There is almost no baseball here, but Roger Angell is easily America’s best living baseball writer. Maybe best living or dead baseball writer. His receiving the Spink Award this year is icing on the cake, but the guy has been amazing forever. We will provide latitude to link to his non-baseball stuff when warranted. This is warranted.
Angell is 93 now. And this piece at The New Yorker is him contemplating age and mortality. And it’s a beautiful contemplation. Neither morose nor maudlin nor dismissive. He faces and considers aging and death in a matter-of-fact way that I hope I am able to when I am 20 or 30 years younger than he is now. Hell, I know 40-year-olds like me who don’t have any kind of a grasp on it. To see a 93-year-old wrestle with it as well as Angell does is just astounding and wonderful.
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.