Baseball bids farewell to Scully, Ortiz this weekend on MLB.TV
Wild Card races up for grabs as teams make final playoff push
By Chad Thornburg
Two baseball legends begin the final weekends of their careers today as Red Sox slugger David Ortiz takes the field for one last series at Fenway Park and Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully calls his final Dodgers games.
In addition to both of these storied careers coming to an end, there's plenty to watch for in the standings as teams make their final push for a Wild Card spot. And the best place to see all the action is MLB.TV.
All of the remaining regularly scheduled games on MLB.TV are free this weekend. Blackout restrictions apply.
Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
MadBum, Hill clash in San Francisco: LAD@SF, 10:15 p.m.
Scully's final series behind the mic opens with a marquee pitching matchup between the Giants' Madison Bumgarner and the Dodgers' Rich Hill. These National League West rivals continue their final four-game series today at AT&T Park.
In his final regular-season appearance, Bumgarner will look to rebound from a rough start in which he matched his season-high by allowing five earned runs to the Padres. The Giants offense bailed him out, however, scoring nine runs in the extra-inning victory.
Hill, who is penciled in behind Clayton Kershaw as the Dodgers' Game 2 starter in the National League Division Series, goes for LA. He's pitching on nine days' rest after skipping his last start with the Dodgers, who are taking a cautious approach to the finger blisters that caused him to miss time earlier this year.
Stat that matters: Bumgarner recorded his 245th strikeout of the season his last time out, eclipsing Cy Seymour's 1898 franchise record (244).
Porcello eyes 23rd win against Wild Card-chasing Jays: TOR@BOS, 7:10 p.m. Rick Porcello will conclude a stellar regular season today, starting for the Red Sox against the Blue Jays. The Cy Young Award candidate will take on a Jays squad competing with the Orioles for the American League's top Wild Card spot.
For Toronto, Marco Estrada will take the ball. He's allowed just one run over his last two starts (14 innings), totaling 15 strikeouts against five walks in that span. The Blue Jays' magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three over Detroit.
With the division locked up, much of Boston's focus will be on Ortiz, who plays his final regular-season games at Fenway Park, the ballpark he's called home for 14 seasons.
Stat that matters: Ortiz is slashing .310/.407/.587 with 221 home runs and 839 RBIs through 1,011 career games at Fenway.
Yankees aim to play spoiler vs. O's: BAL@NYY, 7:05 p.m.
The Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention Thursday, but they still have plenty to play for this weekend with the division rival Orioles in town. New York can play spoiler to Baltimore's Wild Card hopes as the O's try to lock down a postseason berth.
Baltimore moved into a tie for the AL's top Wild Card spot Thursday by beating the Blue Jays, 4-0, at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays won the season series and own the tiebreaker, so the O's need to pass Toronto in order to host the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday.
Stat that matters: Pineda is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts against the Orioles this season.
Cards look to stay in the hunt: PIT@STL, 8:15 p.m.
The Cardinals surprised the Reds with a walk-off win at Busch Stadium on Thursday and will try to carry that momentum into their season-ending series against the Pirates. The Cardinals have little margin for error as they're locked in a tight race with the Giants and Mets for the NL's two Wild Card spots.
Carlos Martinez will toe the rubber for St. Louis in what he hopes won't be his final appearance of the season. He's allowed two or fewer runs in four of his last five outings.
The Pirates will counter with top prospect Tyler Glasnow, who returned to the rotation last weekend after a stint in the bullpen. He lasted just three innings Sunday, allowing four runs (three earned) to the Nationals.
Stat that matters: Of the 975 hits the Cardinals logged against right-handed pitchers entering Thursday, 40.6 percent (396) have gone for extra bases. That's the second highest rate in the Majors.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers get the Mosaic View -- split screen or quad, available on PC or Mac only. That always comes in handy, especially when scoreboard-watching looms. MLB.TV Premium and MLB.TV Single Team subscribers both enjoy HD and both will get real-time highlights and player stats automatically loaded moments after they occur (only for the game you are watching with MLB.TV Single Team, and for all games with MLB.TV Premium).
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.