UPDATE: Of course, two minutes after I hit “post” on this bad boy word comes down: Crawford has a sore shoulder. Not sure why it’s sore. I won’t even speculate, because the minute I do someone will say it was for some other reason. Upshot: Crawford is out of the Rays-Padres game. Adjust your wagers appropriately.
1:21 P.M.: The Padres and Rays are playing a daytime tilt and Carl Crawford just left the game for no apparent reason. Crawford had grounded out to second base in his first at-bat, but then was replaced by Ben Zobrist.
It has to be some kind of an injury. Guys often leave games with bad calfs or groins or whatever after getting back to the dugout and stiffening up. Though a lot of folks on Twitter — fan types, not media types — are speculating that he’s been traded.
Honestly, though: when was the last time an in-game trade happened like that? I can’t think of it ever happening outside of spring training. That stuff happens before or after a game, not during. And it’s not like anyone has heard a peep of a hint of a Crawford trade lately.
My guess, based on the fact that I spent a night in a Holiday Inn Express last March: illness or some kind of a leg problem.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Indians manager Terry Francona has set his starting rotation for the first three games of the World Series against the Cubs. Corey Kluber will start Game One, followed by Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin for Games Two and Three, respectively.
Kluber, the ace of the staff, has had a terrific postseason. He’s made three starts with a 0.98 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. The Indians won two of his starts — Game Two of the ALDS and Game 1 of the ALCS.
Bauer was unable to make it out of the first inning of his ALCS Game 3 start against the Blue Jays after the stitches on his pinky opened up and caused blood to pour out. He suffered the injury repairing one of his drones, which he builds as a hobby. Bauer insists he’ll be good to go in Game Two, though he also insisted that the injury wouldn’t be an impediment against the Jays.
Tomlin has made two solid starts for the Indians, allowing a total of three runs over 10 2/3 innings. The Indians won both games he started, Game 3 of the ALDS and Game 2 of the ALCS. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian notes that if Bauer can’t go in Game Two, Tomlin will be moved up to start in his place.