Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Monday, Oct. 16.
When Dr. Charles Richter invented the Richter scale to measure earthquakes, there were two things he wasn’t counting on. He never imagined some of his colleagues would write and record a song about the Richter Scale which you can still hear on youtube. (He wasn’t at all pleased by the song, I might add.) He also never imagined the noise level that has shaken Dodger Stadium on two occasions since his death in 1985. Both seismic jolts which weren’t created by California’s many faults were in fact the product of walk-off home runs.
The first of these, in fact the first ever home run given that name was hit by Kirk Gibson at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 15, 1988 in game 1 of the World Series. The second man-made earthquake, also at Dodger Stadium occurred last night, 29 years to the day after Gibson’s iconic blast. In game 2 of the NLCS, in a 1-1 tie with the Cubs, the Dodgers’ Justin Turner launched a 3-run shot to dead center that shook Dodger Stadium and rattled seismographs on other continents. While Houston won on a walk-off single the night before, taking a 2-0 lead on the Yankees their win was a restrained affair compared to the wild roar from the crowd as Turner’s blast cleared the distant center field fence. Since the game ended the questions have circled Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon. Why not Wade Davis? Why the aged starter John Lackey? I have a couple of ideas. Lackey has been a starter all through his career. Maddon may have figured he was in for the long haul and put in Lackey hoping for multiple innings, betting on his hitters getting the game winner against the Dodgers. The home team had already used 4 pitchers. For the second night in a row the Dodger starter left after 5. It was Clayton Kershaw making an early exit on Saturday and Rich Hill last night, though there was no indication of the blisters that troubled him last October. Maddon’s master plan didn’t work. Instead of multiple innings, Lackey threw only 8 pitches, the last one leaving the lot by a good margin. Maddon said Davis was still recuperating after getting 7 outs Thursday night in Washington to propel the Cubs into the LCS. The Cubs and Dodgers return to action tomorrow in Chicago.
The Yankee spirits are as cloudy as the weather over New York hours before gametime. Like the Cubs, the Bronx Bombers are 2 games down heading back to their home ballpark. The Yankees are hoping for one more miracle similar to the one they pulled off against the Indians. No way did anybody give them a chance down 2 games to None a week ago Sunday. But Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t reading what the press had to say. He and Luis Severino tied the series setting up game 5 which the Yankees won in Cleveland. Now it’s CC Sabathia in game 3. Whatever CC has been over the years, he hasn’t lasted 5 innings since anybody can remember. Pedro Martinez got to be a 100-pitch man by the end. Now, CC is good for about 60 pitches, then he has to retire to his bed. His opponent in game 3 is Charlie Morton, a journeyman who the Yanks must beat to have any chance whatsoever. Sonny Gray goes tomorrow and up to now he’s been a disgrace. His ERA is above 8 in the playoffs and he wasn’t much good after being acquired from Oakland. The Astros will determine who pitches in game 4 based on what happens tonight. Tuesday’s Bronx tale will be told at 5 PM, with game 3 of the NLCS at 9 PM in frigid Chicago. The Dodgers’ Yu Darvish battles the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks tomorrow in the late night game.