Skip Schumaker defends Albert Pujols

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Skip Schumaker, who had some really scathing comments directed at drug cheats following the Biogenesis suspensions, has come to the defense of another player accused of PED use: former teammate Albert Pujols. Ken Rosenthal relays Schumaker’s comments:

“He’s the most honest guy I’ve ever been around,” Schumaker said. “He’s a solid human being, a solid Christian. What he says is the truth. I’m 100 percent behind Albert. Everyone who has played with him is 100 percent behind Albert. What Jack is doing is wrong.”

That’s admirable, and I agree with him that Clark’s accusations are wrong. But I’m not sure how anyone, a teammate included, could be so sure of such things. Just as it is nonsense to say someone is dirty because of their stat line, body composition and injury history it is wrong to say that someone is clean because they’re a “solid human being, solid Christian” or because they were a good teammate.

One thing and on thing only justifies us talking authoritatively about a player’s PED use: evidence of their PED use. That’s it.

World Series Game 1 will feature Dallas Keuchel vs. Clayton Kershaw

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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.