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St. Louis/Washington NLCS

Last Wednesday, the last two Stanley Cup champions, the current ones, the St. Louis Blues and the ’18 winners, the Washington Capitals, met in St. Louis, as the NHL season began.

A week later, teams from each city/district, the St. Louis Cardinals (a post-season record tying for any inning, 10 runs in the first inning (that a record) at Atlanta (Braves) and Washington Nationals (Howie Kendrick’s 10th inning grand slam home run in L.A. sent home sent home the Dodgers, who recorded a franchise record 106 regular season wins ), won decisive division series 5th games and will meet in the NLCS, beginning Friday night in St. Louis.

Tonight, the Houston Astros host the Tampa Bay Rays in game 5 of their “div” series, the winner of that game to face the New York Yankees, in the ALCS, beginning Saturday night.

 

 

Some Decisive Game Notes

In today’s first of two decisive, division series 5th games,(last night the Rays beat Verlander, to force a decisive 5th at Houston tomorrow night) the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Atlanta Braves.

St. Louis is (14-6) in decisive games of a series. The Braves are (4-5), with the road team prevailing in the first and last three of those nine games, starting with the then Milwaukee Braves, winning the ’57 World Series at Yankee Stadium. (The Yankees led by Bob Turley overcame a (3-1) series deficit and won #7 at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, the next year.

Tonight, the L.A. Dodgers host the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers are (7-5) in decisive games while the Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise is (1-4), all in decisive 5th games.

The franchise has never been in a best of 7 series and won in its lone previous decisive series game, played on the road.

 

Bob Turley 1959.png

Bob Turley, pictured above was the hero as the Yankees won at Milwaukee (Braves) to win the ’58 title.

Baseball Update: Yankees Continue Their Incredible Domination Of The Twins, The Other 3 Series Continue

Yesterday, while the New York Yankees made it 6 for 6 in post-season entities (5 “div” series and one “10 to 8” game, also 13 straight wins and a (16-2) record) vs the Minnesota Twins, completing a 3 game sweep with a (5-1) win, results in the other three series were wins for the teams facing elimination.

Both the St. Louis Cardinals (vs the Atlanta Braves) and Washington Nationals (vs the L.A. Dodgers) won at home in #4 after losing there in #3 and hence will play a road, decisive #5 tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Rays forced a 4th game, winning game 3 at home vs the top ranked Houston Astros. Today in #4, I believe to be played in the late afternoon, as Kol Nidre begins, the “Stros” are pitching Verlander and are top heavy favorites.

That does not mean they will win, but they probably will. Doing so vs the Yankees, if that series manifests, would/will be more difficult and I say is a toss up, though Houston, if they win today and have Cole/Verlander for games 1 and 2 in Houston, would be about an 8 to 5 favorite.

 

My Favorite Martian Ray Walston 1963.JPG

Why Ray Walston, pictured above in “My Favorite Martian.”

Mr. Walston, a superb actor, played one, who was, shall we say involved, in the Twins’ ancestors, the usually second division Washington Senators trying to win vs the great Yankees in “Damn Yankees,” which was a Broadway show and a movie.

“What’s My Line?” February 1964

Today a really stirring episode of “What’s My Line?” that aired on February 16, 1964.

The great Carol Burnett, early in her marvelous career, was the mystery guest on a night that just hours earlier and also on CBS, the legendary Beatles made the second of their first two appearances on United States television, both times on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Panelist Bennett Cerf alludes to that appearance, when introducing host John Charles Daly.

Buddy Hackett, Dorothy Kilgallen and Arlene Francis are the other panelists. “Mr. X” is the first guest, wonder what he does. You can watch the video below and find out.

Enjoy.

 

NFL Predictions

Today, I offer three predictions on NFL games.

In London, England, the Bears are five point favorites vs the Oakland Raiders. Bears 24, Raiders 23.

Jim Nantz is back in the AFC, his regular spot after two all NFC games. In “his” tilt, the Chargers are minus 6 vs the (0-4) Denver Broncos. Chargers 26 Broncos 24.

Finally in another Minnesota at New York weekend game, (the Yankees annihilated the Twins in two “div” series games, Sam Rosen, a truly fine, rarely used network broadcaster, gets his first NFL game of ’19.

Rosen means the underdog, (look it up if you can), I will say outright—Giants 20, Vikings 16.

 

Alex Webster (American football).jpg

Alex Webster, pictured above, became the Giants’ coach in 1969. Just over 50 years ago, in his first game as coach, the Giants upset the Vikings (24-23) in the season opener.

Minnesota went to their first Super Bowl that season, losing to the Chiefs (23-7).

 

 

Notes Regarding Twins/Senators Post-Season Play

So help me, at the moment I got to the page indicating the Minnesota Twins’ ancestors, the Washington Senators, clinched their lone title on Friday October 6th, 1924–NPR’s Scott Simon cited the fact there had been protests in Hong Kong, “the last couple of FRIDAYS.”

Alas, which notes regarding the Yankees domination of the Minnesota Twins, 11 straight post-season game wins, a (101-37) record starting in ’02 and now top heavy favorites, to hand the Twins a 6th playoffs entity loss, in as many possibilities.

I knew and checked Friday post-season Twins’ action, their lone win being in #3/1991 ALCS, vs the Toronto Blue Jays, en route to their second and to date, last title. Ex Yankees’ player, Mike Pagliarulo had an extra innings, game deciding home run in that tilt.

Otherwise, the Twins are (0-6) in Friday post-season games, losses to the Yankees in ’04 and 10 years apart in ’09 and ’19, a loss that completed an A’s sweep vs them in ’06 and one to the A’s in game 3 of the ’02 division series.

That ’02 series manifested in a Twins series victory, before a loss to the eventual World Series winning Angels, which included a Friday game 3 Twins’ loss.

 

Walter Johnson 1924.jpg

The great, maybe the greatest pitcher, Walter Johnson, pictured above got the win in relief when the Twins’ ancestors, the Washington Senators won their lone World Series in game 7 of the 1924 World Series.

Horace Clarke Breaking Up No Hit Bids

I recall then New York Yankees’ second baseman, Horace Clarke breaking up three no hit bids, by American League pitchers in the ninth inning, back in 1970.

Incredibly, Clarke did so within a period of less than a month, (June 4th-July 2nd), first vs Jim Rooker, then Wilford “Sonny” Siebert and finally vs Joe Niekro.

Only Siebert, who had the lone no hit game in baseball 1966, (in what was to be Sandy Koufax’s last season and after pitching a no hit game for four straight seasons, Sandy did not pitch one in 1966), among the three, had a no hit game in his career.

I remember sitting at my school type desk, listening when Mr. Clarke broke up Niekro’s no hit bid. In those, I believe better days, not all, in fact less than half of the Yankees’ games were televised.

 

Horace Clarke 1970.jpg

Horace Clarke, pictured above.