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Jim Furtado
Founder & Publisher
Editor - Baseball Primer


Hideo Nomo, Kaz Sasaki, Dodgers, Mariners Newsbeat

Saturday, October 22, 2016

A well-rested Kenley Jansen makes Cubs’ task more daunting | New York Post

The star closer will be on three days’ rest Saturday for Game 6 of the NLCS, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Jansen is an option as early as the seventh inning if Clayton Kershaw needs help.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 10:14 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Dodgers turn once again to Clayton Kershaw, this time fully rested but with no margin for error - LA Times

If you are a Dodgers fan, who better to keep your team alive?

Kershaw tends to pitch better on regular rest. In his career, he has a 2.31 earned-run average in the regular season on four days’ rest. His ERA rises to 2.61 when he receives five days off.

But these are unique circumstances. His output has been extraordinary these past two weeks. He started Game 1 of the division series against Washington on Oct. 7, and pitched on three days of rest in Game 4. He helped the team avoid elimination, then two days later he collected the final two outs of the clincher at Nationals Park in Game 5.

Three days after that, he took the ball at Wrigley Field. He emerged victorious, allowing just two hits in a 1-0 win, though his effectiveness appeared to wane during the sixth and seventh innings. Kershaw acknowledged that the Cubs might feel more comfortable seeing him pitch again so soon.

“There’s no secrets, anyway, in the game right now,” he said. “There’s so much information. They know every pitch that I throw and every count and every situation. So it’s just a matter of not really focusing on that and just trying to compete every single pitch and execute every single pitch. You maybe have a little less margin for error facing them the second time, but just be better, I guess.”

At a news conference Thursday, a few hours before the Dodgers dropped Game 5, a reporter asked Kershaw about his “excitement” about the challenge that awaits him.

“I don’t know if excitement’s the right word,” he replied.

What is the right word?

“I don’t know; that’s such a deep thought,” Kershaw said with a wry smile. “I don’t know if I have a word for it. But I think you do everything you can to try and keep it just like another start at the beginning.

“Then, obviously, the magnitude and the situation of the game kind of raises everybody’s adrenaline and things like that. But I’m trying to keep it the same right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, cubs, dodgers

In Cubdom, the anticipation is brimming, the eagerness palpable - Chicago Tribune

After the Red Sox, I’m a Cubs fan. Unlike a true Cubs fan, I’m not feeling the angst that I felt with the Red Sox. The tips I can give are: keep the faith, keep a paper bag handy, and have something you can destroy in the backyard, just in case.

“It’s within our reach right now,’’ Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “We’re not going to run away from anything.’‘

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:05 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Beating Clayton Kershaw is Cubs’ biggest barrier to 1st pennant since 1945 - Chicago Tribune

I’m not sure the word “advantage” applies to Clayton Kershaw.

“I always think the advantage goes to the hitters when you’re seeing a guy (in back-to-back starts),” Anthony Rizzo said. “But we’ll have to execute and capitalize on every detail.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 22, 2016 at 09:03 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Friday, October 21, 2016

Behind Dodgers’ plan to escape their own misery | New York Post

“We know the media and fans are going to be biased about winning tonight’s game,” Kasten said. “That is not a productive guiding vision for building a franchise. … If you only have short-term goals, you cannot have sustained long-term success.”

So, the Dodgers protected Game 4 starter Urias and their now best player Seager, and used the next level of prospects to get Game 3 winner Rich Hill plus Josh Reddick. The combination had them in as good a position to win that first title since 1988, without jeopardizing chances to keep on going for it.

“It is largely correct that the playoffs are a crapshoot,” Kasten said. “So if you think you can lock something up in just one year by going all in, that is folly. I know our chances of winning a championship are better if we win eight out of 10 division titles.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 21, 2016 at 06:38 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

What we learned: The Dodgers can’t hit Jon Lester

It was a good, tense game until it wasn’t. After back-to-back shutouts, the Chicago Cubs have now scored 18 runs the past two games of the National League Championship Series after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in Game 5 on Thursday. The series heads back to Wrigley Field, and we all know what’s at stake.

at the end you will see why I posted this.

Meatwad Posted: October 21, 2016 at 03:20 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Putting value of Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal in the proper frame

Sam Miller appreciates Yasmani Grandal work behind the plate. Maybe a little too much.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2016 at 11:23 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, yasmani grandal

Upon further review, Adrian Gonzalez remains unhappy | FOX Sports

How does replay improve the game? Still not a fan.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2016 at 08:27 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: adrian gonzalez, dodgers, replay

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hill’s biggest start works out just fine - LA Times

He carved them up with curveballs.

“It’s interesting,” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said. “Of the starts I’ve seen him this year, that wasn’t his best stuff. I think that curveball command wasn’t as I know he would like it. But that just shows he goes out there and competes.

“His preparedness, his guts really kept those guys at bay.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2016 at 09:16 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Slumping Cubs looking at shattered dreams | FOX Sports

“It ain’t over till it’s over”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 19, 2016 at 06:39 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How NLCS spotlights the depth required in MLB’s new age | New York Post

“Having star players and depth should not be mutually exclusive,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 18, 2016 at 10:53 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers

Monday, October 17, 2016

Nobody promised Dodgers would be easy, but it’s not time to panic | Chicago Sun-Times

I’ve been there. Deep breaths and keep the faith.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2016 at 06:36 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Kenley Jansen finds relief in role as Dodgers’ closer | FOX Sports

Free agent about to get very, very rich.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 17, 2016 at 06:34 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, kenley jansen, playoffs

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dodgers vs. Cubs Preview | 10/16/16

Thanks to MLB for scheduling both games at the same time. They really don’t want me to watch.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 16, 2016 at 02:01 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Dodgers’ Dave Roberts Isn’t Managing Like a Rookie - The New York Times

The man tasked with ruining the dreams of Cubs fans everywhere.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 15, 2016 at 09:20 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, playoffs

Friday, October 14, 2016

Joe Maddon confident his Cubs will be ready for the NLCS - Chicago Tribune

They are good enough. They are smart enough. And, gosh darn it, people like them.

“And you don’t want to see all these other dudes,” Maddon said. “So this time of year, you just see good pitching. That’s what this time of the year means.

“I honestly believe our guys will be equal to the challenge. I know they’re going to be ready. We’re feeling pretty good about ourselves.”

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, joe maddon, playoffs

Dodgers’ Julio Urias gets win over Nationals |

Balk or no balk?

His move raised some eyebrows, however. According to Rule 8.05, “If a left-handed or right-handed pitcher swings his free foot past the back edge of the pitcher’s rubber, he is required to pitch to the batter except to throw to second base on a pick-off play.”

Urias’ free foot certainly came close to crossing that imaginary line. But in the eyes of the umpiring crew, it was a clean throw to first base and not a balk.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:08 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: balk, dodgers, julio urias

Dodgers’ Game 5 win is a magical scene right out of 1988 - LA Times

Memorable ending to a great game. Congrats to Dodgers fans.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 14, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 61 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, dusty baker, kenley jansen, nationals

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dodgers vs. Nationals Preview | 10/13/16

FS1 tonight. It felt weird not to have a game to watch last night. I’ll have to used to it soon.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 13, 2016 at 06:20 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, playoffs

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WTOP: Train waits for no fan: Metro won’t extend service for Nats game

Metro is beyond awful. No wonder thousands of commuters would rather get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic above ground than deal with the bullshit on the rails.

As part of the 24-hour track-work program that began this spring, Metro no longer extends its hours for games, concerts or special events, and Metro says the Nats’ game Thursday is no exception.

Game 5 of the National League Division Series starts at 8:08 p.m., and Metro closes at midnight, making it likely that fans will need to figure out other ways home.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told WTOP on Wednesday that he wasn’t going to budge. “We’ve impacted hundreds of thousands of people,” he said. “We’ve let them know the parameters we’re working under, and I think we ought to stick to that.”

Renegade JE (((Jason))), Fermenting Violence Posted: October 12, 2016 at 10:05 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, nats, nlds

Nationals Max Scherzer to start Game 5 of NLDS |

MLB does not want fans to get caught up in all the playoff series. If they did, they wouldn’t schedule the games at overlapping times, with late starts, and on difficult, or impossible, to find networks.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2016 at 01:52 PM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals

Dodgers fan goes on gluttonous tour of Dodger Stadium after losing Joe Blanton bet

The Dodgers signing career meh pitcher Joe Blanton last winter didn’t inspire confidence from too many fans.

One fan in particular, Seth Amitie, felt so strongly Blanton would be a flop that he made a friendly wager.

Well, Blanton thrived in his new role as a reliever and turned in an ERA well better than the league average (2.48, good for a 158 league- and park-adjusted ERA+).

Amitie stayed true to his word and solicited donations to cover the cost of his misery before heading to Dodger Stadium for Monday’s NLDS Game 3. It looked like quite the ordeal.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2016 at 09:28 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: bets, dodgers, joe blanton

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dodgers defeat Nationals, force NLDS Game 5 |

Chase Utley saved the Dodgers’ season on Tuesday, his tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning sending Los Angeles to a 6-5 win over the Nationals. The National League Division Series heads back to Washington for a decisive Game 5 on Thursday (5 or 8 p.m. ET/2 or 5 p.m. PT on FS1).

The winning rally started when Andrew Toles was hit on the foot by a Blake Treinen slider. Pinch-hitter Andre Ethier, who spent most of the season healing from a broken leg, singled. Utley bounced a single sharply into right field to score Toles with Ethier taking third.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 11, 2016 at 10:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, playoffs

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