Both the Cardinals and Giants feel right at home in elimination games, so maybe tonight's NLCS Game Seven was predetermined.
You gotta love win-or-go-home games, and we've had plenty of 'em this post-season ...
- The most recent - or, more accurately, the most upcoming - win-or-go-home game came courtesy of the San Francisco Giants' Game Six win in the NLCS over the St. Louis Cardinals. Ryan Vogelsong was as dominant as Chris Carpenter was shaky, and the Giants won 6-1. That's two wins in a row for the Giants, who know a little something about winning three in a row with their backs against the wall (having done this to the Reds in the NLDS). Then again, no team has been better than the Cardinals in elimination games in the past few years ... so, something will have to give.
- Kyle Lohse will try to do what Lance Lynn and Chris Carpenter couldn't do before him: close out the Giants. He'll square off against Matt Cain at 7 p.m. CT this evening on FOX. Although rain is in the forecast for today, MLB says it will do everything it possibly can to get the game in, and fortunately, the rain is expected to taper off later in the day.
- Speaking of Lohse, Beyond the Boxscore wonders if his success this year is skill or luck, and whether it is sustainable beyond this year. It would be easy to look at the super low BABIP and the elevated xFIP, and conclude that he's just been lucky. But it might not be that simple when you dig deeper into his pitch mix.
- Lance Berkman isn't sure he'll be ready to go by the start of the World Series, if the Cardinals make it that far. Berkman has been working on a surgically-repaired knee, which was most recently operated on in September.
- As expected, the Red Sox have hired John Farrell as their next manager. They gave up Mike Aviles to make the deal happen, and will receive reliever David Carpenter. (That seems a popular thing in Boston, collecting relievers named "Carpenter" in compensation deals.)
- The Tigers, who've been doing a lot of sitting around, having their World Series rotation lined up: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, and Max Scherzer.
- Japanese pitcher Shohei Otani will be coming straight to the United States at age 18 rather than starting his career in the NPB, which is a largely unprecedented move. He is to be a true international amateur signing, which means signing him is subjected to the restrictions in the new CBA. Otani works in the upper 90s, and was expected to be a top pick in the NPB draft.