There’s apparently no stoppin’ the mighty Redlegs.
Backed by Todd Frazier’s timely hitting and another outstanding performance by the National League’s top bullpen, Cincinnati rolled to its fifth consecutive victory Saturday night at Great American Ball Park.
Joey Votto has been sidelined since July 15 due to knee surgery and Brandon Phillips hasn’t started a game in the month of August due to a left calf strain, but the Reds have now finished victorious in 19 of 22 games since the All-Star break and boast the best overall winning percentage (.617) in Major League Baseball.
Cincy is 5 1/2 games up in the National League Central standings. The Pirates are second and the defending World Series champion Cardinals are currently sitting in third.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Mariners 1, Yankees 0
Blue Jays 3, Athletics 1 (11 innings)
Rangers 4, Royals 2
Indians 1, Tigers 6
Marlins 7, Nationals 10
Diamondbacks 0, Phillies 3
Twins 6, Red Sox 4
Angels 6, White Sox 5 (10 innings)
Astros 3, Braves 2
Pirates 4, Reds 5
Orioles 4, Rays 0
Brewers 1, Cardinals 6
Giants 11, Rockies 6
Mets 6, Padres 2
Cubs 1, Dodgers 3
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.