Cardinals ace Darryl Kile passed away 10 years ago today on June 22, 2002.
Fresh off seasons of 20 and 16 wins, Kile was still pretty much in his baseball prime at 33 when he died of a heart attack brought on by coronary disease. His body was found in his hotel room after he didn’t show up for the Cardinals’ game at Wrigley Field, and Cubs catcher Joe Girardi took to the field just before start time to announce the game was cancelled. A little while later, the reason was given.
Joe Strauss has an excellent remembrance of him over at Stltoday.com.
Kile’s death came just days after legendary Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck died. He was the most famous active player to die since Yankee great Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash in 1979. A three-time All-Star, he had a record of 133-119 with a 4.12 ERA. In his three seasons with the Cardinals, he was 41-24 with a 3.54 ERA.
The Dodgers and Astros have selected their starters for Game 1 of the World Series. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will open the series for the Astros, while fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the first of two home games at Dodger Stadium.
Keuchel, 29, has been a steady presence for the Astros this postseason. He clinched Game 2 of the ALDS with 5 2/3 innings of one-run, seven-strikeout ball against the Red Sox and returned for his second postseason win with seven scoreless innings against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. He was outmatched in Game 5 of the Championship Series, however, scattering four runs and eight strikeouts across 4 2/3 innings while the Yankees worked their way up to a 5-0 shutout. Nevertheless, he’s perhaps the Astros’ strongest arm behind ALCS MVP Justin Verlander and has not surrendered a single home run in 17 1/3 consecutive innings this postseason.
Kershaw, on the other hand, has had a less consistent track record in the playoffs. While his postseason yips have been well-documented thus far, his struggles on the mound haven’t always led to disaster — at least not this time around. The Dodgers are 3-0 in all three of Kershaw’s starts this month and enjoyed a quality start from their ace during Game 5 of the NLCS last Thursday. The 29-year-old southpaw recorded his second win of the playoffs with a run, three hits, a walk and five strikeouts over six innings. Unlike Keuchel, he’s given up a home run in each of his outings to date (and four homers in Game 1 of the NLDS).
Game 1 is set for Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM ET. The Dodgers have home field advantage through Games 1 and 2 before the series moves to Houston, and will try to capitalize on that advantage in order to extend their postseason winning streak at Dodger Stadium. They’re 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road this October, while the Astros boast a 6-0 advantage in Houston and a significantly less impressive 1-4 record away from home.