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.
Allen Craig has been dreadful since the Red Sox acquired him from the Cardinals in the mid-2014 John Lackey trade, slashing .128/.234/.191 in 107 plate appearances last year and .152/.239/.203 in 88 plate appearances at the major league level this year.
Craig hasn’t been the same player since suffering a Lisfranc injury in 2013, and the 31-year-old first baseman and corner outfielder is still owed $20 million from a five-year, $31 million extension he signed with the Cardinals. So, yeah, the Red Sox would love to find a taker this winter, as new club president Dave Dombrowski told Tim Britton of the Providence Journal on Tuesday …
You don’t often hear an executive express that kind of thing publicly. It was former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington who brought Craig to Boston.
Cardinals starter John Lackey had a clean first inning in Game 4 of the NLDS on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but Anthony Rizzo opened the bottom of the second a shift-beating single to the left side of the infield and then Starlin Castro reached on a fielder’s choice grounder to short. Kyle Schwarber came through with a single and Jason Hammel followed a Miguel Montero strikeout with a two-out, run-scoring liner up the middle.
Enter young shortstop prospect Javier Baez, who’s filling in for the injured Addison Russell in Game 4 as the Cubs try to advance to the NLCS …
Opposite field. Wind-aided, sure, but it probably didn’t need the wind anyway. What a shot.
Chicago leads the visiting Cardinals 4-2 as the sixth inning gets underway at Wrigley.
Mets infielder Juan Uribe has been sidelined since late September with a chest injury and it sounds like he won’t be available for the NLCS if New York advances.
Mets manager Terry Collins told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that Uribe has yet to resume baseball activities and continues to experience discomfort.
Uribe was a useful late-July pickup for the Mets and hit .253 with 14 homers and a .737 OPS in 119 total games for three different teams this season, but his postseason role would be pretty limited even if he were healthy.