Casey Blake is off the disabled list and in the Dodgers’ lineup for today’s game after beginning the season on the sidelines with a back injury suffered in the middle of spring training.
Blake is starting at third base and batting second, and his return also means the Dodgers have shifted Juan Uribe to second base while putting Jamey Carroll back on the bench.
Don Mattingley’s decision to bat Blake second is an odd one, as he had a below-average .320 on-base percentage last year and has a modest .336 career OBP. Blake has hit second in 17 percent of his career plate appearances, but hasn’t done so regularly since 2007 and has a .317 OBP in that spot. And needless to say he’s not a particularly speedy runner at age 37.
Today is the 13th anniversary of one of the most exciting and iconic plays in postseason history. On October 17, 2004, the Yankees and the Red Sox faced off in Game 4 of the ALCS. The Yankees had a 3-0 lead in the series and held a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox were three outs from being eliminated by the Yankees. Again.
Kevin Millar led off the inning facing Mariano Rivera and worked the greatest closer in baseball history for a walk. Terry Francona inserted Dave Roberts as a pinch runner. Everyone in the building knew that Roberts had one job: get to second base and scoring position. Despite everyone knowing it was coming, Roberts swiped second base. He’d come around to score, the Sox won the game in 12 innings, would win the next three and the World Series, completing the greatest comeback in postseason history and ending an 86-year championship drought.
Understandably, the Red Sox wanted to remember that wonderful day today. So they tweeted about it:
The Yankees, however, weren’t gonna let that one go by: