Tag: C.J. Wilson

scioscia getty

Mike Scioscia: “We need a three-game winning streak”


ALDS Game 3 between the Angels and Royals gets underway in Kansas City at 7:30 p.m. ET. Here is Angels manager Mike Scioscia talking to the media about his club’s uphill battle, down 0-2 in the best-of-five …

C.J. Wilson faces James Shields in Game 3. If there is a Game 4, Anaheim will turn back to Jered Weaver.

Playoff Reset: Orioles, Royals look to wrap it up

david price getty

It’s do-or-die time for two of the clubs — the favorites, to many — on the AL side of the postseason bracket. Let’s break down Sunday’s action …

The Game: Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers, American League Division Series Game 3
The Time: 3:30 PM Eastern
The Place: Comerica Park, Detroit
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Bud Norris vs. David Price
The Upshot: It’s cliché, but here is the reason is the Tigers acquired Price. Detroit’s bullpen has been an embarrassment through the first two games of this series, so Price needs to be both good and efficient versus the O’s, taking his start as deep as possible. He’s gone eight innings or longer in five of his 11 outings since leaving the Rays. The Orioles have scored 19 runs already in this best-of-five and will try to break out the big bats again with the champagne on ice.

The Game: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Kansas City Royals, ALDS Game 3
The Time: 7:30 PM Eastearn
The Place: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: C.J. Wilson vs. James Shields
The Upshot: Kansas City’s second postseason home game in 29 years — the first was Tuesday night’s Wild Card thriller — could be a Division Series clincher. What a story. The scrappy, underdog Royals grabbed two extra-inning wins in Anaheim and now “Big Game James” can pitch them into the ALCS. The Angels probably aren’t overjoyed that Wilson has to play the role of savior. He had a rough 4.51 ERA (81 ERA+) and 1.45 WHIP in 175 2/3 innings during the regular season. The Halos will need some offense.

Eric Hosmer homers in 11th, sends Royals up 2-0 in the ALDS against the Angels

Eric Hosmer

The Royals became the first team to go to extra innings in three consecutive games to begin the post-season. And the Royals are now 3-0 in those games. Eric Hosmer belted a two-run home run in the top of the 11th inning off of Angels reliever Kevin Jepsen to break a 1-1 tie, ending hours of offensive frustration even after starters Yordano Ventura and Matt Shoemaker were long gone.

Alex Gordon gave the Royals a 1-0 lead in the second inning, sending a single to center field to bring around Hosmer who had singled to lead off the inning. The Angels tied it up in the sixth, when Albert Pujols pushed a single into the hole between first and second base, allowing Kole Calhoun to score. And that was it offensively for most of the game.

Yordano Ventura rebounded from a tough relief appearance in the American League Wild Card game, in which he served up a three-run home run to Brandon Moss in the sixth inning. Unlike the Athletics, the Royals couldn’t muster much of anything against the right-hander. Ventura repeatedly reached triple digits in velocity, fanning five batters in total while scattering five hits and a walk in seven innings.

Matt Shoemaker was equally as good. Shoemaker hadn’t pitched since September 15 due to an oblique injury, but it certainly didn’t seem to bother him any on Friday night. The right-hander punched out six batters while allowing five hits and a walk.

Both bullpens followed suit. The Angels’ bullpen put up four hitless innings in the seventh, eighth, ninth, and 10th innings. The Royals’ bullpen allowed just one hit in three innings of work in the eighth, ninth, and 10th.

Lorenzo Cain started the Royals’ rally in the top of the 11th, narrowly beating out an infield single. Hosmer then slapped a home run well over the fence in right field to give the Royals a 3-1 lead. The Royals weren’t quite done, however. Alex Gordon drew a two-out walk, stole second, and advanced to third base on an errant throw by catcher Chris Iannetta. Following that, Salvador Perez punched a single up the middle that had just enough oomph before shortstop Erick Aybar flagged it down, allowing Gordon to score and Perez to reach safely. Omar Infante flied out to center to end the three-run 11th inning for the Royals.

Closer Greg Holland took the mound in the bottom half of the 11th, retiring Efren Navarro and Chris Iannetta quickly. Kole Calhoun reached on a throwing error by second baseman Infante and was given second base when the throw skipped out of play. Holland struck out Mike Trout swinging on a high slider to end the contest for a 4-1 win, giving the Royals a 2-0 cushion in the American League Division Series.

Trout is 0-for-7 with two walks in two ALDS games for the Angels. Josh Hamilton is 0-for-9. Pujols is 1-for-8 with a walk and the RBI single. The Angels’ best hitters have been stymied by Royals pitching.

The Royals and Angels will have Saturday off to travel, then they’ll resume the series on Sunday night in Kansas City when C.J. Wilson will oppose James Shields. The Angels will have to win three games in a row if they hope to extend their season further into October.

Playoff Reset: Both AL Division Series Get Underway

Buck Showalter


If the playoffs are a four course meal, the Wild Card Games are the appetizer. Let’s call them, I dunno, gorgonzola phyllo cups or bacon wrapped scallops. That makes the Division Series our second course, so let’s take a look at the Mediterranean tomato bisque and Caprese salad on tap tonight.

The Game: Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles, ALDS Game 1
The Time: 5:37 PM Eastern
The Place: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Max Scherzer vs. Chris Tillman

The Upshot:

  • Strength against strength: the Tigers impressive starting rotation vs. the lineup who socked more homers than anyone in baseball this year. Or, at least that’s how it will be framed. Let’s see how long into the game we go tonight before anyone mentions that the Orioles starters were, overall, fifth in the AL in ERA while the Tigers were 10th. Or that the Tigers were second in run scored and the Orioles sixth. Cy Young hardware and home run totals don’t tell the whole story.
  • Still, if you’re a betting man you tend to take Max Scherzer over Chris Tillman, right? Maybe. Scherzer hasn’t faced the O’s this year. Tillman faced Detroit once and shut ’em down, allowing one run in eight and a third innings. This is not as lopsided a matchup as people who haven’t bothered to familiarize themselves with Tillman may think it is.  Overall, the Tigers took five of six from the O’s, but all of those games took place months and months ago, including Tillman’s win.
  • The Orioles bullpen certainly has the advantage over Detroit’s. And talent aside, Showalter is probably the best in the game at managing his relievers these days. Time and again this year Joe Nathan and, at times, Joba Chamberlain, Al Albuquerque and the rest of the gang has let the Tigers down and that has often prodded Ausmus to stick with his starters longer than he should or than he’d like (not that he has a good choice about it). The single most important factor for the Tigers is how deep the starters go and how efficient they are. The less Ausmus has to go to the pen, the better.
  • You have to figure the Tigers have decided that they don’t want to let Nelson Cruz beat them and that the O’s feel the same way about Miguel Cabrera. You feel, then, that the second bananas on offense are going to decide this thing. Each team has some good second bananas, with Victor and J.D. Martinez on Detroit’s side and Adam Jones and Steve Pearce for Baltimore.

It’s a really evenly-matched series. Should be tons of fun.

The Game: Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, ALDS Game 1
The Time: 9:07 PM Eastern
The Place: Angels Stadium, Anaheim, California
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Jason Vargas vs. Jered Weaver

The Upshot:

  • The best team in baseball this year takes on the Cinderella story. And it’s more of a study in contrasts than just that. A power team in the Angels vs. a running, small-ball team in the Royals. An effective yet cobbled-together bullpen for Anaheim and three stone cold assassins in Herrera, Davis and Holland for Kansas City. Finally: the steady hand of Mike Scioscia vs. the force of nature that is Ned Yost. Well, the force of something.
  • Big bats like Mike Trout’s aside, the Angels key to victory is going to be getting the most out of a seriously compromised rotation. Weaver has long been the Angels’ ace and that’s well and good for tonight, but injuries and uncertainty have caused Mike Scioscia to go to a three-man rotation in this series. One of those three man, Matt Shoemaker, is coming off an oblique injury. The other, C.J. Wilson, has been pretty shaky down the stretch. Look for a lot of innings from long men/back of rotation starters Cory Rasmus and Hector Santiago.
  • The Royals rotation seems stronger right now. Ace James Shields will not be able to go until Game 3, but Vargas and Yordano Ventura have been solid all year. Yost can go to either Jeremy Guthrie or Danny Duffy as a fourth option, though it appears as though Yost prefers to keep Duffy in the pen. Which makes no damn sense to me, but again, it’s Ned Yost.
  • For as wild and wacky as the AL Wild Card Game was, the Royals’ gameplan has not changed: try to get six innings out of their starters, scratch together a bit offense and hope like hell they have a lead entering the seventh when Yost can go with his bullpen script. If things do not go according to plan, well, don’t count on fortune smiling on the Royals for five games like it did for one game the other night. The longer Ned Yost has to riff, the more likely he is to play a sour note.

On paper the Angels are way better. Fortunately for the Royals and all of us watching, they play the game on grass.

Angels announce ALDS rotation: Jered Weaver in Game 1, Matt Shoemaker for Game 2

angels logo

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has the announcement

Weaver was the obvious choice for Game 1 on Thursday in Anaheim, but Shoemaker pitching Game 2 comes as a mild surprise. He hasn’t made a start since September 15 due to an oblique strain and only threw around 40 pitches in his latest bullpen session. The Royals are going with Jason Vargas in Game 1 and Yordano Ventura in Game 2. James Shields would then pitch Game 3 against C.J. Wilson. If a Game 4 is necessary, the Angels will turn back to Weaver and Kansas City would probably roll with left-hander Danny Duffy.