What we're watching – Lincecum vs. Pirates

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– Tim Lincecum will make his start Friday on two days’ rest after
throwing 35 pitches in the All-Star Game. He’ll be facing the Pirates
for the second time in his career after losing to them when he gave up
six runs in six innings on Aug. 11, 2007. He’s made 57 starts since and
given up six runs just once more.

– Clay Buchholz makes his 2009 debut for the Red Sox after going 7-2
with a 2.36 ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket. It will be one and done for the
24-year-old, who will take on the Blue Jays and Ricky Romero. The Red
Sox wanted to give their rotation some extra rest after having two
starters chosen as All-Stars — even if neither pitched — and they
could easily manipulate the roster spot with Jed Lowrie set to be
promoted on Saturday.

Game of the Night

Houston vs. L.A. Dodgers – It’ll be Roy Oswalt versus Chad
Billingsley in Manny Ramirez’s second home game since returning from
his suspension. Oswalt has allowed just six runs over 29 innings in his
last four starts, lowering his ERA from 4.48 to 3.85. He’s 5-3 with a
3.91 ERA lifetime versus the Dodgers. Billingsley will be looking to
snap a five-start winless streak that’s taken his ERA from 2.72 to
3.38. He’s 3-2 with a 2.62 ERA against the Astros. It’d help his
chances if Lance Berkman misses the game with a calf strain he
aggravated last night. Ramirez will pass Mickey Mantle for 15th place
on the all-time list with his next homer.

Kyle Schwarber is on a private plane en route to Cleveland

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 07:  Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the MLB game at Chase Field on April 7, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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This is happening, people.

Earlier we heard Joe Maddon being non-committal about Kyle Schwarber joining the Cubs for the World Series. Now it seems pretty clear that the Cubs are committal indeed: Jon Morosi reports that Schwarber is en route to Cleveland from Arizona on a private jet and that he’s expected to DH in Game 1 tomorrow night.

Schwarber hasn’t played in a game that counted since April 7. His potent bat is could be a windfall for a Cubs team that didn’t have a game-changing option at DH in the American League park.

Schwarber lost the whole season due to a knee injury, but he hit .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBI in 69 games as a rookie in 2015. His big coming out party was in the playoffs, however, when he hit three homers in five postseason games while going 7-for-13 with two walks in five games.

Carlos Santana in left field? Sure, OK.

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 15:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a home run in the second inning against J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game two of the American League Championship Series at Progressive Field on October 15, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Indians First Baseman/DH Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians’ workout today.

Sure, why not? Santana has played one game in the outfield in his major league career and that was over four years ago, but the Indians will have to play in Chicago without the DH, meaning either losing Santana’s bat or that of Mike Napoli.

It would be up to Terry Francona to decide if that happens, but ultimately I don’t think he’ll make it real and, rather, will just forget about it, because Santana’s defense out there would in no way be smooth.

I’m sorry. I’m sick today and I’m on a lot of cold medicine.