As I mentioned in the recaps this morning there were ejections a-plenty in the Tigers-Angels game. In fact, there was one more than I had mentioned. Rick Porcello’s ejection wasn’t listed in the notes to the box score, seeing as though he wasn’t in the game at the time. All in all:
- Jim Leyland got ejected by Joe West after the final out in sixth inning, likely arguing about how Angel Hernandez made Justin Verlander get rid of a baseball he rubbed up behind the mound prior to a pitch. Which is not something I believe I’ve ever seen;
- Verlander was ejected when he yelled at Angel Hernandez when he was leaving the mound in the eighth. Leaving the mound because he was leaving the game, having been lifted for a reliever. Why an umpire feels it necessary to eject a guy who is heading to the showers is an open question;
- As mentioned above, Rick Porcello was ejected in the ninth inning for yelling something from the dugout; and
- On the Angels’ side, Bobby Abreu was ejected in the first inning for arguing a called strike.
Whenever I bring up this kind of thing someone comments that players and managers shouldn’t be disrespectful to umpires, going crazy arguing and all of that. And that’s true. But it’s also true that, as an official, an umpire needs to be a bigger man and not get all bent out of shape when the people he’s officiating offend his sensibilities.
This stuff happens with Joe West and Angel Hernandez way more than it happens with anyone else. Someone should probably tell them that no one comes out to the ballpark see them run people, and no one likes it when games are decided in part because players and coaches are absent due to being ejected.
UPDATE: And don’t forget to check out the Joe West ejection counter over at The Platoon Advantage. It’s actually a pretty eye-opening look at what West and Co. are really up to.
After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.
The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).
Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.
With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.
Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.
With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:
So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
According to MLB.com’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).
Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.