Skip to content

Let’s gear up for another incredible day of baseball

Oct 11, 2012, 8:13 AM EDT

A's celebration

In case you missed any of yesterday’s mind-boggling action I offer you two things. First, my condolences, because you missed one of the best days of baseball in recent memory. Second, I offer you a quick set of links explaining to you how incredible it was:

But that was yesterday. Today we strap in for another twelve amazing hours of baseball, complete with two certain elimination games and two potential elimination games. And they break down like this:

Giants vs. Reds, 1:07 PM, TBS:  Matt Cain vs. Mat Latos for the right to advance to the NLCS. The Reds are at home, but home field has meant nothing in this series. Perhaps more meaningful: the Reds have beaten up Matt Cain pretty well this year, with the Giants ace going 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA and six homers in 18 innings against the Reds in 2012. Meanwhile, Latos was 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two starts against the Giants. The Reds have mostly outplayed the Giants and have certainly outhit them over the four games in this series, but the Giants have shown tremendous resolve. This is a tossup.

Cardinals vs. Nationals, 4:07 PM, TBS: Kyle Lohse against a man in Ross Detwiler who wouldn’t be in this postseason rotation if not for the shutdown of Stephen Strasburg.  But the talk of the woulda, coulda, shouldas of the pitching staff will have to wait for the winter. Right now the Nationals need to figure out how to hit again, because their lack of offense these past two games has killed them every bit as much as their poor pitching. As for the Cardinals: we’re now on two straight years of no one really taking them seriously as a playoff team. Last year, that made some sense. This year, as the defending World Series champs, far less sense. It’s almost as if these guys are showing us that playoff experience makes a difference.

Orioles vs. Yankees, 7:37 PM, TBS: How do you get up off the mat after sustaining the gut punch that was Raul Ibanez’s ninth inning home run and the knockout punch that was his 12th inning bomb? If you’re the Orioles you try to shake it off and tell yourself that, contrary to all of the stuff going on in front of you, there is no such thing as Yankee Mystique and Aura. Probably. You also hope that the not-so-good version of Phil Hughes shows up for the Yankees and the good version of Joe Saunders shows up for you.  Because really, these are two guys who are each capable of a short outing, and we should not expect another tense matchup like we saw with Kuroda and Gonzalez yesterday.  Yesterday’s blasts notwithstanding, the O’s have the better bullpen and this is a game in which they’ll likely need it again. For the Yankees, after pulling A-Rod for a hero pinch hitter, and after all of his struggles, what do you do with your $250,000,000 man?

Tigers vs. Athletics, 9:37 PM, TNT: OK, Tigers, get off the ground. Shake it off. I realize that your heart attack-inducing closer coughed up a two run lead when you were three outs from winning the series, but that’s the past and the future is brighter. Why? Because over there in that hangar you have a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II in the form of Justin Verlander, warmed up and ready to fire missiles against Oakland A’s hitters who, yesterday’s rally notwithstanding, have not been all that hot. If you’re a betting man, you take the otherworldly ace over the possibility of improbable comebacks and walkoff wins every time.  The only question is, after yesterday’s Jose Valverde meltdown, what on Earth does Jim Leyland do if he gets to the ninth inning with a lead?  My suggestion: set Verlander’s pitch count at approximately 195.

Strap in, baseball fans. Turn your TV on at 1PM Eastern and don’t touch that dial. And while you’re watching, have your computer, tablet or smartphone with you locked in to HardballTalk, because we’re gonna have this stuff covered like nobody’s business.

Latest Posts
  1. Tanner Roark to fill in for Doug Fister in Nationals’ rotation

    May 23, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 13:  Relief pitcher Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on May 13, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Tanner Roark posted a 2.85 ERA across 31 starts last season, but the Nationals moved him to the bullpen after signing Max Scherzer to a huge contract over the winter. That depth is coming in handy now that Doug Fister is sidelined.

  2. Johnny Cueto scratched from Sunday’s start due to elbow soreness

    May 23, 2015, 12:59 PM EDT

    Johnny Cueto Getty Images

    Cueto has been bothered by “general stiffness” dating back to his last start on Tuesday.

  3. Marlins players skipped annual team charity event this week

    May 23, 2015, 11:43 AM EDT

    marlins logo wide

    Things are really ugly with the Marlins right now, both on and off the field.

  4. Hyun-Jin Ryu had been pitching through a labrum tear since 2012

    May 23, 2015, 11:15 AM EDT

    <> at Dodger Stadium on April 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. Getty Images

    The Dodgers knew about Ryu’s labrum tear before signing him to a six-year, $36 million contract in December of 2012.

  5. Report: Orioles agree to a deal with Cuban left-hander Ariel Miranda

    May 23, 2015, 10:29 AM EDT

    orioles logo

    Miranda, 25, pitched in Cuba’s Serie Nacional from 2007-2013 and posted a 3.78 ERA over 64 starts and 16 relief appearances

  6. Video: Dee Gordon steals four bases against the Orioles

    May 23, 2015, 9:40 AM EDT

    MIAMI, FL - MAY 22:  Dee Gordon #9 of the Miami Marlins slides safely into second base under the tag of Jimmy Paredes #38 of the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Marlins Park on May 22, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The Marlins have lost eight games in a row and are now 0-5 under new manager Dan Jennings, but at least Dee Gordon is doing some cool things.

  7. Settling the Score: Friday’s results

    May 23, 2015, 8:57 AM EDT

    The Kansas City Royals' Kendrys Morales is congratulated after a three-run home run in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday, May 22, 2015. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images) Getty Images

    A quick recap of a busy Friday around MLB, including the rolling Royals.

  8. Video: Mike Trout makes a ridiculous slide to beat the tag at third base

    May 22, 2015, 11:59 PM EDT

    Mike Trout Mike Trout

    Mike Trout is pretty good at this baseball thing.

  9. Marlins place Henderson Alvarez and Mat Latos on the disabled list

    May 22, 2015, 11:40 PM EDT

    Henderson Alvarez Henderson Alvarez

    Bad news for the reeling Marlins: starters Mat Latos and Henderson Alvarez both will take at least a couple of weeks off due to injuries.

  10. Ichiro Suzuki passes Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list

    May 22, 2015, 11:05 PM EDT

    Ichiro Suzuki Ichiro Suzuki

    Ichiro Suzuki may be close to the end of a brilliant career, but he’s not done moving up baseball’s all-time leaderboards.

  11. Video: Bryce Harper ties for MLB lead in homers, Nelson Cruz quickly unties (again)

    May 22, 2015, 10:25 PM EDT

    Bryce Harper Bryce Harper

    Nelson Cruz kept pace with Bryce Harper, taking back the MLB lead in home runs shortly after losing it.

  12. Billy Beane: “I’m not trading [Stephen] Vogt. Period.”

    May 22, 2015, 9:35 PM EDT

    Stephen Vogt Stephen Vogt

    Stephen Vogt has been baseball’s best-hitting catcher and GM Billy Beane plans to hold onto him.

  13. Video: Athletics closer Sean Doolittle gets some media training

    May 22, 2015, 8:40 PM EDT

    Sean Doolittle Sean Doolittle

    Athletes aren’t born with an ability to speak with the media. We got a look into a media coaching session between Athletics closer Sean Doolittle and girlfriend Eireann Dolan.

  14. Dodgers acquire Eric Surkamp from the White Sox

    May 22, 2015, 7:51 PM EDT

    Eric Surkamp Eric Surkamp

    The Dodgers added some pitching depth on Friday, acquiring pitcher Eric Surkamp from the White Sox.

  15. White Sox push back Carlos Rodon’s next start

    May 22, 2015, 7:45 PM EDT

    Carlos Rodon Carlos Rodon

    The White Sox are managing Carlos Rodon’s workload so they pushed the lefty’s start back from Monday.

  16. Coco Crisp likely headed to the disabled list, but will avoid surgery

    May 22, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

    Coco Crisp Coco Crisp

    Coco Crisp will go back on the disabled list, but has chosen against having career-ending surgery.

  17. Mets to utilize a six-man rotation after Dillon Gee returns Saturday

    May 22, 2015, 6:05 PM EDT

    Dillon Gee Dillon Gee

    The Mets appear to be heading towards using a six-man rotation after Dillon Gee returns on Saturday.

  18. A Rays affiliate planned, and then cancelled, “A-Rod Juice Box” night

    May 22, 2015, 4:47 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez Getty Images

    The Yankees firmly believe that the only people allowed to disparage Alex Rodriguez are the Yankees.

  19. Red Sox call up Rusney Castillo, demote Jackie Bradley Jr.

    May 22, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Rusney Castillo AP AP

    Castillo is starting tonight in right field.

  20. Casey Janssen is healthy, ready to make his Nationals debut

    May 22, 2015, 2:50 PM EDT

    Casey Janssen Getty Images

    Janssen was signed for $5 million to replace Tyler Clippard as the Nationals’ primary setup man.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Travis (3977)
  2. J. Hamilton (3494)
  3. R. Castillo (3354)
  4. J. Garcia (3239)
  5. L. McCullers (3209)
  1. J. Reyes (3023)
  2. B. Harper (3022)
  3. H. Ryu (3015)
  4. C. Dickerson (3009)
  5. Y. Puig (2994)