The Yankees, not to be outdone by the Rangers, have filed their ALCS rotation. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has the goods on Twitter.
CC Sabathia will start Game 1 in Texas on Saturday night. The American League Cy Young Award candidate registered a 21-7 record, a 3.18 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over 34 starts during the regular season, fanning 197 batters over 237-plus innings and walking just 74. He surrendered three runs in six innings during his lone ALDS start against the Twins, but the big man remains one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.
Phil Hughes will start Game 2, also in Texas. He turned in seven scoreless innings in the Yanks’ series-clinching Game 3 victory over the Twins in the ALDS and has enjoyed great success in the Rangers’ home park throughout his short career.
Andy Pettitte, the veteran left-hander, will take on Texas in the first game back at Yankee Stadium. He was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 21 starts during the regular season and held the Twins to two earned runs over seven innings in his one ALDS start. He will face Rangers ace Cliff Lee.
A.J. Burnett will go in Game 4. His involvement in the semifinal series is unfortunate, but he is New York’s best option and might just have a dominant outing left in his bag of tricks. The 33-year-old righty hasn’t pitched in a major league game since October 2, when he allowed four runs in a six-inning start against the Red Sox. Maybe the freshness will help.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.