Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Tuesday, October 11.
All over Chicagoland and by extension across Cubs Nation, if you’re at work at all this morning you’re in for a long, long working day following last night’s 13-inning Giants 6-5 win that ended in the neighborhood of 3 AM Eastern Time. Before I even begin to detail the contest, this is a good reason not to allow games to start at 9:30 Eastern, no matter how many networks have to be brought into the mix. As it is now, Fox and TBS have exclusivity on the LDS. So, Fox had the 4 PM Dodgers-Nats game which, though it went only 9 innings took over 4 hours to play. The Nats won it 8-3 by the way. Also the Indians swept the Red Sox, but more of them later. Fox then had the 9:30 Cubs-Giants game. If, say the two ESPN networks had each gotten one of the 4 LDS series, there would be no reason for a game to start as grotesquely late or end at such an ungodly hour.
For the many who were abed when the game began, Jake Arrieta made Madison Bumgarner look human by crashing a 3-run home run off him in the second inning. So much for the Angry Hobo’s streak of 24 scoreless postseason innings. Whitey Ford’s record lives. MadBum barely survived 5 innings and was on the hook until the Giants pulled ahead with a 3-run 8th. Conor Gillaspie put up a two-run triple off Aroldis Chapman and the Giants took a 5-3 lead into the 9th. Closing a game has been Mission Impossible for the shambles that is the Giants’ bull pen late in the season, so it should have surprised nobody that Chris Bryant slammed a two-run game-tying home run off Sergio Romo in the visiting 9th. In the home 13th, Joe Panik dobled home the winning run off Mike Montgomery, a Cubs’ starter working his fifth inning from the pen. By so doing he enabled the Giants to fight another day, this time an 8:30 PM start tonight also in their home ball park by the bay.
We’re done with Big Papi, David Ortiz. The Indians bid him farewell by sweeping the Red Sox in 3 straight. Last night’s game ended 4-3 Indians at Fenway Park. The Tribe faces the Toronto Blue Jays in game 1 of the ALCS this coming Friday night. They have the home field against the Jays. Josh Tomlin went 5, followed by Andrew Miller, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen to keep the Sox off the board and stop them going forward. Allen, the Indians’ closer had little or nothing but got the job done all the same in spite of putting two men on in each inning.
At Chavez Ravine, a 9th-inning meltdown by Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen turned a 4-3 game into an 8–3 rout that played out over 4 painful hours. The Nats now have a 2 games to one lead over the Dodgers. Anthony Rendon unloaded a two-run home run in the Nats’ third inning during which they scored their first four runs. Jason Werth hit a solo shot to spark the 4-run 9th-inning eruption. Corey Seager had doubled home the game’s first run in the home first inning. For the second outing in a row Kenta Maeda brought nothing to the mound. Carlos Ruiz, the old Phillies’ catcher now with the Dodgers closed the gap to 4-3 with a pinch-hit home run in the home 5th. What Kenley Jansen was doing in the 9th of a non-save game is anybody’s guess but he surely wasn’t pitching well. This leaves the Dodgers in a desperate spot, so Clayton Kershaw will pitch game 4 on only 3 days rest against the Nationals’ Joe Ross. At age 23 he has never pitched in the postseason before. He’s won 7, losing 5 in just over 100 innings pitched. Like any pitcher he has a formidable task going against Kershaw, one of the best in the game today.
When the Cubs and Giants meet tonight at 8:30 PM, John Lackey of the Cubs faces Matt Moore for the home team. Lackey pitched postseason ball as early as 2002 with the Angels.
A Yankee playoff hero, Orlando El Duque Hernandez is 51 today. He began with the Yankees as a 32-year-old rookie from Cuba and put up a 90–65 record before ending his career in 2007 with the other New York team, the Mets. He won 3 World Series with the Yankees, 1998–2000 and one in 2005 with the White Sox. He was playing international baseball for the Cuban team as early as 1988. In 1998, his first Yankee year he was 12–4 on a team which won 114 regular season games. He topped that by going 17-9 the next year. He was 8–1 in the postseason in his first 3 years, prompting talk show host Jim Rome to joke that nobody would shoot him if he lost a game now and then. El Duque pitched for the White Sox, D-Backs and Mets after leaving the Yankees at the end of 2004. When he was pitching the world thought he was born in 1969. But a skeleton from his closet-a Cuban divorce-declared him to have been born in 1965.
Former pitcher Bill Fisher is 86 today. He gave up one of the two home runs Mickey Mantle nearly hit out of Yankee Stadium. He hailed from Wausau, Wisconsin and played in the show between 1956 and 1964. During 1962 he went 82.1 innings without walking a man. He was later pitching coach for Cincinnati, Boston and Tampa Bay. His son Tom pitched for AA New Britain when we broadcast there.