Game 1 of the NLCS is already giving you the drama you crave. Both the Cardinals and Dodgers have put up zeroes outside of Juan Uribe’s two-run single in the top of the third and Carlos Beltran’s game-tying, two-run double in the bottom of the third.
Zack Greinke put together an outstanding start, holding the Cardinals to just the two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out ten. Cardinals starter Joe Kelly went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five.
Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson was in danger in the bottom of the ninth, walking two to put runners on first and second with two outs, but he got Jon Jay to fly out to center to send the game to extras.
Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal is back out on the mound in the top of the tenth for his second inning of work.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.