Dodgers and Cardinals Late Afternoon Start? TV Rules!

What could possibly be worse than starting an October game at Dodgers’ Stadium in the late afternoon? It will be the hottest part of the day, likely about 95º, and the shadows will be just beginning to wreck havoc with balls hit in the air and the fielders trying to find them. But, as we have seen so well demonstrated this season more than most, TELEVISION RULES and when the network guys want a game to start, damn, that game will start then!

When the games does start, it will be Clayton Kershaw looking for post-season redemption

after the disaster of 2013. Of course, that was due in large part to the screwing around done by the empty uniform non-manager don mattingly, who chose, for no valid reason, to put the team's most valuable property at extreme risk by starting him on short rest. The outcome was Kershaw's worst outing of the year, and the most embarrassing performance of his otherwise brilliant career.

Kershaw lost two games in that 2013 series to
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the Cardinals, and both games were won by Michael Wacha. Wacha, however, has had his own injury-plagued 2014, and while he is now on the playoff roster, he is entrenched in the bullpen and is not scheduled to start any postseason games. Instead, the Dodgers and Kershaw face Adam Wainwright, who has had his own sensational season, and follows only Kershaw, and in some cases also Johnny Cueto, in most every key pitching 2014 stat. Those three are baseball’s only 20-game winners this year.

Speaking of rosters, the Dodgers’ Division Series roster has some surprises, but look who

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did the picking. Left off are Darwin Barney, who was a contributor down the stretch, and Paco Rodriguez, who pitched very well of late, but who last year, following a tremendous rookie season what horrible in the playoffs. Instead, making the roster in his stead is Scott Elbert, who did a good job the last two weeks after missing most of two seasons while undergoing three elbow surgeries.
Also, light-hitting Miguel Rojas is the extra infielder, presumably to be a frequent defensive replacement for Hanley Ramirez. With Hyun-Jin Ryu declared healthy and ready to pitch, Roberto “Fausto Carmona” Hernandez is also off the roster. With Hernandez gone, Carlos Frias is also on the roster, despite bad numbers overall, but because of his flashes of brilliance, and presumably because he could be that final, emergency starter, if needed. Finally, it’s no surprise that Joc Pederson is not on the roster, as he showed he is not yet ready to face top quality major league pitching, and his speed and defense is not enough to take a slot away from a pitcher or someone who might be needed in a key offensive spot.

As I write this, the Orioles have just taken a two games to none series lead over Detroit, further throwing askew my predictions. I think the Tigers are likely done and I do not expect to see Baltimore suddenly falter against David Price in Sunday’s third game.

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