Ray's Ramblings - Halloween 2017
The Dodgers head home trailing three games to two. They will have to win both efforts to claim the championship over the Astros, and that challenge begins on Halloween as they will look to extend the World Series to an epic 7th game. There's some Halloween movies stuff in here as well for those of you looking for something to watch after grabbing all your candy.
The Astros lead the Series 3-2
TUESDAY, OCT. 24: Astros at Dodgers, Game 1, Score: 1-3
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 25: Astros at Dodgers, Game 2, Score: 7-6 (11 innings)
FRIDAY, OCT. 27: Dodgers at Astros, Game 3, Score: 3-5
SATURDAY, OCT. 28: Dodgers at Astros, Game 4, Score:2-6
SUNDAY, OCT. 29: Dodgers at Astros, Game 5, Score: 13-12 (10 innings)
TUESDAY, OCT. 31: Astros at Dodgers, Game 6*, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 1: Astros at Dodgers, Game 7*, 8 p.m. ET, FOX
The Astros lead the Series 3-2. Since 1985 when the LCS went to a best of seven format, the team that is ahead 3-2 has gone on to win 66.1 percent of the time (37 of 56). However, if the series leader plays Game 6 & 7 on the road, as this series does, the team ahead 3-2 on the road is 14-14 (yes, that leaves home teams with a 23-5 record).
Shortstops have hit 15 homers this postseason. That’s the most the position has ever hit besting the previous record of 10 set in 2002. In the 1980’s, all shortstops hit 13 postseason homers.
Twenty-two homers have been hit in the World Series, an all-time record. Fourteen of the homers have tied the game or have given a team the lead. Houston’s 13 homers is one off the record 14 hit by the Giants in seven games in 2002.
The Series record for homers by individual players in a game was six. In Game 2 eight homered. In Game 5 seven homered.
Fourteen players have homered in the series, seven from each team. The previous record was 13 players in the 1953 Series (Dodgers, Yankees).
There have been 101 homers hit in the 2017 postseason, the most ever.
There have been 72 postseason games. Starting pitchers have failed to complete five innings 32 percent of the time. That’s certainly played a part in some tired bullpen arms throwing pitches late in October. Relivers in the Series have allowed 14 homers leading to a 6.33 ERA over 42.2 innings.
Is the baseball different this postseason?
After being 100+ degrees for Game 1, the temperature for Game 6, and 7 if needed, figures to be no more than about 70 degrees.
Clayton Kershaw versus Dallas Keuchel led to...
The most runs ever scored in a World Series game wasn’t the 25 scored in Game 5, but it was close, as in the second most ever behind only the 29 runs scored in 1993’s Game 4 with the Blue Jays (15) and the Phillies (14).
The most players ever to homer in one game in the W.S. is eight in Game 2 this year. In Game 5 seven men homered.
The Astros swung and missed at just 13 of 194 pitches in Game 5.
Jose Altuve has produced 37 extra base hits at home this postseason. That’s is the most in league history. He also tied the postseason home homer mark with six (Jayson Werth 2009). Altuve’s seven homers overall are tied with Daniel Murphy for most ever by a second baseman. His 1.541 OPS at home is the 5th best mark (minimum 25 plate appearances). Altuve also has four games of at least three hits this postseason tying the record held by Jay Buhner (1995), Edgar Martinez (1995) and Albert Pujols (2004).
Alex Bregman had a game-winning, walk-off hit at 23 years, 214 days. That makes him the third youngest player ever to do so (Edgar Renteria was 22 years, 80 days and Fred Merkle 22 years, 309 days). This postseason Bregman has that Game 5 winning hit, two homers off Chris Sale, a home run off Clayton Kershaw and a homer off Kenley Jansen. That’s pretty damn impressive.
Carlos Correa hit a homer in Week 5 that had a launch angle of 48 degrees. That’s the highest of any homer hit in 2017.
For Game 6, the Astros could go in a bunch of directions. Justin Verlander will start, then it’s an unknown. Lance McCullers is set to start Game 7, but the team could turn to him in Game 6. However, if they do, they will be forced to used Charlie Morton on short rest in Game 7, and you would have to think they would like to avoid that eventuality. Speaking of Verlander, he’s made five outings this postseason (four starts) with a 4-0 record and a 2.05 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. The Astros haven’t lost since they added Verlander as they have gone 10-0 in his 10 starts for the club.
Rich Hill will start Game 6 for the Dodgers. Given that he’s lasted 13 innings in three starts this postseason, the bullpen better be ready. That means Game 4 starter Alex Wood could see the hill in relief. "For sure," Wood said when asked if he'd be up for bullpen duty. "I'll try to get ready as fast as I can. If we go to seven games, I'll be ready." Wood made 25 starts and two relief appearances this season. Manager Dave Roberts did say that he was open to pushing Hill given the magnitude of the game.
Kenley Jansen has allowed three extra-base hits in three Appearances in the Series. He had allowed five extra-base hits his first 25 playoffs appearances entering the Series. He’s also allowed a run in 3-straight outings. The last time that happened was July/August of 2015.
Clayton Kershaw threw 4.2 innings in Game 5, and though he left allowing four runs two inherited runners came around to score leaving him with six earned runs allowed in the outing. He also struck out just two Astros, his lowest postseason mark in 19 starts. In 292 regular season outings Kershaw has a 2.36 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. In 23 outings in the postseason the numbers are 4.50 and 1.10. This postseason he’s allowed eight homers, the same total he allowed in 149 innings during the 2016 regular season.
Joc Pederson will be in the lineup for the Dodgers for Game 6.
HALLOWEEN MOVIES TO WATCH
On All Hallows’ Eve, here is a list of horror movies you could watch to scare yourself. But before we get to that a few flicks that won’t make the list. A Nightmare on Elm Street (solid movie, spectacular idea). Dracula / The Wolf Man (classics but not really scary). Freaks (oddly entertaining but not really a horror movie until the magnificent ending). Underworld (I really wanted to list the beautiful Kate Beckinsale in her leather). Silent Night, Deadly Night (yes, a killer Santa Claus). Black Christmas (one of the first slasher films. Disturbingly interesting premise, and the original blows away the remake). Friday the 13th (Derivative. I'm not really about slasher films).
10 – Dog Soldiers (2002)
Before CGI was all the rage movies actually dressed people up in suits. This flick doesn't exactly sport the best-looking werewolves ever put on film but they are solid, and the fact that they could interact, hand to hand style, with the actors gives this film a realism many of the newer flicks miss. A platoon of soldiers taking on some werewolves – what an interesting premise. Don't watch this one if you are staying in a cabin in the woods.
9 – Scream (1996)
If you know what to expect with the twists and turns the movie does lose some of its punch, but if you don't have a good memory and can watch it again as if it was new, you'll enjoy this one. Pokes fun of the horror genre but in a deferential type way versus some of those craptastic parodies like Scary Movie.
8 – Night of the Living Dead (1968)
A social commentary (even if unintended), this film was made for just over $100,000 and launched the career of George A. Romero (estimates put the return on the film to be well over $30 million). One of the first films to have an African American lead, the movie uses black and white photography to great effect as it does sound and Bosco (the chocolate syrup was used for blood). This is the "mother" of all the zombie flicks you like to watch now, so if you enjoy that -genre you had better add this sucker to your watchlist.
7 – Nosferatu (1922)
The story of Dracula that had the names and places changed to avoid having to pay the estate of Bram Stoker for the rights to the story. Eventually, Prana Films of Germany was run out of business and nearly all copies of the film were destroyed by court order (since the company couldn't pay Stoker's widow, the courts ordered all copies of the film to be destroyed. Luckily they failed and some copies made it down to us today). Not for everyone since it's a silent film, but it has an eerie feel to it highlighted by the scary, animal-like appearance of the title character that is vastly different than the portrayals of Dracula you are used to seeing today. A true masterpiece of the horror genre.
6 – Trick R' Treat (2007)
A slick anthology that features a few things every horror film should have. (1) A sexy striptease by a female who turns into a werewolf. (B) A psychotic pumpkin who inflicts pain on those who forget Halloween traditions. (C) A group of friends who pay the ultimate price for trying to play a "trick" on their friend. (D) A father who passes on to his son some rather interesting skills that probably shouldn't have been shared. A real treat that doesn't get as much love as it should.
5 – The Exorcist (1973)
People fainted and vomited in the aisles when seeing the film upon initial release. Literally. One of the most influential horror films ever made, it was actually still playing in theaters two years after it was released. The Catholic Church was besieged by requests for exorcisms after the film that was loosely based on a true story. Famous for the special effects including the spinning head, the pea soup green vomit (there is a lot of it), and the still shocking use of a crucifix in a sexual way.
4 – Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
So indelible is the image of Boris Karloff as the Monster that it's impossible to think about the Monster without picturing him (please, don't call him Frankenstein either. The man who created him was Dr. Frankenstein, so Karloff's character is either the Monster or the Frankenstein Monster, though no one seems to remember that today). The original Frankenstein, along with Dracula, helped to make Universal Studios the king of horror in the 1930's and '40's. One of the rare sequels to outdo the original, Bride has an amazing mad scientist feel to it including the wondrous creation scene of the Bride with her iconic hair. This was one of the first horror movies to make such ample use of music (for effect) and humor, two staples of the genre today. As fine an example of movie making as you will find from a film produced prior to World War II.
3 – Psycho (1960)
A groundbreaking film at the time it was released. Paid the ultimate compliment in that nearly every horror/thriller film made today borrows at least something from this classic. It's hard to understand the impact this film had at the time since today we can get porn on our cell phones (thankfully), but at the time this film was released it broke a myriad of taboos including: (1) Killing the star of the film a third of the way in. (2) Showing the star of the film in her underwear. (3) Having a nude scene in the famous shower killing (even though you can't make anything out – unfortunately). (4) Having a psychotic cross-dresser in a lead role. A must see for any horror fan, an absolute must.
2 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
Rarely do films evoke a visceral response. You may find yourself reacting that way a couple of times if the filmmaker really is on his/her game, but no film ever made can match the intensity of TCM that literally, from start to finish, makes your skin crawl. Repulsion, revulsion, despair, hopelessness... they are all here in spades. This film not only scares you, it's relentless depravity seeps into your pores and stays with you long after you turn the television off. Much less violent/bloody than its reputation, Tobe Hooper's classic take on dementia and murder hasn't lost one iota of its impact since it was released – it will still make even the most hardened of viewers descend into the world of insanity that it portrays.
1 – Halloween (1978)
Like Psycho, this film has been repeated so many times – from its camera work to its subject matter – that it's astounding that watching it still makes such an impact (Black Christmas used the first person camera work a few years earlier). Michael Myers, the original killer without a face (he is simply listed as The Shape in the credits), is the personification of evil. He's insane. He wants to kill you. Period. There is no reason behind the mask, and the little backstory we receive allows you to fill in the blanks with your own mind (almost always better than having everything explained – the unknown has a powerful effect). John Carpenter's classic literally spawned the genre of slasher films, even though like TCM there is relatively little blood in the movie. Everyone has tried to imitate Halloween, including remakes of Halloween I and II by Rob Zombie in recent years, but no one has ever been able to recapture the simple but terrifying work of Carpenter.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Friday, 8-10 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 8 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys).