|Dates, times, TV schedule for first wave of MLB playoffs||10.05.15 at 6:32 am ET|
With the regular season wrapped up, here is the schedule for the Major League Baseball playoffs:
WILD CARD GAMES
Tuesday, Astros at Yankees, 8 p.m., ESPN
Wednesday, Cubs at Pirates, 8 p.m., TBS
Game 1: Thursday (FOX, FS1 or MLBN)
– Rangers at Blue Jays, TBD
– Wild Card winner at Royals, TBD
Game 2: Friday (FOX, FS1 or MLBN)
– Rangers at Blue Jays, TBD
– Wild Card at Royals, TBD
Game 3: Sunday (FOX, FS1 or MLBN)
– Blue Jays at Rangers, TBD
– Royals at Wild Card, TBD
Game 4: Monday, Oct. 12 (FOX, FS1 or MLBN)
– Rangers at Blue Jays, TBD (if necessary)
– Wild Card at Royals, TBD (if necessary)
Game 5: Wednesday, Oct. 14 (FOX, FS1, MLBN)
– Rangers at Blue Jays, TBD (if necessary)
– Wild Card at Royals, TBD (if necessary)
|Saturday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Craig Breslow vs. Corey Kluber||10.03.15 at 12:54 pm ET|
Ensured of a losing season following Friday’s loss in Cleveland, and back in a tie for last place in the American League East, the 78-82 Red Sox take the field for the penultimate game of 2015 on Saturday night with Craig Breslow on the mound against Corey Kluber, who has been unable to duplicate last year’s AL Cy Young season.
Breslow (0-3, 4.22 ERA) made his first career start last Saturday against the Orioles, allowing just two hits in four innings as the Sox cruised to an 8-0 victory.
“Now that it’s done and it went pretty well, it was a lot of fun,” the 35-year-old left-hander said. “I don’t know how many guys make 500-some odd career relief appearances and then get a chance to start their first big league game.”
Breslow, who again will be limited to 50-60 pitches Saturday, has not faced the Indians this season. In his career vs. Cleveland, spanning 26 games and 26 innings, he is 1-3 with a 2.42 ERA.
|Friday’s Red Sox-Indians matchups: Henry Owens vs. Josh Tomlin||10.02.15 at 4:27 pm ET|
Owens (4-3, 3.84) is coming off a tremendous outing against the Orioles on Sunday, going 7 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and one walk with five strikeouts in an outing worthy of an ovation as he exited the game in the 2-0 victory.
“Another solid outing,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “He just had one little hiccup — it was a 29-pitch sixth inning — but outside of that, it was an outstanding effort. He held a very good team in check and preserved a lead. Command of his fastball was very good, the secondary stuff even better.”
Added catcher Blake Swihart: “He’s just attacking guys. He’s got a four-pitch arsenal and he’s just going after guys and getting outs.”
The 23-year-old left-hander is 2-1 in his last three starts with a 1.59 ERA, while holding opposing batters to just a .198 ERA. Of the five runs (four earned) that he’s allowed during that stretch, all of them came in his Sept. 22 outing against the Rays.
Friday will be Owens’ first career start against the Indians. He is 2-1 on the road with a 1.99 ERA over four starts.
|Rich Hill: ‘I’m looking forward’ to free agency||10.02.15 at 1:56 pm ET|
Rich Hill was an afterthought earlier this summer, when he was released by the Nationals and out of work. However, since his resurgence as a starter with the Red Sox — a 1.55 ERA through 29 innings over four starts — the left-hander appears to be in good position to get some interest as a free agent.
“I’m looking forward to it,” the 35-year-old told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford of the upcoming offseason. “It’s just that body of work. You can’t look at that and deny what’s going on. Anybody in baseball who knows the game, if you’re looking at it you have to acknowledge there’s a lot there. I think for me, I have to be a proponent of myself and go out there and continue to fight off the field as much as I did off the field.
“The four games I pitched aren’t four games you look at and say, ‘That was just dumb luck.’ I faced the best hitters in the American League, and doing it in the American League East is something that can’t be denied.”
Hill, a native of Milton, is making the big league minimum this season, his 11th in the majors. But he has a newfound confidence following his incredible September.
“I’ve never spoke like this before in the past because for me to be humble is extremely important. But in this part of the game you have to go out and stand up for yourself and that’s something I’m looking forward to doing in the offseason,” Hill said.
“It’s confidence. It’s going out there and saying, ‘I can pitch for anybody, against anybody, anytime, anywhere.’ I feel very [full of conviction].”
For more from Hill, check out Rob Bradford’s column. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
|Thursday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Rich Hill vs. CC Sabathia||10.01.15 at 8:31 am ET|
After extending their season-high winning streak to six games Wednesday night via a 9-5 win in 11 innings, the Red Sox have the opportunity to complete a sweep at Yankee Stadium for the first time since June 2011 and again keep New York from clinching a postseason berth.
Hill (2-0, 1.17 ERA) has proven to be a remarkable comeback story since being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Sept. 8. The left-hander, who had not started a major league game since 2009, has yet to lose in his three outings, holding batters to a .127 average.
Hill is the first pitcher since 1900 to make a debut in September or later and have 10 or more strikeouts in each of his first three starts that season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Milton native most recently saw the Orioles last Friday, throwing a complete-game shutout. He allowed just two hits and one walk during Boston’s 7-0 win.
“For a guy that has resurrected his career in the way that he has, it’s very, very impressive,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said following the game. “You’re starting to get the feel that this is a little bit of a habit.”
Hill has yet to see the Yankees this season, but has faced them nine times (one start) over the course of his career, going 0-1 with a 8.31 ERA over 8 2/3 innings.
|Wednesday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Wade Miley vs. Masahiro Tanaka||09.30.15 at 9:18 am ET|
Winning five straight games for the first time in 2015 following Tuesday’s 10-4 win over the Yankees, the Red Sox continue to play the role of spoiler in this series. In the first two games the Sox have kept their rivals from clinching a postseason berth while also denying New York its 10,000th franchise victory. The Sox will send Wade Miley to the hill Wednesday night to oppose Masahiro Tanaka in the third game of the four-game set.
Miley (11-11, 4.39) is coming off a 4-2 loss last Thursday against the Rays. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and four runs with a walk and three strikeouts. Miley did not allow a run until the three-run sixth inning.
“I just didn’t execute pitches,” Miley said following the game. “I was in situations where I was in pretty good counts and just didn’t make a pitch I needed to make. Obviously [the Rays] made me pay for it.”
The 28-year-old left-hander has been durable for the Sox, going six or more innings in each of his last 10 starts. He has not gone less than five innings in a start since June 11.
Miley is seeing the Yankees for the fourth time this season, carrying an 0-2 record with a 5.60 record over 17 2/3 innings. He last saw New York just before the All-Star break on July 12, when he was tagged for six runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings while striking out two and not allowing a walk in Boston’s 8-6 loss.
He has yet to earn a decision at Yankee Stadium over two starts, with a 3.75 ERA and a .186 opponents batting average.
|Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Rick Porcello vs. Michael Pineda||09.29.15 at 10:09 am ET|
After claiming the series opener against the Yankees, 5-1, on Monday night, the Red Sox, who have allowed just one run in the past 38 innings, will look to continue to play spoiler against a Yankees team that is looking to clinch a postseason berth (which would require the Astros and Angels losing their games as well) and its 10,000th career victory. To do that, the Sox will rely on Rick Porcello as he counters Michael Pineda.
Porcello (8-14, 5.04 ERA) is coming off his 14th loss of the season last Wednesday, a 6-2 setback vs. the Rays. With the loss, Porcello surpassed a career worst for losses in a season. He went seven innings in the outing, allowing three runs (two earned) on 11 hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.
“He gave up his first run in the seventh,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said about the start. “He did a really good job giving us a chance to win. Our offense just couldn’t get any momentum.”
Porcello returned from the disabled list Aug. 26 after missing 27 days with a strained right triceps. Since then, the 26-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with a 2.98 ERA over six starts and 42 1/3 innings.
“I’ve been happy with the way it’s been going since I got off the disabled list,” Porcello said following Wednesday’s start. “I feel like I’ve done well since I came off the DL.”
He’s seen the Yankees just once this season, taking the loss on Sept. 1 despite a remarkable eight-inning outing in which he allowed one earned run (three overall) on five hits and a walk while striking out a career-best 13 batters.
Porcello is 0-2 with a 5.29 ERA over three career starts at Yankee Stadium. He’s 4-4 with a 3.55 ERA over 10 career starts against the Yankees.
|NESN says it plans to offer end of season tribute for Don Orsillo||09.28.15 at 7:17 pm ET|
NESN has attempted to add some clarity to its approach toward not airing the Don Orsillo tribute video shown on the Fenway Park Jumbotron during the eighth inning of Sunday’s home finale.
The network sent out the following release:
“Yesterday’s Don Orsillo tribute by the Red Sox was designed to be an in-ballpark celebration for the fans in attendance.
“NESN already had separate plans underway to recognize Don during our last telecast of the season this Sunday (Oct 4).
“We look forward to celebrating Don’s career at NESN throughout that game.”
|Monday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Ivan Nova||09.28.15 at 8:40 am ET|
Following an impressive weekend series in which they did not allow a single run in three games against the Orioles, the Red Sox will look to continue their success in a four-game set against the Yankees. The Sox will send rookie Eduardo Rodriguez to oppose Ivan Nova in the series opener Monday night.
Rodriguez (9-6, 3.97 ERA) last started a week ago against the Rays. He went six innings and allowed three runs (all of which came in the first inning) on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts as the Sox won 8-7 thanks to an eighth-inning grand slam from Xander Bogaerts. After the erratic first inning, Rodriguez settled in and threw five straight scoreless innings.
“For me, in the first inning, all my pitches were in the middle of the plate,” Rodriguez said after the game. “I tried to go outside, and they’d go to the middle. Same with the inside corner. After that, all my pitches were working pretty good to both sides of the plate.”
The 22-year-old left-hander likely will be making his final start of the season, as interim manager Torey Lovullo stated prior to last week’s start that Rodriguez would pitch 10-14 more innings in 2015.
Rodriguez has faced the Yankees three times this season, putting together a 2-1 record with a 2.45 ERA over 18 1/3 innings with a .265 opponents batting average. Rodriguez earned the win the last time he saw the Yankees, going five innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts in Boston’s 4-3 victory on Aug. 31.
Rodriguez will be making his second career start at Yankee Stadium, where he owns an 0-1 record with a 2.57 ERA.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Henry Owens vs. Ubaldo Jimenez||09.27.15 at 9:07 am ET|
Owens (3-3, 4.41 ERA) is making his second career start against the Orioles. He earned the win the first time around, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings with six hits and four strikeouts in a 10-1 trouncing on Sept. 16.
The 23-year-old left-hander is coming off his third loss of the season on Tuesday as the Sox fell to the Rays, 5-2. He went 7 1/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts. The rookie did not surrender a hit until the fifth inning, but he struggled after that. He was allowed to start the eighth inning of a 3-2 game and promptly allowed a double and a two-run homer to Mikie Mahtook.
“The consistency was definitely there early,” Owens said after the game. “We came out with the two run lead early, so I was trying to keep the momentum on our side and get them back in the dugout. I thought we put together some good at-bats. I think I just did a poor job those last few innings. There was definitely positives from the outing I will take. There’s negatives I want to work on beginning tomorrow.”
Added interim manager Torey Lovullo: “When a young pitcher understands how to touch late innings, he’s going to grow up a little quicker. He’s pitched deep into games. Overall, I think he’s going to be in a pretty good place moving forward.”
Since making his debut against the Yankees on Aug. 4, Owens has only been chased from a game after throwing less than five innings just once. Owens has made five starts at Fenway, putting together a 1-2 record with a 6.35 ERA over 28 1/3 innings. The Sox are 4-5 with him on the mound this season.
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