Tag Archives: Clayton Kershaw

Chicago Cubs reach the first World Series in what seems like ever

anthonyrizzonlcslosangelesdodgersvchicagobw_zqzrlmqpl

[Box Score]
[Bleed Cubbie Blue] [Chicago Now] [Bleacher Nation] [Obstructed View]

October 22nd, 2016 was the fateful date in history that the Chicago Cubs were meant to take the National League pennant. If Cubs fans had known how this chapter in the story went all along – maybe their lives would have been a little more at ease.

The Cubs took it to Clayton Kershaw early and often. The game was somewhat uneventful until ‘Go Cubs Go’ played over the loudspeakers and the final out was recorded, partially due to the fact that it was never close and also because Kyle Hendricks was on.

Throwing what he said was his best performance of the year, Hendricks gave up a lead off single to Andrew Toles and then not another until the last batter he faced in the eighth inning.

Anthony Rizzo homered to make it 5-0. When that ball left the park, you really knew it was over. People preceded to cry in the stands. The sold out crowd sang the Cubbies victory song. Harry Caray was correct back in 1991 when he said that someday the Cubs would be in the World Series.

This blog has seen underachieving Cubs teams, Cubs teams that were talented but simply not ready, Cubs teams that lost 100 games and now finally a Cubs team that is the finest team in baseball.

On the way out, there is simply no knocking the Los Angeles Dodgers of 2016. They were a gritty, gutty team that was a lot of fun to watch. They were perhaps the second best team in all of baseball this season. They took this Cubs team to six games and deserve a ton of credit. You aren’t hearing the last out of that Dodgers nucleus. They just ran into a juggernaut Cubs team that will now open a World Series in Cleveland on Tuesday. Baseball history will be made.

Wrigleyville can rest easy, for once. There’s a fair chance it won’t at all.

NLCS Game Two: Kershaw Dazzles on a Sunday Night at Wrigley

claytonkershawnlcslosangelesdodgersvwg9ja-xc8ebl

[Box Score]

Clayton Kershaw gave the Dodgers the game they absolutely had to have from their ace. Seven scoreless innings, one walk, two hits, and six strikeouts at rabid Wrigley Field on a Sunday night to even the series. Kenley Jansen worked the final two innings for the save in a 1-0 ballgame. It’s becoming a theme of the 2016 postseason to see the relief ace in weird spots, before the ninth inning. And for the most part they’ve delivered.

And the offense in this game was as depressing as the late Sunday night it was played on. The lone run of the game came on an Adrian Gonzalez home run to center field.

After everything that happened in game one, we’ve got a series. And now there are three games in Los Angeles where the Dodgers just seem to have some added magic. This is going to be a long, great series if you couldn’t tell from the first two games.

Corey Seager kicks the Nationals-Dodgers series off with a Bang

coreyseagerdivisionserieslosangelesdodgersbetp7ktz101l

[BOX SCORE]

Man, the Nationals and the DODGERS. Wow. Two teams I love. This means no matter what, I’ll have a team to root for in the NLCS. I’ll sign up for that right now. This also means that a team that I really like has to die. It feels a little bit like I felt on this night, so many years ago.

Let me take you back to the Ironman Match, Wrestlemania X:

Yes, that’s how it feels. I liked Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid. But I LOVED Bret Hart. And damnit I didn’t know how to feel. My emotions were twisting inside me.

And it’s our first 2016 MLB Postseason post. Corey Seager has had so many huge moments this season, I don’t know where this one will rank. But as you’ll see, he DESTROYS a Max Scherzer pitch in the first inning to set the tone.

And suddenly I didn’t know how to feel. My wife is making me feel guilty – telling me we named our daughter after Bryce Harper – and how could I root against that? I wasn’t. I just like both of these teams and whoever emerges here is my horse.

All in all, it wasn’t the pitching duel that Sonny Koufax flew out to Washington for. Maybe he lives there, Hell I don’t know.

Clayton Kershaw went five to get the victory, but was just satisfactory. Scherzer went six and allowed all four Dodgers earned runs, including another big bomb to Justin Turner.

Game two tomorrow, and I won’t have to worry about who to root for because I’ll be at a pumpkin patch telling my two-year old not to touch the goat because the goat has disease. So, there you go.

Report: Clayton Kershaw ‘feels 100%’

635977309923705708-USP-MLB-SAN-DIEGO-PADRES-AT-LOS-ANGELES-DODGERS-81585443

And everyone thought the biggest arm the Dodgers *might* be getting back this season was Rich Hill when his gangrene blister heals.

Clayton Kershaw is feeling better after a recent throwing session, and has a plan in place for his return. He just won’t say what that plan entails.

“We’ve got a good plan in place to where I feel like I can contribute,” Kershaw said. “And, hopefully, if I’m pitching well enough, make a difference. Or, at least, help out.”

So after all the ambiguity and doubt; well, there’s more ambiguity of course. But it sounds like Kershaw is coming back this season. It’s good for baseball, and it makes the Dodgers a legitimate World Series threat. It sucks for fantasy owners that moved Kershaw because back surgery was oh so certain a short while ago.

But we’re glad Kershaw is feeling better and will have some say in this season. I still don’t recall a Kershaw postseason gem like the ones I remember Roy Halladay or others throwing, if there has been one. I need to go back and look.

Okay, I looked and there has been at least one.

Dodgers lose Kershaw, win series finale in Milwaukee with a Seager bomb

i

After getting shut out and two-hit by the likes of Gents game whore Junior Guerra, the Dodgers were in desperate need of a good performance today. It actually would have been a great day to lay some money on them.

They got a big swing from MVP candidate – you heard me – Corey Seager. He hit his 17th home run of the season, and the Dodgers won the game 8-1 in Milwaukee.

We already covered the wonderful Kershaw epidural news that broke today. The Dodgers also marked this day as the day they added Bud Norris to help preserve their lead in the Wildcard standings.

They just need to get back to that magical stadium of theirs on the West coast and let the voice of Vin Scully carry them to some late night wins. With Corey Seager and Vin Scully, anything is possible.

Fuccccckkkkkkk. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Clayton+Kershaw+Washington+Nationals+v+Los+FM1iN6v9aWBl

Because pitchers seemingly always go from having record setting seasons to ‘maybe missing a start’ to on the 15-day disabled list out of the pure blue; I mean what the hell is this anyway?

No big deal, I just traded Bryce Harper away in a fantasy league for Kershaw (never, ever trust a fucking pitcher). In regards to fantasy baseball, I quit.

As an aside, I have sort of jumped on the Dodgers as my National League team with the Reds twisting in the wind as a franchise. So there’s that in play as well.

None of this really makes any sense. If Kershaw was really as hurt as they’re saying, you don’t put up the numbers that he was putting up.

The cherry on the sundae is going to be watching the Giants in the world series again in October. I just know it.

I’m going to go hang myself now with a pair of my non-matching dress socks. Have a good one.

Bryce Harper homers off Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium

Clayton Kershaw was so good, so on his game last evening in Los Angeles that he only allowed three hits in eight innings of work. This was the only one that counted for anything in a Dodgers 4-1 win.

No sooner did Vin Scully finish telling viewers of the broadcast that Bryce Harper was a ‘pleasant fellow’ when the lightning quick bat flipped through the zone; and oh-my-gosh Bryce Harper just took the game’s best pitcher deep into the Chavez Rivine night to legit right-center on a night when he’s got his best stuff.

In our opinion, that’s why this one – the 53rd home run of Bryce Harper’s big league career – is his most epic yet. It came on a night when he started in centerfield, at a ballpark where he’s had a season of his career wrecked.

It’s obvious that there are just few left-handed hitters in the game who can do this to Kershaw. It’s obvious that this shows what Harper is capable of when he’s right and he’s on. But more than anything it’s just epic that he took top-of-his-game Kershaw out to those deep yellow bleachers in a pitchers’ park on a night when Kershaw was nearly unhittable (and had owned Harper pretty good in the first two at-bats).

Clayton Kershaw brings more storied history to Los Angeles with one of the greatest games thrown since 1913

Clayton+Kershaw\

[No Hitter Box Score]

[LA Times] [Dodgers Digest]

I watch the Dodgers almost every night. Last night I was feeling rather tired from an early morning start, and I passed out in about the third inning; before history started to weave a magical web.

Wouldn’t you know that I missed it all. I missed the finest game thrown in 100 years, waking up in the middle of the night to a swarm of ESPN alert texts about the historic game that Kershaw threw.

I’ve got to document it here. It was one of the greatest games ever thrown. It ranks right there with Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout performance one-hitter from back when we were in high school.

I hate myself not just for missing Kershaw’s game, but for missing Vin Scully calling it. This was probably one of the last great moments that Scully will tell the story for up in the booth.

Sure, the Rockies weren’t at full-strength. But they are a formidable lineup who has actually handled Kershaw very well as a group. That it went down in Dodger Stadium on a Wednesday night in June; well that just shows why this sport is so amazing.

It can grab you, sweep you up, captivate you at any moment because just that quickly and randomly it can be so magical.

Clayton Kershaw has the first no-hitter of his career. None of the youngsters were awake to see it, just like back in April of 1993 when Chris Bosio threw his no-hitter at the Kingdome; I remembered hearing about the big deal the next morning but I was fast asleep when he completed it.

Magic in a Time Capsule forever:

Anonymous MLB Players are polled to the tune of interesting results

highlight-bryce-harper-ua-spine-3

Over the years – it has became a rarer and rarer occurrence for ESPN to have a feature that really reaches out and grabs you. Today, they posted an item that will be featured in the upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine that is about as ‘must-read’ as it gets for a baseball fan.

Here’s what we learned (actually, we’ll highlight the graphic above since you know exactly what we learned):

  • 24% of polled MLB players feel Bryce Harper is the most overrated player in the game. He’s followed up closely by Yasiel Puig at 21%. I guess that means we have an affinity for overrated guys.
  • 81% of those polled feel baseball is ready for an openly gay player.
  • Best estimate at the percentage of players still taking PED’s is 9.4%.
  • Mike Trout was voted an overwhelming 56% as the best player in the game. Agree wholeheartedly there.
  • It’s about a split on if the polled players want Alex Rodriguez kicked out of the players union.
  • Clayton Kershaw has mad, league-wide respect.

In all, 143 players were polled. Any time we can get a look inside the mind of what those inside the game feel and believe, it’s worth reading. This would include takes from professional scouts, and it would certainly include players themselves like this poll did.

And as for the most important takeaway take from the whole bit – Bryce Harper has been a bit overrated so far – even if he’s been pretty good. If his career has one feel to it, that’s the word you might use to describe it. It’s not a bad thing because the best is yet to come.

Australian Opener Game one is in the books; Dodgers win 2-1

sydneydodgersdbacks

[Box Score]

I woke up at 2:00 AM and barely hung on through the rain delay at Sydney Cricket Ground early this morning. I stayed up through the entire game – and although I’m exhausted this morning – damn it feels good to have baseball back.

The Dodgers are 1-0, winning the opener on foreign soil 3-1. Scott Van Slyke was the offensive hero, but the real story was probably what a horse effort Clayton Kershaw offered. On 102 pitches, Kershaw struck out seven and walked just one to get the win; the 78th of his young career.

Wade Miley wasn’t bad for the Diamondbacks. He went 5 and 2/3, striking out eight and walking two. Yasiel Puig went 0 for 5 with three bad-looking strike outs.

Game two is tonight at 10:00 PM here in the Midwest. I already can’t wait.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 Team Preview

Yasiel Puig is the Dodgers Straw that Stirs the Drink.
Yasiel Puig is the Dodgers Straw that Stirs the Drink.

It was last season in late June and early July, and we were in Las Vegas sitting in a sportsbook at the Belagio when it hit us: why don’t we take some money out of our emergency savings, and plunk it down on the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the whole damn thing? It almost seemed too easy. The Dodgers were just starting to get on a roll but the oddsmakers really weren’t onto them just yet. A lot stood to be made if someone had the gusto to plunk down the bet.

And as a wise gambler once told us; this is exactly why you do not bet. Luckily, we talked ourselves out of it and stayed away from it. But it was maybe only because we had a marriage to worry about if things didn’t work out for the Dodgers in the postseason.

Los Angeles would soon thereafter go on a 46-10 roll. National League pitchers seemed to figure out Yasiel Puig, but not entirely. The Dodgers ran into a buzzsaw of a team in St. Louis whose rotation got hot at just the right time, and looking back that St. Louis team excelled at all the small things that the star-power Dodgers did not. Small execution, great defense, and exceptional pitching helped the Cardinals prevail.

We were happy to see the legendary Dodgers succeed. We would have been fine with them taking the title last year. It’s good for baseball when the Dodgers are good. In our opinion, they play in America’s most enchanting city, in a gem of a stadium in the sunshine, with the grandfather of baseball calling their games late-night in the Midwest all by himself.

They have an eclectic roster and a charismatic ownership group. Their GM looks like a guy who could have you whacked. There are a lot of things to love about this team heading into 2014.

Major Off-season Moves:

  • Signed Clayton Kershaw to a 7-year, $215 million dollar contract.
  • Michael Young retired.
  • Signed  Don Mattingly to an extension through 2016.
  • Signed Jamey Wright.
  • Signed Chris Perez.
  • Re-signed Juan Uribe to a 2-year, $15 million dollar contract.
  • Signed Alexander Guerrero to a 4-year, $28 million dollar contract.

And you’re damn right we’re bullish on the Dodgers. Did 2013 scare us off a little bit with the way they eroded in the NLCS? Absolutely not. We started with this team because we’re picking them to win the whole damn thing in 2014. As we have been so often in life (and sometimes not enough), we were just a year early on the Dodgers. They’re a year better, a year wiser, and they’re going to still come into your town and stomp your team and probably drink all the tequila your city has to offer this season. Click through the jump to learn more about our projected 2014 champions.

Continue reading Los Angeles Dodgers 2014 Team Preview

The Baseball Show: Kershaw’s Contract and Other Tidbits

Clayton Kershaw

Last night on The Baseball Show, M.J. Lloyd and I attempted to pass the winter time by talking a little hot stove. Topics covered on the podcast this week were as follows:

-Thoughts on Clayton Kershaw’s 7-year, $215 million dollar contract
-We handicap where Masahiro Tanaka might land.
-A story about Kershaw/Greinke/Tanaka’s Agent Casey Close calling me in college
-Reaction to Alex Rodriguez’s situation
-Thoughts on the Chicago White Sox quietly solid offseason acquisitions
-If you were attending a fantasy camp, what veteran former players or managers would you want running the camp?
-The return of RBI Baseball ’14

As always there are many more gems in between – so use the Friday workday to listen to two guys having a great time talking about the greatest game on earth!

The Dodgers Cowboy Up, Force Game Six in St. Louis

i

[Box Score]
[Los Angeles Times]

You have to give the Dodgers some credit. I truly thought they were done, and when Zack Greinke loaded the bases in the first inning of NLCS game five today, I was sure they were done. Then I had a prophetic feeling about things:

Greinke was able to get Yadier Molina to hit into a double play, and the Dodgers seemed to gain momentum from it all. From there they scratched across two runs, with Adrian Gonzalez starting the rally and Yasiel Puig keeping it going. Greinke singled in Puig. But the Cardinals would not go down quietly.

A Carlos Beltran triple and Matt Holliday double evened scoring at 2-2. Then the Dodgers got the lift they needed.

Gonzalez homered deep into the pavilion in right field to give the Dodgers the lead. They wouldn’t trail again in the game. He would add a second home run later in the game, and the Dodgers that had failed to homer for the entire series ended up with four on the day (Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis got in on the act).

Greinke bridged the gap nicely over to Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen, and the Dodgers held on for a 6-4 victory. They might lose this series, but they got it to Clayton Kershaw. They might lose this series, but they defended their home field in a noble manner and refused to have their season end on their field.

All the while, Don Mattingly seems to keep things cool in his meetings with the press. After a tough loss last night he said that he knew that they were going to come out and play hard, and that seemed good enough for him to resign to for the evening. After the game today he remarked that the Dodgers have become ‘America’s Team’ because the country wants to see a game seven. At this point, they’re a flashy team playing with house money. That’s somewhat dangerous.

On Friday night – they’ll have Clayton Kershaw going on five day’s rest. And we’ll all get another night of entertainment out of this team. That’s really what it’s all about this time of year if your team is out of it. They’ll get a chance to give Michael Wacha all he can handle and get a little redemption. And although they’ve shown some of their makeup with a win like today, we’ll see just exactly what this Dodger team is made of on Friday night. It would be an incredible feat to force a game seven against this seemingly unstoppable rebel force Cardinal team.