My goodness: an entire weekend without Diamondbacks baseball? Whatever will we do with ourselves? Can’t remember the last time there was one of those... Actually, had absolutely no problem filling it up. Off to see the Lords of Acid concert tonight, then tomorrow, we’ll be at the Apocalypse Later International Fantastic Film Festival in downtown Phoenix. I’m sure the world of baseball will cope with my absence, somehow, as both sides of the Championship Series see action today.
1:08 pm: New York Yankees @ Houston Astros (Astros 1-0)
Luis Severino (RHP, 14-6, 2.98) vs. Justin Verlander (15-8, 3.36). Dallas Keuchel spun a gem last night, tossing seven shutout innings. Ken Giles got the final five outs, allowing a home-run when the Yankees were down to their final out, to end the shutout. The Yankees left the tying run at the plate in the ninth, and on-base in the eighth; it won’t be much easier task tonight. They haven’t seen Verlander lately, the last time being June 2016, when he allowed one run over 6.2 innings as a Tiger. Severino, however, struggled in both outings against the Astros this season, giving up nine earned runs over 7.2 innings. They’ll need a Tanaka-like improvement even to have a chance.
5:08 pm: Chicago Cubs @ Los Angeles Dodgers (0-0)
Jose Quintana (LHP, 11-11, 4.15) vs. Clayton Kershaw (LHP, 18-4, 2.31). Conflicting paths to the NLCS: the Cubs had to go all the way in defeating the Nationals, while the Dodgers... Well, let’s not re-hash the coroner’s report, shall we? But there was bad news for Los Angeles, as Corey Seager’s back has taken him off the Dodgers’ roster for this series. That’s certainly an issue. The Dodgers were 93-42 when Seager started this year, but only 9-18 when he didn’t, his absence largely coinciding with their slump. Coincidence? Or something more meaningful... I think all D-backs fans will be hoping the trend continues. But with Kershaw on the mound, it still won’t be easy for the Cubs.