Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies tweak rosters for LCS

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Following their first-round victories the Yankees, Dodgers, and Phillies have each made a slight roster change for the LCS.
New York has dropped bench bat Eric Hinske in favor of pinch-runner Freddy Guzman, which makes sense given that Hinske would rarely get the call to pinch-hit for anyone in the Yankees’ stacked lineup after batting just .242/.348/.432 this year. Guzman probably won’t see much action either, but could be used to run for Jorge Posada or Hideki Matsui if fellow speedster Brett Gardner is playing center field.
Now that Chan Ho Park is recovered from his hamstring injury the Phillies have added him to the bullpen in place of Brett Myers, who isn’t very happy about being removed from the roster. Myers has had success as a reliever in the past, but he hasn’t looked good since coming off the disabled list last month and Park was outstanding before his injury, posting a 2.52 ERA and 52/16 K/BB ratio in 50 relief innings.
Los Angeles bumped Jon Garland and Jeff Weaver for Hiroki Kuroda and Scott Elbert. Kuroda will start Game 3 after missing the first round with an injury and Elbert will serve as a third left-hander in the bullpen, which may come in handy against the Phillies’ lefty-heavy lineup. Weaver got the win in Game 1 of the NLDS and Garland had a 2.72 ERA in six starts down the stretch after being acquired from Arizona, but Chad Billingsley’s demotion to the bullpen made them both somewhat superfluous.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.