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.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.