The Rangers and Cardinals are hoping their starting pitchers can rise to the occasion tonight, but it will be all hands on deck if either gets into early trouble.
According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, C.J. Wilson will likely be the first arm out of the bullpen if Matt Harrison needs relief. Wilson has a 6.08 ERA and 24/19 K/BB ratio over 26 2/3 innings this postseason, including a 3.27 ERA and a 7/11 K/BB ratio over two starts during the World Series.
Derek Holland, who allowed one run (a solo homer by Allen Craig) over two innings in Game 6 last night, will also be available, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Meanwhile, on the Cardinals’ side, Tony La Russa announced that Jake Westbrook will get the call if Chris Carpenter can’t go deep into the game. Westbrook has made just two appearances this postseason, but earned the win last night by keeping the Rangers off the board in the 11th inning.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.