Let’s get the caveats out of the way first. The Indians pitched really well Friday night. They played excellent defense. Plenty of other Jays hitters not named Martin made a lot of outs, too. And lineup order, in the grand scheme of things, is a relatively minor factor compared to many other variables that decide baseball games.
Dodgers. Nationals. One game for … well, some of the marbles.
Here are three factors to watch in the deciding Game 5 of this National League Division Series matchup.
The Nats have their ace going, while the Dodgers don’t.
Advantage … Dodgers?!
Some of the debate regarding whether or not the Dodgers should use Clayton Kershaw on short rest in Game 4 revolved around what a potential Game 5 matchup would look like.
The Indians were supposed to be outgunned. The Red Sox boasted the most potent offense in baseball, surging down the stretch to win the AL East handily, and peaking heading into October. Meanwhile, two of Cleveland’s top three starters got hurt, suffering injuries that knocked them out of the ALDS and leaving the club’s pitching staff seemingly too shorthanded to hang with the best teams in the American League.
Jonah Keri and his doppelgänger Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star and TSN discuss sports tragedies; reconciling the pluses and minuses of the Olympics; #sticktosports; athlete activism; controlling the message; “I’m all about love”; Jays, Raptors, and Leafs; the state of Canadian and American media; the secrets to success in journalism or any industry; and Bruce’s Life Tip.
Jonah Keri visits the North Side and South Side with Cubs play-by-play announcer Len Kasper and White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti about Hawk Harrelson; moving up the announcing ladder from bedbugs to the major leagues; producing a…
Madison Bumgarner is a cyborg.
That’s the only plausible explanation for what transpired Wednesday night at Citi Field, and what he’s done every time he’s taken the ball in the postseason since the 2012 World Series. It’s the only way to explain his unflappable demeanor, the only way to understand his unperturbed post-game interview following a game that would have most pitchers screaming out of their eyeballs, the only way to account for his supernatural sense of calm when the stakes are highest.
Vin Scully spent 67 years as the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, when the Dodgers closed the regular season with a game against the Giants, the many admirers Scully earned during that historic run got one last chance to hear the broadcaster’s soothing voice.
In the age of hot takes, it’s easy to get caught up in hyperbole. This is the best burrito on Earth. That’s the worst traffic jam in world history. Getting carried away with our opinions has become a national pastime.
With full awareness of that trend, I will say this: Buck Showalter just made the stupidest managerial decision I’ve ever seen.
Six months ago, we embarked on a long journey, one filled with brilliant bat flips, goofy GIFs and gobs of analysis. Today, we fete the 10 teams that survived the long slog to earn their way into the playoffs and look at one key player to watch for each.
One more for the road.
Jonah Keri splices tape with Dan Shulman of ESPN and Sportsnet about Toronto sports; the Canadian inferiority complex; the proliferation of Canadian basketball players; Dan’s start in radio; the Jewish career tree; moving to ESPN; basketball a…