Category Archives: Crutch’s Corner

Cleveland Spoils Cubs Homecoming; Wins Game 3

By Chandler Guadagnin

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The return of the World Series to Wrigley Field did not disappoint. As was predicted, pitching was the difference. Indians starter, Josh Tomlin, mystified Cubs hitters as he fired four and two thirds innings allowing no runs, on just two hits; while, walking one and striking out one. Kyle Hendricks seemed to pitch with smoke and mirrors, as he worked in and out of trouble. In four and a third innings pitched, he allowed no runs on six hits, two walks, and 6 strikeouts. Hendricks never did have a 1-2-3 inning.

The game remained scoreless into the seventh inning, when, with one man out and runners on first and third, Coco Crisp lined a pinch hit single to right field. After reliever, Bryan Shaw, recorded two outs in the eighth and allowed a man to reach, manager Terry Francona called in Indians closer, Cody Allen, for the five out save. Allen promptly ended the eighth with a strikeout of Kris Bryant. It would prove to be a little more difficult for Allen in the ninth; however, he would through a single and an error to pick up the save and give Cleveland the 2-1 advantage. 

Chicago’s best chance to score came in the seventh, when Jorge Soler blooped a two out triple down the right field line; however the next hitter, Javier Baez would groundouts on a 2-0 pitch to quench the threat. In total, Chicago was 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. 

Cleveland will turn to their ace, Corey Kluber, to put them one win away from bringing home the trophy. The Cubs will hand the ball to veteran John Lackey, looking to knot the Series at two. Game four comes your way tomorrow from Chicago at 4:00PM PT on FOX. As always, log onto to www.kpaysports.com for pre and postgame analysis of game four.

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Baseball Returns To Wrigley As Cubs Seek Series Edge

By Chandler Guadagnin

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World Series baseball returns to Wrigley Field for the first time in 71 years tonight, as the Chicago Cubs will look to take advantage of what is sure to be a raucous crowd, seeking a 2-1 series advantage. To accomplish this, Chicago will look to righty Kyle Hendricks. The Cleveland Indians will look to silence the audience as they will hand the ball to their right handed Josh Tomlin.

In his last start in the Postseason, Game 6 of the NLCS, Hendricks bested a shaky Clayton Kershaw. Hendricks shutdown a potent Dodgers offense, going seven and a third shutout innings and allowing only two hits while walking no one.

It was more of the same for Tomlin in his last start. Against the Blue Jays in Game 5 of the ALCS, he went five and two thirds innings, allowing just one run on 3 hits; while walking two and striking out six, to help the Indians to a ALCS Game 2 victory.

With both starting pitchers being so dominant this postseason, it may well be that, the team to score first will claim Game 3. Another X factor will be the effectiveness of the bullpens; and, if it occurs, which ‘pen cracks first.

Chicago’s offense will be without a big bat in the middle of the order, as Kyle Schwarber has been held out of the Cubs lineup. Schwarber who has not played the outfield since his collision and subsequent injury on April 7th, has not been cleared by  the doctor to play the field tonight and will only be available to pinch hit in games 3, 4, and 5.

Catch all the action of historic game 3 from Wrigley Field at 5:00PM PT on Fox or listen via ESPN Radio. Be sure to log on to www.kpaysports.com following the final out for postgame analysis.

Statistics courtesy of www.baseball-reference.com

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Chicago Victorious in World Series For First Time Since 1945; Tie Series

By Chandler Guadagnin

The Cubs have won game two, earning a split of the first two games, as the series shifts to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Jake Arrieta showed why he is the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Arrieta did not allow a hit until one out in the sixth inning. In five and a third innings pitched, Arrieta allowed only two hits and one run, while striking out six and walking three.

On the other hand, the Indians’ Trevor Bauer was never able to really settle in, as he went three and two thirds innings, allowing a run in the first inning, and one in the third inning. through his three and two three innings of work, Bauer allowed two runs, both earned, on six hits, two walks, and striking out two all while throwing 87 pitches.

The two main cogs of the Chicago Cubs lineup tonight were the bats of Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber. In four at bats, Zobrist reached base three times, and recording two hits, (one a RBI triple). Schwarber continued his World Series offensive production, as he went 2 for 4, with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored.

Cleveland’s only scoring came in the sixth inning, when with one out, Jason Kipnis doubled to right field. That was followed by a Francisco Lindor groundout that moved Kipnis to third with two outs; then, with Mike Napoli batting, Arrieta fired a wild pitch, scoring Kipnis from third.

With that, the 2016 World Series moves to Chicago and Wrigley Field; the first time a Fall Classic game has come to Wrigley Field since 1945. Cleveland will turn to Josh Tomlin to ruin the Cubs home coming; while, Kyle Hendricks will look to put Chicago up 2 games to one. Game 3 comes your way Friday on FOX at 5:00PM PT from Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Statistics courtesy of www.mlb.com

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Cubs Look To Even Up Fall Classic In Game 2

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By Chandler Guadagnin

Following a victory in Game 1, the Indians will look to righty Trevor Bauer to put the Cubs in a 2-0 hole. Chicago wil hand the ball to their ace Jake Arrieta to split the series before heading to the Windy City.

Once again, it may be pitching that defines whether the Cubs gain a split in Cleveland or the Cubs go down 2-0 in this best of seven series.

This season, in 31 games, Arrieta posted an 18-8 record. In 197.1 innings pitched, he struck out 190, walking only 76 and giving up a mere 16 home runs on his way to recording a 3.10 ERA. Over his career in the postseason, Arrieta has shown that he is one of the best overall pitchers in the Major Leagues.

Trevor Bauer pitched in 35 games this year putting up a 12-8 record. In 190 innings pitched, Bauer posted a 4.26 ERA while striking out 168 hitters, walked 70, giving up 20 homers. Bauer has had a brief career in the postseason. His second start was cut short due to a injured right pinkie finger. However brief his postseason experience may be, he has still been solid in his opportunities. Cleveland would not have made it to the World Series were it not for the clutch pitching of Trevor Bauer.

You can catch all of World Series Game 2 on FOX beginning in just minutes at 4:00PM PT in Cleveland. Log on to www.kpaysports.com for postgame analysis.

Statistics courtesy of www.baseball-reference.com

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Indians Claim Game 1 Behind Brilliant Kluber

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By Chandler Guadagnin

Behind a tremendous performance from Corey Kluber, the Cleveland Indians have taken Game one of the 2016 World Series. The storyline of this game became the tale of two starters. Put simply, Corey Kluber was on his game; while, Jon Lester did not have his best stuff.

Perhaps, the difference in the game, came in the very first inning. It was clear, from the beginning, what Cleveland’s plan was against Lester. Following a Francisco Lindor two out single and subsequent steal, Lester proceeded to walk back to back hitters, loading the bases. He would then give up an infield RBI single to Jose Ramirez and hit Brandon Guyer on an 0-2 pitch, en route to a two run frame. The Indians would never look back as they would tack on a run in the fourth; with the knockout punch coming on a three run bomb from Roberto Perez.

The Cubs had their chances, as they left a total of 9 men on base and were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position. Chicago’s best chance came in the seventh inning when, with the bases loaded and nobody out, Andrew Miller retired the bottom third of the Cub lineup in order. Chicago would again rally in the eighth, only to see a strikeout of Schwarber end the threat. Cody Allen would then come in and close it out.

The Cubs will look to even the series as they hand the ball to Jake Arrieta. Cleveland will counter with righty Trevor Bauer. Game time has been moved up an hour due to threats of rain in the area. Game 2 comes your way from Progressive Field Wednesday at 4:00PM PT on FOX. Log on to www.kpaysports.com for pre and postgame analysis of game two.

Important To Note:

  • In the process of giving his team a 1-0 series edge, Kluber became the first pitcher in postseason history to strikeout eight batters in the first three innings.
  • With a win in Game 1 , Indians manager, Terry Francona, remains undefeated at 9 and 0, in World Series play.
  • With home runs in the fourth and eighth innings, Roberto Perez becomes the first Indians player to hit two home runs in a World Series.
  • In his second Major League at bat since April 7th, Kyle Schwarber collected his first hit of 2016, a double off of the right-center field wall.

Statistics courtesy of www.mlb.com

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Cubs And Indians Set To Do Battle In 2016 World Series

By Chandler Guadagnin

The stage is set. It will be the Chicago Cubs of the National League Central taking on the American League Central Champion Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series. With the Cubs disposing of the Giants in the NLDS and Chicago’s dismantling of the Dodgers in the NLCS, the Chicago Cubs are headed to their first World Series in 70 years; seeking their first World Series Championship since 1908.

On the American League side of the bracket, the Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS and mowed through the Blue Jays in the ALCS to reach the the Fall Classic. Cleveland, who hasn’t won baseball’s Championship series since 1948, will appear in it for the first time since 1997.

Both Chicago and Cleveland were written off early as World Series contenders. When Chicago’s young star, Kyle Schwarber, went down early with a torn ACL and LCL, suffered in a collision between Schwarber and fellow outfielder Dexter Fowler in Arizona, when both were running for a fly ball. 103 wins later, the Chicago Cubs are four wins away from proving the critics wrong.

Similarly, when the Indian’s Michael Brantley suffered a season ending shoulder injury after diving for a ground ball, analysts said there was no way that they would even have a chance to make the postseason. However, after winning their division, and marching through the postseason, the Indians too are four wins away from becoming the second major Cleveland sports team to hoist a championship trophy this year.

Chicago will look to cap off their historic season with the ultimate prize; while, the Indians will look to channel their inner Cleveland Cavaliers.

Looking to set the tone, the Chicago Cubs will send Jon Lester to the mound. He will be opposed by Indians righy Corey Kluber. Game 1 of the 2016 World Series comes your way Tuesday from Progressive Field in Cleveland  on FOX at 5:00PM PT. Log on to www.kpaysports.com for postgame analysis following the game.

My Prediction: Chicago defeats Cleveland in six games, 4-2

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Cubs Take Commanding Lead With Game 2 Victory

By Chandler Guadagnin

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With a 5-2 win over the Giants in Game 2, the Cubs have taken a commanding 2-0 lead in this best of five NLDS. On the brink of elimination, San Francisco must channel those Giants of 2012. Before sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series, the Giants were on the brink of elimination in both the NLDS and NLCS.

The game may have turned out differently had Jeff Samardzija had the ability to remain in the game longer. Samardzija lasted just two innings, giving up four earned runs en route to a 18.00 ERA.

The Giants only scoring came in the third inning by way of a Gregor Blanco RBI double and a Brandon Belt sacrifice fly. That would be the last time a Giant baserunner would cross the plate,  San Francisco was stymied by a combination of Kyle Hendricks and the Cub bullpen.d

Kyle Hendricks pitched brilliantly before being removed from the game following a two out Angel Pagan two out liner struck Hendricks on his throwing arm. After the play ended and Angel Pagan was ruled safe at first, Hendricks was attended to by the medical staff and removed from the contest. Hendricks was replaced by Travis Wood. Maddon’s decision to replace Hendricks with Wood paid off in more ways than one, as Wood would come up in the bottom of the inning and launch a solo homerun into the left field seats. Chicago’s bullpen bridged the gap between Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman, as they fired five and a third innings of shutout baseball, handing the ball over to Chapman in the ninth, who retired the Giants in order to slam the door on Game 2.

The Giants will send Madison Bumgarner to the hill to square off against Chicago ace Jake Arrieta in Game 3. San Francisco returns to action on Monday, as the NLDS is set to resume at AT&T Park in San Francisco. You can catch every pitch of Game 3 at 6:30 PM PT on FS1 and Fox Deportes. Pre and post game analysis will not be available for Game 3.

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Giants Look To Even Up Series In Game 2

By Chandler Guadagnin

After a gut wrenching Game 1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Giants look to bounce back and even up the series at a game a piece. San Francisco will send, former Cub, Jeff Samardzija to the mound. He will be opposed by Cub right hander, Kyle Hendricks.

Samardzija, who broke into the Major Leagues with the Cubs, spent 7 years (2008-2014) with Chicago. Asked why he came to San Francisco, Samardzija responded in essence that he wanted to be a part of the even year magic. Now is his chance to put his mark on the postseason. This season, Samardzija posted a 12-11 record, 3.81 ERA, 167 strikeouts, and 54 walks in 203.1 innings pitched over 32 games.

Kyle Hendricks, in just his third season in the Major Leagues, filed a 16-8 record, 2.13 ERA, 170 strikeouts, to go along with 44 free passes in 190 innings pitched over 31 contests.

It is not often that a player with only two years in the big leagues,  has more postseason experience than a 9 year veteran, but that is the case. Samardzija’s only postseason experience came in his rookie year with the Chicago Cubs. On the other hand, Kyle Hendricks has been in the last two postseasons with the Cubs.

Below are how these two pitchers matchup in the postseason:

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The action comes your way at 5:00 PM PT on MLB Network or listen to it on KNBR 680. Log on to www.kpaysports.com for the postgame analysis after the game.

Statistics courtesy of www.baseball-reference.com

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Giants Fall to Cubs In Game 1

By Chandler Guadagnin

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As they did so often in the regular season, tonight’s game between the Giants and Cubs was decided by one run. In Game 1 of the NLDS, the Giants fell to the Chicago Cubs by a final of 1-0. The difference in the game was a Javier Baez solo homerun.

With the game scoreless through seven and a half innings, Johnny Cueto, who was spectacular on the road in one of the most hitter friendly ballparks in Major League Baseball. However, one pitch did him in; a 3-2 pitch, which Baez promptly mashed over the left field wall.  That was all that Jon Lester needed as he blanked San Francisco through eight innings; turning it over to flame throwing closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. Chapman, who gave up a two out double to Buster Posey, slammed the door by striking out Hunter Pence to end it.

The story of the game for San Francisco may be missed opportunities. The Giants put their leadoff man on in each of the first three innings. Two of the three leadoff runners were soon erased by way of a caught stealing and a pickoff.

The Giants best chance to score came in fourth inning, when, with one out, Buster Posey singled to left. One hitter later, Pagan would shoot a two out double over the head of the left fielder. Had Buster Posey not been the runner at first, the Giants surely would have scored. As it was, with runners on second and third, Brandon Crawford grounded out on an 0-2 pitch to end the threat.

Tune into FS1 or KNBR 680 for Game 2 action at 5:00 PM PT to catch all of the action from Wrigley Field. As always, log on to www.kpaysports.com for pre and post game analysis.

Giants Announce NLDS Roster

By Chandler Guadagnin

The Giants have announced their 25-man roster for their NLDS matchup with the Chicago Cubs. New additions include starting pitchers Ty Blach, Matt Moore; as well as previously injured third baseman Eduardo Nunez. Here is how San Francisco’s roster shakes out:

Pitchers

  • Madison Bumgarner
  • Johnny Cueto
  • Jeff Samardzija
  • Matt Moore
  • Ty Blach
  • Sergio Romo
  • Santiago Casilla
  • Will Smith
  • George Kontos
  • Javier Lopez
  • Hunter Strickland
  • Derek Law

Catchers

  • Buster Posey
  • Trevor Brown

Infielders

  • Eduardo Nunez
  • Joe Panik
  • Connor Gillaspie
  • Brandon Crawford
  • Brandon Belt
  • Kelby Tomlinson

Outfielders

  • Angel Pagan
  • Hunter Pence
  • Gregor Blanco
  • Denard Span
  • Gorkys Hernandez

The Giants have also announced that they will start Jeff Samardzija in Game 2 and Madison Bumgarner in Game 3.

Catch all the action of NLDS Game 1 on FS1 or listen to the play-by-play via KNBR 680 tonight at 6:00 PM PT from Wrigley Field in Chicago. Log on to www.kpaysports.com following the game, for postgame analysis.

Header image text courtesy of www.cooltext.com

Roster courtesy of www.mlb.com