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MondoLinks: Kershaw Krushes Kubs

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Clayont Kershaw went monster hunting in Chicago, against the dire forecasts of the already defeated. And when the dust settled, the power-house Cubs had been mowed down and lost their home field advantage. And they will have to deal with Kershaw again.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

At the conclusion of hte NLDS< Dusty Baker made some sour-grapes remarks about how well Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen will hold up in the NLCS, now that Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts had burned them to send Baker home for the long, cold winter. Well, I think we can safely say that they are fine. The two combined for a 2-hit shutout. Kershaw went 7 innings , struck out 6 and walked only 1, and gave up those 2 hits (exclusive to the 5th). Jansen went 2 strong, perfect innings with 4 K's. The Dodgers have now stolen home field advantage and head home to LA for Game 3 on Tuesday. Kershaw could pitch a Game 5 on 4 days rest, even. And Dusty Baker can sit at home and grouse at the TV over his beer.

By the way, Javier Baez is turning these playoffs into his personal highlight reel. His video page of this off-season is building up pretty fast. He is a pretty heads-up guy, that's for certain.

Ya gotta love the Dodgers and their fans finally being introduced to the Joe Blanton with whom we are all too familiar. Blanton, who had been pretty much lights out in the playoffs, was tasked with 8th-inning duty in Game 1 of the NLCS. This was a bridge too far. It didn't help that his manager, Dave Roberts, pulled out an oil rag and smeared flammable filth all over the legacy he had built just a few nights earlier winning the NLDS. Roberts ordered Blanton to intentionally walk two batters to load the bases, removing any margin of error from Blanton And without any such margin, Blanton didn't disappoint. Grand slam to Miguel Montero, and then another immediately to Dexter Fowler, and a 3-3 tie is suddenly an 8-3 shellacking..............

This is interesting. This Yahoo! Sports article claims that Javier Baez' steal of home this past Saturday night was the first time a Cub had stolen home plate in a playoff game since the 1907 World Series. I scoured BBR on the play-by-play for that series and could not locate any such play. I did locate Cubs 2B Johnny Evers being Caught Stealing in Game 1. That game finished after 12 innings, a 3-3 tie by the way....................On a personal note, that steal of home was joyous. That is precisely how I used to bust the balls of opposing catchers when I played Pony/Colt ball back in the early 70's. It was always a case of harrassment, goading the catcher into throwing............

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2016 PLAYOFFS ON DECK

Today's game: American League Championship Series Game 3, Indians lead 2-0

Cleveland Indians @ Toronto Blue Jays - Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON., Ca.
Date Time Probable Pitchers TV

Monday, 10/17/2016

5:00PM PDT Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26 ERA) vs. Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37 ERA) TBS
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Everywhere In Baseball

Garrett Richards had another injection of platelet rich plasma last Friday. He is now on normal off-season workouts, and is tracking to be right there when pitchers report in Spring...........

A.J. Achter and Nick Buss didn't take a hankerin' to being handed bus tickets to Salt Lake City. Instead of accepting the demotion assignment, they have chosen Free Agency. It's doubtful that MLB is clamoring for their services, so it's possible that they will come back to familiar territory...........

Are we approaching some sort of season where the cultures want to circle the carcass of what used to be a World Series contending Angels franchise? Maybe, because the Phillies fans want to come snatch up Kole Calhoun for themselves, and Angels fans want to dump Geovany Soto. And it ain't even November............

Jose Bautista has figured out why it is that the Cleveland Indians have a 2-game lead on his Blue Jays. It's a conspiracy, a conspiracy of umpires to cheat the Blue Jays out of their fair share of easy pitches to clobber.............

A big part of Bautista's problems have to do with Andrew Miller. Miller is throwing the same pitch, to the same place, to the same hitters, all of whom know it's coming, and they cannot hit it............

Canada is hearing an application for an injunction today, one which would deny Cleveland from wearing their standard uniforms and prevent the word "Indians" and the imagery of Chief Wahoo from insulting Canada's Native Americans. It would be interesting if the injunction were to be granted. How would MLB respond??...........

Color me Surprised. We have movement among Front Offices with Managers and General Managers getting hired, and rumors abound. The Braves removed the 'interim' tag off of Brian Snitker...The Rockies are on the radar for Ron Roenicke and Bud Black for their new manager...The Diamondbacks just hired Mike Hazen away from the Red Sox to be their new GM...That leaves a spot open back in Boston, and the Red Sox are looking to promote Frank Wren, who  has already been GM at Atlanta and Baltimore. What do all these names have in common? They are all white dudes...........

Jack Britton ain't convinced that his "game used (unused!) jersey is actually the one he peeled off his back ofer the Orioles got bounced in the Wild Card game............

If the Indians get through the Blue Jays, they could get Danny Salazer back from injuries, which would be a surprise boost to their rotation. It would be a great add to the pitching powerhouse lineups we are seeing this off-season............Unless FiveThirtyEight is right, and we are seeing a Home Run Derby, instead. And, yeah, it's certainly true that we are seeing very little in the way of manufactured runs..............

It's possible that evil witchcraft interfered with the destiny of the San Francisco Giants. As an event year, surely only sorcery could be identified as the true reason they failed to advance past the NLDS due to those upstarts in Chicago. So who was this conjurer who cast their wicked spell against the fair winds of Orange and Black? None other, it seems, than Taylor Swift...............

In the greater world of Sports-related biz, we can follow the war being waged between the NFL front office and the individual NFL teams, concerning the use of game content in social media. We have a similar problem in MLB world, but it's one between MLB and we fans. We have no voice there. But when the opposition DOES have a voice, as when the opposition is a vested insider, the fun can be boundless...............

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