Phillies on pace for most shutouts since Braves in 1992

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Last night Cliff Lee threw 8.2 scoreless innings and Ryan Madson came in to get the final out as the Phillies shut out the Reds.

It was the 19th time this season the Phillies have held their opponent scoreless, which is the most in baseball this year:

Phillies     19
Rangers      16
Dodgers      15
Braves       14
Rays         13

And here’s a list of the most shutouts in a season during the past 20 years:

Braves       1992     24
Braves       1998     23
Phillies     2010     21
Pirates      1992     20
Padres       2007     20
Padres       2010     20

At their current pace the Phillies will end up with 23 shutouts, which would be the most since Atlanta had 24 in 1992. That team had John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, and Charlie Leibrandt in the rotation and lost to the Blue Jays in the World Series. And then that offseason they signed Greg Maddux away from the Cubs.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”