The Royals tried to sneak one in during a miserable day in Kansas City on Thursday, but they couldn’t make an official game of it. Play was halted after 3 1/2 innings with the Royals up 1-0 on the Rays, and the game was later postponed, with no makeup date announced.
Today was the last time the Rays were set to play in Kansas City this season, so both teams really wanted to get it in. As a result, the game started in the rain and continued even as conditions worsened. By the time the 4th rolled around, the field truly was unplayable, and not long after the game was delayed, the rain turned to snow.
The conditions factored into the lone run of the game. Alex Gordon was able to sneak a grounder by Ben Zobrist at second base to score Elliot Johnson in the third. It was a ball that Zobrist likely would have gotten to on a dry infield.
The postponement erased a stellar first four innings from Ervin Santana. He had struck out seven while allowing just two hits. Roberto Hernandez gave up the one run in three innings for Tampa Bay.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.