Tag Archives: Kershaw

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.

 

 

 

Yanks to find out ALCS opponent tonight. NLCS set as both home teams lose Game 5 in stunning fashions.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks will find out their ALCS opponent tonight when the Tampa Bay Rays play the Houston Astros in Houston at 7 PM. If Tampa Bay wins, the Yanks have home field throughout the playoffs as long as they stay in (see below). If Houston wins, Houston does.

The NLCS is set as it’ll be St. Louis and Washington. Both away teams stunned the home opponents in the deciding Game 5 of their respective series.

St. Louis scored TEN runs in the top of the first inning and beat Atlanta 13-1. Ten in the top of the first. Talk about sucking the air out of a stadium right away. How would you like to have a ticket to that game, just settle in your seat, and THAT happens?

The defending two-time NL Champion Dodgers got knocked off, 7-3, in 10 innings by the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers blew a 3-1 eighth-inning lead. Since the Dodgers had a better record than the Yankees, the Yankees will now have WS home-field advantage IF Houston gets knocked out by Tampa Bay or the Yankees.

Clayton Kershaw’s postseason struggles continued. Pitching in relief, he gave up back-to-back homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto that tied up the game in the eighth. Kershaw has a 2.44 career regular season ERA, but it’s two runs higher in the postseason.

Howie Kendrick hit a grand slam in the top of the tenth to win it. Even going back to their days as the Montreal Expos, it’s the first time the franchise has won a postseason series since the Montreal Expos beat the Phillies in the 1981 Eastern Division strike-enforced playoff.

Stunning endings, both of them, and the way Washington beat Milwaukee in the WC game and now here against the Dodgers, you wonder…

 

 

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.

Game 132. German outduels Kershaw. Yanks win 5-1, hit 3 HR.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Domingo German may have come into the game 16-3, but he and his Yankees’ teammates knew they would have their hands full with Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has an MVP award, 3 CYA, and has finished twice as the CYA runnerup.

German matched Kershaw pitch for pitch. Bested him, even.

And a guy who didn’t start the game, but who came into the game as an injury replacement (Mike Ford) turned out to be the key to the game as the Yankees (85-47) won 5-1. With the win, their lead in the AL East goes to 9 games, and the magic # to clinch the division (barring any tiebreakers) goes to 22.

Both teams started off with a bang. D.J. LeMahieu hit the third pitch of the game for his 22nd HR of the season to put the Yanks up 1-0, but Domingo German’s first pitch of the game was hit for a HR by Joc Pederson to tie up the game.

Aaron Judge homered in the third inning (16) to put the Yanks up 2-1.

Brett Gardner made a great catch to end the third inning and save two runs.

Then, in the sixth, a shocker. Mike Ford, who didn’t start the game, but who replaced Didi Gregorius in the lineup when Didi had to leave with a sore shoulder after being hit by a pitch, homered off of Kershaw (6) to put the Yanks up 3-1.

Kershaw, who came into the game with a career ERA of 2.41, and who has career numbers that compare favorably to another lefty Dodger great (Sandy Koufax), doesn’t usually give up 3 HR in a game, and especially to guys like Ford, who has spent most of the year at AAA and who is a lefty hitter.

So after six innings, Kershaw had 11 K, but had given up four hits, three of them HR. He wound up with 12 K.

In the eighth, LeMahieu singled and Ford doubled him home to make it 4-1.

The Yanks got one more run in the ninth, when Brett Gardner singled, advanced to third on an error on a pickoff attempt, and scored on a single by Gio Urshela.

Yankees pitchers really did a good job containing Cody Bellinger (ex-Yankee Clay Bellinger’s son) all weekend long.

LeMahieu HR (22), 2 hits.  .331
Judge HR (16)
Ford HR (6), 2 hits, 2 RBI.

German (W, 17-3, 4.03) 6 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 2 W, 5 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Ottavino (H, 27)  2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.  1.61
Kahnle (H, 24) 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.   2.79
Britton (H, 28)   1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 1 K.  2.18
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 3 K.  2.31

Fischer, who gave up Mantle blast in 1963, dies. Free agency begins. A minor move by Yanks, and Texas has a new manager.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Free agency season has begun, and we will see how the bidding shakes out and who goes where.

Bill Fischer, the pitcher who gave up the HR on 5/22/1963 to Mickey Mantle that almost cleared Yankee Stadium, died Oct. 30 at the age of 88. The blast missed clearing the facade (frieze) by about 18 inches.

The Yanks made a minor move on Friday, getting infielder Hanser Alberto from Texas off the waiver line. Alberto, 26, plays all infield positions and has 89 games of MLB experience, hitting .192-0-9 in 182 MLB at bats, OPS+18. He is a righty batter. Like I said, a minor move.

Forget about Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers opting out of his contract. He signed a 3 yr. extension worth $93MM.

Texas named a new manager. Dodgers’ 3B coach Chris Woodward, who last year interviewed for the Yankees’ job that went to Aaron Boone, is the choice.

 

WS Game 5. Boston wins series; Pearce MVP.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Allow me to repeat the first couple of lines from yesterday’s blog.

A few years back, the Yanks were having some problems and I recommended that they bring up a certain journeyman who was tearing it up at SWB. A certain writer for a NY paper (who now works for MLB) criticized me for suggesting it.

Sometimes, all you need is to be given a chance.

The players’ name was Steve Pearce.

Last night, Pearce won the WS MVP award by hitting 2 HR (3 for the WS) as Boston won their fourth WS of this century (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018) by beating L.A. 5-1 to wrap up the Series in five games.

For L.A., it’s back-to-back WS losses.

Pearce got things started in the first with a 2-run HR off of Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, who can now opt out of his contract, for all his brilliance, somehow can’t get it together in the postseason. This was his second WS loss this year.

David Freese homered off of David Price to lead off the bottom of the first for L.A., but that was all they’d get. Price was great, and the Dodgers got 3 hits all night.

For Price, 2 WS wins after having had a career filled with postseason failure.

Mookie Betts homered in the sixth to make it 3-1 Boston.

J.D. Martinez homered in the seventh, 4-1.

Then Pearce capped off everything with his second HR of the game in the eighth for the final score of 5-1.

And it was Manny Machado who struck out for the WS’ last out.

Alex Cora, as a rookie manager, wins the WS. Boston led the majors with 108 wins in the regular season, then went 11-3 in the postseason.

So Yankees’ fans have to watch their archrival win the WS. They can only take solace in two things.

One, that no one has repeated since the Yankees threepeated in 1998-1999-2000. So maybe that streak continues next year.

Two, that the Red Sox began last century with WS wins in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 and we know how the rest of the century played out. The Babe Ruth trade to the Yankees. The “Curse of the Bambino.”

But somehow, I don’t see a “Curse of the Mookie” coming….

But hopefully next year for the Yanks.

We’ll see what moves the offseason brings and what awards are won by whom.

WS Game 1: Ex-Yank Nunez’ 3-run PH HR ices game for Boston, 8-4.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Ex-Yankee Eduardo Nunez hit a 3-run, PH HR in the bottom of the seventh to cap off an 8-4 Boston victory over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series.

Boston jumped on Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw for 2 runs in the first, thanks to an RBI single by Andrew Benintendi, who had four hits in the game. Matt Kemp homered for LA in the top of the second to cut it to 2-1.

Manny Machado, who drove in the other 3 Dodgers’ runs, tied it in the top of the third, but but J.D. Martinez, who singled in a run in the first, doubled in a run in the bottom of the third to make it 3-2 Boston.

LA tied it in the top of the fifth, but Boston got two in the bottom of the fifth to go up 5-3. In the top of the seventh, the Dodgers got a run to cut it to 5-4, but Nunez’ HR in the bottom of the seventh iced it for Boston.

Dodgers: Turner 3 hits, Freese 2 hits, Machado 3 RBI. Kemp HR. Kershaw the loss.
Red Sox: Benintendi 4 hits, Martinez 2 hits and 2 RBI, Nunez HR, 3 RBI. Leon 2 hits. Barnes the Win.

For Clayton Kershaw, another postseason dud. For all his regular season success…

Neither he nor Chris Sale pitched more than 4 innings.