Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Wednesday, Oct. 25.
In losing game 1 of the World Series to the Dodgers last night, the Astros made history in several ways. They became the first team to appear as both a National League entry (2005) and an American League entry in the fall classic. They took part in the hottest World Series game ever played, with a gametime temp of 103 degrees in Los Angeles. Games have been played in 40-degree temps with an ice pick wind over the recent decades. And in losing 3-1 to Clayton Kershaw’s crew in just 2 hours 28 minutes they played the fastest World Series game since game 4 of the 1992 World Series. I was informed of this by Joe Block of the Pirates so I might mention the jackrabbit pace of the game in this forum.
In that game a quarter century ago the Jays’ Jimmy Key battled the Braves’ Tom Glavine. Both were known to be quick workers, which even then were a dying breed in baseball. The Braves had Glavine and Greg Maddux, but few others existed and even fewer just get the ball from their catcher and fire another pitch today. In that long ago game the Jays’ Pat Borders homered and led his side to a 2-1 win. Last night Clayton Kershaw made the difference on the hill. He struck out 8 in the first 5 innings and I wondered if Bob Gibson’s record of 17 strikeouts in a World Series game was in jeopardy. I needn’t have worried. Though he had 11 strikeouts with narry a walk, something only Don Newcombe of the old Brooklyn Dodgers had done in a World Series game, Kershaw didn’t answer the bell for the 8th inning. The only Astro to figure him out even briefly was Alex Bregman whose 4th-inning home run tied the game at 1. The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor hit the first pitch of the home half of inning number 1 out of the lot, catching Dodgers’ radio man Charlie Steiner off guard. Steiner was lost at sea as the ball flew out of the park and over 54,000 Dodgers’ supporters leapt to their feet for the first of 2 times that night in homage to a home team home run. In the 6th, Justin Turner hit a 2-run bomb to sever a 1-1 tie and give Kershaw and his bull pen all the breathing room they could want. Their setup man, Brandon Morrow was a man without a job as the 2017 season started. He’d been with dreadful teams in Seattle, Toronto and San Diego over the past decade and began 2017 on a minor league contract with the Dodgers. Back in August of 2010 Morrow struck out 17 Rays while he worked for the Blue Jays. He won the game on a one-hit shutout. He lost much of the 2013–15 seasons with a number of injuries but resurfaced as the 8th-inning man for the Dodgers setting things up for Kenley Jansen who got the save last night.
Going forward, the Astros will send out Justin Verlander tonight against the Dodgers’ Rich Hill. If temps remain as high as they were last night Hill could be in difficulty, as the hot weather would increase the risk of blisters that have been a perennial problem for Hill. While the Astros had to be careful not to schedule verlander to pitch on his bingo night, he’s their best option.
A word of thanks to Jake Query, an Indianapolis-based reporter and one of the radio broadcasters who cover the Indy 500. He read yesterday’s entry in this forum and enjoyed it, God love him. Besides baseball the 500 is a major deal to me, and attending it on some future Memorial Day weekend is the one thing that remains on my bucket list.0