Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
Getty Images

Playoff Reset: Dodgers vs. Nationals NLDS Game 5


The Game: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals, NLDS Game 5
The Time: 8:30 PM EDT
The Place: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
The Channel: FS1
The Starters: Rich Hill (Dodgers) vs. Max Scherzer (Nationals)

The Upshot:

The Clayton Kershaw-on-short-rest gambit ended up working in Game 4 and the Dodgers lived for a Game 5. Now we see how the second part of that gambit works. Because, yes, it was always a two-part thing: who pitches in Game 5 if you use Kershaw in Game 4? That “who” is Rich Hill, also on short rest. And unlike Kershaw, Hill doesn’t have much experience doing that and none of it recently. Between that and finger blister issues he’s had all year that cannot be helped much by less recovery time, it’s an open question how long he’ll last. One has to assume Dave Roberts will have the absolute quickest of hooks, and that if Hill falters, Julio Urias will be in this game in a heartbeat. While untested and not as good as Hill at his best, he’s certainly well-rested. It’s probably best to think of this as a co-start by Hill and Urias, actually.

For Washington, the choice is much simpler and the man chosen much better: ace Max Scherzer on full rest. He allowed four runs on five hits in six innings in the series opener — he was dinger-prone then as he has been all year — but he’s always capable of a dominating performance. Dusty Baker will certainly want to stick with him as long as he can but, if Scherzer is less-than-ace-like he still has lefties in the pen who have mostly neutralized Dodgers hitters in this series. The Dodgers may not be super scared of Scherzer, though, as he has been far less effective against lefties than righties and the Dodgers are lefty-heavy.

The Dodgers have fallen in the NLDS in each of the past two seasons. The Nats have never made it out of the Division Series. Someone has to win this thing, however. Whoever does will face a scary Cubs team.

Matt Harvey expected to be ready to go for spring training

Getty Images

Super Agent Scott Boras said yesterday that he expects his client, Mets starter Matt Harvey, to be back to 100 percent for the start of spring training.

Harvey underwent surgery in mid-July for thoracic outlet syndrome, which is an impingement of nerves and arteries in the shoulder. The procedure involves removing a rib in order to free compressed nerves, which sounds absolutely horrible, but that’s what they do. Harvey began playing catch recently and, according to Boras, immediately felt “big relief” after the procedure.

Boras said that Harvey should be on track to report to spring training, healthy and on time, in February.

Padres fire president and CEO Mike Dee

Getty Images

This was unexpected: Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the San Diego Padres have fired team president and CEO Mike Dee. The club did not give a specific reason for his firing and Dee has declined comment. The club’s managing partner, Peter Seidler, issued a statement with vague platitudes about “stability” and “changes,” said that Dee was “no longer with” the Padres and that the club being on the right track.

Dee first joined the Padres front office in 1995, lasting in various positions until 2002, where he led the charge to get Petco Park built. A Larry Lucchino protege, Dee left to join the Red Sox that year and stayed there until 2009, where he topped out as Boston’s COO, before becoming the President of the Fenway Sports Group, which is the parent organization of the Red Sox and team ownership’s other sports ventures. Between 2009 and 2013 he was the CEO of the Miami Dolphins before returning to the Padres in 2013.

Dee hired general manager A.J. Preller, but Lin reports that his dismissal has nothing to do with Preller’s recent suspension for misconduct relating to player medical reports. Dee had worked primarily on the business side of things, overseeing renovations to Petco Park and the club’s hosting of the 2016 All-Star Game.