games of a series (of course, football doesn’t have a best of 7).

Until now. Washington beat Houston 7-2 Tuesday night to force a seventh and deciding game tonight (Wednesday). The road team has won every game in the WS so far.

Anthony Rendon had three hits, inc. a 2-run HR, and drove in 5 runs. The HR came after a controversial call that went against the Nats and got manager Dave Martinez ejected—the first manager ejected from a WS game since Bobby Cox of Atlanta in Game 6 of the 1996 WS.

For Justin Verlander, another WS loss. The future HOF pitcher is now 0-6 in the World Series. ROY, CYA, MVP, 3 no-hitters, but no WS victory.

Stephen Strasburg went 8 1/3 IP for the win.

Besides Rendon, Adam Eaton and Juan Soto homered for Washington. Alex Bregman hit one for Houston.

Max Scherzer, who missed his Game 5 start because of a neck injury, apparently feels better after getting a cortisone shot and is expected to start Game 7 for Washington. He’ll be opposed by Houston’s Zack Greinke.

 

 

ALCS Game 4 postponed. Does it help or hurt Yanks?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Game 4 of the ALCS was postponed due to rain Wednesday night and rescheduled for Thursday night.

The schedule now is

Game 4            8 PM Thursday
Game 5            7 PM  Friday
Game 6            8 PM Saturday if needed
Game 7            7:30 PM Sunday if needed.

The Yanks will now go with Tanaka in 4, Paxton in 5. Houston also bumped up their starters to Greinke in 4, Verlander in 5.

Down 2 games to 1, Game 4 is a must win for the Yanks. They don’t want to be down 3-1 and then have Verlander staring them down in Game 5.

Will the rainout help or hurt? Some guys slumping, like Sanchez and Encarnacion, may benefit from the day off to clear their heads. Maybe, maybe not.

Sometimes a rainout turns a series around. Consider the 1951 WS for example. The NY Giants, fresh off the “shot heard ’round the world” by Bobby Thomson to win the NL pennant, took a 2 games to 1 lead over the Yankees, then a rainout reset the Yanks, who then won the next three games.

So you never know. Sometimes a rainout is what a team needs, sometimes not.

There is a good post on MLB.com asking why if he can’t start, is Stanton still on the roster and why haven’t the Yanks replaced him. Check it out. One reason is if they replace him, he won’t be eligible for the WS then. But the heck with that. In order to get to the WS, you have to worry about winning THIS round first.


Joe Maddon, who took Tampa Bay to a WS and who won the WS with the Cubs three years ago, now tries his hand with the Angels, who hired him as manager today.

ALCS Roster set, and pre-series thoughts.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees have finalized their ALCS roster. Coming on are CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks and coming off are Luke Voit and Tyler Wade.

The Yanks are going with 13 pitchers.

I think that they are going with the pitching (13) and defense, and expect low scoring games against Houston’s staff. If so, Gardner LF, Hicks CF, Stanton DH, Encarnacion 1b with DJ at 3b, and if they have a late inning lead, then DJ goes to 1b and Gio goes in at 3b. Either that or keep it as it was, but Maybin/Hicks d for Stanton late in game. But I would go with the first scenario. Dh Stanton. Have good D all around (save for maybe Edwin at 1B) then sub out Edwin later.

So my lineup would be:

DJ 3B
Judge RF
Gardner LF
Encarnacion 1B
Stanton DH
Torres 2B
Sanchez C
Gregorius SS
Hicks CF

Hicks hasn’t played since August 3. It may be a case of whatever he gives you offensively you take, but just cover the ground and play good defense. I also like him ninth because of his speed. He can steal, you can hit and run with him with DJ, there are nice options there.

The Astros front three of Greinke, Verlander and Cole seems to be better than the Yanks, but I wonder about something this time of year. They have been better than Tanaka, Paxton and Severino but will all those extra innings they pitched this year so far be to their detriment? Are the Yanks arms fresher (in the case of Severino, who missed most of this season, most definitely so)?

The IP this year (rounded to nearest out):

Greinke 209
Verlander 223
Cole 212

Tanaka 182
Paxton 151
Severino 12.

Who knows if those extra innings take a toll? I hope so.

Hopefully Stanton and Sanchez step up and have a good series, and key for the Yanks could be how Green and Ottavino do.

Since Hicks is coming off the IL, David Hale was DFA’d.

Starters set for first 3 games of ALCS. Times set for all.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The starters have been set for the first three games of the ALCS.

Game 1 Tanaka NY/ Greinke Hou
Game 2 Paxton NY/ Verlander Hou
Game 3 Severino NY/ Cole Hou

Games 1 and 2 are Saturday and Sunday at 8:08 in Houston. Fox Game 1 , FS1 Game 2

Game 3 in Ny at 4:08 Tuesday (rats, I work until 6 and will miss most of it).  FS1

Game 4 in NY at 808 Wednesday FS1

Game 5 in NY at 808 Thursday (if necessary) FS1

Game 6 in Hou at 408 Saturday if NLCS alive, 808 if NLCS over FS1 (if necessary)

Game 7 in Hou at 738 Sunday  FS1

All times Eastern.

 

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.

Game 3: Yanks sweep Twins, 5-1, to advance to ALCS. Other series still going on.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yankees beat the Twins, 5-1, Monday night to sweep the series and advance to the ALCS.

Of the four teams who had a chance to close out the series yesterday, only the Yanks did so.

The Twins have now lost 16 straight postseason games, 13 to the Yankees. The Yankees have beaten the Twins in every postseason match-up against them.

Gleyber Torres got the scoring started with a HR in the top of the second. 1-0 Yankees.

Luis Severino threw four shutout innings, but they were not clean. He got out of a bases-loaded, no out jam in the second. For the game, the Twins were 1 for 12 w/RISP.

The Yankees’ defense was superb. Gleyber Torres made a couple of fine plays, teaming up with D.J. LeMahieu on one of them. D.J. made a superb catch of a liner. Didi Gregorius made a diving catch, and Aaron Judge also chipped in with several fine defensive plays. Those fine plays saved runs and broke the Twins heart.

In the third, Gio Urshela led off with a double and scored two outs later on a Brett Gardner single. 2-0.

Severino got out of another jam in the bottom of the third.

In the seventh, Torres doubled and scored one out later on a single by Didi.

The Twins got a run on a HR in the eighth to cut it to 3-1.

The Yankees put the game away in the ninth when Cameron Maybin homered to make it 4-1, then Torres doubled, stole third, Sanchez walked, and Didi singled in another run. 5-1.

Maybin solo HR
Torres 3 hits. 2 doubles, solo HR.  Hit .417 in the three games. Huge hits.
Gregorius 2 hits, 2 RBI.  Big in Games 2 and 3.

Severino 4 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 W, 4 K.  In and out of trouble
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Ottavino 0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 0 K.  See below.
Green (WINNER) 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Britton (H, 2) 1 1/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 0 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Chapman (S) 1 1/3 IP,  0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 3 K.

Concerns? For the second time in the series, Ottavino faced just one batter and walked him.

Britton was removed after twinging his ankle but should be ok for the ALCS. The Yanks have four days off until the ALCS begins on Saturday. If the Yanks face Houston, the game will be in Houston, and if they face Tampa Bay, the game will be in NY.



Houston lost to Tampa Bay, 10-3, as Zach Greinke got lit up, giving up 3 HR, 6 runs, and getting knocked out in the fourth. Houston leads the series two games to one. Tampa Bay hit 4 HR in the game.  Game 4 tonight at 7 Eastern.

In the NL… (both series will conclude Wednesday).

Washington got a superb outing from Max Scherzer to even the series up at two games each. The final was 6-1 over the Dodgers. Anthony Rendon 3 RBI, Ryan Zimmerman a 3-run HR.

Yadi Molina tied the game in the eighth with a single and won it in the tenth with a SF as St. Louis edged Atlanta 5-4 to even that series at two games each. Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna had back-to-back HR for the Cardinals, and Ozuna hit 2 HR in the game.