Friday, October 7, 2016

SPORTS UPDATE MLB: NLDS Dodgers vs Nationals...ALDS Cleveland vs Boston

Dodgers hang on for Game 1 win over Nationals

 Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates his critical two-run homer in NLDS Game 1. (AP)

 

WASHINGTON --The only time Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw started a game against each other before Friday evening at Nationals Park was in September of 2008, back when they were both rookies. Since then they have evolved into perhaps the two best starting pitchers baseball as they entered this matchup in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
Neither Kershaw or Scherzer was at their sharpest, but the Dodgers hammered a pair of home runs off Scherzer to pull off a 4-3 victory and grab a 1-0 series lead. Game 2 is Saturday at 4 p.m. ET/1 PT on FS1.
Game Date Time Matchup TV
Gm 1 Oct. 7   LAD 4, WAS 3 FS1
Gm 2 Oct. 8 4 p.m. LAD @ WSH FS1
Gm 3 Oct. 10 4 or 6 p.m. WAS @ LAD MLBN
*Gm 4 Oct. 11 5 or 8 p.m. WAS @ LAD FS1
*Gm 5 Oct. 13 5 or 8 p.m. LAD @ WSH FS1
Corey Seager hit a solo homer in the first inning and Justin Turner launched a two-run homer in the third inning as Los Angeles raced out to a four-run lead. It seemed like more than enough for Kershaw, who had allowed more than four runs in a start only twice this season, but he was battling with his command for much of the night.
"With Corey, nothing surprises me and I think playing on playoff teams, on the road, to get that first run, is huge. It gives guys in the dugout a chance to exhale a little bit," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
The Nationals got back into the game with a two-run single from Anthony Rendon in the third inning and cut the lead to 4-3 with sacrifice fly from Trea Turner in the fourth, as Scherzer settled in to complete six innings. But Kershaw was able to pitch out of trouble and escape with the lead after throwing 101 pitches in five laborious innings.
The Dodgers bullpen took over from there to complete four scoreless innings, including a five-out save from closer Kenley Jansen.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Goodbye, old friend: Jansen escaped a two-out threat in the bottom of the eighth after one former Dodger, pinch-hitter Clint Robinson, doubled, when another former Dodger, pinch-hitter Chris Heisey, swung through a potential ball four before being called out on a borderline third strike to end the inning.
After two early homers, Scherzer settles in: Scherzer is one of the favorites to win the NL Cy Young award this season, but when he has ran into trouble this season, it has usually been because of the long ball. In fact, no pitcher in the NL surrendered more homers during the regular season than Scherzer (31). The Dodgers tagged him for two homers before Scherzer settled into the game, retiring eight consecutive batters at one point. He allowed four runs on five hits in six innings with five strikeouts.
"They were first-ball jumping early, like Seager did, so evidently everybody knows he's going to throw a lot of strikes and a lot of early strikes, because they attacked him in his last start like that," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.




ALDS Game 2: Cleveland on brink of ALCS after shutting out Red Sox

 Lonnie Chisenhall's three-run homer in the second inning proved to be the biggest play in Game 2 of the ALDS. (Getty Images/Jason Miller)

 

The demise of the Cleveland Indians may have been greatly exaggerated. Following a 6-0 win against the Boston Red Sox in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, the Indians now find themselves just one win away from advancing to the American League Championship Series.
After being written off as contenders in late September, the Indians are playing some impressive ball. Cleveland continued to pound Red Sox starting pitching Friday, scoring five runs against David Price and chasing him from the game after just 3 1/3 innings.
Cleveland ace Corey Kluber fared much better. Terry Francona didn’t have to resort to fancy bullpen management this time around, as Kluber tossed seven shutout innings during the win.
With the game in hand, Francona turned things over to Dan Otero and Bryan Shaw to finish things off. The two combined for two scoreless innings, giving the Indians a 2-0 lead in the series.
• After Francona burned through his bullpen in Game 1, the Indians desperately needed a strong start from Kluber. He delivered. Kluber not only gave Cleveland a scoreless performance, but managed to pitch seven innings during the contest. He allowed just three hits, striking out seven. Kluber’s performance saved Francona from having to burn through his relievers again.
• Brandon Guyer sure can hit lefties. The 30-year-old earned the start against Price for just that reason, and did not disappoint. In his first at-bat, Guyer drove in the first run of the game with a single. He would later come around to score on a Lonnie Chisenhall home run. Guyer would go on to single in the fourth, and then single and score a run in the sixth. He finished 3-for-3, with two runs scored and one RBI.
• Lonnie Chisenhall, on the other hand, isn’t exactly known for dominating left-handed pitching. That didn’t stop him from delivering the game’s biggest play in the second inning. With two men on base, Chisenhall clobbered a 94 mph fastball from Price out to right field for a three-run homer. The hit put the Indians up 4-0. It may have been Chisenhall’s only hit of the night, but it was a big one.
• David Price’s postseason woes continue. Price turned in the shortest start of his postseason career against Cleveland, giving up five runs over just 3 1/3 innings. In nine postseason starts, Price now owns a 5.74 ERA. His teams are 0-9 during those starts.
• David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez were baffled by Kluber all night. The Red Sox’s usually fearsome 4-5 punch looked punchless against the crafty right-hander. Ortiz and Ramirez combined to go 0-for-6 against Kluber, with two punch outs. They had opportunities to bring the Red Sox back into the game, but couldn’t capitalize, stranding five runners.
 Chisenhall’s big three-run bomb definitely changed the game for Cleveland. With the Indians up 1-0, his line shot off Price delivered a crushing blow to Boston’s chances. Making matters even more impressive, it was the first time all season Chisenhall went yard against a southpaw.

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