As Matthew mentioned last night, David Ortiz flipped his bat in a somewhat flamboyant style after hitting his two-run homer off Hector Noesi in the top of the fifth (video here). After the game, Joe Girardi said “I didn’t really care for it,” inasmuch as it was kind of showing up Noesi.
After that, however, he actually made a point to say that Ortiz plays hard and plays the game the right way and suggested that, no, there wouldn’t be any sort of retaliation about it. He and other Yankees quoted about the matter more or less said that’s Papi being Papi, that it’s nothing new and that while they wish he didn’t hit a homer against them, it was no big deal. A-Rod talked about the kind of respect Yankees players have for the Red Sox.
But despite all of these quotes, the headline stack this morning at the Daily News had links to stories titled “Ortiz’s show drives Yanks batty,” and “Yanks may need to retaliate.” The latter one is a link to a John Harper column that repeats all of those “it’s no big deal” quotes yet somehow concludes that Girardi believes that retaliation is in order and predicts that some form of retaliation will come before the series is over.
Is the manager saying “I didn’t much care for it,” just a low-key rallying cry? I guess we’ll know after tonight and Thursdays games, but this reads more like an instance in which a tabloid is wishing and hoping for fireworks than rationally gauging their likelihood.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.
The Game: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs NLCS Game 6
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Wrigley Field, Chicago
The Channel: FS1
The Starters: Kyle Hendricks (Cubs) vs. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)
We’re pulling out the big guns for this one. The Cubs took Los Angeles by storm again in Game 5, closing out their road trip with an eight-run spread over the Dodgers, and tonight they’ll try to clinch the NLCS on home turf in Game 6.
Pitching-wise, it’s a rematch of Game 2 with Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) on the mound. Kershaw took the first set against the Cubs, going seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts in Game 2 while Hendricks held the Dodgers to a single run over 5 1/3 innings. Adrian Gonzalez was the only Dodger to capitalize on Hendricks’ cutter, going yard in his first at-bat to generate a 1-0 lead.
The Cubs’ biggest strength so far this series has been an electric offense, something the Dodgers have struggled to replicate against left-hander Jon Lester and Joe Maddon’s airtight bullpen. While they’ve already beaten Hendricks at Wrigley Field once this October, they’ll need Kershaw to go the distance in another playoff gem if they intend to keep the Cubs’ championship hopes at bay with a 3.4-run average. Should Kershaw and his crew knot the series again, the tiebreaker will fall to Rich Hill and Jake Arrieta in Game 7.